Double dissolution (maybe) minus 12 weeks

Weekend preselections have delivered a series of disappointments for religious conservatives in Western Australia and Queensland.

As best as I can tell, we have a lean weak ahead for opinion polling (at federal level, at least), as media outlets hold their fire ahead of the resumption of parliament next week. In lieu of that then, here’s a fresh new post-about-nothing – except perhaps for the following preselection news of the past 24 hours:

• The WA Liberals’ state council has overturned the result of last weekend’s local preselection vote in the new seat of Burt, at which Liz Storer, a Gosnells councillor linked to a rising religious conservative faction centred around state upper house MP Nick Goiran, defeated Matt O’Sullivan, who runs mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s GenerationOne indigenous employment scheme. Gareth Parker of The West Australian reports that state council will now determine the matter for itself, on the basis that the 25 branch delegates that determined the vote were insufficient in number. State council otherwise confirmed last week’s locally selected candidates, including Ben Morton who has deposed Dennis Jensen in Tangney. Also decided was a fiercely contested preselection for the state seat of Bateman, in which members of neighbouring seats sought the safer of two berths as set by the redistribution. This resulted in a victory for Dean Nalder, Transport Minister and member for abolished Alfred Cove, over the existing member for Bateman, Matt Taylor. Like the decision in Burt, this represented a defeat for the Goiran faction.

• The Toowoomba-based seat of Groom will be contested for the Liberal National Party by state MP John McVeigh, who won a preselection vote yesterday ahead of David van Gend, a local general practitioner noted for socially conservative views. This will necessitate a by-election in McVeigh’s state seat of Toowoomba South, which McVeigh held on a margin of 8.9%.

• Another important Liberal National Party preselection will be held today in Wide Bay, the seat of retiring former Nationals leader Warren Truss. The candidates are Damien Massingham, chief executive of Tourism Noosa; Tim Langmead, director of external relations at Fortescue Metals; and Llew O’Brien, a police officer. Steven Scott of the Courier-Mail reports Massingham is supported mostly by Liberals, and in particular by Attorney-General George Brandis; Langmead’s backers include Matthias Cormann, along with Fortescue Metals boss Andrew Forrest; and O’Brien is (ahem) supported by Truss.

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.

1,113 comments on “Double dissolution (maybe) minus 12 weeks”

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  1. BB

    No we cannot do dry cleaningbecayuse we wil not be able to import the cleaning chemiclas.

    What you mean is that we can each take each other’s laudry down to the stream and beat it. We DO have a local (craft market) soap industry, so at least we can have clean clothes.

  2. 949

    The global division and spatial dynamics of manufacturing are not things we can control by ourselves. Not at all.

    Consider, in the period from 1948 to 2007, global trade, foreign direct investment, industrial production and real wages all grew much faster than the world economy…much faster. Since the GFC, growth in all these has essentially stagnated. They now grow at the same or at a slightly slower rate than the total economy. Why is this?

    This change in the composition, sectors and locations of growth – that is really what it is – certainly affect this economy but local events are only a small part of the global story.

    Perhaps the most significant local feature of all this has been the vast and excessive allocation of financial capital by Australians to property. It is almost as of we have ceased allocating capital to anything but property. In this respect, who or what is to blame for the decline in manufacturing along with all other value-adding sectors? The financial system? The tax system? The Reserve Bank? Or foreign central banks?

  3. The allocation of financial resources to property is a big worry. We have inflated one of the greatest bubbles of all time and it seems to have reached its apex. As it deflates, there will be casualties. This hardly bears thinking of.

  4. Briefly

    Of course we could have done something. We could start by thinking logically rather that swallowing the free market rot.

    Taking our policies logically we can only succeed when our wages and conditions fall below those of competitors. However, to build up again would require investment from a first world protector (we would no longer be members of the first world).

    This has been obvious to anyone with an ounce of logic for 40 years.

    I have a simple rule of thumb when deciding if and when we will let a manufacturing or food industry go to the wall. Actually NAME the INCOME EARNING industries which have are arisen in the preceding 5 years, list the mumber of employees and estimae the income earned. If the number of people employed is less than the lost manaufacturing and the income earned less, then closing the idustry is INSANE.

    And I say it for the 999th time. Servicing one another is NOT income producing. It may be comfortable but it actually will not generate the income needed to import cars, steel, refrigerators or other goods. It is a loverly way to redistribute income in a trickle down sort of way, but it does not actually generate any income.

  5. Bonza

    Depends on where you want to live. There is very good buying in some regional towns right now. try Mackay or Maryborough.

  6. Bonza @ 955

    As in the USA, prices will drop mainly where the market is light. People who have invested in property in mining towns, for example, are in serious difficulty. Prices will not drop or drop only lightly where land and property are at and will remain a premium. For example, anything in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs.

