Call of the board: South-East Queensland

How good was Queensland? The Poll Bludger reports – you decide.

The Poll Bludger’s popular Call of the Board series, in which results for each individual electorate at the May 18 federal election are being broken down region by region, underwent a bit of a hiatus over the past month or so after a laptop theft deprived me of my collection of geospatial files. However, it now returns in fine style by reviewing the business end of the state which, once again, proved to be the crucible of the entire election. Earlier instalments covered Sydney, here and here; regional New South Wales; Melbourne; and regional Victoria.

First up, the colour-coded maps below show the pattern of the two-party swing by allocating to each polling booth a geographic catchment area through a method that was described here (click for enlarged images). The first focuses on metropolitan Brisbane, while the second zooms out to further include the seats of the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. As was the case in Sydney and Melbourne, these maps show a clear pattern in which Labor had its best results (in swing terms) in wealthy inner urban areas (for which I will henceforth use the shorthand of the “inner urban effect”, occasionally contrasted with an “outer urban effect” that went the other way). However, they are also bluer overall, reflecting Labor’s generally poor show across Queensland (albeit not as poor in the south-east as in central Queensland).

The seat-by-seat analysis is guided by comparison of the actual results with those estimated by two alternative metrics, which are laid out in the table below (using the two-party measure for Labor). The first of these, which I employ here for the first time, is a two-party estimate based on Senate rather than House of Representatives results. This is achieved using party vote totals for the Senate and allocating Greens, One Nation and “others” preferences using the flows recorded for the House. These results are of particular value in identifying the extent to which results reflected the popularity or otherwise of the sitting member.

The other metric consists of estimates derived from a linear regression model, in which relationships were measured between booths results and a range of demographic and geographic variables. This allows for observation of the extent to which results differed from what might have been expected of a given electorate based on its demography. Such a model was previously employed in the previous Call of the Board posts for Sydney and Melbourne. However, it may be less robust on this occasion as its estimates consistently landed on the high side for Labor. I have dealt with this by applying an across-the-board adjustment to bring the overall average in line with the actual results. Results for the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast seats are not shown, owing to the difficulty involved in classifying them as metropolitan or regional (and I have found the model to be of limited value in regional electorates). The coefficients underlying the model can be viewed here.

And now to review each seat in turn:

Blair (Labor 1.2%; 6.9% swing to LNP): Shayne Neumann has held Blair since taking it from the Liberals in 2007, on the back of a favourable redistribution and Labor’s Kevin Rudd-inspired sweep across Queensland. His margins had hitherto been remarkably stable by Queensland standards, but this time he suffered a 9.8% drop in the primary vote (partly due to a more crowded field than last time), and his two-party margin compares with a previous low point of 4.2% in 2010. Nonetheless, the metrics suggest he did well to hang on: he outperformed the Senate measure, and the demographic measure was Labor’s weakest out of the six Queensland seats it actually won (largely a function of the electorate’s lack of ethnic diversity).

Bonner (LNP 7.4%; 4.0% swing to LNP): Bonner was a notionally Labor seat when it was created in 2004, and it says a lot about recent political history that they have only won it since at the high water mark of 2007. Ross Vasta has held it for the LNP for all but the one term from 2007 to 2010, and his new margin of 7.4% is easily the biggest he has yet enjoyed, the previous peak being 3.7% in 2013. Labor generally did better in swing terms around Mount Gravatt in the south-west of the electorate, for no reason immediately obvious reason.

Bowman (LNP 10.2%; 3.2% swing to LNP): Andrew Laming has held Bowman for the Liberals/LNP since it was reshaped with the creation of its northern neighbour Bonner in 2004, his closest scrape being a 64-vote winning margin with the Kevin Rudd aberration in 2007. This time he picked up a fairly typical swing of 3.2%, boosting his margin to 10.2%, a shade below his career best of 10.4% in 2013.

Brisbane (LNP 4.9%; 1.1% swing to Labor): Brisbane has been held for the Liberal National Party since a redistribution added the affluent Clayfield area in the electorate’s east in 2010, making it the only seat bearing the name of a state capital to be held by the Coalition since Adelaide went to Labor in 2004. The city end participated in the national trend to Labor in inner urban areas, but swings the other way around Clayfield and Alderley in the north-west reduced the swing to 1.1%. Trevor Evans, who has held the seat since 2016, outperformed both the Senate vote and the demographic model, his liberalism perhaps being a good fit for the electorate. Andrew Bartlett added 2.9% to the Greens primary vote in recording 22.4%, which would have been the party’s best ever result in a federal seat in Queensland had it not been surpassed in Griffith. This compared with Labor’s 24.5%, with Labor leading by 25.4% to 23.7% at the second last preference count.

