Sins of commission

Kooyong and Chisholm legal challenge latest; by-election rumblings in Isaacs; Jim Molan strikes back; and the Victorian Liberals gearing up already for federal preselections.

Possible (or possibly not) federal by-election news:

• The Australian Electoral Commission has petitioned the Federal Court to reject challenges against the federal election results in Chisholm and Kooyong. The challenges relate to Chinese-language Liberal Party signage that appeared to mimic the AEC’s branding, and advised voters that giving a first preference to the Liberal candidates was “the correct voting method”. As reported by The Guardian, the AEC argues that “the petition fails to set out at all, let alone with sufficient particularity, any facts or matters on the basis of which it might be concluded that it was likely that on polling day, electors able to read Chinese characters, upon seeing and reading the corflute, cast their vote in a manner different from what they had previously intended”. This seems rather puzzling to my mind, unless it should be taken to mean that no individuals have been identified who are ready to confirm that they were indeed so deceived. Academic electoral law expert Graeme Orr argued on Twitter that the AEC had “no need to intervene on the substance of a case where partisan litigants are well represented”.

• Talk of a by-election elsewhere in Melbourne was stimulated by Monday’s column ($) from acerbic Financial Review columnist Joe Aston, which related “positively feverish speculation” that Labor’s Shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, would shortly quit his Melbourne bayside seat of Isaacs with an eye to a position on Victoria’s Court of Appeal. Aston further reported that Dreyfus hoped to be succeeded by Fiona McLeod, the prominent barrister who gained a 6.1% swing as Labor’s candidate for Higgins in May. Dreyfus emphatically rejected such “ridiculous suggestions” in late August, saying he was “absolutely committed to serving out this term of parliament”, and again took to Twitter on Monday to say he would be “staying and fighting the next election”. Aston remains unconvinced, writing in Tuesday’s column ($) that the suggestions derived from “high-level discussions Dreyfus has held on Spring Street with everyone from Premier Daniel Andrews, former Attorney-General Martin Pakula, his successor Jill Hennessy and his caucus colleagues”, along with his “indiscreet utterances around the traps”.

Federal preselection news:

• Jim Molan has won the endorsement of both Scott Morrison and the conservative faction of the New South Wales Liberal Party to fill the Senate vacancy created by Arthur Sinodinos’s departure to become ambassador to the United States. However, the Sydney Morning Herald reports this is not dissuading rival nominee Richard Shields, former deputy state party director and Insurance Council of Australia manager, and the runner-up to Dave Sharma in last year’s keenly fought Wentworth preselection. Shields’ backers are said to include Helen Coonan, former Senator and Howard government minister, and Mark Neeham, a former state party director. Earlier reports suggested the moderate faction had been reconciled to Molan’s ascendancy by a pledge that he would only serve out the remainder of Sinodinos’s two-year term, and would not seek re-election in 2022.

Rob Harris of The Age reports the Victorian Liberals are considering a plan to complete their preselections for the 2022 election much earlier than usual – and especially soon for Liberal-held seats. The idea in the latter case is for challengers to incumbents to declare their hands by January 15, with the matter to be wrapped up by late February or early March. This comes after the party’s administrative committee warded off threats to members ahead of the last election, most notably factional conservative Kevin Andrews in Menzies, by rubber-stamping the preselections of all incumbents, much to the displeasure of party members. Other preselections are to be held from April through to October. Also proposed is a toughening of candidate vetting procedures, after no fewer than seven candidates in Labor-held seats were disendorsed during the period of the campaign.

Self-promotion corner:

• I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday which noted the stances adopted of late by James McGrath, ideological warror extraordinaire and scourge of the cockatoo, in his capacity as chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, which is presently conducting its broad-ranging inquiry into the May federal election. These include the end of proportional representation in the Senate, the notion that parliamentarians who quit their parties should be required to forfeit their seats, and — more plausibly — the need to curtail pre-poll voting.

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.

1,821 comments on “Sins of commission”

  1. Given that the Greens are not going to deliver zero net emissions and the total destruction of the coal industry by 2030, are they going to do a policy reset?

