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 @ #396 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 11:40 am

    I finally got my Indonesian drivers licence yesterday, a process simplified by an extra 300 rupiah, an unfortunate part of dealing with public officials in much of SE Asia.

    Anyway I now have documented proof from the Indonesian Government that I am a Guru. 🙂

    n.b. In Indonesian Guru just means teacher.

    Great Scott! Or, in your case Barney ❓ I can see that you will henceforth be entitled to mucho moro respecto. 😵 😲 🙃

  2. lizzie @ 11:38 am

    Needless to say, perhaps, Willmore and Randell did flog land in Queensland, such as “Coronation Beach” in 1954 (now called Yaroomba), on the Sunshine Coast south of Coolum.

    The Chirnside Park & Country Club Estate, near Lilydale in Melbourne, and the Clifton Springs & Country Club Estate on the Bellarine Peninsula in Victoria, were Randell & Willmore developments, which were eventually taken up, after rocky starts.

    Copacabana (!), on the New South Wales Central Coast, was another one.

  3. Speaking of longterm land cons
    North Arm Cove was an area of Port Stephens which Walter Burley Griffin laid out as a township in 1918 and was approved by Stroud Shire. However no subsequent council has provided services or allowed occupation of any kind. This has led to 100 years of churn in which people buy a small lot relatively cheaply after being told “council is about to re-zone”, after 5-10 years they off-load to the next sucker.
    Twice in the last 30 years a dodgy developer has accumulated large sections of the land and done a high powered re-sale
    Jervis Bay City was a very similar disaster by Griffin
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Arm_Cove,_New_South_Wales

  4. 300 Rupiah! You paid a bribe of 3 Cents – have you no shame? at least make it 10 cents

    I remember haggling on accommodation on an island off Aceh. The price was $7 a night for a little timber shack right on the water with tops snorkling at the door step. And beer available.

    You get caught up in the haggling. In shame I ended up paying the original asking price.

  5. Oakeshott Country says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 12:09 pm

    300 Rupiah! You paid a bribe of 3 Cents – have you no shame? at least make it 10 cents

    😆

    Well spotted. I’ve become so accustomed to huge numbers on bank notes I now tend not to notice these superfluous zeros.

    Of course I meant tigaratus ribu rupiah, 300,000 rupiah. 😆

  6. Simon,

    It’s amazing the little pieces of Utopia you come across when travelling.

    The hammock and the view is priceless in itself.

    I’ve have a few gems like that stored away. 😆

  7. psyclaw says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 10:07 am

    beguiledagain

    “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.”

    That to me is like the news bulletin saying “police shoot grandfather dead”. He may have been a crim, but he was a grandfather and that’s what matters is the message.

    The Banerji matter is 8 years old. She wrote her 9,000 tweets in the years leading up to 2012. I is misleading to characterise her as an “ailing 74 year old” as if that is a crucial aspects. There are many ailing 74 year olds currently housed by the Department of Corrective Services.

    ————————————————

    I’m curious as to why, when you were searching for an analogy for Ms. Banerji, you chose first a criminal grandfather shot by the police and then secondly, someone in jail. I’ll leave that up to the psychologists but it’s a common trait for anally-retentive law and order conservatives to view those they disagree with in a criminal light. It’s puzzling because I’m sure that you don’t fit into that category.

    All I ask is that you to show just a little spark of compassion. She isn’t a criminal and she isn’t someone who deserves incarceration. She’s someone who apparently did her job for us taxpayers and persuaded the Administrative Tribunal that she had been unfairly dismissed for her anonymous tweets, none of which could have undermined our democratic system, as the government has argued.

    While your comments seem to show no respect for sick, elderly persons, the Court could have exercised some discretion in the matter of costs, given Ms. Banerji’s age and health, particularly as it was the Government which instituted the proceedings

    You can have you own opinions as to the mental, physical and financial problems this caused her. You may also deride her for taking on a vindictive, secretive government all the way to the High Court and losing. You may also be comfortable with the government limiting your freedom of political expression when it suits them.

    But I know you wouldn’t want to be viewed as a serial apologist for what clearly is Australia’s worst national government in many years.

  8. “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.”

    Of course ‘it’s impossible’ to build that 500km of track to give Sydney an integrated metropolitan wide metro rail system. Or build the necessarily heavy and freight rail connections that are currently deficient. Or missing altogether. Also “almost Impossible” to build the missing links in the motorway networks, that will still exist after West Connex is fully operational. If “almost impossible” = we don’t want to to pay for it instead over even more tax cuts and tax expenditure measure, then sure: after all only the poors struggle every day getting from A to B and back again on Sydney’s inadequate transport network.

