Do you remember Joh Bjelke-Petersen? He was Queensland’s Premier (1968-1987), became knighted and wanted to run for Prime Minister, but all that came undone in a Royal commission into him and his friends political corruption. He was an endless source of material for cartoonists and comedians, and those of us who lived south of Queensland just wondered how he stayed in power, it was a gerrymander of course. I only mention Joh because he was a politician who thought there was no place for openness and accountability in Government, one of his favourite sayings when questioned by journalists was ‘now don’t you worry about that!’
We now have a Prime Minister very much in Joh’s creed. It is only 6 days since the Abbot led Government was sworn in and already cornerstones of openness and accountability as well as information are in tatters.
- There will no longer be announcements when Asylum Seeker boats arrive, only censored media releases once a week. There will be no reporting on any boats that are turned back. The only news the Australian population will get will be from Tony Abbott.
- Australia’s lead independent Climate Change research facility; the Climate Commission has been disbanded, removing independent commentary and informed debate. Information the Australian population will get on Climate Change will be from climate change denier, Tony Abbott.
- The Government intends to change the Competition and Consumer Act to make Social Media calls for boycotts illegal. These boycotts are ways of informing consumers about their choices to do with un-ethical goods and services, where raw materials come from and carbon intensity of products. The only information the Australian population will get will be from those selling us their goods and services.
Australian’s should not be kept in the dark when it comes to important issues like Asylum Seeker arrivals, global Warming and consumer rights.
Come on Mr Abbott, ‘now we do need to worry about that!’