Essential Research: Newstart, robodebt, social media

More evidence that voters favour social democratic policy options, right up until polling day.

The fortnightly Essential Research poll, which is still yet to resume results for voting intention, focuses largely on questions around social security. Among its findings are that the Newstart rate is deemed too low by 58%, about right by 30% and too high by 5%. Forty-four per cent expressed strong support for an increase from $280 per week to $355, a further 31% said they somewhat supported it, and only 18% said they were opposed, 7% strongly.

I don’t normally make anything out of breakdowns published in average sample polls, but it’s interesting to note that the “too low” response increases progressively across the three age cohorts to peak at 66% among the 55-and-over. There was also a relationship between age and correct answers to a question in which respondents were asked to identify the weekly Newstart payment, the overall result for which was 40%, up from 27% when it was previously asked last June. Only 29% of Coalition voters expressed strong support for an increase compared with 55% for Labor supporters, but the difference was narrower when combined with the “somewhat” response, at 84% to 68%.

On the Centrelink “robodebt” debt recovery program, 58% supported calls for it to be shut down compared with 32% opposed. Twenty-two per cent said they had heard a lot about the program and 30% a little, while 18% said they had not heard any details and 30% that they were not aware of it at all.

The one question not relating to social security covers social media companies’ collection of personal information, with 80% expressing concern about the matter and the same number wanting tighter regulation. The affirmative response for both questions progressively increased across the three age cohorts.

Also noteworthy from the poll is that Essential Research has taken to publishing “base” figures for each cohort in the breakdown, which evidently reflect their proportion of the total after weightings are applied. This is at least a step in the direction of the transparency that is the norm in British and American polling, in that it tell us how Essential is modelling the overall population, even if it doesn’t divulge how much each cohort’s responses are being weighted to produce those totals.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from an online sample of 1102 respondents.

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.

533 comments on “Essential Research: Newstart, robodebt, social media”

  1. Barney in Makassar @ #7457 Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 10:41 pm

    sprocket_ says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 10:26 pm

    BB

    My recollection is that Grog jumped – straight onto staff at The Guardian. James Massolla outing him was the catalyst, with the smear machine being cranked up.

    His crime? Criticising Tony Abbott.

    You’re right that he jumped, but this was before the Guardian, so he didn’t go straight there.

    He was outed from Grog’s Gamut – didn’t go to the Gruniaad for more than a year.

  2. sprocket_ @ #288 Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 10:01 pm

    If Parliament passed a law saying PollBludgers were unable to comment in politics, that would breach the ‘implied freedom’.

    I think you’re being very generous in suggesting that the comments section on William’s blog would be deemed by the High Court to have a material impact upon political communication in Australia as a whole.

    Edit: Though if the government were to single it out with legislation trying to shut it down, and the fight got taken to the High Court, the added notoriety could cause it to become sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Hm…

  3. Greg Jericho was outed by James Massola, a journalist from The Australian, in September 2010 as the blogger behind Grog’s Gamut when he was a Canberra public servant.

    He was employed by The Guardian in May 2013 to write on economics.

  4. Bushfire Bill says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 10:14 pm

    You may be correct but I doubt it.

    The Fair Work Act is pretty clear that discrimination on the basis of religion is illegal. Sacking someone for quoting the Bible appears to me and Gillian Trigg to be religious discrimination and no matter what your contract says you can’t contract away that protection – and that’s going to f#%^ the ARU up big time. They will likely go broke unless Folau finds some forgiveness. And I wouldn’t put it past Twiggy to be pushing for him to not find that forgiveness after what they did to the Western Force and rejected his $$$$.

  5. “Sacking someone for quoting the Bible”

    ——————————————

    He didn’t quote the Bible. He ‘liked’ a twisted interpretation of various unrelated bits of the Bible.

  6. TPOF says:
    Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    I’m pretty sure that the HCoA will disagree with you on that – not that it will matter much.

  7. Was Folau sacked because of his religious practices or beliefs? Or because in traducing homosexuals he brought the ARL into disrepute? There’s no doubt that Folau always was and continued to be able to observe his religion. The ARL will argue there has been no discrimination on religious grounds.

