Newspoll quarterly breakdown

The Australian has Newspoll’s quarterly geographic and demographic breakdowns, combining results from its six post-election surveys to obtain samples big enough for state, gender and metropolitan/regional breakdowns. These indicate that Labor has held its ground on two-party preferred thanks to gains in Queensland, where their two-party vote of 48 per cent compares with 44.9 per cent at the election. From a low base, the state has delivered a six-point boost to Julia Gillard’s personal ratings, her approval up to 40 per cent and disapproval down to 44 per cent. This has balanced losses in New South Wales (down 1.5 per cent to 48 per cent), South Australia (down 2.2 per cent to 51 per cent) and Victoria (down 0.3 per cent to 55 per cent). Labor is up 1.4 per cent to 45 per cent in Western Australia, in line with Westpoll’s recent results. Labor is down 0.5 per cent across all capitals, driven by a 5.1 per cent fall in the primary vote, and up 1.4 per cent in non-capitals (which I wouldn’t have picked). The Coalition has suffered an unlikely eight point hit on the primary vote among the 35-49 age bracket, a correction after a rogue result in Newspoll’s famed election eve poll.

UPDATE: The last Essential Research survey for the year has the Coalition’s two-party lead steady at 52-48, with Labor up a point on the primary vote to 38 per cent, the Coalition steady on 46 per cent and the Greens steady on 10 per cent. On the poll’s monthly measure of personal ratings, Julia Gillard is steady on approval at 43 per cent and up two on disapproval to 40 per cent, Tony Abbott is one point on each to 39 per cent on each, and Gillard’s lead as preferred prime minister is unchanged at 45-34. The big winner from the poll is Julian Assange: 53 per cent approve of the release of the Wikileaks material with just 25 per cent disapproving, and 46 per cent disapprove of the government’s response (the question explicitly referring to the Prime Minister’s “grossly irresponsible” and “illegal” lines) against 32 per cent who approve. Fifty per cent believe Assange should receive support and assistance from the Australian Government if he is charged with an offence by the US or another country, against 26 per cent who believe he should not. The poll also finds 43 per cent support (steady on a year ago) and 37 per cent opposition (up two) for the development of nuclear power plants for electricity.

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.

6,153 comments on “Newspoll quarterly breakdown”

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  1. Asia Times recently reported on the dark past of the Swedish Democratic Party which won 20 seats in the recent elections there,and is now in a right-wing coalition.Govt.

    The Democratic Party is one of the many extreme right parties which have risen in Europe with the growing anti-Moslem sentiment of the times.the most well-known example would be the National Front in France,or it’s UK equivalent.

    Sweden has about 400.000 Moslems,most of whom have come fairly recently.

    The Democratic Party has a very dark past having it’s roots in a small neo-nazi grouping but they have flourished in recent times, a startling development in once social democratic Sweden.
    Sweden which has long taken a neutral stance in the world,had recently seen allegations of closer links between Swedish security service and the CIA,which would be a contradiction to the policy of neutrality.

  2. I never thought i would see the day I would agree with Barnaby Joyce.
    [Nationals Senate Leader Barnaby Joyce has warned politicians against using the tragedy as a policy springboard. “(The public) will be very reticent if you try to use (the accident) as some sort of moral bulwark or leverage to try and change the policy agenda to an issue about immigration,” he told Sky News.”It’s self-evident that if you go and try and pin this one personally to someone in Australia, no matter who that is, inside or outside the political field, then people will call you for it.”]

  3. “Abbott wants Howard’s boat people laws”:

    [TONY Abbott has ended the political truce over the Christmas Island tragedy by suggesting tougher border laws could have prevented it.

    The Opposition Leader said the deaths of at least 30 people in the shipwreck was an “unspeakable horror” and demanded a return to Howard Government-era policies, including turning boats around.]

    Playing the Labor Party like a fiddle, your move ALP?

  4. ASSANGNE SQEELS AT MSN LEAKING Doc’s about himself

    ‘ Incriminating police files were published in the British newspaper (GUARDIAN) that has used him as ITS source for hundreds of leaked US embassy cables.

