New year news

What’s next for Kristina Keneally; the trouble with Victorian Labor; George Brandis’s Senate vacancy; new hopefuls for a resurgent ALP in Western Australia; and more.

Ring in the new year with two months of accumulated news concerning preselections for the next federal election – not counting matters arising from Section 44, which will be dealt with in a separate post during the January lull in opinion poll news.

• After falling short in the Bennelong by-election, Kristina Keneally’s most immediate pathway to federal parliament is the Senate vacancy created by the resignation of Sam Dastyari. However, The Australian reports the position is being eyed by Tony Sheldon, national secretary of the Transport Workers Union, and Tara Moriarty, state secretary of United Voice – either in opposition to Keneally or in her absence, since it is not clear she would not prefer to await a lower house berth. The Canberra Times reports the looming creation of a third electorate for the Australian Capital Territory could present such an opportunity. Other possibilities mentioned for the new seat are Thomas McMahon, economic adviser to Bill Shorten; Taimus Werner-Gibbings, chief-of-staff to Tasmanian Senator Lisa Singh; Jacob Ingram, 23-year-old staffer to Chief Minister Andrew Barr; Jacob White, staffer to Fenner MP and Shadow Assistant Trade Minister Andrew Leigh; and Kim Fischer, former territory ministerial staffer and current communications consultant.

• Another soon-to-be-created seat has been central to factional convulsions in the Victorian ALP in recent months. As in the ACT, population growth has entitled Victoria to an extra seat, which is expected to be established in Melbourne’s booming and strongly Labor-voting north-east. The Construction Mining Forestry and Energy Union wants it to go to Jane Garrett, who recently failed in a bid to move from her state seat of Brunswick to the Legislative Council after losing a Left faction ballot. Garrett feared Brunswick would be lost to the Greens, in part because of the efforts of the United Firefighters Union, whose dispute with Garrett over a pay deal caused her resignation as Emergency Services Minister in 2016. In tandem with other “industrial Left” unions, the CFMEU has walked out of the Left, which is dominated by Senator Kim Carr, and sought an alliance with the Right, which looks likely to proceed with the blessing of Bill Shorten. This will mean an end to the long-standing “stability pact” between the Carr forces and the Right, which has protected members including Jenny Macklin in Jagajaga and Andrew Giles in Scullin. However, Shorten insists he will ensure no sitting members are threatened.

• With George Brandis resigning from his Queensland Senate seat to take up the popular posting of high commissioner in London, The Australian reports a big field of potential successors includes three names from state politics: Scott Emerson, the former Shadow Treasurer who lost his seat of Maiwar to the Greens; John-Paul Langbroek, a former Opposition Leader who remains the state member for Surfers Paradise, but was unsuccessful in the post-election leadership vote; and Lawrence Springborg, repeatedly unsuccessful state Opposition Leader who did not contest the election in November (who would presumably faces a difficulty in being from the Nationals). Also in the mix are Joanna Lindgren, who had an earlier stint in the Senate when she filled Brett Mason’s vacancy in May 2015, but was unsuccessful as the sixth candidate on the Liberal National Party ticket in 2016; Teresa Harding, director of the Queensland government’s open data policy and twice unsuccessful candidate for Blair; and Amanda Stoker, a barrister.

• Surf Coast councillor Libby Coker has again been preselected as Labor’s candidate for the Victorian seat of Corangamite, after winning a local party vote over Geelong businesswoman Diana Taylor by 116 votes to 39. Coker ran unsuccessfully in 2016 against Sarah Henderson, who gained the seat for the Liberals in 2013.

• Mehreen Faruqi, a state upper house member, was preselected to lead the Greens’ New South Wales ticket in late November, winning an online vote of party members by a margin variously identified as 1301 to 843, and 1032 to 742. The preselection took place against a backdrop of conflict between the more moderate environmentalist tendency associated with the parliamentary leadership and Rhiannon’s hard left base in New South Wales. Anne Davies of The Guardian observes that Rhiannon will face “intense pressure to step down early”, so Faruqi can fill her vacancy and raise her profile ahead of the election.

Labor has completed preselections for the brace of Liberal-held seats where it is now reckoned to be competitive in Western Australia, after the resurgence in its fortunes in the state – all of which have gone to women:

• Hannah Beazley, policy adviser to Mark McGowan and daughter of Kim Beazley, will run against Steve Irons in Swan, which her father held from 1980 to 1996 before seeking a safer refuge in Brand. Hannah Beazley ran unsuccessfully for the state seat of Riverton in 2013.

• Lauren Palmer of the Maritime Union of Australia has been selected to run against Ken Wyatt in Hasluck, winning out over the Left-backed Bill Leadbetter, a history lecturer who ran in the seat in 2016, and very briefly served in the state upper house earlier this year. This comes after the MUA threw its lot in with the now dominant Right (“Progressive Labor”) faction in pursuit of its oft-thwarted ambitions to establish a parliamentary power base, together with the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union.

• Decorated police superintendent and Left faction member Kim Travers has been chosen to run against newly anointed Attorney-General Christian Porter in Pearce. Sarah Martin of The West Australian reported Labor’s administrative committee knocked back a nomination from Ann O’Neill, a campaigner against domestic violence whose estranged husband shot her and murdered her two children in 1994, who had not been a party member for the required period and was not granted a waiver.