    Folau was sacked because he’s an idiot. Many have been sacked for far less.

  8. Sprocket and BB

    Yes, as far as any “freedom” implied by the Constitution, today’s decision certainly rules out claims by individuals.

    As to the Fair Work Act and religious discrimination, I’m a bit unsure but intend chasing it up.

  9. Bucephalus @ #305 Wednesday, August 7th, 2019 – 11:05 pm

    The Fair Work Act is pretty clear that discrimination on the basis of religion is illegal.

    Do you have any evidence that Folau was sacked for being Christian instead of for being an insubordinate employee who failed to follow company policy?

    There’s got to be a point of difference between “I said a stupid and hurtful thing that I believe to be true because my religion says so, after being warned not to do exactly that in my hugely prominent PR role, and got fired for the damage I caused my employer’s reputation” and “I got fired because my employer found out I’m Christian”. The latter thing isn’t what happened to Folau. There are millions of Christians in the world, and most of them don’t go around publicly telling various groups that they’ll burn forever in hell.

    If Folau’s religion involved ritual sacrifice of whatever cuddly animal you prefer would his employer be obliged to retain him in a high visibility role if he kept telling everyone how great it is to torture and kill small animals? Would laws protecting animals from inhumane treatment not apply because of “religious freedom”? Where do you propose the line exists, if anywhere at all?

  10. a r

    Your hypothetical is irrelevant.

    I doubt the HCoA will agree with your interpretation just like they disagreed with @lalegale ‘s spin on her case.

  11. Folau didn’t quote anything. He delivered his church’s interpretation of the Bible at best… an interpretation that other, larger and arguably more established churches disagree with (e.g. the Uniting Church, or at least significant sections of it). Many other believers across all religions disagree with it too. And yes, some agree also.

    In other words, the particular pit of punishment or pedestal of reward gay people end up in is a vexed religious question at best.

    Even shorter version: it depends on your point of view.

    It depends on your point of view about: homosexuality, heaven and hell, God, and the whole religious sideshow. Folau is no authority on God (if indeed anyone at all is).

    Personally speaking I and hordes of others went through the whole “You’re going to hell, son” from the Christian Brothers (and I’m straight!), and came out the other side convinced that religion is bunk. So their little scam didn’t work with me, at least. Result? The CBs are all but defunct today because of their order’s rampant paedophilia, and the general ennui surrounding Catholicism. That turned out well for them, didn’t it?

    I also don’t buy the whole “Impressionable young gay Rugby players who worship Israel Folau’s every word almost as much as they worship Jesus (and all the miralustic bullshit that’s been pinned to him) will commit suicide” thing. For my money, IF (and it’s a big “if”) there are any such people, it’d probably make them laugh out loud, rather than cry. Most would shrug it off and wish Folau to go and get stuffed. Then they’d put on their boots and run onto the field, none the worse off.

    Someone who DID react in a seriously adverse manner would probably have other contributing mental health problems besides hypersensitivity to the ravings of Israel Folau. That’s my experience anyway.

    People get hurt by the words (often unintentional) of others every day. The aim is to toughen up and show the arsehole who offended them they don’t give a damn what fate is forecast for them.

    The many gay friends I have are a pretty resilient lot. I know gay truckies, recording engineers, barmen, nurses, business people, doctors, chippies and yes, a couple of very gay hairdressers. Not one of them would give a shit about Israel Folau and what he believed, especially his fire and brimstone opinions on hell and eternal punishment. Gay people are tougher than a lot of non-gay bleeding hearts would have them be.

    It boils down to absorbing the blow, just as brown and black skinned people, short people, tall people, disabled people – all kinds of “different” people – have done since time was. It hurts that someone might be actually trying to hurt you, but you know what? I don’t think Folau WAS trying to hurt anyone. He just blurted it out. Can’t help himself, poor little footballer that he is.

    The key issue then becomes solely whether he breached his employer’s code of conduct. If his agreement was to keep his mouth shut on the hellfire and damnation stuff and stick to running up and down the paddock, then the court needs to find that out, and make its decision accordingly.

