Monday preselection snippets

Another post to keep the threads brief pending re-establishment of paged comments. Essential Research will as always reports its latest poll result today, but it’s an off week for Newspoll.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian reports on yet another figure of the Howard years being mooted for a comeback: Jim Lloyd, who lost Robertson to Belinda Neal in 2007. The report says the Liberals have used automated phone polling locally to test the name recognition of Lloyd, current Labor member Deb O’Neill and the Liberals’ unsuccessful 2010 candidate, Darren Jameson. It also quotes Peter Reith’s post-election review criticising the party’s failure to encourage Lloyd to run last time, which “caused disaffection in a number of the branches”. Lloyd is now 57 and “has worked as a tour bus driver and for a local marine research firm” since his exit from parliament.

Imre Salusinszky of The Australian (again) reports the NSW Liberals’ decision to deal promptly with preselections for 16 seats it currently holds is likely to bolster Mitchell MP Alex Hawke in a preselection challenge from his foes in the David Clarke Right sub-faction. The report speaks of “vigorous recruitment in Mitchell by Mr Hawke’s enemies, but the opening of nominations means members who have joined in the past nine months will not be eligible to participate”. It also says Philip Ruddock is unlikely to be challenged if he seeks another term in Berowra, despite long-term jockeying in the seat by the David Clarke Right faction. The likely candidate to succeed Ruddock is said to be political staffer Noel McCoy, but he has ruled out nominating against Ruddock.

Usman Azad of the Kalgoorlie Miner reports the WA Liberals have “set a $500,000 target for a war chest to topple O’Connor MP Tony Crook, with most of the funds destined to build name recognition for his challenger Rick Wilson”. The party reportedly believes television advertising funded by Clive Palmer was responsibile for the Nationals’ win in 2010 at the expense of Liberal veteran Wilson Tuckey, and is determined not to be outdone again.

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.

217 comments on “Monday preselection snippets”

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  1. The certainties of #QANTAS:

    [Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    1/2 Certainty? Yep, overseas customers now know #QANTAS will shutdown without warning, support and consideration for them. #QANTAS is fuacked
    3 minutes ago ]

    [Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    2/2 Certainty? Yep, we now know #QANTAS has a CEO who will take a 71% payrise & the next day tells everyone to get fuacked. #QANTAS is fuacked
    1 minute ago]

  2. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    Certainty? Yep, #FWA works & rocks. Under #Workchoice, the #QANTAS workers would have been sacked by now
    9 seconds ago

  3. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    Certainty? Yep, #QANTAS has shown, who needs the #MSM and the #MSMhacks

  4. Certainty? Yep, the Dawn Patrollers must report for duty NOW!!!! or face sacking or lockout. No appeal to #FWA will be allowed.

  5. Gillard 10 Abbott 0

    [Let’s get this straight. The Coalition, which has for years banged on about the dangers of compulsory industrial arbitration, is attacking the Gillard government for not intervening in the Qantas dispute sooner and under a legislative provision that would have forced an arbitrated outcome more quickly.

    And Alan Joyce has taken the ”nuclear option”, using provisions of Labor’s Fair Work Act, which business groups insist affords far too much power to unions.

    Like all watershed industrial disputes, the Qantas dispute will have both immediate political ramifications and a longer-term influence on the industrial relations debate……….. If her intervention results in Qantas rapidly returning to the skies and the industrial dispute being brought to a relatively quick end, both she and the laws will have passed it.]

    Read more:

  6. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    Certainty? Yep,Little Alan Joyce is now public enemy No: 1 #qantas

  7. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    #MSMhacks new line of attack: PM Gillard should have acted when she was informed by #qantas and not referred to #FWA Bench #auspol

  8. [With some of its bigger institutional shareholders putting pressure on the board to restore dividends after none for two years and lift its share price, which is trading below $1.55, a far cry from the $5 peak it hit before the global financial crisis, Joyce and the Qantas board decided to make industrial relations the weapon to cut costs and maintain margins and yields. In doing so they have driven the share price into the ground, making it a sitting duck for a takeover.]