    In a move that surprised many of Mr Assange’s closest supporters on Saturday, The Guardian newspaper published previously unseen police documents that accused Mr Assange in graphic detail of sexually assaulting two Swedish women. One witness is said to have stated: “Not only had it been the world’s worst screw, it had also been violent.”

    Bjorn Hurtig, Mr Assange’s Swedish lawyer, said he would lodge a formal complaint to the authorities and ask them to investigate how such sensitive (LEAKED !) police material leaked into the public domain…

    In an editorial, The Guardian defended its decision to report (LEAK) on the incriminating police files. It said having been given access to the official papers, it had a DUTY to present a “brief summary” of the sex allegations against Mr Assange, together with his response.”

    Assange double standards indeed , his all freedom of info paradise , everything needs to be leaked

    I deplores th laeking of these police files w/o caveat its consistent with my view , but th leaking is consitent with wikileaks views of everything anything needs to be leaked

    Now if Assangne had of taken my position that nort should be leaked of FA social meetings unsoursed gossip and othr unproven stuff , and leaks should be only whistle blower std ie of a Govt’s ilegal acts and corrupt acts

  5. Labor’s A-S polisy is humane as i showed in my detailed a-s #1299 last thread

    I also showed why Greens polisy is grossly unhumane , as is Libs

    Labor’s politcal courage in standing by th A-S Labbor govt polisy detials I listed in that post is shown by th 64% of australiens per last sampled poll who want A-S boat peoples simply returned and for thems to apply as normal for refugee status

  6. The real Wilkileaks. If anything else needs to be proven about how Abbott is using the AS purely as a political football. Even Barnyard refused to use the latest AS episode as a political football. Shameless.


    [Wilkie blows whistle on Abbott’s backroom refugee deal – TONY ABBOTT offered to double Australia’s humanitarian refugee intake if Andrew Wilkie helped him form government after this year’s federal election, the independent MP has revealed………… ”Four months ago the Opposition Leader said he supported a doubling of the humanitarian refugee intake, and if he now turns around and says no, it would turn that offer into a really ugly political gesture,” Mr Wilkie said.]

  7. I am not surprised at Abbott offering Wilkie everything he could think of (billion for a local hospital) doubling intake of refugee etc) I wonder what he offered the other independents, which hasn’t come to light yet? BUT were they written promises as laid out in the 7.30 report with KO?

  8. Ron

    That is just muddying the water. The obvious difference with Assange is that the private stuff arguably would NOT pass a public interest test. If a charge is laid then it becomes public, but if not, it is private. The material Assange has released has been public interest: actions of State agencies and opinions on politicla matters of politilca leaders. I haven’t read cables Assange has released about the personal life of politicians, from whatever Arbib, Clinton or Bush did to anyone else.

    Are you in favour of all personal details about Australian political figures being released too? A few woudl not come out unscathed from that. At least one former Labor PM and two Premiers I am aware of would find such releases highly embarrassing to say the least.

    The only law Assange has broken is not to embarrass those who make the laws. Joe Biden calls him a “high tech terrorist”. Pretty flexible definition of terrorism. Would Cheney qualify.

  9. I wish this mornings newstainment breakfast shows had reported this quarterly breakdown. They are proclaiming all doom and gloom for Gillard and the government on the back of the latest Newspoll. It is also telling that in the last while the only poll they have mentioned to any degree is this latest Newspoll. Seems if it is a positive or neutral poll for the government it’s not newsworthy, but if it’s negative, no matter by how little in any area, then it must be proclaimed as doom for the government in the public interest of course.

  10. “plus ça change plus c’est la même!”

    [Actual arrivals fell by 34 from 4,175 in fiscal year 1999-2000 to 4,141 in the year 2000-2001, which ended June 30.