    Otherwise a Pandora’s box will be opened, where any God-botheting nutbag can say anything he likes, swear it’s his religion, and thereby trap his employer (after the employers is swindled into signing a contract) into being forced to continue paying him the big bucks to traduce the organization’s key guidelines of behaviour.

    That’s not on. Too many unintended consequences.

    The likes of Alan Jones etc. aren’t interested in Israel Folau’s religious beliefs. Most of them are atheists anyway. Some are gay themselves, FFS. They just want an excuse to rumble the Lefties. And by squealing so loudly the Lefties are gifting them their opportunity.

  12. Greg Jericho was outed by James Massola, a journalist from The Australian, in September 2010 as the blogger behind Grog’s Gamut when he was a Canberra public servant.

    He was employed by The Guardian in May 2013 to write on economics.

    In between he wrote “The Rise of the Fifth Estate: social media and blogging in Australian politics”:
    https://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/books/the-rise-of-the-fifth-estate
    It’s a bit dry and academic (3.5 stars), but not a bad read at the time – it’s probably a bit dated now.

    Grog’s post re: being outed is still on his blog:
    http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/2010/09/spartacus-no-more.html

  13. Joe Biden gets it. You have to go after Trump the way he goes after you:

    Biden flat out accused Trump of fanning white nationalism and mocked his “low-energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/08/07/bidens-big-speech/

    Mock him. Lord knows there’s plenty of material to work with.

    And call Trump out in no uncertain terms that everyone can understand:

    Biden made the case that Trump fundamentally doesn’t understand the job. “Trump offers no moral leadership; seems to have no interest in unifying this nation, no evidence the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least,” he said. “Indeed we have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologetically embraced a political strategy of hate, racism and division.”

    Call out the devil by name!

  14. Tim Wilson going all Trumpy telling the Reserve Bank what to do:

    Mr Wilson said it seemed like RBA governor Philip Lowe “has thrown up his hands and said he has exhausted the options of monetary policy,” and that he was “sceptical the solution is simply to pump more money into the economy”.

    The Liberal MP’s unusually direct comments come a day before he interrogates the governor at the House Economics Committee hearing in Canberra.

    Mr Wilson said broader structural reform and further tax cuts needed to be considered because it was “almost impossible” to build more infrastructure in Melbourne and Sydney.

    However, as Peter Hartcher observed in 2011 about Scott Morrison saying a similar thing:

    But as recovery took hold the Reserve Bank governor, Glenn Stevens, said it was time to begin returning rates to normal. Morrison was the opposition spokesman on housing at the time. He was asked on Channel Ten’s Meet the Press whether the governor was right.

    Morrison was flatly opposed: “I think keeping interest rates low is the most important thing we can do for the economy at the moment.” It would have been a disaster, of course.

    The central reason that Japan destroyed its economy in the 1980s was that it kept interest rates too low for too long. The central reason the United States destroyed its economy last decade is that it kept interest rates too low for too long.

    Australia’s inflation rate runs at about 3 per cent a year. Official interest rates were then 3 per cent. So our central bank, in real terms, was lending money free. Free money, like free water or any free commodity, is always misused and abused. Morrison thought this was fine. He was talking garbage.

    The point of this story? Morrison is a cheap populist, with form. On that occasion, he was being irresponsible with the national economy. For him it’s just about clever lines.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/ugly-game-of-race-baiting-20110218-1azkt.html

