More rats leaving Coalition’s sinking ship?

by Chris Becker

Not many government ministers staying around at this rate, from SMH:

The Morrison government is bracing for a new round of cabinet resignations ahead of the May election, with focus shifting to the future of the Coalition’s two most senior defence figures.

Defence Industry Minister Steve Ciobo is preparing to announce his retirement as soon as Friday, potentially bringing the total number of departing government frontbenchers to four.

Many are also sceptical of Defence Minister Christopher Pyne’s repeated declaration that he “intends” to recontest the election, pointing to Julie Bishop’s use of the same language for months prior to her decision last week to retire from politics.

Mr Pyne, who has been in Parliament for 26 years, is one of the Liberal Party’s leading moderate figures and is a close supporter of former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Asked at a press conference on Friday whether it was possible he could not recontest the May poll, Mr Pyne responded: “I have dismissed this question for weeks, so it doesn’t seem to matter what I say in response to the question, the speculation seems to continue.

Both still get their full pensions – around $200,000 per year – plus of course Pyne gets to leave before the inevitable cost overruns, delays and capability gaps appear from his handling of the new “Attack” $50 billion submarine contract with the French.

And probably a nice seat on a board of a few defence contractors a year or so (or less) from now.

Well done.


    • Ciobo is a nutter and a muppet to boot. May well have been tapped on the shoulder to open the door for Dutton to be parachuted into Ciobo’s safe seat

      • BradleyMEMBER

        That is exactly what I am thinking. Ciobo is on a 14% margin while potato head has about 1% to play with.

      • Also apparently Ciobo had a lot to do with the free trade agreement with Indonesia, and will be at the signing next Monday. Using Andrew Robb as a template on how to cash in on squillions to be made from a FTA Ciobo had no choice but to immediately quit as a polly so he will be ready and able to take on the money-for-nothing jobs he will be offered.

      • Craig Laundy next.
        Like a filthy reddened swollen cluster of boils on the rump of the Liberal party – the lumpen malevolent core – Malcom Turnbull finally lanced & spurted out in an angry red stream of toxicity. Then the smaller pus filled lumps of Julie Bishop and Christopher Pyne lanced.

        And now the rest of the infection being drained & oozing out as the Liberals heal themselves.

        The Liberal Party can sit right again.

        Scott Morrison?
        The ‘sticking plaster PM’ over the healing abscess until (happily & welcomingly) rolled by Abbbot & Dutton.

  1. Interesting whether ScoMo stays on when he gets rolled in the general election. Turnbull and Rudd mk 2 both said farewell.

    I think Pyne has a good chance to retain Sturt – I realise he isn’t everyone’s taste but I like what Pyne brings to the Libs. And I think the parliamentary party would miss him greatly. He should hang around as it will be a pretty big choice of shadow ministries up for grabs.

    Ciobo appears a bit of a numpty so less concerned with what he does.

      • I think he is the only one on that side of the benches that has bothered to study how the parliament is supposed to work with the minutiae of rules such as standing orders etc – he is the leading of govt business. Tony Burke (the labor leader of business) would be relishing going up against a novice when the ALP move to the govt benches.

    • ScoMo goes after the election. My tip of the day is Angus Taylor becomes the opposition leader.
      Taylor is a lot sillier than I thought he was, silly boy allowing Snowy 2.0 so close to the election, he should have kicked the can till after the election. When that project goes over budget, late and in arbitration, any question Taylor raises in future parliamentary question time about the ALP government wasting taxpayer dollars, the ALP will mention it was during Taylor’s minstership that the project was approved. – NBN all over again.

    • The Poodle (and ‘the Fixer’, never let us forget) must hold some kind of record for achieving nothing; one of those schoolboy debater types who never had a real job, went to work for the Liberal party and was found a nice seat. His only saving graces are a touch of self-deprecatory humour – about him there is plenty to be self-deprecatory – and his not being as stupid or disgusting as Peter Dutton. He’s a laughable popinjay who has made a career of being a ‘parliamentarian’. Some have suggested that the preposterous submarine contract makes him the most expensive parliamentarian in the world.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        “He’s a laughable popinjay who has made a career of being a ‘parliamentarian’”

        Ha ha,…perfect discription of the “Man”

  2. GunnamattaMEMBER

    Your tip of the day is that the Department of Defence is going to be thoroughly explored on the other side of an election, with the ALP already having a very respected former Defence executive ready to examine the operations of the department.

    As Defence has more contracting out and more outsourcing of entire functions than almost anywhere else in the public sector, and of which a recent Defence Secretary noted is now a department of more contractors than civilian employees, there are alarm bells ringing and very serious cohesion and taxpayer value for money questions being asked. There are also a number of observations being made from within the military (often with mirth) about the focus of some of the supporting programs – in particular a clique of former Human Services executives who have created a ‘feminised’ executive level for one of the said programs, said to be keen to get rid of ‘Old White Males’ (of which Defence has many), ‘Redunding the deadwood’, and legendarily keen to send inane emails to their own patch. Like much public sector outsourcing Defence has been taken to the cleaners by comtractors – IT, logistics. Buildings maintenance, training and consultants right up there amongst them – often in second and third generation contracts being renewed, after the internal scope to carry out a function has evaporated.

