Essential Research: leadership ratings, US and China, abortion law

Higher disapproval ratings for both leaders in the latest Essential poll, which also records lukewarm feelings towards the United States and cooler ones for China.

The latest fortnightly Essential Research poll again comes up empty on voting intention, but it does offer the pollster’s third set of leadership ratings since the election. As with Newspoll, these record a drop in Scott Morrison’s net approval rating, owing to a three point rise in disapproval to 37%, while his approval holds steady at 48%. However, Essential parts company with Newspoll in finding Anthony Albanese up on disapproval as well, by five points to 29%, with approval down one to 38%. Morrison’s lead as preferred prime minister narrows slightly, from 44-26 to 44-28.

Further questions suggest the public leans positive on most aspects of the “influence of the United States of America” (defence, trade, cultural and business), excepting a neutral result (42% positive, 40% negative) for influence on Australian politics. The same exercise for China finds positive results for trade, neutral results for culture and business, and negative ones for defence and politics. Asked which of the two we would most benefit from strengthening ties with, 38% of respondents favoured the US and 28% China.

The small sample of respondents from New South Wales were also asked about the proposed removal of abortion from the criminal code, which was supported by an overwhelming 71% compared with 17% opposed. The poll has a sample of 1096 and was conducted online from Thursday to Sunday.

Note also the post below this one, being the latest Brexit update from Adrian Beaumont.

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.

1,826 comments on “Essential Research: leadership ratings, US and China, abortion law”

  1. I think with Morrison as a Pentecostal and Trump as the 2nd coming of Christ/King of Israel, we should all be brushing up on our bible verses. Even more so if Trump abdicates for Pence.

  2. Right, a conversation starter: at each of the past four federal elections, to what or whom would you apportion the blame for Labor’s failure to win a majority? My answers:

    1. Nationwide shell-shock at what was then an unprecedented act committed by a first-term government. 23/6/2010 threw away the usual benefits of incumbency, and much of the rhetoric dispensed in the following months (and years, for that matter) validated and reinforced the notion in voters’ minds that they had made the wrong decision in 2007. Gillard’s initial popularity evidently bore no relevance to the actual decisions made once in the ballot box. (Joan Kirner and Carmen Lawrence could have told her all about that.)
    2. The inability to properly defend the actions taken to avoid recession (mostly down to Swan, but neither Rudd nor Gillard proved particularly capable in this regard either).
    3. Weakened climate change policy, essentially consisting of nothing but a time-stalling talkfest (with no meaningful action to take place until after the following election!), destroyed most of Labor’s credibility on the issue, and they’re still yet to fully regain it.
    4. A fairly rubbish campaign in general, with the “moving forward” slogan quickly becoming a laughing stock due not just to the ridiculous amount of repetition, but to its overall vagueness (forward to what, exactly?). Most notable to me was the complete absence of what I considered to be the masterstroke of the 2007 campaign: ads delivered in the “pause the tape, deliver calm, reassuring rebuttal” format ( The eleventh-hour airing of an excellent ad showing Costello dismissing Abbott’s economic credentials ( was probably the only thing that saved Labor from an outright thrashing.
    5. Yes, yes, alright: TEH LEAKZ, although were it not for the above shortcomings I doubt they would have had any impact, and I believe any effect they did have to be grossly exaggerated in any event. (For the record, my suspicions regarding their source gained enhanced credibility a couple of years back due to some gossip from a well-connected friend. Hint: not Kev!)

  3. Labor’s cooked.

    Like the coal they support.

    Coulda, shoulda, woulda, party. *

    *Albo will be there happy clapping along at the QLD conference.


  4. sprocket_, you posted about alternative-meat (100% veg) sausages the other day. The idea intrigued me so when I spotted some in Coles last week I lashed out ($23 per kg) and bought a pack. The results are now in. Cooking I’ll give 5 out of 10. Taste gets 7 out of 10. But consistency only gets a 3 out of 10. I might try them again in a year or so, but right now I can’t recommend them to anyone looking for an alternative BBQ sausage. It took twice as long to cook them compared with regular sausages (low and slow). But it was really the consistency that failed. When cooked they were solid, but they turned pasty and almost gritty as they cooled. Thanks though! I hope they succeed. 🙂

  5. itsthevibe
    Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 10:04 pm
    Right, a conversation starter: at each of the past four federal elections, to what or whom would you apportion the blame for Labor’s failure to win a majority? My answers:
    I think it was clearly the removal of Rudd, who may have been flawed, but whose main offence was lacking a solid factional base and was therefore vulnerable to Shorten, who I believe is also the mystery figure behind your 5th reason.

