Morrison Morals & Bubblegum

(c) copyright – whole site

21 March, with the sky falling as Morrison fails to cordon-off hotspot suburbs, eliminate open mass venues such as Bondi Beach, stop crowding in pubs and clubs, stop interregional Grey Nomad and other like movements of vulnerable demographic cohorts (with Easter and the winter migration looming), and provide testing on request:

  1. Morrison’s slow and wandering-in-circles “generational and socioeconomic genocide” (Richard Powell) has finally been pinged as a mixed health-and-economy matter by George Megalogenis, late, he hasn’t been responding to such messages for weeks

  2. Van Onselen ditto in respects (rorts and virus crises reflect politico-economic decrepitude) but reinforcing Maley and Sean Kelly – “In his media conference on Wednesday the Prime Minister appeared more prime ministerial in tone than at any point during his 18-month tenure to date. But the uplift in his communication skills, both compared with his handling of the bushfires and his inconsistent messaging to date during this crisis, doesn’t necessarily mean that the right decisions are being made. Why is it so important we continue to scrutinise if our political leaders are making the right decisions, rather than blindly accepting what they tell us?”

  3. Paul Kelly is ever so wrong, the judgement here is that Morrison has no values, no guiding light except Manon and ego-protection versus:

  • No journalist will write for some time that Morrison has no agenda.  The insight here, contrary to the bushfire narrative and much of the beloved media critique, is that Morrison is emerging as an effective crisis manager – so far.  The big judgements, of course, still lie ahead.  But those days are gone.

1 March ’20 The rules restrict Fed funding of water-bombing operations til too late in the fire cycle, say the chiefs.  “State governments have two years to lodge funding applications under Disaster Recovery Funding and none have done so for this summer’s fires.”  As NSW has paid and later seeks reimbursement, does this matter compared with the availability of aircraft – a “planning” matter in a State that has forgotten how to plan?  The journos, Foley and Smith, don’t say.

A separate opinion piece by Monica Dux compares the disastrous NBN rollout with bushfires:

  • “So it’s easy for people like my mother to blame an amorphous “NBN corporation”, or to assume that the many cock-ups are inevitable, without thinking about who is responsible for the horrendously expensive mess.
  • “We saw something similar with the recent bushfires, when some members of the government tried to blame the conflagration on arsonists, or “greenies”, instead of accepting their own key role in the catastrophe. Hoping that in the haze of confusion and misunderstanding, people’s anger could be shifted.
  • “And the terrifying thing is, it’s a tactic that appears to work. After all, if you can squander billions of taxpayers’ money with little mud sticking, what else might you get away with?”

Parliament resumes on 5 Feb – Morrison says shame on those who try to attack me because I’m stuck deep in the past.  The Government is still in deep denial of ALL key issues facing this bushfire ravaged continent experiencing its own warming – which they will not listen to or understand.

February 6 ’20 RFS is to be congratulated for setting up its first indigenous fire-fighting units and SMH is to be questioned for not extending its discussions past Brewarrina and Bourke:

the two units are invaluable in building community and trust in the towns and accessing remote locations, and unemployment is 16% in Brewarrina

  • there are few such opportunities in the vast sweep of the Blue Mountains and water catchments, old growth and plantation forests along the NSW and Victorian coastlines, and in the high country of both States
  • “cultural burns” would have to be managed by Aboriginal nations who are no longer living off those animal and plant resources – they were moved off as in the disgraceful sack of Katoomba’s Gully
  • Morrison’s Royal Commission must thoroughly assess the “structural” issues between the RFSs’ high-intensity and focussed back burns around high-risk zones, as a culture change and operational challenge, and the reintroduction of cultural burns on a larger scale as is needed long-term
  • The story was written with the support of the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas, which is excellent but for its non-support for awareness-raising as discussed through this website


PM Morrison leapt over his own world record for flippery-floppery, again over his bushfires embarrassment.  The fires have become a metaphor of Turnbull/ Morrison’s style:

  • confusion in values and processes as opposed to “democracy” and “due process”
  • abuse as opposed to calm negotiation
  • ignored warnings as opposed to past, wiser governments
  • Cabinet timidity as opposed to collegiate decision-making
  • alienation of communities against appeasement of lobbies and factions – as Greiner said, “all a bit arse-about”
  • thieving of IP* and lies as opposed to Menzies and all PMs – Labor and Coalition – up to Turnbull.

The SMH on 3 Feb ’20 presented an IPSOS focus group review on Morrison’s “pathetic” performance on the fires, using lots of words before revealing there were 9 people in Sydney and 8 in Melbourne.  Their conclusions included:

  • Mr Morrison and his advisers had shown poor judgement while the Prime Minister himself had shown a “lack of empathy” during the crisis
  • vocal support for Mr Morrison was a “minority” view in the focus groups
  • “little confidence” Labor leader Anthony Albanese would have provided better leadership
  • deployment of the Australian Defence Force gained strong support from voters and there was praise for volunteers in state fire authorities and emergency services
  • those surveyed did not back the idea of a permanent role for the ADF in fighting fires.

22 Jan 2020 PM Morrison starts to bully the Royal Commission

He says that the RC should take no more than 6 months, which seems fair until you realise the fire curtain was equivalent to the distance between Sydney and Perth;  and that the failures of RFS’s approach in 2013 and now (including Mogo) will necessitate professional, not political, standards.  I’ll articulate the 2013 situation if I have to. I’ve said elsewhere that Phil Koperberg and I had trouble with their pre-engagement with communities, poor interpretative materials and presentations after, and aggressive attitudes.

The community will expect no less than a long-term and effective solution, not more “bustin’ congestion” style verbiage – but Morrison also said  hazard reduction was as “important as emissions reduction and I think many would argue even more so because it has an even more direct, practical impact on the safety of a person going into a bushfire season“.

We’ll see but I’m sure that that pre-judgement will be found to be too simple.  This article, which reflects my long-term thinking, says that quite clearly – “As blazes rage in southern Australia, Indigenous fire-prevention techniques that have sharply cut destructive bushfires in the north are drawing new attention”.

(This is reminiscent of Baird’s use of The Australian’s Imre Salusinsky, which did Baird no good,  and his

Dim sums tactic a gift for Iemma Right or wrong,  Labor has been able to claim the Coalition is afraid to have independent experts drill into its policy commitments. As a result, the Coalition has lost ground in one of its areas of comparative advantage – financial management. … Labor is trying to have its fiscal responsibility cake while eating its election pork-barrelling too. True, these are issues that appeal mainly to pointy-heads and policy wonks.)

