Seat of the week: Lyons

The central Tasmanian electorate of Lyons covers some of the poorest and least ethnically diverse territory in the country, and it recorded the nation’s biggest anti-Labor swing at the 2013 election.

Known prior to 1983 as Wilmot, Lyons covers what’s left over of Tasmania after the north-west coast (Braddon), north-east coast (Bass), central Hobart (Denison) and Hobart’s outskirts (Franklin) are ordered into natural communities of interest. It thus includes small towns on either side of Tasmania’s pronounced north-south divide, including New Norfolk outside Hobart and the southern outskirts of Launceston, along with fishing towns and tourist centres on the east coast and rural territory in between, together with a short stretch of the northern coast between Braddon and Bass at Port Sorell. According to the 2011 census, Lyons has the lowest proportion of non-English speakers of any electorate in the country, along with the second lowest proportion of people who finished high school and the sixth lowest median family income. The Liberals gained the seat in 2013 on the back of the election’s biggest swing, which converted an existing Labor margin of 11.9% into a Liberal margin of 1.2%.

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate size of two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Wilmot was in conservative hands from 1901 to 1929, when it was won for Labor by the man whose name it now bears. Joseph Lyons had been Tasmania’s Premier until the defeat of his minority government in 1928, and upon entering federal parliament he assumed the position of Postmaster-General in the newly elected government of Jim Scullin. However, Lyons and his followers split from Labor in 1931 after a dispute over economic policy in response to the Depression. Joining with the opposition to become the leader of the new conservative United Australia Party, Lyons became Prime Minister after a landslide win at the election held the following December, retaining the position through two further election victories until his death in 1939.

Labor briefly resumed its hold on Wilmot after the by-election that followed Lyons’ death, but Allan Guy recovered it for the United Australia Party at the general election of 1940. It next changed hands at the 1946 election when Labor’s Gil Duthie unseated Guy against the trend of a national swing to the newly formed Liberal Party. Duthie went on to hold the seat for nearly three decades, until all five Tasmanian seats went from Labor to Liberal in 1975. The 9.9% swing that delivered the seat to Max Burr in 1975 was cemented by an 8.0% swing at the next election in 1977, and the Franklin dam issue ensured the entire state remained on side with the Liberals in 1983 and 1984. The realignment when Burr retired at the 1993 election, when the loss of Burr’s personal vote combined with the statewide backlash against John Hewson’s proposed goods and services tax delivered a decisive 5.6% swing to Labor.

Labor’s member for the next two decades was Dick Adams, a former state government minister who had lost his seat in 1982. Adams survived a swing in 1996 before piling 9.3% on to his margin in 1998, enough of a buffer to survive a small swing in 2001 and a large one in 2004, as northern Tasmania reacted against Labor forestry policies which Adams had bitterly opposed. Strong successive performances in 2007 and 2010 left Adams with what appeared to be a secure buffer, but this proved illusory in the face of a swing in 2013 that reached double figures in all but a handful of the electorate’s booths, and in several cases topped 20%. The victorious Liberal candidate was Eric Hutchinson, a wool marketer with Tasmanian agribusiness company Roberts Limited, who had also run in 2010.

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.

1,035 comments on “Seat of the week: Lyons”

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  1. A nice contradiction from our friends at The Daily Telegraph:

    [Scores to miss out on billions in backdated energy costs if Clive Palmer continues to block repeal
    HOUSEHOLDS face a bill of billions of dollars and many could miss out on backdated energy costs if budget wrecking ball Clive Palmer continues to block the carbon tax repeal next week.

    Mr Palmer jetted off for a weekend in New Zealand yesterday after breaking his election promise to support scrapping the tax.

    The mining boss and Fairfax MP wants guarantees energy companies will lower prices quickly after the tax is gone.

    But every further day of delay is costing families millions of dollars. Based on the current price of $25.40 per tonne, the tax is costing each of the nation’s 7.76 million households an average $10.10 per week — a combined $78.3 million every seven days. ]

    A”score” being 20, and “scores” being the plural of “Score” that means the gutting of Australia by the wrecking ball Clive Palmer begins when 40 households start paying Carbon Tax flow-ons from their electricity retailer after it should have been repealed (except Clive “broke his promise” to do so).

