Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull despite having lost his job over climate change policy has been appointed by his successor Scott Morrison to represent the federal government at the Our Ocean environmental Summit in Bail at the end of October whose agenda includes climate change.
There is much anger at Malcolm Turnbull for not publicly endorsing the Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma during the by-election campaign. Malcolm Turnbull only arrived back in Australia from New York yesterday after Saturday’s by-election which is set to be won by independent candidate Kerryn Phelps. Turnbull told the media this morning in his retirement he would no longer engage in partisan politics.
Both Dave Sharma and Scott Morrison confirmed that Malcolm Turnbull had been sought out for a public endorsement but refused to provide one. The anger from Liberals at this refusal was compounded by the fact that Turnbull’s son Alex made videos and media appearances urging Wentworth voters to vote against the Liberals because they had been taken over by “right-wing crazies” who ignored issues like climate change.
There was also the selective leaking of the Ruddock religious freedom review during the by-election campaign which endorsed religious schools having the power to expel gay students. The Morrison Government was forced to commit to enact legislation to protect gay students. The seat of Wentworth has the highest proportion of LGBT people in Australia.
Turnbull was chosen to represent Australia at the Our Ocean Summit in part because of his close relationship with Indonesian President Joko Widodo. This relationship was damaged last week when the Morrison Government floated the idea of moving the Australian embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the same week Indonesia was hosting a Palestinian delegation.
The agenda items of the Our Ocean summit are protected marine areas, climate change, sustainable fisheries, marine pollution and a sustainable blue economy. The summit works with and accepts contributions from globalist bodies the European Union and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO.
Kerryn Phelps upon her victory in Wentworth said that action on climate change and getting kids off Nauru would be some of her first priorities as a member of parliament. Liberal backbencher Trent Zimmerman said that the Wentworth result was a sign that the Morrison Government needs a serious climate change policy. Coincidentally yesterday 11 children were flown off Nauru yesterday for medical attention the Australian Border Force confirmed.
Despite Turnbull’s period of exile during the Wentworth by-election campaign this role for Turnbull is an indication that Scott Morrison is still prepared to utilize Turnbull’s standing as a former Prime Minister, perhaps because he helped Morrison get the job as Prime Minister, and on the pet issues important to Malcolm Turnbull.
Morrison’s post by-election decisions can also seen as a reaction to both the result and to have Kerryn Phelps onside from the beginning given that the government now needs to work with the crossbench having lost its one seat majority on the floor of the House of Representatives.