Call of the board: Sydney (part two)

A second, even closer look at the electoral lay of the land in the Sydney region at the May 18 federal election.

On reflection, my previous post, intended as the first in a series of “Call of the Board” posts reviewing in detail the result of the May 18 election, was deficient in two aspects. The first is that patterns in the results estimated by my demographic model were said to be “difficult to discern”, which can only have been because I didn’t look hard enough. In fact, the results provide evidence for remarkably strong incumbency effects. Of the 12 Liberals defending their seats in the Sydney area, all but Tony Abbott outperformed the modelled estimate of the Liberal two-party vote, by an average of 4.0%. Of the 15 Labor members, all but two (Julie Owens in Parramatta and Anne Stanley in Werriwa) outperformed the model, the average being 3.4%.

The other shortcoming of the post was that it did not, indeed, call the board – a now-abandoned ritual of election night broadcasting in which the results for each electorate were quickly reviewed in alphabetical order at the end of the night, so that nobody at home would feel left out. You can find this done for the Sydney seats over the fold, and it will be a feature of the Call of the Board series going forward.

Banks (Liberal 6.3%; 4.8% swing to Liberal): After winning the seat for the Liberals in 2013 for the first time since its creation in 1949, David Coleman has now scored three wins on the trot, the latest by comfortably his biggest margin to date: 6.3%, compared with 2.8% in 2013 and 1.4% in 2016. In a post-election account for the Age/Herald, Michael Koziol reported that Labor’s national secretariat and state branch were at loggerheads over the seat late in the campaign, with the former wishing to devote resources to the seat, and the latter recognising that they “didn’t stand a chance”.

Barton (Labor 9.4%; 1.1% swing to Labor): Located around the crossover point where the inner urban swing to Labor gave way to the outer urban swing to Liberal, Barton recorded a slight swing to Labor that was perhaps boosted by a sophomore effect for incumbent Linda Burney.

Bennelong (Liberal 6.9%; 2.8% swing to Labor): A fair bit has been written lately about Labor’s struggles with the Chinese community, particularly in New South Wales, but that did not stop the nation’s most Chinese electorate recording a reasonably solid swing to Labor. This perhaps reflected the quality of Labor’s candidate, neurosurgeon Brian Owler, but was also typical of a seat where Malcolm Turnbull had played well in 2016, when it swung 2.8% to the Liberals.

Berowra (Liberal 15.6%; 0.8% swing to Labor): Most of this outer northern Sydney seat is in the outer part of the zone that swung to Labor, barring a few lightly populated regions out north and west. However, Liberal member Julian Leeser is what I will call a half-sophomore – a first-term incumbent, but one who succeeded a member of the same party (in this case Philip Ruddock), so there was no reversal of the sitting member advantage. So the 0.8% swing to Labor is about par for the course.

Blaxland (Labor 14.7%; 4.8% swing to Liberal): The anti-Labor swing suffered by Jason Clare was fairly typical for Sydney’s south-west.

Bradfield (Liberal 16.6%; 4.5% swing to Labor): Apart from the exceptional cases of Warringah and Wentworth, this was the biggest swing against the Liberals in New South Wales. However, given it was only fractionally lower in neighbouring North Sydney, that’s unlikely to be a reflection on sitting member Paul Fletcher, instead reflecting the electorate’s affluence and proximity to the city. The seat also recorded the state’s biggest swing to the Greens, at 2.0%.

Chifley (Labor 12.4%; 6.8% swing to Liberal): Ed Husic suffered Labor’s biggest unfavourable swing in Sydney (and the second biggest in the state after Hunter), after enjoying the second biggest favourable swing in 2016 (after Macarthur).

Cook (Liberal 19.0%; 3.6% swing to Liberal): As noted in the previous post, Scott Morrison enjoys the biggest Liberal margin in New South Wales relative to what might be expected from the electorate’s demographic composition. Only part of this can be explained by a prime ministership effect, as his 3.6% swing ranked only twelfth out of the 47 seats in New South Wales.

Dobell (Labor 1.5%; 3.3% swing to Liberal): The two seats on the Central Coast behaved similarly to most of suburban Sydney in swinging solidly to the Liberals, but there was enough padding on the Labor margin to save Emma McBride in Dobell, a marginal seat that lands Labor’s way more often than not.

Fowler (Labor 14.0%; 3.5% swing to Liberal): Labor’s Chris Hayes suffered a swing unremarkable by the standards of western Sydney, or perhaps slightly at the low end of average.

