Tony Abbott has been in power since 7 September 2013; from that moment, he and his government have broken promises and caused chaos, hurting Australians and damaging our economy and international reputation, writes Sally McManus.
Each separate item below has a link to a source. Broken promises appear in bold, as well as in a separate list at the end.
74. Fails to contradict or take any action against a member of his government, Senator Cory Bernardi, who makes divisive statements about: abortion, “non-traditional" families and their children, same sex couples, couples who use IVF and calls for parts of WorkChoices to be reintroduced — 6 January 2014.
72. Drastically reduces tax breaks for small business and fails to publicise the move — 1 January 2014.
70. Appoints Tim Wilson, a Liberal Party member and policy director of right-wing “think tank” the Institute of Public Affairs to the position of commissioner at the Human Rights Commission, even though the IPA had been arguing for the Commission to be abolished — 23 December 2013.
69. Approves private health fund premium increases of an average 6.2 per cent a year — 23 December 2013.
68. Fails to provide the promised customs vessel to monitor whaling operations in the Southern Ocean — 23 December 2013.
67. Requests the delisting of World Heritage status for Tasmanian forests — 21 December 2013.
63. Axes funding for animal welfare — 17 December 2013.
61. Cuts Indigenous legal services by $13.4 million. This includes $3.5 million from front line domestic violence support services, defunding the National legal service and abolishing all policy and law reform positions across the country — 17 December 2013.
60. Abolishes the position of co-ordinator-general for remote indigenous services — 17 December 2013.
59. Changes name of NDIS “launch sites” to “trial sites” and flags cuts to funding — 17 December 2013.
57. Weakened the ministerial code of conduct to let ministers keep shares in companies — 16 December 2013.
55. Starts dismantling Australia’s world leading marine protection system — 13 December 2013.
53. Breaks its NBN election promise of giving all Australians access to 25 megabits per second download speeds by 2016 — 12 December 2013.
51. Dares Holden to leave Australia, leading to Holden announcing closure of Australian manufacturing operations, which will cost Australian workers 50,000 jobs — 11 December 2013.
49. Demands that the few childcare workers who got pay rises “hand them back” — 10 December 2013.
47. Removes the community’s right to challenge decisions where the government has ignored expert advice on threatened species impacts — 9 December 2013.
46. Downgrades national environment laws by giving approval powers to state premiers — 9 December 2013.
45. Undermines Australia’s democracy by signing a free trade agreement with South Korea allowing corporations to sue the Australian Government — 6 December 2013.
44. Damages our diplomatic relationship with our nearest neighbour East Timor — 5 December 2013.
43. Repeals the pokie reform legislation achieved in the last parliament to combat problem gambling — 4 December 2013.
40. Back-flips twice on the ‘Gonski’ education reforms, reversing a commitment to a ‘unity ticket’ and failing to deliver equitable education funding — 25 November 2013.
39. Shifts Australia’s position at the UN on Israeli settlements — 25 November 2013.
38. Damages our diplomatic relationship with the Indonesian Government by refusing to apologise for tapping the phones of their President, his wife and senior Government officials — 23 November 2013.
36. Gifts two navy patrol boats to the Sri Lankan government to stop asylum seekers fleeing the Sri Lankan government — 17 November 2013.
35. Introduces a Bill to impose on workers who are elected onto unpaid union committees huge financial penalties and jail terms for breaches of new compliance obligations — 14 November 2013
34. Expressly condones torture by foreign governments by saying “sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen” — 14 November 2013.
33. Hides information from the Parliament and the people about the government’s treatment of asylum seekers — 13 November 2013.
32. Separates a refugee mother from her newborn baby — 10 November 2013.
31. Cuts 600 jobs at the CSIRO — 8 November 2013.
27. Abolishes the Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula, which for 21 years monitored compliance of industry to agreements on marketing infant formula — 8 November 2013.
25. Abolished the National Steering Committee on Corporate Wrongdoing, that for 21 years worked to make sure the law was effectively enforced on corporate criminals — 8 November 2013.
(Image by David Olive via sallymcmanus.net)
18. Refuses to offer support to manufacturing in Tasmania, despite requests and warnings. Caterpillar announces the move of 200 jobs from Burnie to Thailand, costing about 1,000 local jobs — 5 November 2013.
17. Provides $2.2 million legal aid for farmers and miners to fight native title claims — 1 November 2013.
16. Abolishes the 40 year old AusAID costing hundreds of jobs — 1 November 2013.
15. Launches a successful High Court challenge, which strikes down the ACT Marriage Equality laws, invalidating the marriages of many people and ensuring discrimination against same-sex couples continues — 23 October 2013.
14. Denies there is a link between climate change and more severe bush fires and accuses a senior UN official was “talking through their hat” — 23 October 2013.
12. Instructs public servants and detention centre staff to call asylum seekers “illegals” — 20 October 2013.
9. Fails to “stop the boats”. Hides the boats instead — 23 September 2013.
5. Appoints only one woman to his cabinet and blames the women for the decision, saying he appoints “on merit” — 16 September 2013.
4. Abolishes key ministerial positions of climate change and science — 16 September 2013.
2. Takes away pay rises for childcare workers — 13 September 2013.
1. Takes away pay rises from aged care workers — 13 September 2013.
The Broken Promise Count
1. Does not spend his first week as Prime Minister with an Aboriginal community — 14 September 2013. This promise was made in front of indigenous elders and participants at the Garma Festival on 10 August 2013:
You can watch the full speech here (the promise is made at 21:30).
3. Back-flips twice on Gonski, reversing a commitment to a ‘unity ticket’ and failing to deliver equitable education funding — 25 November 2013 See paragraph two from Christopher Pyne on 29 August 2013.
4. Breaks NBN election promise of giving all Australians access to 25 megabits per second download speeds by 2016 — 12 December 2013. This was the Coalition’s policy they took to the election, first announced 9 April 2013.
5. Changes name of NDIS “launch sites” to “trial sites” and flags cuts to funding — 17 December 2013. The promise to deliver the NDIS in full was made 20 August 2013 and is in the policies they took to the election.
Thanks to The Greens whose research in 100 days, 40 failures: A Preview of secretive, cruel and chaotic Government provided the initial material for this project.
Sally McManus is the Branch Secretary of the Australian Services Union, NSW & ACT. This post was originally published on sallymcmanus.net and Sally says she will regularly update it there to keep track of the Abbott Government’s disasters and broken promises. You can also follow Sally on Twitter @sallymcmanus.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
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