01 September 2015
by Kaye Lee

Less shovels and more reading

Many have expressed surprise that no-one in Peter Dutton’s department bothered reading a press release that stated there would be random identity checks in Melbourne.

But it really is no surprise at all.

No-one in George Brandis’ department, despite our security level being at uber scary, bothered passing on the letters from Man Monis.

It wasn’t the fault of “vigilante litigants” that the court ruled against the approval for the Adani mine. It was because Greg Hunt admitted he had failed to take advice from his department on threatened species into account.

Chairman of the senate inquiry, LNP senator Ian MacDonald, condemned the HRC report on young asylum seekers in detention — but then admitted he hadn’t read it.

“I haven’t bothered to read the final report because I think it is partisan,” Senator MacDonald told the hearing.

Christopher Pyne, famously didn’t even bother reading the initial Gonski report on education funding reforms after it was released before emerging to attack it.

Tony Abbott blamed the shelving of BHP’s Olympic Dam project on the carbon tax, without reading the company’s statement which mentioned various reasons, none of them to do with tax.

Despite quoting Ian Plimer’s much-panned book all the time as justification for his climate scepticism, Tony confessed that he is ‘probably more familiar with the book through people who’ve written about it than I am through having read it myself’.

He also opposed the expansion of marine parks on the basis that it had not been ‘properly, scientifically justified’, yet the Environment Minister Tony Bourke displays the volumes of scientific evidence on which the proposals had been based.

Despite not having seen Cardinal Pell give evidence to the Victorian inquiry into child sex abuse, or having read the report which was highly critical of Pell, when asked to comment on the findings, Abbott said “As is pretty well known, I have a lot of time for George Pell…He is in my judgment a fine human being, a great churchman.”

In 2012, a press conference with the South Australian and Federal Liberal leaders was cut short when Tony couldn’t name any of her policies. Is it any wonder they don’t want him in Canning?

As that excruciating interview with Kerrie O’Brien showed, Tony didn’t have to know anything about broadband to know he wanted to destroy the NBN.

And then there was Tony’s announcement that he would create a body called Infrastructure Australia to prioritise infrastructure projects on the basis of cost-benefit, seemingly unaware that the organisation already existed fulfilling exactly that role.

One can only hope that someone is reading the free trade agreements rather than just lining up to collect autographs.

Tony and his ministers would be far better served spending some time in their offices doing more reading and less time flying around the country, claiming entitlements to have photos taken with shovel in hand.