Armadale and Araluen and Walter Taylor

Time for a new thread. Politics watchers have had pretty big fish to fry recently, but as electoral minutiae are this site’s raison d’etre, here’s a review of looming events which might have escaped your notice. Feel free to discuss what you’d usually discuss in comments.

• Voters in the safe Labor WA state seat of Armadale go to the polls on Saturday to choose a successor to Alannah MacTiernan, following her unsuccessful stab at the federal seat of Canning. I’m wondering if the date might have been chosen so as not to clash with the AFL grand final, and whether events on that front might result in a very low turnout on Saturday. With the Liberals sitting the contest out and no significant minor challengers emerging, the only other point of interest is how the Labor primary vote holds up with talk building of a threat to Eric Ripper’s leadership. Labor’s candidate is Tony Buti, a law professor at the University of Western Australia. Buti heads a ballot paper filled out by Jamie van Burgel of the Christian Democratic Party, independent John D. Tucak (who had extremely limited success as an upper house candidate for Eastern Metropolitan at the 2007 state election) and Owen Davies of the Greens. More from Antony Green.

• On Saturday week, voters in the Alice Springs seat of Araluen will choose a successor to outgoing Country Liberal Party member (and former leader) Jodeen Carney, who on August 19 announced she was retiring for health reasons. A by-election in the Northern Territory offers interesting parallels with the federal situation, as the Labor government has been on a parliamentary knife edge since the 2008 election returned a result of 13 Labor, 11 Country Liberal Party and one independent. The government assumed minority status when its member for Macdonnell, Alison Anderson, quit to sit as an independent in July 2009 – prompting the existing independent, Gerry Wood of the normally conservative electorate of Nelson, to guarantee Labor on confidence and supply in the interests of “stable government” (there was also a brief period in which Arafura MP Marion Scrymgour was on the cross-benches). As a CLP seat, Araluen gives Labor the remote prospect of improving their position, although the 24.6 per cent margin leaves them with little cause for optimism (it should be noted that election results can be hugely variable in the Northern Territory, where bite-sized electorates make candidate factors crucially important). The CLP candidate is Alice Springs deputy mayor Robyn Lambley, described by Ben Langford of the Northern Territory News as a “mediator and dispute resolution expert”. Labor’s candidate is Adam Findlay, a chef with no background in politics to speak of.

• On October 23, a Brisbane City Council by-election will be held in the ward of Walter Taylor, which has been vacated by Jane Prentice, the newly elected LNP member for the federal seat of Ryan. The LNP have nominated a former policy officer for Prentice, Julian Simmonds, who seems unlikely to be troubled given the 21.0 per cent margin from the 2008 election. Labor’s candidate is Louise Foley, who according to Tony Moore of Fairfax has “worked in the Queensland public service during the Beattie Government as a ministerial advisor in local government, planning, transport, education, main roads and with the office of Premier and Cabinet”. Also in the field are Tim Dangerfield of the Greens and independent William Borbasi. Walter Taylor was one of 16 wards won by Liberal in 2008, with 10 being won by Labor. Lord mayor Campbell Newman of the LNP serves a fixed four-year term regardless of the numbers on council.

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.

3,307 comments on “Armadale and Araluen and Walter Taylor”

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  1. [As long as the Gr/La alliance/truce holds true , then we can retake the ground lost way back in ‘72]

    Gus – ’07 proved that we are a soft left country, hence our “fair go ” attitude.

    I think 5% were bedazzled by the media. This will not happen next time.

  2. [I’m wondering if the date might have been chosen so as not to clash with the AFL grand final, and whether events on that front might result in a very low turnout on Saturday. With the Liberals sitting the contest out and no significant minor challengers emerging.]

    You forgot last weekend was also the Queen’s Birthday Long Weekend which would’ve been the major factor, rather than the AFL Grand Final, though as with last Saturday, this Saturday also has the Royal Show as a factor – with this Saturday being the closing day, and last week being the opening day ?

  3. How can Qld rivers be a state issue when Rabbott and Noel Pearson spent three weeks up in Cape York making it a Federal issue? Expect to be bombarded with the Rabbott, Entsch and Pearson blathering on endlessly about their right to dig up rivers for the foreseeable future. It makes no sense the attitude of any of the three but they will carry on regardless.

