T’is the season for ministerial announcements

Comment by Peter Roberts

It is that time of the political cycle again.

In the countdown to any election you expect a flurry of announcements, re-announcements and just plain noise from those that occupy the ministerial benches in Canberra.

Their department and agency PR practitioners churn out daily, or more than daily, announcements of their bosses largess.

This time round the noise is daily and deafening.

Industry minister Karen Andrews and the bodies that report to her seem to have given out more cash in the past month than they did in the past year.

Defence minister, Christopher Pyne continues his relentless schedule of daily releases of new defence purchases, stealing some of the thunder of defence industry minister, Linda Reynolds.

Sometimes the releases are important, such a new air defence capability.

And sometimes they seem pointless – like Thursday’s that Andrews had renewed the major project status for an industrial scale prawn breeding operation, Project Sea Dragon.

Trouble with that one was even the company seemed barely to notice the renewal – it issued only a three sentence statement saying it was pleased with the minister’s decision.

And some announcements are positively inconvenient to ministers, including a number from the government’s own Clean Energy Finance Corporation.

Its 2019 federal election policy, for example, calls for a target of 50 per cent renewables by 2030, and zero emissions from the electricity sector by 2050.

And you have to wonder when a government body’s policy includes words such as: “The absence of any long-term energy strategy at the federal level is crippling the Australian energy sector….despite the lack of government leadership in this area.”

Yes it is a weird and wonderful time of year….roll on the election!

Picture: Minister for industry, science and technology Karen Andrews

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