    Apartments, especially in locations where there have been very large developments, could drop substantially. Although in most cases they will not drop by all that much if the location itself is still moderately close or accessible to where people need to work.

    My thoughts are that there will not be a crash because there is not an oversupply of accommodation in most places. There should be a levelling out where prices have risen too high and the property is less affordable for home buyers or even investors. But those who already have property will hold unless personal circumstances force a sale. This will restrict supply and thus put a floor under prices.

    Again, it all depends on what and where you want to buy.

  7. Bonza @ 955

    My 960 still applies. It will depend on whether the loss of employment in Adelaide will result in relocations and increased supply.

  8. [956


    …Taking our policies logically we can only succeed when our wages and conditions fall below those of competitors.]

    Clearly, this is a false conclusion. If these conditions enabled success, Bangladesh would have the world’s most powerful and productive economy. Since it obviously does not, factors other than wages and the employment conditions of workers determine the trajectory of economies.

    It might be the case that low wages and poor conditions of employment prevent economic development rather than, as you appear to suggest, to enable it.

    dtt, you have an oft-stated preference for tangible economic outputs…for “goods” that are made or grown. This is understandable but it is wrong. Services in their extraordinary variety also constitute production and generate income. In any case, the distinction between a good and a service is arbitrary and in many ways quite unhelpful.

    For example, next time you are at the hairdressers ask yourself if it is possible to distinguish in an economic sense between the scissors and the combs used to cut your hair and the acts involved in performing the cutting. These things completely overlap at the point of production. In a very important sense, it is worth thinking of a haircut as something that is “made” using a selection of tangible and intangible inputs. Certainly, your hair will not cut itself and the clippings will not sweep themselves into the bin.

    Consider the nail polish you might use. When decorating your fingers – something that has been done in many cultures for a very long time – is it possible to make an economic distinction between the polish, the files and the brushes and the act (the “service”) involved in painting? Painted nails are “made” just as much as the paint job on a car or a boat are “made” using a wide variety of materials and skills. Your understanding of economic production would mean the use of such skills would have no real economic value. This is obviously incorrect, as anyone who has had to have their vehicle painted can tell you.

    In many ways the distinctions drawn between primary, secondary, tertiary and other orders of economic activity are quite arbitrary. They really break down when considered closely. Electricity production is tallied as industrial production. But is electricity “supply” a good or a service? Does it make a difference what we call it? It is still something that is “produced” and then “used up”, that has a marketable value and that requires capital and labour in various arrays.

    Is potable water supplied via the mains system a good or a service? Does this matter? Is it not both? As well, since it also becomes a waste product, is it some other kind of economic unit? What might that be, considering that waste disposal is also a necessary economic activity?

  9. Morning all. Turnbull is getting into full election spin mode, resurrecting the ghost of trains past.

    Meanwhile he still has not funded the dozen or so urban rail projects around the country that actually need doing, nor proposed how they would be funded, tax reform having been put in the too hard basket.

    Amazingly, over 60% of readers support the idea, showing how ignorant of technology and economics most Australians are. Of course, they failed to note Turnbull has promised no funding, meaning this will never happen, since these projects are never self funding.

  10. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Paul Bongiorno says Turnbull need action, not thought bubbles.
    This is not going to end well for Chanel 9.
    The structure and culture of Target and its owners is well and truly exposed with this little game.
    Shaun Carney says that the Australian economy needs some steel in its backbone. A good article (needs Google).
    This story gets muckier and muckier.
    Do you or don’t you?
    The Republicans are coming to the realisation that it would be better to lose with Cruz that to be trounced with Trump. More Googling required.
    How can this POSSIBLY be justified?
    And this!
    Shorten’s humdinger zinger.
    Hugh White and some backgrounding on Turnbull’s visit to China this week.

  11. Commonwealth Debt now bumping up against Ratings Agencies AAA Rating for Australia, and underfunded election promises (hello! Malcolm and your FraudFast Train) will likely push them over their limit of tolerance!

    And this is the mob who boast about their economic prowess?

    When the Coalition came to office we had 3 AAA Ratings and a Debt:GDP figure which was falling under Labor, even after the GFC.

    Now, after 3 years of the Coalition government, and no GFC, Government Debt has ballooned, Private Debt has ballooned to levels last seen under the Howard government, and we are about to lose our AAA Credit Ratings.

    The Coalition aren’t superior managers of the Economy. They are The Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight on the Economy!

    Bring back prudent fiscal management! Bring back Labor!

