What Will Tony Do: A Look At Some Worrying Policies


pic: Tex Texin

OK, so we’re all officially scared of Tony Abbott becoming PM. Why? Here’s a selection of his ideas that I find troubling. What do you think?

Abbott says he’ll do three things as a matter of urgency:

  • repeal the carbon tax
  • turn round the boats
  • start an audit commission

On the subject of carbon tax, he has at various times said:

  • climate change is absolute crap
  • climate change is an important issue
  • it should be tackled with a simple carbon tax
  • a carbon tax is socialism masquerading as environmentalism

In short, he changed his original position when challenged: but are the changes real, or just political expediency?

The fact is, the science of climate change is irrefutable, so unless he puts an alternative in place which reduces carbon emissions, encourages fossil fuel producers out of business, and encourages the development of renewables, he’s helping the climate towards disaster. That bothers me.

Instead he plans to scrap the mining tax because it “denies our economy the comparative advantage of access to abundant fossil fuel”. So, fossil fuels good, renewables (presumably) bad. Did anyone say ‘nuclear’ yet?

As to “Stop The Boats”, no-one will take back the boats he tries to turn round: he’ll almost certainly drown more refugees than the present government. And he knows it. I wonder if Cardinal Pell has offered absolution in advance?

The audit will be a cover for reducing services and head count, probably outsourcing more government business, maybe offshore, maybe to religious run businesses and charities. Who knows? However it turns out, it means ‘cuts’, with a political figleaf.

On other fronts:

He will introduce a generous parental leave scheme, which will pay the most money to the people who least need it (and can afford to pay for their own children) as well as the less well-off.

He has said he will reduce personal taxes, but not which taxes will go up to compensate for the lost revenue. Alternatively, what will be cut?

He wants Aboriginal children taught about their own culture in their own language, but only as an option and outside normal school hours.

He chooses to meet regularly with Cardinal Pell and considers him a friend and spiritual advisor. Given Pell’s performance in the matter of priestly paedophiles, as displayed recently at the Victorian government enquiry, do you think this man is a fit and proper person to have influence over a Prime Minister?

By way of contrast, Julia Gillard has no choice but to listen to Pell’s other good buddy, Joe de Bruyn.

This is why he opposes embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia, and to make abortion legal, but ‘rare’, i.e., only available under very tight conditions.

He also cultivates people like Gina “$2 a day” Rinehart and Rupert Murdoch. Which is why he will do his best to reintroduce individual workplace contracts and diminish collective bargaining and union power, which will in turn lead to increased workforce casualisation and drive down wage rates. That bothers me too. You can tell a lot about a person by their friends.

He claims his policies will lead to higher wages. But for whom? Rupert & Gina?

This is just a selection of the stuff that worries me. What do YOU know about Tony Abbott and his policies? What do you like? What do you hate?

About the author

Veteran gay writer and speaker, Doug was one of the founders of the UKs pioneering GLBTI newspaper Gay News (1972) , and of the second, Gay Week, and is a former Features Editor of Him International. He presented news and current affairs on JOY 94.9 FM Melbourne for more than ten years. "Doug is revered, feared and reviled in equal quantities, at times dividing people with his journalistic wrath. Yet there is no doubt this grandpa-esque bear keeps everyone abreast of anything and everything LGBT across the globe." (Daniel Witthaus, "Beyond Priscilla", Clouds of Magellan, Melbourne, 2014)