The Prime Minister’s overseas trip took the attention off the budget, at least for a little while.
Political news over the past week has taken on a strong flavour of 2007, with Iraq and climate change both returning from the wilderness to be dominant issues. Iraq looks to be descending into a Shiite vs Sunni civil war while Prime Minister Tony Abbott tries to downplay US President Barack Obama’s clear focus on climate change in the lead up to the G20.
The focus on international issues and the last days of the PM’s overseas trip gave him the biggest lead of the year, almost four times the coverage of nearest rival Treasurer Joe Hockey. Iraq also pushed Foreign Minister Julie Bishop up to a rare sixth on the list, with Environment Minister Greg Hunt also making a rare appearance in the top ten as he continued to push the line that Obama was in fact following his lead in pushing Direct Action. We must have missed the announcement where the Australian government mandated a 30% overall cut in emissions from coal-fired power stations.
Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews was still facing plenty of heat over the government’s many changes to welfare spending and services. This week’s focus on the reduction in the range of payments and Andrews’ promise not to discriminate against welfare services who choose to speak against the government’s reforms. And what was that impenetrable silence you heard this week? Oh yes, that was Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, dropping from second to 22nd.
In state politics, the Geoff Shaw soap opera continues in Victoria, and the new NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance makes his first appearance in the list, having yet another swipe at federal government cuts as he delivered the NSW budget.
Crikey Political Index: June 12-18
Not much change on talkback this week, still very much focused on domestic rather than international issues with PUP leader Clive Palmer still a favourite topic.
Talkback top five
Greg Hunt was the only difference in the social media list (he registered a grand total of zero mentions on talkback), with the majority of commentators still critical of the government’s Direct Action agenda.
Social media top five
The head of FIFA has managed to duck and weave his way through Qatar bribery claims and Brazilian infrastructure problems to make it to a World Cup that has undoubtedly been a massive football success.