Much of the 2019 election campaign has been about candidates dropping out for all kinds of disastrous reasons. Perhaps more telling, however, has been the white noise from Australia seasoned, or at least existing, politicians. Who we haven’t heard from, and why, speaks volumes about what we could see at the 46th parliament.
After being thrust into the environment portfolio post-Libspill, Price briefly grabbed headlines for dismissing the IPCC’s report on fossil fuel deadlines without having read it, issuing a poor taste jab about Pacific aid to former Kiribati president Anote Tong, and preemptively announcing a grant winner for a then-non-existent fund. Unsurprisingly, the “L-plate minister” has basically kept mum since last summer’s record-breaking natural disasters, earning her the “invisible minister” moniker well before election season.
Price announced approval for Adani’s groundwater plans and a controversial WA uranium mine just days before the election announcement. The move was compounded by public pressure from LNP colleagues, and a short estimates appearance, and subsequent revelations about CSIRO and Environment Australia’s Adani “approval". Now Price has well and truly gone to ground. She missed the Coalition’s $200 million recycling announcement, has ignored Tony Burke’s calls for debates and issued just a brief Facebook statement after last week’s disastrous UN report into mass extinctions.