    I’m sure is equally “nearly impossible” to build more infrastructure in Melbourne and Brisbane as well.

    Fuck off Wilson. You feckless IPA shill.

  9. Is the internet encouraging stupidity?

    People make a lot of claims about Trump’s intelligence, but in no context is the man stupid enough to piss off the (heavily armed) people he himself has fired up.

    So he’s blaming video games. It’s not even the most insulting wad of baloney smeared by apologists for an uncontrollable gun lobby over this lethal American moment. A Republican state congressional representative is out there insisting the preventable carnage is due to the nefarious influence of drag queens.

    At the time of Trump’s election, much was made of how his adviser Steve Bannon energised male gamers behind Trump. Bannon’s propaganda victory was to mobilise a community miffed by the intrusion of feminism and other social movements into game spaces to support the white, male authoritarian Trump brand.

    Well, boys, you got the authoritarianism you voted for. Now that there’s blood on the streets, Trump’s blaming you. The way he plays this game is not going to change. But maybe – just maybe – you can.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/08/trump-wanted-gamers-to-support-him-now-hes-blaming-them-for-gun-massacres?CMP=share_btn_tw

  10. Bucephalus says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 10:34 am

    beguiledagain says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 9:41 am

    Two questions?

    Why do you think that she will have lost her superannuation?

    Why shouldn’t costs be awarded against her? Surely her lawyers will have briefed her on the risks?

    —————————————-
    I think both you and your compassionately-challenged soul-mate Psyclaw are in urgent need of a heart transplant.

    It comes from spending too much time hanging around Peter Dutton and his ideas.

    I know of a good cardiac surgeon I can refer you to.

  11. Oakeshott Country

    What is so special about the land that after 100 years it is still off limits to building ? Surely over a period of 100 years there would have been one developer that worked out which palm(s) to grease.

  12. Global Witness reports that, in several nations, led by the Philippines, governments have incited the murder of environmental protesters. The process begins with rhetoric, demonising civil protest as extremism and terrorism, then shifts to legislation, criminalising attempts to protect the living planet. Criminalisation then helps legitimise physical assaults and murder. A similar demonisation has begun in Britain, with the publication by a dark money-funded lobby group, Policy Exchange, of a report smearing Extinction Rebellion. Like all such publications, it was given a series of major platforms by the BBC, which preserved its customary absence of curiosity about who funded it.

    Secretly funded lobby groups – such as the TaxPayers’ Alliance, the Adam Smith Institute and the Institute of Economic Affairs – have supplied some of the key advisers to Boris Johnson’s government. He has also appointed Andrea Leadsom, an enthusiastic fracking advocate, to run the department responsible for climate policy, and Grant Shapps – who until last month chaired the British Infrastructure Group, which promotes the expansion of roads and airports – as transport secretary. Last week the Guardian revealed documents suggesting that the firm run by Johnson’s ally and adviser Lynton Crosby has produced unbranded Facebook ads on behalf of the coal industry.

    What we see here looks like the denouement of the Pollution Paradox. Because the dirtiest industries attract the least public support, they have the greatest incentive to spend money on politics, to get the results they want and we don’t. They fund political parties, lobby groups and thinktanks, fake grassroots organisations and dark ads on social media. As a result, politics comes to be dominated by the dirtiest industries.

    We are told to fear the “extremists” who protest against ecocide and challenge dirty industry and the dirty governments it buys. But the extremists we should fear are those who hold office.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/07/fossil-fuel-lobby-pollute-politics-climate-crisis

  13. But I know you wouldn’t want to be viewed as a serial apologist for what clearly is Australia’s worst national government in many years.

    Not what the majority of electors thought, or if they did think that, their opinion of Shorten and New Labor was even lower

  14. beguiledagain says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 12:41 pm

    Your claim that she shouldn’t pay because the Government took the High court action is ridiculous. She started the process of legal actions that has lead to the final outcome. She lost in the courts to start and then filed a Workers Comp claim that was rejected. The AAT made another one of its’ head-scratcher decisions which thankfully was overturned by the HCoA. Her lawyers have advised her very poorly.

    Why do you think she doesn’t have superannuation? I have never seen any evidence that she lost her rights to her super.

  15. sprocket
    “The driving license won’t alleviate you from the ‘on the spot fines’ which Indonesian police can often levy.”

