Friday, August 22, 2008

She's a sharp gal...

Said it last year and will say it again: Annabel Crabb is always worth the read. This very pointed observation from her SMH Blog:

The worst moment in last night's scrambled press conference by Treasurer Wayne Swan and his Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen, came when one journalist asked simply whether they would release the ACCC modelling on which the pair base their continued faith in the idea of FuelWatch.

Journalist: ``All we've got is the modelling that came out at the end of the year. The Assistant Treasurer has just said that the ACCC has refined that econometric modelling. Will you release that?''

A horrible pause ensued. Wayne Swan looked blank. The realisation dawned gradually but unmistakably on gathered observers.

He didn't know.

Mr Swan glanced down, and met the trusting eyes of his assistant treasurer. It was a Sonny Hammond moment.

``What do you reckon, Skip? Shall we release the modelling?'' But Mr Bowen didn't seem to know, either.

This is the problem with the whole FuelWatch saga. It's not as if it's the world's biggest issue. If the entire Budget was a trolley-load of shopping, FuelWatch would be the pack of chewing gum you pick up at the checkout. The unsettling thing about FuelWatch is watching the Government struggle to deal with the nightmare it has become.

How can a Government start with something as inoffensive as a $20 million scheme to give motorists some clarity about petrol prices, and somehow spin it into a screaming debacle in which the Australian Treasurer announces that he doesn't have faith in his own departments?

The unspoken question behind all this actually has nothing to do with FuelWatch. It is: If they can let tiny problems get this out of hand, what's going to happen when something serious goes wrong?

I'd totally agree.


Blogger Kathy Farrelly said...

Yes, astute stuff from Crabb.

"If they can let tiny problems get this out of hand, what's going to happen when something serious goes wrong"

Well, I'd say that we'd be well and truly fucked!.

The more things change the more they stay the same.

Btw, Mike, fuel watch is just a crock of shite. We have had it for sometime in the west now.
Travelling a little further in order to save a few cents is just not worth it.
A waste of money that could certainly have been put to better use.Imo.

22/8/08 11:20 AM  

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