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 “Unprecedented” is the word of the year—so is this malarkey!

13.02.20. The most used word during 2020 could well be “unprecedented”. Of course, the word is a gem, full of punch, just like “catastrophic” that sends the meek to their knees seeking supplication from their maker. But “unprecedented” has become the literary baseball bat for young turks in their 20’s to bash the supreme adjective in your face. Their breasts swollen with confidence—their heads full of wisdom—authoritative—self-important, although totally lacking in what happened in the past—Facebook didn’t tell them! However, where the word “unprecedented” does fit it arrives this week with “unseemly” connotations—despicable ethics and crass behaviour by some of those in the taxpayers’ trough who should pretend to be better.
A bid by Labor, the Greens and some Senate crossbenchers to impose unprecedented sanctions on the government’s Senate leader Mathias Cormann and try and force the release of the Gaetjens report into the sports rorts saga has failed. One Nation pulled its support for the motion – which would have limited Senator Cormann’s capabilities in the chamber – and Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff abstained amid concerns it set a dangerous standard. 

Source: Rosie Lewis

One Nation pulls support from bid to bar Mathias Cormann from Senate estimates

Voted down 36-35, the motion would have prevented Senator Cormann from answering questions on behalf of Scott Morrison until March 6 and from representing the Prime Minister at Senate estimates if the Gaetjens report was not tabled by 5pm on Wednesday.
Senator Cormann would also have been forced to sit on the frontbench and not in the seat reserved for the government’s Senate leader.
“In the 119-year history of the Australian Senate, those proposed sanctions are completely unprecedented,” Senator Cormann said, as he cited public interest immunity for not releasing the report.
“There are limits on the Senate’s powers and it’s our view that this motion is asking the Senate to exceed its powers.”
Labor’s Senate leader Penny Wong agreed the sanctions were unprecedented but argued they were “necessary because of the unprecedented behaviour of this government”.
Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Philip Gaetjens reviewed ousted minister Bridget McKenzie’s handling of the $100m controversial sports grants, which ultimately led to her resignation from cabinet.
While Mr Gaetjens’ report cleared the sports grants scheme of political bias, contradicting the Auditor-General’s own report, it found Senator McKenzie breached ministerial standards by failing to declare her membership to a gun club that received $36,000 under the Community Sport Infrastructure program she oversaw.
“Senator Cormann argues that cabinet is the cornerstone of our democracy. He’s right, that is why it ought not be used to perpetrate a political rort … and a cover up,” Senator Wong said.
“That’s what all this contortion is about. It’s refuting a report of an independent parliamentary officer who has both said the money … was misadministered and also questioned the legal basis of the power of the minister to do these things.”
Senator Griff, who split from his colleague Rex Patrick on the motion, said he supported the Senate being provided with at least summary details of the Gaetjens report but was “not supportive of actions designed to humiliate any member of parliament”.
“The motion had no consequences for government,” Senator Griff said.
“If any penalty for nondisclosure related to government business I would have been more receptive to considering it, but sending a minister off to effectively a naughty chair and stopping him doing his job is plainly a personal attack.”
A Senate committee into the administration of the sports grants, which the Auditor-General found often favoured marginal and targeted seats the Coalition needed to win at the 2019 election, is due to hold its first hearing on Thursday.
‘Serious governance issues’
Earlier Senator Patrick said there were “serious governance issues” relating to the sports rorts saga the Gaetjens report could shed light on and stressed the Senate’s move was not personal against Senator Cormann.
“He is the captain of the government’s ship and the captain has to take responsibility,” Senator Patrick said.
“If there is something sensitive in there, it begs the question, what? If there is nothing sensitive in there then why the secrecy?
“The Gaetjens report relates to a document over which they claim cabinet-in-confidence. It’s highly inappropriate the government has created a governance committee of cabinet to deal with dirty laundry behind the doctrine of cabinet-in-confidence.”

{ 7 comments… add one }
  • Theydon Wood 13/02/2020, 9:02 am

    Unprecedented?
    Isn’t that the USA the day JFK or Lincoln was shot?

    • Peter W 13/02/2020, 10:48 am

      Lincoln yes, but not after him.

      Our education system really is so effed up! Lets make some words up or change the meanings, eh?

  • Biking Voter 13/02/2020, 11:00 am

    Till the precedent was set I’m pretty sure that everything was unprecedented.

    • Neville 13/02/2020, 5:23 pm

      … even tomorrow is unprecedented.

  • Bwana Neusi 13/02/2020, 12:55 pm

    If it hasn’t occurred since last Wednesday, then it must be unprecedented like the bushfires are unprecedented (never happened before).

    And whilst we are on it, consult your thesaurus for catastrophic.

    Expect the climate change to become “Cataclysmic” or even “Apocalyptic” by definition.

    • Aktosplatz 13/02/2020, 2:22 pm

      Don’t forget the “Tipping Point” Bwana, must be able to threaten the tipping point status in order to secure funding

  • Lorraine 13/02/2020, 4:48 pm

    dirty laundry with Penny Wong. what a joke we sat thru the crap of Craig Thomson that kept Gillard at the table of plenty for months on end…..Labor have dirty deals aplenty, they just had a forget moment….we will keep reminding them

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