ACNielsen: 57-43

Comments thread chat informs us that the headline result of an ACNielsen poll to be published in tomorrow’s Fairfax broadsheets has been revealed by Laurie Oakes on the Channel Nine news. This has Labor’s lead two-party lead at 57-43 compared with 55-45 last month. More details as they come to hand. There is also reason to believe tomorrow’s edition of The West Australian will feature one of its small-sample Westpoll surveys of voting intention at the Poll Bludger’s end of the continent; if so, you will read about it here in the small hours of the morning EST.

UPDATE: Sydney Morning Herald report here, though no detail yet beyond that provided by Oakes.

UPDATE 2: Primary vote figures at the Sydney Morning Herald: Labor up from 44 per cent to 49 per cent, Coalition down from 41 per cent to 39 per cent. Kevin Rudd’s approval rating is up 8 per cent to equal its March high of 67 per cent, “pushing him ahead of the pre-election ratings achieved by Malcolm Fraser in 1975 and Bob Hawke in 1983”. Remarkably, the Prime Minister’s approval rating remains steady at a more than respectable 50 per cent.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

386 comments on “ACNielsen: 57-43”

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  1. Sideline

    Useful document, thanks for posting it. My background is predominantly in Science and Education so the whole “education in crisis” is a subjective thing. In some areas like numeracy, we are genuinely falling through the cracks. In English/History, there is much politicising which determines the extent of the issue (and is not relevant here). We do some things well, but there is a lot more necessary to remain competitive with Asia, in particular.

    Thanks for understanding my main point: it is not beneficial for Rudd’s election to dredge up an issue which will divide his own party, let alone the voters.

  2. Noocat

    Yeah, I understand that “your guy is strong, like King Kong, their guy is weak, chuck ’em in the creek”, which is the depth of this argument about overtaxing. Honestly.

    Of course you think you are right, they are your values and ideology. My point was about Jeremy Q Voter and his perception of both government and the alternative, Mr Rudd.

    Regardless of opinion about where the money is better spent: It is a zero sum game. You CAN’T fund current promises (tell me where they have ditched enough promises to fund the Broadband, for example??) AND invest in (necessary) infrastructure without either ditching some saved funds (future fund) or going back into government debt. Neither of these are very palatable with the electorate and BOTH will reinforce entrenched (and somewhat substantiated) beliefs that they have trouble containing budgets.

    You just can’t say “Me too” and then expect the voters to believe that you can keep rates down, fund future obligations, keep productivity up and debt managed. This is real Pinocchio stuff and will bite Kevin on the bum for years if all those balls don’t stay perfectly in the air. A political recipe for disaster.

    The big problem selling infrastructure is like selling highly trained teachers. Essential but hard to quantify, even if you do manage to get it right!

  3. Winston

    “In fact, most people are horrified that the Federal Government gives millions to the elite wealthy schools. ”

    Briefly, Winston, if you have a monopoly on what “most people” know, then Morgan might be interested in a penny for your thoughts.


    Jas, I know you ideology, you are a true believer and I respect that. It just doesn’t work. If you follow your logic through (and the most sincere do), then we have no place in Australia for Private Hospitals, Health Insurance, Utilities and even banks. I happen to think that in a Western Democracy like Australia, there is room for them.

    The old “paying for choice” argument doesn’t wash. We fund all sorts of things as taxpayers that we will rarely or never use. Indeed, even in Queensland, like some other places in Australia, students can choose the state school they would like to attend. If we follow your argument, should these state schools lose funding because “this is funding choice”?

    Choice isn’t the issue, it stems from an old state mentality of systematising thought and politics. It is a very good way to keep a socialist state committed to socialism. Worked for North Korea, don’t you think? It is far less appropriate here in 21st Century Australia.

    I have no problem with some of my tax take going to fund as Islamic school any more than an isolated Aboriginal school, an Anglican church school or a state school in Marrickville… because we are all Australians and diversity is a good thing. All these students are being educated and I support that as a citizen and taxpayer.

  4. Generic I take it you agree that the public school system needs a huge injection in funding.

    As far as I see it, there should be a level of education that is available to all students before we begin rewarding schools with funding that already have a standard above this.

    This means that low funded private schools, some receiving less than some public schools, should receive a greater portion of the funding. The resources of many public schools, particularly in regional areas, is criminal. This should be the priority of all governments.

