CANBERRA: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured above in his Parliament House office) has angrily denied he or his department has had anything to do with scores of dead cats being collected around the nation’s capital over recent days.
Over the past week, old and sick cats euthanised at veterinary clinics around Canberra have been collected by unidentified people in plain vans bearing Commonwealth of Australia number plates. They have also scrapped off roadways and footpaths domestic cats that have been struck and killed by vehicles.
Locals who know these things say they’ve looked very much like junior public servants – the people, not the euthanised or squashed felines.
A Treasury source told The Bug on condition of anonymity: “The Morrison government had already reconciled itself to the fact that tonight’s Budget will get a dead cat’s bounce but the Treasurer nevertheless wants that bounce to be as high as possible.”
CANBERRA: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has angrily denied mainstream and social media reports that he plans to drive to Yarralumla early on Wednesday morning to have His Excellency Governor-General Sir Peter General Peter Cosgrove dissolve parliament and thus commence the 2019 federal election campaign.
Commentators have suggested that strategy, by cutting short the government’s term immediately after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s Budget speech at 7.30 tonight, would avoid any messy hiccups on the following two sitting days that could arise from the government being in minority and would deprive Opposition Leader Bill Shorten of any oxygen from his Budget in Reply speech on the Thursday night where tradition calls for him to be listened to in relative silence.
Mr Morrison said: “Can I just say that I find the very thought that I would drive out to Yarralumla early on Wednesday morning to be ruthlessly unprincipled, totally underhanded and unfair and, besides all that, contrary to parliamentary tradition and decorum.
“There’s no way I’d inconvenience Sir Peter and Lady Cosgrove so early in their morning schedule.
“For that reason, I’ve asked Sir Peter to attend tonight’s Budget speech so that as soon as we’ve spent a solid 15 minutes at the end of Josh’s speech backslapping him and giving him a lengthy standing ovation for his astute financial stewardship of our country in finally overcoming Labor’s 10 years of debt and deficit disaster, Sir Peter can have his pen ready to sign the writs dissolving the Parliament immediately.
“The Cosgroves are by no means a young couple and I hope this thoughtful and kind measure on my part will have them tucked up safe and sound back in their bed at Yarralumla by 8.45pm at the latest.”
BRISBANE: Sky News has apologised for a technical mix-up with its “after dark” programming that caused a flood of a complaint from its viewer.
Brisbane viewer Patrick Malone told The Bug he couldn’t believe his eyes or ears when he turned on the channel to see a panel of commentators giving scathing reviews of Bill Shorten’s official Budget Reply Speech due to be delivered on Thursday night.
“It was a four-hour Federal Budget Reply special featuring Pet Credlin, Chris Kenny, Paul Murray, Peter Gleeson, and Andrew Bolt,” Mr Malone said.
“I naturally thought they were accidentally replaying the 2018 analysis of the Opposition Leader’s response to the Federal Budget.
“Sky did apologise when I contacted them to complain, but told me the special had been accidentally aired three days too soon after being pre-recorded at the weekend.”
STOP PRESS: Leaked word from the Budget lockup in Canberra is that there is in fact a large surplus this year – it seems due to an over-enthusiastic ordering error by Treasury, far too many Budget papers have been printed for those locked-up journalists.