Paul Bongiorno

environment July 7, 2018

Tony Abbott’s latest demolition job

Last Tuesday night, Tony Abbott was in his element. Surrounded by climate change sceptics and deniers he set about destroying Malcolm Turnbull’s signature energy policy. And he did so with panache, his opening line more a battle cry: “It takes...

politics June 30, 2018

Bases loaded for Frydenberg

Heartfelt efforts to persuade the government’s climate change deniers and coal champions to embrace the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) have failed spectacularly. But you may not have noticed because on the same day former Coalition leaders Tony...

politics June 16, 2018

Parliament fixes its focus on the election

All is fair in love and war, and the same is true in elections. Whatever it takes to win. That is the context for the next two sitting weeks of the federal parliament. There are strong indications this could be the last time the parliament meets...

politics June 23, 2018

Turnbull’s aspirational targets

It was John Howard’s favourite word and now Malcolm Turnbull has latched on to it like a drowning man lunging for a life raft. “We’re not mystified by [aspiration],” he said this week. “We recognise it, we embrace it.” Had the prime minister stuck...

rural June 9, 2018

The latest Barnaby Joyce fallout

This past week marks a watershed in Australian politics. Politicians’ private lives are no longer off limits. We have arrived at the same place as the United States. But unlike the Americans, it isn’t coming from a puritan tradition; it’s coming...

environment June 2, 2018

Barnaby Joyce wreaks havoc again

The exasperation in the government is palpable. “The only thing anyone is talking about this week is the Barnaby Joyce soap opera,” was the reaction of one fed-up backbencher. But it is not only the distraction that is the issue; it is the spectre...

politics May 26, 2018

Pauline Hanson’s need for attention

Pauline Hanson sees herself as an Australian Joan of Arc. The saviour of a nation under siege from crippling debt, excessive spending and immigrants, neglectful of self-funded retirees, and abused by multinational energy companies. Worse, a nation...

politics May 19, 2018

Byelections beware

Truth, they say, is the first casualty of war. And make no mistake, the government is in the battle of its life. Malcolm Turnbull is doing whatever it takes to regain a political ascendancy he has not had over the Opposition since last year’s...

economy May 12, 2018

Morrison’s budget fails to inspire

As treasurers go, Scott Morrison is no Paul Keating. He’s not even a Peter Costello when it comes to wit and making speeches. Morrison is dully combative and unimaginative. Even his own side found little that was inspiring in Tuesday night’s...

politics May 5, 2018

Morrison’s budget play

Next Tuesday Treasurer Scott Morrison will unveil the government’s blueprint for survival. His political opponents are convinced one bold move would go a long way to achieving it. And it’s giving Bill Shorten nightmares. Not that he’s admitting that...

politics April 28, 2018

Turnbull’s about-face on the banks

Maybe it was the Berlin location. More likely, it was the stark realisation that the government’s appalling handling of the banking royal commission was creating even more damage. Two kilometres away from Hitler’s bunker, where the Führer perished,...