    The top private schools hardly require the additional funding. I just don’t see the reason to provide it to them, apart from an ideological stance.

  5. “You CAN’T fund current promises (tell me where they have ditched enough promises to fund the Broadband, for example??) AND invest in (necessary) infrastructure without either ditching some saved funds (future fund) or going back into government debt.”

    Generic Oracle, you are over-complicating matters. It really is very simple. At this very moment, there is a huge budget surplus, much of which is currently UNSPENT. When Labor promise to commit funds for infrastructure, they do not need to ditch previous promises or go into debt. They are simply making plans based on the vast amount of cash that the government has currently stockpiled.

    You seem to be trying to create an issue where there is none.

  6. If you follow your logic through (and the most sincere do), then we have no place in Australia for Private Hospitals, Health Insurance, Utilities and even banks.

    The question of whether such institutions are permitted is quite a different question as to whether, and under what conditions, such institutions should be publicly funded.

    This discussion, however, is not especially relevant to this site.

  7. Peter Beatie resigning is another blow to Howard. I’m sure Beatie was in the cross-hairs of the coalitions negative campain. Now he’s left in a dignified manner highlighting that all leaders have a limited political life.

    Any Q’ldrs here have a view on Anna Bligh – will she get much of a honeymoon period?

  8. Re the debate on fiscal policy…

    Do we need to mention that there are different types of spending which have different impacts on inflation and future returns for government:

    1. The type that doesn’t fuel inflation and provides a long-term return for the nation (eg investment in infrastructure; the stuff Howard hasn’t been doing much of considering the massive surpluses at his disposal ) and;

    2. The type that does fuel inflation (eg the middle class welfare handouts and blatant pork-barrelling; the stuff that Howard has been doing recklessly for the last 4 years).

  9. Anna Bligh is a very sharp operator, Beattie has groomed her for the position.

    She is a great media performer and runs rings around the opposition.

    A reckon a good long “honeymoon”. 🙂

  10. One of the most common things said after the ALP’s wins at state elections is that a loss would’ve created more of a ‘momentum for change’ that could flow onto the Federal Parliament.

    Does anyone think it’s possible the resignations of state premiers could be creating an artificial momentum for change? I think it’s definately possible… a creation of a sense of generational change and handover.

  11. I’m sure the upcoming Federal election and the dynamics of Howard’s blame game on the states was a factor in Beattie’s resignation decision here.

    With Beattie now gone it opens the way for Anna Bligh to make any necessary policy changes to neutralise issues that Labor would be exposed on in QLD.

  12. Sideline Eye,

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the council amalgamations are “postponed to a more appropriate time” by the new Bligh government. That would almost certainly kill the issue in this Federal Election’s context.

    If they do this, it puts seats like Flynn, Hinkler and Petrie back in play (well, they already were, but Labor will have a better shot).

  13. The Council amalgamations will NOT be postponed.

    They are already a non issue, Anna Bligh will just say that the independent umpire set the boundaries. End of story.

  14. Peter Beattie when asked if his resignation sent a message to Howard:

    “All I can say to you is that renewal is important. This is nothing new, I’m not trying to pick on John … but renewal is important. Those parties that renew, survive. You’ve got to remember that government is more important than any individual… “

    With Bracks and Beattie leaving, if Howard loses, history will be very unkind to the old man who stubbornly refused to go and took his party down with him.

  15. Thanks GO; good to be accused of having ideology, in this day and age that is a great compliment. Now while I don’t think your logic works, it isn’t an attack on you, and you actually have done the work on presenting it in an intelligent framework. Don’t want to sound partonsing either, I call you honey when I do that :).

    I don’t think I express enough ideology to justify your socialist / brainwashing discussion; and much as a walk down memory lane to the 20 or so years leading up to my birth might have been enjoyable for you it adds nothing to the funding mix debate, nor the suggestion it is politically bad for Rudd. I think I agree with you. If I were Rudd, speak not of school funding, but when on the right side of the house commission a report that says how bad Howard’s mix was and change the mix cause the report says you have to.