Let’s have that Royal Commission get it right.

Simultaneously, we had the former PM who was tossed out by an environmentally-aware constituency (and hated by many Libs for his abrasive and aggressive manner)  say, climate change is a religious issue for many and  “I don’t think anyone could fault the extraordinary effort that the Prime Minister has put into responding to the current or now I think starting to recede bushfire emergency. In terms of money, time, and commitment of the armed forces it has been unprecedented so all credit to Scott Morrison for what he has done there.”  He’s a dyed-in-the-wool RFS volunteer, nose to the ground.

Simultaneously the same journal reported that “The environment has catapulted to the top of the list of Australians’ biggest worries, leapfrogging cost of living, healthcare and the economy”.

“When we unpacked the reasons why Australians selected the environment, people mostly attributed their worry to climate change, drought and bushfire. Some linked these topics, and others discussed climate change and drought in relation to natural resource management failings related to water and bushland. Comments were also made about waste, consumption, population growth and plastics.”

The ALP was mostly absent from Australians’ psyche when we asked them about which political party is most capable to manage environmental concerns,” Mr Evans said.  But confidence in political parties’ ability to solve environmental problems was low across the board.  Mr Abbott’s confidence in Morrison is misplaced.

An update has leapt to the top of the Introduction!

15 January 2020 – Morrison est morte

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age have three stories of considerable import:

  • Rupert Murdock’s office concurs that “Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,” a spokesperson for Murdoch and his wife told The Daily Beast website. “They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”
  • Morrison’s Science Minister tells the trogs to pull their heads in and stop mucking-around against ACTION on climate change – Karen Andrews MP*
  • Former chair of the Productivity Commission under the Coalition told them to stop dicking around with economic policy – “Our past leaders created confidence less by media management and more by their ability to smell the smoke, and act before damage became too great,” Mr Harris said. …”the best that can be currently said in Canberra for structural reform is to trot out that old whipping dog, red tape, and give it another beating”.  Well, that’s not the only whipping dog – the moronic fallback is to attack farmers and firies and any other “greenies”.

Mail-out ready to go, suggesting the PM, Deputy PM and Treasurer be disciplined, the apples rot from the top of the barrel.

*  Rob Harris reported on 18 Jan that “In a show of support for Andrews, the        following day six Liberals – Trent Zimmerman, Tim Wilson, Dave Sharma, Hollie Hughes, Andrew Bragg and Fiona Martin backed her up in the pages of The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald”.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This update relies on the next section for background.  By the bye, the New York Times has made serious allegations against News and The Australian over the bushfires.  If true

  1. this is a denial of the raison d’etre of  The Australian as Rupert Murdoch’s great contribution to Australian journalism.  Its incredible record of successful campaigns, such as Caroline Overington’s against John Howard’s Weapons for Wheat, would be chaff if it betrays an Aus aflame and in tears
  2. this is a betrayal of the great journalists, past and present, like the late and great Matt Price, who impressed us so very much.

The Aus has had a series of Tele editors-in-chief, since Chris Mitchell.  I have asked, three times, for Chris to work with me on “Save Sydney”.

Tim Wilson MP wrote an excellent clause:

My interest is public policy and how we secure this country’s promise for future generations, and it is time to have some honest conversations.

I have been waiting for him to respond for a year or two.

The Guardian and the author of “Burning Bush:  a Fire History of Australia, have delivered well-researched, informative and quite aggressive opinion pieces about Morrison, and it’s time Australia was well-informed (Crowe again). The climate deniers are being progressively exposed as naive, given the stark realities.

The SMH, like News and the TV services, has been publishing excellent photographs but none of its published authors have shown an understanding of practicalities.  Recent coverage of the bushfires has focussed on the extent and severity of the events, the relationship with climate changes, and PM Scott Morrison’s and Deputy PM McCormack’s manic misstatements.  (The great George Megalogenis has leapt from the News cave into the Nine lounge room.)

That two such “leaders” could abuse farmers and firefighters is an astonishing betrayal of the Party of Sir Robert Menzies, Churchill’s contemporary.  That Party is facing the chasm between ethics and hubristic actuality that developed with the ascension of former PM Malcolm Turnbull in 2015.

A definitive aberration was Morrison holding up a lump of coal in Parliament in 2017, saying  “This is coal.  Don’t be afraid.  Don’t be scared”.  (The coal executive who polished that lump then became PM Morrison’s chief of staff and thus controls access to the PM and, presumably, the PM’s access to independent expertise.)

Such behaviour is treated as a personal failing rather than the outcome of deterioration of institutional protections, including the rise of narcissism and the appointment of political loyalists, in the absence of ethical protocols, in the main political parties.

Hubrists and mercenary Tin Soldiers would be moderated by a system based on the pre-Turnbull “rule of law”.  Now they occupy the main guard posts including the Prime Minister’s Department and the Treasury.  Expertise has been unpeeled from the mandarin class.

The fact is, the aberrations and abhorrence of expertise happen across the board, in infrastructure, budgets, local government, lobbyist manipulations, and so much more, making political capriciousness “the elephant in the room”.  As Tim Wilson MP, part of the Turnbull/Morrison train wreck, said in his Maiden Speech

I am here—to lead change, to turn liberal values into liberal action. Conservatism teaches us the merit of glancing back to look for what we can learn and bring forward but not for nostalgia. Conservatism … calls us to reject reactionary behaviour.

The mainstream media cannot yet see that Big Picture, and have refused to acknowledge that the deliberate suppression of a “bushfire safe house” rollout is part of the hubristic corruption of the Turnbull/Morrison Government.  The media has made a fair contribution to the dysfunctional “Canberra Bubble”.  As is deprivation of a citizen’s right to earn a living for his family from his valid efforts.

The Hard Christian Right think there’s no need to continue to operate as Morrison will be in office as long as was John Howard;  with

Mr Bernardi conceding at the time that many of its potential voters “breathed a sigh of relief that a man of faith and values was leading the Liberals back to their traditional policy platform”

as if that is what he is doing.  They jumped too soon.

Richard Glover has contributed two opinion pieces to the WashPost, none came close to the NYT’s, Guardian’s and my exposes.