• A little further up the pendulum, Melita Markey, chief executive of the Asbestos Diseases Society, will run against Michael Keenan in Stirling, and Melissa Teede, former head of the Peel Development Commission, will run against Andrew Hastie in Canning.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

3,217 comments on “New year news”

  1. BB

    the fbi moment determined the election …. that’s not black and white as you put it … then again neither was howard and boat people … but comey was real culprit no doubt bout that

  2. poor old craig – wish it was any show but rocky (method acting?) … and tell, did the victims ask him to stop and did he? and what did they do offstage?

  3. That the cardboard cutout was not of some one else.

    It was of himself in a suit rather than a military uniform and left for the Press to question i.e. he wouldn’t be answering any.

  4. Borewar,

    Just responding to some of the drivel you have posted in recent days…

    1. You can’t blow up an oil tanker from a dinghy with an RPG.

    2. Australia’s oil supply is relatively safe, in spite of anything you, or our newly elected warmonger of a Senator might wish to scare people with.
    No country, with the exception of the United States, nor any combination of countries, has the naval capacity to blockade the Straits of Malacca.
    If for example China, or Russia, or China + Russia gave even the slightest hint that they were thinking of doing so, the entire rest of the world’s navies would blow them to kingdom come.

    3. You can’t erect a wind turbine in open ocean, in a Typhoon zone, for obvious reasons…


    4. There is no way in hell that Japan will EVER “co-operate” with China to situate it’s energy production on the Chinese mainland.
    Doing so would be the dumbest strategic decision since Hitler invaded the Soviet Union or perhaps when Hirohito didn’t stop the Imperial Navy bombing Pearl Harbour.

    You seem to hold some sway over the minds of certain posters here, who assume you to be an authority on most things.
    Although I can’t for the life of me understand why.

    To me you seem little more than an overblown, boorish nitwit.

    Have a nice day…

  5. 1. An RPG could easily do sufficiently serious damage to an oil tanker (immobilise one o more of the engines, cause a massive oil spill, etc) to make oil tanker companies seriously reluctant to send oil tankers in the vicinity of the threat of RPG attacks.

    2. If Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore decided to close off the Straights of Malacca, they would have a good chance at succeeding as they have land with some serious military resources on it around the Straights. Any attempt to undo a serious blockade by a nuclear power could potentially risk nuclear war. China could seriously lengthen most of Japan and South Korea`s major shipping routes using the Spratly Islands (this is a major reason for the geoplotical tension over them) as a base and would be hard to defeat as naval warfare technology is moving in the direction of sea denial rather than major power sea domination.

    3. I think it likely a reasonably typhoon proof off-shore wind turbine could be built, it is just a matter of whether or not it is economical. Japan also has some areas less at risk from typhoons.

    4. This is accurate. Japan is smart enough not to hand its energy supply to its aggressive major strategic competitor.

  6. 1 .No, it couldn’t.

    2. This would last about 5 minutes and would suicidal for any country attempting it.

    3. No, you can’t, they operate in winds of up to about 90km/hr, above this speed a brake is applied to shut them down.
    They can survive quite high short gusts of wind.
    Sustained very high speed winds such as a typhoon would simply tear one to pieces.
    See if you can find a single example of an offshore wind farm anywhere tropical storms are a regular occurrence.

    4. Thanks.

  7. Addition to 3.

    Japan may very well have some areas where it might be feasible to construct wind turbines, but where other than open water do you think it might find the space to put the several 10’s of thousands it would require substantially displace its nuclear and imported coal?
    130 million people in an area marginally larger than Victoria etc…

  8. Absence of Empathy says:
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 2:58 am

    No, you can’t, they operate in winds of up to about 90km/hr, above this speed a brake is applied to shut them down.
    They can survive quite high short gusts of wind.
    Sustained very high speed winds such as a typhoon would simply tear one to pieces.
    See if you can find a single example of an offshore wind farm anywhere tropical storms are a regular occurrence.

    Japan is in a typhoon and tsunami prone geographical situation. They have installed a considerable amount of onshore wind turbines, and more are being built, as well as increasing amounts of fixed offshore, and floating offshore units.

    as 0f 2015 total 3 gW.
    as of 2020 (est) 11 gW
    as of 20130 (est) 36 gW

    In 2015 they built the world’s largest floating wind turbine 20 km off Fukushima:

  9. Absence of Empathy says:
    Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 2:58 am

    3. No, you can’t, they operate in winds of up to about 90km/hr, above this speed a brake is applied to shut them down.


    All wind turbines are designed for a maximum wind speed, called the survival speed, above which they will be damaged. The survival speed of commercial wind turbines is in the range of 40 m/s (144 km/h, 89 MPH) to 72 m/s (259 km/h, 161 MPH). The most common survival speed is 60 m/s (216 km/h, 134 MPH).
    Some have been designed to survive 80 metres per second (290 km/h; 180 mph).[5]

  10. People Are Reminding Ivanka Trump Of Her Father’s Sexual Assault Allegations After She Praises Oprah’s Speech

    The obvious problem here is that her own father has been accused of sexual harassment and/or assault by over 20 women. Not only that, he’s also supported other men who’ve been accused of the same. Most recently, he formally endorsed Alabama Republican Roy Moore, whose numerous alleged victims included minors, for state senator.

    Once again, Ivanka was hit with thousands of posts on social media reminding her of her own father’s actions.

  11. DTT

    The chances of avoiding a hot conflict with Russia over syria and Ukraine with Hillary were very , very low, whereas the chances of avoiding such a conflict with Putin in charge were much higher,

    Haha…nice Freudian slip!

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