    In August, however, Australia experienced an upsurge of arrivals, with nearly 1,000 asylum seekers landing on Christmas Island and Ashmore Reef in a one-week period. Within 11 days, more than 1,500 had arrived, according to press reports. One boat carrying about 360 persons, which landed on Christmas Island on August 22, represented the “biggest boatload of asylum seekers ever to reach Australia,” according to press reports. They were the third group to land in six days, following a group of 348 who arrived on the island August 16, and 230 who reached Ashmore Reef August 20.

    A spokesperson for Australian Immigration Minister Philip Ruddock said that even more asylum seekers were preparing to leave Indonesia soon and that Australia was rushing to put contingency plans in place, such as increasing its detention capacity by readying unused military bases across the country. In response, the opposition party’s immigration spokesperson said the Australian government had “lost control over people smuggling” and that “we need a fresh approach.”

    On August 27, the government may have demonstrated such a fresh approach. For the first time, Australia refused entry to a ship carrying asylum seekers – in this case a Norwegian freighter, the Tampa, carrying 432 persons, mostly claiming to be Afghans. …
    While the Tampa remained in international waters 30 miles north of Christmas Island, UNHCR urged Australia, Indonesia and Norway to “work this out as soon as possible.” The agency also said Australia should “act according to humanitarian principles.”

    Two days later, Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer asked the United Nations, currently administering the tiny territory of East Timor in preparation for independence, to allow the asylum seekers to land in East Timor to have their refugee claims processed there. East Timorese leaders responded by offering to temporarily house the group if the United Nations paid the bill.]

    (from a 2001 UNHCR “refworld” article by the US Committee For Refugees and Immigrants)

  11. Just by the way, the “opposition party’s immigration spokesperson” who “said the Australian government had “lost control over people smuggling” would, I suspect , have been Con Sciacca. Julia Gillard didn’t become shadow minister for Immigration until a few weeks later, after the 2001 election.

  12. The following was the headline to the little intro story appeared on the SMH/Age business sites:
    [Retailers attack Labor]

    This struck me as a very unusual choice of headline. Surely, the more appropriate headline would have been:
    [Retailers attack government]
    When one clicks to the main story, that is the message for sure:
    […AUSTRALIAN retail heavyweights have attacked the government’s inquiry…mounting a campaign against the government…Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ordered…Mr Lew said he was ”baffled” that the federal government was prepared to offer overseas retailers a better deal.

    ”I am extremely disappointed that instead of taking decisive policy action, the government has referred this issue to the Productivity Commission,” he said.

    …”Retailers have already been lobbying the government on this issue for over nine months. By the time the government finally completes its nine-month review, that’s 18 months’ government inaction…the government will close us down]

    Not one mention of “Labor” in the article at all. Even the prime-minister is refered to by her state title. Even more so, not one mention of the Opposition’s own policy in this matter.

    So it was not at all a political story; just a typical industry lobbying versus government story that happens all the time. The headline is not a reflection of the story. So then why did the headline writer go with the overtly political “Labor” headline?

    Or maybe the question is better phrased, why didn’t the article go with the overtly political “Labor” angle? Perhaps the answer to that is in the final by-line to the article; it looks like it is a lazy, cheap, copy and paste “partner article”
    [With BLOOMBERG]
    Does this matter – that there is pretty compelling evidence that some-one is deliberately twisting a stock-standard business lobbying story into a political bias headline?

    Well, much like the Mining Tax fiasco, I think language can be used to undermine positions: “anti-Labor”, compared to “anti-government” compared to “anti-society” or “anti-Australia”.

  13. An interesting excerpt concerning Labor’s approach to Asylum seekers from the days prior to Tampa, from an interview of Ruddock by Tony Jones in August 2001:

    [TONY JONES: The Labor Party tonight is saying there’s another solution — that you need to intercept these boat people before they arrive and turn them back.

    PHILIP RUDDOCK: I mean, what they have to do is to expand on how that would be achieved.

    It was never done by Labor in office.

    It hasn’t been advanced as a solution by Labor till now.

    TONY JONES: What they’re saying is that you intercept the vessels, that the navy warn the sailors and skippers onboard these boats that, if they come to Australia with these boat people, they will be imprisoned, their boats will be destroyed and you can also tell the people onboard that they will be put in detention, and they say that will turn the boats around.

