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Whoops! ScoMo's Secret Talking Points Emailed To Journalists

Accidentally hitting 'send all' on an email is the WORST, especially when it's coming from the prime minister's office and goes to every journalist in your contact list.

The Morrison government's talking points were accidentally sent to the entire press gallery on Monday morning, as politicians returned to Canberra.

A 15-page document, titled: "morning note", was intended only for the eyes of ministers and backbenchers. The briefing provides an overview of issues they're expected to cover in the immediate future as well as key lines for MPs to use in interviews including the advised answer to give when tricky questions come up.

Issues covered range from the economy, energy prices and Medevac Bill, to Gladius Liu, Julian Assange, and the religious discrimination bill.

The document also contains a series of anticipated questions from journalists on potential weak spots, including drought policy, rising carbon emissions and the Newstart allowance.

The email's existence is nothing scandalous, but its accidental release offers a glimpse into how political spin is created.

The talking points revealed that if an MP is asked "could you live by $40 a day?", the suggested response is: "No one is saying it would be easy and the government understands some Australians are doing it incredibly tough".

Or: "Newstart is a safety net, it's not meant to be a replacement for a salary".

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Other questions and answers included:

Drug Testing Trial

If asked about the trial being likened to a Russian plan to send people who test positive for HIV to an island:

A: "It is disappointing to note the fearmongering around the Government's proposed drug testing trial which is a genuine attempt to help unemployed Australians overcome substance abuse which is a barrier to work." 

Drought

If asked about calls for a national drought policy:

A: "The federal government has a national drought policy and it was outlined following the national drought summit the Government convened last year."

Newstart

If asked whether an increase to Newstart would stimulate the economy:

A: "This government is focused on policies like increasing productivity and moving people from welfare into work."

Meeting Our 2030 Paris Target

If asked about climate change report saying Australia will not meet the 2030 target:

A: "We'll meet our target without introducing a carbon tax." 

Unsurprisingly, the opposition and government critics were pretty amused by the mistake.

"Oh no! Someone leaked my talking points to the whole press gallery!" Greens senator Nick McKim tweeted, with a photo of a document that said "The world has 12 years to deal with climate change" repeatedly.

Labor's Andrew Giles took a shot at the email blunder during a parliamentary debate on Australia's visa system.

"I look forward to hearing from the Member for Ryan in this regard and I note he won't be assisted by the talking points, which don't seem to acknowledge that this is a major issue for the government," he said.

Attorney-General Christian Porter also addressed the mistake on ABC radio.

"I didn't know that they were [distributed]," he said.

"These things happen from time to time".

With AAP. 

If asked about the trial being likened to a Russian plan to send people who test positive for HIV to an island:

  • It is disappointing to note the fearmongering around the Government’s proposed drug testing trial which is a genuine attempt to help unemployed Australians overcome substance abuse which is a barrier to work.