    Q. And what was his promise?

    A. To make sure the Tax is not passed on if it has been repealed.

    So, the Tele’s article says that you won’t get your rebates if Clive persists in making sure you get your rebates.

    Presumably if Clive does NOT make sure you get your rebates you won’t t=get them then, either.

    So it looks like “scores” of household aren’t getting their rebates, no matter what happens.

    … or something.

    Go figure THAT one!

  2. The embattled Greg Hunt doesn’t understand his own legislation.

    [The environment minister, Greg Hunt, has incorrectly explained his own carbon tax repeal laws, a leading lawyer says.

    Speaking on Adelaide radio on Friday, Hunt said supermarkets and airlines could be fined by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) if they did not remove a carbon tax impost from their prices when the tax is repealed.

    “The law is if a company had added the price of the carbon tax then they have to take it off, or the ACCC will come after them with $1.1m fines and that includes supermarkets, airlines, that includes landfill operators, not to mention electricity and gas,” he said.

    Norton Rose Fulbright partner Elisa de Wit said the statement was “erroneous”.

    “Companies such as ‘supermarkets, airlines … and landfill operators’ are presently under absolutely no legal obligation to take off ‘the price of carbon’ if and when the existing legislation is repealed,” she said. “They merely need to ensure that they do not engage in misleading or deceptive conduct, or make any false or misleading statements about their prices.”


  3. Re. #2 above: does anyone really believe they are going to get their rebates in any case?

    The message I’m hearing from punters is that they reckon Clive is doing a good thing trying to nail down the government and their corporate mates to actually paying the Carbon Tax back, or not charging it once its gone.

    Business has been whingeing about the Carbon Tax for so long – all those sackings, closures, retail slumps, wrecking balls etc. due to it – but now they’re saying, “Carbon Tax? Moi? We never charged it!”

    There is an ugly mood out there that wants to see someone suffer. First they got Gillard for imposing the tax, and now they want a few corporate scalps for continuing to charge it (even though they now turn to have been never charging it in the first place, or so they now say).

    Abbott has been too successful in his dire predictions of misery and penury due to the Carbon Tax.

    Punters are convinced they’ve done it tough and they don’t want weasel words from Business bean-counters about how it’s now impossible to rebate or to stop charging it at all. “It’s been absorbed into a general business costs,” will NOT make those punters happy.

    Palmer, whether validly or not, is seen as a hero for standing up to Abbott. The electorate is highly cynical about Abbott, and even more narky about Business and their tendency to put prices up whether conditions improve, get worse or just stay the same.

    The Ratchet Effect – where prices, once up, stay up – is not popular out there.

    Abbott has made a solemn promise, not to so much get rid of the tax (although that is the vehicle), but to place $550 into peoples’ hands, preferably immediately.

    He will pay a large price if this does not happen.

  4. All of the problems discussed in this story about UK universities do happen at Australian ones too, including here in Adelaide. IR practices in the tertiary sector are terrible, and neither the universities, government, nor even the union, seem to do anything effective to fix them. Junior academics are leaving Aussie universities in droves.

  5. BB 4

    Agreed, Palmer’s position reflects Abbott’s weakness. It would be interesting to see a breakdown of who PUP voters formerly voted for. Have a good day all.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Lots of weekend reading for you.

    Mike Carlton – takes us out to lunch with the Dishonourable Scott Morrison. A good read.
    The Guardian takes us through the day where almost no questions were properly answered.
    Phil Coorey – Clive Palmer keeps shifting the goalposts.
    The conversion of Clive Palmer – how the Australia Institute got to him.
    The Kouk – why Abbott’s budget was the perfect political poison.
    This idiot judges looks to be in for a spanking. Which he might well enjoy.
    The Spectator Australia’s premature adjudication of carbon tax success for Abbott.
    Ross Gittins. Raising the minimum wage a bit doesn’t increase unemployment.
    Michael Gordon looks at Abbott’s week, suggesting that what goes around comes around.
    Abbott’s hand-picked ABC wrecking crew – Janet and the Apes.