    Those Ministers who have been party to this – particularly those relating to support functions – may well be enthusiastic about making the leap beyond politics soon. There may also be executives soon to seek opportunities elsewhere too.

    • That’s very interesting but can we trust the Labor party to push back against this kind of PC? I’m in a workplace with this kind of HR cabal and they seem to be almost impossible to get rid of.

      • proofreadersMEMBER

        Perhaps, an RC in to the waste etc in Defence would bring the reality it has probably never had?

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        My current understanding is that the ALP has within it

        1. Influential elements who consider the roboletters debacle in Humanservices ‘unfinished business’ and is keen to go after those involved.

        2. More generally the view the Commonwealth Public Service is in major need of reform, with conditions of service being looked at, the possible recentralization of pay negotiations and outcomes, and the effective use of contractors – as well as the disastrous demographics of the APS – all worthy of focus.

      • The Traveling Wilbur

        That’s excellent news Gunna. Long overdue.

        Does Labor have anyone even remotely capable of leading a remediation program for any of that?

        Or are they going to contract that out?

    • If Canberra housing is going to start imitating Sydney’s trajectory then we need unemployment to get moving and in a public service town that means we need an end to all these overpaid consultants, that should do the trick in no time.

      • GunnamattaMEMBER

        My guess (and its only a guess) is that the ALP will likely be as captive to consultants as their predecessors. But I am also reliably informed that they are acutely aware that some departments (Defence in particular – not so much the platform purchases, new aircraft, ships and boys toys etc, but the day to day running of the department) have got consultant use simply running wild and with the costs of doing so having run that far ahead of the operations and staffing of the organisation that it is being described as a ‘bubble’.

        There are certainly people on the ALP side of politics talking in terms of ‘rebuilding capacity’ inside various departments, Defence in particular, but more broadly with call centre contracts, IT contracts [there is probably not a single public service department happy with its IT arrangement] and mail/logistics contracts and things like building maintenance the time has come to ease back on making people wealthy with juicy contracts for feeble outcomes for the public/and departments involved.

    • Gunna

      No mention of politicians’ lurks, perks and super generous pension funds.

      Public serpents on generous Defined Benefit Pension funds.

      Labor, Greens, LNP same dog, different collar.

      Rusted on voters have to dump these parasites and vote Independent; or nothing will change.

  3. DingwallMEMBER

    Good riddance …. though these leavers are probably decreasing the already worryingly low average IQ of the party leaders ……..and like the “V” ad, we will end up with a red bunch who are “only slightly better”.
    Australian politics……… it looks and smells like the proverbial…….. and it’s hard to get rid of the stain.

  4. Likening people like Pyne and Ciobo to rats is highly defamatory. You should expect a letter of demand from the rats’ attorneys shortly.

  5. interested party

    On a similar vein…..Canadian politics is imploding.

    “Jody Wilson-Raybould spoke about the SNC-Lavalin controversy at a hearing of the House of Commons justice committee on Feb. 27. In her first substantial public statement on the matter, the former justice minister and attorney general testified that she was inappropriately pressured to prevent the Montreal-based company from being prosecuted in a bribery case. Below is the full text of her opening statement.”

    Looks like Trudeau is in serious trouble here…..along with several cohorts.
    Another fiveye hits the floor……and the skeletons are all escaping the cupboards.

    • proofreadersMEMBER

      Hello!!! And the Strayan taxpayer was well and truly stitched up in to that thought-bubble $100bn sub project to save the poodle’s seat ?

  6. It’s politicians as a whole. They almost all self-interested numnuts in the game as a career. The resignations are about Super rules. The more resign the better – and I don’t mean just Libs. Empty the whole damned place out.
    Flawse for Dictator.

    • Looks like the mob wants blood. I resign. I’ll be in a cave for the next decade or two.

      • I believe he was traded for one of our own and now lives out his days as on a state pension in some god forsaken mining backwater. He was given the rank of colonel for his services to the Mineral Council of Australia. It’s of little comfort to him in little asbestos shack in the desert. He believes he was on the right side of history but wouldn’t mind a public service or two every now and then.

  7. ” Empty the whole damned place out.”
    Yep and replace with randomly selected citizens from the electoral roll – as we do with the Jury system. Could it be any worse?
    (you could be Dictator when your number is drawn)

    • drsmithyMEMBER

      Well, randomly picking dictators would be pretty catastrophic.

      But I think randomly picking MPs has some merit.

      Practically speaking, you would have to move policy formation and administration into independent groups that didn’t turn over with new ministers, which then shifts the corruption risk over to them, but that’s probably more manageable in reality.

      • Because the current parliament full of lawyers are such experts in a wide variety of fields?
        Randomly selected would also be less catastrophic than the self selected lot we get now. As they say, you shouldn’t give the job to anyone that wants it.

      • drsmithyMEMBER

        Because the current parliament full of lawyers are such experts in a wide variety of fields?

        No, because if you’re actively turning people over every 4 years then by definition nobody will be able to take responsibility for stuff that runs more than 4 years long.

        Policy formation and administration should never have been moved into the realm of MPs in the first place. They are there to identify high level policy objectives based on their supporters interests, not get into the nitty gritty of developing and implementing the mechanics of those policies (but, of course, if you aren’t in the nitty gritty the avenues for corruption are much smaller). Another thing we can thank the Rodent for, from memory.