    Ditto Tim Wilson. Putting the same idea in a clever way with words, doesn’t make it right.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Eryk Bagshaw tells us how Kenneth Hayne launched a rare attack on the political establishment, accusing it of being captured by vested interests, destroying public faith in institutions and reducing policy to three word slogans. Ken’s got this right.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/kenneth-hayne-trust-in-politics-has-been-destroyed-20190807-p52evf.html
    Sam Maiden also has a look at what Hayne had to say.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2019/08/07/kenneth-hayne-frydenberg-politics/
    The AFR editorial reckons Morrison should listen to Paul Keating’s advice.
    https://outline.com/NEgSAa
    As CPAC is about to kick off the SMH editorial says that US right-wing ideas do not all translate to Australia.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/us-right-wing-ideas-do-not-all-translate-to-australia-20190807-p52eue.html
    Bevan Shields writes that Liberal MP Andrew Hastie has likened the world’s approach to containing China to the “catastrophic failure” to prevent the rise of Nazi Germany.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/like-no-other-time-in-history-australia-facing-unprecedented-national-security-test-20190807-p52enb.html
    Uhlmann is back on the bandwagon as he writes that three years on from the South Australia blackout, the dangers of our rush to renewables are even clearer.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/three-years-on-from-the-south-australia-blackout-the-dangers-of-our-rush-to-renewables-are-even-clearer-20190807-p52esi.html
    According to the AFR Andrew Shearer, the deputy director-general of the Office of National Intelligence, is expected to take up the role of Scott Morrison’s cabinet secretary.
    https://outline.com/g5AAaV
    The SMH reports that leaked documents, which contain metadata leading back to Federal and NSW parliaments, reveal the group hopes to recruit thousands of members across Sydney. It’s bad enough already!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/conservative-christian-plot-to-take-control-of-nsw-liberal-party-20190807-p52evl.html
    It would build on stuff like this.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/anti-pc-packs-to-be-sent-to-500-nsw-schools-to-stop-indoctrination-20190807-p52evx.html
    Having sat in the NSW Parliament chamber this week, one thing has struck Greens MP Jenny Leong and that is how deeply personal the debate over decriminalising abortion is, for so many MPs. It’s an excellent contribution.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/our-abortion-stories-are-deeply-personal-this-is-the-last-time-mps-should-need-to-tell-them-20190807-p52etb.html
    Kate Aubusson writes that medical, legal and women’s rights experts have admonished proposed amendments to the NSW abortion reform bill, warning they would herald even more extreme restrictions on safe access to terminations than the present criminal code.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/extreme-amendments-to-abortion-bill-denounced-by-experts-20190807-p52etz.html
    Mining giant BHP is facing renewed pressure to abandon its membership of the Minerals Council of Australia after it was revealed the lobby group is directly involved in an upcoming multimillion-dollar pro-coal advertising blitz.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/aug/08/bhp-faces-fresh-calls-to-quit-minerals-council-ahead-of-pro-coal-ad-blitz
    High-rise units are ‘real estate’s equivalent of the bubonic plague’, says researcher Euan Black.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/property/2019/08/07/high-rise-unit-bubonic-plague-report/
    Philip Lowe will be pressed in Parliament tomorrow about the risk of ultra -ow interest rates fuelling higher household debt.
    https://outline.com/5tXFTd
    Sally Whyte tells us that Rex Patrick’s stoush with Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo looks set to continue, with the crossbencher taking aim over an ignored freedom of information request.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6316620/patrick-takes-pezzullo-fight-another-step/?cs=14350
    Michaela Whitbourn reviews yesterday’s High Court decision on a public servant’s anonymous tweets critical of the government.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/former-public-servant-michaela-banerji-loses-high-court-free-speech-case-20190807-p52enu.html
    With this decision the Canberra Times editorial says that our democracy shrank on Wednesday – just a little, but a little too much.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6316410/our-democracy-just-shrank-a-little/?cs=14350
    Social media is a dangerous space for public servants – they are being locked out of modern life says Greg Jericho from personal experience.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/08/social-media-is-a-dangerous-space-for-public-servants-they-are-being-locked-out-of-modern-life