  7. Section 2 . . .

    Australia and climate change management – the good, the bad and the unpredictable.,6660
    A long essay by John Pilger and the return of George Orwell and the war on truth.,6662
    Ricky Muir is keeping a diary.
    The guilty pleasure and pain of illegal downloads.–and-pain–of-illegal-downloads-20140710-zt2cn.html
    Mike Seccombe – Estranged bedfellows: Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm
    Child sexual abuse claims come to British politicians. Could be interesting.
    Wendy Harmer with a spirited defence of comedy and satire in the ABC.
    Middle East tensions emerge within the workings of the NSW government.
    It’s official – there was no “budget emergency” say economists. (I presume the SMH didn’t include Judith Sloane in that description).
    When Labor was in power it was dysfunctional chaos, now it’s adults in power dealing with minor Senate “argy bargy” says Abbott.

  8. Section 3 . . .

    The Senate inquiry worked hard to get this admission out of Morrison’s Yoy Soldier yesterday. It was hard going.
    Sam Dastyari was well and truly cleaned up the uber-arrogant Cormann on FoFA regulation. Nice work Sam (although I do suspect the dab hand of John Faulkner was in there somewhere).
    Michelle Grattan suggests that Cormann will be in for a bit of “character forming” next week on FoFA. He could do with it!
    Michael Pascoe reckons that regardless of whether or not the carbon tax is repealed the budget is stuffed and will need quick revisiting.
    David Pope continues his run of excellent work with this view of the Parliamentary gym.

    MUST SEE! Alan Moir and the PUP kennel.
    Ron Tandberg puts Abbott’s “our mandate” to the sword.

  9. Morning all.

    Mike Carlton is a good read as usual today – on the so called adults being in charge.

    [And not too many ideas, either. A government addicted to secrecy and outright lies is now paying a heavy price for its rotten May budget. This has been a shambles from the get-go, for three reasons.

    One, because it blatantly dumped a truckload of Abbott’s pre-election promises, on health, social welfare, taxation and education. Two, because the budget was unfair to those on the bottom of the social pyramid. Three, because no one at the top – not Abbott, nor his money ministers Joe Hockey and Mathias Cormann – made any attempt to lay the groundwork for explaining this supposed fiscal crisis in a way the average Australian would accept. For a government boasting of being the adults in charge, it has been spectacular incompetence.]

    Read more:

  10. Tony Abbott has got himself into a lot of trouble with his deadlines. He rarely meets them – plebiscites, No Confidence Motions, and D/Ds come to mind – and when he does those with whom he is dealing can see him coming a mile away and use it to their advantage (the Japanese “Free Trade” agreement, for example).

    Clive Palmer is also a person who just LOVES deadlines. He loves to shove them up the deadliner’s fundamental orifice.

    Amazingly journalists, even of the ilk of Lenore Taylor are STILL writing that the Carbon Tax will be repealed next week. They write this in articles about how the last week has been one of utter chaos in the Senate and about how nothing is predictable. They have not covered themselves in glory on this.

    It appears that Tony Abbott’s main line – immediate Axing of The Tax – has been driven deep into the reptilian sections of their brains. They just can’t let the idea of Tony’s iron will go.

    There has been no consideration whatsoever that Palmer’s aim may just be to keep the Carbon Tax, and that all the argey bargey over the minutae of amendments, the corridor meetings and the frustrations of Coalition members may be a smoke-screen to give Palmer an out (and to blame Tony Abbott for it).

    Yeah, I know it’s probably unlikely that Palmer will stop the repeal altogether, but so far the progress of the negotiations (if you can call them that) constructively resembles a process that is being used to give Palmer an excuse to reverse his previous stance.

    Palmer has senior Greens on his staff. He had his “Al Gore” moment (assumed to be Palmer changing Gore’s mind, with no consideration given to Gore changing Palmer’s mind). John Hewson (no Abbott lover) is one of Palmer’s best mates. Palmer doesn’t like Abbott, either. Lambie doesn’t like him at all. She called him a “political psychopath”. Who knows what the Brick With Eyes thinks?

    So far, the delays can be read either way: as legitimate nit-picking to make sure the amendments are written and passed with the intended effect of tightening-up Carbon Tax rules after repeal, or as a deliberate path of obfuscation designed to make the process look so chaotic that it’s abandoned altogether.

    Lenore Taylor in the Guardian writes:

    [The environment minister, Greg Hunt, told ABC radio on Friday he did not believe PUP intended the amendments to be so broad.

