IS THIS JULIA’S LAST STAND?
Is seven weeks long enough to obliterate the memory of one of the most unedifying days in Australian political history?
Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young breaks down during debate on Oakeshott’s border protection bill in the Senate June 28. Photograph via Fairfax.
No, not really.
Federal parliament resumes tomorrow after the winter break and the deadlocked asylum seeker issue will be firmly at the forefront of the agenda. Lurking just behind will be the State-Federal power war, NBN rollout plans, the disability scheme, education in the wake of the Gonski report, and the tenacious bad smell of the ALP leadership issue.
Australians desperately wanted – and had every right to expect – a solution to the people smuggling disaster back in June and the parliament failed to deliver.
By lunchtime today former defence chief Angus Houston will release the findings of the expert panel appointed to find that solution, but whether the Prime Minister will be able to act on the recommendations is another matter.
Tony Abbott has already said he won’t be paying attention. (“We have a policy and we don’t need anyone to tell us what our policy is.”) He still favours re-opening Nauru and the Greens won’t countenance any offshore processing solutions.
Perhaps our PM needs a large hat… and a rabbit.
As for the leadership issue, Julia Gillard might be feeling buoyed by the latest five point hike in the (still dismal) Newspoll figures and the fact that the sky hasn’t yet fallen in after the introduction of the carbon tax, but can she turn the Titanic of her popularity problem around? How long will caucus give her to do it now she has a little traction?
There’s no doubt that for the PM, it’s “code red”. Only nine sitting weeks until Christmas and then we are into an election year.
She believes that the worst is behind her and that Tony Abbott’s continuing “war with the facts and the experts” will wear thin. This may be wishful thinking.
What would turn around her leadership for you?
Recently The Hoopla asked you what you give a shit about, and you said (among many, many enlightening things) asylum seeker policy, education, the plunder of our oceans by super trawlers, the plight of indigenous Australians, and youth suicide.
Now, as we enter the spring session, we want you to tell us which of the salient political issues are make or break for you and for Julia Gillard in that increasingly disappointing place we call parliament.
Meanwhile, you can be sure that tomorrow the house will be unified on one thing: solemn remembrance for Sergeant Blaine Diddams. The 40-year-old father of two was killed on July 2 in Afghanistan.
That place from which so many are trying to flee.
To Parliament: Notice of Eviction by Corinne Grant.
Is Bill Shorten crossing the line? by Tracey Spicer
Tony’s got a woman problem by Tracey Spicer
Tony’s dug a big, bad black hole by Anne Summers
*Homepage photograph via WA Today.