A couple of weeks ago Australians found ourselves facing another leadership spill. This time it wasn’t Rudd or Gillard but a battle between Abbott and Turnbull. And we all know the results.
And now with a new Prime Minister it’s important to consider if anything has really changed.
Despite everything we’ve heard about the need to change leaders because the direction of the government was wrong, we haven’t seen any change in direction at all. What we have seen is a change in the sales person leading the charge to dismantle our universal healthcare system. We have seen no change to the very damaging proposals included with the last two federal budgets.
And we have heard nothing to indicate there will be any change soon.
In fact, as part of the ‘deal’ to be leader, the new Prime Minister, agreed to maintain all of the initiatives that Tony Abbott introduced while he was Prime Minister. That means there are no changes to the attacks on health care, including massive cuts in health funding; no changes to the attacks on the poor and most vulnerable people in our country; no changes to the attacks on workers’ rights; no changes to energy policy that sees a massive coal mine being approved and no changes to the disaster that is our policy towards people coming to Australia seeking our protection.
While the Prime Minister may have changed but nothing else has changed. This is a government, regardless of who leads it, that wants to dismantle our universal healthcare system, wants to slash workers’ rights and cut weekend penalty rates.
The really big test of the new Prime Minister will be next year’s budget. Until then there seems no reason to celebrate yet another change in Prime Minister.