Prime Minister has no plan for cornerstone policy - cancels COAG

15 October 2019

With Josh Wilson

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has reportedly cancelled the December COAG meeting of leaders, because of his failure to come up with a recycling policy.
The Prime Minister used his recycling and plastics agenda as the cornerstone of his so called practical environmentalism, and to justify his comprehensive failure to lower emissions at the United Nations recently.
After hanging the Government’s international and domestic credibility on his recycling agenda, the Prime Minister needs to come clean on his cancellation of COAG at such a critical time for Commonwealth-State relations.
The Prime Minister has claimed that combatting ocean plastic is a bigger issue than climate change, and that Australia is a leader in the reduction of ocean plastic.
Neither is true.
It’s clear this 'loose with the truth' Prime Minister will say and do anything, but take no real action.
Australia currently recycles less than 12 per cent of its own plastic waste. Globally, 15 million tonnes of plastic go into the ocean annually and Australia’s coasts and marine species are already affected by the scourge of micro-plastic. 
The bulk of the Coalition’s $167 million so-called Recycling Investment Fund is $100 million in re-badged funds already available through the Clean Energy Finance Corporation. 
The COAG cancellation comes at a time when Australia needs all levels of Government to be working together on critical issues, like Australia’s struggling economy.
COAG could be addressing the fact that the Morrison Government has:

  • No plan to turn around our struggling economy.
  • No plan to lift stagnant wages.
  • No plan to help Australians with the rising cost of living.
  • No comprehensive plan for the drought; only a Coordinator, a Taskforce, an Envoy and a Summit, but no meaningful action.
  • No plan to fix the crisis in the Murray-Darling Basin.
  • No plan to lower emissions, which are going up and up and up.  
  • No plan to lower power prices which have skyrocketed by 158 per cent since 2015.  
  • No plan to address skills crisis, with 150,000 fewer apprentices now than under Labor.

This tired Government is in its seventh-year and third-term but has no plan for the country and can’t even be bothered to meet with the states on critical issues confronting our nation. 
It’s clear the only thing this Government is committed to is its next media opportunity.