The election campaign is becoming farcical. We have a prime minister indulging in a sort of pantomime where he is apparently trying to be a man for all seasons, from washing hair through to a number of stunts which prove very little.
We see an opposition leader who seems muddled and failing to explain policies very clearly. Surely the population deserves better and more information and details regarding various issues.
It is not good enough to be told about what has happened in the past, the future is surely more important, especially regarding climate change, political integrity, the housing crisis, to name a few.
For instance, is there some sort of political "deal" about the timber industry in Tasmania? Are those precious forests under threat? What are the ambitions of the parties to value add to raw materials instead of just being an exporter of our natural resources?
Not just "motherhood" statements but real and well costed statements. We need more and better information, just empty promises is not enough and carefully scripted performance is certainly not good enough. Surely politicians can do better.
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In relation to your editorial on April 18 and the cowardice of Scott Morrison, Barnaby Joyce and the LNP not to support Helen Haines' Federal Integrity Commission Bill perhaps the following are reasons why.
In the past four years this government has spent $55.6 billion through grants (Centre of Public Integrity) with little if any oversight by departmental staff. Basically, ministers decide what and where these public funds will be spent.
According to the Australian National Audit Office, since 2019, 100 per cent of ANAO audits in respect of grant administration have found the relevant programs to be flawed, with problems identified ranging from minor areas for improvement to serious maladministration.
Most of the nation-building infrastructure projects, including the Inland Rail corridor, are off-budget spending public funds without scrutiny or even a business case.
Now in full election mode, pork barreling is how politicians try to buy votes. They know they can't buy trust, respect or integrity but they throw public funds around and usually without any sincerity about actually following through if they are elected.
The voters in Riverina are seeing through this sham and most do not believe the superficial promises.
I've been campaigning for five months and travel constantly throughout the electorate. I am constantly told we need change, with corruption, the selling off of Australian assets, foreign ownership without paying tax, damage to our environments through subsidised coal and gas fields and the paternalistic and misogynist treatment of women the main reasons why.
After 40 years of National Party rule (not representation), voters are clear in their vision for the future they want it, not what they will be told they're getting.
A vote for Michael McCormack is a vote for Barnaby Joyce, currently having photo-ops turning sods on new coal and gas fields. The Nationals are not interested in their constituents. For the sake of the next ten generations, we need change and I am here as the visionary and viable alternative.
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