Election minus five weeks

Candidates on both sides of the aisle drop out of contention, Peter Dutton suffers a self-inflicted wound in Dickson, and Shooters Fishers and Farmers rein in their expectations.

Two days in the campaign, and already much to relate:

• Labor’s audacious gambit of running former Fremantle MP Melissa Parke in Curtin has proved short-lived, after a controversy brewed over comments she had made critical of Israel. Parke announced her withdrawal after the Herald Sun presented the Labor campaign with claims she had told a meeting of WA Labor for Palestine that she could “remember vividly” – presumably not from first-hand experience – a pregnant refugee being ordered to drink bleach at a Gaza checkpoint. Parke is also said to have spoken of Israel’s “influence in our political system and foreign policy”, no doubt bringing to the party hierarchy’s mind the turmoil that has lately engulfed the British Labour Party in relation to such matters. In her statement last night, Parke said her views were “well known, but I don’t want them to be a running distraction from electing a Labor government”. James Campbell of the Herald Sun notes the forum was also attended by Parkes’ successor in Fremantle, Josh Wilson.

• Meanwhile, Liberal Party vetting processes have caused the withdrawal on Section 44 grounds of three candidates in who-cares seats in Melbourne. They are Cooper candidate Helen Jackson, who dug her heels in when told her no-chance candidacy required her to abandon her job at Australia Post, so that the integrity of executive-legislative relations might be preserved; Lalor candidate Kate Oski, who is in danger of being Polish; and Wills candidate Vaishali Ghosh, who was, as The Age put it in a report I hope no one from overseas reads, “forced to step aside over her Indian heritage”.

• Peter Dutton has been under fire for his rhetorical overreach against Ali France, the Labor candidate in his marginal seat of Dickson. Dutton accused France, who had her leg amputated after being hit by a car in 2011, of “using her disability as an excuse” for not moving into the electorate. France lives a short distance outside it, and points to the $100,000 of her compensation money she has spent making her existing home fully wheelchair accessible. Labor has taken the opportunity to point to Dutton’s failed attempt from 2009 to move to the safer seat of McPherson on the Gold Coast, where he owns a $2.3 million beachside holiday home, and by all accounts spends a great deal of his time. Dutton refused to apologise for the comments yesterday, while Scott Morrison baselessly asserted that they were taken out of context.

Greg Brown of The Australian reports Robert Borsak, leader of Shooters Fishers and Farmers and one of the party’s state upper house MPs, concedes the party is struggling to recruit candidates, and will not repeat its state election feat of winning seats in the lower house. Nonetheless, it has Orange deputy mayor Sam Romano lined up as its candidate for Calare and plans to run in Eden-Monaro, Parkes and possibly New England. This follows suggestions the party might pose a threat to the Nationals in Parkes and Farrer, which largely correspond with the state seats of Barwon and Murray, which the party won at last month’s state election. Calare encompasses Orange, which Shooters have held since a November 2016 by-election.

• “I don’t trust our polling at all”, says “a senior federal Liberal MP” cited by John Ferguson in The Australian, apropos the party’s prospects in Victoria. It is not clear if the source was being optimistic or pessimistic, but the report identifies a range of opinion within the Liberal camp extending from only two or three losses in Victoria – likewise identified as a “worst case scenario” by Labor sources – to as many as seven.

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.

1,433 comments on “Election minus five weeks”

  1. Simon² Katich® @ #1116 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 4:28 pm

    I am pretty sure they are all very dormant however

    Yes. No chance. But it is my running joke with Barney (hilarious!), and I couldnt put down Taupo and I dont know any others.

    The most impressive volcano remains is Mt Warning (not a supervolcano). Stunning if viewed from the top of the mountain itself or more spectacular… from The Pinnacle in Border Ranges NP.

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the original Terania Creek protest, the first major protest against logging old-growth rainforest in Australia. Ultimately saving those now protected rainforests of the Wollumbin (Mt Warning) caldera from logging and clearing, the Border Ranges, Nightcap and Wollmbin parks.

    Without people getting in the way of bulldozers and logging at that time. We would probably no longer have these places to enjoy.

    Mt Kaputar, the next iteration of that hotspot in NSW, is also impressive but a bit different country, with it’s own endemic and spectacular pink slug and hexagonal columnar basalt cliffs formed from slowly cooling lava

  2. “Did DiNatale say what was going to happen to the Australian economy when the Greens take $60 billion in exports a year out of it? (Not counting cotton and uranium, of course).”

    Probably, but as I discovered the other day, you wouldn’t know if he has or not because you’re too lazy to do any research into Greens’ policies and instead just rely on Murdoch and co. to tell you what to think.

  3. ‘Q
    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the original Terania Creek protest, the first major protest against logging old-growth rainforest in Australia.’

    That is before the Greens locked up the environment vote and rendered the environment a minor issue in elections.

    A pity. But there it is.

  4. Firefox @ #1147 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 5:07 pm

    “Yeah. Tidal is hugely underrated.