  12. Section 2 . . .

    Greg Jericho with his usual rigour looks at the impact of HECS debt.
    It’s official. Stuart Robert WAS a dummy. He took his official phone into China.
    The Coalition is wedged over a banking RC – and its largely of its own doing.
    4 Corners journalists hit back at Clive Palmer and his accusation of ABC bias.
    Michelle Grattan has her say about Palmer and the use of his money to get PUP into parliament.
    Dave Donovan on the right royal commission hypocrisy.,8869
    Stephen Koukoulas ponders over whether the economy has stalled.
    I’m afraid I can’t hack the financial success of Blackmores on the back of the overpriced, inefficacious rubbish they peddle with the help of pharmacists who should know better.
    And poof! There goes another Australian manufacturing capability down the drain.
    And poof! There goes the Geelong Council.

  13. It hasn’t taken the DT and the Australian long to go into full anti-Labor scare campaign mode.

    Expect more of this onslaught in the lead-up to the election.

  14. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Cathy Wilcox and some perspective.

    Alan Moir and Rudd’s tilt at the UN.

    David Pope is inferring that governments should govern.

    Andrew Dyson is of the opinion that Shorten is travelling a bit better than Turnbull.

    Matt Golding and the banking industry’s response to the call for a Royal Commission.

    Mark Knight at the US Masters.
    Bill Leak peeks in on Clive Palmer watching 4 Corners.
    David Rowe takes us into the kitchen with Turnbull and Morrison.

  15. I have also noticed The Daily Telegraph is running a bigoted line today against asylum seekers in our community who are here on Bridging Visas, as opposed to the Temporary Protection Visas the Coalition want to keep them on until they can ship them back ‘home’, by way of an attack on Labor.

    ‘The Swarthies Who Are Mostly Muslim Who Walk Among Us’ is the subtext. Of course, it’s all Labor’s fault for ‘letting them in’ in the first place.

    The not so covert message is don’t vote for Labor in the upcoming election. Only the Coalition will keep you safe from harm. Because all terrorists are Muslims these days. The White ones are simply ‘Shooters’.

    I predicted the Coalition, in cahoots with their mates in the media, would get down and dirty against the Labor Party in the upcoming election campaign while Malcolm Turnbull rises above it all with clean hands. And I was right.

    It will only get worse from here on in. Rupert hasn’t given up on his chosen ones yet.

  16. This weeks Mungo MacCallums musings :

    Thus spake Mungo: A Liberal fairy story

    Turnbull: his overwhelming self-confidence is less a matter of relentless ambition than entitlement.

    The Turnbull ego simply cannot entertain the idea that his abilities, his brilliance, could ever be seriously challenged. But this in itself can be a weakness, and one which has manifested itself in recent weeks. He has not bothered to explain his agenda to the unwashed masses, and as a result they are beginning to wonder whether he really has one, apart from the tactics and trickery he feels compelled to pursue in order to enforce and maintain his political dominance.

    Turnbull’s supremacy is not seriously threatened, but he is not invulnerable and he can no longer risk the perception that he is. Which is why Bill Shorten’s demand for a royal commission into the banks and the financial institutions from the big end of town cannot be dismissed as a reckless and dangerous distraction, as Turnbull has sought to portray the changes to negative gearing.

    As soon as one atrocity is closed down, another opens. If it is not overcharging on credit cards, it is rorting by financial planners. If it is not dodging legitimate insurance claims, it is manipulating interest rates. Their customers are, understandably, fed up. And Turnbull’s lawyerish approach – that well chosen words will eventually deliver justice, or at least a win – is no longer adequate. He may rebuff Shorten’s royal commission, but he cannot just will it away: he needs to do something, and something substantial, before the next evidence of systematic malfeasance it is exposed – and there will be plenty of people looking for it.


  17. C@tmomma @ 974

    Yes, it’s also predictable, isn’t it?

    Here’s hoping these issues don’t have the same impact as before.

    Turnbull will parade around basking in the political sun knowing that the MSM is right behind him.

  18. feeney,

    Here’s hoping these issues don’t have the same impact as before.

    This has to be where Labor forcefully counteracts the Coalition/News Corpse scare campaign. Richard marles, as labor spokesman, should use his unique position on Sky as the platform for doing it.

  19. Wowsers!!

    Alan Jones is sounding like an ALP member bemoaning factions in the branches.

    It is hilarious.

    Of course if you hail from NSW ALP is is all old hat, but hey way to go! NOT THE ALP in the mix. Hilarious

  20. Thanks BK

    Finally some commonsense commentary on the sub build and the issue of robotics which I have raised this before on PB.

    There is absolutely no way you can build 12 conventional submarines with a 20 year delivery time and expect them to be anything except obsolete when completed.

    If Australia put at least half this investment into robotics such as drone subs we would be better off both security wise and industrially. We might even develop some worthwhile IP.

    The unquestioning acceptance of this massive spend, while we cut corners on a known benefit, like the NBN, or a VFT, is ridiculous.

