There’s a lot of issues that are starting to build up in federal politics and with just a few more weeks of sitting days before the end of the year, the Labor government is trying to fit in as much as possible before they all go home for Christmas. And major issue that they’re trying to push through as quickly as possible is their industrial relations bill, and the main agenda here is increase wages, especially for low-income workers, improve working conditions and create a better balance between the rights of business and the rights of workers.
The Opposition Leader Peter Dutton has come out to say that it will take industrial relations backwards and unions will hold businesses to ransom – this is the just the usual rhetoric that we get from business groups and the Liberal Party, who won’t be happy until workers are paid $2 a day, and can be sacked at whim – but the Labor Party was created through the unions and is the one that is supposed to support workers’ rights whenever it gets into government, so it can’t be a surprise that these changes to industrial relations were going to be made.
And COP27 is being held in Egypt this week – and that’s the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference – it is an important conference, but people who want global action on climate change are becoming impatient and now suggesting that it’s more of an annual greenwashing event but this is the 27th COP event, and global action is moving at a glacial pace.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, isn’t attending COP27 – we can argue that Albanese’s ministerial team when compared to Scott Morrison’s team is more than capable, but should Albanese be there as well? He can’t argue that the Prime Minister should have gone last year, and then this year argue that he can’t be in two places at the same time can he?
And the actions of the previous Morrison government are back in the spotlight again – the Robodebt Royal Commission is revealing more and more information about this scheme – and it’s quite damaging to the reputation of Scott Morrison, and to the Liberal Party – and it might lead to lead to more than just damage to reputation.
This Royal Commission will run its course, and will find out whatever it needs to find out, but one curious issue is the coverage of this Royal Commission in the media – this is illegality committed by a Liberal Government, over 2000 people committed suicide as a result, and it ultimately cost taxpayers $1.8 billion in compensation payments, but the homes pages of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Herald Sun, Courier Mail have no material about the Royal Commission, their reporting has been scarce, the ABC has given some coverage, with most of the reporting coming from The Guardian and The Saturday Paper.
In comparison to the Royal Commissions into Trade Unions, and the Pink Batts insulation schemes, which had blanket media coverage, there’s not much interest from the media into Robodebt.
And speaking of how inept the mainstream media is in Australia, the Herald Sun has excelled again in its attacks on the Victoria Premier, Daniel Andrews – and it’s still running with a story about a car accident with a cyclist from 9 years ago, but at least it’s gone to some more recent history, where it’s regurgitated a story from 12 months ago, when Andrews fell down a flight of stairs, and made it seem like something untowards was going on.
Kevin Rudd did call for a royal commission into media concentration, and while the Labor government might be busy with quite a few other matters at the moment – fixing up the economy, wages growth, industrial relations, climate change, corruption – it will have to do something about News Corporation, because it’s an out of control media organisation, and a menace to society.
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