    Or are they going to keep pretending?

  2. lizzie says:
    Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 3:48 pm
    @SenatorCash
    · 3h
    Introducing Australia’s first National Careers Ambassador @ScottyCam9!
    Fantastic to make the announcement with the PM @ScottMorrisonMP. As a former apprentice and proud tradie Scott Cam will be a sensational advocate for the vocational education and training sector!

    You too can become a carpenter, own an angus stud, then turn into a TV star!

    The former Drought Envoy can give the new National Careers Ambassador a few hints on how to collect a bundle of taxpayers’ cash with a minimum of effort.

  3. Boerwar
    I appreciate the importance of coal to the Hunter’s economy but this electorate was solid ALP under the likes of Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and Rudd with their electorates not having a single coal mine between them.

  4. Boerwar:

    [‘Mr Craven does not inspire.’]

    Yes. I didn’t realise until hearing the debate that he’s an arch-conservative, having thought he was a moderate.

  5. Wonder what favours Morrison delivered to Trump in order to get his red carpet treatment?
    Trump is transactional and Ukraine’s experience shows he demands his pound of flesh in return for an invitation to the White house..

  6. If politics is the art of the possible, then Fitzgibbon gets it.

    What is possible for the ALP? Why isnt a reasonable policy and emissions reductions targets impossible?

    Read page 2 of this. A little dated but worthwhile….
    https://www.tai.org.au/sites/default/files/PB%2062%20Seeing%20through%20the%20dust%20-%20Coal%20in%20the%20Hunter%20Valley%20economy.pdf

    Only five per cent of Hunter Valley jobs are in the coal industry – in other words, 95
    per cent of Hunter workers do not work in the coal industry. Only two per cent of NSW government revenue comes from coal royalties…

    Even though survey respondents had a heavily inflated impression of the coal industry’s
    economic importance, only a minority – 37 per cent – felt that the industry’s economic
    contribution outweighed the other costs it imposed on the community. Eighty-three per cent
    of Hunter residents do not want to see the industry expand, while 41 per cent would like to
    see it decrease or be phased out

    5 years after this research Fitzgibbon lost 14pts…. because of climate policy?

  7. Simon Katich @ #308 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 4:22 pm

    If politics is the art of the possible, then Fitzgibbon gets it.

    What is possible for the ALP? Why isnt a reasonable policy and emissions reductions targets impossible?

    Read page 2 of this. A little dated but worthwhile….
    https://www.tai.org.au/sites/default/files/PB%2062%20Seeing%20through%20the%20dust%20-%20Coal%20in%20the%20Hunter%20Valley%20economy.pdf

    Only five per cent of Hunter Valley jobs are in the coal industry – in other words, 95
    per cent of Hunter workers do not work in the coal industry. Only two per cent of NSW government revenue comes from coal royalties…

    Even though survey respondents had a heavily inflated impression of the coal industry’s
    economic importance, only a minority – 37 per cent – felt that the industry’s economic
    contribution outweighed the other costs it imposed on the community. Eighty-three per cent
    of Hunter residents do not want to see the industry expand, while 41 per cent would like to
    see it decrease or be phased out

    5 years after this research Fitzgibbon lost 14pts…. because of climate policy?

    There needs to be a Labor Extinction Rebellion to boot out hacks like Fitzgibbon and open up the party to outside of the union factional bubble.

  8. ‘Mexicanbeemer says:
    Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 4:11 pm

    Boerwar
    I appreciate the importance of coal to the Hunter’s economy but this electorate was solid ALP under the likes of Whitlam, Hawke, Keating and Rudd with their electorates not having a single coal mine between them.’

    Tempus fugit.

  9. The Greens promise to form government and destroy the coal industry within ten years was supported by 10% of the population.

    Emperor Di Natale has no clothes.

  10. New Lib MP for Higgins, who has joined the Independents CC committee, interviewed by Karvelas.
    Talk v. fast, absolutely believes that people are worried and want something done about CC, but “we must be sensible”. “We are already spending billions.”

