Editorial: Compared To Our National-led Government Australia’s Turnbull Government is Energised Has Zest and Purpose

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Selwyn Manning, editor.

Editorial by Selwyn Manning.

Selwyn Manning, editor.
Selwyn Manning, editor.

Note: Selwyn Manning also discussed this issue on Radio New Zealand’s The Panel with Jim Mora and Nevil Gibson – click here to listen.

After the ousting of Australia’s Tony Abbott as prime minister by Malcolm Turnbull, and the change giving the Liberals a lift in Australian polls, how does our third-term John Key-led Government compare?

Well simply put, Turnbull’s Cabinet is full of zest, ideas, and energy. The ditch between the Australia’s Government and ours on these points couldn’t be wider.

Take this week (Thursday September 24), Turnbull drove a wedge into Australian society spearheading a push to draw domestic violence (of all kinds) out from the shadows. He stood there, determined and committed, promising a high-powered Government campaign that starts immediately.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported Turnbull committing to reduce “high rates of violence against women” as his “first order of business”, declaring “real men don’t hit women” and that the scourge that has already accounted for 63 deaths in Australia this year has been “overlooked for too long”.

Turnbull referred to it as a “national disgrace”.

The Australian Government Package:

According to media reports, the package was signed off by the Turnbull Cabinet this week.

It includes:

  • Funding to trial GPS trackers for perpetrators
  • Safe phones for victims
  • CCTV cameras – to boost the security of women at home
  • A Government-backed media campaign to draw this scourge out from the shadows.

It’s the kind of energy that comes with new-found political power, but also requires political courage – AND that’s something that our own John Key-led Government has lost.

Comparatively, after one year into a third-term, the Key-led Government has, in my view, lost its zest. It appears unclear what its purpose is, what its legislative agenda is.

For example, on re-election in 2014, Key committed to doing something about systemic poverty. He’s failed to deliver even an enduring commitment to that issue. Now, his comments in recent weeks suggest he believes the problem has been over-egged, is hyped up.

It seems while New Zealand’s Australian counterpart is busy making Australia a better place, New Zealand’s Government is content to massage its popularity with petty flag-changes, talk of acquiring a couple of pet Pandas, and embracing any other political pulp it can serve up.

New Zealanders deserve better.

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Selwyn Manning, BCS (Hons.) MCS (Hons.) is an investigative political journalist with 23 years media experience. He specializes in reportage and analysis of socioeconomics, politics, foreign affairs, and security/intelligence issues. Selwyn has extensive experience as a commentator and has provided live political analysis to a wide range of television and radio organizations broadcasting in New Zealand, Australia and globally including the BBC (Five Live, London) and BBC (World Service). He is currently a correspondent to Australia's FiveAA radio, and is a regular live-on-air panelist on Radio New Zealand's The Panel with broadcaster Jim Mora.

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