The lack of preparation for the much-predicted Inferno, the haphazard and floozy announcements, and the PM’s incompetence in not understanding practicalities, are also part of that mix.  “Energy” matters have been at the top of the contention scale for decades, the Ardani mine being symptomatic of the “marketing” angle even at pan-Pacific level:

… there is nothing new about politicians inflating the benefits of projects with which they are associated. Yet why continue to repeat figures they ought to have known were false? The simplest answer is because it works, or at least politicians and others think it does.

The mute and blind Lib and Nats backbenchers and even ministers have pushed the barrow further backwards.  (It seems to be a 100% call-out in NSW, being a sludgepit, not bearpit anymore.)  Again, as Nicole Hasham put it, symptomatic of a lack of leadership:

… more than a decade of so-called “climate wars” has left a policy paralysis. Driven by short-term interests, power struggles, politicking and blind ideology, the nation’s leaders have fought over and dumped a raft of promising emissions-curbing measures

By the bye, I was in the Victorian/NSW High County a year ago, as previously, which is aflame now in and near Kosciusko National Park.  I then faced 32 consecutive days of over 38 degrees (104 F), as nature was preparing the fireground for the current mayhem.

Ideological constipation as enforced by Morrison has real-life consequences that we can hold him to.  The Turnbull/Morrison Government has wasted 1,489 days since I first offered my fireproof housing program as part of a win-win settlementthere is blood on their hands, the Government’s, and the journos and mayors whom the Government anaesthetised.

13 January 2020

David Crowe gave the PM a quick rub-down and massage, in contrast to the normally-reticent Glover who used a cat-o-nine-tails.  Crowe might never learn that Berejiklian runs Morrison and the shared vindictiveness will underpin any PR stunt.  Force majeure is on the way and will envelope Crowe and Glover has to run after his  decades of recusal:

The media need to acknowledge that the deliberate suppression of a “bushfire safe house” rollout is part of the hubristic corruption of the Turnbull/Morrison Government.  As is deprivation of a citizen’s right to earn a living for his family from his valid efforts to improve decision-making.  Liberal means vindictive and plagiarism (highway robbery) now.

10 January 2020

David Crowe has another piece in the SMH which reflects his failure to check facts, give balance and provide insight in earlier days – his points relate to the postings that appear below, such as

  1. $2 billion + $1 billion is nowhere near enough
  2. Flippery has a legacy which can only be corrected by solid economics – Morrison and Crowe are both suppressing my fireproof housing initiative.

Add the Royal Commission:  that is essential but Koperberg and I found out in 2013-4 in the Blue Mountains that the RFS has poor interfaces with communities, obtuse interpretative materials, and a focus on back-burning rather than landcare and especially reversing Blue Mountains City Council’s rejection of its 2010 Housing Review which recommended withdrawing development sites from firepaths.  (The RFS stands accused of abandoning the village of Balmoral, of being dependent on computer modelling and dismissive of local knowledge.)

Crowe knows none of this as he lives in a Bubble.

Jessica Irvine says in a separate piece that journalists ask the questions.  That used to be the case but my experience is that no journalist is interested in or capable of doing what I did on the 2013 fires (where Turnbull’s Ministers issued one wrong statement after another, check Senator Darren Chester’s record):

Using published official sources, it has been found that comparing 2012-13 with 2013-14:

      • There was a normal seasonal decline in accommodation takings in Katoomba/Leura 3 months before the fires
      • There was NO decrease in takings over September to December
      • The post-Christmas trends were normal with stronger recovery than in 2012.

The trend lines show NO FALL or GROWTH in Katoomba/Leura (up to 70% of regional activity) and small growth elsewhere in the BMLOT territory (rural and eco).

To reinforce the points, the average variation in Katoomba/Leura takings in 2012 and 2013 from September to December were almost identical (0.6% and 0.8%). On this limited sample that might be the “normal” pattern which industry is not aware of, and it debunks the fire-impact claims.

9 January 2020 – Berejiklian rescues Morrison, not …

See below for evidence:

  • Morrison comes out with flummery – and did with his (mere) $500 million
  • Berejiklian steals from me
  • I pointed to substantive responses
  • Berejiklian is the PM’s patrone and helps her protege with never-never nefarious promises (SA Premier same with water)
  • Today Berejiklian and her Pirate’s Parrott announced $500 million a year for two years – on my substantive responses

I’m happy with this, hoping it happens fast albeit it’s clearly no where near enough,  but am monstering Morrison and Berejiklian and their pet crocs for not accepting a fair settlement, a win-win, at Christmas:

Morrison, Frydenberg and McCormack have

      • hurt children, enslaved, neglected or worse, and families in firepaths,      

      • rejected honouring the memory of Tim Fischer,

      • taken a citizen’s right to live off his work away and to support his family,

      • supported Party jack-in-a-boxes who have left disarray in their wakes and continue to harm the economy and society, and

      •  excused South Australian irrigators for their water profligacy.

It is entirely regrettable that the Governments are still locked, unhearing, in their Bubbles.  This went perforce to Cabinet on the day after Christmas:

      • I RESENT THAT THE BASTARDS ARE HOLDING BACK MY MONEY SO THAT I AM PREVENTED FROM DELIVERING  CARE FOR REAL PEOPLE WHERE THE TIN SOLDIERS CANNOT.  Please take me seriously, whatever their religions say about the Afterlife, I’m delivering The Inferno on earth.

      • Please think carefully – Now that you’ve treated me with cruelty and stupidity, I’m coming after Turnbull’s Tin Soldiers and the dreadful consequences they are wreaking on Australians.  I have the solutions which are to yield credit and glory or be your millstones, depending if anyone has courage, be you ministers, councillors or journalists.

      • How many children died unnecessarily yesterday because of his and Scott’s bastardy?!?

I was sincerely hoping there would be a sign of conscience, professionalism and commitment to supporting each other – but no, I have to continue to excoriate a Prime Minister who surrounds his Bubble with Tin Soldiers and covers criticism with verbal manure.

8 January 2020 – now Prince Charles and Camilla are frustrated

David Crowe is publishing the same trite labels as below, in the SMH and Age.

  • NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean says we need more back-burning, the RFS Commissioner says back-off, I agree – here’s what I circulated last night and progressively.  Crowe won’t listen but:

The only way to approach risk management is through what Australia is bad at – “local solutions to local problems”.  This is a UK and Brooking Institute specialty that Australian mercantile manipulators cannot countenance.

