But I'm going to make an exception today for this:
First of all, who is Catherine Cusack?
Her piece is about the deal that the Coalition made with the Shooters last week. I wrote about it at the time, but in short the Coalition agreed to pass a bill allowing shooting in National Parks in return for the Shooters agreeing to back the Power Privatisation bill.
I thought it was ugly to watch, but something that a party in government has to make when they don't control both houses. In agreeing to allow shooting in parks, the Coalition broke a promise:
Paul Howes wrote an curious piece on the Shooters deal this morning. In short, he was saying that O'Farrell should feel free to break the promises, but not this one, because it was a stupid promise to break.
He doesn't clarify which promise O'Farrell would have been an acceptable promise to break in the circumstances, but I think we can assume that the Promises That Are OK to Break woud include Gillard's promise not to introduce the Carbon Tax.
But I digress.
Now, given that Catherine Cusack is an MLC, she doesn't have an electorate to keep happy. It's therefore rare to see MLC's making a fuss about anything their party has done, given that they only need to vote in a way that keeps the party happy. Why she is sticking her head about the parapet in this way is a little difficult to understand.
But let's have a closer look at what she had to say and try to understand what she is on about.
Native Vegetation Legislation is a vexed area as there are two deeply contradictory interests in competition - farmers and environmentalists. To suggest that the issue is as simple as the "attitude of inspectors" - well, I think that's a little simplistic.
It's true that Labor bungled it - the allocated budget was massively exceeded and the scheme brutally oversubscribed, and the Liberals tried to reign things in. Their big mistake was making the changes retrospective, which quite rightly pissed off a LOT of people.
I truly don't see how this had anything to do with "thumping the Greens" - it was sold at the time as being about fixing the financial problem that the solar bonus scheme had become.
What I suspect is that certain elements of the Coalition either had it sold to them as being a chance to stick it to the Greens, or more likely that this was just one of the games that politicians like playing behind the scenes.
transcript from a story about the deal with the Shooters:
But is she saying that no one has possibly considered the financial implications? I just don't follow the logic.
There is probably not a single person in the Upper or Lower House (except, of course, for the Shooters) who thinks that allowing shooting in the National Parks is a good idea. This was a deal that the Coalition has to make - that's the only reason they voted for it.
Moreover, Cusack knows that the Premier made the deal to get the Power privitisation through and for no other good reason. Presumably (and she doesn't suggest otherwise) Cusack supports O'Farrell's infrastructure plans, and she knows that it will cost money.
So, what are we to take from this piece? I don't really know:
- Native Vegetation Act is fine, but the inspectors are the problem
- The curtailing of the Solar Bonus Scheme was all about "thumping the Greens"
- We need to "budget" for the "costs" of the new "shooting in parks" scheme, and
- Baiting is much better than shooting.
Why did she submit this piece? Moreover, what is she trying to accomplish? I truly have no idea. Her constituency is the party - which of them are going to be happy with this piece?
Perhaps she is just making some trouble. Time will tell if that will be what she accomplishes.