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Speech: Scott Morrison's Leadership Failure

Speeches in Parliament
Mehreen Faruqi 5 Feb 2020

Crisis can bring about the best in people, and indeed it has brought out the best in our communities this summer. But sadly it has also brought out the worst in the Prime Minister of Australia. What we needed during this bushfire and climate disaster was courageous, truthful and wise leadership. What we got from the Prime Minister and this government was the exact opposite. They have been cowardly, dishonest and incompetent. Full of science deniers, they have behaved like a bunch of climate criminals, with 'Scotty from marketing' at their head.

Even before he fled to Hawaii, the Prime Minister showed himself completely incapable of any sort of leadership. He refused to give payments to volunteer firefighters until he was dragged to the table. He refused to meet with former emergency services chiefs who were trying to warn him about this impending disaster. He refused to acknowledge that the climate crisis had made bushfires more frequent and more intense. Instead, he sent his ministers off to block global climate action in Madrid. He put a misogynistic, climate-denying MP on international television. He behaved pathetically in the community, forcing people to shake his hand and running away from the criticism he well and truly deserved. Honestly, if he won't do the right thing and resign he should probably just head back off to Hawaii. But we need more than just a change in useless leaders; we need real leadership and a wholesale shake-up of our political, social and economic systems.

Now, I wouldn't want anyone to think that the Prime Minister's failure to lead is isolated to his inaction on climate; he's not fit to lead on any front. We see this in everything from his government's ongoing cuts to education to his alarmist, xenophobic China travel ban and his response to the sports rorts scandal. Yes, former Minister McKenzie had to step down, but everyone in the government, from the PM down, benefited from the co-ordinated pork-barrelling. If Scott Morrison were anything other than a failed leader, he would take responsibility and step down.

HANSARD LINK

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