    PHILIP RUDDOCK: If that’s what they’re saying, that happens now.

    TONY JONES: You’re saying that all these recent arrivals you intercepted them before they arrived and told them not to come here and they came anyway to Chrismas Island?

    PHILIP RUDDOCK: I’m saying, other than those vessels that have arrived without us getting to the point where we interdicted them, have been warned in this way.

    TONY JONES: These recent arrivals, the large numbers, 350 here and 300 or more there, they’ve all been warned, have they?

    PHILIP RUDDOCK: If we had identified them coming and had our vessels out there before they arrived, they would have been warned in exactly that way.]

    Coupled with the Labor claims that the Coalition had “lost control over people smuggling” I mentioned earlier it is unfortunate that Labor seem to have been prepared to play politics themselves over Asylum Seeker issues themselves when in opposition. Makes it that much harder to neutralise the debate today

  14. [Other parts of the “process” involved murky dealings by Australian government agencies with known people smugglers like Kevin Enniss to subvert the process from the “inside” by fraudulently taking money from would be asylum seekers and then providing no service. It involved shady “deals” with Indonesian police involved in corrupt practices in the smuggling trade.]

    Rod@1116ast thread – Wilkie seemed to be intimating this stuff on AM this morning. He said Howard’s Pacific Solution was not the reason why the boats stopped. It was all done within Indonesia with Intelligence, etc. He said he wasn’t going to say how it was done tho.

    He talked about the corruption within Indonesia so I guess he knows more than most on what happened to stop people getting on boats.

  15. Hi vera

    Saw your comment in previous thread at 1341
    [The people where I live couldn’t care less about a carbon tax, what they do care about, especially the aged ,disability pensioners, carers and those on the minimum wage and low incomes is the fact that their power bills have doubled over the past year and are tipped to increase another 40 to 60% next year, They are freezing in winter and sweltering in summer because they can no longer afford to use their fans or heaters.
    This is the lucky country?

    Labor could win all these folk by saying . we care, we’ll use the $6bil we saved on the NBN to repair and upgrade the power infrastructure which the state and Fed govts have allowed to run down over the past 10 years. Then tell these people their bills won’t need to increase as they won;t have to pay for the infrastructure as they the govt will’]
    I am not sure of that infrastructure spend would be enough to prevent electricity price rises, at least here in NSW.

    There has been substantial inflation in energy costs over recent years. Some of the impact of this in Australia has been cushioned by the strong Aussie dollar (e.g. petrol prices). Some of this in NSW has been cushioned by long term coal supply contracts – which have meant that coal prices (and hence electricity prices) have been well below market. These contracts are now/will shortly start to roll off, resulting in coal prices increasing more to market (despite the best efforts of comrade Roozendaal and his fellow brezhnevites).

    As I say, I am not sure that infrastrucutre spend alone will compensate for coal price inflation, but I doubt it.

  16. Wilkie keeping his independence, having a go at both major parties

    INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie has turned down a spot on the Federal Government’s standing group on Christmas Island, saying Australia wants action, not talk.

    The former intelligence officer has launched a blistering attack on the Government’s approach to asylum seekers in the wake of last week’s boat accident which killed at least 30 people.

    He wants Labor to immediately double its humanitarian intake of refugees as well as boosting “disruption” operations in Indonesia to stop boats setting sail.

    “The Government has dropped the ball,” Mr Wilkie told ABC Radio today.

    “Whatever it is doing is clearly not working.

    “Even the best defence force … is still going to struggle to pick up small wooden boats in that big ocean, (so) you’ve got to stop the boats leaving Indonesia.

    “It has to be ramped up, we have to hunt the smugglers down and put them out of business.”

    He rejected the Government’s proposed standing group as unnecessary, joining ranks with the Opposition, which has already refused to be involved.

    “This isn’t a case of setting up another committee and talking about it for another six months,” Mr Wilkie said.

    “This is a case of looking at what we can do now and implementing them now.

