Michelle Grattan, The Conversation, Friday:
A year next Wednesday since the coup that installed Malcolm Turnbull, many Liberals are disappointed and surprised he has turned out, so far, a mediocre prime minister … There is little signature policy to show for Turnbull’s first 12 months. And he’s yet to answer the fundamental question: what does he want to do with the job … The man who prides himself on technological connectivity struggles to connect with his human constituencies – voters and party.
QED. Malcolm Turnbull, doorstop, Micronesia, Saturday:
Journalist: Prime Minister what is your first order of business when you get back to Canberra?
Turnbull: Well, we have parliament sitting on Monday as you know. We have a very big programme. We’ve obviously got all of our legislation that we introduced last week and we’ve got further matters to deal with. The critical issue for us now is to ensure that we continue to deliver on our national economic plan. You know we set out in the election campaign, off the budget, a clear economic plan for jobs and growth. We set that out. Big historic reforms to superannuation, historic reductions in business tax. We’ve set out our savings measures in the Omnibus Savings Bill, these are vitally important, living within our means, bringing the budget back into balance over time. These are the big economic agendas we have to deliver on and of course, we should not forget that my government had the courage of its convictions, I had the courage of my convictions as Prime Minister to take the ABCC Bill and the Registered Organisation Bill to the people in a double dissolution election. You know it would have been easy to let that go into the long grass and just say: “Oh well, the Senate wouldn’t pass it. But I took that on, dissolved both Houses of Parliament, made those trigger bills and we will continue to press for that legislation to pass and we’ll be taking that through the House as you know and then into the Senate. If the Senate fails to pass it then we have the option of taking it to joint sitting as well.