Dickson (LNP 4.6%; 3.0% swing to LNP): The shared dream of Labor and GetUp! of unseating Peter Dutton hit the wall of two broader trends to the Coalition, in outer urban areas generally and Queensland specifically. However, as the map shows, there was a pronounced distinction between the affluent hills areas in the electorate’s south, which swung to Labor, and the working class suburbia of Kallangur, which went strongly the other way. Dutton’s result was well in line with the Senate vote, but actually slightly below par compared with the demographic model. It may be thought significant that One Nation struggled for air in competition with Dutton, scoring a modest 5.2%.

Fadden (LNP 14.2%; 2.9% swing to LNP): The three electorates of the Gold Coast all recorded below-average swings to the LNP, and were as always comfortably retained by the party in each case. Fadden accordingly remains secure for Stuart Robert, who had held it since 2007.

Fairfax (LNP 13.4%; 2.6% swing to LNP): The northern Sunshine Coast seat of Fairfax will forever wear the ignominy of having sent Clive Palmer to parliament in 2013, but Ted O’Brien recovered the seat for the Liberal National Party when Palmer bowed out of politics all-too-temporarily in 2016, and was uneventfully re-elected this time.

Fisher (LNP 12.7%; 3.6% swing to LNP): Second term LNP member Andrew Wallace did not enjoy a noticeable sophomore surge in his Sunshine Coast seat, picking up a slightly below par swing. All told though, this was an unexceptional result.

Forde (LNP 8.6%; 8.0% swing to LNP): This seat on Brisbane’s southern fringe maintained its recent habit of disappointing Labor, comfortably returning Bert van Manen, who gained it with the 2010 backlash after one term of Labor control. Reflecting the outer urban effect, van Manen gained the biggest swing to the LNP in south-east Queensland, and was able to achieve an improvement on the primary vote despite the entry of One Nation, who polled 11.8%. His 8.6% margin easily surpasses his previous career best of 4.4% in 2013, when his opponent was Peter Beattie.

Griffith (Labor 2.9%; 1.4% swing to Labor): It’s been touch and go for Labor’s Terri Butler since she succeeded Kevin Rudd at a by-election in 2014, but this time she was a beneficiary of the inner urban effect, which helped her eke out a 1.4% swing against the statewide trend. Of particular note was a surge in support for the Greens, who were up by 6.7% to 23.7%, their strongest result ever in a Queensland federal seat. Butler’s 31.0% primary vote was well below the LNP’s 41.0%, but Greens preferences were more than sufficient to make up the difference.

Lilley (Labor 0.6%; 5.0% swing to LNP): One of the worst aspects of Labor’s thoroughly grim election night was newcomer Anika Wells’ struggle to retain Lilley upon the retirement of Wayne Swan, who himself experienced a career interruption in the seat when it was lost in the landslide of 1996. However, the metrics suggest the 5.0% swing was fuelled by the loss of Swan’s personal vote, showing barely any difference between the actual result and the Senate and demographic measures. The Labor primary vote plunged 8.1%, partly reflecting the entry of One Nation, who scored 5.3%.

Longman (LNP GAIN 3.3%; 4.1% swing to LNP): One of the two seats gained by the LNP from Labor in Queensland, together with the Townsville-based seat of Herbert (which will be covered in the next episode), Longman can be viewed two ways: in comparison with the 2016 election or the July 2018 by-election, which more than anything served as the catalyst for Malcolm Turnbull’s demise. On the former count, the 4.1% swing was broadly in line with the statewide trend, and comfortably sufficed to account for the 0.8% margin Susan Lamb was able to eke out when she unseated Wyatt Roy in 2016. On the latter, the result amounted to a reversal of 7.7% in two-party terms, with victorious LNP candidate Terry Young doing 9.0% better on the primary vote than defeated by-election candidate Trevor Ruthenberg, recording 38.6%. One Nation scored 13.2%, which compared with 9.4% in 2016 and 15.9% at the by-election. Lamb actually outperformed the Senate and especially the demographic metric, suggesting a sophomore surge may have been buried within the broader outer urban effect. Despite the electorate’s demographic divide between working class Caboolture and retiree Bribie Island, the swing was consistent throughout the electorate.

McPherson (LNP 12.2%; 0.6% swing to LNP): As noted above in relation to Fadden, the results from the three Gold Coast seats did not provide good copy. McPherson produced a negligible swing in favour of LNP incumbent Karen Andrews, with both major parties slightly down on the primary vote, mostly due to the entry of One Nation with 5.9%.

Moncrieff (LNP 15.4%; 0.8% swing to LNP): The third of the Gold Coast seats was vacated with the retirement of Steve Ciobo, but the result was little different from neighbouring McPherson. On the right, a fall in the LNP primary vote roughly matched the 6.4% accounted for by the entry of One Nation; on the left, Animal Justice’s 3.9% roughly matched the drop in the Labor vote, while the Greens held steady. The collective stasis between left and right was reflected in the minor two-party swing.

Moreton (Labor 1.9%; 2.1% swing to LNP): This seat is something of an anomaly for Queensland in that it was held by the Liberals throughout the Howard years, but has since remained with Labor. This partly reflects a 1.3% shift in the redistribution before the 2007 election, at which it was gained for Labor by the current member, Graham Perrett. The swing on this occasion was slightly at the low end of the Queensland scale, thanks to the inner urban effect at the electorate’s northern end. Relatedly, it was a particularly good result for the Greens, whose primary vote improved from 12.7% to 16.8%.