  6. Meanwhile PM Boris is learning that the UK are already on the outside looking in. That picture in the Guardian is another good one.
    (If the image doesn’t appear, the link to the article is:

  7. @ GG (earlier this afternoon before I had a couple of bottles of Shiraz and a good curry):

    “Your error here is that you give the Greens more than the time of day. Labor don’t need their permission to do anything. Labor will go where the votes are for us to Govern. The Greens and their ilk can get on board with extreme moderation or fuck off!

    But, thank them for the preferences.”

    Comrade, as much as I enjoy giving them a tickle up on Bludger, we need them. As much as we need the fickle, feckless low interest low information voters in the outer rim suburbs and regional centres. We need to find a way to make common cause. To keep both of those demographics in the boat as we paddle furiously upstream trying our best to achieve public progress. It’s a pickle, but it’s also Labor’s job like lot. Our historic mission.

  8. L R,

    There’s a “chicken-free chicken” product you might want to try. Can’t remember the name, but it’s made by our kiwi friends, sold at some Coles.

    I also don’t mind some of the newish vegie patties and koftas.

    But saturate almost anything in allspice or sweet chili sauce and I’ll eat it.

  9. 2013:
    1. I maintain to this day that the much-anticipated (or dreaded; whatever floats your boat) Ruddstoration could have yielded huge dividends, as long as it was handled correctly. Despite initial promising signs, this was most definitely not the case, and I must sadly surmise that Rudd misunderstood the reasons for his popularity the first time around. His lecture explaining and defending the stimulus spending could well have done the trick, had he maintained this line of attack – as opposed to, say, running a laughably random scare campaign about GST raises. As for asylum seekers (and I discuss this purely in political terms in this instance), he should have left well enough alone after quite cunningly planting a seed of doubt in voters’ minds raising the possibility of a modern-day “Konfrontasi”; his subsequent policy changes did little other than keeping front-and-centre an issue which was only ever going to benefit the Coalition the more it was discussed.
    2. Tony Abbott? Yikes! OMG, Tony Abbott! Brrrr! Boo, hiss, Tony Abbott, Tony Abbott, TONY ABBOTT!!1!!!11! Invoking this guy’s name in such awed tones at every possible opportunity was never going to do anything except place him on a totally un-earned pedestal, with voters thinking “Gee, if they’re so obsessed with/scared of him, he must be doing something right!” The fact that Labor’s campaign started with such promise with an ad that, refreshingly, didn’t even mention him by name ( before degenerating right back into the obsessive talking-up of the power and authority he would wield ( is something I intend to remain bitter and twisted about for as long as I live!
    3. As anybody who read my comments at the time will recall, I was, let’s say, not too keen on the idea of Rudd rushing off to an early election. Another crucial ingredient of his successful restoration was allowing him time to settle back into the job, slow things down and bring an image of stability back to the government, and perhaps even get some policy runs on the board so as to go to the election defending, rather than merely promising, much-needed change. At the time I assumed that Sussex St forced his hand in this regard, but I have since learned that he himself enthusiastically favoured an immediate poll, so, well, there you go; not mad, Kev, just disappointed!

  10. DM, thanks, I’ll look for them.

    It must be close to 20 years ago now, when we were still living in Seattle that there was something called Vege Burgers. I might have the name wrong though. They were great. I think they consisted of mushroom, ground nuts, and maybe beans or oats to bind things together. They were cheap, easy (microwavable!), tasty, and no animal fats or animal death. Unfortunately they disappeared.

    I’m with you on the sweet chilli sauce. 🙂

  11. I recommend biblical remedies for those who disrespect this place:

    Deuteronomy 23:1
    “He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD.” There you are, Lord William, that should deal with a few of them.