I started to develop a “fireproof house” design in 1979 as I’ve been through three such fires from that year and faced near death once, in 1994 within the Sydney suburbs, where 6 people died in the local public school.  I was on evacuation alert in the Blue Mountains in a catastrophic October in 2013. 

The former and current PMs have suppressed my efforts to deliver 10 demonstration “fireproof and stormproof houses” in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania. 

I have lived in koala and platypus habitat areas.  My commitment to Ecologically Sustainable Development includes guiding local communities in making informed decisions. 

They can make decisions about house designs that are safe refuges for people and animals.  They can help to decide what to burn in prevention mode, and what to remove through bushcare.  They can plant fire-resistant tree species.  They often choose to die;  which I cannot accept while they are being denied essential information.

  • His headline – ” ‘We will meet every cost’: Bushfire recovery to take priority over budget surplus” – this year? – $500 m!!!!

  • PM “We will meet every cost that needs to be met, we will make every investment that needs to be made, both to assist the response to this crisis and the recovery needs that follow. That is clearly the priority now.”  The states will not be asked for matching funding for the federal projects, which could range from supporting a local tourism industry, council building works or mental health services.”

The latter is good.  Morrison is a tourism nerd but what the hell here!  “Macabre marketing?”  He should know that the massive 2013 blazes did not produce any significant fall-off in tourism but the industry was demanding subsidies.   No mention of housing (cf 2009), of re-opening the Blue Mountains Line, of re-distributing forest workers into forest building, of real local and regional infrastructure.   Morrison’s economic understanding seems to be bound to micro-budgetting, the same small stuff as in “congestion busting” which is funding mayhem over LGAs, with a national economics correspondent also not understanding.  Neither knows what a “PLAN” is and how to develop it, in conjunction with experts and the community.

How long will it take him to steal this as with the other stuff he and his mates have plagiarised?

The word below is “fluffy”:  Government and churnalism.

7 January 2020 – is Fred Flintstone running Australia?

A right-wing national Member of Parliament, whose constituency borders PM Morrison’s, Craig Kelly, has defended the climate-deniers’ charter on UK TV and been bagged over inaction on environmental threats by Piers Morgan.

With the majority of Australians nodding furiously but with the PM wafting between “let’s make love” consensus and “farmers are greenies” aggression, blame and facts are laying-open the entrails of a discredited Administration.

The talking heads, Morrison and Trump, get on famously, but both ignore conventional and proven “US Army Corps of Engineers” modus operandi, what Australians call “due diligence” and “nation building”.

They lose themselves in bubbles of self-aggrandisement and capricious headline grabs – like big tax cuts which they can’t afford and have to evade down the line.  They stand confused in big things as in small.

At least Trump admits he hasn’t changed since he was 6, Morrison is still blaming others and hiding behind Tin Soldiers when he is criticised, as if faced by schoolyard bullies, not informed experts.

Those experts include fire chiefs who have to sit “stony faced” and silent while their political masters “verbal” them in making it up as they goYabber yabber yabber-do!


The nonsense continues, the PM committed troops to the NSW clean-up phase but the RFS Commissioner says the announcement “blindsided” him.  The poor bugger has been running between his Premier’s mothering of her sibling and his inability to keep his mouth in check.  He is facing exposure of his evil suppression of my offer to provide demonstration fireproof housing in Queensland, NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.

Morrison has adopted Berejiklian’s ploy:  when caught out, create a new body or re-name an agency.  So we’ll have a Federal bushfire agency to fall all over the main State agencies.  Will Morrison again verbal the NSW RFS?

The ploy hasn’t worked in NSW Transport where the problems are profoundly structural, and it won’t achieve anything useful to bushfires this year – the pollies are in trouble and should do what pollies should do, listen, don’t yabber.


On 29 December ’19, The Age revealed that PM Morrison had made another characteristic “captain’s call” –

  1. fluffy on detail,
  2. internally inconsistent and
  3. calling-on voices from The Bubble

exampled by

  • volunteer firefighters in NSW who work for private businesses will be eligible for up to $6000
  • the arrangement with NSW was borne of “direct consultation” with the NSW government and the RFS*
  • the new initiative, a joint undertaking with the NSW government, should not set a precedent for permanent payments [but]
  • other states and territories could apply for similar support
  • While I know RFS volunteers don’t seek payment for their service, I don’t want to see volunteers or families unable to pay bills
  • This is not about paying volunteers
  • Funding for the scheme is not capped.
  • Mr Morrison said expenditure would be determined by demand, and that volunteers who are most affected by extended periods of time away from work would be the highest priority to receive funding. Payments will be administered by the NSW government.

Yes Virginia, this is about promising to pay volunteers but not as a long-term commitment and not on equal terms to public servants. WHO DID HE TALK TO IN RFS IF NOT THE COMMISSIONER!

* This is about the fourth time Morrison has verballed “fire chiefs”, the NSW RFS Commissioner having been reported 5 days before as saying he “rejected calls for his members to be compensated for their work in the ongoing bushfire crisis, saying it would undermine the spirit of volunteerism underpinning the RFS. Don’t do the volunteers a disservice by suggesting that you’re going to pay them, because then they’re no longer volunteers and that’s absolutely the sentiment that I’m getting loud and clear everywhere I go,” Mr Fitzsimmons said in response to calls from Labor.

Who is telling the porkies this time! The sloppiness in detail matches that of the earlier announcement of 100 Gl of water released from South Australia, the profligate water-waster, for Vic and NSW farmers – try to find the details on that! Looks like, smells like —- Treasury Trickery.

It is common to characterise components of multi-party relationships as “alpha males”, “submissives”, “leaders”, “followers”, “sheep” and so on.

Taking the evolution of the Turnbull/Morrison/Frydenberg junta, and developing the analogy to see if it fits, the analogy emerged (see chronologies and flow charts) ~

  • Malcolm Turnbull was the dominant male who said he acted in concert with his wife, Lucy Turnbull, who was co-terminously a NSW public servant in the areas that Turnbull was inclined to gift. In their respective areas, both might be regarded as jacks-in-a-box as with Baird and Berejiklian
  • Scott Morrison had been a mechanistic Minister for Immigration and became Treasurer, he acted in concert with his chief of staff Philip Gaetjens. Morrison was Abbott’s and Turnbull’s Tin Soldier, Gaetjens the Paper Doll, maybe
  • Josh Frydenberg was Turnbull’s Environment Minister who engineered the controversial $444 million gift to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, where he was Tin Soldier, leading to fostering Gaetjens and both enacting, without demur, Morrison’s extension of Turnbull’s gifting, making Josh a second-order Constable Tin Soldier.