Oxley (Labor 6.4%; 2.6% swing to LNP): Only Pauline Hanson’s historic win in 1996 has prevented this seat from sharing with Rankin the distinction of being the only Queensland seat to stay with Labor through recent history. Second term member Milton Dick was not seriously endangered on this occasion, his two-party margin being clipped only slightly amid modest shifts on the primary vote as compared with the 2016 result.

Petrie (LNP 8.4%; 6.8% swing to LNP): This seat maintained a bellwether record going back to 1987 by giving Labor one of its most dispiriting results of the election, which no doubt left LNP member Luke Howarth feeling vindicated in his agitation for a leadership change after the party’s poor by-election result in neighbouring Longman. Howarth strongly outperformed both the Senate and especially the demographic metrics, after also recording a favourable swing against the trend in 2016. He also managed a 3.4% improvement on the primary vote, despite facing new competition from One Nation, who polled 7.5% – exactly equal to the primary vote swing against Labor.

Rankin (Labor 6.4%; 4.9% swing to LNP): Rankin retained its status as Labor’s safest seat in Queensland, but only just: the margin was 6.44% at the second decimal place, compared with 6.39% in Oxley. Jim Chalmers copped a 7.9% hit on the primary vote in the face of new competition from One Nation (8.6%) and the United Australia Party (3.7%), while both the LNP and the Greens were up by a little under 3%. Nonetheless, Chalmers strongly outperformed both the Senate and demographic metrics. That the latter scarcely recognises Rankin as a Labor seat reflects the electorate’s large Chinese population, which associated negatively with Labor support in metropolitan areas.

Ryan (LNP 6.0%; 3.0% swing to Labor): LNP newcomer Julian Simmonds was in no way threatened, but he suffered the biggest of the three swings against his party in Queensland, all of which were recorded in inner Brisbane. As well as the inner urban effect, this no doubt reflects ill-feeling arising from his preselection coup against Jane Prentice. It is tempting to imagine what might have happened if Prentice sought to press the issue by running as an independent.

ANNOUNCEMENT: If this painstakingly compiled post interested you enough that you have made it all the way through to the end, perhaps you might care to make a donation. These are gratefully received via the “become a supporter” button that appears just below, or the PressPatron button at the top of the page.

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.

1,593 comments on “Call of the board: South-East Queensland”

  1. The Dawn Patrol will be a little late this morning as I got up later than usual after spending a lot of time last night at hospital with my dear old mum beibg admitted in not very good shape.

  2. White House official told whistleblower Trump Ukraine call was ‘frightening’

    A White House official listening to President Donald Trump’s July 25 phone call with Ukraine’s president described the call as “crazy” and “frightening” and was “visibly shaken,” according to notes taken by the intelligence official who filed a formal whistleblower complaint after speaking with the official, and others.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/white-house-official-told-whistleblower-trump-ukraine-call/story?id=66141284

  3. Shellbell,
    Fitzgibbon is fighting the last election.
    The next one will be about which party has the best way to fix the effects of the recession this Gov’t wants to have.

    Recessions are when the well off make a killing, buying up assets at fire sale prices. They were peeved when Rudd denied them the last one in 2008, so they are determined to make this one a good’un.

  4. Hope this is nowhere near Douglas and Milko and her children and grandchildren:

    The company that built Sydney’s Opal Tower is embroiled in another safety scare at a different city apartment block.

    Residents of Otto Rosebery have been warned against leaning on their balconies or allowing more than three people to stand on them, after an investigation found the balustrades were of “inadequate strength”.

    Parents have been warned not to let children play on balconies.

    And now owners have flagged the possibility of pursuing the builder and developer in the Supreme Court.

    The four-year-old building, comprising 298 units, is built by Icon Co – the same builders behind the now-infamous Opal Tower where major cracks led to an evacuation on Christmas Eve last year.

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/property/2019/10/08/otto-apartments-balconies/

  5. I think the Coalition government is too ‘relaxed and comfortable’!

    And too focused on an essentially meaningless ‘Surplus’. Which is only being pursued to aid their NEXT election campaign.

  6. They’re just a bunch of lawless gangsters in the White House:

    Trump personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani said Tuesday that he would not cooperate with House investigators and that he “can’t imagine” that anyone from the Trump administration would appear before a Democratic-led panel investigating the president.

    Giuliani’s comments came hours after the State Department blocked a scheduled deposition by Gordon Sondland, a key figure in the Ukraine controversy, prompting three House committee chairman to announce that they would issue a subpoena.