    Deuteronomy 20:16–17
    But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites,
    as the Lord your God has commanded. — I am pretty sure Nath is a Jebusite, from his accent, and c@t is surely a Hivite, judging by her skin colour and the flat nose.

    or, perhaps: Deuteronomy 21:18-21
    If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die.

    GG is an expert; perhaps he can advise.

    After all, as it says in Psalm 137- 9 Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!

    beJesus knew how to treat recalcitrant fig trees, at least:
    Early in the morning, as beJesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. (Matthew 21:18-22)

    That taught it! Immediately. As in straight away, with little or no delay. None of your week long withering.

    Perhaps you should try that, William.

  12. Don’t ban anyone. I come here for the wacky characters and the assorted drivel. I don’t expect any serious psephology any more. The only thing I find annoying is the lib-kin, lib-lib language disorder.

  13. Guardian images…I’ll try this once.

    If it worked you should see an image of body language from Johnson (defensive) and Macron (immovable).

  14. 2016:
    1. Like it or not, Shorten just never particularly had the trust or affection of the great unwashed. I’ll just skip over the (many and varied) probable reasons for this, mostly because I already feel sorry enough for William without making his job any harder! Now, as I said in point 1 for 2010, personal popularity is largely irrelevant in terms of actual ballot-box decisions, but apparently even this metric has its limits, as we now know.
    2. Yes, I’m like a dog with a bone, but Turnbull waited! He actually gave himself a chance to govern, as opposed to rushing straight off into campaigning! His personal ratings may have dropped between September 2015 and July 2016, but to the degree that this had any relevance at all, it was mostly down to his peculiar campaigning style; the bottom line for voters was that, unlike both Gillard in 2010 and Rudd in 2013, he focused on showing, not just telling, the voters that he was capable of leading a government.
    3. Of the past four Labor campaigns, I suppose this has the distinction of being their best – mostly, I suspect, due to Turnbull’s “silvertail” image giving their “class war” tactics more credibility than usual. Still, their continued failure to defend their economic record when last in government cost them dearly; the consequence of this is that only a rusted-on rump have any fond memories of 2007-2013. (This is in stark contrast to the Liberals’ vehement defence of the Howard years, which probably helped immensely in their quest to regain power. Post-June 2010, Labor themselves seemed happy to assist in this particular PR campaign, but that’s another story!)

  15. I think I should ban myself. This saloon is infested with disingenuous Labor-haters.

    They have nothing to say to me and they certainly have no interest in my observations.

    The Greens hate Labor with a remarkable zeal. I’ve made my point about them. They will cuddle their hostility even if it destroys everything.

  16. 2019:
    1. Not even sure where the hell to start, to be perfectly honest. I’m not sure if it was even correct to judge the campaign as a bad one because, as far as I could tell, for the most part there was no campaign to judge! I’ll admit to being the sort of snob who basically never watches commercial TV, but to the degree that I was exposed to it, I saw bucketloads of Liberal ads (most carrying what I immediately recognised as a devastatingly effective tag line: “The Bill Australia can’t afford”), with only the occasional appearance of one of the ACTU’s “Change The Rules” limp lettuce leaves. Can this really all be chalked down to Labor’s arrogantly assuming that they had the election in the bag regardless? Worryingly, that’s actually the best-case scenario!
    2. Never mind defending the stimulus measures: Labor evidently decided that there was no point whatsoever in even attempting to counter the Coalition scare campaign regarding supposed economic incompetence. Did they honestly believe that they could win an election with their fiscal credibility this shattered? Just distract the voters with constant drum-banging about health, education (of which neither issue was going to be a priority for anyone who wasn’t planning to vote Labor anyway), and the “top end of town” (don’t even get me started), and the voters would somehow forget all about their economic misgivings? Basically, it was the exact opposite of the 2007 strategy, and the public adjusted their votes accordingly.
    3. Putting aside the blame attributed to any particular convoys, the blatant fence-sitting on environmental issues simply sapped away even more of the party’s credibility on climate change. For all of the rantings about an overly “green” image costing them seats in Queensland’s regions, the south-eastern seats such as Brisbane and Bonner may well have proved a pleasant surprise if the party had dared to present policies in keeping with what the science is telling us.
    4. Honestly, at this point, I have to wonder whether many in the party even particularly want to win. Government is just too much like actual work, after all. Happy to one day be proved wrong on this!