Gaetjens told the AFR in August 2019 that

  • “There’s been a lot of accusations but I haven’t seen any evidence to say that I do not live by the requirements of the Public Service Act, the codes of conduct that we have to deal with, and I just think that it’s been used as a political thing aimed at the government as well as me.”

He went on (comments are in italics),

  • He said the current round of tax cuts have “a clear, dual focus of getting money out into the economy from those people who are lower and middle income earners and have the greatest propensity to spend, as well as a long-term structural change of completely abolishing a tax bracket” – this being the Government’s mantra.
  • Mr Gaetjens has had a heady rise, moving in four years from chief of staff to Scott Morrison when he was Treasurer, to the secretary of Treasury, to his new role – indeed, Gaetjens told the AFR that he doubted he would have got the Treasury gig if he had not done Baird’s Treasury, but two wrongs do not make a right.
  • Mr Morrison is demanding high standards of the public sector, including a focus on implementing the government’s agenda. Mr Gaetjens said the public sector must still give frank and fearless advice as long as the advice, if accepted, could be delivered expeditiously – when the agenda is capricious and jingoistic, and no professional advice is floated within Treasury missives, is Gaetjens a Tin Soldier, a sheep or a Teddy Bear?

The Public Service Act and codes of conduct contain generic statements and no guidance as to positive and negative evidentiary and analytical reviews of the type that Gaetjens and his masters are now facing, and failing.


We have to decide if Scott Morrison is capable of understanding community needs and Menzies values.  Or if he lacks empathy and intellectual insight such that his blunders and acts are somehow excusable – a Nuremberg defence of sorts.  Bah Humbug!

The bushfire catastrophe increases his confusion – fleeing me to Hawaii and returning when even he heard the screams of outrage but forgetting to put on a penitential face.

As Jacqueline Maley put it,

For those of you who missed it, Scott Morrison slunk out the back door of his office some time last weekend, and took his family on holiday to a mystery destination, later revealed to be Hawaii.

The reporting of politicians’ breaks is usually pretty quotidian, and not much attention is paid to it. But the Prime Minister’s office did not put out a simple press release – and it seems to have misled and stymied journalists’ efforts to find out, on behalf of readers, who was running the country exactly.

McCormack continues his hypocrisy,  now he says (via Dana McCauley)

Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has agreed Australia must increase its efforts to tackle climate change and says the bushfires gripping NSW and other parts of the country have increased community fears about global warming.

In a final press appearance while filling in for Prime Minister Scott Morrison – who is on his way home from an abridged family holiday in Hawaii – Mr McCormack agreed that “further action” was needed to contribute to global efforts to lower emissions.

“Yeah I do, absolutely – I do agree entirely,” he told reporters in Wagga Wagga on Saturday.

This was after he picked up Morrison’s toxin and flamed firies and farmers who he accused of being greenies – he lives in Wagga town, they live in the real world.

Next day Morrison does a good imitation of a blind mouse on a merry-go-round, does he know where he’s pointed when he starts talking?  In this case, yes, backwards.

Lisa Visentin, Eryk Bagshaw and Michaela Whitbourn in the SMH:


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has rejected any change to the government’s climate change policy in response to the ongoing bushfire emergency, as he denies suggestions of a split within the Coalition over the issue…. Mr Morrison said there was no divergence in views between the pair on this issue, claiming Mr McCormack was “making exactly the same point I am making”, and asserted he was confident Australia would beat its Paris commitments.

So our farmers and firies

are again treated as idiots.

Morrison, Frydenberg and McCormack have

  • hurt children and families in firepaths, making enslaved, neglected or worse even worser
  • rejected honouring the memory of Tim Fischer,
  • taken a citizen’s right to live off his work away and to support his family,
  • supported Party cretins and Tin Men political appointees who have left disarray in their wakes and continue to harm the economy and society, and
  • now rewarded South Australian irrigators for their theft and spat in the face of NSW and Victorian farmers.

Their Budget process is in disarray with excessive payments to consultants and waste in the cities – robbing regions and drought areas – but they can’t stop leering.

He says, bust congestion – but he pays Gladys to increase congestion.  Does he even understand?

The journalist quoted below summarised his relationship with the Tourism Australian Board which was chaired by Tim Fischer:

“It was deemed to be better that someone replace Scott who actually worked co-operatively with the board and the minister.”

God knows, he keeps clapping and shouting while I’m trying to help communities quietly as do all volunteers.

Where is Josh Frydenberg?  Mathias too.  Christian “Balance” Porter who makes sense on TV but has been – apparently – silent on citizen rights.

Banker wanker types with no commitment to Menzies values.  Snouts in the trough in Melbourne and Sydney.

Tim Wilson, civil libertarian, Greg Hunt – stunned silence with no idea what to do.

Media – wrap them in bubble gum and treat them as traitors, as Trump does.  Get AFP to check their underwear drawers.



Consistent offers to settle since Dec ’15 (Baird & Berejiklian also) were ignored.

a. The CBD Traffic Oasis and circumferential by-pass route, Transit Boulevard, Goanna Transit Bridge, linking eastern and western transit systems, The Fireworks Tower as the new icon, 16,000 housing units, and NW and SE “expressnets” off the end of the Bridge. All per-reviewed at the highest levels. Initial value was $100 million on the Lord Rogers scale; but since, the Goanna is the only way of relieving the 20,000 (20%) extra vehicles to be dumped of WestConnex at Rozelle. The PM has no choice but to endorse this incredible piece of innovative thinking if he wants to keep his “sprawl-busting” credibility. IP value not less than $125 million on international scales.
b. Creative Reconstruction of NSW Local Governance was requested by Chris Hartcher but subverted by LG mayors and officials for their hedonistic and egotistical reasons. It would solve 100 years of LG angst and give the GSC a better model to be a true “Greater Sydney Council”.
c. Eddington Bedrock and Eastern Seabord Rail Development Plan being full of urban innovations (which Turnbull promised to generate and failed but punished me for mine!)
d. Various local solutions such as Bondi Beach Expressnet, SydUni/Redfern Expressnet, extension of the innerwest Light Rail in an innovative manner, and Katoomba Gateway are all potential local winners to a smart Government. The ReviveBlueMountains tourism methodology is regarded as a template for the revival of tourism destinations, it being the first true application of UK Best Value 360 degree assessments.
e. Support to Save the Children, Salvos’ Save Australian Children, families in bushfire paths, Men of League, young men with brain tumours in families, Forgotten Heroes, farmers in drought areas – as above ….
Do Morrison, McCormack, Tudge and others really want to reduce congestion”
It has been shown that Bairdijiklian projects tend to produce the opposite outcome to that intended. The Greiner/Eddington quotes show why and how.