    Good morning Bludgers! An interesting read followed by a poll….

    Did Qantas go too far by grounding its entire fleet and locking out workers?

    Yes 59%

    No 41%

  9. Good morning, Bludgers. Good morning, Finns.

    Ah, Qantas. My first long-haul to Frankfurt in the late 1970s. Over 420 passengers – a world record – crammed into the era’s new Jumbos. Food foul, but free grog flowing. Full of very loud, very drunk Aussies & Germans, and the toilets really vile, before we cleared the Wide Brown (red, actually) Land, and it would be so much worse by the time we landed in Frankfurt. The return Lufthansa flight with c280 passengers on the the same model Jumbo was sooo civilised!

    Lesson 1 of long-haul flights: Don’t fly Qantas unless forced to!

    Reinforced by several later ones (mercifully not to Europe) when compulsorily flying on group bookings, and the last a “lunch flight” to Tassie with rude service desks, a sour crew and an awful biscuit for lunch – after years of civilised, quiet, uncrowded Asian & Pacific airlines, and a couple with Britannia (charter). The only other long-haul that was almost as bad was British Airways “With a minimum of fuss” aka “don’t expect any service, so don’t bother pushing the buzzer”.

    So our pathetic dishonest media is blaming Gillard. Well, of course they do. Almost as loudly as they would have screamed denunciations had she pre-emptively intervened before Joyce pulled the plug.

    By this time, almost all of the media have invested their credibility in fawning over Abbott and advancing his cause through memes like “Julia’s gone”, “Julia’s incompetent”, Gillard mishandles”, “lacks a narrative” etc, and “Gone by Christmas”, “Backbench rumblings”, “Rudd/ Shorten/ Smith/ whoever challenge” that they feel they have to keep it up despite the government’s legislative successes.

  10. Thefinnigans TheFinnigans天地有道人无道
    Every time an overseas customer steps inside a #QANTAS plane, he/she now knows he/she could be stranded without warning. Think about that.
    5 seconds ago

  11. OZ, it’s good to see some life still on the morning shift. I flew QANTAS once in the last 20 years or so and it was a freebie.

  12. Good morning Bludgers and the prolific Finns.
    The FWA has worked just like the legislation (read Gillard) intended. Quick, responsive and decisive.
    As the 21 days expire it will be interesting to see how the game of “chicken” plays out under the spectre of imminent arbiration.
    And I wonder if there will be any questions from the Opposition on the matter directed to the government in QT today. You can bet there will be some Dorothy Dixers on it.

  13. From a good SMH article on FWA and the Qantas situation.
    [The government’s response, until Qantas took steps on Saturday to bring the dispute to a head, has been: ”Let the parties sort this out within the framework of the legislation.” More broadly, the government has denied that the Fair Work Act is responsible for recent industrial disputes or any decline in productivity.
    Advertisement: Story continues below
    What needs to be made clear is that the Qantas dispute has not been caused by any changes to the legal framework of industrial relations introduced by the Fair Work system. Moreover, it is the Fair Work Act that provides a mechanism for resolution of the dispute through the industrial umpire, Fair Work Australia.
    This dispute has been protracted and hard fought because Qantas is seeking to make significant changes to its operations through the enterprise bargaining process, including sending some functions offshore. These changes hold profound implications for the airline’s workforce.
    The right of employees, unions and employers to take protected industrial action in support of their position in bargaining disputes has been a feature of federal workplace laws since 1993. These rights continued to operate even under John Howard’s WorkChoices legislation.

    Read more:

  14. Morning all. A relatively good one for the government, though nobody should forget that tens of thousands of Qantas passengers have already had their plans disrupted, some at considerable cost. As for the damage to Qantas, it will be interesting to watch their share price.

