Former prime minister Tony Abbott has criticised the national cabinet, arguing that it is an ineffectual co-ordinating committee. Abbott contends that the national cabinet, which has met 46 times so far, is contributing to the lack of a clear delineation of responsibilities between the federal and state governments during the COVID-19 pandemic:
Tony Abbott has decried the “dog’s breakfast” of federal-state relations during the Covid-19 pandemic, saying there is no certainty “about who’s in charge” and the national cabinet of Scott Morrison and premiers is making it worse.
The former Liberal prime minister said there was no clear definition of responsibilities — “who is in charge” and “who is to blame” — and the problem was made worse in recent years as premiers duelled with each other over border closures and blamed the Prime Minister for quarantine and vaccine rollout failures during the coronavirus outbreak.
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“We need to look at the division of responsibilities and get those lines of responsibility just so much clearer,” Mr Abbott said…
“Instead, with things like the national cabinet, we’re making it — in my judgment — worse not better”…
I liked the idea of national cabinet when it was announced. However, as the old saying goes, “when everyone’s in charge, nobody’s in charge”.
The issue is not that national cabinet is a bad idea per se, but that Prime Minister ‘Scotty from Marketing’ has used national cabinet as an excuse to shirk the federal government’s constitutional responsibilities for quarantine and the vaccine rollout.
National cabinet has been opportunistically used by the federal government to ‘pass the buck’ to the states when we instead needed it to roll its sleeves up, lead and get the job done.
A simple axiom in business is that one person – the leader – the CEO – is the front person who speaks for the organisation, in this case Australia. It is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s lack of leadership and accountability that is the main problem.
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