    It’s the usual stuff we hear, like a racer who wants to win the race, but always makes sure they are wearing lead boots.

  11. There needs to be a Labor Extinction Rebellion to boot out hacks like Fitzgibbon

    The frustrating thing Rex is that the ALP need more people like Fitzgibbon. And I certainly wouldnt be kicking him out. And have no issue with him voicing his thoughts. I just aint falling for his blame game.

    Like BW – I will now also suppress my great and unmatched brilliance.

  12. Cam, who started his carpentry apprenticeship with his brother at just 17, said he was aiming to point people in the right direction through the “one-stop shop” at the National Careers Institute.

    It seems this was part of the Budget.

    National Careers Institute and Ambassador
    The National Careers Institute will transform careers
    advice for individuals across their education, training and
    employment. The Institute will be headed by a National
    Careers Ambassador to promote consistent national
    guidance on quality careers advice.
    The Institute will map international experience to the
    Australian education and job context, to streamline
    information and develop best practice careers guidance.
    The Institute will also be responsible for development of
    a new VET Information Strategy aimed at growing local
    community and employer interest in Vocational Education
    and Training (VET).

    https://www.budget.gov.au/2019-20/content/factsheets/download/fact_sheet_skills_package.pdf

  13. The imminent review of Labor’s 2019 election performance and decision to scrap all its policy commitments pending the review has lead to an outbreak of competing views, with revenue-raising measures and climate policies the subject of most public debate.

    I bet it has.
    Why can’t they wait for the full report? And maybe even a few recommendations?

  14. There has been widespread pressure for a raise to the $40-a-day dole, which has barely budged in real terms for a quarter of a century.

    But senior bureaucrats from the social services, human services and employment departments, who fronted a parliamentary inquiry into the unemployment welfare payment on Thursday, said they had not been recently asked for any advice on a dole increase.

    The public servants said they would need to clarify whether such advice had been sought in the past 25 years.

    The committee also heard the average length of time people received the payment was about 159 weeks, or three years.

    Nathan Williamson, from the Department of Social Services, acknowledged that was quite a long time.

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/welfare/2019/10/10/advice-increase-dole/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=PM%20Extra%20-%2020191010

  15. I didn’t know this – the expensive school.

    Mark Duckett @MarkRDuckett
    2m
    Marles, the guy who went to the most expensive private school in the country says ALP need to support the Morrison regime.

  16. lizzie @ #323 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 4:59 pm

    The imminent review of Labor’s 2019 election performance and decision to scrap all its policy commitments pending the review has lead to an outbreak of competing views, with revenue-raising measures and climate policies the subject of most public debate.

    I bet it has.
    Why can’t they wait for the full report? And maybe even a few recommendations?

    Why couldn’t Joel?

  17. BK says:
    Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 4:55 pm
    I suppose the National Careers Ambassador will be submitting his reports to Morrison via SMS.

    At $100 per word!

  18. The Institute will map international experience to the Australian education and job context, to streamline information and develop best practice careers guidance. The Institute will also be responsible for development of a new VET Information Strategy aimed at growing local community and employer interest in Vocational Education and Training (VET).

    That sounds like a script for “Utopia”.

  19. The Lib proposal to open up new coal precincts in NSW is a part of their “jobs at all costs” pitch. It is aimed at riling the Greens and wedging Labor.

    It is also a proposal made in the face of declining demand for NSW coal.

    So it is a stunt. It will probably attract attention from some. But it does not deal with the basic problem, which is how to create a new, post-carbon economy.

    It might afford the Greens the chance to run another Adani-like decoy. It might mean Joel F loses his seat. But none of these things will change the problems we have in the economy and the environment.

  20. I’m breathless. Always on the go.

    Morrison will become the first Australian leader to attend the fixture since its inception in 2005, which has previously been held in Papua New Guinea up until this season under a new agreement with the Fijian Government and Fiji Rugby League.

    Morrison joined Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga and Jillaroos coach Brad Donald in Canberra last month to help select squads for the annual men’s and women’s clashes.