    Last I listened to one of the old fella’s in a red shirt who called me comrade paying for choice wasn’t a socialist idea. Has more to do with market forces and that magic hand and stuff right wingers believe in, so long as all the money flows to the right hands, which are always hands that are already full, and we can’t complain because that would be dated class warfare. You say paying for choice argument doesn’t wash, notwithstanding it is at the core of capitalism. Nothing you’ve said backs up this claim.

    I am glad you are happy to pay for the religious education of those who the right wing wish to demonise, very civilised.

    Choice is the issue, you need to establish why the State should divert resources from other priorities into the hands of those deliberately deciding not to use state programs. It is a really really silly idea, it is bad economics and only has got up in relation to education and ‘semi-private’ health insurance for crass political reasons.

    But there are losers so politically it is not a good one to tackle. I will be grumpy if suddenly I have to pay 3x as much fees for my kids to go to the same school.

    But as my darlings are doing laps in their indoor heated swimming pool, do explain to the kids down the road why the state school doesn’t have functioning heating, without resorting to the ridiculous claims State Government does not do a fantastic job with the ever decreasing share of GDP they have to do an ever increasing amount of service delivery. If that is the only argument you have I just think you are completely wrong.

  16. “I saw a news report some weeks ago that suggested one age group concerned about work choices(its impact on their children and grand children) and climate change is those aged over 60 in marginal seats.”
    -Howard Hater 291.

    Interesting, HH. In my work driving cabs in Warrnambool I carry a lot of oldies. Workchoices seems to be a regular theme of their concerns. Although it doesn’t affect them personally, they’re worried about how it will affect their grandchildren and the future of the country. Of course, I’ve no idea how they might otherwise have voted – might all be aged lefties. But if they are representative of their group… Howard is in huge trouble if this demograph goes.

    Generic, others have dealt with your concerns on state/private schooling. So I won’t enter that area. But I will say at the technical education, the Howard Govt attempts to set up an alternative private further education system have been a disaster.

    The private institutions have, in general, taken up the ‘soft’, low-cost options such as traineeships in hospitality, retail, and info technology. TAFE has been left to do the heavy lifting in the electrical, metal and building trades. These require a big infrastructure investment in workshops and machinery. To some extent TAFE has some in place, but the squeeze put on them has meant they can’t invest enough. No wonder we’re falling behind in the number of people we can take through. Some situations do not benefit from competition.

  17. “I will be grumpy if suddenly I have to pay 3x as much fees for my kids to go to the same school.”

    I am sure the increased Federal dollars going to elite private schools have not made a jot of difference to the fees parents pay. They have risen consistently faster than inflation for the past five years. Many of these schools could actually function without fees at all, so high are their capital reserves these days. Incredibly, they even benefit from bequests in the wills of old boys and girls. The money piles up. But of course high fees act as a useful filter, don’t they? Forgive me a bit of class warfare, but I am astonished the Feds can pour millions into these elite schools and still lie straight in bed.

    I think there are a great swathe of independent schools that do not fit into this category, and provided they remain not-for-profit then there may be a case for supporting them based on the pressure they take off the infrastructure of the state system. But that funding should all channel through the state government, with checks and balances and accountability in terms of values, curriculum and outcome.

    And yes, Rudd should just play a dead bat for now and then do what makes sense after he gets in.

  18. You are right Don, but the debate is framed around the community Christian schools who don’t have need the fee filter, they just need the money. That the elite schools get any taxpayer money at all is an outrage, and the Libs and GO are careful to frame it around middle class christian schools.

  19. I know this is off topic…

    The Coalition MP’s are conducting themselves terribly at the moment. I would say to them “Stop questioning the public. You keep doing this, you deserve your defeat. If you are going to conduct yourself, conduct yourself with class and be free of self-delusion (which is how it is coming across towards a majority of voters.

  20. Rats

    Further to our discussion on the ALP’s “Fiscal Conservativism” (and thanks for a well-structured civilised discussion!), your point here:

    “In respect of treatment of the “Future Fund” I cannot see what is the difference between Labor’s treatment of the $6B invested on broadband or the treatment by the Liberal Government of the entire amount.”

    Exemplifies the ALP’s attitude perfectly and contains the same problem that Peter Costello and accountants working around Australia would presumably struggle with. Namely that spending part or all of the future fund to pay for infrastructure like high-speed broadband is, in accounting terms, a capital expense, with an ongoing liability attached to it (maintenance). By contrast, the funds are currently a publicly owned asset, which generate revenue for the purposes of funding future commitments.

