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Who knew?
07-25-2020, 07:26 PM
Post: #1
Who knew?
And who would have expected this in the Australian? Without a pay wall?

Quote:The buck on quarantine stops with the commonwealth

While there has been an understandable focus this week on the depth of the recession and the historically high levels of debt and deficit, these are to a significant extent unavoidable consequences of the pandemic. To be sure, the economic fallout has been global.

The twin avoidable conseq­uences of the pandemic, however — both of which have been the difference between Australia eliminating the virus and suppressing it (the latter only if we are lucky now) — are the Ruby Princess debacle and the hotel quarantine failures out of Victoria.

Without either of these setbacks Australia could be in the equally enviable position New Zealand is in, celebrating having eradicated the virus from our shores, with hugs and kisses all around, and able to begin the process of reviving the economy.

While most of the media coverage has laid the blame for the Ruby Princess and hotel quarantine mistakes at the feet of the respective state governments in NSW and Victoria, the fact is both failures firmly rest at the feet of the federal government — notwithstanding acknowledged mistakes made by the states.

Simply put, the Australian Border Force is in charge of incoming arrivals, with the commonwealth given constitutionally articulated responsibility for quarantining. The Constitution, in section 51 (IX), lays out in black and white that the commonwealth, not the states, has oversight for quarantine. It is the basis for the Quarantine Act, which has not been legally challenged since 1908, including during the 1919 pandemic. We also now have the Biosecurity Act (2015), which provides extremely broad powers, and it mandates that commonwealth powers supersede those of the states. Interesting.

Whatever mistakes state authorities may have made, it is the commonwealth that is charged with securing our borders. It had the power to deny the Ruby Princess access. It didn’t. It is charged with responsibility for quarantining, but via the national cabinet Scott Morrison handballed that responsibility to the premiers.

Can you imagine how sections of the media and the Coalition federally would have reacted if these twin failures had occurred on the watch of a federal Labor government? How targeted they would have been at the maladministra­tion coming out of Canberra, at the failure of the commonwealth to take charge in a national crisis? Yes, I can.

As opposition immigration spokesman Morrison would have sheeted the blame home to the Labor federal government, just as he did so effectively when refugee boats were arriving during the governments of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard. Morrison would have attacked Labor for not restricting the access of the cruise ship. We know the ABF was on the vessel but didn’t prevent it from docking and disembarking. Morrison would have attacked federal Labor for not retaining responsibility for international arrivals going into quarantine. Morrison even might have accused federal Labor of being soft on border security if it hadn’t insisted international arrivals during the pandemic go into deten­tion centres scattered around the country and lying dormant; if it hadn’t insisted the military be used to oversee such operations, because a crisis requires firm action. I’m not saying doing so would have been fair and reasonable but that is how hard the Coalition plays its politics. And it would have been rewarded for doing so. Good point but not a reason to dump on the Feds now. Not in the middle of a crisis.

In comparison, federal Labor doesn’t have the cutthroat capacity to serve up the same criticisms of Morrison’s government. It wouldn't do Labor any good against a hostile media.

Instead, the Prime Minister is flying high in the opinion polls, likely to sidestep any conseq­uences for the economic fallout because of seemingly entrenched voter attitudes that conservatives are better economic managers. Able to abdicate responsibility for international arrivals and border control, pushing the responsibility on to the states.

Yet all I read and hear about are the failures of Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews because he let security guards, not police or the military, look after hotel quarantine. And before that the failures of NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for not preventing sick passengers disembarking the Ruby Princess at the beginning of this pandemic. Yep. Picking on Premiers seems to come naturally to commentators. This one is going against the tide.

These are the responsibilities of the national government, not the states. As much as we can all agree state maladministration — once power was abdicated to them — caused the twin crisis. How ironic that the party that built its reputation on “stopping the boats” failed to stop the one boat that really mattered, the Ruby Princess. Or that a command-and-control leader such as Morrison is happy to hand over quarantining oversight when the Constitution dictates that it is an area of public policy he is firmly in charge of.

Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly applaud the Prime Minister’s ability to manoeuvre his way politically out of trouble on these failures — by abdicating responsibility rather than delegating it. He's not alone here.

