When analysing state and federal government in Australia, the word disappointing does not even begin to describe the shambolic situation in Parliament.
Tony Abbott was elected Prime Minister in September of 2013 – that’s more than seven months ago. In that time, the wheels that the Labor party drove backwards have now engaged at warp speed.
It can be summed up in two words: broken promises. His public announcements sound good, but then fizzle with less pizzazz than a sausage being poked by a BBQ fork.
Health systems are being crushed, transport is a mess, and education funding must be seeping into an ocean somewhere. In short; there is plenty to dislike about Abbott.
On the other side of the card, there is the Labor party, and it’s full of calamities too. However, the funding Labor has agreed to dedicate to upgrades in the health and public transport system, if re-elected in Victoria later this year, is a positive. But only a small one.
Treasurer Joe Hockey brought down a sledgehammer on Australians recently, saying that Australians would have to do “heavy lifting” or be left in the lurch in regards to the federal budget. Criticism came from every angle, and rightly so.
Wanting to be the authority that wields power means that the “race to the top” is filled with hungry politicians that fail in spending, and cause the wheels to turn backwards.
Back on the subject of education, and universities have undoubtedly copped it hard. The blame game has been brought down hard on education Minister Christopher Pyne.
Budget cuts have slashed hundreds of millions of dollars from the tertiary curriculum, and Pyne has been touted as a liar after not revealing alleged university cuts.
“Think before you act” is what is happening here. Pyne has also suggested that language programs in schools be boosted. Sounds like a very promising plan, but before that, the entire government needs to take a step back. Not just from education, but from everything.
While short-term gains and benefits will stop the immediate cracks from forming into gaps wide enough to fall down, it does not take away the fact that long-term planning needs to be factored in. The budget has been in deficit for almost a decade – and the severity has blown out to the tens of billions of dollars in the last few years.
Investing in existing infrastructure, curriculums and policies would be a start. In December of 2013, Abbott emphatically declared that while his first 100 days in Parliament were not without challenges from the Opposition (Labor Party), the Liberals have made promising and positive advances on new policies and funding.
Many rivals would disagree. The Greens have strongly opposed Abbott’s moves, calling outrage at some of the titles he has scrapped and installed.
There is no quick fix. Unfortunately, sitting down and being logical is something governments cannot seem to do.
Australians are going to be hit hard when the budget is released in May – and there is no turning back.