  4. The previous private members bill was based on the races power.

    It’s best not to think of issues as state issues. There are few areas the Commonwealth cannot legislate if it can be stretched to fit under one of the heads of power in some way.

  5. The Dr is in. What is this obsession with a Mexican millionaire? He should concentrate on his own country. Why listen to these corrupt elites whose wealth is based on the poverty of so many Mexicans?

  6. Is there anyone in WA to replace Eric Ripper? I’ve seen him on telly here and he doesn’t seem all that impressive against Barnett.

    [Gus, if Lady Gaga could wear a dress made of meat why couldn’t KW wear a coat made from cheese?]

    That was funny, Scarpat – it took the heat out of whatever argument was going on last night (haven’t had time to read it all yet).

  7. [It’d be interesting to see if/how LL is reported.]

    That was from the previous thread.

    well, Their ABC24 made no mention of how poor MT was. Instead, it was focusing MT’s point of that the NBN is too expensive and linked that Amigo from Mexico.

    Hi Senorita, yes. how can anybody take notice of that the comment by the Mexican Amigo seriously, this is a country literally ran by the Drug Barons. Of course, he would go for Wireless because there is no way they can lay the fibre network for the whole of Mexico.

  8. The coverage given to the comments of Carlos Slim on the NBN is RIDICULOUS. What on earth did the MSM expect him to say? He has a privately-owned monopoly over the Mexican telecommunications industry. He can hardly support a GOVERNMENT initiative to build a HI-TECH information superhighway without going back to Mexico and being asked why he or the Mexican Govt isn’t building something similar. As I said – ridiculous.

  9. Hi Finn
    Laying fibre in a country where some regions can’t even be safely entered by elites/govt. because they are controlled by Zapatista or EPR guerrillas or by drug cartels would indeed be impossible, not to mention the mountainous and jungle terrain of many regions. Anyone who takes advise from a Mexican elite is a fool, they are corrupt and exploit their own citizens writ large.

  10. The Mexican govt. is so neo-liberal & so controlled by the IMF/World Bank and NAFTA it is inconceivable that there would be a NBN by govt.

  11. I see that Slynews also focusing on the Amigo from Mexhiho. It does give us the Amigos of PB a bad name.

    Senorita, when is your birthday? i’ll sing you a song.

  12. This decision is exactly the sort of reasoin why NSW State Labor deserves to be kicked out on their corrupt butts:

    This decision approves land rezoning for 7000 homes in the Hunter Valley in a spot where there are no jobs, and inadequate rail services. The claim that 60% of residents will work in the town is laughable. They will almost certainly mostly commute to Sydney or Newcastle by car, chocking up the new F3 to Branxton link soon after it is completed, wasting $300M of Federal investment. This is worse than development on the Sydney fringe, because it stuffs up the National Highway system, and then still causes more problems when the traffic hits the urban fringe. So Sydney’s problems still aren’t fixed, and now the Hunter starts getting buggered too. By this evidence, Kenneally is either just a quaint sounding puppet, or as corrupt as her predecessors.

  13. Good morning all.

    [How can a Federal Govt overturn Qld legislation on Rivers? Surely rivers are a State issue?]

    I’ve been trying to work that out too, ru,

    If Abbott wanted to overturn it to *protect* the rivers, he’d go via the Environment Minister’s veto and/orFranklin River- World Heritage route. But he’s not doing it for the environment; he’s trying to the area open it to mining – forget altruism; this is Tony “I Luuuv miners” Abbott! There’s also pressure (Katter & Entsch) to break non-Aborigines’ hunting & fishing restrictions (as Katter said, there are many angry white anglers in the Cape).

    My guess is Abbott will try to use 1966 “Aboriginal Referendum’s” wording; but the Q Act was framed in conjunction with Cape Aboriginal communities who want their traditional lands and hunting & fishing rights preserved, and control of eco-friendly development (eg tourist facilities) as guaranteed by Wild Rivers Legislation. Even if Abbott did manage to get it through the HoR & current Senate, Q Gov would take the issue go straight to the High Court. He could hope Q Election 2012 results in an LNP government; but by 1 July 2011, he’d have lost any chance of getting it through the Senate – and the Fed Gov would overturn the legislation.