    “The statement from Mr Palmer was his focus was electricity and gas supplies, but we will work constructively with Mr Palmer to ensure his concerns are met but we are on a deadline of the end of next week to ensure costs are reduced,” he said. ]

    Palmer specifically said that he had been disturbed by Qantas, Virgin, Coles and Woollies declaring that – after all the whingeing they megaphoned to the public about the awful Carbon Tax – they didn’t charge it after all, and couldn’t be expected to then stop charging it.

    Palmer was clearly thinking beyond electricity and gas companies. He was thinking about the broader spectrum of hair-tearers and garment-renters who had milked the public’s sympathy on the Carbon Tax, only to later protest it hadn’t amounted to a hill of baked beans after all!

    He may be just as likely to reflect on his amendments and demand that they stay. In which case “Business” will be very cranky indeed, and will probably blame Abbott for grandstanding and laying down ridiculous deadlines, simply to make himself look like a strongman whose iron will and natural authority overrides that of all others.

    Critics of Bill Shorten decry his low profile. But why would he want to buy into this shitfight? Abbott and Palmer are doing a fine job of f**king everything up by themselves.

    Shorten has gotten to wherever he has gotten himself by playing smart, not intervening in fights that are not his and which are going fine and dandy all by themselves, thank you very much. When Palmer and Abbott are bloody smears on the canvas their cold dead political hands still around each others’ throats, Shorten will get his opportunity to daintily step into the ring and take the spoils.

    Abbott has yet to learn that it is mostly only physically smaller women and Peter Reith who buckle under to his standover tactics. Thugs and bullies, always pick on those weaker than themselves. In doing this they form an opinion of that they are invincible. Then they meet their Clive or their Julia. And then they panic, as we saw last week.

    The CEO of the Australian Conservation Foundation is now on ABC-24 TV saying very nice things about Clive Palmer. She reckons he’s a convert to her cause, albeit a recent one. My feeling is that she reckons Palmer’s a chance to come over into the light on Climate Change.

    The poor journo is still trying to gee up some controversy. She is asking the Conservation lady whether she is being “conned” by Palmer. There appears to be no concept that it is not Greenies who are being conned, but Abbott.

    I look back to the smug, rather satisfied smile that al Gore had on his face a few weeks ago, and think to myself that maybe he knew a lot about what was really going on than he was prepared to concede, and that the media (and the Coalition) have read Clive all wrong.

  11. And from the Land of the Free –

    FoxNews bolts it in with the battle to be the cable news channel being false most of the time.
    Florida channels Jo Bjelke-Petersen and gets smacked down.
    This climate change denier takes the cake!
    Tenancy rights Arkansas style.
    Legitimate rape – Lawrence O’Donnell’s Last Word segment.
    Our Stella Young delivers a TED talk.
    Voting with guns. FFS!
    Mike Malloy and Bushisms.

  12. BB

    Caught a snippet of Young Greg Hunt on ABC radio yesterday, saying wtte of “It’s essential we get this legislation passed next week.”

    My whole family dropped what they were doing and launched into a Negotiations 101 discussion – that you never flag that you’ve got a fixed deadline because that gives the other party/s an upper hand.

    Still, I suppose young Greg’s bucketloads of charm will make all the difference…

  13. BB

    …and your comments on Shorten remind me what people used to say about Hawke – that he sat on the sidelines and waited until things were really chaotic and then sailed in and took the credit for fixing them.

  14. Good Morning


    Green convert or not Palmer has put Abbott into a no win position.

    Go too far on acceding to PUP demands and lose vital votes from other Senators. Fail to go far enough and he loses PUP votes.

    As one journalist has pointed out Abbott is sorely in need of the Julia Gillard skillset.

  15. I recall Bill Shorten being asked a while ago whether Labor was talking with Palmer and he said, very enigmatically, wtte “Yes, we’re talking with Mr Palmer.” Starting to wonder if there was a bit more to that than was apparent at the time.

  16. “@dwabriz: Flying to Melbourne for @InsidersABC. Should be a great show!
    @InsidersABC @KarenMMiddleton @dwabriz @frankellyabc @billshortenmp @mpbowers”

  17. Beneath the cynical surface of businessman and politician Clive may beat the heart of an idealist. Clive is on the board of directors for the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation in Boston , Caroline Kennedy is honorary president He has been part of it since 2000 and donated $5 million earlier this year.