    The avid Cronulla Sharks supporter is set to spend time with Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama during the trip following the recent Vuvale Partnership agreement between the two nations.

    “The diplomacy between the two nations is really important and we understand how Fiji is a really important neighbour to Australia,” Meninga told NRL.com.

    “It’s great we’ve got a Prime Minister at the moment that loves rugby league and places great importance on security around surrounding nations near Australia.

    https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/10/10/morrison-jetting-in-prime-minister-to-create-history-for-fiji-clash/

  21. lizzie @ #325 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 2:10 pm

    I didn’t know this – the expensive school.

    Mark Duckett @MarkRDuckett
    2m
    Marles, the guy who went to the most expensive private school in the country says ALP need to support the Morrison regime.

    The expensive school bit is irrelevant. What is relevant is the “need to support the Morrison government.

    So far I’ve counted 3 posters on this site who think this is a brilliant strategy. There could be more but I’ve blocked the most rabid posters, so who knows.

    That 33.4% primary vote of 2019 is going to look like the halcyon days for Labor in the future.

  22. Remember when politics was about leadership, ambition, and prosecuting your argument rather than an unprincipled chase after votes you’ve already lost? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

  23. Danama Papers

    Yes, I wasn’t sure whether to include the whole tweet. But if Labor keeps supporting the Morrison disaster of a govt…. Mind you, I’ve never thought Marles had much judgement.

  24. @Sheoakbloke1
    ·
    4m
    About outcomes = Commonwealth is now a major sponsor of Channel 9 & “The Block”
    Coming soon
    Parliament House Refit: Our hapless couples go head to head in the nation’s capital refitting the halls of power.
    First up: The Bookcase Reveal. Contestants splurge on lavish shelving

  25. Dandy Murray says:
    Thursday, October 10, 2019 at 5:43 pm
    Afternoon all,

    I’m just going to drop this here and walk away…

    Similar concepts are being explored in WA. They are promising…very promising….have relevance on both the supply side and demand side in the energy market….

  26. From the above link

    Executive Summary
    While the Australian coal industry and its lobbyists continue to maintain that the nation’s thermal coal export industry is booming on the back of record export revenues, the reality is very different.
    Exports have declined since 2015 and more contraction is expected. High export revenues entirely reflect current high prices which are themselves partially a result of declining investment in thermal coal mining. In short, current high coal prices do not indicate a strong and growing industry, but instead just the opposite: growing concerns over the long-term viability of the industry.
    The International Energy Agency (IEA) projects global thermal coal trade volumes to drop 59% by 2040 in its most sustainable outlook. Under this analysis—IEA’s Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS), coal trade volumes will plummet to 309 million tonnes coal equivalent (Mtce) in 2040 from 756Mtce in 2016, a compound annual decline of -3.7%.

  27. Civil War Inside Extinction Rebellion: Reds vs Greenies

    “On Monday at the Extinction Rebellion “Spring Rebellion” event in Brisbane the Socialist Alternative contingent led by prominent UQ Marxist Priya De (most famous for declaring “Fuck Australia”) gathered together with red flags in a formation they describe as their “Red Bloc” and started chants in favour of open borders and against the evil racist police.

    The more environmentally inclined Extinction Rebellion organisers present asked them to stop, declaring that their chants had nothing to do with Climate change and that the media could use them to paint the protest in a bad light (ha! if only).”

    https://www.theunshackled.net/rundown/civil-war-inside-extinction-rebellion-reds-vs-greenies/

  28. From the RBA

    https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2019/sep/the-changing-global-market-for-australian-coal.html