    I think it’s just typical Abbott Huff & Puff, mainly so Entsch could win back Leichhardt, and to keep pro-development (mainly mining) Indigenous leaders like NoelP onside. The Libs are useless at policy framing, costing & “due process” (as we know) He probably has no idea of how to go about getting the Bill through the Parliament, and lacks the people skills to negotiate support – he sure won’t get Oakshott’s (lthough miners would probably bankroll the constitutional lawyers an Opposition needs to frame legislation that might survive a High Court challenge).

  14. Muskiemp

    They could be built in the already identified redevelopment areas in Sydney or on the urban fringe of Sydney or Newcastle. That will upset people, because NSW State Labor has not built adequate transport links to those places either, but this is still worse. There will be exactly the same problems when the Huntley traffic hits the fringe, plus stuffing the National Highway network. I could also add long commute times, huge waste of Greenhouse gases, etc. Building new subdivisions in the middle of nowhere means you have to build long lengths of new highway, in addition to all the urban roads you have to upgrade when you get to the urban fringe.

    Besides, that is an excuse, not a reason for this project. Huntley will see 7000 homes built over 25 years or 350 a year. Sydney needs to build over 10000 new homes PER YEAR, so this will make almost NO DIFFERENCE to Sydney house prices.

    Just because NSW State Labor has failed to make development on the Sydney fringe viable, doesn’t mean this isn’t a still worse decision.

  15. I’ve been catching up with LL last night. Haven’t finished Conroy/Turnbull yet, but I thought Conroy did pretty well and had the upper hand. Turnbull will have to do much better to “demolish” the NBN.

    previous thread:
    [SMH now (almost) corrected its 1st loss since 1941 claim]

    I move that the Leader of the Opoosition be censured for misleading parliament.

  16. TRITON – Bits I heard, I think Conrad did very well. Loved his reference to Turnbull living in a Potts Point bubble – lot of mileage in that.

    I wish everybody would stop thinking that Turnbull is some sort of mental giant and remember the line from Citizen Kane: “It ‘s not hard to make a lot of money – it that’s all you set out to do.”

  17. [What is this obsession with a Mexican millionaire?]
    Has the ABC or the OO asked the second and third richest men – Bill Gates and Warren Buffet – think about the NBN, actually I think that Gates is on record as backin something similar to the NBN.

  18. rosa said.

    [wish everybody would stop thinking that Turnbull is some sort of mental giant and remember the line from Citizen Kane: “It ’s not hard to make a lot of money – it that’s all you set out to do\]

    yes , sometimes people are just in the right spot and the right time., and then of course there is wealth that is handed down, sometimes a business is started a few generations earlier or longer.

  19. [26 John Reidy
    Posted Thursday, September 30, 2010 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    If you find someone who agrees with the gov, there is no story to tell.

  20. I havent read the Huntlee material but this line in the SMH report seems, in the absence of an identified employment base, to be a heroic assumption bordering on the not credible:
    [LWP estimates up to 60 per cent of residents will work in the town…]
    Coles, Woolies and a few shops…what else?

  21. Adam Brant is on APAC today with his first speech 10 am unfortunately have to go out.
    I would like to hear Walkies, so if any one knows anything would they say, i get the feeling he will just talk about gambling.
    So far he is a big disappointment for me, he does not answer emails, probably has thous. in his box so i will give him the benefit of the doubt at this stage.

    Hope he gets his act together if he is representing us here,
    there are lots of things the South needs.

  22. p.s. i would also love to hear the new Muslim members speach, i wonder what he will discuss it would be very nice to listen to.

    I am sorry for my ignorance but what is his name and which electorate is he.

  23. Laocoon
    Funny that yesterday you asked me if I had received an answer from Roxon on homeopathy and other quackery funding and now in the Adelaide Ragvertiser up pops this story.
    In the article Roxon’s representative said that government does not fund these practices (he used Medicare item numbers to make this argument).
    Mt argument is that government DOES fund them via the 30% rebate on privat health insurance costs. Many funds include quackery cover and therefore, at least, indirectly the government supports them.

  24. Araluen is an interesting Alice Springs electorate. It contains a mix of middle and upper income suburban housing west of the Stuart Highway in a triangle bounded by Bradshaw and Larrapinta drives, an area in the east between the Highway and the Todd where a lot of “town” Aboriginal people live, some areas of new subdivisions south of “The Gap”, and the Town Camps of Yarrenty-Arlterre , Inarlenge, Anthepe, New Ilparpa, Karnte and Ilyiperenye.