    The Democrats said they considered the move to be “obstruction of the impeachment inquiry,” while President Trump sought to justify it by calling the House committees investigating him a “kangaroo court.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry-live-updates/2019/10/08/55dd0b64-e94c-11e9-9306-47cb0324fd44_story.html

    I can just hear Trump saying, “New York produces the best gangsters!” 😉

  7. Nancy Pelosi, more than matching the Trump gang in the Impeachment wars:

    Pelosi tells Dems: ‘The President will be held accountable’

    In a letter to the House Democratic Caucus, Pelosi urged her members to address the impeachment inquiry they’re undertaking “somberly and prayerfully.”

    “The actions taken by the President over the past two weeks show a defiance of our Founders, with a total disregard for their wisdom and the U.S. Constitution,” Pelosi wrote.

    Then, mocking a phrase he used to describe himself in a tweet, she wrote, “In his ‘great and unmatched wisdom,’ President Trump must know that no one is above the law. The President will be held accountable. When it comes to impeachment, it is just about the facts and the Constitution.”

  8. Good Morning

    Zoomster

    The public sees Labor in government in regards to Adani. This is not something Labor can write off and leave till the next election.

    As I said yesterday Queensland Labor has to show where Labor stands as a party on the environment and coal.

    Instead of denying this by saying Labor is not in government you have to face up to the issue. Labor cannot sit on the fence.

  9. guytaur

    Queensland Labor and federal Labor are two different things. Most voters do actually understand that.

    Regardless, by the next federal election, Adani will be a dead parrot. Virtually noone will cast their vote with Adani in mind.

    Those who want to come here and spend their time banging on about what Labor should or should not be doing FEDERALLY should find another issue. Those who sincerely want Adani to be stopped should be concentrating their efforts on the current federal government, who are now the only ones able to act (I believe it’s now out of Queensland’s hands).

  10. Thanks, shellbell. I think. Fitzgibbon has never been trustworthy. Perhaps he thinks he should be the Labor leader.

    Fitzgibbon will speak at a Sydney Institute event tonight, arguing the “sensible settlement” on climate change would lift the party’s support in working-class and regional areas, invoking Gough Whitlam’s “the impotent are pure” line. He will also criticise former leader Bill Shorten’s strategists for underestimating Scott Morrison, and urge his colleagues to “check our progressive instincts”

  11. POLITICO‏Verified account @politico

    The Senate Intelligence Committee unveiled a sweeping new bipartisan report showing Russian efforts to boost Trump’s White House bid on social media during the 2016 U.S. election

    Senate Intel’s newest Russia report undermines pro-Trump conspiracy theories

    The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday unveiled a sweeping new bipartisan report detailing Russian efforts to boost Donald Trump’s White House bid on social media during the 2016 U.S. elections, dealing an indirect blow to a push by the president and his allies to shift focus toward claims of anti-Trump meddling by Ukraine.

    The report corroborates past findings by researchers and the intelligence community that the notorious Internet Research Agency troll farm, as the committee wrote, “sought to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election by harming Hillary Clinton’s chances of success and supporting Donald Trump at the direction of the Kremlin.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/2019/10/08/intelligence-committee-russia-trump-report-040736

  12. Cat

    Labor needs to hammer the meaningless surplus.

    What’s the point of economic growth with people missing out? Make the aspirational voters feel what they are missing not what they might gain.

    Labor has to get that trust back. All the scare campaigns in the world don’t work when trust is there as Daniel Andrews has proven. Trust has to be Labor’s number one priority.

    With that trust people listen to your arguments. Even the media. See how they fight to hear from Keating. Why they got every second they could of Hawke.

    When the media knows people trust Labor’s leader they trust the government to come. Rudd was trusted to act as a left wing politician. He was weakened by the failure of Climate Policy. So Labor became the party you can’t trust on the environment.

    As Fitzgibbon is busily proving today.

    What kept Rudd’s popularity and trust and flowed to some extent to Gillard, was Labor acting on the GFC.

    When Labor takes the LNP on it wins. To do that Labor has to have a leader the public trusts. That’s where Albo is right to be appearing daily on the media. Repeating Rudd’s path to voters ears.

    Get that trust and Labor wins. Even the media starts listening just as they did with Rudd. They will come out with he is a strong leader. He is charismatic etc (Yes I am assuming he in our political climate). Lots of excuses boiling down to trust means they listen instead of arguing.

    Then and only then does Labor have a good chance of winning.

  13. Zoomster

    You have not paid attention. The public know Labor is the Queensland Government. That means Federal Labor owns Adani as much as Tasmania Labor did on the Franklin.

    Hawke recognised this thanks in no small part to Graham Richardson. They opposed the dam. Hawke won as the Liberals Federally got the Franklin Dam saddled around their necks.

    It was not the main issue. That was still the economy. Labor won because they were trusted to act.

  14. GG

    Science denial is not the sensible centre no matter how many times you repeat it.

    Remember the science doesn’t care which way you vote. It’s just reality catching up to you

  15. Here we go!

    The White House said Tuesday that it will not cooperate with House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, ratcheting up tensions between the legislative and executive branches amid an outcry from Democrats that the Trump administration is stonewalling their investigations.