Grayndler (Labor 16.3% versus Greens; 0.5% swing to Labor): As illustrated in the previous post, Anthony Albanese’s personal popularity continues to define results in Grayndler, where the Labor margin is well out of proportion to demographic indicators. Whereas the Greens hold the largely corresponding state seats of Balmain and Newtown, in Grayndler they struggle to harness enough of the left-of-centre vote to finish ahead of the Liberals. They just managed it on this occasion, as they had previously in 2010 and 2016, outpolling the Liberals 22.6% to 21.8% on the primary vote, narrowing to 24.2% to 23.8% after the exclusion of three other candidates. Albanese cleared 50% of the primary vote for the first time since 2007, helped by a smaller field of candidates than last time, and had a locally typical 1.5% two-party swing against the Liberals.

Greenway (Labor 2.8%; 3.5% swing to Liberal): The swing against Labor’s Michelle Rowland was typical for middle suburbia, and roughly reversed the swing in her favour in 2016.

Hughes (Liberal 9.8%; 0.5% swing to Liberal): Craig Kelly did rather poorly to gain a swing of only 0.5% – as a careful look at the results map shows, the boundary between Hughes and Cook marks a distinct point where Labor swings turn to Liberal ones. The demographic model suggests Kelly to be the third most poorly performing Liberal incumbent out of the 13 in the Sydney area, ahead of Tony Abbott (Warringah) and Lucy Wicks (Robertson).

Kingsford Smith (Labor 8.8%; 0.2% swing to Labor): It was noted here previously that Matt Thistlethwaite strongly outperforms the demographic model, but the near status quo result on this occsion did little to contribute to that. This seat was roughly on the geographic crossover point between the Labor swings of the city and the Liberal swings of the suburbs.

Lindsay (LIBERAL GAIN 5.0%; 6.2% swing to Liberal): One of five seats lost by Labor at the election, and the only one in Sydney. Like the others, Lindsay was gained by Labor in 2016, with Emma Husar scoring a 1.1% margin from a 4.1% swing. This was more than reversed in Husar’s absence, with Liberal candidate Melissa McIntosh prevailing by 5.0%. The 6.2% swing against Labor was the biggest in the Sydney area, and produced a Liberal margin comparable to Jackie Kelly’s strongest.

Macarthur (Labor 8.4%; 0.1% swing to Labor): To repeat what was said in the previous post: Labor strongly outpolled the demographic model in Macarthur, a seat the Liberals held from 1996 until 2016, when Russell Matheson suffered first an 8.3% reduction in his margin at a redistribution, and then an 11.7% swing to Labor’s Michael Freelander, a local paediatrician. The swing to Labor, tiny though it was, ran heavily against the trend of urban fringe seats across the country. In addition to Freelander’s apparent popularity, this probably reflected a lack of effort put into the Liberal campaign compared with last time, as the party narrowly focused on its offensive moves in Lindsay and Macquarie and defensive ones in Gilmore and Reid. Macarthur was one of six seats in New South Wales contested by One Nation, whose 8.6% seemed to be drawn equally from Labor and Liberal.

Mackellar (Liberal 13.2%; 2.5% swing to Labor): Jason Falinski’s northern beaches seat participated in the swing to Labor in inner and northern Sydney, though in this case it was a fairly modest 2.5%, perhaps reflecting Falinski’s half-sophomore effect. A 12.2% vote for independent Alice Thompson caught most of the combined 14.9% for three independents in 2016, leaving the large parties’ vote shares little changed.

Macquarie (Labor 0.2%; 2.0% swing to Liberal): A sophomore surge for Labor member Susan Templeman surely made the difference here, with the 2.0% swing to the Liberals being below the outer urban norm, and just short of what was required to take the seat.

McMahon (Labor 6.6%; 5.5% swing to Liberal): The swing against Chris Bowen was well at the higher end of the scale and, typically for such a result, followed a strong swing the other way in 2016, in this case of 7.5%. This was among the six seats in New South Wales contested by One Nation, whose 8.3% contributed to a 7.4% primary vote swing against Bowen, and perhaps also to the size of the two-party swing.

Mitchell (Liberal 18.6%; 0.8% swing to Liberal): Where most safe Liberal seats in Sydney were in the zone of inner and northern Sydney that swung to Labor, Mitchell is far enough west to encompass the crossover point where Labor swings gave way to Liberal ones. This translated into a modest 0.8% swing to Liberal member Alex Hawke, and very little change on the primary vote.

