Bushfires and drought, but Canberra just had another (failed) leadership spill

Bushfires and drought, but Canberra just had another (failed) leadership spill

leadership spill
It was on, again. For the umpteenth time in Australia. The top job in Australia was contested, behind closed doors this morning.

While you were busy starting your work day, leaving the school pick-up run or doing whatever it is you do just after 9am on a Tuesday morning, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton both battled it out to keep or take the leadership of the Liberal Party, and therefore the prime ministership of Australia.

As one woman I share an office with stated upon immediately hearing the news: “I am so over this”.

Much of Australia is. And I dare suggest a good chunk would be sickened by the idea of Prime Minister Peter Dutton.

So they may take little comfort from the fact Dutton was just short of a dozen or so votes from being Australia’s PM. He lost the spill 48 to 35.

Although there’s some consolation in the fact Dutton has now resigned from the Cabinet.

The spill was called by Turnbull following days of pressure and backdowns over his National Energy Guarantee. Peter Dutton put up his hand to take the prime minister on.

Should Dutton have won, it would have meant that once again, no sitting prime minister since John Howard lost the election in 2007, would have gone on to serve a full term.

Now would be a good time to remind ourselves — and our politicians — of what else is going on in Australia and elsewhere.

It’s still Winter, and bushfires are taking lives and homes across parts of Australia. NSW is now 100% in drought, with the livelihoods of farmers are being destroyed in the process.

Parts of Europe have just sweated through its hottest summer on record, with record heatwaves recorded everywhere from Japan to Canada. The frequency of natural disasters is accelerating, and predicted to further do so in the coming years.

The climate change threat is real and happening right now.

But our Government is still debating and fighting — sniping and backstabbing — over whether or not we should commit to doing something about it. Even the smallest of things, as was outlined in Turnbull’s pretty pathetic policy to legislate on carbon-reduction targets, becomes a tinderbox for fighting over ideology in the Coalition.

And once again the issue of energy policy and climate change was the one that ignited a coup against a sitting prime minister.

The Turnbull Government survives another day (or is it a few more hours?). But it may still not survive until the election.

Meanwhile, Australia has a dangerous and unpredictable summer to look forward to.

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