AS THE year staggers to a close – and there would be few who would mourn its passing – it is timely to look back at the more defining moments of 2021.
The year began with a resounding victory for all those people who had been offended/hurt/depressed/dispossessed/marginalised/excluded and victimised by the word “young” in the national anthem when it was replaced by the word “one” so that the lyrics now read “one and free”.
In February, against a background of rising voter fury at border closures, Premier Palaszczuk announced it was all Prime Minster Scott Morrison’s fault and that everything would be rosy if only he’d hand over more money. This caused then NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet to remark: “Queensland, closed one day, asking someone else to pick up the tab the next.”
Up on the Sunshine Coast, the popular restaurant Sum Young Guys, which is run by four men who happen to be white, was damned by a national magazine for using a name that was “symptomatic of a society that weaponises languages against the very people who own them”.
“It’s a neo-colonial act of erasure,” wrote Amy C Lam in Gourmet Traveller. Locals booked out the restaurant for the next three months.
In March, the word “normal” was erased from shampoo bottles because people who didn’t have ”normal” hair may have felt excluded, hurt and offended in a move to tackle “harmful norms and stereotypes.”
In May, Treasurer Cameron Dick congratulated himself for saving the jobs of those employed at the Qantas heavy maintenance facility in Brisbane when its chief executive Alan Joyce said he was looking at relocation options. The facility was never going anywhere, but we fell for the ruse and handed over a bundle of cash. How much? That’s a secret.
On the pandemic front, Ms Palaszczuk explained that she had not had her Covid shot because she didn’t want to use up vaccines meant for true-blue Queenslanders. She did, honestly!
Chief health officer Jeannette Young then revealed that she was “very worried” about a Covid outbreak in NSW. She was so worried that she was tossing in her $600,000-plus-a-year gig and moving into Government House. Some people wondered that if you were that worried, you might stick with the job.
In July, Ms Palaszczuk said that if she went to Tokyo to support our Olympic bid, she wouldn’t be quarantining in The Lodge when she came back. No one was able to explain why she said this, but the news was greeted with relief by Mr Morrison.
Meanwhile, Deputy Premier Steven Miles was named official government clown when he appeared to use the “C” word in reference to the Prime Minister.
He later said he had mis-spoke.
In August, Dr Young said that there “there will be no football”. What she meant to say was that there would be no football unless the head of the NRL called the Premier and pointed out how much money was involved.
In September, Deputy Premier Miles hit the headlines again when he announced that Scott Morrison “gave Delta to Sydney and now they’re trying to gift it to us”. Just why the PM gave the virus to the unsuspecting people of Sydney, where his family lives, was unclear.
Ms Palaszczuk then said that modelling predicted: “Even with 70 per cent of the population vaccinated, 80 people will die each day from Covid. That is 2240 who will die each month.”
In October, it was revealed ABC management had paid more than $200,000 in legal costs and damages awarded against staff member Louise Milligan as well as $780,000 resulting from legal action taken by former attorney-general Christian Porter against it and Milligan. While this was taking place, ABC managing director David Anderson grabbed a 10 per cent pay rise, which boosted his salary to $1.098m.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath then complained that Federal Minister Peter Dutton wouldn’t reply to her texts. It was then pointed out to her that this may have been because she had been texting the wrong number.
In December, the federal election campaign started rolling, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese revealing that his strategy was to call Scott Morrison a liar. One politician accusing another politician of being economical with the truth?
That pretty well sums up the year.