Immigration Minister Alex Hawke and acting Education Minister Stuart Robert (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

As Immigration Minister Alex Hawke ponders whether to use his power to override a Federal Court ruling over Novak Djokovic’s visa, it raises a larger question: what is the point of procedure if the federal government can do what it wants anyway? 

The Coalition, despite masquerading for “can-do” capitalism and government that largely stays out of people’s lives, is quick to step in when there’s a decision it doesn’t like. But it’s not just the Liberals and Nationals. Labor has used its veto powers too. 

Research grants

On Christmas Eve, acting Education Minister Stuart Robert vetoed six projects recommended for funding by the Australian Research Council. Applying for ARC funding is onerous. An application must be submitted and assessed by relevant scholars, ranked, and then appraised by selection and eligibility committees made up of experts.