    “If we wait another six months, more people are going to die.”

    and Tone denies offering to double the intake

    Mr Wilkie revealed that Opposition Leader Tony Abbott had offered to double Australia’s humanitarian intake in a bid to win the Independent MP’s support in forming government.

    Mr Wilkie said it was time for the Opposition to resurrect the offer.

    But a spokesman from Mr Abbott’s office said Mr Wilkie was exaggerating.

    “The possibility of a modest increase in the humanitarian intake through established UN channels was canvassed in the context of a much tougher border protection policy,” the spokesman said.

    “There was no suggestion of doubling the intake.”

    Read more:

  17. I think Labor may have found a spokesman to get some messages out. Stephen Jones on Sky at the moment has stood up really well.

    Anyone know much about him?

  18. Vera @ 25

    Yes. And also, if the infrastructure spend is going to have to happen anyway, the government should be get the political credit for it as well!!

    Maybe the government should employ some Fairfax sub-editor headline writers 😉

  19. [Maybe the government should employ some Fairfax sub-editor headline writers ;-)]

    Given that they can’t even spell properly in the media release headings- some sub-editors from anywhere would help.

  20. Vera

    Just read your at 1341 and would like to make the following observation.

    I worked for a State Inner City Pollie in the mid nineties. That electorate had 4,500 Dept of Housing properties. The wait list for housing was nine years.

    When the 1996 Federal Election was held – the figures showed that most of the polling booths in the areas where there were the bulk of the DOH residences – the Libs polled the majority of the votes. Whatever they thought Howard would do for them is beyond me – but they felt neglected by Labor.

    Mind you some people are never happy with whatever happens but your comment re the need for less talk of infrastructure studies and working parties etc and the more money spent on building infrastructure would be appreciated.

  21. Anonymous Labor MP’s arguing for a tougher Asylum Seeker policy

    Tony Abbott ended the political truce over the Christmas Island tragedy, refusing to join a bipartisan committee on the issue, and claiming that the government’s policies increased the risks of more boats arriving, and more loss of life at sea.

    Some Labor MPs privately agree, conceding that tougher policies – including a return to the Howard government’s Pacific Solution and temporary protection visas – may be required.

    “If you want to stop illegal immigration of this sort, you’ve got to go back to the policy that was proved to work under the previous government,” a senior Labor MP told The Australian.

    “I think the current government, when it faces the sort of political onslaught that is coming, can certainly change the policy back. Whether it will or not is another question, but the view I express is one held by many.”

    Queensland Premier and ALP national president Anna Bligh last week backed a complete review of the government’s border protection policies.

    Another federal Labor MP, who asked not to be named, told The Australian yesterday: “My view is the policy setting needs to be reviewed, and if you’re having a review, you’ve got to look at all the policy options.”


  22. Laocoon
    Fairfax go feral on Labor when it suits them
    wasn’t there a union rag called Labor Herald or am I getting confused with the old Workers online site which used to have a “tool of the week”?

    Anyway we could get our own rag going and stand on street corners and do the rounds of pubs like the Salvos do with Warcry 😉

  23. I crown Tony Burke the King of Indecision.

    Yet again. This is beyond a joke. The Hawke Review was commissioned in OCTOBER 2008. There were submissions and hearings and the Dpeartment put together a cabinet submission and now THIS….

    [Burke cans Garrett’s work to start anew

    December 20, 2010

    PLANS to overhaul Australia’s environment laws are in limbo after the Environment Minister, Tony Burke, scrapped work by his predecessor, Peter Garrett.

    The Herald understands that as environment minister, Mr Garrett prepared a cabinet submission proposing the government accept a significant proportion of recommendations made by an independent review to give the laws more teeth, while cutting business red tape.

    In an interview with the Herald, Mr Burke said he had requested fresh advice from his department on the recommendations of the review, which was headed by the former senior bureaucrat Dr Alan Hawke.

    Mr Burke said he had not asked to see Mr Garrett’s cabinet submission: ”I have only asked the department for advice from scratch.