    Herein lies the issue. I understand the ideology and motivation of the ALP is grounded in increasing infrastructure to improve productivity. Fine, no problem there. However, it is the issue of selling down an asset to fund a liability that makes the label “fiscal conservative” really hard to justify.

    Anticipating a counter-argument that high-speed broadband will deliver productivity which will have a net effect on GDP and ultimately tax-take and thus, be an investment, this is, at best an optimistic view and at worst, financial folly. Run it past a business of reasonable size and it would not pass muster. There are FAR too many variables here and an asset which has performed well above expectations should not be sacrificed for one with high risk and an indirect route for return of investment.

    Far better is the suggestion that infrastructure be developed in concert with state governments and private industry (bearing risk) and contributed to with a fund established for such a purpose, through investment growth.

    The reason for the future fund in the first place was the deep debt hole that was left in the 1990s and no conceivable way of funding the mountain of public servant superannuation. Perhaps the dumbest thing we could do is disturb that fund.

    Faster internet in return for citizen’s hard earned sounds very much like a story about a guy called Jack and some beans I heard about….

  21. Jas

    I appreciate the discussions we have had lately, you have certainly helped me to revisit a few ideas about public servants and now state education! Thank you.

    We do have very different views and that is great. I think we only sharpen our value set against the steel of someone opposing it. Don’t worry about me taking anything personally, I wouldn’t be here if I did! I do apologise too, if I ever let the passion spill into patronisation!

    My background was in low socio-economic state education and I value it. Some of the best professionals before or since have been in that system.
    Yes, I do have a passion for diversity and believe that citizens can all have their expression of this and, as tax payers in a welfare state, deserve funding to pursue this.

    You are right, there are a great many independent schools in the low-mid fee category. They outnumber “grammar schools” about 5 to 1 across Australia. These schools would cease to exist without this funding. I know a business manager in one of these schools and he confirmed my suspicions recently, that many disadvantaged students are on full fee relief. At his school, fees are around $3000 a year but over 25% of the students in the school are on full or partial fee relief for financial/refugee or other hardship. Without this funding, these schools wouldn’t make it.

    Those that advocate choice in education also realise that as citizens we have the right to educate our children with the strategies, philosophies, world views and opportunities that we value. The idea that a secular humanist “one size fits all” approach to education is outdated and, paradoxically, narrow-minded. This does not cause diversity to flourish.

    I remember a report about that great bastion of democracy and secular humanism, France, and their public education. Muslim girls are constantly vilified by staff for wearing the traditional Hijab, to the extent that it has been against the law for students to wear ANY religious or belief-based clothing or artifacts in a public school. The reasoning is essentially that the education system has a secular humanistic worldview that all citizens are expected to accept. Perversely, the supposed “tolerance” of all beliefs has led to the undesirable outcome of the oppression of beliefs outside this worldview for tax paying citizens..

    What happens when a social democratic state really gets a monopoly.. remarkably similar to some elements of a fascist state when it gets to this stage, I would have thought!

    We can rejoice in our differences, Jas! I am not a capitalist any more than a socialist! The centre of politics is a far more exciting place to be (particularly on a site like this!) and I appreciate passion for political thought!


  22. Crispy @ 370 – it is well known that the elite Adelaide schools – St Peters and Prince Alfred College – own MILLIONS of dollars worth of real estate in the City of Adelaide. And yet they still get MILLIONS of dollars worth of Federal Government funding.

    Meanwhile, my local (rural) school has 18 children in the year 1/2 class; three of those children have Asperger’s, thereby needing special attention and as well as that they have a girl who would (should) be classified as gifted (exceptional reading and maths skills), but as they don’t have the teaching resources to deal with her accordingly, she is fast sliding back into mediocrity.

    What is that figure? 70% of students are getting 35% of the funding? It’s a bloody outrage…

  23. Oh please enough Alice in Wonderland drivel hidden behind vague claims of accounting concepts and business models in relation to the future fund – it is really quite simple.

    The future fund is just a big pool of money, taxpayer money taken from our pockets as we speak, going into the stock-market. It is not to fund the States providing infrastructure (State providing and funding telecommunications infrastructure is a novel idea indeed – care to expand on that idea and the reasons for it – perhaps States are just much better at service delivery than the Commonwealth under Howard?) it is to fund future commonwealth superannuation liabilities.