    Newspoll has emerged from its grotto and Scott Morrison’s troops are cheering. The honeymoon has kicked in says Mungo MacCallum.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccallum-morrison-maintains-his-position-of-power,12977
    Have you ever had a fence? Have you ever had a neighbour? When was the last time you were arrested and plonked in a police cell for annoying your local council? If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. Michael West reports on #fencegate.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/fencegate-lawyer-arrested-charged-with-crimes-against-humanity-for-sending-too-many-emails-to-local-council/
    Karen Maley opines that the CBA result is bad news for the economy.
    https://outline.com/ghrsSJ
    More than 120,000 welfare recipients who had their payments suspended last financial year were later found by their job agency to have had a valid reason for not meeting their obligations, according to data obtained by Guardian Australia. This outfit is out of control!
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/08/more-than-120000-people-whose-welfare-was-suspended-were-not-at-fault-data-shows
    Here’s a prime example. Text messages reveal how a young father was cut off from Newstart after being accused of missing a job-seeker appointment – 17 hours before the scheduled meeting.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/08/07/newstart-unfair-suspensions/
    The AFR reports that Scott Morrison wants to co-opt the states into his recycling push, although it is not on the agenda at Friday’s Council of Australian Governments meeting.
    https://outline.com/H4zSKr
    Health expert Angela Jackson poses the question of what would happen in private health insurance here collapses or is got rid of.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/if-we-get-rid-of-private-health-insurance-what-happens-next-20190807-p52er6.html
    The Australian Israel Jewish Affairs Council has called on Israel’s deputy health minister to step down after police recommended he face indictment for allegedly interfering in the extradition case of Malka Leifer.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/07/israeli-police-recommend-yaakov-litzman-indictment-over-malka-leifer-case
    Diverse cultures should not be suffocated by requiring migrants to assimilate into Australia, argues writes Gerry Georgatos.
    https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/racism-assimilation-and-the-need-for-a-culturally-diverse-nation,12975
    Death of the department store: don’t just blame the internet, it’s to do with a dwindling middle class say these two academics.
    https://theconversation.com/death-of-the-department-store-dont-just-blame-the-internet-its-to-do-with-a-dwindling-middle-class-121499
    Another day of horror stories at the Aged care royal commission.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/carers-wore-thongs-had-dirty-hands-called-me-a-b-g-woman-tells-hearing-20190807-p52ema.html
    Christopher Knaus explains how Tony Abbott is being used to promote a global pro-Brexit lobby group – despite the organisation admitting he has no formal connection with them.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/aug/08/tony-abbott-used-to-promote-pro-brexit-group-despite-having-no-affiliation
    It seems evangelicals are on the nose in New Zealand.
    https://theconversation.com/new-survey-reveals-which-religions-new-zealanders-trust-most-and-least-after-christchurch-shootings-120069
    The once unthinkable might now be on the cards for investors as US Treasury yields look to plunge into negative territory.
    https://outline.com/eM9Nf3
    Donald Trump says he sees ‘no political appetite’ to ban assault rifles. Well what a surprise!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-faces-protests-as-he-visits-dayton-el-paso-20190808-p52eys.html
    “When is Trump going to take white supremacist terror seriously?”, asks Rich Benjamin.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/white-supremacist-terror-threat
    Sam Freedman says that there’s an old word for Trump’s brand of nationalism – ‘hatriotism’.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/theres-an-old-word-for-trumps-brand-of-nationalism-hatriotism
    Professor Arie Perliger writes that major changes in the language of white supremacists have happened in the last decade that provide a window into how the groups mobilize support, shape political perceptions and advance their cause.
    https://theconversation.com/from-across-the-globe-to-el-paso-changes-in-the-language-of-the-far-right-explain-its-current-violence-121468
    This is what Trump’s America has come to.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/motorcycle-backfiring-mistaken-for-an-active-shooter-in-times-square-20190808-p52eym.html
    Roberta Williams has been reprimanded by a Melbourne magistrate as she faced court on charges of kidnapping and making threats to kill. The charming lady earns nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” for this.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6314713/fiery-roberta-charged-with-kidnap-threats/?cs=14231