    In Thailand, the going rate of such ‘on-the-spot fines’ is traditionally a case of beer.

  16. So Andrew Hastie likens the rise of China to the rise of the Nazi Party. The response from his leaders?

    “Despite warning backbenchers to stop publicly speaking their mind to the media, the prime minister was unfazed by Mr Hastie’s intervention.

    “Andrew is of course not a minister in the government and Andrew is free to make comments he wishes to make as a member of the backbench. He’s entirely entitled to provide his perspective.”

    Senior Minster Peter Dutton was reluctant to comment directly about Mr Hastie’s views on China, but said the former Special Air Service captain “knows the space well and served the country well in uniform”.

    And just in case mundo does his drive by slagging..

    Labor frontbencher Jim Chalmers said Mr Hastie’s intervention was extreme, overblown and unwelcome.

    He said both major parties had to navigate complex economic and national security issues when managing the relationship with China.

    “This kind of intervention makes that harder, not easier,” he told ABC Radio National.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/china-deplores-liberal-mp-andrew-hastie-for-nazi-germany-comparison

  17. it was “almost impossible” to build more infrastructure in Melbourne and Sydney

    This is ridiculous. There are plenty of unused real resources in the economy. That means there is ample non-inflationary spending space available to the federal government. The government should do whatever spending is needed to ensure that all available resources are being employed in socially useful and environmental sustainable ways.

  18. How can this possibly work?
    I suppose if Tehan can become Minister for Education, anyone can.

    I am also surprised to find that

    Dan Tehan studied at the University of Melbourne completing a Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Political Science. He has also gained master’s degrees in International Relations and Foreign Affairs & Trade from the University of Kent and Monash University respectively. (Wikipedia)

  19. Australia can underwrite AUD 12B (or 15B) PNG debt at essentially no cost if it is re-denominated in AUD. Maybe it increases from 12B to 15B, though in fact creditors should be much more happy with 12B AUD underwritten by Australia than anything else (except USD underwritten by US, of course)

    Doesn’t make sense not to do it, so why are they talking to the Chinese?

    Either:
    – the Australian government has dropped the ball completely,
    – the PNG leadership is even more off side than thought. Perhaps they have been got to at a personal level? or
    – someone has gone right over the top in “cunning plans” and needs to be pulled back

  20. Interesting how the left are so defensive of China. Apparently the invasion and what they would normally call cultural genocide of Tibet and the suppression and imprisonment of the Uighurs and Tiananmen Square along with all the other atrocities and human rights abuses are ignorable because they really really don’t like Hastie because he is a Christian and Ex-Military.

    Be known for who are your enemies.

  21. poroti @ #397 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 11:40 am

    Poor Josh, one of the legs of his surplus ‘table’ just fell off. Brazil is back in town and so bye bye ‘crazy high’ iron ore prices.
    .
    .
    The spectacular six month rally in iron ore – Australia’s biggest export – is unravelling amid signs of recovery in Brazilian supply, declining profitability at steel producers and concerns about the escalating US-China trade war.
    From the recent five-year high of $US125.77 a tonne struck on July 7, the benchmark price has now shed 22.4 per cent, leaving it in a technical ‘bear market’ defined as a drop or 20 per cent or more
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/iron-ore-prices-enter-a-bear-market-20190807-p52enj.html

    Not to mention negative interest rates in Australia are on the horizon!

    They just had the Kouk on The World Today and he said he can see it coming because our economy is so weak, and by implication the government is so weak too and unwilling to do the right thing by the economy, that it is about the only option left to the RBA to try to stimulate the economy. Or, in other words, as the Kouk explained it, the RBA is telling the banks that they can’t leave their money on deposit with the RBA any more, they must lend it out.

    He also warned it could be a trap for young players, so always make sure you can keep repaying your loans if the interest rates go up.

    ‘Interest Rates will always be lower under a Coalition government’. 😉

  22. lizzie says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    “How can this possibly work?”

    Quite easily – some sort of metric is developed that tracks how many graduates are employed at various points in time post-graduation.

    The current system based only on enrolments uses the taxpayer as a cash cow and does little for students, graduates or staff. Outcomes based funding is much better for all concerned: high quality courses run by high quality staff for high quality students who are in demand as employees – win-win-win.

    The Sandstone Unis won’t have to worry to much as their graduates are generally well regarded – it’s all the ex-Tafes, Teachers Colleges and newer Universities that will feel the pinch.

    The AEU will hate this.