  17. “Andrew_Earlwood

    We are the Don Quixote Party. The harder we try the worse things will get.”

    Comrade. It often feels that way, but I have zero interest in tilting at windmills. I want to acheive public progress. Not to feel good, or virtuous or righteous. Or have people pat me on the back, and blow smoke up my arse about what a terrific fellow I am. I’m only interested in politics as a mechanism to improve the joint: to leave it in better shape than I found it before I pop my clogs. That’s it. The only thing that matters.

  18. Oh, and of course the right-wing media organs can quite fairly cop a portion of the blame for any and all ALP losses. Still, what’s the good in throwing one’s hands in the air and forfeiting the PR contest? As 2007 showed, a sufficiently effective advertising campaign is capable of surmounting even the most egregious of media bias.

    So, basically:

  19. nath says:
    Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 2:07 pm

    Barney in Makassar
    What I light heartedly refer to as Asian logic is indeed a reflection of my lack of understanding of some of the different cultural norms that vary from place to place and when viewed from my own perspective often make little sense.
    You stereotype the people of an entire continent and mock them with the term ‘Asian logic’ and then want to spin that into a demonstration of your cultural sensitivity! You are utterly pathetic!

    Yes nath, I have no appreciation of the diversity of Asian culture¿

    After having travelled through the Middle East, the Indian sub-Continent and most of SE Asia I never realised how culturally diverse Asia was¿ Thanks for opening my eyes and explaining this¿

    If you really had knowledge of the wide expanses of Asia, you would understand that for anyone to travel and reside here, and claim they had an understanding of even a small part of it, they would be talking complete bullshit and demonstrating the highest levels of arrogance.

    I lived in Vietnam for nearly 10 years and the most I would claim was that I gained some appreciation of the culture there.

    Maintain your woke assertion if you like, but it won’t hide your ignorance and arrogance that you think you know what you’re talking about.

    My my little story highlights my lack of understanding and the only one I’m taking the piss out of is myself.

  20. Itsthevibe I don’t think anyone on the labor side would be avoiding governing on the basis that it’s hard work. They can look across the chamber every day and see that you can get elected, re-elected, and re-elected again without ever doing any work or having any policies. Once in government they would understand they no longer have any accountability to anyone but hidden sponsors, and can bury their inadequacy and corruption in secrecy and media obfuscation.

  21. Barney in Makasser,

    Barney in Makassar
    What I light heartedly refer to as Asian logic is indeed a reflection of my lack of understanding of some of the different cultural norms that vary from place to place and when viewed from my own perspective often make little sense.

    Completely agree with you 🙂

    I am in a city called Daejeon at the moment, working, and I and my Korean colleagues are talking about the differences between Australia and Korea, just because it is really interesting. We talk about food, language, cultural practices – they offer to shake my hand, I begin to bow when we see each other – and we laugh.

    We also, while putting together a grant, do talk about the differences required from each of our funding bodies, once again laughing about the bureaucracy which is always a problem, but in a different way in each culture.

    I do the same when working with French, US or Irish colleagues, and I not see a difference, unless someone is saying that “Asian culture is actually inferior, so we cannot joke about it”.

    Nath, I know you are a stirrer, and I enjoy your more witty posts. I think Barney is not putting down Asian culture at all, but is instead discussing the differences in the way we do between Queenslanders and Victorians.

    By the way, has anyone asked Trump if he would like to buy QLD and WA? We could throw the NT in as a bonus.

  22. D-Money @12:01:
    “They can look across the chamber every day and see that you can get elected, re-elected, and re-elected again without ever doing any work or having any policies. Once in government they would understand they no longer have any accountability to anyone but hidden sponsors, and can bury their inadequacy and corruption in secrecy and media obfuscation.”

    That only applies to one side of politics. It’s not an option for Labor.

  23. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. And now as soon as it gets light enough I’m out to feed the animals and get ready to head off for another sausage sizzle.

