No Time for Nap Time

This Saturday is the opportunity for Victorians to rid themselves of the Napthine government, which has managed to be bumbling and boorish. But before voting it is worth remembering what the the past four years have been like - and a final reminder of in whose interests they are governing.

With an unexpected victory in 2010, Ted Ballieu was elected by a razor-thin majority, 45 seats to 43, including some rather colourful characters such as Geoff Shaw. Shaw, a fundamentalist Pentecostalist, would be involved in a roadside fight, engaged in some rather public domestic issues, and would be considered "not diligent" in ensuring his parliamentary vehicle or his parliamentary fuel card, was not used for his private businesses. Eventually he would resign from the Liberal Party, in advance of being expelled, and would be suspended from parliament.

Baillieu himself, almost at the same time, found need to resign. This was partially because of a lackadaisical policy agenda, and correlated with revelations of attempted to undermine the Victorian Policy Chief, Simon Overland. In his wake, Baillieu left behind a succession of anti-environmental and anti-education policies, including dismantling protection of native species, cutting support for renewable energy and introducing cattle grazing in the Alpine National Park, as well as for cutting funding for TAFE vocational education. The fact that this single paragraph summarises all that he'll be remembered for as the 46th Premier of Victoria is sufficient evidence of a failed government in itself.

It was cute that Denis Napthine found himself elected leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, and thus Premier on his sixty-first birthday, even if the Assembly was now split 44-43-1. Scandal didn't take long to break out, with revelations that Napthinge had worked with the toxic Shaw to change the state's abortion legislation, which had been decriminalised by the previous Labor government. Napthine quickly rejected the allegations and stated that whilst Premier he would not allow Mr Shaw to attempt to change abortion laws.

The Napthine government really has been more of the same. In total they've brought fourth cuts to health (around $800 million), to TAFE (around $1.2 billion), to education ($550 million). They've sacked over four thousand public servants, and they seem caught in never ending industrial disputes with core social service workers, such as teachers, nurses, the SES, and still with paramedics. The Napthine government has managed to bring Victoria's unemployment rate from 4.9 percent to 6.8 percent. In terms of infrastructure, they have one big promise - the East/West Link, which was pretty low on the list of priorities of the Eddington Report. Sure, a tunnel would be nice (so would an ice-cream), but not at $15-$17 billion, not when there is so much that being held "commercial in-confidence", not when there are public transport needs that would more effective and cheaper and resolving transport issues.

Curiously, the Liberal Party has launched a campaign against the prospect of the Labor Party being elected on the grounds that it will be a CMFEU-Labor government. But perhaps drawing attention to the CMFEU isn't that wise however. Certainly people remember how Grocon sued the CMFEU during the Myer construction dispute; the union was fined $1.25 million for criminal contempt. But bringing attention to this will also cast a light on how the state government's Workcover Authority has allowed Grocon to plead guilty to one charge over a collapsed wall that killed three people, dropping five other charges in the process. As a result the company pays a fine of $305,000 rather than the maximum fine of $1.1 million. So when a union stops work they get a million dollar fine; but when the bosses negligence kill three people...

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on January 26, 2015.

Comments

A very good summary.

Jacqui protested against the Liberals about teacher's pay salaries. They eventually caved in but it took ages.

I read an article recently about an ambulance driver, who was a lifelong Liberal voter, confronting Napthine about their pay issues and he just waved her away basically.

Year by year the Libs are getting more & more far right-wing. Don't know if they'll ever get to "Rise Up Australia" right-wing standards but it's scary nevertheless.

I'm praying the dark-lord Cthulhu will provide us with a Labor government this time. Time for some cultist sacrifices?

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