One last chance

‘Good government starts today’ announced a wounded and broken-looking Tony Abbott on Monday morning after retaining his leadership of the Liberal Party and admitting his previous Government needed significant improvement.
The Prime Minister, bruised and bloodied after almost 40% of his colleagues effectively voted to dump him as leader, was backed into a corner in the most brutal and public manner and forced to promise both he and his office would be more consultative and inclusive with his backbench.
He also promised to improve the Government’s communication having arrived at the conclusion that too many of the Federal Senators and the populace in general are unable to clearly grasp the complexities facing the nation and the Government’s responses.
There was no mention of the policies being a problem as to why so much of the Government’s agenda can’t break through the Senate and the polls are at alarmingly low levels.
Yet just hours after the start of the ‘good Government’ it was fending off allegations of trickery and spin by the Prime Minister to one of his own Senators in the final hours before Monday’s internal vote in order to gain crucial SA support.
Senator Sean Edwards was told by Mr Abbott late last week that in exchange for his vote on Monday he would agree to a new process to give the Australian Submarine Corporation an improved chance to bid for the construction of 12 submarines and shore up thousands of local jobs.
Senator Edwards though he’d done a good job for SA.
It now appears nothing has changed from the Government’s original policy and not even new Defence Minister Kevin Andrews or the Defence Department itself could explain the Prime Minister’s promise or even what is meant by a “competitive evaluation process”.
Perhaps it was Mr Abbott’s last ‘captain’s pick’.
Whatever the answer it has not been a good start for this ‘good’ Government.
Perhaps the Prime Minister’s commitment to Senator Edwards was made under the old ‘bad’ Government, but either way there will need to be significant and immediate change.
The looming NSW election could have significant Federal implications.