7-point plan submitted: where to now? #auswaits

The three non-aligned MPs, as Katter, Oakeshott and Windsor describe themselves, have submitted their requests for information and certain commitments to the two aspiring PMs, and are now heading home to their electorates to catch up on some sleep and await the responses back in Canberra next Monday. Julia Gillard has responded publicly in a fairly positive manner, so far nothing from Tony Abbott.

The key paragraph for how long the national wait will go on?

We expect all the above information to be made available through best endeavours as soon as possible, so that formal negotiations with all stakeholders can begin by Friday 3rd September – if, based on final counts, negotiations are indeed needed at all.

I’m very thankful for our robust caretaker government conventions that are keeping the apparatus ticking over nicely while this deadlock is in the process of resolution. I’m vastly amused by how outraged some of the punditocracy appear to be that the markets didn’t run around like headless chooks on Monday, after the pundits predicted that they would and should take a tumble because of the dreaded “instability” of such a terribly unprecedented thing as a hung parliament. Dearie me.

Their full seven-point plan is reproduced below (via Peter Martin):

TO JULIA GILLARD and TONY ABBOTT

Requests for information

1. We seek access to information under the ‘caretaker conventions’ to economic advice from the Secretary of the Treasury Ken Henry and Secretary of Finance David Tune, including the costings and impacts of Government and Opposition election promises and policies on the budget.

2. We seek briefings from the following Secretaries of Departments:

1. Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
2. Health and Ageing
3. Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
4. Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
5. Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
6. Climate Change, Energy Efficiency and Water
7. Defence
8. Resources, Energy and Tourism

3. We seek briefings from caretaker Ministers and Shadow Ministers in the above portfolio areas to discuss their program for the next three years.

4. We seek advice as soon as possible on their plans to work with the Clerks of the Parliament to improve the status and authority of all 150 local MP’s within parliamentary procedures and structures. In particular, we seek advice on timelines and actions for increasing the authority of the Committee system, private members business and private members bills, matters of public importance, 90 second statements, adjournment debates, and question time.

5. We seek a commitment to explore all options from both sides in regard “consensus options” for the next three years, and a willingness to at least explore all options to reach a majority greater than 76 for the next three years. Included in these considerations is advice on how relationships between the House of Representatives and the Senate can be improved, and a proposed timetable for this to happen.

6. We seek a commitment in writing as soon as possible that if negotiations are to take place on how to form Government, that each of these leaders, their Coalition partners, and all their affiliated MP’s, will negotiate in good faith and with the national interest as the only interest. In this same letter of comfort, we seek a written commitment that whoever forms majority Government will commit to a full three year term, and for an explanation in writing in this same letter as to how this commitment to a full term will be fulfilled, either by enabling legislation or other means.

7. We seek advice as soon as possible on a timetable and reform plan for political donations, electoral funding, and truth in advertising reform, and a timetable for how this reform plan will be achieved in co-operation with the support of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The three non-aligned MP’s will now be heading home to families, electorate duties, and a long-standing appointment with the Governor-General (unrelated to this political deadlock). We have agreed to be back in Canberra on Monday for the full week of meetings in relation to the above.

We expect all the above information to be made available through best endeavours as soon as possible, so that formal negotiations with all stakeholders can begin by Friday 3rd September – if, based on final counts, negotiations are indeed needed at all.

As to what will happen once the trio have their briefings and commitments? I find it hard to see Abbott’s costings of his election promises surviving close examination. I hope that Gillard’s costings are, by contrast, steadfastly robust under scrutiny.

At least it gives all the parliamentarians the chance to catch up on some sleep for a few days.



Categories: media, parties and factions

Tags: , ,

11 replies

  1. Ooh… that first one is nasty, because it hits the Opposition square in the “fair play” region and keeps kicking – the Libs are going to have to submit their proposals to the Treasury for costing after all, rather than expecting these guys to accept the figures they got from Joe Hockey’s uncle’s brother-in-law’s cousin’s mate Max – or whoever it was did their costings pre-election.
    Given my impression of the Lib’s costings were that there were an awful lot of “non-core” promises in there (and a lot of awful “non-core” promises, too) I have my doubts as to whether the Treasury will be quite as positive about the whole prospect. Might be time to start watching wikileaks…

  2. Ohhh, Abbott doesn’t like being beholden to someone else, does he? *chuckles evilly* No, really, Abbott doesn’t want to win any of these guys over, huh? What a friggin’ fool! (I have nothing helpful to say because my brain has been fried by trying to write a political article about this and BLAAAAAH NO MORE THANKS).

