After bad week for LNP, PM must be glad he didn't rush
WELL, PM Morrison has now taken that drive to Yarralumla.
After the week the Government has just had, ScoMo is perhaps extremely grateful he didn't rush to the Governor-General straight after the Budget was delivered.
Events would have made this a disastrous start to the official campaign.
Peter Dutton was caught having his own Sam Dastyari moment. Oddly enough, involving the same Chinese billionaire.
No one is suggesting that the man in charge of Border Force has done anything wrong.
But it does show a serious lack of judgment on Dutton's part.
Especially after he savaged the hapless ex-Labor Senator. Meeting any Chinese tycoon and party donor in the manner of this matter was foolhardy.
The simple fact that Dutton should have thought was obvious, that one doesn't get to a level of prominence in China unless one has the nod from the Communist hierarchy.
Dealings with any of them in private is fraught with peril, even if no overt influence has been garnered.
The smell still lingers.
Huang Xiangmo didn't get his aim of Australian citizenship in the end, however the speed at which his family were granted citizenship must raise eyebrows, especially considering the flaming hoops that most other aspirants have to jump through.
This incident only goes to strengthen the case for the establishment of an anti-corruption authority at the Commonwealth level.
The PM can very well dismiss the Huang issue and try to convince the electorate that there's nothing to see here.
He may very well be correct on that score, but at the end of the day how much value does a jaded electorate put in a politician vouching for the character of a colleague?
The PM couldn't gain too much political capital from his Environment Minister's approval of Adani's groundwater management plan either.
One further tick for the Indian corporation's Carmichael Mine but there remains a couple of more approval processes to go.
Adani has become a poisoned chalice for politicians.
While it is obvious that support for the mine runs high to some extent in regional Queensland, I would issue a warning to the more outspoken LNP MPs who are supporting Adani's plans.
They need to be a bit more pragmatic. Adani is not that popular to the south.
For every LNP seat that the project might save in regional Queensland, the Coalition runs the risk of losing at least that number elsewhere over the issue.
The outburst by Queensland LNP Senator James McGrath directed at Environment Minister Melissa Price in the past week shows how deep the rift in Government ranks is on this issue.
To publicly call for her removal from her portfolio if she didn't give her approval to Adani is extraordinary and could quite easily provide the anti-Adani camp with ammunition to legally challenge the Minister's decision.
The campaign for the 2019 election has officially begun, but the electorate is fatigued.
I hope that ScoMo has taken the opportunity since the Budget to drum into his colleagues that they need to run a disciplined campaign.
They can afford no slip-ups.
No individual candidates or MPs running off with their own agendas.
There was a slogan used in the last World War: "Loose lips sink ships”.
The Government would be wise to consider that.