  15. Well, the cannot spin this, try, but if i was I. An airport this morning any the, pm appeared on he big screens, I would stand and clap her I feel I. The end many would join me,

    On the other hand we still want to see happen what the unions want and deserve
    700. Plus, bag handlers, = bos s. Million s a year, money he could never spend in his life time,
    So many people want to be the richest person in the grave yard,
    O and I want the plane s. Serviced here this for jobs, so abbott foesnt want jobs then for austtalians.
    And would i suspect been happy to see peoples lives in turmoil today, people do t only fly for holidays

    But. He whats wrong with holiday, it beats riding bikes everywhere,

    My musings just I erupted by phone call from daughter, who said, well that’s. All good
    but not flying with them till new management, so t hats an indication I think,

    Better feed the starving children, mother must be on the mend when she ring s to see if oma has fed them yet
    Gees Louise they ain’t gunna starve I said ‘lol

  16. I agree the Adelaide Ferguson story on Qantas is good. It highlights three things the government must do in the aftermath of the Qantas dispute:

    1. Gillard must point out that the government should not take sides, and was just trying to get planes back in the air.
    2. Do NOT assume everyone is an IR lawyer and knows how the FWA Act works. Qantas says it had “no choice”. We know this is a lie, but punters like Peter Hartcher have already fallen for it. Gillard should explain that the FWA Act had many options for both parties to force arbitration. Qantas chose blackmail, contrary to Hartcher:
    3, Change the Act immediately! It is clearly too weak on employers. The same rules preventing damaging secondary impacts from actions must be on both sides. Gillard’s line should be “Qantas has used a loophole”, which it has. So close it.

    Finally, any action to make Qantas liable for the consequences of its shutdown should be pursued. Patients and doctors were stranded by the suddenness of this dispute, some in Alice Springs. Never mind the money, it has probably caused deaths.

  17. For those who thought Hartcher was reasonable… I hope the truth is now pretty clear.

    [Qantas should have given the government as much notice as possible. It gave it only three hours. Still, crises test leaders. Gillard has failed the test of this crisis.]

    So, the planes are back flying, the parties are negotiating, the FWA Act worked… still Gillard failed.

    Indeed, Hartcher also reckons Abbott failed… but Abbott’s not Prime Minister. Who could expect someone who claims to be ready for an election tomorrow to have a policy in the minor – what did Hartcher call it on Saturday? “Marginal”? -area of IR?

    If the government had declared the matter terminated off its own bat, without the FWA, Gillard would have also “failed” because she had an Act (one she authored herself) and failed to use it to its full potential, panicking at her first “test”, signalling to any and every big industrialist that they could close down their airline (or their mines, or their electricity company), throwing the nation into chaos and the minister would meekly sort things out for them.

    According to Hartcher, Gillard is supposed to have forseen that Qantas would shit in its own nest, alienate its own customers all over the world, wrecking their holidays and their other travel plans, causing the poor sods great personal, emotional and economic loss (in some cases all three) at the cost of $25 million a day directly, and hundreds of millions indirectly to the nation at large.

    She is supposed to have gone nuclear straight off the bat, giving the come-hither to the rest of the industrial Nazis sitting on boards all over Australia who have never stopped hating unions and their own workers, and Labor.

    All along Abbott is waving from the back of the pack yelling “Me too!” – no policy, full of contradictions, ineffectual and crassly opportunistic, atop a divided party, split between the timid WorkChoices-Is-Dead wets and the Rottweiler-Fancier thugs who, if they see a head, kick it.

    I have a feeling the real loser out of all this will be Qantas. They have told their customers that they don’t want them as customers. Nothing could be clearer than that.

    They have been prepared to leave their paying passengers stranded in airports all over the world, trying to sleep in airport lounges, eating stale donuts and over-priced junk food, no change of clothes, no refunds and its all too bad, so sad.

    They are already bleating about how the international routes are bleeding them dry. Why would they want international customers? It’s the biggest Eff Youse All dummy spit in Australian corporate history.

    They did not consult the government until the last few days, they had planned this for weeks, and they did not tell the minister what was up until the last minute.

    There has hardly been a vox pop from an airport that does not contain the words “Qantas: never again.” The passengers know who bastardized whom, and they/re not happy. But Qantas doesn’t care, because the sooner they get rid of their pesky hangers-on – the ones who naively just wanted to travel from A to B on what was once a decent airline without the extra hassles like not being able to get home (like it says in the TV commercials) – the better.