    Trump personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani said earlier Tuesday that he would not cooperate with House investigators and that he “can’t imagine” that anyone from the Trump administration would appear before a Democratic-led panel investigating the president.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry-live-updates/2019/10/08/55dd0b64-e94c-11e9-9306-47cb0324fd44_story.html

  16. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw report that NSW and Victoria are calling on Frydenberg to bring forward infrastructure projects as treasurers head to Canberra amid deepening concerns about the state of the economy despite falling interest rates and income tax cuts. But . . . but what about the surplus?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/states-urge-frydenberg-to-fast-track-projects-to-spur-economy-20191008-p52ynw.html
    Meanwhile the head of the International Monetary Fund has painted a downbeat picture of the world economy and said a more severe slowdown could require governments to coordinate fiscal-stimulus measures. But . . . but what about the surplus?
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/new-imf-chief-says-trade-tensions-put-global-economy-at-serious-risk-20191009-p52yv4.html
    Steven Grenville warns against the RBA pushing the quantitative easing button.
    https://outline.com/f3kE3S
    Ross Gittins explains how the success of the Nordic nations debunk a Scott Morrison mantra.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/viking-economics-how-nordic-nations-debunk-a-scott-morrison-mantra-20191008-p52yk9.html
    A blunt report from an independent Parliamentary body confirms that the Morrison Government’s hoped surpluses will come from cutting welfare. Alan Austin reports.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/canberra-economists-expose-the-coalitions-economic-failures,13189
    Chris Uhlmann begins his examination of the Turkey/Syria situation with, “The US President’s decision to forsake the Syrian Kurds must surely give his allies the last compelling piece of evidence to prove that they should not vest any faith in Donald Trump.”
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/key-lesson-for-australia-in-trump-s-move-to-abandon-kurds-20191008-p52yni.html
    And The Guardian takes a dim view of Trump’s actions there.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/08/the-guardian-view-on-trump-and-syria-damage-has-been-done
    Tony Walker says that Trump’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria will open the way for a dangerous Middle East power play.
    https://theconversation.com/trump-decision-to-withdraw-troops-from-syria-opens-way-for-dangerous-middle-east-power-play-124784
    Tony Wright weighs in on Trump’s “my great and unmatched wisdom” comment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/donald-trump-with-divine-wisdom-composes-a-tweet-for-turkeyland-20191008-p52ynv.html
    The SMH editorial posits that religious freedom should not be an excuse for social engineering. It says that the passage of NSW’s historic abortion bill shows that it is possible to stand up to conservative religious lobby groups in the interests of the wider community.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/religious-freedom-should-not-be-an-excuse-for-social-engineering-20191008-p52ysf.html
    And the ACT Human Rights Commissioner has said that the bill could allow discrimination disguised as belief.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6427598/religious-freedom-bill-could-allow-discrimination-masked-as-belief/?cs=14350
    Christopher Knaus reveals that Christopher Pyne’s firm is lobbying for a Sydney-based space company that has won more than $2m in contracts from the defence department in the past year.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/09/christopher-pynes-firm-lobbies-for-company-that-won-27m-in-defence-contracts
    From the NSW ICAC Michaela Whitbourn reports that the former boss of the NSW Labor Party, Jamie Clements, started working for controversial billionaire Huang Xiangmo as a consultant after he resigned from the party’s head office and was on a retainer worth as much as $200,000. It looks worse and worse!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/former-alp-boss-jamie-clements-on-retainer-with-huang-xiangmo-icac-hears-20191008-p52yp8.html
    Australia’s migration system is struggling to deal with a surge in claims from people who arrive by air and seek asylum, with waiting times blowing out to more than two years and creating incentives for further arrivals. Nice work from the Uber Tuber!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/asylum-seeker-processing-wait-time-blows-out-to-two-years-20191008-p52yso.html
    A sobering contribution here from Stephen Bartholomeusz on the dangers of the unconventional types of economic actions being taken in the ultra-low interest rate regime.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/bankers-have-just-signed-off-on-policies-that-could-increase-risk-of-another-gfc-20191008-p52yl1.html
    The Reserve Bank, like so many economic pundits, has finally given up on the Government of Scott Morrison writes Mungo MacCallum.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccallum-even-the-rba-has-given-up-on-the-coalition,13184
    Victoria is seeking an exemption from federal rules that would lock in back-up power to handle heatwave emergencies further in advance, as concerns mount about a tight supply and elevated blackout risk across the state this summer.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/power-play-victoria-wants-exemption-for-heatwave-emergency-power-deals-20191008-p52ypf.html
    Luke Henrique-Gomes reports that the Morrison government has defended Newstart allowance as affordable and well targeted as it faces criticism sparked by research showing it is one of the lowest unemployment benefits in the developed world.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/08/morrison-government-defends-newstart-amid-criticism-it-is-among-lowest-welfare-payments-in-oecd
    The company that built Sydney’s Opal Tower is embroiled in another safety scare at a different city apartment block. This time it’s on balcony safety.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/property/2019/10/08/otto-apartments-balconies/
    Scott Prasser writes that Parliament House may be the ultimate insiders’ bubble, but as the centre of executive government it is an unpleasant and inefficient one.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6424665/working-at-parliament-house-the-bubble-within-the-bubble/?cs=14329
    And as she steps down as national secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union, Nadine Flood has put politicians on blast over what she says will be a “lost decade” of pay increases for public servants.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6427891/cpsu-national-secretary-blasts-coalitions-lost-decade-on-her-way-out/?cs=14350
    Angus Taylor is copping it from all directions over energy policy.
    https://outline.com/fyfhta
    Kerry Schott says that the costly efforts to keep underperforming coal plants going are ill advised.
    https://outline.com/LPqN88
    And the AFR editorial says that we must reverse course from energy failure.
    https://outline.com/Sy3DHA
    Michelle Grattan tells us how Malcolm Turnbull has delivered the unpalatable truth to Scott Morrison on climate and energy.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-malcolm-turnbull-delivers-the-unpalatable-truth-to-scott-morrison-on-climate-and-energy-124889
    According to Sarah Martin the government is preparing to make amendments to its proposed character test crackdown to win over the support of independent senator Jacqui Lambie.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/08/coalition-woos-jacqui-lambie-to-back-migration-character-test-crackdown
    Chip Le Grand tells us that Victoria’s Director of Public Prosecutions has urged the High Court to refuse George Pell’s bid to appeal his conviction for multiple child sex offences, warning it should be reluctant to override a jury verdict with its own judgments about the bitterly divisive case.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/high-court-told-to-sound-final-bell-on-pell-20191008-p52ys1.html
    Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions on Tuesday confirmed it had filed a summary of its argument in response to a special leave application from Pell, lodged last month.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/08/prosecutors-lodge-documents-opposing-george-pells-high-court-appeal
    Headspace’s new ambassador has called on the PM to change his tone on LGBTIQ issues, saying he is damaging his effort to reduce the nation’s suicide rate.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/transgender-activist-lashes-scott-morrison-over-gender-whisperers-comment-20191007-p52ya8.html
    Outdated legislation covering Defence Force members reporting mental health issues when they come before the military justice system are set to be overhauled reports Sally Whyte.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6427859/grossly-inadequate-defence-mental-health-law-to-be-changed/?cs=14350
    Why is the US army funding antimalarial trials on Perth’s cash-strapped students with a drug found to be neurotoxic a decade ago? Stuart McCarthy reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/toxic-tests-why-is-us-army-funding-tafenoquine-drug-trials-on-perth-students/
    Paul Daley reckons that military buff Tony Abbott is the wrong choice for the Australian War Memorial Council.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/postcolonial-blog/2019/oct/09/military-buff-tony-abbott-is-the-wrong-choice-for-the-australian-war-memorial
    A multimillion-dollar package will seek to encourage high-performing Victorian teachers to relocate to urban schools that are struggling with staff shortages or take up positions teaching chronically under-staffed subjects such as maths and science.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/cash-lure-for-teachers-willing-to-work-in-melbourne-s-toughest-schools-20191008-p52yt6.html
    Angel Merkel has told Johnson that a deal is unlikely.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/a-stupid-blame-game-donald-tusk-berates-boris-johnson-as-hopes-of-a-deal-collapse-20191008-p52yuh.html
    And here we go! The Trump administration has blocked a planned deposition from Gordon Sondland, the US ambassador to the European Union and a central figure in the Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-administration-blocks-testimony-of-central-figure-in-impeachment-inquiry-20191009-p52yut.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and the coal fetish.

