There are so many things wrong with the current state of political discourse, but surely this is right at the top of the list.
Australia’s federal Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg, apparently wasn’t too keen on answering ABC reporter Barrie Cassidy’s question during an appearance on Insiders, so he decided he’d just go ahead and answer a different one.
Frydenberg repeatedly assured Cassidy and viewers that “extensive due diligence” had taken place prior to the government’s decision to award a $443 million grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, rather than explaining what the due diligence had involved.
.@barriecassidy asks @joshfrydenberg: what steps did you take, or did the Prime Minister take, to satisfy yourself that the Great Barrier Reef foundation was the best organisation to accept this grant? #Insiders #auspol pic.twitter.com/odZaJfAThU
— Insiders ABC (@InsidersABC) August 11, 2018
Unfortunately for Frydenberg, the foundation’s managing director Anna Marsden has since said in an interview with ABC radio that she “wasn’t aware that the diligence process was underway”.
In a somewhat confusing follow-up, Guardian Australia was told by the foundation that no discussions had taken place with the government over the grant before a much-publicised meeting on the April 9.
However, the foundation has also explained documents were sent through to the government in March.