It’s the biggest week in politics for a while. Certainly the biggest opportunity for conservative politicians in a long while. The unpopular federal government announces a tax that its opponents say is a great big tax on everything because it taxes energy expenditure and it will therefore hurt living standards and trade-exposed industries and the jobs it creates.
The Victorian government – supposedly presiding over the state with the greatest exposure to the impact of the tax because of the state’s manufacturing base and reliance on brown coal – has been quite subdued on the subject with the possible exception of ambitious Energy minister Michael O’Brien who will be keen to frame future electricity price rises that occur on his watch in a context of carbon tax impact.
But where’s Victoria’s Premier Ted Baillieu during this momentous week?
He’s on holiday.
In fact, he’s on two weeks of fun-in-the-sun vacation with an entourage some say would put an Arab sheik to shame. Critics say it is consistent with the leisurely approach his administration is taking to “solving the problems”. Ted-friendly political insiders say this non-threatening approach to public administration is what “the punters want,” we’re not too sure.
The VEXNEWS Investigations Unit (Luxury Travel Taskforce) can exclusively reveal that Ted Baillieu and tribe are sunning themselves in the magnificent Qualia beach resort on Hamilton Island in the Whitsundays of Queensland’s far north.
Pavillions and suites in the magnificent location can run to several thousand dollars a night. The resort’s own website lavishly describes the holiday paradise:
qualia (pronounced kwah-lee-ah) in Latin means “a collection of deeper sensory experiences”. A byword for Hamilton Island luxury, qualia is situated on the secluded northern-most tip of Hamilton Island surrounded by all the splendour of the Great Barrier Reef. With a relaxed aspect and mesmerising calmness, time seems to stretch forever.
The Qualia resort is synonymous with luxury according to a well-informed travel snout who enviously described the Premier’s accommodations. Celebrities of the highest international standing including Milli Vanilli, Austen Tayshus, Danni Minogue and Mel Gibson are all rumoured to have been guests in the past.
Indeed, one-time Melbourne billionaire turned failed MP, car battery importer and pale-face Evan Thornley, today spotted at 101 Collins Street schmoozing with celebrity rabbi and chief Yeshivah fundraiser Shmuli Block, is believed to have sun-bathed at the resort at one stage, no doubt causing dangerous glare for nearby sailors and dolphins.