North Sydney (Liberal 9.3%; 4.3% swing to Labor): Trent Zimmerman’s seat caught the brunt of the inner urban swing to Labor, the 4.3% swing to Labor being the state’s fourth highest after Warringah, Wentworth and Bradfield, the latter of which just shaded it. Labor managed a hefty 8.3% gain on the primary vote, largely thanks to the absence of Stephen Ruff, who polled 12.8% as an independent in 2016. The one independent on this occasion was serial candidate Arthur Chesterfield-Evans, a former Democrats member of the state upper house, who managed only 4.4%.

Parramatta (Labor 3.5%; 4.2% swing to Liberal): Parramatta marks the crossover point where the Liberal swing in western Sydney begins, producing a 4.2% swing against Labor’s Julie Owens that only partly unwound the 6.4% swing she picked up in 2016.

Reid (Liberal 3.2%; 1.5% swing to Labor): The Liberals maintained their remarkable record in this seat going back to 2013, when they won it for the first time in the seat’s history, by limiting the swing to Labor to a manageable 1.5%. While the 3.2% margin is only modestly higher than that predicted by the demographic model, it was achieved despite the departure of two-term sitting member Craig Laundy, who is succeeded by Fiona Martin.

Robertson (Liberal 4.2%; 3.1% swing to Liberal): Similarly to neighbouring Dobell, the Central Coast seat of Robertson swung 3.1% to the Liberals, in this case boosting the margin of Lucy Wicks.

Sydney (Labor 18.7%; 3.4% swing to Labor): The inner urban swing to Labor added further padding to Tanya Plibersek’s margin. The Greens continue to run third behind the Liberals, who outpolled them by 26.6% to 18.1%. As is the case in Grayndler, this presumably reflects local left-wing voters’ satisfaction with the incumbent.

Warringah (INDEPENDENT GAIN 7.2% versus Liberal): Zali Steggall took a big chunk out of the big party contenders in recording 43.5% of the primary vote, but the largest of course came from Tony Abbott, down from 51.6% to 39.0%. Abbott won four booths around Forestville at the northern end of the electorate, but it was otherwise a clean sweep for Steggall. She particularly dominated on the coast around Manly, by margins ranging from 10% to 18%.

Watson (Labor 13.5%; 4.1% swing to Liberal): In a familiar suburban Sydney pattern, Tony Burke had an 8.8% swing in his favour from 2016 unwound by a 4.1% swing to the Liberals this time.

Wentworth (Liberal 1.3% versus Independent): Listed as a Liberal retain in a spirit of consistently comparing results from the 2016 election, this was of course a Liberal gain to the extent that it reversed their defeat at the hands of independent Kerryn Phelps at last October’s by-election. There was an unblemished divide between the northern end of the electorate, encompassing the coast north of Bondi and all but the westernmost part of the harbourside, where the Liberals won the two-candidate vote, and the southern end of the electorate, where Phelps did. As noted in the previous post, there was a swing to Labor of 7.9% on the two-party preferred count, but this was testament more than anything to Malcolm Turnbull’s local support.

Werriwa (Labor 5.5%; 2.7% swing to Liberal): A half-sophomore effect for Labor’s Anne Watson may have helped limit the swing here in this outer suburban seat.

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.

1,936 comments on “Call of the board: Sydney (part two)”

  1. Memories of my teen years growing up in Australia’s suburbs flood back. I’ve lived in this country for over 50 years. The past year has been spent on Christmas Island, fighting deportation back to a country I don’t even remember living in. All because Peter Dutton decided I am a person of “bad character.” How many of the iconic Australian musicians that Dutton and I grew up listening to—so many of them immigrants like me—would he had deemed of “bad character” as well?

    Well, in June 2016 the Honourable Peter Dutton MP stood up in Parliament and proudly boasted that he’d cancelled the visas of more than 1,000 non-citizens. Of these, 137 of were members of organised gangs. Nobody really bothered to ask him what the others did to deserve deportation.

    But many of the men locked up on Christmas Island are here on “character grounds”—an indiscernible matrix decided pretty much solely by Peter Dutton. Legislation changes in 2014 gave the immigration minister sweeping discretionary powers to cancel the visas of non-citizens.