    And he goes to the extreme on Trump.

    Fiona Katauskas unveils the Coalition’s drought policy.

    From Matt Golding






    Zanetti FWIW.

    Jon Kudelka visits the ABC.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/aea08e7c4a363ae86ff3108d9cb53b41?width=1024

    From the US











  17. Confessions says: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 8:33 am

    Trump personal attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani said earlier Tuesday that he would not cooperate with House investigators and that he “can’t imagine” that anyone from the Trump administration would appear before a Democratic-led panel investigating the president.

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

    I have no real idea of the legal powers of the US Congress – but surely there must be some powers to hold these people in contempt, fines, AND arrests them, if there will be no compliance with the subpoenas. ??????? – as at the moment the Dems are seemingly allowing themselves to be played

    Anyone know US laws enough to know ????

  18. phoenixRed:

    I posted about this the other day. Apparently there is a law that enables Congress to essentially arrest and detain them, but it hasn’t been deployed in over 100 years. It is also uncertain where they would be detained as the congress doesn’t operate any jails or detention facilities.

  19. PR

    It’s going to end up being decided by the Supreme Court and/ or a revolution depending on the decision.

    If they are not traitors the Supreme Court will back up the Congress equal role and its oversight abilities.

  20. “substantial research” LOL

    The carbon-pricing scheme, originally introduced in 2011 by then-prime minister Julia Gillard, aimed to mitigate global warming by taxing energy sources that produced carbon dioxide.

