Saturday, February 12, 2011

The triviality of the Canberra press gallery

 fumes at the kind of thing that had me so cross, too, on Insiders today:

In the days immediately before Abbott’s perceived media gaffe, the big issue for the Canberra press gallery was whether it was appropriate for the liberal Party to send an email soliciting donations to fight the government’s flood tax. The email received more attention from journalists than such questions as why the Queensland government didn’t have disaster insurance (unlike other states) and why the federal government has agreed to pay for 75 per cent of the cost of repairing its infrastructure.

We know the Prime Minister has appointed committees to check how the $5 billion is spent, but we don’t know yet what that money is going to be spent on… At a press conference on Monday when the Prime Minister was asked about Queensland’s lack of insurance, and she ignored the 

question and changed the topic, no one bothered to follow her up.

No one is brave enough to ask why the rest of Australia should foot the bill for the failure of the Queensland government to take out insurance.

This week provided a clear demonstration of the misplaced priorities of the parliamentary press gallery. Trivialities (like Abbott’s media interview and the liberal email) were regarded as more important than a substantive policy point (government spending on flood recovery).


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