  23. Oakeshott Country says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 12:46 pm

    But I know you wouldn’t want to be viewed as a serial apologist for what clearly is Australia’s worst national government in many years.

    Not what the majority of electors thought, or if they did think that, their opinion of Shorten and New Labor was even lower

    —————————————-.

    Yes, Okie. You’re right and it doesn’t provide a very flattering picture of that majority of our fellow Australians and their political acumen, if any.

    I know I’m supposed to agree with Richo who says the voters always get it right.

    So I won’t revisit May 18. But I’m not resiling (I learned that from Howard) from my opinion of the Morrison Gang that can’t shoot straight.

  24. E. G. Theodore says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 12:59 pm

    Every tin-pot Pacific Leader will now be hitting up Australia by playing the China card – stupid not to given the utterances from Australia on Chinese influence etc.

  25. KayJay @ #358 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 8:04 am

    If US conservatives try to foist their madness on us, they should politely be told in public at this forum that they are wrong.

    “If US conservatives try to foist their madness on us, they should be told loudly and proudly in no uncertain terms in public at this forum, and on every other available platform that they should fvck off.”

    Fixed that.

  26. Dan Gulberry @ #431 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 1:26 pm

    KayJay @ #358 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 8:04 am

    If US conservatives try to foist their madness on us, they should politely be told in public at this forum that they are wrong.

    “If US conservatives try to foist their madness on us, they should be told loudly and proudly in no uncertain terms in public at this forum, and on every other available platform that they should fvck off.”

    Fixed that.

    I do hereby declare and affirm that we Orstrayans have far too many home grown boulevardiers* and imports ex those United States of America not required. Certain it is that our provincial madness is more than enough.

    P.S. boulevardiers – hereinafter referred to as the traditional Oz Dickhead.

    * boulevardier
    /ˌbuːləvɑːˈdjeɪ/
    noun
    plural noun: boulevardiers
    a wealthy, fashionable socialite.

  27. Bucephalus probably believes that the Ramsay Centre for Western Civilisation is one of those high quality courses run by high quality staff for high quality students who are in demand as employees – win-win-win.

    I guess he might be right…if you consider the Liberal Party a ‘high quality employer’. 🙂

  28. Bucephalus:

    [‘Her lawyers have advised her very poorly.’]

    Please stop the lawyer bashing. True it is that it was well established that the implied right to political communication is not a personal right.* But, the live question was whether the anonymity of Twitter could save her. The court thought that it was inevitable that she’d eventually be outed; it was right: a no-good colleague dobbed her in. I do think, however, that the costs’ order was a bit over the top given the appellant was the Commonwealth and that there was, at least in part, a constitutional question in play.

    * [‘The High Court has developed the implied right to freedom of political communication in a number of high-profile cases. The key thing to understand is that this is not a personal right that each person enjoys (such as, for example, a right set out in the US Bill of Rights). Instead, it is a limitation on the power of the legislature to prevent it from exercising its functions in a way that curtails freedom of political communication.’]

  29. C@tmomma says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I really don’t see what the Lefties are so afraid of in the Ramsay Centre courses.

    If it’s a crap course it will die a natural death but how a foundation course on the greatest thing in human history could be a bad course is beyond me.

  30. Banerji wanted damages from the Commonwealth (her underlying claim was a workers’ comp claim asserting that her dismissal and its manner caused her injury).

    The Commonwealth defended on the basis that she was unlawfully dismissed. Banerji invoked a constitutional argument hence the removal into the High Court.

    Banerji knew she was up for costs if she lost the constitutional argument which she raised.

  31. Bucephalus @ #435 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 1:51 pm

    C@tmomma says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 1:40 pm

    I really don’t see what the Lefties are so afraid of in the Ramsay Centre courses.

    If it’s a crap course it will die a natural death but how a foundation course on the greatest thing in human history could be a bad course is beyond me.

    Buce,
    It’s those facets of Western Civilisation that the Centre will seek to highlight that are open to contention. What’s beneficial and good to you, may not be to me. Also, it is unlikely to ever die a death because the ongoing funds from the Ramsay bequest will see that it never dies. And so it will become another incursion into free thought that universities were prized for. It is prescribed thought of a certain bent.

  32. C@tmomma says:
    Thursday, August 8, 2019 at 1:59 pm

    The efforts to stop the Ramsay Course, the sacking of Professor Ridd, the stopping of the Consensus Centre all demonstrate the Academic Freedom is not valued by Universities in Australia and certainly not by the AEU or Leftist University staff.