The fingerprints of failure by the commonwealth are nowhere to be seen, leaving state governments to wear the odium for mistakes made. Full credit to the strategic political skills of Morrison’s inner sanctum, taking advantage of the profound political weakness of federal Labor to muscle up on these issues. Ensuring a well-briefed mainstream media knows who to blame. Especially the narrative that quarantine failures in Victoria are the fault of the Premier when the Constitution clearly stipulates quarantining is a federal responsibility.

As we watch the disaster in Victoria continue to unfold, readers should remember that for years federal politicians of all stripes have complained about the quality of personnel who choose careers in state politics.

This has been especially prevalent on the right of politics, where overseeing service delivery at the state level isn’t seen to be as important or grandiose as serving at the national level, calling those who enter state politics the “second XI” or the “also-rans”. Yet here we are, at a time of national crisis no less, and we are supposed to accept that it is OK for a federal government with unequivocal powers over borders and quarantine to abdicate these responsibilities to so-called second-rate administrators?

If that isn’t a dereliction of duty I don’t know what is. Food for thought?

Peter van Onselen

https://www.theaustralian.com.au/inquire...ee0552409f

Any thoughts?

"When your opponent is destroying himself, don't interrupt him." Napoleon
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07-25-2020, 08:45 PM
Post: #2
RE: Who knew?
did any of that come out during the ruby princess enquiry?
It's Peter van Onselen. He is a bit of loose cannon.
may be it's part of the story, but not the full story.
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07-25-2020, 09:09 PM (This post was last modified: 07-25-2020 09:18 PM by Di Wundrin.)
Post: #3
RE: Who knew?
A few.Cool

First thought was to check who wrote it.
Second thought was to laugh.
Third was "still stinging is it PVO?"

For those with a memory lapse he's the big mouth who stated that "There's no way Scot Morrison can win it, and if he does then I'm happy to have it replayed, to my shame, time and time again..."

so Scomo played it over and over at the Midwinter Ball to the delight of the genuine journalists who enjoyed seeing the flea squirm.
Van Onselen has never gotten over it and is takes every chance, however small, to have a swipe at Scomo.

Interesting opinions from other journos on PVO here https://www.michaelsmithnews.com/2019/12...icely.html
The audio of PVO's dismally wrong statement is in audio at the bottom of the page.

Is he correct though about the Constitutional niceties of who's to blame in this one? I've heard the opposite contention that the States trump the Feds.
It's all very trickily worded and i'm not getting into the details, that's what we pay the legal profession to do.

To be honest I thought that the Feds should have taken charge too, but pundits were saying they were tourists not immigrants. ????
Anyway the Premiers burred up against Federal control to the extent that Dan Andrews 5 times refused to "allow" the ADF to take up the duties of quarantining the hotels. Something to hide? looks like it now!

So where do we stand on it then?

I can guarantee one thing. If Scomo had sooled Dutton onto taking charge, Peter Van Onselen would have been leading the pack baying for Scomo's blood.

"Dictatorial abrogation of Constitutional rights of the States!!" would have been his headline.

If Scomo walked on water he'd accuse him of squashing fish.

A fourth thought occurred to me also.

That kind of blows the argument that the Murdoch press only prints stuff from right of Genghis journos doesn't it? Big Grin

PVO works for the ABC and WIN and anyone who'll flip him a buck.
He's a light weight ambulance chaser who isn't all that cluey about anything. He was running the Drum as a stand in a year or so ago and they were discussing something that I can't remember now, but he was astounded to hear something that was so bleeding obvious that the rest of them just looked at each other. He didn't take the hint and kept hunting the details of it and making himself look more dopey by the moment. Journalist?? Cub reporter is closer.

Maybe the Oz printed him for the chuckle? They'd know what their normal readership thinks of Van Onselen's opinions.Smile

Sorry, PVO is a favourite target of mine and couldn't resist.

I pretty much agree with your assessments really, it does look, to me, as though he (Scomo) was deciding better to let the Premiers play grown ups so he could keep Dutton tucked away out of sight. Dutton always draws flak.