    And the stories of injustice are numerous…One man had been fined by his local council for burning off in his suburban backyard during a fire ban. He’s now been in detention here on Christmas Island for two years. Chillingly, some people here have no criminal charges at all. If you have charges laid against you that are subsequently dropped and dismissed, you now run the risk of having your visa cancelled on the claim that you present a “future risk to the community.” These people are being detained for years.

    https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/ywq777/a-letter-from-christmas-island-australias-forgotten-detention-centre

  2. Hi Peg,
    An answer to your post from yesterday – my work when through one of my crazy 48 hours that happen occasionally:

    Doug Cameron

    “Cameron advised the party to hold the line.

    “I’ve said on many occasions, that I had never felt more comfortable with Labor party policy than with the policies we took to the last election,” he said.

    “… We must properly analyse why such a progressive and beneficial policy agenda for working class Australians failed to deliver government to the ALP.

    “We must not engage in an orgy of revisionism. We must never abandon a progressive agenda for Australia. We must resist pressure to move to the middle ground of politics.

    “We cannot win government masquerading as a pale imitation of the Coalition or as a ‘third way’ Blairite clone.

    “We must never abandon the historic struggles and principles of a forward thinking Labor party.”

    Cameron also used his speech to urge caution against waving through changes to national security without consideration of who watches the watchers, his advice arriving just days before the parliament considers Peter Dutton’s latest requests for further security powers.

    “No one from the left should forget the role that these agencies play in serving conservative governments by engaging in covert surveillance, infiltration and political attacks on left wing Australians,” he said.

    “We should learn from the lessons of the past and make sure that if we support increased powers for security agencies that increased checks and balances are in place. We need proper parliamentary oversight and the capacity to ensure that security agencies are acting in the national interest.

    “… Our existing oversight is inferior and in my view, almost non-existent. This is unacceptable and we should ensure our inferior parliamentary oversight of security agencies is changed and oversight enhanced.”

    I completely agree with Doug Cameron, and will be fighting for his wise words you quoted to become ALP policy.

    Because I have been OS for work, I have dropped the ball on my (amateur) efforts at shaping ALP policy. But, back soon, and into the fray fighting the good fight.

    I am very unhappy with what I have seen from afar about the direction ALP policy is taking – I thought what we took to the last election was about right – although I would have announced an interim increase in Newstart before the election (if I was Emperor for Life of the ALP) of around $50, pending a review which may have made significant changes to the way the social security safety net operates in Australia, which may have changed the whole Newstart model.

    Of course, I am not Emperor for life, and do not speak in any official capacity.

    I am also tending towards Nicholas’s idea of a Job’s guarantee. However, it would need to be supplemented with a basic income safety net, for those who are unable, for whatever reason, to participate in work for any period of time.

  3. Lizzie,

    Memories of my teen years growing up in Australia’s suburbs flood back. I’ve lived in this country for over 50 years. The past year has been spent on Christmas Island, fighting deportation back to a country I don’t even remember living in. All because Peter Dutton decided I am a person of “bad character.” How many of the iconic Australian musicians that Dutton and I grew up listening to—so many of them immigrants like me—would he had deemed of “bad character” as well?

    Well, in June 2016 the Honourable Peter Dutton MP stood up in Parliament and proudly boasted that he’d cancelled the visas of more than 1,000 non-citizens. Of these, 137 of were members of organised gangs. Nobody really bothered to ask him what the others did to deserve deportation.

    But many of the men locked up on Christmas Island are here on “character grounds”—an indiscernible matrix decided pretty much solely by Peter Dutton. Legislation changes in 2014 gave the immigration minister sweeping discretionary powers to cancel the visas of non-citizens.

    And the stories of injustice are numerous…One man had been fined by his local council for burning off in his suburban backyard during a fire ban. He’s now been in detention here on Christmas Island for two years. Chillingly, some people here have no criminal charges at all. If you have charges laid against you that are subsequently dropped and dismissed, you now run the risk of having your visa cancelled on the claim that you present a “future risk to the community.” These people are being detained for years.
    https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/ywq777/a-letter-from-christmas-island-australias-forgotten-detention-centre

    Thanks for posting this. I have been a loggerheads with some Labor MPs about supporting this cruel and pointless policy for about a decade now.

  4. Also, migrating from my annual leave in Fontainbleau, house and cat sitting, to Galway for work. The leave I took in Fontainbleau means I will work over Christmas, but I still think it was worth it.

    The cheapest way has been to go from Paris to Bordeaux, before catching a flight to Cork.

    In Paris / Fontainbleau we had the Gilets Jaunes, who were protesting, but I am no so sure what about, apart from the broken system.