    ”We’re committed to responding, and that commitment hasn’t changed,” he said. ”I’ve wanted to look over the recommendations with a fresh set of eyes … and I won’t be able to declare particular reforms that we’re taking up until we have developed a government position.”

    Its like they are deliberately following Yes Minister scripts.

  24. Mytwobobsworth

    I just think a roof over the head and being able to afford to pay the bills are the most important things for most people.
    You’re right about some never being happy, all the handouts come election time by Howard satisfied the greed of some who didn’t need the extra cash. Then you get the whingers who wan;t what others who have worked hard for to get for free

    back to the basics would be a good starting point for stopping the Abbott spin conning these people like they were when they became Howard battlers (makes you sick just saying it, Howard Battlers that is. yuck!)

  25. [“If you want to stop illegal immigration of this sort, you’ve got to go back to the policy that was proved to work under the previous government,” a senior Labor MP told The Australian.]

    See, people that think there is proof that these policies ‘worked’ shouldn’t be in the ALP (assuming News Limited didn’t just make this up). What is it with ALP politicians talking to News Limited. Might as well go and confess to Tony Abbott directly. It has the same effect.

    The ALP should just take the Wilkie line on this and say they will double the refugee intake. Then Abbott can try to wriggle out of his offer to Wilkie (with the media most likely fully supporting Abbott’s change of mind). At least the ALP will get some points from former ALP voters parked with the Greens. Who knows, it might even improve their primary vote.

  26. [The Guardian defended its decision to report (LEAK) on the incriminating police files.]

    I can understand the Guardians position, they don’t want to be see to be uncritically supporting one side of the ‘argument’ only and may feel they have to balance the ledger with regard the girls and the accusations.

    I think the leaking of details of personal accusations against individuals is not proper as they are untested and will come out in a court case. However since three quarters of the story is out there anyway it is probably best to have the whole story out, if this is the whole story.

    It was the Swedish prosecutors office that sullied these waters in the first instance by immediately leaking to the press they had accusations against Assange (now why would they do that?) and in the Second instance you then had one of the ladies do an interview with the press a few days later. So that was hardly fair and equitable treatment of a ‘defendant’ in a sexual misconducted case regularly referred to as rape and molestation from the beginning, highly emotive and damning charges to bought, and ones that will stick if shown to be false.

    The full details as they are now released seem to be pretty much as implied earlier. And there remain a number of bits of unexplained strangeness by some of the players in this and the possibility from the actions taken that collusion could be implied by all parts of the prosecutors side, even if not true in fact it certainly gives rise to those questions.

    So we know from the stories so far that the ladies did not have the intention of making formal accusations against Assange that would lead to charges but were it seems interested in getting him to have an STD test. It seems it was the presecutor that said based on their stories that they could make formal accusations, subsequently dropped. And we know the rest from there.

    I don’t think it helps the ladies position at all to have as their lawyer a well known crusader against men as it were (all men share a collective guilt for violence against women wtte is his position, and he supports a tax on men for same). As a jury will assume this guy will over state his case and the ‘facts’ to support his ideological position rather than prosecuting on behalf of the ladies.

    As I have said before the way in which these accusations and this case has evolved create much doubt and suspicion and do harm to the process of justice. The Swedish have harmed the girls case and the whole furore with Assange at the centre inevitably you would think makes ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ hard to achieve regardless of the facts. It has gone beyond a simple accusation and court case to a battle between the USA and Assange with each bit player being under suspicion.

  27. If any party wants to take more refugees, they need to create national desire to do so. For the ALP, that would mean JG taking some camera crews to the Thai-Burma refugee camps.

  28. sickofitall,

    Yep, I am with you. I think it is time for the PM to pull out the discussion on review of cross-media ownership in Australia.

  29. Good news for Territorians. Perenial CLP flag waver and labor hater Peter Murphy no longer has his prominently placed Sunday Territorian rant. Thank god for small mericies and loss of his bile from those pages.

    We unfortunately do have Bolt rubbish.

