Scott Morrison now a doyen of conservative leaders

Scott Morrison now a doyen of conservative leaders


Opinion
Mal Peters says Scott Morrison's government will have to reduce spending as Australia faces a potential recession.

Mal Peters says Scott Morrison's government will have to reduce spending as Australia faces a potential recession.

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After 50 polls telling us the ALP would win, it looks like we can take as much notice of them as weather forecasts.

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After 50 polls telling us the ALP would win, it looks like we can take as much notice of them as weather forecasts - both are hopelessly wrong most of the time.

Farmers will be pleased with the result as there was considerable concern with ALP policies, particularly in regional Australia as the economy goes to hell in a handbasket.

Interestingly, both major parties' primary vote dropped by about 1 per cent and a record 25 per cent of Australians voted independent.

Scott Morrison said he believed in miracles, but any seasoned observer would say he ran a focused campaign telling voters the ALP would take their money.

Equally, Michael McCormack, the leader of the Nationals, did a first-rate job delivering for regional Australia. Morrison obviously will not be challenged as leader, let's hope the same goes for McCormack.

The 9 million people in regional Australia in the main felt Scott Morrison had better policies, and delivered a very clear message to any party seeking power - they are a large percentage of the electorate with diverse needs, who want government to look after their interests.

The Australian public are very discerning. As they watched the economy start to hit major headwinds with GDP barely over 2 per cent, business investment sluggish and the Reserve Bank indicating three interest rate cuts, Australians decided now was not the time to elect a government that would increase taxes, raise wages and potentially make the coming recession deeper.

Australians have not liked former PM Tony Abbott sniping from the backbench and will not be surprised he lost his seat.

But he had to be admired for his public contribution of 25-years and his words following his election loss when he explained why he stood, saying he would rather be remembered as a loser than a quitter.

No doubt there will be much analysis of Clive Palmer and One Nation preferences, with both getting about 3 per cent each. Clive's scare campaign with double page ads in metropolitan papers did not help the ALP.

The PM has some difficult issues in agriculture with the drought kicking the guts out of many farmers on the eastern seaboard, that loss of income is now flowing through to rural towns with many business closures.

The massive loss of cattle numbers will mean inevitable abattoir closures and mass unemployment in the affected towns.

If Mr Morrison wants to avoid a running sore over the next three years with the Murray Darling Basin Plan, it might be wise to pause the plan for two years and appoint an expert panel, not to change the numbers but to find solutions to the seven key problems that could derail the plan.

They also need to revisit the composition of the MDBA Board and appoint a new CEO.

Scott Morrison has won a decisive victory, but now will come the hard bit with many major challenges, not the least the Australia economy.

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