Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed Muppet-like qualities when he took a lump of coal into Parliament and professed his love for a non-renewable, ultimately planet-threatening fuel source that has passed its use-by date.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed Muppet-like qualities when he took a lump of coal into Parliament and professed his love for a non-renewable, ultimately planet-threatening fuel source that has passed its use-by date. Kym Smith

OPINION: Welcome to The Muppet Show

DESPITE the handing down of a $500 fine this week, I think you remain relatively safe in calling politicians "Muppets".

As long as the term is not prefaced by crude, non-specific descriptors that start with "f" and end in "ing".

And of course, if not delivered with in-the-face bravado that could be considered as "causing a public nuisance".

Tasmanian Allan Maccaul, 26, who used the term, may have been channelling his own inner Scott Morrison when he made the comment and persisted with shouting it because the consequence was attention drawn to himself and a subsequent police search of his possessions which revealed illegal substances.

It was the erstwhile Prime Minister who brought The Muppets into the public lexicon in the first place, saying the curtain had come down on The Muppet Show after the latest knifing of a leader by the Liberal Party.

In simpler times without the pervasive influence of US television shows a more Australian term such as "goose" or "drongo" may have got the message across.

But Muppets it now is, and that there are plenty of them is beyond dispute. Evidence of that flowed fast and free into my inbox this week.

During that week the Prime Minister's Bradfield Ovation addressed the scaling back of an annual immigration rate that has given us the population growth of a third world country. He recognised the obvious - that Australians have had enough the congestion and loss of amenity caused through an open-door policy that for the most part has not delivered any apparent material benefit.

Many Australians remain, un or under employed without the benefit of full time jobs and those that have them have seen only marginal wage growth in the past decade.

In Victoria $50 billion promises for new transport systems are being made ahead of its state election, while in Queensland the push to jam as many people as possible into the southeast corner continues relentlessly.

In the meantime, property prices have escalated to levels only sustainable by the Ponzi Scheme of an open front door immigration policy that's been hidden in plain sight by the distraction and fear-mongering about refugees.

With southern property markets cooling, turning off the tap that's driven demand may yet drive ScMo into all manner of Muppet-like back flips.

Meanwhile state environment minister Leeanne Enoch was at Australia Zoo this week to announce plans to "further protect" Queensland's koala population.

Implementation of recommendations of a bureaucratically earnest and wordy Koala Expert Panel report will achieve nothing, if the government fails to protect the trees koalas live in.

Muppets. You can't keep ripping up habitat to cram more people in to give the illusion of economic growth and protect koalas at the same time.

Elsewhere the Palaszczuk Government has been talking up an investment of $880,000 to "extend the reach and effectiveness" of Logan City Council's Flooded Road Smart Warning System and for a new flood impact study of the Logan and Albert Rivers.

Muppets.

As worthy as the system may be, who in the meantime is interrogating the advice that allowed development in places that now appear subject to flooding seemingly every time there's a solid downpour.

Local Government Association of Queensland CEO Greg Hallam has pointed the finger directly at the state government, saying it is the authority that dictates where growth goes and how much of it.

Yes, as we know here on the Sunshine Coast, there are councils that don't need much coaxing in that regard.

But the latest Climate Council report makes clear that at some point there will be a Piper to pay. With the vast majority of Australians now living on its coastal fringe in places that both history and future sea levels will prove exceedingly unwise, Fisher MP Andrew Wallace has reminded us of Coalition government plans to spend $200 billion on defence not against past planning stupidity, but ill-defined enemies of the state.

Muppets.

The MP probably rightly feels that if the government is splashing the cash through its new "Sovereign Industrial Capability Priority Grants" program the region he represents should get a share.

However rather than clever little killer drones, and all-terrain robot soldiers, putting more money into climate change adaptation and developing alternative, renewable fuel sources may be less Muppet-like priorities.

That's particularly so for an island nation with no strategic fuel reserves, reliant on a constant stream of ships travelling trade routes increasingly under the control of our only identifiable human enemy.



Watch: Music used for protest about Paradise Dam

Watch: Music used for protest about Paradise Dam

Council employee strikes a chord with dam supporters