    Cutting back the number of conventional subs from the magic number of 12, and reallocating the spend to robotics, would actually work in favor of SA sub builders, because they could build more drone subs in a shorter period of time. These builds would also be less beholden to offshore technology,as, being unmanned, they are low risk and experimentation is easier.

    There would be a greater technical spinoff and the possibility of exports.

  21. Front page of the AFR: “China Shuts out Aussie Food, Dairy”.

    I thought we had a free trade agreement with these guys. No, wait, maybe it’s not worth the paper it’s written on, and they’ll destroy our industries while we play by the rules. Good work, Andrew Robb.

  22. K17

    [ No, wait, maybe it’s not worth the paper it’s written on, and they’ll destroy our industries while we play by the rules]

    Spot on. The only reason Robb made such rapid progress on the FTA’s was thru making concessions.

    FTA’s can reduce sovereignty if they give offshore corporations legal control of our industry. e.g. A renewable energy mandate might be challenged by on offshore fossil fuel spiv can.

    (If you can have a can of worms, you must be able to have a can of spivs.)

  23. Apparently someone called Jennifer Oriel, who writes regularly in the Oz.

    [Craig Emerson
    Regular @australian columnist today says Gonski is a leftist waste of money because most struggling kids are genetically inferior.Disgusting]

  24. True to his particular species, Mungo includes the inevitable “Of-Course-Malcolm-Turnbull-Has-No-Chance-Of-Losing” line:

    [Turnbull’s supremacy is not seriously threatened, but he is not invulnerable and he can no longer risk the perception that he is. ]

    It’s getting to be fun spotting these kinds of statements in political journo musings over the past week. Even Mungo is not immune.

  25. Trog

    Robb says he’s an optimist. That figures. He’d refuse to acknowledge any hints that his TPP concessions might be detrimental for us. ‘She’ll be right, mate. Don’t be such a pessimist.’

  26. Similar to the DT but a bit more upmarket, the GG has 2 articles in the prime middle left of the front page.
    The main one with a big headline
    Apparently there was modelling done on NG changes that showed bad things, house prices down, rents up, increased unemployment.

    In a smaller sidebar the article
    A report on findings by the ANU Centre for Social Modelling.

    So findings about the actual economy, that affect everyone and the budget estimates, is less important than a 12 month old modelling about something that may or may not happen from July 1 next year.

  27. [ True to his particular species, Mungo includes the inevitable “Of-Course-Malcolm-Turnbull-Has-No-Chance-Of-Losing” line:

    Turnbull’s supremacy is not seriously threatened, but he is not invulnerable and he can no longer risk the perception that he is. ]

    tbf I’m reading that as Turnbull’s supremacy within the Liberals. The yarn was running the Turnbull = Peacock metaphor and then breaking it down with the differences. The notable one being Abbott’s chances of regaining the leadership are much lower than Howard’s were.

  28. If genetics determines education outcomes (it doesn’t) that is a fantastic argument for defunding private schools. Sounds to me like the only genetically inferior person is Oriel.

  29. Just discovered that Kelly O’Dwyer is a member of IPA. Should have guessed.

    Thanks Lizzie, do you have a reference for that I could use?

  30. The comments to Oriel’s article are pretty frightening. I love the unspoken assumption of these morons that those in private schools are genetically superior. Another hypothesis, among many, is that they’re in private schools because their parents were lucky or stole a lot of money!

  31. Mauler

    I saw it in my Twitter and can’t trace it now. It was in a copy of her official declaration of assets and memberships for Parliament. She’s also a member of C.I.S.

  32. There’s RWNJs, Loons and then far out past the horizon of stoopid is Dr Jennifer Oriel

    If you’re feeling strong you can get a whiff of the Right Wing paranoia, and general vileness just from the first lines of her columns here:

    If you’re really brave you can jump in and taste the waste:

  33. [ Greensborough Growler

    Posted Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Interesting analysis on the rise and rise of demagogic hate TV in the US and how the Republicans shot themselves in the arse by embracing it.


    THANKS for this article GG …..

    If you just change a few US RWNJ’s names mentioned in the article for their counterparts for those RWNJ’s in Australia – the article has the same message :

    The Republican Party has been fomenting anger and discontent in the base of its own party for years. The mechanism through which this hate has been disseminated has been the network of extremist media of right-wing talk radio and the Fox News Channel, which is essentially talk radio transposed onto television.

    And make no mistake, spewing hate has a significant impact upon society. It is the equivalent of modern-day propaganda where the population is barraged with a stream of consistent messaging. As ordinary people go about their daily lives, they are exposed repeatedly, day in and day out, to the same messages in numerous forms and by numerous people. Pretty soon, these messages begin to sink in and take effect. The audience begins to adopt a worldview consistent with these messages, regardless of the degree of truth. It is a remarkable phenomenon.

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