    In Bordeaux, there is a protest in a large city square that involves highlighting how many people, particularly women and children, are homeless. The protest provides free food – dropped off by supporters, and mattresses in the square for all who need them, with safety provided by the protesters. Many of these people are refugees from the Middle East.

    I love this approach. Would it work in Sydney or Melbourne?

  5. lizzie,
    That policy sounds like a slow ethnic cleansing of Australia by Dutton. Unless, of course, like the Somali Serco guard, you buy into his regime. 🙁

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. A little bit late this morning due to a late night celebrating Mrs BK’s birthday with the family. The usual Sunday news drought helped to minimise the lateness.

    Tony Wright says, “The PM prays for Australians, but does that include the jobless?”
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-pm-prays-for-australians-but-does-that-include-the-jobless-20190719-p528u4.html
    John Collett reports on this that seems to have flown under the radar. More than 100,000 families will lose some or all of their family tax benefits under changes that took effect this month.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/tax/thousands-of-households-have-their-family-tax-benefit-reduced-or-cut-20190717-p527yd.html
    An increase to the dole would have a major implication for the budget bottom line at a time when there is a need for strong fiscal management, Liberal backbencher Julian Leeser has warned.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6283943/newstart-rise-bad-for-budget-liberal-mp/?cs=14231
    Meanwhile Sally Whyte reports that Rachel Siewert is calling for them to stand by their convictions this week when she introduces another bill to increase the payment. Of course it will go nowhere.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6283666/bill-to-increase-newstart-as-chorus-for-change-grows/?cs=14350
    The Morrison government is being accused of ignoring bipartisan recommendations and breaching commitments to reform the spy agency’s powers as it prepares a fresh push on national security when parliament resumes on Monday.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jul/21/coalition-accused-of-ignoring-bipartisan-advice-over-scrutiny-of-security-powers
    Boris Johnson will be tested by a major international crisis in his first days as prime minister, senior military figures and politicians have warned, after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker in a move that raised tensions in the Gulf to new heights.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/20/boris-johnson-iran-gulf-crisis-admiral-lord-west
    Cricket Australia has been caught out big time over hugely inflated player number claims.
    https://www.theage.com.au/sport/cricket/caught-out-cricket-s-inflated-playing-numbers-revealed-20190720-p5292s.html
    A new front is opening in the religious freedom debate, with an impending bill to allow religious schools to ban same-sex weddings in their halls writes Judith Ireland.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/advocates-warn-of-payback-for-marriage-equality-in-extra-religious-freedom-bill-20190719-p528ru.html
    Israel Folau’s belief that any Christian who wasn’t “born again” would go to hell proved his congregation had deviated far from mainstream Christianity, Christian ministers have said. One described it as a “sect”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/folau-s-group-s-far-from-mainstream-christianity-leaders-say-20190720-p5292n.html
    Christianity has a track record of marginalising people for illegitimate reasons, writes Melvin Fechner.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/christianity-intolerance-and-christopher-pearson,12918
    Australia is the only country with a 4G network that is faster than the 5G network, as shown in a new report.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/07/20/australia-fast-4g/
    Peter FitzSimons has a good column today.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/it-s-franking-ridiculous-and-dick-smith-says-so-too-20190719-p528ye.html
    Why is nursing home food so bad? Some spend just $6.08 per person a day – that’s lower than prison writes Cherie Hugo in The Conversation.
    https://theconversation.com/why-is-nursing-home-food-so-bad-some-spend-just-6-08-per-person-a-day-thats-lower-than-prison-120421
    We can have a stronger, more varied media if the Government legislates to prevent further takeovers and mergers, writes Ross Thorley.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/intervene-how-government-can-secure-media-diversity,12920
    It can’t be left to black Americans alone to resist Trump’s racism. Citizens of all colours need to resist, and embrace activism writes Nell Painter.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/20/as-donald-trump-revives-racism-struggle-against-it-gathers-momentum
    Police have arrested a fourth person over an alleged $100 million money laundering syndicate, apprehending him as he attempted to leave the country at Sydney International Airport. Nice people!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/fourth-person-arrested-over-alleged-100m-money-laundering-syndicate-attempting-to-leave-the-country-20190719-p528xg.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Matt Golding

    Matt Davidson and cladding.

    Reg Lynch and the hypocritical approach to Newstart.

    Zanetti FWIW.

    Glen Le Lievre and restaurant wage theft.

    Jon Kudelka unpacks our national anthem.