  • If the Morrison Government continues to endorse, without professional acumen, the West and St Marys Metros, the Redfern-Waterloo transit entanglements, the false “fast rail” maybes, and the Northern Beaches mega-deceit, Sydney will become an even more intensive “congestion farm”.
  • 13 fast rail projects which are feeding consultants are a cynical betrayal of regions.
  • $100 million to buddies to prepare a PR brochure in Western Sydney is their gravy train, how easy for them..


  • Supporting Berejiklian in ruining our transit futures and burdening future generations is horses for the courses.
Age will not weary Tim, nor the years condemn, but the ones condemned are
those destroying Australia’s values.
Tim Fischer AC has been lauded as a thinker and doer, by PM Morrison and Deputy PM McCormack – but both distorted the legend in an apparent effort to downplay their comparative ineptitude. In particular, Tim was Chairman of Tourism Australia when Morrison had to depart there under a cloud of suspicion.
If PM Morrison is in trouble over Liu, add plagiarism, incompetence, misogyny, cronyism on a larcenous scale, and plain, ordinary ignorance of due diligence and proper management and political processes. “Honest John’s” manipulations of “Children Overboard”, Coalition of the Willing (with the deceitful Blair), and “Wheat for Weapons” (and kick-backs everywhere) challenge Arthur Sinodinos’ unquestioned-to-date right to take the left seat to Morrison in Washington, especially as he has white-washed unAustralian brutal unfairness.
Menzies would be spinning in his grave at the depths his Liberal Party and the Nats have sunk to. Now the ethical Governor of the Reserve Bank has been entangled in PM Morrison’s Trumpian games.
Tim Fischer had his contentious moments but I can tell you that he shared my contempt for the conduct of the current actors. The media have missed the essence of the great man. He was an historian in a world when to not understand history leads to repeating its mistakes. He was a practical innovator, addressing problems and articulating relevant reforms.
He was honourable in such matters, caring for communities and citizens, honest and never self-serving, and very privately critical of the people now in power for their arrogance. His precedents in this statesmanship, all Catholics, included the greatest statesman the city has produced, Sir Thomas Hughes, and its greatest transport minister, Peter Cox, who was a long-term Parliamentary friend of Tim.
The bottom line is, I’ve had enough wilful and malicious treatment, if the Government wants to fight on in their sinking ship, they will get what they asked for – their good names sullied in eternity.
Tim’s memory will live in glory.
Tim’s transport histories and love for Monash will survive him, but his character will fade if the current neglect and distortion are allowed to prevail.
I shared all those attributes with Tim except that vicious plagiarism and un-Australian unfairness have dragged me out of the bushes and turned me into a crusader for my citizen’s rights and the future of the Sydney and NSW I love.
Tim and I agreed about a positive agenda and how to achieve it, in this difficult political climate. I need Ministers and backbenchers to listen to our message, please. I trust you will read down to the box and scan the information notes that follow.
I’d known him for 39 years and rekindled the friendship when I moved to Victoria, with the help of Sussan Ley who gave me Tim’s email address.
Tim invited me to his launch of the Victorian regional rail plan, and I gave the author and him information on Computable General Equilibrium modelling based on my major work on the shovel-ready NW, SW and Parra/Epping Links, which Mr Hartcher and Ms Berejiklian loved.
From that point I shared drafts with Tim and he was impressed and supportive. He invited me to have coffee with him in Albury, between doctors’ appointments, in October 2018.
We covered a large range of topics and I was able to give him material for his Steam book’s next edition. I hope that Professor Rob Lee and I can finish that in his memory. Tim accepted a potential role in my Institute for Forgotten Heroes, of which he is now one (never to be forgotten but well deserving of praise and remembrance).
Tim was upset at the way I have been treated by both Federal and NSW Coalitions and by the Nationals leadership group. We agreed to a number of reforms to
  • Inland Rail: the feasibility and CSIRO reports did not include the largest potential flow, containers, $70 m in annual savings is about 1 month’s financial obligation
  • fast trains; Mandurah instead of CLARA which is impossible; or Albanese’s 80-year vision which is too late and too expensive
  • the metro and WestConnex entanglements (below)
  • the Goanna Transit Bridge (described by two former Mains Roads Commissioners as the best idea since 1945 or earlier), with Flexity Swiftas (credit to Professor Lee)
  • ports and freight, see bullets at bottom, and my
  • Bondi/UniSyd “expressnets” using PRT.
I have also developed traffic reduction schemes for Bowral and the Mornington Peninsula but MsP and mayors won’t talk to me.
Tim made comments about persons I will not repeat but the gist was as stated here.
There are crises in just about every stream of DIRD’s and NSW’s programs which are destroying current and future generations’ stakes in congestion, living affordability, air and general environmental quality, equity in taxation and services across regions, the economic viability of freight and port systems and their communities, and demographics, and better managing immigration and natural population growth.
I seem to have the Federal and NSW Governments panicking about major project topics as well as the look of deliberately preventing my donations to Save the Children and Salvos, bushfire risk housing, Men of League and the Mark Hughes Foundation (Beanies for Brain Cancer), the Tim Fischer special train to aid regional revival, and the institute mentioned later.
It was I who pressured the $4 billion from the Snowy sale after publicising the $4 billion regional shortfall from Restart/Rebuild. It is I who predict the Metro tunnels will have to be re-bored and that the Chinese will lose their shirts over Newcastle and the Metros, because of Berejiklian’s incompetence.
It has now been 11 years since the first plagiarism, by Mike Baird, and a week since the last by PM Morrison, and I’m at the point of launching an international campaign to reverse Bairdijiklian blunders, including the context of PMs Turnbull and Morrison’s gifting and political appointments etcetera; and the barbaric unfairness and plagiarism started by Baird and continued by Federal and NSW ministers and agencies. All relevant matters are on my websites except the world keeps changing, as I explain below.
Then Tim invited me to the opening of his Gallery in Lockhart where he prodded the Deputy PM to talk to me. Michael and I had a chat, I emphasised my intent to fix Inland Rail, the ports and Sydney, and told him of my hardship.
He promised three times that he would talk to me, but nada. (I wish Michael had appointed an expert/ economist problem-solver as his Chief of Staff instead of a spin doctor.)
McCormack’s “promise” WAS 190 DAYS AGO AS AT BLACK FRIDAY, 13 SEPTEMBER 2019.
Senator Sinodinos gave me a phone appointment, listened, but then ignored me. I was hoping he was a profound thinker and doer.
