Bleats

Cotton Farms In Queensland Are Chock-Full Of Murray-Darling Water, Unlike The Murray-Darling

That drought seems to be excitingly industry-specific.

As the nation collectively threw up a little bit in their mouths over the sight of millions of dead fish choking the tainted waters of the Murray-Darling, questions of who is responsible have been floating around like… well, you know.

And in order to get to the bottom of the matter – was it certain growers getting preferential treatment at the rivers’ expense? The ravages of the drought? A mysterious vampire curse? – Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick took to the skies to see how the afflicted region was faring.

And what did he see? Well, check it out for yourself:

Those photos purport to show cotton farms  with irrigation channels and water storage areas filled with Murray-Darling water, as opposed to the actual Murray-Darling whose levels are at historic lows.

This airborne photo shoot came mere hours before the South Australian royal commission into the Murray Darling Basin plan delivered its assessment of how well things were working. Spoiler: not at all well, including breaching the Water Act regarding how water should be taken from the river for things like, say, irrigating cotton farms.

What’s going to happen?

Well, given that there’s an election set for announcement any old time now it’s hard to imagine the government taking anything remotely like action.

That’s especially since the official Envoy for the Drought, Nationals MP and former leader Barnaby Joyce, has most recently been declaring that “There is no umpire in the political debate. There’s no rule book. What you get away with wins”, which sounds a little… um, odd for someone tasked with defending the rules-based order of representative democracy.

Although on the basis of those photos, it’s hard to imagine those cotton growers would disagree with him.

Scott Morrison's Sending A Letter To Everyone That's Quit The Liberals Because Some Loves Are Just Meant To Last

It's like drunk dialling your ex, but doing it in key battleground electorates.

Let’s be honest, friends and lovers: we’ve all got that one that got away.

Maybe it’s that early crush who we were too immature to appreciate. Maybe it that mysterious stranger who we were too timid to throw everything aside to pursue. Or maybe it’s every female party member we ruthlessly overlooked for preselection.

Look, love is complicated.

YOU GOT A HUNDRED DOLLAR BILL, GET YOUR HANDS UP

Whatever the case, Scott Morrison’s sending his party an early Valentine in the form of a mash note telling former members that he’s thinking of them, baby, and that they should come back to his lovin’ arms.

There had been rumours of declining party membership along with a drop in donations, so this seems like something of an attempt to turn things around.

“I know some people have left our Party for various reasons over recent years,” Morrison’s leaked letter reads, presumably over a haunting saxophone motif. “I wanted to personally write and encourage you to re-join the Liberal Party.”

In case there was any doubt that the letter was authentic, Scott added that “We believe in an Australia where if you have a go, you get a fair go.”

Pictured: having a go.

Like so many late night booty texts there’s no acknowledgement of fault. Nor is there any suggestion that the party might have changed since people left in disgust over, say, inaction on climate change or their demonisation of trans kids in schools or the African gangs beat up or school funding or the Medicare rebate freeze or the talk of building coal-fired power plants or the last few prime ministerial knifings.

In fact, there’s not even a plea from Scott that he knows he done you wrong and now he’s singing a lonely song.

Seriously, Scott,  we’re happy to help. How about “Baby, since we’ve been apart / There’s been a longin’ in my heart / So please come back and take my hand / And doorknock marginal seats in Queensland”?

Look, it’d work if Boyz II Men did it.

Ex-Liberal MP To Challenge The Health Minister And Oh It Is So On

People of the outer southern suburbs of the Mornington Peninsula, get ready to rumble! Democratically!

Crossbench MP Julia Banks has now upgraded her relationship with the Liberal Party from “complicated ex” to “dark nemesis” with the announcement that not only is she going to run in the next election but that she’ll be doing it in the Victorian seat of Flinders against current Health Minister Greg Hunt.

 

You might recall Banks quit the party in spectacular fashion last year amid claims that she and other female MPs were bullied during the leadership challenge which removed Malcolm Turnbull and eventually installed Scott Morrison as PM.

And at the time it seemed that she would be quitting parliament altogether, but now she’s taking aim against one of the key figures behind the challenge: the Peter Dutton enthusiast and Turnbull non-fan Hunt.

“It was very frustrating to be in the Liberal Party and to see the benefits of the National Energy Guarantee, and then seeing that basically being used as a trigger to blow up the government,” she said in a statement. “The right wing of the Liberal Party clearly created what I call parliamentary roadblocks in relation to issues such as climate change, and climate change action in my view is an urgent imperative.”

And it’s a long shot, given that she’s currently the member for Chisholm, although she lives in the electorate of Flinders. Also, Hunt held his seat by a commanding 7 per cent margin in 2016.

Then again, the Liberal vote in Victoria has spectacularly collapsed since, as the Victorian state election demonstrated.

Also, 2016 saw Hunt lead a small field of candidates with almost 40 per cent of the votes going to Labor and the Greens, and in 2019 it’s hard to imagine those voters preferencing the Hunt and the Liberals over Banks.

What’s more, Banks’ campaign is going to bring climate change mitigation to the forefront. And Hunt, as Environment Minister under Abbott and Turnbull, has been largely responsible for the utter failure of policy in this area for the last six years.

So: are we about to see a Wentworth-style upset where a Liberal-affiliated centrist woman takes over another seat in the Coalition’s heartland?

And most importantly, what are their special attacks if you tap back-forward-forward-forward-forward? We can’t wait to find out!

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