    From the US


  7. I love this approach. Would it work in Sydney or Melbourne?

    I’m not sure about Melbourne but you may remember, D & M, that it has already been tried in Sydney with the homeless being provided with food, tents and sleeping bags and a place to stay in Martin Place, only to be unceremoniously moved on by the Berejiklian/Baird Coalition government.

    So, in a word, no, it won’t work in Sydney.

  8. Douglas and Milko

    I’m shocked. I confess I had no idea that such unfair policies existed, and I can’t see that they have anything to do with terrorism or a threat to Australia’s so-called security. The money spent on the “guards” could be used in much better ways, obviously. The letter from Leo Jai comparing the current situation with the past wrt badly behaving musicians is very telling. Dutton, Morrison and their colleages have no humanity.

  9. C@t

    The Somali Serco guard? He’s probably delighted to find a job, and his own previous history may lead him to believe there is nothing unusual in cruelty to prisoners.

  10. Cat

    The thing that Labor needs to hammer along with the Greens. Yes on this a united front can be found.
    Use Senator Elijah Cummings Empathy Deficit phrase make that the mantra of the next three years. Every presser.

    It applies to Newstart and homeless consequences. Immigration policy. Health Policy. The list goes on.

  11. @jdawsy tweets

    A bit of news: Raj Shah, the former spokesman in the White House, is joining Fox as a senior Vice President.

    My words
    Be in no doubt Murdoch is a clear and present danger to our society.

  12. lizzie @ #14 Sunday, July 21st, 2019 – 7:57 am

    C@t

    The Somali Serco guard? He’s probably delighted to find a job, and his own previous history may lead him to believe there is nothing unusual in cruelty to prisoners.

    Yes, the Precariat. Neoliberal governments making damn sure that having a job and keeping it will make you do things yhou never thought you would do.

    This article I found while reading the heart-rending story by Tony Wright that BK has for us today, is just another example of how heartless our society has become:

    Alex’s experience may be instructive.

    This is how Alex managed on Newstart for six years. In order to maintain the $288 per week rent on his one-bedroom flat, and pay for utilities and food, he turned off his fridge and heating. He lived on two-minute noodles, 65-cent cans of baked beans, packet soups and bread. He couldn’t afford margarine. He came to Olive Way for lunch three days a week. He showered at the Salvos to save on water and heating and rather than use his washing machine for bed linen, he slept on his couch in an overcoat.

    …Even with the addition of rental assistance which brought his fortnightly payment to $695, rent took more than 90 per cent of his income. He did not turn on the lights in his flat but used the torch in his mobile phone.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/no-lights-no-linen-how-alex-survived-for-six-years-on-newstart-20190717-p5284q.html

    And Dick Smith gets $500000 in one year in Franking Credits from the government that he neither needs nor wants.

    The comparison between the 2 men should bring shame on us all that we keep electing governments that want to perpetuate this inequity.

    And despite what the grubby Greens on this blog would have you believe, it was only the Labor Party who had the guts to take a policy to conduct a root and branch review of the Newstart payment, and a Franking Credits policy, to the last federal election.

    The Greens here can carp, condescend and whinge about Labor all they want, and in parliament they can put on all the ineffectual stunts they can think of, but at the end of the day it’s only the Labor Party who took real action about these problems to the people.

    And what did The Greens do? As per usual, joined with the Coalition in attempting to tear Labor down.

    They should be ashamed of themselves, but like the Coalition, and as we see here day after tedious day, they are shameless.

    To my way of thinking it means they don’t really care about the people on Newstart.

  13. @simanahac tweets

    hey @ScottMorrisonMP, what do *you* think of @realDonaldTrump’s attacks on the congresswomen? https://twitter.com/abc/status/1152340109905334272

    @ABC tweets

    “The comments made were hurtful, wrong and completely unacceptable.”

    Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau sharply criticizes Pres. Trump over his attacks on four female members of Congress. https://abcn.ws/2Y31ueS https://twitter.com/ABC/status/1152340109905334272/video/1

  14. Cat

    The root and branch review of Newstart and an increase as a result was a very good secret. If communicated to the voters Labor might have had different results.

  15. C@T,

    I love this approach. Would it work in Sydney or Melbourne?

    I’m not sure about Melbourne but you may remember, D & M, that it has already been tried in Sydney with the homeless being provided with food, tents and sleeping bags and a place to stay in Martin Place, only to be unceremoniously moved on by the Berejiklian/Baird Coalition government.