    Yet Gillard, personally, herself, has “failed” says Hartcher, because settling this dispute took 36 hours.

    That’s some “test” he’s invented there.

    Please, NO MORE “Hartcher nails it” posts here. Saturday’s opinion piece, seeking to elevate a kids’ debating competition to national significance (on the “only a senior journo can see the connection” basis), and now today’s piece of tripe disqualify the man from further consideration as a balanced, mature commentator. With his plummy, affected voice and his ridiculous pin-stripe suits, Hartcher has written himself out of the pages of decency and back onto the low road of hackery.

  18. Let’s hope the Greens don’t follow up the argument in Adam Bandt’s blog that Julia Gillard should have supported the Union’s request for a suspension of industrial action and not sought a termination.

    The last thing the PM needs is pressure from them. Disunity will mean certain death for the Greens and Labor in this hung Parliament. The FWA decision aside and no matter how it’s spun by the media and the Opposition I think Julia Gillard has come out of this well. She has kept her head and her distance and will no doubt find a way to deal with Joyce if arbitration has failed in a month’s time.

  19. [Well, they cannot spin this,]

    But they’re trying their best as BB points out above and for further proof see the opinion piece by Simen Benson in the Horrorgraph.

  20. BB

    I agree with you on Hartcher’s piece today. It was absolute rubbish. It is only valid if you accept the assumption that Qantas had no choice. As I said before, and even Lenore Taylor in the same paper pointed out, that is false. But that is why the government and unions need to point out very clearly:
    – what the alternatives were
    – whether Qantas made any legitimate attempts to negotiate with unions pre Saturday

    Hartcher seems to be using a meme where he is weaving everything into stories about leadership. Some issues are not about leadership – they are about the issue itself.

  21. A good news story for art- and bird-lovers, especially Gould’s. Exciting Aussie birds”

    [WHEN Carol McCabe first laid eyes on the 160-year-old lithographs now on display at Atelier Unique Fine Art, it took all her self-control to keep her excitement under wraps.

    The original prints by renowned English ornithologist and artist John Gould were up for sale at a conference in the United States, during her most recent rarity-finding trip.

    The images, now taking pride of place in her shop, depict the colourful birdlife discovered by Australia’s first British settlers.]

    Here’s hoping that, if we don’t already have those prints, Tmba Regional Council buys them.

    Thanks to the relative (?nephew) who inherited Gould’s estate (and married some quite close ‘lation of my DDowns grandmother – I met Lucy once as a pre-schooler), and both left their collections to Toowoomba, we have a splendid collection of Goulds – original watercolours and their first-copy prints, and the books. A few are usually on the Art Gallery walls, as are some Norman Lindsays, a few good Oz paintings, an occasional lovely 1950-80s (or Japanese) pot and bits of the map/ manuscript collection. Only a few, though. Most of the collections live in warehouses. The art gallery is like a modern terrace house & quite a small one. Hopeless!

    In odd Persistence of memory, I’d spent more than a decade collecting early china, miniatures, small silver boxes etc before I again saw the Gould collection, and realised I’d tried to replicate it (though my bird prints were modern repos).

    BTW, survived last night’s Donner und Blitzen, and tree parts hitting the windows, though I’ve yet to do an exterior inspection. Hope SK & others from SQ & N-NSW did also.

  22. [Change the Act immediately! It is clearly too weak on employers. The same rules preventing damaging secondary impacts from actions must be on both sides.]

    I think Howards legislation had clause allowing for unions to be sued and multi-million dollar fines for the type of action that Qantas took and would have been liable for were it a union doing what it had done. That is refusal of service with out notice.

    Why could Qantas not have given its passengers and the public advance notice it was going to close down all services, it chose the most opportune moment, the closing of Chogm, when leaders were heading home, the Cup weekend to inflict maximum disruption.

    Sadly the ABC ticker had the Qantas line that industrial action, a strike, had caused the shutdown, not management action.

