ScoMo’s answer to bushfire crisis: Half-baked stimulus
WHERE the bloody hell has ScoMo been?
I guess the answer is busy cooking up some half-baked infrastructure attempt to rescue a rapidly sinking economy.
The waterboy's silence while the nation burnt for the past fortnight was deafening.
It's been utterly abysmal leadership at a time when communities were watching their lives go up in flames in front of them.
The most he offered was a lecture from the pulpit that now was not the time to be talking about the climatic conditions which have helped turn most of the nation into a powder keg.
Doesn't get much more inspirational than that.
And the answer to the trauma of the past few weeks?
A shuffling of financial deckchairs.
How good is Australia?
Answer. Not real good at the moment ScoMo.
The latest 'groundbreaking ' new deal between the state and federal governments, to fast-track $1.9 billion in infrastructure spend, has been hailed as something amazing.
It's old money being injected earlier.
It's not new cash coming in, it's not new or further commitments of support.
It's simply an acknowledgment that the flesh wound is starting to leak a fair bit of blood, and the band-aids need reinforcement.
The paper over the cracks needed a fresh lick of paint.
It's great news for the Gold Coast.
Its thriving light rail system has been given funding for the third stage of the rollout.
But for us, the 'poor cousin Coast', well we've scored $92 million being brought forward for the Beerburrum to Nambour rail duplication project.
What that actually does for the project I expect will amount to about zero, given there is still no funding agreement on the $230 million shortfall that remains on the $780 million project desperately needed in a rapidly expanding region.
There's only so much planning you can do on a project.
There was also $113 million brought forward for the Bruce Highway Pine Rivers to Caloundra stretch.
While the backslapping will no doubt be vigorous, it's hard to justify.
The much-vaunted 'surplus' clung to during the federal election period appears to have been raided, like a child's piggy bank, already, just months into the new regime, in a cheap attempt to buy a little more political goodwill.
This isn't new investment, or new projects.
This isn't systematic change to deliver long-term economic improvement.
It's short-term stimulus, and a sign from the self-titled economic management experts that the 'everything's sweet' view they've been selling for months has been little more than hot air.
Again, this government fails to tackle deeper-seeded issues afflicting this country, the widening social and economic divides among classes, and the need to better approach climate management and drought mitigation.
But who needs to worry about that stuff, that's what thoughts and prayers are for.
I get a feeling this will be remembered as one of the worst governments we've ever had.
Heartless and directionless.