    So, in a word, no, it won’t work in Sydney.

    Yes, you are right – I remember Prue Goward as a Coalition minister with her “Go Home! Stay Home!” policy. She was of the opinion that most homeless people came for the suburbs, and should go back there. First Dog on the Moon did a few cartoons, and this is one I found:

    https://firstdogonthemoon.com.au/cartoons/2015/09/30/news-corp-columnist-pancetta-mandibles-has-an-answer-for-everything-about-domestic-violence/

    Also, Sydney City Councillor Christine Foster worked hard to clear out the homeless from Belmore Park, saying that they were only backpackers who were too stingy to pay for a hostel.

  16. ‘Politics off the front page’ is part of Scott Morrison’s bid to dial down the volume.

    I’d say this is part of Morrison’s bid for his government to remain in hiding, attending parliament as little as possible, quietly changing regulations instead of debating policies in public, and only making announcements that he thinks will be to his personal advantage. Wasn’t this his strategy during the election?

  17. Thanks, Lizzie, for the link to Leo Jai’s Letter from Christmas Island.
    I have never been more ashamed to call myself Australian.
    D&M’s battles with Labor leadership over this issue, and Kudelka’s cartoon reminding me about our collective empathy deficit just increase my depression.

    But it’s more than just empathy deficit, it’s willful ignorance.

    I am reminded of Douglas Adam’s observation in Life, the Universe and Everything that people have “a natural disposition to not see anything they don’t want to…”. He called it the “Somebody Elses’s Problem field”.
    The laugh is now bitter.
    Dutton, Morrison, and even Labor are effectively fueling such a field, and our compatriots willingly live it.
    If the homeless, our own people, in Martin Place, can’t force us to pay attention then I do not know what will.

  18. William,

    Delighted to see the Call of the Board return to Poll Bludger – I have missed it greatly these last few years, and it is even more important now that the ABC appears to have abandoned the concept. Looking forward to the posts for the rest of this election, and hopefully for many elections in the future!

  19. I have to say that it was extremely hard to work out what Labor’s Newstart review was about. I talked to Burney’s office when I was trying to write a media release for the campaign, and was told it wasn’t going to be a review into Centrelink’s operations in any way.

  20. Mike Carlton @MikeCarlton01
    ·
    10h
    I’m still waiting to hear one – JUST ONE – state or federal LNP minister condemn wage theft. Let alone promise to do anything about it. They’re too busy bashing trade unions and industry super funds. Despicable.

  21. Morning all. Thanks William for another great post – who needs polls? – and thanks BK for today’s wrap. Happy birthday to Mrs BK!

    Greetings from sunny Rednecksville Qld! The clocks may have gone forward 2 hours, but I feel like I’ve time travelled back 40 years. Am here for the next few days for work.

  22. First Greens snipe for the thread from C@t. Let’s count them.

    Looks like these Bludgers that spend so much time here (“working” as the Bore says) must be getting nervous about maintaining their position in the long race. The Greens are gaining, and they want to make sure that it is Labor who always come in second.

  23. Zoom,

    I have to say that it was extremely hard to work out what Labor’s Newstart review was about. I talked to Burney’s office when I was trying to write a media release for the campaign, and was told it wasn’t going to be a review into Centrelink’s operations in any way.

    Thanks for this Zoomster. I think we as party members are going to have to push very hard to get our policy up, and to push the party to hone the message.

    I actually worry that both Albo and Keneally live near me. Nice part of the world, everyone cares about climate change and refugees. Even if you are relatively poor in our area, there is an old and strong working class community who support each other – one of the things that make me love my community.

    However, only a few km west, such as in seats such as Banks, people are not so comfortable about having any support other than their family and their church. They are frightened for their jobs, and their own and their children’s ability to cling to the middle class.

    Scott Morrison and the current Liberal party speak Sio well to this groups fears, that I suspect they are beyond the reach of Labor, and even more the Greens.

    It seems like the 1960s again – we need to wait until their kids can vote!

  24. Douglas and Milko
    Sunday, July 21st, 2019 – 8:45 am
    Comment #22

    Also, Sydney City Councillor Christine Foster worked hard to clear out the homeless from Belmore Park, saying that they were only backpackers who were too stingy to pay for a hostel.

    Ah, how well I remember my stingy days living occasionally in Belmore park (50 years ago).

    How I long for the return of those days with no money, no prospects, no hope and the only plan was a not thought out idea of some how getting into jail for a more fulfilling enjoyment of the comforts of life.

