Twelve seconds into Scott Morrison’s budget night speech, it looked as though the Turnbull government would finally begin delivering the promised excitement and vision. “Australians,” he said, “know that our future depends on how well we continue to grow and shape our economy as we transition from the unprecedented mining investment boom to a stronger, more diverse, new economy.” He could not have summed up the situation better when he said everyone knows that “their jobs and those of their children and grandchildren depend on it”.
But from there, the vision was lost in a fog of platitudes and a repetition of the word “plan” 21 times. Morrison, we were told in this motherhood statement, was all about “jobs and growth”. But completely ignored was the reality of climate change and the imperative the rest of the world sees in responding to the transition from black energy to green energy. This was more than an opportunity missed, it was a wilful blind eye to an emerging central economic reality.