    Rather than have a proper provision in the national accounts for this future liability, the Treasurer over-reports the surplus and then with an accounting slight of hand pumps it into the stock market through the future fund. How is the stockmarket doing at the moment; this moment where the economy could be benefitting from broadband.

    It is not ‘financial responsibility’ nor ‘fiscal conservatism’ it is a failure to account properly in one set of accounts and a big pool of taxpayer money outside of them. The liberal party escapees at crikey have been talking about this for years.

    Given the Commonwealth has the big pool of money, and neither side is suggesting the future liability be properly accounted for in the national accounts the debate is simply about where the Commonwealth draws its funds for the broadband project. Unless of course we are ‘staying the course’ with the dial-up strategy (which is still a lot better than the other stay the course strategy we have).

    It is frankly a really stupid debate to be having. And I will observe the treasurer has had a decade of strong economic growth but has only discovered these accounting trick ‘future’ funds in the last year or two leading up to an election. You could try and hide this rubbish in the full text of the Australian and International Accounting Standards, and throw in an annexure of government accounting standards and it wouldn’t change that it is stupid to be arguing over whether the broadband is funded from immediate tax revenue, or the stuff Costello has left lying around. No-one really believes we shouldn’t have broadband; and until I see something more sensible about the States providing it I will ignore that.

  24. Sorry GO, thought you were ignoring the school stuff while you were actually sitting there writing it. I would have moderated a couple of words in my anti-future fund rant, if I’d known there was a chance you’d read it and respond. Too often I have tried to pick up an interesting debate to have the other side just leave.

    Again apologies but as much as I disagree with some of your school stuff, there is an element of truth in what you say and that requires a discussion of appropriate funding balance without ‘class warfare’ being thrown at us. My answer to the class-warfare challenge is if we can’t discuss who needs what and who gets what, then they shouldn’t be getting it at all.

    As for the future fund, surely you don’t buy Costello’s political spin and rubbish on these? The future fund is all about the superannuation problem he has ignored (surely not good economic management) for most the boom and the others are about the capacity of his economy to absorb the needed investment now.

    Again please accept my apologies if I was a bit harsh can I blame the 100’s of accountants I work for (I’m a lawyer who’d know none of this accounting rubbish if it wasn’t for them).

  25. Generic Oracle (302),

    You are a thread-diverter – the most consistent thread diverter of all. You have not only opened up a can of worms but got Jasmine (332) to call on “Chris” (whom I take to be me) to give a “good answer”. For the moment, I will restrict myself to a few comments. Your statement that state schools “are nowhere near as efficient in terms of manpower” is not backed with evidence. I am in the process of gathering evidence for a book that I intend to write, but some of my figures are for some years ago and need updating. In 1999, the last year of the educationally vandalistic Liberals ruled the state, Victorian government primary schools had a PTR of 17.2:1, compared with Anglican primary schools with 12.9:1, Catholic primary schools with 19.9:1, other independent schools with 15.2:1. The secondary PTRs, in the same order were 12.6:1, 10.6:1, 13.4:1 and 11.2:1. The ratios of pupil to total staff in 1997 were for government primary schools 14.8:1 and for all non-government primary schools 15.4:1. The secondary figures were 10.4:1 and 9.4:1. It would be logical to assume that, if those figures had been broken down by private school sector, the Catholic system would be worse than the government one, and the other private schools better.

    The voucher for a Victorian government school student is about $5,000, with some variation according to the student’s level. When you add in funding for other school programs, the figure increases somewhat. The last school I taught in had a total funding per student of just over $7,000 – woefully inadequate – thanks to the last Liberal Government’s staff cuts, which the current Labor Government has not reversed in secondary schools. There are very few out-of-school services in Victoria – thanks to the last Liberal Government. Over 90 per cent of funding goes to schools. Some of those out-of-school services are accessible by private schools in any case.