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and a less than confident Josh Frydenberg.

    Cathy Wilcox and the abundant hypocrisy existing in Australia.

    From Matt Golding.






    Andrew Dyson in the wake of the High Court decision.

    John Shakespeare takes us to the bush after Canavan’s comments.

    Mark David gets to the point.

    Zanetti on the stock market.

    Sean Leahy ventures into Victoria,

    More from Leahy.


    Jon Kudelka is sad about what has been done to our once fine APS.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/b62b7feb6db00af7e19fdb0c7f81e830?width=1024

    From the US. Quite a theme here!













  16. ‘Everything Trump touches dies’: Rick Wilson explains why the president can’t unite the country

    Writing in the Daily Beast, columnist Rick Wilson has an obvious explanation for why the president continues to divide Americans, at a time that he’s supposed to be uniting the nation.

    “As He Plays President in El Paso and Dayton, We Know That the Real Donald Trump Is a Bad Man,” the headline reads.

    The first rule of Trump world is that everything Trump touches dies. Sorry, MAGAs. It’s just natural law,” Wilson starts.

    “The second rule is that there is no better version of Donald Trump. The truth is in the asides, the raging tweets, the blurted statements on the White House lawn. What you see in those moments is the real man. The dead-eyed, flat-toned voice of the creature reading pre-chewed Teleprompter cud isn’t the real Trump,” he continues.

    “If it’s not entirely obvious by now that Trump’s mind contains no thought or feeling beyond his howling internal vacuum of ego need and twitchy impulsivity, you’re not paying attention,” he writes.

    “The perfect storm of narcissism, Trump is indifferent to tragedy, deaf to the call to decency, and willfully ignorant of the role American Presidents must play in times of national mourning and crisis. Even the “correct” words and phrases are hollow puppeteering of a human void,” Wilson continues.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/08/everything-trump-touches-dies-rick-wilson-explains-why-the-president-cant-unite-the-country/

  17. phoenixRED,
    Joe Biden got Trump bang to rights:

    Biden flat out accused Trump of fanning white nationalism and mocked his “low-energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week.”

    …Biden made the case that Trump fundamentally doesn’t understand the job. “Trump offers no moral leadership; seems to have no interest in unifying this nation, no evidence the presidency has awakened his conscience in the least,” he said. “Indeed we have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologetically embraced a political strategy of hate, racism and division.”

  18. C@tmomma says: Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 7:04 am

    phoenixRED,
    Joe Biden got Trump bang to rights:

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

    Good words by Joe Biden – to take the fight up to Trump !!!

  19. Surely now is the time for the GOP to say enough is enough.

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    Watching Sleepy Joe Biden making a speech. Sooo Boring! The LameStream Media will die in the ratings and clicks with this guy. It will be over for them, not to mention the fact that our Country will do poorly with him. It will be one big crash, but at least China will be happy!
    5:01 AM · Aug 8, 2019·Twitter for iPhone

  20. Morning all. Thanks BK. Kenneth Haynes got it right. Six months on and no banking executive found to have committed crimes in his RC will face trial. Meanwhile public servants cannot express opinions even anonymously. Democracy, like our economy, is in decline.

  21. I doubt this will succeed. There is little understanding of assistance dogs.

    Gary Rockliff ☮️♿ @dapper_sir
    ·
    21h
    Push to fund assistance dogs
    7 August 2019
    Courier Mail
    Assistance dogs enable Tim McCallum to live with independence and confidence and he says it allows him to be the man he was meant to be. He is lobbying for assistance dogs to be funded in the #NDIS.

  22. Beto O’Rourke won’t let the Hater-In-Chief cow him either:

    In another tweet sent just before midnight, Trump lashed out at former congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas, a Democratic presidential candidate and native son of El Paso, a city of about 683,000 with a largely Latino population.

    Trump repeated a discredited claim that O’Rourke had changed his first name to appeal to Hispanic voters, mocked his low standing in presidential polling, and told him to “respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!”

    O’Rourke responded on Twitter, writing: “22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism. El Paso will not be quiet and neither will I.”

  23. today’s The Age reads more like a murdoch publication than ever before. The 9 culture has extinguished the last traces of deakinite/syme-liberalism that had come down the line and lived on under fairfax. All opinion columns and a crock of shite piece from the Toohlman are well to the right and would site comfortably in The Australian.

    vale media diversity and progressive opinion in the MSM (the ABC continues run scared and lets RWNJs on as a matter of course, without any LWNJs to match them ).

    thank dog for the Guardian, but it hardly mainstream for the average punter, and certainly doesn’t influence the electronic media and ABC the way murdoch and 9 publications do.