    The Mascot Towers drama continues as residents vote to pay $7m.
    Eryk Bagshaw writes that private investment funds are circling Australia’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation hoping for a sale of the $10 billion government-owned organisation, as its head flags a major shift on how taxpayer funds are used to support the booming industry.
    Tony Wright reflects on the life and contribution of Tim Fischer, a lovely bloke.
    Pru Goward points out the significant difficulties facing our lawmakers over religious freedom.
    And John Warhurst writes about testing the relationship between church and state.
    How Berejiklian let the abortion issue slide to crisis.
    Phil Coorey tells us that the abortion bill battle and an ugly brawl to replace Gladys Berejiklian as NSW Premier could drag on the federal government as well.
    And Sam Maiden tells us how Barnaby Joyce has threatened to sit on the crossbench and destroy Scott Morrison’s one-seat majority in federal Parliament over the abortion debate.
    Law professor Jeremy Gans invites us to read the full Pell judgement.
    The Archbishop of Melbourne has dramatically claimed he still believes George Pell is innocent and suggested the cardinal’s surviving victim may have been abused by someone else. Well he does believe in all sorts of improbable things!
    Michelle Grattan reviews Morrison’s first 12 months as leader of his party.
    Paul Karp writes about Labor accusing the Coalition of having lost control of borders, with 80,000 asylum arrivals by plane.
    ASIC has accused global financial companies of flogging billions of dollars of risky derivatives via Australia, in a “regulatory arbitrage” that has caused $2 billion in losses to a million investors, mostly in Asia.
    The results of the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics biennial survey of income and wealth have met with an uneven response, perhaps in part due to a slipshod press release. Christopher Sheil and Frank Stilwell report.
    The SMH editorial calls for an end to NSW’s agrarian socialism through subsidising the country energy network and sell it off.
    Large energy users have called on the federal and state governments to resolve their differences on energy policy, saying the use of emergency reserves was not a long-term solution to the nation’s energy problems.
    Matt Canavan has defended his extraordinary spray accusing engineering firm of being ‘weak as piss’ and giving in to anti-coal ‘bullies’.
    Mike Bruce describes the potential for hydrogen to become a fuel for the future.
    Richard Holden looks at the vital signs and declares that economically, Australia is at risk of becoming Germany, and not in a good way.
    International evidence indicates that about 10 per cent to 20 per cent of workers experience bullying each year, and up to half the workforce in some organisations is affected. Academics Angela Knox and Philip Bohle say that reducing workplace disorganisation and enhancing compliance with regulatory requirements can reduce bullying.
    A 2016 public apology for AFP culture demonstrated that it was not consistent with their values or community expectations. Since then it’s been slow progress despite many inquiries, writes Simone Anon.,13025
    Australia Post boss Christine Holgate has warned losses for the company’s letter business could double in the current financial year and force the postal service to close multiple community branches.
    Jenna Price looks at spyware and GPS tracking, the next frontier for family violence.
    Australia’s latest military commitment should spark assessment of how well we use our defence forces says Professor John Blaxland.
    Experts and parents are calling on the Australian government to review its outdated paid parental leave schemes, as their inequitable and inflexible design deters fathers from using them.
    No one is immune to potential poverty and the crippling effects of being on the Newstart allowance, writes Melvin Fechner.,13028
    Plants are going extinct up to 350 times faster than the historical norm.
    ANZ chairman David Gonski admits that the bank’s culture suffers from a lack of accountability, it takes too long to get things done, and staff can be hesitant about speaking up.
    This brainless couple have earned nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and the Last Supper.

    Cathy Wilcox gets right to the point over Iran.

    And she explores Pell’s appeal prospects.

    Andrew Dyson and the can of worms that is religious freedom legislation.

    from Matt Golding.

    Jim Pavlidis and a David and Goliath effort.

    Peter Broelman takes us to a certain jail cell.

    A good one from Zanetti for a change.

    Glen Le Lievre and global warming.

    A nice send off for Tim Fischer from Sean Leahy.

    Alan Moir – an old one I think.

    A nice Tim Fischer farewell from Jon Kudelka.