    In addition to its support of the Kennedy Library, the Kennedy Library Foundation directly sponsors programs and activities that help people understand the major challenges facing democracy today; that inspire current and future generations to political participation and public service; and that promote debate and discussion of issues at the heart of contemporary democracy that relate to the legacy of President John F. Kennedy. ]

  18. BB

    I heard on the 3aw news this morning that members of the government and PUP are locked away at the moment working on the amendments to the CC repeal legislation to ensure that only power companies will be required to pass back the savings.

    As much as I would like your theory on Palmer’s real agenda to be correct I think the CC will go next week without any further holdups.

  19. Re BB @2: I posted the following comment on the Daily Telecrap story, hopefully to stimulate a bit of questioning on the part of the Telecrap readership:

    If power companies and downstream businesses are not required by legislation to do otherwise, they will simply pocket the benefits of the repeal of the carbon tax. Some big companies have already made noises to the effect that they will not be reducing their prices, or not by the full amount. A saving of $550 per annum is often quoted as the benefit of the repeal. Can someone show how this has been worked out and, more importantly, how it will be verified that it has been passed on in full.

    Let’s see if they publish it.

  20. [BB

    I heard on the 3aw news this morning that members of the government and PUP are locked away at the moment working on the amendments to the CC repeal legislation to ensure that only power companies will be required to pass back the savings.

    As much as I would like your theory on Palmer’s real agenda to be correct I think the CC will go next week without any further holdups.]

    You’re probably right, Darn, but if you heard it on any mainstream media outlet, then it probably came in turn from a Coalition urger trying to talk-up the (close to) utter chaos that’s going on in the Senate.

    The media, in listening to Coalition braggadocio for the past 3 years (and particularly in the past three weeks) on the Carbon Tax, have nailed their colors to the “Iron Man Tony Abbott” mast. They have a lot invested in it.

    Firstly, it requires willing accomplices among the PUP Senators, who are going out of their way to show that they are not as willing as first thought.

    Secondly, if assumes that Abbott and his gang have “people skills”, that they are on a “Charm offensive”, deploying their well-tried negotiating talents against the pushover PUPs.

    Clive Palmer is probably worth, in dollar terms, more than the whole of the Coalition members put together (even when you include Turnbull in the mix). He didn’t get that fortune by being unskilled and klutzy at negotiations. his fortune is based almost entirely on front, on <ipotential worth. He knows how to leverage a position. Abbott does not. Abbott only knows how to flail a few sucker punches around, hoping they land on his opponent’s jaw, knocking him out in the first seconds of the first round.

    He has tried vilifying Palmer. He has tried the standover tactics. He’s sooled his newspaper mates at News Corp onto Palmer, trying the tired old method of getting rid of him via the courts and innuendo (a method Abbott has used countless times in the past against a gaggle of victims from Pauline Hansen, to Peter Slipper, to Julia Gillard).

    Does anyone sincerely reckon that Palmer believes Abbott has no responsibility for these back-door methods? If I was Palmer, my operating assumption would be that Abbott is behind it all, and then to work back from there.

    Palmer has every reason to utterly loathe Tony Abbott. And the more Tony Abbott tries his dirty tricks on Palmer, the more Palmer will dig in his heels resisting him, indeed trying to destroy him in return.

    This is the one dominant force in Australian politics right at the moment: Palmer and Abbott hate each other. Everything else is subordinate to that, in my opinion. Abbott has lived on thuggery and hatred all his life. Palmer is new to the game, I suspect, but it turns out he’s a natural at it.

    The difference is that Palmer can keep his cool, while Abbott has never been able to and never will be able to.

    To coin a phrase, it’s not in Abbott’s DNA to forgive, forget or forego.

  21. Is Turnbull trying to con us or has he seen the light over FTTP?

    [‘Labor’s NBN’ to reach majority
    THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 12, 2014 12:00AM
    Rosie Lewis

    THE company charged with delivering Australlia high-speed broadband could still provide fibre-to-the-premises to more than 80 per cent of homes, despite the Abbott government’s pre-election preference for a fibre-to-the-node network.

    The CEO of NBN Co Bill Morrow told a senate committee hearing neither the government nor voters would be “upset” if 80 or 90 per cent of customers received broadband through fibre-to-the premises (FTTP) instead of fibre-to-the-network (FTTN) — provided it was the cheapest option.]

  22. Morning all

    Thanks to all for today’s offerings.

