A miserable ghost reappears, environment takes centre stage and the return of Parliament

After several months of absence from the national stage, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison made an appearance on a different kind of stage – the pulpit of the Victory Church in Perth, announcing that he still believed in miracles. And that he doesn’t trust in government or the United Nations.

As the distance between Morrison’s tenure as prime minister and the current events of today become greater, it becomes more apparent that his tenure was a morass of anti-government paranoia, inaction on virtually every aspect of what the public would normally expect from a government, and an agenda that seemed to be based on a misguided religious-based philosophy that has no place in public life.

Morrison and his political philosophies – if they can be described in this way – were more in tune with the radical QAnon ideals that most of the media ignored and if he wasn’t the most mediocre prime minister, he could certainly be considered to be one of the more potentially dangerous ones. It’s hard to think of any leader who was so indifferent to public office and the plight of the electorate – the only benefit for Morrison remaining in public life is as a reminder for the kind of leadership Australia needs to avoid in the future.

And a part of Morrison’s agenda was to totally ignore the environment, as we discovered when the Minister for Environment, Tanya Plibersek released the State of the Environment report, which painted a picture of an almost dystopian future for Australia due to previous inaction on climate change – and a guaranteed dystopia if serious reductions of greenhouse emissions are not made. It’s no wonder the previous Minister, Sussan Ley, refused to release the report, which she had held onto since December 2021.

But how will Labor be able to make its environmental credentials more palatable to the public if it’s approving new coalmines and greenfield gas projects? It will be a difficult balance of many competing interests – and vested interests – but the environment must win out, there is no alternative.

And the 47th Parliament commences in Canberra, with a new government and a House of Representatives and Senate that seems to be more reflective of the Australian community. More women, more Indigenous representatives, less white, more multicultural. And a large crossbench. The Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, has a big agenda and this has the potential to be the most productive and most dynamic Parliament in Australia’s history.

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