    From the US

  24. ‘Madman’: Rick Wilson warns pressures of presidency have driven Trump ‘batsh*t crazy’

    The president is “batsh*t crazy,” according to a Republican operative — and there’s apparently nothing Americans can do about that until next year’s election.

    Trump supporters, and much of the mainstream media, once believed the president’s outrageous and outlandish remarks were part of some psychological strategy to “own the libs,” wrote GOP strategist Rick Wilson for The Daily Beast, but “only idiots and zealots believe that now.”

    “The howling vacuum of need within Trump’s soul had already distorted every normal human emotion for decades, but now the stress of the presidency and the realities of his lasting failures have pushed him closer to a very public mental breakdown,” Wilson wrote.

    “His failures, cruelty, caprice, corruption, and hairstyling tips will be graven in stone as a warning to future Americans.”

    “This isn’t madman theory,” he added. “This is just a mad man.”

  25. @broomstick33

    what drives Barnaby Joyce, besides messing around with railway land and #MDB water .. as an anti-abortion Catholic, he persuaded Campion not to terminate, sacrificed his family in the process, now on a suicidal mission with the Nationals .. hello New England voters #auspol

  26. If Victoria is hit by an extreme weather event (e.g. it gets really, really hot) and if ageing coal-fired power generators in the La Trobe Valley, which are currently being serviced, don’t come back online over the summer, and if Victoria can’t secure extra supply from elsewhere, then there might be blackouts.

    But even here, some experts think that the risks have been seriously over-egged.

    “They have put it in terms that are meant to alarm people,” says Tristan Edis, director of analysis at Green Energy Markets.

    He says that, averaged across all energy users, the power loss would be less than 14 minutes, and it’s likely that big industrial users would lose power before households did.

    He also says that blackouts in the circumstances being warned of could be avoided entirely if all Victorians turned off their air-conditioners for less than five minutes.

    When the press gallery in Parliament House takes over energy market coverage, you know that someone’s pushing an agenda — in this case, multiple agendas.

    Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor seized upon the latest report to attack the Victorian Government for closing down coal-fired power stations (although the power plants were closed by their private owners and it is unreliable brown coal power stations that are causing the supply concerns).

    Stephen Long

  27. Morning all. Thanks BK. I am no fan of Morrison but there are a few pretty damaging stories for Labor in the papers today.

    Mascot Towers repairs will cost every apartment owner $150,000 to fix. They were built when Obeid and Tripodi ran a NSW Labor government. Right about the time Nathan Rees was dumped for trying to stop the rorts. Where are the guilty parties now?

    In Qld Deputy Premier Jackie Trad failed to declare an investment property purchased right next to a project she is running. We should nickname her Michaela. Even the CFMEU wants her sacked.

    And Qld Labor, not content with destroying the Federal Labor campaign, has buddied up to the coal industry formally. Pathetic cowards. It won’t save them.

    Labor needs a clean out of the chair warmers and ladder climbers, or Morrison will be PM for years. Meanwhile the economic and diplomatic efforts of his government are hopeless.

    Go Lions on the weekend. I am proud of your efforts in this annus horribilus.

  28. I note that the Labor Premier Adani is now trying to crack down on environmental protestors. How dare those evil greenies bring attention to the damage that’s being done to Australia! That’s way too politically inconvenient for Labor.

    While she’s at it she may as well change QLD’s numberplate slogan from “The Sunshine State” to “The Police State”.

  29. Logging is causing Melbourne’s main catchment area to miss out on 15,000 megalitres of water each year, equivalent to the amount used by 250,000 people, a peer-reviewed study has found.

    David Lindenmayer, an ecologist and the paper’s co-author, said nearly 15,000 megalitres of water was being lost annually due to logging in the Thomson catchment. Melburnians on average use 161 litres each a day.

    ANU researchers have estimated it would cost $1,650 per megalitre to replace water lost from catchments with that from the state’s desalination plant. The government has ordered 125bn litres of desalinated water this financial year.

    Lindenmayer said an earlier ANU economic assessment had found the value of the water was more than 25 times greater than the value of the timber and pulp from the catchment.