    There has been a push to turn the government school system into a competing cacophony of small business run by supposedly entrepreneurial principals. It is not at all efficient. It is a complete mind-boggling disaster with all the business jargon: e.g., “transformational leadership construct”. If you want more examples, you can find hundreds from my old school on the BS Bingo section of the satire section of There are very fewer layers of administration in the government system, which simply means a greater burden has been placed on the staff of each school, who now have to do tasks that were once done for them. This detracts from the educational endeavour of the school. Don’t get me started. The story of education is the greatest example of mindless claptrap adopted in our history, a story of deceit and ignorance. Private profit partnerships are another con, which is why the Victorian Government has refused to adopt them in education.

    I am going to stop now, except to stay I do not have an objection to government funding of private schools, though I do object to the Howard Government’s method.

  26. Thanks Chris, I did mean you!!!!!!!!!

    Is there a better Chris for informed comment on education? If there is I don’t know them.

    It was a long thread and I’m thinking GO didn’t like the number at the top when it started.

    But in future I’ll – bite my lip and buy what I’m told.

  27. Chris

    This is about the closest I have seen to you “having a rant”, though I know this issue is close to your heart.

    So it appears you and I both have a background in education. I have taught in some desperately underprivileged state schools and on “the other side of the fence” here and abroad in Asia. I have also taught students who are extremely wealthy, the likes of which Australia just doesn’t have. So we both have experience which affects our view of the world, Chris.

    Queensland is very different to Victoria and I have no doubts that the Libs didn’t put the money into state education that they needed to, but the “competitive state school” model that operates in a lot of Queensland, whilst not perfect, does ensure better outcomes on average than fixed catchment systems. Again a debate not for here.

    Actually, I didn’t “divert” this one, it was a response to Sideline (#295):

    “On another issue, another front has opened up against Howard. I notice on the SMH website lately that the NSW Teachers Federation are running online ads getting stuck into Howard about giving taxpayers money to private schools.”

    Though, I do confess I am often led off the topic title. To be sure, though, much of what I have read this weekend might be more reasonably placed in an ALP forum. It is little more than partisan gloating and personal insult (to leaders and bloggers alike).

    I have never been censured once by William and would cop it sweet if I did but I thought the purpose of the forum on this site was to discuss politics and elections. For the ALP, economic credibility is a real and present issue, as is avoiding the accusation of class wars with criticism of funding for private schools (that Latham clearly did) is relevant, I would have thought.

    Well at least more than stating that John Howard is a lying rodent, Dolly Downer is a sook and that Peter Costello is a gutless wimp, or do we have different definitions of what constitutes political discussion?

  28. Generic Oracle

    Communicating vir the net can be brutal and one may offend without really intending so please take what I have to say in the manner intended i.e. politely and without intending to offend. If you think that I have overstepped the mark I apologise and put it down to my clumsy way with words.

    I am afraid that you understanding of what is happening with the future fund (FF) and the purposed investment of the $6B by Labor is confused.

    You are correct that the FF is a Capital asset in the hands of the Government and the purpose of the FF is to generate income to develop the fund till it covers the unfunded liability of Commonwealth Public Servants Superannuation It is well worth mentioning that this is a unfunded liability of the Federal Governments (of both colours) making and was allowed to developed because the Feds though that they could make a profit (or should I say a smaller liability) out of those same public servants. In fact the development of this fund goes well back before 1990 – in fact you can take it back well before the 1970.

    To generate the cash flow needed to allow for a reasonable return the FF is put in the hands of a Manager. This manager (for a large fee – it has been mentioned in the press but I forget what it is now) invests this in business enterprises throughout the world. The usual vehicle for this investment is usually shares (but not exclusively) so when the shares go up or the Business pay a dividend the FF makes a profit. It is the basically the same method that you and I use when we invest our savings through a managed fund.

    What Labor plans to do with the broadband is exactly the same except there is no middleman, no manager taking a huge fee. Just like the managed fund Labor plans to invest in an enterprise that will carry on the business of building a broadband system and subsequently charging users for the services provided.

    The advantage with Labor’s plan is that the capital asset is invested in Australia and not some other country. There is no middle man creaming off huge fees, I understand that this middleman, appointed by the Federal Government, is a non resident so we the taxpayer don’t even get a chance to benefit through the fee being taxed in the hands of a resident.

    I am unaware how you arrive at the conclusion that further funds will be required for “maintenance” The business like any other business is designed to make a profit to cover such things along with wages and materials and dividends which is just what you will get back for a managed fund.