    BB says it all about Hartcher, there are also other commentators giving their view in the media. The SMH is usually good is tacking a end piece to the articles to give their background, ie IPA, ex-lib minister, union official etc. This should be compulsory so readers know they are not always getting an informed impartial opinion.

    Sunrise had Smith from 2ue giving his opinion, even offering his assessment of Qantas profits and economic competitiveness. Truly if the bloke had even half a clue about finance or aviation or industrial relations he would not be a shock jock on 2ue, why insult viewers putting his views forward.

  23. From the DT:

    [It is understood that all it would have taken for Qantas to cancel the grounding was for Ms Gillard to declare all future industrial action illegal.]

    Oh, that’s right. A bizoid calls up the PM in executive session of CHOGM – just a talkfest anyway – and instructs her what to do, and she should jump.

    Another fail.

    But somehow I don’t think this will catch on. Too many pissed off passengers. Too many punters who don’t like Irish scrubbers coming here and trashing our ikonic Australian airline.

    Maybe if engines hadn’t been falling off Qantas planes almost weekly, and tens of thousands of innocent passengers hadn’t been left in the lurch all over the world, and maybe if he hadn’t scooped up $2 million in extra pay the day before all hell broke loose, Joyce (and his media urgers) might have a point, but not any more.

  24. Michael West has a more perceptive analysis of Qantas management, and why Alan Joyce got a pay rise:
    [No wonder Qantas’s chairman, Leigh Clifford, was keen to push through a massive pay rise for Alan Joyce – this is danger money.

    On top of bizarre antics like the death-threat publicity blitz, Joyce has presided over a billion-dollar wipe-out of shareholder wealth and been outmanoeuvred on strategy by his opposite number at Virgin, John Borghetti.

    His days were numbered anyway. But now he has embarked on the biggest industrial relations fling since Chris Corrigan took on the maritime unions.

    Though, unlike the waterfront, Qantas has a customer base and a brand to protect. Its bookings have been slaughtered.]
    West is right – Clifford and Joyce had already decided on the nuclear option, knew it might cost Joyce his job, and decided to give him a parting gift. Shame on both.

    Again, as I have said many times before, there is far too little in Australian law requirign CEOs to act in shareholder’s interests.

  25. I heard on ABC Radio this morning that the Govt is thinking about allowing international carriers onto domestic routes.
    What other privileges can the Govt take away from Qantas if it refuses to act like a national carrier should?

  26. Castle – Smith is from 2GB – although he might end up at 2UE if he inappropriately touches a female staff member again (to go with his conviction for falsley signing a bail document).

    I met some people a few weeks ago who have the misfortune of being parents at Smith’s childern’s school. In real life he is as bad as on the radio throwing his weight around etc.

  27. Clearly Qantas cannot be trusted to provide air services in Australia.

    Time to declare an “open skies” policy to the likes of Singapore Airlines and Air New Zealand etc, but make them employ Australians on fair Australian conditions.

    In the meantime lets see if customers *forgive* Qantas or shift ongoing business to other airlines.

    BTW Virgin Blue’s share price is down 16% calendar year to date. Qantas is down 39% for the same period before the market opens later this morning. Investors were already voting with their feet before this all blew up.

    This is interesting –

    [ The reality is all its businesses are doing well, except the international airline business, which Joyce says is losing more than $200 million a year. It is this business that some argue is helping bankroll some of Jetstar’s costs.


    So if they cut the loss making overseas routes, ie only those losing money, most of their *problem* disappears ?

    Instead Qantas wants its Australian workers to pay for loss making routes.

  28. [ shellbell
    Posted Monday, October 31, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    I saw a Qantas jet (767 I think) flying into Sydney from the north about 7.30am – Ghost plane? ]

    Yes, I saw another *Red Tail* on approach over northern Sydney about 6:30 am while laying in bed.