  24. Vic,
    Bullies don’t know when to stop because they keep getting away with it. Though generally they are brought back to earth by a ‘David’ figure, a mouse that roars. It’s funny but after that seminal event everything the bully says and does just becomes clear to all for what it is. I’m just hoping that the Democrats, America, or the world in general, finds that person who will clearly speak truth to the power that has gone to Donald Trump’s head.

    Rick Wilson is spot on:

    “The perfect storm of narcissism, Trump is indifferent to tragedy, deaf to the call to decency, and willfully ignorant of the role American Presidents must play in times of national mourning and crisis. Even the “correct” words and phrases are hollow puppeteering of a human void,” Wilson continues.

    “Today, he’s punching the ticket so Ivanka and Kellyanne will stop screaming and he can get back to insulting brown people.”

    Wilson brings up Trump’s sordid history. “It is El Paso that bears the most terrible moral weight, and Donald Trump is famously not a man who carries moral weight longer than it takes to flush the condom and pay the porn star.”

  25. Eddy Jokovich @EddyJokovich
    ·
    12m
    The Mineral Council is going to spent $4.5 million to promote “pride in Coal”, to change people’s perception of the benefits of coal. Another snow job, another wealthy lazy industry protecting its own interests, ruining the future. #auspol

  26. Queensland University is the second (after Wollongong) to be seduced by funding from the Ramsay centre for western civilisation.

    It looks like many/most students will be funded by Ramsay – ” at least 150 scholarships of about $30,000 a year”. Doubtless job opportunities for graduates will abound in the offices of the more RW LNP pollies.

    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/education/queensland-uni-ramsay-centre-sign-50m-deal-for-western-civilisation-course-20190808-p52ezs.html

  27. This is Edelman, J., in his separate opinion, in the unanimous High Court judgement, which ruled against anonymous criticism of government policies by public servants and agreed that they could be sacked for it:

    “For much of the century since Federation, any public expression of political opinion by a Commonwealth public servant could be grounds for termination of employment.

    However, the absolute ban on public political communication by public servants has been tempered. When considered in light of its history and context, the Code that now regulates their behaviour no longer turns public servants into lonely ghosts.

    But,properly interpreted, it still casts a powerful chill over political communication.

    In the United States, where “citizens do not surrender their First Amendment rights by accepting public employment”, legislative restrictions of the nature adopted historically in Australia would be struck down as unconstitutional in a heartbeat.

    But, unlike the United States, in Australia the boundaries of freedom of speech are generally the province of parliament; the judiciary can constrain the choices of a parliament only at the outer margins for reasons of systemic protection.

    The freedom of political communication that is implied in the Commonwealth Constitution is highly constrained. It is not an individual freedom. It is an implied constraint that operates directly upon legislative power. It does so by restricting that power only so far as necessary for the effective functioning of the system of representative and responsible government manifested in the structure and text of the Constitution, particularly ss7, 24, and 128, as well as ss62and 64.”

    ———————————————-

    Yes, “a powerful chill” and it would be struck down “in a heartbeat.” That’s one of the Justices of the High Court talking about the “freedom” of political expression in Australia.

    Notwithstanding that, Edelman and his fellow Justices in effect, accepted the government’s case that “the effective functioning of the system of representative and responsible government” in Australia can not stand up to an anonymous tweeter.

    If that is true, this country is really in serious trouble. Not from the tweeter, but from the law.

    And to twist the knife in further, the Court awarded costs to the government against an ailing 74-year-old woman, who presumably is now without a public service pension.

    So much for whistleblowers in Canberra. Don’t look for support from the law as interpreted by our most senior judiciary.


  28. The once unthinkable might now be on the cards for investors as US Treasury yields look to plunge into negative territory.
    https://outline.com/eM9Nf3

    So people are finally paying for the service instead of the government paying to provide it. The con is coming to an end. Banks don’t make money, the government does.

  29. Brucephalus

    I think you will find that Gillian Trigg did not say that Folau’s sacking was religious discrimination. She certainly knows that there is no religious discrimination legislation in NSW or in Federal legislation. (Hence Turnbull’s commissioning Ruddock to investigate there is a need for “religious freedom” legislation.)