Some elements will surprise (such as the PMs’ conduct) and even offend (hard truths), but bear with me, you’ll see why, plus:
  • Peter Costello’s righteous anger at Fed/NSW debt-funding, with Perrottet’s debt lake exhausted in about 5 years
  • Rising cost of WestConnex as design faults become obvious. It is not on budget
  • Realisation of serious distortions within Sydney and between Sydney and regions, producing economic damage, and increasing congestion & affordability problems – Hong Kong being subsidised to the hilt, by us
  • Decline of “Menzies” governance and ethical standards in the context the smashing of BOF’s promises to engage communities and implementing Labor’s forced densification and enforced CSG access. We’re halfway to being a Central European state-controlled economy
  • Damage to relations with China through inept and deceitful management of ports and metros they have invested in under their “Belt and Road” strategy. A growing personal relationship between US and Australian leaders has to make China more sensitive about the South China Sea and trading terms. Both blocked Huawei from 5G networks. The Hong Kong and foreign student fees issues are on the boil.
The Rozelle interchange is the most technically complex part to build of the $16.8 billion WestConnex toll road because it will comprise three levels of tunnels and scores of entrances and exits, including a link to the proposed $14 billion
                               Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link” (SMH Dec ’18).
That Link was the product of poor design of WestConnex. Like the Metros, too much is funnelled through a choke point instead of laid-out in a matrix as in Zurich and elsewhere – that must be corrected before further permanent damage is caused.
The fact is, WestConnex is like the Metros, over-focussed on the redundant centre and failing to even consider Christie’s, Greiner’s, Messiter’s and my more effective “local solutions to local problems”.
Plagiarism is depriving me of my rights as a citizen, and as our “leaders” won’t talk to me, I’ll exercise political and moral suasion on a global scale. It is denying the Australian community the chance to consider how to better govern our great country.
And that story rolls out all over NSW. 85 per cent of the budget will serve less than 5 per cent of population growth, but help Hong Kong investors. NSW has to debt-fund massive promises while ignoring more effective options, increasing debt by 774 per cent over the next four years, wasting $40 billion or so. Official projections say the debt burden will equal 20 per cent of tax revenue, or the equivalent of the entire Education budget, by 2056, if this continues – the psychotic pursuit of the biggest, the riskiest and the less effective projects will produce that.
The Governor of the Reserve Bank was over-optimistic about the Fed “$100 billion over 10 years” as that is $50 billion short or rising to $300 billion if promises are to be kept. The 13 high speed train proposals given consultancy money are smokescreens to hide RG’s widely-publicised Mandurah scheme for sooner, cheaper and more flexible services that would enhance existing towns, which the CLARA con (waste of $8 million) would damage.
PM Morrison abandoned “stimulus” as I pinged him over the $100 billion masquerade – the product of incompetent officials and pollies
“Jobs jobs jobs” was a mantra under the Turnbull Government which was betrayed in important respects, such as the regional impacts of ports and freight, and regional tourism targets. That will be explained a little later.
On 13 October 2019, national Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, was reported in “Metros on fast track in Federal cash boost”, by Shane Wright and Lisa Visentin in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, as having said at a meeting of Treasurers, the following phases and others:
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg urged his counterparts to nominate infrastructure projects that could be fast tracked with federal assistance to deliver a much-needed boost to the economy.
  • Topping NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s list is the new Sydney Metro West, with construction expected to begin next year on the $20 billion-plus metro train line from central Sydney to Parramatta.
  • The state government has promised to complete the line by 2028, but to date has only locked in $6.4 billion in funding over the next four years. Mr Perrottet also nominated the proposed metro between St Mary’s and the new Western Sydney Airport, which the NSW and Federal governments have vowed to deliver by the time the airport opens in 2026.
  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison wrote to the states in late August asking for a list of potential projects that could be brought forward.
  • Mr Frydenberg said while there were capacity constraints on major projects, particularly in NSW and Victoria, the federal government would look at which proposals could get under way in the near future.
  • Senior bureaucrats at state and federal levels will work together to identify possible problems, such as shortages of skilled workers or equipment, that need to be resolved before projects can get the green light.
  • “We are prepared to consider on a case-by-case basis states putting forward projects that can be brought forward, recognising the importance of continuing that infrastructure rollout,” Mr Frydenberg said.
The SMH had previously glossed-over the realities of the NW Metro, over a year and more, their “astonishing 1.5 million travellers in the first two weeks” after opening being in contrast to its break-even patronage being that level every day. The other metros have no due-diligence legitimacy which they refuse to acknowledge.
The same projects in the absence of “a plan” were described by the NSW Coalition as Labor’s “planning stench”; but as they now come from the Coalition’s inner sanctums, still without “a plan”, the defects have been shrouded in myth. Further, this analyst has published critiques of the Morrison Budgets and the mis-description of the effects on the economies of cities and regions (including worsening congestion).
The previous Labor Treasurer, Michael Costa, acted responsibly to exposethe economic damage associated with the NW Metro – which Berejiklian re-created through deceit; this being the opposite of Perrottet’s cavalier disregard for prudential wisdom.
To explain, the immediately obvious defects in Frydenberg’s set-up were sent to him and 16 other Coalition heavies, as being:
  1. Cheaper, sooner, less risky and more effective options – from NICK GREINER (with more expertise in my little toe than in said “senior officials” – including proven blunderers)
  2. Berejiklian has hit the wall*
  3. Morrison is killing ports and freight, in his own electorate, in the Hunter and Illawarra, and at the Aerotropolis and Inland Rail = economics and engineering are gonesky
  4. iA is rissoled, Eddo and Menzies forgotten, recent promises broken as per usual
  5. Baird model is broken, NW has already doubled the rail annual subsidy, more metros will quadruple it +++
  6. The fundamental structure is incompetent: massive cost, halved capacity, future generations faced with catastrophe, Perrottet labelled a FOOL forever.
                * as documented in detail on websites
By the bye, the same story blew up again on 29 October, with NSW Transport Minister Constance’s brainsnap over demanding $20 billion from Frydenberg (