  29. [ castle
    Posted Monday, October 31, 2011 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Why could Qantas not have given its passengers and the public advance notice it was going to close down all services, it chose the most opportune moment ]

    More to the point –

    [ Why did Qantas continue selling tickets when they knew those flights would never operate? ]

  30. [Federal independent MP Bob Katter says Qantas CEO Alan Joyce should be sacked before he destroys the airline.]

    Smart man the Mad Hat.

  31. SkyNews Banner.

    And now they are parroting Abbott’s line that the government should have acted sooner.

  32. Dennis Atkins in CM, written before FWA decision, but still interesting –

    [ Qantas never asked for direct Government intervention, preferring to use surrogates including third-party business groups and friendly state governments.

    …If Gillard can get a speedy resolution out of Fair Work Australia she will be on strong ground. As well as Fair Work being her own legislation, she cut her political teeth as an industrial lawyer.

    Abbott doesn’t want a fight on industrial relations because he has a number of Liberal MPs who want Labor’s regime unwound, exposing the Coalition to a “WorkChoices is coming back” attack. ]

  33. []

    It didn’t take sides. It put the legislation in place, creating the FWA system in which all parties, inc the government on correct grounds, can put their cases . In this case, all three parties argued on different grounds.

    The Prime Minister referred the Qantas situation to FWA as soon as Qantas stopped operations, and correctly argued the government’s case on grounds available to it – threat to economy and national interest. Had she pre-empted Qantas’s move, there was a possibility Qantas would renege on the threat, and the media would have screamed blue murder.

    Some people need to read the legislation.

  34. The real villain in this is the original Qantas privatisation deal. This outcome was predictable then. It has just taken a long time to come.

    There is one thing that has made Qantas great – its safety record which is based on quality pilots flying well maintained planes.

    Pay pilots peanuts and you will not keep quality. When piloting was a well paid and respected job all sorts of bright kids made this their career choice. Good standards, bright and competent pilots. However if the pay rate is say less than a teacher and much much less than a lawyer or share trader why would any smart kid become a pilot. – Long hours and high risk. Sure there might be some foreign pilots of quality where the Qantas pay is still much better than the alternatives in country of origin, however it will be hard to brand Qantas as an Australian airline if captains are not Australian.

    Similarly the cabin staff. If crew are Asian (and paid Asian wages) it will be difficult to see how Qantas will be perceived any longer as an Aussie brand. Especially if the English skills of captain and crew are not the best – or the accent so thick you cannot follow.

    Sadly I think it is time to kill Qantas. – or re-nationalise it but that is a forlorn hope.

    Let us Aussies have a memory of what once was – something we can be proud of even if gone. When the new asianised airline has its first big crash let it NOT be flying the Qantas banner

    Cry my beloved icon

  35. What seems to be missing in all of this is that Qantas is/was a strategic asset. One that we may need in the event of a conflict.

    Isn’t that a reason to nationalize it if it’s going to go to the wall as Joyce & co claim?

    It seems it’s charter is not strong enough and needs another look at.

    * glad you liked my comments on Mr Abbott castle *

  36. Good morning, fellow Bludgers!

    The sun is up.

    The birds are singing.

    Labor is still in government.

    Julia Gillard is still Prime Minister.

    Wayne Swan is the World’s Greatest Treasurer.

    All is right with the world.

    PS. When I was watching the news yesterday and I heard Tony Abbott say that Julia Gillard should have intervened in that 3 hour window of opportunity on Saturday, shortly followed by Alan Joyce saying exactly the same thing, I thought, ‘hmmm. No surprises there.’

    The giant wrecker of Qantas, ruining holidays and livelihoods everywhere and the giant wrecker of the Australian polity are on the same page. Colour me amazed. In fact, I’ll take it one step further: they have talked about this and decided what tack they wanted to take. Dutifully, the MSM have decided to follow suit and blame the PM.

    Although I have notice that Joyce is apparently retreating from his claim that he contacted the PM on Saturday and she didn’t return his call. There will evidently be a “clarification” later today (obviously the same sort of “clarification” that is called “back-flip” when it is done by a Labor person).

    Either way, one thing is certain; Alan Joyce just proved he is almost as big a dill as Barnaby Joyce.

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