The horror of the last weeks and months are a compressed version of the last 30 years in bushfire and climate politics.
Disaster of any kind throws qualities of leadership – or the perceived lack thereof – under the spotlight. People respond most to leaders who show empathy and authenticity.
A crisis of this scale requires a willingness to listen to the best sources of advice and generate bipartisan consensus. But Morrison has struggled to put the national interest above party politics.
As the bushfire crisis worsens, the prime minister's fallback positions on climate change and lack of urgency on a federal disaster plan are no longer tenable – the public is demanding more.
As the prime minister finally reads the mood and returns home, the holiday affair reflects badly on him and his media team.
I'd hoped to keep my absence nice and private, especially from those quiet Australians fighting fires. Regrettably, despite best efforts, my press office wasn't able to keep a lid on the story.
Grattan and Martin on the year that was, in politics and economics.
The Conversation, CC BY59.2 MB (download)
Michelle Grattan sits down with The Conversation's economic editor Peter Martin for a chat about the year that was, and to answer readers' questions.
A proposal to ensure changes to the machinery of government “are well planned and evaluated” received short shrift.
The fires are putting pressure on the government by elevating the climate issue and opening new division among Liberals.
The Australian Election Study, done after every federal election, has found voter trust at rock bottom levels.
The situation with Naomi Wolf is another case of Angus Taylor being sloppy with facts and refusing to clean up his mess quickly.
Morrison said the shrinking of the number of departments was “to ensure the services that Australians rely on are delivered more efficiently and effectively”.
University of Canberra Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Leigh Sullivan and Michelle Grattan discuss this week in politics, and talk about what to expect in the year's final parliamentary sitting week.
With one parliamentary week remaining, Angus Taylor has been discredited, and Scott Morrison has been embroiled and embarrassed – or embarrassed himself. And the whole thing was avoidable.
NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller, who knows Morrison personally, defended the PM, saying he 'didn't ask for anything that was inappropriate and I'm comfortable with the discussion that we had'.
In a statement to the house, Morrison said he had spoken to the NSW police commissioner about “the nature and substance” of the police inquiries.
Most of the money will go to providing an extra 10,000 home care packages, after the commission said many people were dying while waiting for them.
University of Canberra VC Deep Saini and Michelle Grattan discuss this week in politics, and talk about what to expect in the last parliamentary sitting fortnight, which starts this Monday.
Next week begins the year's final parliamentary fortnight, and the main attention will be on the fate of two bills - the ensuring integrity legislation, and the medevac repeal.
Following increasing calls for stimulus to be injected into the economy, the government will outline an infrastructure bring-forward of A$3.8 billion over the next four years.