Amongst Liberal Party chaos and an inability to manage the parliament yesterday, it has emerged that Josh Frydenberg had no idea Liberal party senators had waved through a Labor referral of his ‘big stick’ legislation to a Senate inquiry meaning there will be no Senate vote until at least April.
As The Australian newspaper reported online last night:
“The Australian understands Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had no idea the bill had been referred to a committee and the bill would be delayed until just before a May election.”
The Liberal Party yesterday tried to subvert normal parliamentary process to rush through its dangerous and ill-thought out divestment powers legislation through the House of Representatives, while at the same, waving through in the Senate a referral to a Senate Economics legislation committee by Labor without a division.
You just couldn’t make this stuff up.
The appalling mismanagement of the legislative and parliamentary processes compounds the appalling policy that has been hobbled together following a revolt of Liberal Party MPs.
The Prime Minister and Treasurer has been attempting to argue that it was urgent and necessary to pass the investment stifling ‘big stick’ legislation to pressure energy companies to drop prices from 1 January 2019.
The new Treasurer was asleep at the wheel as Liberal Party senators refused to call a division on Labor’s referral of the legislation to a Senate inquiry to report on 18 March 2018.
There is a risk for the government now that the legislation will not pass before the election, which would actually be a good economic outcome.