    Your comment “the funds are currently a publicly owned asset, which generate revenue for the purposes of funding future commitments.” This is exactly what Labor purposes for its broadband investment so instead of holding share in Telstra it will instead or also hold shares in a broadband business.

    I am sorry that I find you first three (3) paragraphs to be irrelevant to anything to do with Labor’s broadband plan and the nature of the investment.

    You comment suggesting that the broadband business will include a financial risk is spot on. However, what you failed to realise or mention was that the investment of the FF includes the same type of risk. Remember that there is no such thing as a risk free investment of for that matter a risk free business. The way to reduce risk is to “balance” your investment. However, investing such a large portion ($6B) of the FF will increase this risk. However, the likelihood of such a business going broke in Australia, I would suggest would be limited and akin to the risk of holding Telstra shares. (Remember that such a business would most likely be a monopoly). So without doing all the “sums” neither you nor I could be able to determine what a change in the risk would be if any.

    I get the feeling that you concerns about Labor’s plan is based more on “political consideration” than on financial facts. As you can see that the only difference between leaving the funds in the FF and investing in infrastructure is the location of the investment and a reduction in management fees paid and the nature of asset held.

    Now I hope that I have not been too blunt. As you can see I had a lot to say and I tried to condense it as much as I could.

  29. Generic Oracle ,

    I never use terms like “Krudd” or “lying rodent” or abuse other posters, no matter what I think of their ideas. I was being jocular in calling you a thread-diverter. Yes, this site is overwhelmingly anti-Coalition, as is every forum I look at, except Andrew Bolt’s, where there are so many in denial that it’s overflowing. However, some of us can conduct a civil if passionate conversation with those of different views. I just skim over the usual ranting. On the very rare occasions on which others are uncivil to me, I ignore their incivility because, as far as I am concerned, it demeans them, not me.

    As for education, I have spent more than 30 years reading the opinions of people who have not the faintest idea of what they are talking about – not putting you in that category – and I am very tired of it, because their thinking has caused so much damage to the education what was once a system.

    If you want to now a little more of my background in education, you can go to he discussion forum on and scroll back through the pages till you find the Farewell thread (which is probably somewhere back in April). It might also give a bit more insight into my beliefs regarding education. It was the Kennett Liberal Government which made me a committed ALP supporter. I watched the Liberals’ destruction of my profession and of the school system with incredulity, not only incredulity at what they were doing but also incredulity at how easily the media was deceived by it, and decided that such an appalling government just had to go – and I worked to that end. Now that it has gone, I am working to get rid of the residue of thinking that remains in power from that era.

    Victoria hasn’t had zones (“fixed catchment areas”) for about 20 years, but the competitive model is far more than that and I can guarantee, as someone who held positions of leadership in Victorian schools for 28 years, the current leftover Liberal Government/IPA-devised model is inefficient and ineffective.

    This site is supposed to be psephological rather than political, and I agree that Labor had to dump Mark Latham’s hit list.

  30. Long time lurker, first time poster (here, at any rate). Just wanted to encourage GO, Chris, Jas et al for an illuminating debate. For what it’s worth, I’m not convinced that taxpayers money should be used to additionally subsidise services that government already provides. This is as true for private health insurance as it is for private education. I certainly don’t buy the line that these subsidies ‘ease the squeeze’ [a blast from elections past] on the public system. If government can reduce spending on these areas, they do (usually by not meeting inflation increases year on year). If I choose to buy health insurance or send my children to private school, that’s fine. But I don’t expect to be given additional funds to do so – the government already provides perfectly adequate services.

  31. Chris

    Ahh, it makes a little more sense now. Well I had never known you to rant, so I’m glad I qualified by “as close to a rant”! 🙂

    I am largely unfamiliar with Victoria and its education. My family has a tradition of teaching, originally hailing from Sydney where I saw catchments embed ghettos and foster educational classism in state systems.

    I consider myself more appropriately “UK trained/experienced” so the whole Outcomes Based Education has largely passed me by, I admit. Queensland (where I am currently in Educational Leadership) has not been enamored by OBE and our system has not generally incorporated its doctrines.

    You are also accurate about the nature of the site being technically psephological rather than political and also that you show honour and dignity with your posts. I use this site as much for sharpening my knowledge of issues and the history of them and your posts have enlightened me in that regard, so thank you!

    Have you a title for your book, yet?

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