The backstory, or grounds for pessimism, included, in recent times,
  1. Political appointees who appear to cement-in blunders that their masters made – see below
  2. MYEFO in December 2018 where Frydenberg and Gaetgens blocked, on first contact, this analyst’s email address such was their determination to dig-in the Turnbull/ Morrison/Kennedy Sydney citicide, eliminating “budget repair”
  3. Dr Philip Lowe from the Reserve Bank of Australia appearing with Frydenberg on national television as validating, after his review, the Government’s $100 billion, 10-year pipeline mirage, after Dr Lowe had ignored the substantive case for about 4 years as he made speeches
  4. NSW’s reaction to exposure of the “debt lake” and $100 billion mirage being to get the Western Sydney metro mafia, which include some of the people who initiated Labor’s stench, to call on the Feds to fund the West Metro – the PM’s and Frydenberg’s moves to be assessed as a covert agreement, possibly based on Hong Kong uneconomic mantras, reversing then PM Turnbull’s reaction to Perrottet’s same suggestion in 2016 – “we are not an ATM”.
The Australian system does not have “confirmation hearings” for such political appointees. If it did, the following would have emerged:
  • Gaetgens from Baird/Berejiklian and then Morrison, being coterminous with critically-flawed decisions and changes to protocols from 2012. Previously, he had supported Treasurer Peter Costello with the Charter of Budget Honesty which underpins the Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outcomes report. (That contains retrospective authorisation of otherwise political project commitments.)
  • Kennedy from Turnbull’s PMO, with Angus Taylor and Lucy Turnbull from the Greater Sydney Commission, principal architect of the disastrously non-consultative and outcome-denying Western Sydney City Deal
Frydenberg’s statement continued the loss of professionalism (damaging intergenerational equity) that was initiated by Labor in NSW but refined and extended by the Coalition from 2010 in NSW and 2015 nationally, how else could “waste” have reached $40,000,000,000 already.
Add to waste the lost opportunities which are described at “The Value Proposition” and elsewhere on the three websites.
Finally, there have been learned opinions going back to 2001 and the only metro-inclusive master plan – that was ditched by Labor’s metromaniacs. Critics of Labor are now boosters of Berejiklian’s parallel dud results. It is time to pause, and to heed these three opinions which resonate with truth:
If you want anyone to change, you have to persuade them they have a problem. Then you have to explain the solution.
                               Malcolm Turnbull July 2014
Do you think that works with Gladys Berejiklian?  Peter Collins asked me how I found her on meeting her in her office.  I truthfully replied, like a brick wall.  And that was spot on.
In 2009 the Property Council was faced with a less challenging CBD Metro and it called for a pause when that metro’s stand-alone status became untenable. What the PCA said then is even truer now:
NSW has stumbled along for years without a comprehensive transport plan for Sydney. NSW has planned project by project with no big picture to set priorities and look at overall system management. It’s time to bite the bullet, admit past mistakes and develop an integrated long term transport plan for Sydney.
The Planning Institute (2009) concurred:
Ad hoc, project-by-project decision-making does not constitute planning, and could pre-empt the best transport solution. Decisions significantly affecting the development of Sydney, such as on the Metro projects, cannot be made without an overall long-term metropolitan plan. Sydney is too important.
The in-built waste in two recent Federal and NSW Budgets exceeds $19 billion, enough to fuel regional rail revival.
See Jane Cadzow and Sean Kelly, and note that Tim chaired the Board who were dudded:
News stories blamed his early exit on a falling-out with Fran Bailey, Tourism minister in the Howard government. “I think now is probably quite a good time to say it was not a personal clash between Scott and me,” says Bailey, who has since retired from politics. By her account, Morrison lost the confidence of the statutory authority’s nine-member board. “They were unanimous in thinking they needed someone else to fill that role,” she says. “It was deemed to be better that someone replace Scott who actually worked co-operatively with the board and the minister.”
  • Some attribute Morrison’s new steely persona to a desire to advance his career, bleeding-heart moderates being little in demand in Tony Abbott’s inner circle. “I think there are different parts to Scott,” says a senior Liberal. “One is a genuine, nice guy, a good family man with good instincts. And then there’s another part, which is pure ambition.”
  • He has the chipper air of a man on a mission, the clear eyes and smooth visage of one who sleeps soundly at night. “What you have to do in this portfolio is just be very comfortable in your own skin about the decisions you’re taking and why you are taking them,” he says. “And I am.”
  • Morrison’s critics say no one has done more to harden Australian hearts to the plight of people who risk their lives trying to reach these shores in leaky, overcrowded boats. The Sydney Morning Herald political editor Peter Hartcher has called him “the greatest grub in the federal parliament”, accusing him of scoring political points by deliberately inflaming racism and resentment. A former Liberal leader, John Hewson, has described some of his remarks about asylum seekers as “insensitive, lacking appropriate compassion, even inhumane”
  • A devout Christian who worships at Shirelive, an American-style Pentecostal church in his constituency, he doesn’t claim that his religion makes him a better politician – only that it inspires him to be a good person. “From my faith, I derive the values of loving kindness, justice and righteousness,” he said in his first speech in the House of Representatives in 2008.
  • Queensland infectious-diseases physician Trent Yarwood responded with an open letter accusing Morrison of stoking anxieties about asylum seekers. Yarwood said the shadow minister had vastly exaggerated the risk of transmission of the diseases, most of which were endemic in Australia anyway. “It was a crass piece of political opportunism,” the doctor wrote. Morrison says he wasn’t caremongering. “I simply said that people turned up who had these conditions,” he protests. “I made no statement about the broader impact or risk.” On this occasion, his memory is faulty: he in fact warned explicitly of the possibility of “an outbreak on Christmas Island or the transfer of these diseases to the mainland”. But, in any case, he argues that he was merely acknowledging a reality. “I mean, let’s have all the facts on the table.”
  • … as a father himself, he will never understand how people can take children on such perilous voyages. “I’m not judging,” he says. “I just don’t understand.”


  • One afternoon, I ask Morrison if he prays for asylum seekers. “Of course I do,” he says. “I think that’s part of any Christian’s practice.” A pause. “I’m not saying I do it every day. I’m not saying I do it every month.” But occasionally, yes, he includes them in his prayers.


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