It feels like only yesterday I was writing this list for 2019. We’re now less than two weeks away until 2021 and it is that time of year to share my thoughts on the 10 times Australian politics had me shook in 2020.
1. Gladys Berejiklian not requiring Ruby Princess Cruise ship passengers to stay in quarantine during the height of COVID-19
This was one that proved to be more than a minor political gaffe, in my opinion. 662 COVID-19 cases arose from passengers of the Ruby Princess because Gladys did not think quarantining them on arrival back to Sydney was necessary.
2. ScoMo using his position to force the NRL to backflip on their decision to not sing the national anthem at the State of Origin
Politics is a tricky business. Fulfilling campaign promises takes time, and sometimes they are never fulfilled. This is something everyone should understand. Politicians cannot simply snap their fingers and have an act heard in parliament and then voted on by sitting MPs. Unless your ScoMo of course! The man within an hour of hearing the news that the national anthem would not be sung at the State of Origin was offended he proved that politicians when they put their minds to it and actually utilise their power, they can get things done at lightning speed. Thus the national anthem was sung at the Origin because of ScoMo himself.
3. The Australian economy goes into recession for the first time in 30 years and the government confirms JobKeeper will still be cut
The economy took a major hit in 2020 with COVID-19 forcing millions out of jobs. The government’s response was JobKeeper which was going well for a while. However, then they decided to cut the crucial payment in a controversial manner. If people don’t have money then they can not pump it back into the economy. No wonder September saw us dive into a recession.
4. The NSW State Budget setting aside $32 billion for a renewable energy plan
The NSW State government in 2020 made it abundantly clear that they are shying away from coal-fired power. Investing a record-breaking $32 billion in renewable energy. With the plan also including phasing out four of the five coal-fired power plants in the next 15 years. Well done NSW Liberal government!
5. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg making a $60 billion dollar accounting error when finalising the JobKeeper subsidy
When COVID-19 started, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg made a $60 billion dollar accounting error. Frydenberg somehow miscalculated that $130 billion dollars will be needed to adhere to the JobKeeper wage subsidy. When in fact it was only $70 billion which needed to be set aside.
6. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk bringing on the banter and texting Gladys Berejiklian to brag that Queensland won the State of Origin
Now there is savage mode and there is Annastacia Palaszczuk just blasting Gladys for the sake of being funny. However, things took a turn for the worse when Gladys claimed that the texts sent about Queensland’s victory in the Origin saw Palaszczuk ignore previous texts from Gladys concerning opening borders, as well as a congratulations text for winning the QLD state election in 2020. Awkward…
7. Deputy Premier John Barilaro having his driving offence record leaked to the public
It is still up for debate how this information was leaked however you cannot deny how sweet it feels to know that a politician can’t sidestep his way out of a speeding and mobile phone fine. Barilaro opted to own up to his driving antics and admitted to speeding on several occasions and using his mobile phone while driving a government car.
8. The Federal Government giving up its fight against music festivals and awarding a $1.5 million dollar grant to Secret Sounds Group go create a new music festival in 2021
Remember when the Australian government was at war with live music and wanted to basically shut it all down. Well, 2020 has been a weird year and the federal government is taking a giant step in the right direction with this 1.5 million dollar grant to allow Splendour in the Grass and Falls Festival founders to start up a new music festival. 2021 could not come sooner!
9. Former Sports Minister Bridget McKenzie and ScoMo colluding in the sports roots saga
Reports published in 2020 found that McKenzie and ScoMo joined forces to approve sporting grants in seats which were held by Liberal MPs. Sports Australia determines the need for a government grant on a scale of 0-100. 100 meaning in dire need of funding. ScoMo and McKenzie had a colour coated excel spreadsheet which assisted them in identifying where to give sports grants and where not to. It was found that five Liberal seats which all scored well below the required 74 out of 100 to be considered for a grant were all given grants.
10. Gladys Berejiklian found to be in a relationship with former MP Darryl Maguire
ICAC findings revealed that Berejiklian was allegedly aware that Maguire was taking a secret commission from property developers under his secret company, G8wayinternational which he ran from his office as an MP. Findings also revealed that when he bragged about his commissions, Gladys simply replied over the phone with “I don’t need to know that bit”.