    I will add Ms. Foster to my prayer list (imaginary like most of my friends) for whom I ask Baal to roast daily and twice on Sunday.
    Good morning and happy thoughts to the humans in our community.

  25. Hi Douglas, what a wonderful place to be. I lived in a village called Fontaine-le-Port, outside Fontainebleau, for a year in 1992. It was on the bank of the Seine. On the opposite bank was the Fontainebleau Forest. I went to primary school in Fontainebleau. In November 1997 when I had finished Grade 11 in Brisbane I returned to the same school in Fontainebleau for two months. Many of the students I had known in CM2 (grade 5) were still there.

  26. Lovey @ #29 Sunday, July 21st, 2019 – 9:04 am

    First Greens snipe for the thread from C@t. Let’s count them.

    Looks like these Bludgers that spend so much time here (“working” as the Bore says) must be getting nervous about maintaining their position in the long race. The Greens are gaining, and they want to make sure that it is Labor who always come in second.

    Another lie from a Greens’ Lovey.

    My first post was about lizzie’s link to the letter from Leo Jai.

    But keep smearing me, it says more about you than me.

  27. D&M

    I’ve contacted Burney’s office a couple of times over concerns with Centrelink and mygov, stressing that I was doing so to highlight a policy issue. In each case, the advisor I was dealing with told me to get in contact with Centrelink about my complaint. Didn’t seem to get the point that it wasn’t about getting the complaint resolved, it was about highlighting a problem with the system.

  28. I can’t see the point being made regarding Dick Smith and franking credits.

    He owns a lot shares in companies that pay tax and received more than a million dollars in dividends from them.

    Sounds like he would owe the tax man more than the value of the credit.

  29. KayJay

    Ah, how well I remember my stingy days living occasionally in Belmore park (50 years ago).

    How I long for the return of those days with no money, no prospects, no hope and the only plan was a not thought out idea of some how getting into jail for a more fulfilling enjoyment of the comforts of life.

    😀

  30. Senator Di Natale on Insiders

    Ouch Labor! You left this window right open. No matter how you complain about it.

    Time to choose. Support neo liberal policy or oppose it.

  31. Barney in Makassar @ #36 Sunday, July 21st, 2019 – 9:12 am

    I can’t see the point being made regarding Dick Smith and franking credits.

    He owns a lot shares in companies that pay tax and received more than a million dollars in dividends from them.

    Sounds like he would owe the tax man more than the value of the credit.

    I think the point was that Dick Smith himself said that he is fine with paying the tax that he owes and doesn’t think he deserves the Franking Credits refund.

    However, not knowing his tax situation, isn’t it the case though that he received the Franking Credits refund because he paid no tax?

  32. Confessions

    He is making good points. Like we already have criminal laws to deal with trespass and violence. We don’t need to punish journalists and farmers for truth telling

  33. @TheKouk tweets

    On another matter – it is odd to see Labor tying itself in knots over Newstart when:
    – It has been in Opposition for 6 years
    – Will be in Opposition for the next 3 years
    – When the govt is likely to address the issue before the election so the current fuss changes not one vote

  34. Nicholas

    Hi Douglas, what a wonderful place to be. I lived in a village called Fontaine-le-Port, outside Fontainebleau, for a year in 1992. It was on the bank of the Seine. On the opposite bank was the Fontainebleau Forest. I went to primary school in Fontainebleau. In November 1997 when I had finished Grade 11 in Brisbane I returned to the same school in Fontainebleau for two months. Many of the students I had known in CM2 (grade 5) were still there.

    Thank you so much for this anecdote.

    By the time I reached Fontainbleau I had not taken a holiday for over two years, and planned to work through my official annual leave, as I usually do.

    But somehow the magic of Fontainebleau forest – I walked about 5 – 10 km through different parts of the forest each day, seeing fountains and springs – meant that I became more relaxed, and actually took a much-needed break. I think there is now evidence to suggest that humans walking in forests can be calming.

    So, I am feeling positive about getting back to work!

  35. Also, Sydney City Councillor Christine Foster worked hard to clear out the homeless from Belmore Park, saying that they were only backpackers who were too stingy to pay for a hostel.

    Most of them were Indigenous.

  36. Cat

    You lie. The first sentence from the Senator was about how the attack was on the LNP Labor was just collateral damage for supporting the LNP

    Yes I have to use the word lie here. I am sorry William can’t avoid it.

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