  30. Scotty made the same miscalculation in the Wentworth by-election.

    Regardless, this turn in the president’s rhetoric about Jews magnifies his transactional approach to politics and his miscalculation that his hawkish interpretation of support for Israel should automatically translate into electoral support from Jewish Americans.

    It also reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of the motivations of many Jews, who are not a monolithic voting bloc but rather prioritize a wide range of issues — not only Israel, but also education, the economy and the environment, as well as civility and morality.

    “He is reflecting a concept of Jewish Americans as single-issue voters around Israel, which we’re not; that we’re uniformly hawkish on these issues, which we’re not,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group. “In reality, what matters most to us are the exact values that the president is spending his term trashing. We care about equality and justice, and we embrace the notion that this is a nation of immigrants and opportunity for all.”

  31. Lobbying of federal ministers must be the next anti-corruption focus, a retired Victorian Supreme Court judge has asserted in an annual speech in honour of one of the country’s most well-known corruption fighters.

    Justice Stephen Charles gave the Tony Fitzgerald Lecture at Griffith University on Thursday night amid continuing debate about the shape of the Commonwealth Integrity Commission, announced by the Morrison government in December 2018.

    Justice Charles is a scathing critic of the Commonwealth Integrity Commission model being proposed, describing it as “too weak and too narrow” and only likely to investigate blatant “brown-paper-bag bribery”.

    “The Commonwealth Integrity Commission model will not permit any investigation of electoral donations or their consequences, nor of the revolving door movement of ministers and public servants into private industry,” he said.

    “In short, the Coalition only wants serious and systemic criminal activity – brown paper bags with cash – to be investigated.”

  32. And furthermore

    “Every state now has an anti-corruption commission,” he said.

    “The federal government does not, even though the vast bulk of money, power and influence in Australia is to be found in Canberra.”

    Justice Charles said questions remained over Australia’s $40 billion submarine construction contract, Manus Island’s security contracts, Helloworld, “uncontrolled” electoral donations and more recent questions about the allegations of Chinese triad gang influence at Crown Casino.

  33. “I see that Rex, Guytaur and Peg has continued their unceasing attacks on Morrison and his crony capitalists.
    Well done, those Greens!”


    Hey! Where’s my mention?!?!? lol

    Sigh. Must have disqualified myself from inclusion by describing the Morrison government as “vile” and saying they needed to be opposed at every turn. Or maybe it’s because I was encouraging people to preference Labor above the Coalition during the election campaign. Or maybe it’s because I said I liked Penny Wong? Or maybe because I admitted to voting for Rudd in 07? Who can say!

    I guess the 80-90% of Greens who are like me and always preference Labor above the Coalition don’t fit the Labor stereotype of what a Greens supporter is.

  34. @PaulBongiorno
    Watching @ABC news and wondering why no one has pointed out that the Hazelwood power station was not owned by the Victorian govt who did not shut it down,
    @AngusTaylorMP is a privatisation dishonest ideologue.

  35. Good Morning

    It is hard to believe just how much time has been wasted.

    Nearly 10 years ago the Australian featured on its front page a story thatsuggested concerns about climate change causing sea levels to rise were all a load of bull.

    It cited Kevin Court, who was not, as you might expect, a climate scientist, but merely an 80-year-old Wollongong local who told the Australian that “I have swum at this beach every day for the past 50 years, and nothing much changes here. All this talk about rising sea levels – most of us old-timers haven’t seen any change and we’ve been coming down here for decades.”

    Take that, science!

    This week we were reminded just how little conservative media and political parties have progressed in that time.

    Edit: Note its the regions and the poor that will pay the cost of denial.

  36. @mathewstoller tweets

    We all die soon if we don’t stop the Amazon from burning down. Maybe we need to put this problem in terms careerists understand.

    If the planet loses its capacity to support human life there are no more bookers for MSNBC.

    @_waleedshahid tweets

    “Symone Sanders, a senior adviser of presidential candidate Joe Biden, was among those who urged the DNC committee on Thursday to vote down a climate debate, saying it would be ‘dangerous territory in the middle of a Democratic primary process.'”