    Clive has gone to NZ. No idea if he will he back for parliament on Monday

  23. Regarding election mandates, Benson in yesterday’s Telegraph claimed that the Australian people were stupid and ‘got it wrong’ for voting in the current senate.

    No mention of these same stupid people voting for Abbott in the HoR.

  24. Yesterday Shorten said that he had spoken to Industry reps re the amendments being put re passing on savings etc. they expressed concern apparently as the coalition had not bothered to speak to them at all

  25. Clive may just be trying to destroy the Carbon Tax repeal process by being totally in favour of it. These secret negotiations reek of desperation on the Government’s part to get the legislation up regardless of the cost to their credibility with their business constituency.

    Clive might end up negotiating conditions so pernicious that X, Leijholm and Day might vote against them.

  26. The ABC has been careful, It has run with amendments being rewritten as well over repeal of rge carbon price.

    It quotes the business lobby says it is pleased that amendments are being rewritten to apply to only apply to gas and electricity

  27. Oakes today:

    [TONY Abbott is being humiliated. When Clive Palmer says “jump”, he jumps. His Budget is in shreds, thanks to the Senate. Labor reaps the political benefit.

    There was a common thought running through Coalition ranks at week’s end. “Something has to change.” Abbott must know it too.

    A Prime Minister cannot afford to look this weak, especially when he and his Government are already at disastrously low levels in the polls.

    Abbott needs to find a way to manage the Senate more effectively. Failing that, he will have to get serious about a double dissolution election or risk becoming a joke.

    And he can’t afford to allow the circus to continue for 12 months before considering it, as he suggested he might do yesterday.]

  28. According to ABC-24, Business now in full retreat: denying the Carbon Tax was, in any meaningful way, passed on to consumers.

    Begging Abbott to not let Palmer prove them liars.

    Criticisng the government for not consulting them.

    A big storm is developing.

    Palmers position is simple: if he has to reduce his prices after Carbon Tax repeal, why shouldn’t everybody – big or small – have to?

    Business is panicking, showing their hand. This is exactly why Palmer introduced his third amendment: Qantas, Virgin, Coles and Woollies all started backtracking on their professed hatred of the Carbon Tax and are now saying they can’t refund it because they never charged it!

    DO NOT expect these weekend negotiations to go as smoothly as the blithe assurances of the MSM would have it. The more Business whinges and freaks out, the more Palmer’s point is proven.

  29. BK,

    Fran will probably waffle on about the ACTU and ignore what’s really happening: the unravelling of the Abbott government.

  30. Last part of Oake’s article. He obviously doesnt think Palmer is interested in anything but the chaos it created

    [Palmer manufactured an excuse for the PUP senators to vote against the carbon tax repeal Bill on Thursday with the aim of getting headlines through the creation of chaos. It worked.

    His claim that the Government had pulled a double-cross over an amendment was false. His belief that he knows more than the distinguished Clerk of the Senate about constitutional limitations on the Upper House was bizarre.

    But Abbott has to find some answers to the Palmer problem and the Senate’s demolition of his Budget, and soon. Otherwise, constant humiliation will destroy his prime ministership.]

  31. [Abbott needs to find a way to manage the Senate more effectively. Failing that, he will have to get serious about a double dissolution election or risk becoming a joke.]

    Becoming? He’s already a joke.

  32. BB

    [Does anyone sincerely reckon that Palmer believes Abbott has no responsibility for these back-door methods? If I was Palmer, my operating assumption would be that Abbott is behind it all, and then to work back from there.

    Palmer has every reason to utterly loathe Tony Abbott. And the more Tony Abbott tries his dirty tricks on Palmer, the more Palmer will dig in his heels resisting him, indeed trying to destroy him in return.}

    Exactly! In a contest between Abbott and Palmer I know who I would put my money on and it ain’t Abbott.

    It is finally sinking in to all the shock jocks and Lib propagandists that Tony is not a leader at all.

    How he got a Rhodes Scholarship is absolutely beyond me.

    Maybe Daddy paid for it?

  33. Fran may well focus her questions to Shorten on the Union. But the main news in town is what the senate will do next week.

  34. I have had a look at my gas and electricity bills since the introduction of the carbon price. There is no mention anywhere of the carbon price component

  35. victoria:

    In WA the carbon “component” as they’re calling it now is highlighted on each electricity bill, standing out prominently in its own box.

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