    Mr Wild told The New Daily that the Abbott government’s decision to abolish the carbon scheme was one of the IPA’s three greatest policy achievements and a “victory for mainstream Australians over the political class”.

    “IPA research focused on demonstrating how the carbon tax imposed significant and irreparable economic and social damage without delivering a discernible environmental benefit,” he said.

    Also making Mr Wild’s list of the top three policy changes the IPA helped steer, was the defeat of the Labor government’s proposal in 1947 to nationalise Australia’s private banks.

    He said the IPA provided “substantial research” that outlined how then-PM Ben Chifley’s plan to gain full control over the country’s economy after World War II would have resulted in “significant and irreparable damage” to the economy and “Australian way of life”.

    “It was a major victory for free enterprise over socialism and ensured that the reach of socialist ideology in Australia would be ring-fenced,” Mr Wild said.

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/06/10/institute-of-public-affairs/

  21. Why do Republicans care so much that Trump has sold out the Kurds — and care so little that he has sold out the Constitution? Blame the corrosive partisanship and extremism that have led to the closing of the Republican mind.

    The reason Republicans feel free to disagree with Trump over Syria — but not Ukraine — is, first, that it’s not a partisan issue. Support for the Kurds and opposition to the Islamic State is one of those rare issues that unites Republicans and Democrats, and if anything, Republicans feel more strongly about it than do Democrats. So Republicans don’t feel a reflexive need to defend Trump from Democratic attacks.

    The second reason Republicans are willing to criticize Trump’s Syria policy is related to the first: It’s not a very important issue in the greater scheme of U.S. politics. Nobody imagines that Trump’s fate in 2020 turns on his Syria policy.

    The third reason is that Trump could easily change his mind regarding Syria. That’s what happened after Trump decided in December to completely pull U.S. troops out of Syria.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/08/why-republicans-care-so-much-about-kurds-so-little-about-constitution/

    In other words, it’s safe to attack Trump’s decision on Syria. How very brave of these Republicans!

  22. One trans man with a BRCA-gene mutation, which carries a greater risk of breast or ovarian cancer, was frustrated that hospital staff continually referred to him by his former female name.

    When he objected to being assigned a bed in a woman’s ward a nurse told him “you were born a woman, you will behave like a woman”. He told researchers he cancelled all post-operative appointments and vowed never to return, even if it killed him.

    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/you-will-behave-like-a-woman-transgender-people-risking-death-to-avoid-discriminatory-healthcare-20191008-p52yru.html

  23. Confessions

    Not to forget Israel won’t like the Kurds being embraced by Erdogan who is the only one left who can protect them. It means a stronger Iran.

  24. Looking deeper into the PBO report.

    The report says that the surpluses the Morrison Government hopes to deliver in coming years will be achieved largely by ‘policy changes to tighten eligibility and constrain payments growth in a number of major programs’.

    It specifies the areas to be cut:

    ‘These payments include the age pension, Medicare, family tax benefit, disability support pension, pharmaceutical benefits and carer income support.’

    Australians can thus expect more harassment of people dependent on welfare, more robodebt false allegations of fraud, more mistakes by the callous corporations charged with minimising payments to those in need, more false accusations that beneficiaries waste money on drugs and more suicides.

    The report verifies that the narrow deficit recorded in June was achieved only because people with disabilities were underpaid:

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/canberra-economists-expose-the-coalitions-economic-failures,13189

  25. I cannot, cannot, understand why anyone who is not a died-in-the-wool conservative supporter is not make it their priority to defeat the LNP. Never mind climate change, their social policies are plainly cruel.

  26. I remember Tanya was praised for cooking meals for her staff in her rooms. Now I know why.

    Have no illusions – working at the Commonwealth Parliament is no picnic, however glorious you think that badly designed and managed building appears.

    For instance, for staff, the food is mediocre, the choice limited, the menu unchanging, the service slow and the venues overcrowded and noisy.

    Indeed, the staff cafeteria, affectionately known as the ‘trough’ says it all.

    Forget having fresh sandwiches. They closed the sandwich bar. Instead, you can have some of those pre-packed ones like you find at petrol stations.

    Parliament House may be the ultimate insiders’ bubble, but as the centre of executive government it is an unpleasant and inefficient one.

    And despite city prices don’t expect a spoon with your frothy cappuccino from the internal coffee shop – a stick is what you get unless otherwise requested – a bit rich. Also, the kitchen closes just as Question Time is winding up – too late for the toastie.

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6424665/working-at-parliament-house-the-bubble-within-the-bubble/?cs=14329

  27. phoenixRed:

    This is the article I posted the other day about ‘inherent contempt’. Can you imagine if the current congress tried this with Trump allies refusing to comply with subpoenas?

    For much of American history, the Congressional Research Service says, Congress just arrested people who wouldn’t comply and held them themselves. That process is called inherent contempt because the theory goes that the ability to hold people in contempt of Congress is inherent in Congress’s power, and Congress itself has the ability to enforce it.