    It ought to be a lot closer in terms of the vote than it is, but that would require a substantial turn out of highly motivated Indigenous voters. Unfortunately Labor is very much on the nose in the Town Camps because of the continuation of the Intervention, the extent to which it has been embraced by the NT government, the takeover of the town leases, etc.

    Last time around the Greens almost out equalled Labor’s vote (526 Green 618 Labor compared to 2470 for the CLP First pref). Only 74.6% of registered voters actually voted.

    I suspect that the number of people registered in the Town Camps is a small fraction of those eligible. The mobile polling booth that services them only accounted for the grand sum of 69 votes. The last population figures of the particular Camps within the electorate that I saw indicated a population of 450 to 500 residents (figures are higher with visitors, suggesting that you would expect a couple of hundred more voters than appeared last time). The mobile booth that services the camps was the only one that Labor actually won last time around.

    Warren Snowdon did MUCH better at the polling places that service this area in the latest federal election than the last Labor assembly candidate managed. Barbara Shaw, a prominent Indigenous activist (anti-Intervention) scored very well at these booths too.

    Given that there is no Greens candidate this time around Labor will do significantly better on its abysmal 1st pref count this time than in the last NT election. The divisions amongst the Libs over Leo Abbott’s candidacy in the Fed election will help Labor a bit too.

    They have one heck of a lot of ground to make up, though, and in the present climate the Labor’s policies on Indigenous affairs etc are likely to cost them. I can’t see Labor really having a chance.

  25. Muskiemp

    It is true sometimes in NSW State Labor you can’t see the corruption for the incompetence. but in this case the corruption (in a philosophical sense, I am not implying a crime) was in the earlier use of former Labor politicians as paid lobbyists to get the development approved. They were not planenrs or engineers; their only “skill” was in getting access to politicians. See

    I would argue that if this development had been properly assessed it would never have been approved.

  26. When thinking about Bill Gates and Buffet, someone else ocurred to me – how about this guy…
    murdoch slams slow broadband
    Anyone else here heard of Rupert Murdoch?
    Some quotes from the Nov 2006 article
    [RUPERT Murdoch yesterday condemned the quality of Australia’s broadband services as a disgrace, warning the nation would be left behind unless the federal Government and Telstra spent billions to increase download speeds.]
    it gets even better
    [“When you have broadband – real broadband, not the type they’re talking about here – where you get, say, 20Mbps of data into your home, it changes everything,” he said.]
    and this
    [He said the Government and Telstra should be spending “$10 billion or $12 billion on it to reach every town in Australia; they do it in Japan, they do it in South Korea, we should be able to do it here. We are being left behind and we will pay for it.”]

  27. Indeed BK. I noticed this line in particular:
    [Mr Hunter said doctors could use non-specific Medicare numbers to charge for homeopathic treatments while taxpayers also subsidised treatments through private-health rebates.]
    I wonder what a “non-specific Medicare number” is? A slush fund? Dio – you there?

    (i googled Ian Hunter; interesting character. SA seems to have a very broad distribution of pollies BK)

  28. Dear Mr Turnbull

    I just tried to watch your appearance on last night’s Lateline program, but I gave up because my slow ADSL connection is not up to streaming video. I live 25kms from the Federal Parliament of Australia, but my local exchange does not support ADSL2.

  29. Further to my comments on Huntley New Town, sure enough all the relevant departments DID criticise it:
    [However, some of the greatest critics of the Huntlee New Town come from within government.

    The Roads and Traffic Authority criticised “inconsistencies” in the plans and dubbed employment estimates “questionable”.

    It savaged traffic demand modelling and said more lanes would need to be built on the New England Highway.

    “New England Highway is at capacity and in the absence of the F3 to Branxton Link Rd, an additional two lanes in each direction will be required on the highway,” it stated.

    Cessnock Council criticised the infrastructure plans and was stripped of planning powers over the project.]

  30. From Lateline last night.

    MALCOLM TURNBULL: Well let me just address the digital divide issue. The fact is most Australians are connected to exchanges that are ADSL2-enabled, so they can get – if they want to take it up, they can get pretty fast broadband now.

    So how come, even though I live no more than 2 kms from an exchange I can’t get ADSL2. What rubbish. This just shows Turnbull really has no idea.

  31. That article on Murdoch’s opinions in regards to broadband before the ALP was in government is interesting. Has he actually voices his opinion in regards to this since the NBN was announced?

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