  33. Professor Ridd’s sacking had nothing do with academic freedom (or lack of). He was employed as a scientist, and was expected to comport himself as such.

  34. Buce,
    There are other causes for the termination of employment than the actions of a union, you know. You may gain more credibility for yourself around these parts if you didn’t default to such tropes as easily as you do.

  35. Bucephalus:

    Every tin-pot Pacific Leader will now be hitting up Australia by playing the China card – stupid not to given the utterances from Australia on Chinese influence etc.

    Yes the cat is out of the bag, and it will cost ten times as much to put it back in.

    Vanuatu (I think it was) was a warning shot, but Australia really can’t have Chinese PLA or PLA-N bases in PNG, nor PNG as a Chinese proxy (note that PNG has never been an Australian proxy, and nor should it be)

    At the time of the Vanuatu thing, there was quite a good article by Alexander Downer (believe it or not) about bipartisan Pacific policy. However something has gone badly wrong since then.

  36. This article explains how the RW loves one kind of red tape – that used to constrict the activities of others they consider to be their enemies.

    It’s easy to understand rightwing Australia once you realise it is defined by interests and not ideas. By arguing for deregulation in the market-sphere and regulation in the private-sphere, John Howard deregulated the labour market and regulated who could marry; he wanted free trade deals but opposed voluntary euthanasia; he wanted to privatise our national assets but publicly control a woman’s right to choose.

    There is nothing right or wrong, good or bad, efficient or inefficient about regulation. Different people, in different countries, at different points in time all have different opinions about which regulations are good and which are bad. Conservatives in the US are obsessed with the right of people to own semi-automatic weapons, but in Australia, it was Howard who won the fight to introduce bans on those killing machines.

    When powerful people in Australia want more freedom, they demand less regulation – usually on the basis that it will create jobs. But when powerless people want regulations, the powerful resist and claim it will “cost jobs”.

    Regulations don’t create or destroy jobs – they’re simply the rules we collectively agree we should all live by – but, as we’ve seen with the banking, building and aged care sectors, a lack of regulation can destroy lives.

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/aug/08/conservatives-hate-red-tape-unless-its-to-regulate-the-behaviour-of-their-enemies

  37. Lyle Shelton is, as they say, one sick puppy. He seems obsessed with sex.
    Does his house have separate male/female bathrooms? What’s he scared of?

    Lyle Shelton @LyleShelton
    · 7h
    Australians will come to regret the day they voted to de-gender marriage. It has opened the ️‍ Pandora’s box we said it would. So much for love is love. Now your daughter can be in a toilet with a man (waxed balls & all) identifying as a woman.

  38. “Australians will come to regret the day they voted to de-gender marriage. It has opened the ️‍ Pandora’s box we said it would. So much for love is love. Now your daughter can be in a toilet with a man (waxed balls & all) identifying as a woman. ”

    It’s the end of the world as we know it.
    I feel fine.

    (Credit to R.E.M.)

  39. lizzie @ #443 Thursday, August 8th, 2019 – 2:47 pm

    Lyle Shelton is, as they say, one sick puppy. He seems obsessed with sex.
    Does his house have separate male/female bathrooms? What’s he scared of?

    Lyle Shelton @LyleShelton
    · 7h
    Australians will come to regret the day they voted to de-gender marriage. It has opened the ️‍ Pandora’s box we said it would. So much for love is love. Now your daughter can be in a toilet with a man (waxed balls & all) identifying as a woman.

    And? That girl is probably safer than if in a room with some religious types!

  40. And you know who has gone waxing crazy? My son’s Tradie friends! So they can get tattoos on their legs and body, unimpeded by hair. 😆

  41. Beguiled

    Unless you have had me blocked for the past 10 years you would not make a ridiculous statement such that I am an apologist for the Coalies.

    And as to my compassion towards the elderly, the sick, the disabled and other suffering groups, since we are to each other 2 anonymous internet scribes, you would have NFI.

    My criticism is aimed at the media who for the purpose of gaining ratings, tug on heartstrings by embellishing all sorts of sad events by referring to both victims and perpetrators using such terms as “grandfather”, “father” , “frail”, “husband”, “wife” etc etc, as if that makes their suffering greater, or their offending lesser.

    As to Ms Banerji, to me the saddest thing is that as shown in her recent TV interview, she seems to have learned nothing from her 8 year ordeal, whatever the wrongs and rights of it. These are her life choices.

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