    Except that meting out punishment for refusing to cooperate is a logistical headache for Congress and is politically risky. I talked to historians about this in May, when Congress was on its way to holding Attorney General William P. Barr in contempt over a battle for information on the 2020 citizenship question. This was floated as a way to punish Barr for withholding information.

    As I wrote then, every time Congress has arrested someone, it has had to improvise how to hold them, and the jailing itself has often backfired in terms of public sentiment and Congress’s overall goal of getting information.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/09/23/inherent-contempt-how-house-democrats-could-fine-or-even-jail-trump-officials-who-refuse-cooperate/

  28. And Lawfare has also blogged about the imposition of fines on those refusing to testify:

    One oft-discussed possibility is to revive the long-dormant inherent contempt power of Congress and to begin using it to coerce compliance by recalcitrant witnesses. Imposition of large and mounting daily fines could effectively force witnesses to bear the risk of delay and defiance, and it has the advantage of not depending on executive branch enforcement for a contempt citation. But it’s also a big risk. The power hasn’t been deployed in a long time, and it’s not 100 percent clear that courts would tolerate it.

    https://www.lawfareblog.com/witness-and-whistleblower-some-thoughts

  29. Marian Smedley @MarianSmedley

    So I just attended a “politics in the pub” event with Mark Butler in Torquay. He waxed lyrical about Labor’s “commitment to action on climate change” but when asked about Labor supporting Adani he said “it won’t contribute to global emissions because other coal mines will suffer”

  30. PhoenixRed

    Rick Wilson on his Twitter feed has been saying wtte that the Democrats are not going in hard enough, and are losing at the politics

  31. Confessions says: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 9:26 am

    phoenixRed:

    This is the article I posted the other day about ‘inherent contempt’. Can you imagine if the current congress tried this with Trump allies refusing to comply with subpoenas?

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

    Thanks Confessions and Guytaur for your answers ……. it all sounds a bit hairyfairy/non definitive with what can actually happen to non-conformers and hold outs ….. a legal battlefield awaits it seems

  32. Boerwar says:
    Tuesday, October 8, 2019 at 7:36 pm

    Bush got an undergrad degree at Yale and an MBA at Harvard.

    He must have read something somewhere along the line.

    —————————————————-

    You would have thought too, that he would have learned something.

    It was a waste of the family’s oil money.

    Perhaps they should have been investigating dodgy university admissions back then. And Harvard and the Ivy League weren’t immune from that sort of educational fraud.

    Just to bring Boer War up to speed.

    Bush only got into Yale because he was the son and grandson of Yale graduates, an example of “affirmative action for the rich and powerful.” His marks at Yale reportedly were mediocre and he had been rejected for admission into the University of Texas Law School. But Harvard mysteriously admitted him into the MBA course.

    At about the same.time he performed poorly in aptitude tests for the Air Force, but managed to get a coveted slot as a pilot in the National Guard when his father was a Congressman.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/how-george-w-bush-benefit_b_5814680?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAFJWFiScSg9jT7tsKQL38W3xC7XnE6ET7vrXfyADon6BvmbtXPmzS0ZdJYJZUcbFmjQ2uHek-XSbKnFzbcY5C9MzwxMcHPdaR3xJbSsQ6RHr-VnNQqbGXZUXkgqeBosoA4PwmjV73rrD0wP11-IweebD96Us1VsfWWKmy8X7Zpxp

    In all of this he managed, like many rich young men, to avoid serving in Vietnam. At about the same time, John Kerry was dodging the Viet Cong in his swift boat and Donald Trump was discovering his bone spurs.

    In the above Huff Post article Bush hypocritically criticized the affirmative action admission policies of the University of Michigan, reflecting his conservative Republican criticism of affirmative action programs.

    “What he seemed to misunderstand is that the University of Michigan’s affirmative-action policy — did not allow the admittance of students who are unqualified or unable to handle the academic work.”

    My eldest son earned his Ph.D. at Michigan. As the leading graduate student in his discipline in Canada’s largest university, he applied for admission to Harvard but was not accepted. At about the same time, Harvard accepted the daughter of the Prime Minister. No sour grapes there!

    However my very philosophic psephologist son comforted a disappointed Dad by saying that “all of the top professors at Harvard in my area got their Ph.D.’s at Michigan.”

  33. [‘Pell is being held in a secure unit of the Melbourne Assessment Prison, where he is only allowed to leave his cell for one hour each day.

    He is expected to be transferred to a “protection” prison in the Western District town of Ararat alongside some of Australia’s most notorious paedophile priests.’]

    Even in protection, there’s a hierarchy, with what prisoners term as “rock-spiders” or “Uncle Bully” at the bottom of the rung, below “dogs”. Given his high profile, he’ll need to be closely watched. At least he’ll have Ridsdale et al to catch up with, discuss the old days. As for his application for special leave, the outcome is anyone’s guess but it’s clear that appellate courts don’t like to override jury verdicts

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