    Laurie Oaks replaces Murphy and though some here might complain about him he is I can tell you 1,000 percent more preferrable to the likes of Murphy and help bring some balance the nonsense Bolt serves up.

  30. Space Kidette,

    [I think it is time for the PM to pull out the discussion on review of cross-media ownership in Australia.]

    Fear not. Senator Stephen Conroy is on the case!

    [Convergence Review

    The Australian Government has announced its intention to conduct a Convergence Review in 2011, in response to ongoing trends in technology that are reshaping the media landscape from how it looked in the 1990s, which is when Australia’s current media and communications regulatory frameworks were established.

    Terms of Reference

    The draft Terms of Reference for the Convergence Review aim to highlight the major issues that arise as a result of convergence. These include the value of Australian and local content, diversity of voices, community standards, regulatory certainty, competition and innovation. We encourage you to contribute to the conversation.]

    They’re inviting submissions from the public. Perhaps Poll Bludgers should put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) …

  31. Heard on a kids cartoon this morning:

    “Are you calling me an idiot?”

    “No, you are clearly underqualified.”

    Made me laugh on a day when the newspapers have left me feeling very angry.

  32. Cuppa,

    Thanks for the convergence post. Finally a ray of sunshine. I will be reading this and doing anything I can to influence the outcome – no matter how tiny.

  33. SK,

    This is really a rare opportunity to tell them what we think when we can be sure they’re listening. I hope all concerned PBers take the time to contribute.

  34. I’m sure this won’t surprise.

    [The quality of life in Australia’s big cities is falling and could get worse, Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s own department has conceded in a confidential briefing.

    It also warns the gap between the haves and the have-nots is widening.

    The incoming government brief given to Ms Gillard by her department in September, released to _The West Australian _under Freedom of Information, also shows growing concern that the living standard problems faced by many is because of State Government incompetence.]


    INDEPENDENT MP Andrew Wilkie has turned down a spot on the Federal Government’s standing group on Christmas Island, saying Australia wants action, not talk.
    The former intelligence officer has launched a blistering attack on the Government’s approach to asylum seekers in the wake of last week’s boat accident which killed at least 30 people.
    He wants Labor to immediately double its humanitarian intake of refugees as well as boosting “disruption” operations in Indonesia to stop boats setting sail.
    “The Government has dropped the ball,” Mr Wilkie told ABC Radio today.
    “Whatever it is doing is clearly not working.

  36. Some informative papers:

    1. Under the Radar : dog-whistle politics in Australia / by Josh Fear. 2007 (Discussion Paper Number 96 / Australia Institute)
    [Over recent years, dog whistlers have been especially well-placed to exploit
    community concerns arising from overseas conflict and the threat of terrorism. They have also sought to create and inflame paranoia about minority groups and outsiders, and to taint the politics of immigration and Aboriginal affairs with parochialism and suspicion. But they have rarely done so explicitly, preferring to leave the task of interpretation to the target audience and to well-placed allies in the media.]

    2. The Politics of the Pacific Solution : the context and consequences of an Australian policy / by Susan Metcalfe

    3. Race and Australian Immigration Policy / by Drew Cottle and Dawn Bolger

  37. My email to Andrew Wilkie MP


    I have always had the ultimate respect for you as you have clearly demonstrated that you are a principled man. These days they are hard to find.

    That is why I am very surprised, and if I am totally honest, less than impressed at the approach you have taken when dealing with your issues with the government. Lobbing grenades in the press directed at the government with its clear message of ‘do it my way or else’ tone, does not strike me as either professional or honest. Every time you do it, people like myself, acknowledge another withdrawal from your ‘reputation’ account.

    On the complex, multi-layered issue of Asylum Seekers, I find your approach to the solution rather simplistic, which if you were a regular politician, I could excuse, but your given your profession is one that requires complex analysis, I find I cannot.

    Also by failing to take up the offer to participate in dealing with the Christmas Island issue, I feel that your actions are being governed by politics, which given your ‘appeal to increase numbers on humanitarian grounds’ smacks of outright hypocrisy. If you are real about your appeal to humanity than at least man up and take part in the solution.

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