  37. ‘It’s always dread with President Trump’: CNN analyst says G7 leaders are revolted they have to meet with Trump again

    On Thursday’s edition of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” reporter Abby Phillip said that world leaders are feeling “dread” about the prospect of meeting with President Donald Trump after his latest round of erratic behavior on the world stage.

    “There is a big test on foreign relations for President Trump this weekend,” said host Brianna Keilar.

    “Honestly, it’s always dread with President Trump

    “Who is dreading it? The other countries?” asked Keilar.

    “Yeah, and the White House staff,” said Phillip. “Virtually every G7 that President Trump has attended has been preceded by this kind of, this sense of impending drama. Now, Emmanuel Macron, the president of France, is trying to get ahead of that by saying, ‘You know, we’re not even going to have a communiqué, we’re not going to even try to sign something that President Trump will have to then pull out of.’ And that’s one way to resolve the tensions.”

  38. As victoria would say, it’s cray-cray!!

    It’s no joke, as former vice president Joe Biden would say. In the last week or so, we’ve witnessed President Trump deny there is a threat of recession; blame the Federal Reserve chairman for raising interest rates too high (!); deny, then admit and then finally reject consideration of cuts to either payroll taxes or a capital-gains taxes. We’ve seen him seriously consider “buying” Greenland, then cancel a trip to Denmark and then finally insult Denmark’s female prime minister, Mette Frederiksen, whom Trump characterized as “nasty” (his all-purpose insult to women who won’t do his bidding), and claimed that when she says his idea about purchasing Greenland was “absurd,” she is offending the United States. He’s called Jews disloyal on consecutive days and proclaimed himself the “chosen one” (or should it be “Chosen One”?), though he still insists the trade deficit means China has “sucked” hundreds of billions of dollars out of our economy. He insists that kicking Russia out of the Group of 8 for its invasion of Ukraine was an overreaction by President Barack Obama (I guess that is what he means), and should be reversed.

    This is nuts. I don’t mean, nuts like, “Allowing the deficit to expand to a trillion dollars is nuts,” or “pretending personal diplomacy with Kim Jong Un works is nuts.” I mean, in the non-medical sense, he is erratic, narcissistic, unhinged, unable to control his anger, illogical and forgetful. (Remember the rally in New Hampshire at which he appeared to repeat a portion of the speech he gave at the beginning.) He has lost the ability to differentiate himself from the country and his own psychological needs from the country’s interests. To oppose him is to be an “enemy of the people.”

  39. re: 2010 election

    with no meaningful action to take place until after the following election

    Yes, just imagine how pushing action out to 2013 would have delayed action on climate change now … oh wait, if it had happened that way (because it was all just an egregious example of stalling action!) we would have had a national carbon price for six years now. JFC.

    Just like the complaints about the design of the CPRS back in 2008/2009 potentially delaying action by 5 years … if it had been put in place at that time (and there was a very small window that would have allowed that to happen) it would have been operating for over 10 years now, with plenty of time to see what was working, what was not working, how our emissions were tracking and adjusting/tweaking (rather than all that scary reform stuff).

    Instead, right now, we’ve got nothing, and no prospect of any action for years.

    I have no interest in re-prosecuting this tired old debate or ascribing blame, and yes hindsight is a wonderful thing, but there is a powerful point here that if the purists had just allowed a little bit of compromise to get up at the crucial times when they had the chance, we would be in a very different situation now environmentally and politically.

  40. Confessions says: Friday, August 23, 2019 at 8:30 am


    Did you see Sarah Sanders has joined Fox News? Finally making it official


    Yes Confessions – birds of a feather ….

    Fox News Hires Sarah Huckabee Sanders To Continue Her Career Of Lying For Trump

    It was just last weekend when Trump admitted that he and Fox News are working together, “I’m very — I’m not happy with Fox. I’m certainly happy, I think, Sean Hannity and Lou Dobbs and I think tucker Carlson and Laura and Jesse waters and Janine, we have a lot of great people.”

    On a deeper level, Sanders joining Fox News signals that there was no bidding war for her services. No reputable media company would touch her with a ten-foot pole, so she went to state TV, where she can continue to lie for Trump on a regular basis.

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