    Changes in electricity generation
    In the near term, demand for thermal coal is expected to remain supported by increases in coal-powered electricity generation in India and South-East Asia as well as continued growth in these economies. The longer-run outlook will strongly depend on the speed of transition to less carbon-intensive electricity generation relative to the pace at which aggregate electricity demand grows.
    Over the next five years or so, some continued increase in coal demand, particularly from India and economies in South-East Asia, may partly offset a more general decline in demand as global electricity generation transitions away from coal to other energy sources. Over the longer term, however, the balance of risks for demand appear to be to the downside, as the transition from coal to other energy sources in advanced economies continues – including in Europe, the United States, South Korea and Japan. Over the next 20 years, the increase in global energy demand is expected to be largely met by renewable energy sources, and by 2040 renewables are expected to account for a larger share of electricity generation than coal (BP 2019b). The increasing uptake of renewables is expected to be supported by changes in technologies that make renewable electricity generation more viable, such as battery storage and upgraded electricity grid networks. Policies in many regions are also likely to be directed at reducing the carbon intensity of electricity generation, including through an increase in the share of renewables generation.[6]
    The International Energy Agency’s (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2018 report presents long-term projections of thermal coal demand under different electricity generation scenarios (Graph 16). Under the IEA’s scenario framed around government policies currently in place (‘current policies’), global thermal coal demand is expected to increase moderately over the next 20 years, but still comprise a declining share of global electricity generation. An alternative IEA scenario (‘new policies’), where a range of policies currently under consideration are implemented (which the IEA suggests moves countries towards meeting their Paris Agreement obligations), would see coal-powered generation broadly unchanged over coming decades.[7]
    To date, the decline in renewable energy costs has been faster than expected. Should this trend continue, the substitution away from thermal coal and towards renewable energy sources would also be faster. In addition, if countries increase their commitments to reducing emissions, there would be an even faster transition. In the IEA’s ‘Sustainable Development’ scenario (in which countries implement policies that the IEA suggests are comparatively more aligned with the Paris Agreement), coal’s share in the electricity generation mix would decline from around 40 per cent currently to around 5 per cent in 2040.[8]

  29. RI @ #342 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 6:03 pm

    http://ieefa.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/NSW-Coal-Exports-November-2018.pdf

    New South Wales Thermal Coal Exports Face Permanent Decline

    You should read that paper more closely. It basically predicts that coal exports will decline … if we continue to export to our traditional markets, or if new markets adopt sustainable energy policies.

    Sadly, neither of those things is happening.

    Let’s look at the reality …

    https://theconversation.com/explaining-the-increase-in-coal-consumption-worldwide-111045

    Or here …

    https://www.rba.gov.au/publications/bulletin/2019/sep/the-changing-global-market-for-australian-coal.html

    Over the next five years or so, some continued increase in coal demand, particularly from India and economies in South-East Asia, may partly offset a more general decline in demand as global electricity generation transitions away from coal to other energy sources.

    Coal is not yet dead, buried and cremated. Well, ok – maybe it is cremated 🙂

  30. One of the management tasks for my grandfather on his farm in Holland was to engage one of the teams of travelling (often German) mowers for they haymow. This was pre-WW1.

    They used scythes.

  31. Amid these concerns, a comprehensive review of drought policy was conducted in 2008 by the Productivity Commission. This was accompanied by a report by the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO on the likely impact of climate change on the frequency and severity of droughts in Australia, and an independent report on the social impact of drought.

    Following the review, the government decided to end the “exceptional circumstances” program in 2009. This effectively gutted the national drought policy.

    Since then, there has been no further attempt at developing a comprehensive, predictable drought policy response from the federal or state governments. There have been intergovernmental National Drought Agreements, but these have done little more than restate the principles underpinning the country’s drought policy since 1992.

    …we need a serious rethink of the way we provide income assistance to farmers in a broader sense. Providing income support to farmers who are asset-rich, for instance, raises questions about fairness when compared with poor people in cities who are struggling to get by on Newstart payments.

    This imbalance has come into stark focus in recent weeks, particularly on social media, as government ministers have discussed the introduction of drug testing for Newstart recipients, and in the debate around the Indue card.

    There has been no serious attempt in the past 45 years to measure the extent of poverty among farmers. We can develop more appropriate and equitable income-support policies if we can better understand the genuine nature of their need.

    https://theconversation.com/a-national-drought-policy-should-be-an-easy-bipartisan-fix-so-why-has-it-taken-so-long-to-enact-a-new-one-124775?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=twitterbutton

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