    Tidal and/or wave power is a ceaseless, pulsing energy source, that, if only harvested properly, could give us all the energy we NEED (including ‘base load’). And in combo with Solar PV, we’d have heaps of renewable power. I hope the boffins can do better with this possible source…..

    edit – and of course wind!

  5. Yes, Simon – and Mt Gambier is one of them. The hotspot was under Aust, and now it isn’t.

    SK. I doubt that the heading for the link ‘world’s longest continual chain’ would stand much comparison with other continual chains.

    What is this? Pile on Simon Weekend? First nath yesterday and now you three.
    Last time I talk about stinky volcanoes.
    I am off to kick the cat.

  6. GG

    On your serious question about whatif power in a nuclear winter or similar, the grid itself would probably be down so I expect small local answers would be best. That aside, if the grid was running the following would be my view:
    – gas is simple and easy to start up and run. As long as we had gas it would work
    – biofuel plants have the same advantages as gas and potentially local fuel supply
    – wind will keep working in a nuclear winter, so will batteries
    – hydro is likewise easy to start up, but needs maintnance
    – diesel is easy to start up but relies on a supply chain of refined diesel fuel. Our local (Timor Sea) oil supply is very light crude and does not give much diesel content.
    – coal plants are very complex if of the big modern kind and hard to start up; months or even years of work if pipework is not in good order.
    – nuclear is the most complex of all. Even worse there is a complex fuel cycle. Only a few places produce reactor quality uranium fuel cores. No chance to start this quickly, it would take years.

    That is as I understand it.

  7. “That is before the Greens locked up the environment vote and rendered the environment a minor issue in elections.”

    Yeah. That’s why climate change policy in this country has been a complete non issue over the last decade. Nice rock you’re living under there.

  8. firefox
    Talking about research, what are the Greens costings for their UBI.
    Back of the envelope tells us that 20 million adults times a very, very modest UBI of $20,000 per annum comes to $400 billion.
    That is more than total revenue and would leave nothing for health, education, transport, housing or the environment.
    Over to you.

  9. Firefox
    You do realize that the last major gains for the environment all occurred before the formation of the Greens Party.
    (The sole exception was the short-lived Oz Dems + Minister Hill ascendancy during the GST bargaining).
    The Greens have totally destroyed the value of the environmentalist vote.
    It is a pity. But there it is.

  10. “Just look at all the stupid people who invest in coal generation which is stuffing the planet.” And who would they be Fireyfox? Nobody is wasting their money on new coal plants in Australia, and there’s a “pivot” occurring in Asia; see https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/mar/31/japans-environment-minister-to-oppose-any-new-or-expanded-coal-fired-power-plants

    Capitalists may be greedy but they aren’t collectively dumb – most now realise that the “levelised cost” (ugh) of electricity from renewables is way less than that from coal, and the gap is widening. A bit embarrassing for the Libs, still wedded to coal while their natural supporters have already moved on from it. And while nuclear looked good a few years ago, it looks like a waste of money now too.

  11. “firefox
    Talking about research, what are the Greens costings for their UBI.”

    Already answered this for you the other day. You just dodged and ignored my response, so I’m not going to bother repeating myself.

  12. Australia won’t need the income from coal exports if the ADF are reduced to a light mobile force. Further enhancing our anti-militaristic stance would be to stop the sale of uranium. Furthermore, water for the Darling River will be more available if cotton growing was banned. There, a recipe for a better Australia.

  13. ‘Firefox says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 5:23 pm

    “firefox
    Talking about research, what are the Greens costings for their UBI.”

    Already answered this for you the other day. You just dodged and ignored my response, so I’m not going to bother repeating myself.’

    Uh huh. So it IS $400 billion a year. I thought so. No wonder Di Natale just wants to jim jam about lib lab same same.

  14. “Firefox
    You do realize that the last major gains for the environment all occurred before the formation of the Greens Party.”

    “There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.”

    Thanks to the Greens, there was. Just one example. Shame that Labor spent the next three years arguing about who should lead their party and handed power to Abbott, but there it is.

    That is indeed a mighty Uluru sized rock you’re under alright!

  15. Let’s see.
    $400 billion a year for the UBI.
    Less coal exports $60 billion a year.
    That makes $460 billion a year to find.
    Plus building 500,000 dwellings. If they are not caves, let’s put them in at $50 billion a year.
    That makes $510 billion a year.
    Plus destroy cotton exports, say $3 billion a year.
    That makes $513 billion a year.
    What ARE the Greens using for a calculator?

  16. ‘zoomster says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm

    The Greens can scarcely claim they’ve been front and centre in the climate change debate.’

    They will claim it. According to DiNatale this AM, the Greens have ‘delivered’.

  17. I don’t support the Greens or a UBI and even I am bored with the obnoxious “hAvE tHe GrEeNs CoStEd ThEiR UbI?” daily parroting.

  18. ‘Rational Leftist says:
    Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 5:38 pm

    I don’t support the Greens or a UBI and even I am bored with the obnoxious “hAvE tHe GrEeNs CoStEd ThEiR UbI?” daily parroting.’