    What she said was WTTE that “it is my personal view that employment contracts should not enter the area of religious beliefs/actions.” She did not reference any legislation at all. It was her private opinion about how in our society, employment law should stay out of this area of private life ie religious beliefs.

    Since Triggs was not in any way speaking about legal matters, if I were you I would not be so rash as to proclaim you would rather be on her side in what is a matter of law.

    And there is another step too far you have taken. As has been mentioned above, there is a part of the Fair Work Act (2009) that prohibits “adverse actions” (eg sacking) on a discriminatory basis. In reference to religion, that part, s351 (1), says that adverse actions based on “religion” is not on. Note it says “religion”. It does not say “religious beliefs” or “religious actions”.

    In other words this section says, for example, that you can’t fire a tike because he/she is a tike. Or make him/her do or not do something that other workers do or don’t have to do, simply because he/she is a tike. But it does not say anything at all about the expression of religious beliefs. So it will/would be up to the HC to proclaim what “religion” in the FWAct means. This is not an unimportant matter, because the bread and butter work of the HC is statutory and word interpretation.

    Further, s351 (2) then says amongst other provisions, that s351(1) provisions about religion will only apply anyway, in places which already have religious anti discrimination legislation. And NSW does not.

  30. lizzie @ #327 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 8:29 am

    I doubt this will succeed. There is little understanding of assistance dogs.

    Gary Rockliff ☮️♿ @dapper_sir
    ·
    21h
    Push to fund assistance dogs
    7 August 2019
    Courier Mail
    Assistance dogs enable Tim McCallum to live with independence and confidence and he says it allows him to be the man he was meant to be. He is lobbying for assistance dogs to be funded in the #NDIS.

    I have some experience with this. The maintenance of my existing hearing assistance dog is funded through NDIS. They will certainly fund maintenance for guide and hearing assistance dogs. However even this is inconsistently applied and some people with hearing assistance dogs are being knocked back.
    I was lucky in that the Local Area Office has a couple of people using guide dogs on staff, so they know the rules.

    Assistance dogs for other purposes are much less likely to be funded and I don’t believe any dogs are funded to be trained. They must be in place and fully trained.

  31. laughtong

    Thanks for your reply. I have been reading a lot about the various types of service dogs lately and how they can take the place of a carer. 🙂

  32. The freedom of political communication that is implied in the Commonwealth Constitution is highly constrained. It is not an individual freedom. It is an implied constraint that operates directly upon legislative power. It does so by restricting that power only so far as necessary for the effective functioning of the system of representative and responsible government manifested in the structure and text of the Constitution, particularly ss7, 24, and 128, as well as ss62and 64.

    That verbiage veers most verbose. All it really says is that an implied freedom is no freedom at all.

  33. Greg Jericho @GrogsGamut
    ·
    8m
    A couple of things to add to my post today on APS social media
    (link: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/08/social-media-is-a-dangerous-space-for-public-servants-they-are-being-locked-out-of-modern-life) theguardian.com/commentisfree/…

    A vast majority of the APS work on programs not policy. They administer stuff. I administered the Location & PDV Tax Offsets. There wasn’t actually any way I could do that in a partisan manner

  34. Still on the Banerji matter, it is reported that she posted 9,000 tweets about her hobby horse, some of which were posted from work.

    The extremity of her tweeting (9,000) might explain the severity of her punishment (sacking).

    Having sat in court for the last fortnight listening to complicated, detailed evidence from many sources, it is obvious that we on the “outside” rarely have possession of all the facts when we discuss such matters on forums like this. I think it is accepted wisdom here that when we rely on media for the facts, we are pissing into the wind.

    As a matter of fact on the Ch 9 news last night I saw the court reporter explaining the result of the case in question, and some of his report was just plain wrong.

  35. In my post of 9.13 a..m. in the second last paragraph, I used the wrong metaphor:

    The paragraph should read:

    To add insult to injury, the Court awarded costs to the government against an ailing 74-year-old woman, who presumably is now without a public service pension.

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