  3. Now I’ve read the article, he isn’t quite so pugnacious as I thought he’d be, but still, he doesn’t seem to comfortable about revealing the figures, huh?

    • Katter on Lateline has the best response to the Coalition’s line:

      Now, you know, if they’re playing some sort of a cute game to go back to the Australian people, well I wish you well, son. But if you think the Australian people are gonna put up with this sorta tomfoolery, you got another think coming.

      Shanahan in the Oz spits his dummy: Forget three amigos, let’s go back to polls
      If Labor shows willing to form a minority government but can’t quite make the numbers, and then Tony torpedoes the independents and forces another election, does Shanahan really think that the voters will reward the Coalition with more seats rather than less?
      Oh, and this bit of spin:

      Bandt, as the first Greens MP elected at a federal election after taking Labor’s seat of Melbourne and denying the party’s legitimacy, has declared he’s prepared to go into coalition with Labor to ensure they stay in power. Bandt is a member of a party that has a worldwide movement, a national structure, funding from overseas and a platform opposed to much of Labor’s election policy. So much for it being safe for Labor voters to turn Green.

      Bandt declared to his prospective constituents before the election that if there was a hung Parliament that he would align with Labor to ensure a government. The electorate of Melbourne knew exactly what was going to happen in a situation like this. Shame on you, Shanners.

      • Grog’s Gamut – Election 2010: Extra Time (or, Seven Habits of Highly Effective Independents)

        Now prior to the election, sure Abbott had some justification for not using the Charter of Budget Honesty process – it is a bit of a mug’s game. But the election has come and gone, no one gets to vote on the basis of the costings. The only people who are truly interested are Windsor, Katter and Oakeshott. They are so interested in fact they put it at Number 1 on their list. You think that might mean they consider it important?
        And yet Abbott is saying no.
        Abbott not wanting the Treasury to go through his costings at his point is a bit like me saying the ATO won’t be able to understand my tax return with the same depth as does my private accountant, so just trust me on what I say I am due as a refund.
        Sorry, but that dog won’t hunt.

        I’m heartened by the way that Gillard is thinking on her feet and making the right moves to reassure the Indies that she can provide stable government.
        I’m even more heartened that Abbott seems incapable of adjusting to the new requirements and appears to be shooting himself in every foot available.

  4. I’m even more heartened that Abbott seems incapable of adjusting to the new requirements and appears to be shooting himself in every foot available.

    Heck, he’s showing previously unrealised cephalopodian tendencies and growing whole new feet to shoot himself in.

  5. Heck, he’s showing previously unrealised cephalopodian tendencies and growing whole new feet to shoot himself in.
    *snort* At least if he doesn’t win government he can take up tapdancing.

  6. I have to admit that once I got used to a hung parliament (was disappointed not to have a winner on the night, and a woman winning what’s more) that this is all rather fascinating.
    Politics is sport in our household, so a federal election is like a grand final and I guess this hung parliament sorting out stuff is like the game going into ‘extra time’.

  7. I’m very thankful for our robust caretaker government conventions that are keeping the apparatus ticking over nicely while this deadlock is in the process of resolution.

    It is thankful that we have such a robust democracy and constitution in Australia to cope with such political indecision, however the Australian public service has been operating under caretaker provisions for 6 weeks now and it does have an impact. For example, my small section has five tenders aimed at expanding or improving services for our clients that cannot commence during caretaker. A change of government will not impact on these projects however having no government does.

    • @Kym, I can imagine how frustrating being held in limbo like that must be. I can’t imagine a better way to deal with the deadlock though – the process has to be not only transparent but also considered, surely?

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: