Bunnings was very excited to hear of Fran Bailey’s scheme to protect the Great Barrier Reef from the effects of climate change. After all, who else in Australia has enough shade cloth to cover the world’s largest living reef? Needless to say, Bailey’s scheme hasn’t been embraced enthusiastically by her parliamentary colleagues, possibly because it was the Dumbest Political Idea of 2006.

Honourable mention: If anyone needs a primer on how best to make shoddy policy on the run, see Beazley’s Australian values test. He didn’t even bother to road-test it on his shadows – let alone the party room.

2005 Winner: Colin Barnett who “dug a hole for himself and washed his career down the Suez with his plan to spend billions connecting Perth and the Kimberleys – with a canal”.

Peter Fray

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