    You poor naltijitjarra.

  19. “Poor old Greens. Forever the jilted bridesmaids, let alone the brides.”

    Labor wouldn’t even get invited to the wedding if it weren’t for the Greens (preferences).

    The Greens have lead and continue to lead the policy debate in so many areas in this country, especially when it comes to climate policy.

  20. AJ
    You are not going to convert me. I protested against the rotten stuff in years gone by. Enough nuclear for medicine or whatever is essential. And weapons and power generation are not essential.

  21. BB..

    My understanding is that the weight of the lead shields required to protect the crew of such nuclear-powered bombers from radiation made it impossible for the aircraft to take off.

    They flew a small test reactor on a conventionally powered plane a number of times but it may never have worked no matter how much time and money.

    See this great video..

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Jt924xjaJo

  22. Andrew,

    Regarding thorium and other advanced nuclear designs. They wonderful bits of technology but they are all way too expensive and always will be. Nuclear is essentially a complex and expensive way to heat water, with the balance of plant being a conventional steam turbine generator. It will always be more complex and more expensive because of the complexity, materials and quality control needed.

  23. BH @ #1150 Sunday, April 14th, 2019 – 5:14 pm

    I came in from garden to find OH blaspheming over his tablet. He was reading this
    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6910111/Why-PM-Scott-Morrison-says-Labor-destroy-Australia-knows-makes-tick.html&ved=2ahUKEwj7yoDLg8_hAhUbXSsKHXc9A7gQFjAAegQIBRAB&usg=AOvVaw2vT11epT9o00fUdZTdx54c&cshid=1555225822570
    Watch out every pub in a marginal

    Oh ❗ ♫I wish I had someone to ♫love me someone to ♪ call me their own
    ♪I wish I had someone to ♪live with cause I’m ♫ tired of livin’ ♪ alone ❗ (Key of G )

    ****************************************************

    What are the lyrics about – not much – I’m out in sympathy for the brain dead dude wot wrote the eulogy and also Barry the Cat. I have high hope that Buddy responds to his treatment.

    My best to your OH. Poor so and so -he may never recover. 😇

    Goodnight all. TV 📺 (Vera later tonight) and blessed sleep. 💤

  24. @William Bowe

    By these odds you have posted from Ladbrokes, Tony Abbott stands a good chance of winning Warringah and maybe becoming the next Liberal Party leader if the Coalition enters opposition.

  25. simon holmes à court
    ‏@simonahac
    9m9 minutes ago

    .@AngusTaylorMP has instructed lawyers to send out deffo threats in relation to the @msveruca thread.
    wouldn’t it be better to put the allegations to rest for once and for all with an explanation?

    Margo Kingston @margokingston1

    Huh? I deliberately did NOT Retweet the @AngusTaylorMP allegation thread because the allegations were unsourced. What’s going on, Angus?

    Jan Mahyuddin
    ‏@j4gypsy
    13m13 minutes ago
    Replying to @margokingston1 @deniseshrivell @AngusTaylorMP
    Margo, get yourself a lawyer, if you don’t already have legal support. They are going for whom they think are a tad vulnerable. Michael West @MichaelWestBiz has already picked up on the story and published material sourced via FOI.

  26. Pica- I’ll join you in hoping that the Western District volcanoes will stay dormant. By any measure climate change is a much more tangible threat to the Western District – and everywhere else.

  27. Personally I just have a feeling that Labor would have won a massive victory if Anthony Albanese had been leader instead of Bill Shorten. Albanese would have been like Justin Trudeau was in the 2015 Canadian Federal Election.

  28. From this morning.

    Insiders ABC @InsidersABC
    “I have reached out to @billshortenmp. At the moment, he seems more intent on adopting the Liberal Party’s energy and climate policies than talking to the Greens.” @RichardDiNatale

    Senator Penny Wong
    This is the same old line the Greens used when voting with Abbott and co to torpedo Labor’s climate plan. A decade of inaction followed. I know the Greens’ priority is often on differentiating from Labor, but surely the priority is to elect a government that will act on climate.

  29. Albanese would have got 100 seats for sure. The people like him, he’s considered trustworthy and ‘authentic’. Growing up in a public housing estate would have been a great story too. Bit better than Xavier.

  30. Senator Penny Wong
    This is the same old line the Greens used when voting with Abbott and co to torpedo Labor’s climate plan. A decade of inaction followed. I know the Greens’ priority is often on differentiating from Labor, but surely the priority is to elect a government that will act on climate.

    The last thing the Greens want is one of their supposed signature issues taken away from them. That’s why they continue to ignore that there are real differences between the major parties on addressing our GHGEs. I really do often wonder whether the Greens would prefer a regressive coalition govt to a progressive Labor one.

  31. I voted for Albo in the 2013 ballot, but the way Shorten has led the party has impressed me.

    And comparing him to Trudeau? Lol come on…

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