But I'm just a suspicious old cynic by nature.
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07-26-2020, 12:15 AM (This post was last modified: 07-26-2020 12:19 AM by Warri the Wombat.)
Post: #4
RE: Who knew?
(07-25-2020 08:45 PM)maxhr54 Wrote:  did any of that come out during the ruby princess enquiry?
It's Peter van Onselen. He is a bit of loose cannon.
may be it's part of the story, but not the full story.

Peter van Onselen is currently Network Ten's political editor, co-host of The Sunday Project and a contributing editor at The Australian newspaper. Between 2010 and 2017, he hosted several programs at Sky News Australia. No mention of the ABC or the Guardian.

More than anything else, I was surprised that the paywall of The Australian was down, but it is back up again now.

Quote:That kind of blows the argument that the Murdoch press only prints stuff from right of Genghis journos doesn't it? Big Grin

That is one possible interpretation. Another could be a different editorial policy. I have no idea which is correct. Paywall and all that.

"When your opponent is destroying himself, don't interrupt him." Napoleon
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07-26-2020, 01:02 AM (This post was last modified: 07-26-2020 01:03 AM by Di Wundrin.)
Post: #5
RE: Who knew?
Quote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_van_Onselen#Career
In 2018, van Onselen has a weekly segment on Radio National Breakfast, and appears regularly on The Drum, Insiders and The Project.

He's been on more channels than a Daly River crocodile.

I see he worked for Tony Abbott for a while which could account for a few things.
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07-26-2020, 04:25 AM
Post: #6
RE: Who knew?
(07-26-2020 01:02 AM)Di Wundrin Wrote:  
Quote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_van_Onselen#Career
In 2018, van Onselen has a weekly segment on Radio National Breakfast, and appears regularly on The Drum, Insiders and The Project.

He's been on more channels than a Daly River crocodile.

I see he worked for Tony Abbott for a while which could account for a few things.

With those credentials I think he is quite capable of reading the Constitution and understanding it.

"When your opponent is destroying himself, don't interrupt him." Napoleon
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07-26-2020, 09:26 AM
Post: #7
RE: Who knew?
One reason stated for passing on the job to the states is that a lot of medical assessment needs to be made, which the commonwealth does not have in Border force. Peter V.O may be technically correct, but there were sound reasons to pass the problem to the states.
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07-26-2020, 09:50 AM
Post: #8
RE: Who knew?
(07-26-2020 01:02 AM)Di Wundrin Wrote:  
Quote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_van_Onselen#Career
In 2018, van Onselen has a weekly segment on Radio National Breakfast, and appears regularly on The Drum, Insiders and The Project.

He's been on more channels than a Daly River crocodile.

I see he worked for Tony Abbott for a while which could account for a few things.

Betcha Abbott fired him. Cool

Now I’ve finished my astrology degree, who knows what the future holds?
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07-26-2020, 10:15 AM
Post: #9
RE: Who knew?
(07-26-2020 04:25 AM)Warri the Wombat Wrote:  
(07-26-2020 01:02 AM)Di Wundrin Wrote:  
Quote:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_van_Onselen#Career
In 2018, van Onselen has a weekly segment on Radio National Breakfast, and appears regularly on The Drum, Insiders and The Project.

He's been on more channels than a Daly River crocodile.

I see he worked for Tony Abbott for a while which could account for a few things.

With those credentials I think he is quite capable of reading the Constitution and understanding it.

Uni degrees don't impose IQ points. He sure didn't show the benefit of his education when it came to calling the results of the last election.

gotta do this ....

Seems that degrees in "Political Science" are about as good an indicator of the holder's intelligence, and value of advice as a degree in "Climate Science" imparts. Cool
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07-26-2020, 10:52 AM
Post: #10
RE: Who knew?
First, the Constitution isn't that hard to read. It is just very tedious.

Second, experience, and he has had plenty of that, is a very good educator.

And third, predicting the outcome of elections is not easy. Even Anthony Green, who specialises in this stuff, is hesitant to make predictions. He just explains what has just happened, and where it happened.

"When your opponent is destroying himself, don't interrupt him." Napoleon
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