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.

1,817 comments on “Sins of commission”

  1. lizzie @ #333 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 5:23 pm

    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.

    Danama Papers and the bs Tweet he put up is talking smack about Richard Marles. How many times do people have to be told that Richard Marles only went to Geelong Grammar/Timbertop because his father was Headmaster there!?! Hence FREE tuition!

    Jesus freaking christ! Some people just want to find any bit of tat to use as an excuse to fuel their hatred of Labor!

    Wise up, lizzie! You are being had by Danama Papers! He’s no friend of the current federal Labor Party.

    Maybe it’s your judgement that isn’t much chop!?!

  2. I see you found the RBA paper … but apparently you didn’t read it …

    RI @ #347 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 6:17 pm

    From the RBA

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

    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

    Some decline, huh?

  3. I still use brush-hooks. Saves on gym fees and brushcutters can be more trouble than they are worth.

    Brushhooks need regular sharpening tho. Which is fine. I need regular breaks.

  4. Coal is kaput. It is no longer a competitive fuel in most circumstances. Global electricity production is increasing but the share derived from coal has begun to fall. This is accelerating.

  5. I recently watched an episode of Becker where the Becker character is declaiming
    “If I don’t tell stupid people how stupid they are – how will they ever know – and if they don’t know – how can they change?”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/5-habits-of-stupid-people-that-smart-people-don-t-have-a7620941.html

    Our world is populated by all kinds of people with hugely varying levels of intelligence. Almost anyone would consider themselves to be intelligent, of course, and it can be very hard to get an accurate assessment of our own intelligence. After all, our thoughts always tend to sound smart in our own head, don’t they?

    1. Stupid people blame others for their own mistakes
    2. Stupid people always have to be right
    3. Stupid people react to conflicts with anger and aggression
    4. Stupid people ignore the needs and feelings of other people
    5. Stupid people think they are better than everyone else

    The article contains some info regarding the Dunning-Kruger effect.

    What to make of this? One moment until I speak to the dude in the bathroom mirror.😜

  6. I did read it. The share of the thermal coal market expected to be satisfied by Australia is expected to decline. It has fallen this year compared with 2018 even though it had been tipped to rise.

    Coal is kaput.

  7. Demand for seaborne thermal coal in Australia’s largest markets – Japan, Korea and China – is declining. There is growth in Viet Nam and India….but this will not last.

  8. C@tmomma @ #351 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 3:23 pm

    lizzie @ #333 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 5:23 pm

    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.

    Danama Papers and the bs Tweet he put up is talking smack about Richard Marles. How many times do people have to be told that Richard Marles only went to Geelong Grammar/Timbertop because his father was Headmaster there!?! Hence FREE tuition!

    Jesus freaking christ! Some people just want to find any bit of tat to use as an excuse to fuel their hatred of Labor!

    Wise up, lizzie! You are being had by Danama Papers! He’s no friend of the current federal Labor Party.

    Maybe it’s your judgement that isn’t much chop!?!

    I quite clearly stated that the “expensive school” bit was irrelevant. And I didn’t put up the tweet quoting the expensive school either. Lizzie did.

    So obviously I was misleading Lizzie by getting her to post a tweet containing that bit. My stating that it was irrelevant was also a blatant attempt to mislead her further.

    SNIP: Play nice, please.

  9. RI @ #356 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 6:32 pm

    Coal is kaput. It is no longer a competitive fuel in most circumstances. Global electricity production is increasing but the share derived from coal has begun to fall. This is accelerating.

    Hang on a minute … this is a massive goalpost shift. We were talking about your claim that coal exports were declining, not how much electricity is generated from coal.

    And you yourself just posted a link that clearly said exactly the opposite of what you originally claimed. Although, you didn’t seem to realize it.

    Here is the conclusion of your own link:

    Over the next few years, Australian coal production and exports are expected to grow fairly slowly, driven by productivity improvements, the restart of some existing mines and completion of investment projects.

    *forehead slap*

  10. Furthermore, why would I, or anyone else for that matter be a “friend” to a party that is abandoning all the policies and ideals that caused me to vote for them at every state and federal election (bar one) since I turned 18.

    The Labor Party, as it is becoming, is not a friend of mine, not the other way around. They are rejecting me, not the other way round.

  11. C@t

    We don’t all know as much as you do about Labor and just because a ‘fact’ has appeared somewhere doesn’t mean we’ve all seen it a hundred times.

    Regardless of that, I put Marles into the same category as Bowen, Fitzgibbon and the others who worked on the Rudd restoration. Their ambition over-rode their judgement. So bite me. 😉

  12. I say we let it slide. Then maybe we won’t get accused of politically exploiting coal workers every time we agree that the coal industry is dead. 🙂

  13. Thermal coal exports are currently expected to fall in 2019. This contrasts with forecasts made as recently as March this year, when exports were expected to rise by as much as 2%. Now it appears they will fall by about 2%. Coal is kaput.

    As more renewable- and gas-derived electricity is added to the market, coal becomes steadily less competitive. These sources are displacing coal. As new demand for electricity is added, this will become even more accentuated. New demand will encourage new investment, especially in renewables, and this will expedite the displacement of coal.

    So there are solutions on both the demand and supply side that will expel coal from the market. We should focus on these things.

  14. The Greens are in the blame-making and bottling business. They are bulk producers and have a variety of blame styles available. They have a blame-special for just about every occasion.

  15. Danama Papers @ #322 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 4:55 pm

    The headline says it all:

    Labor must help Coalition pass legislation even if it disappoints ‘purists’

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/10/labor-must-help-coalition-pass-legislation-even-if-it-disappoints-purists

    And the best comment on this tweet:

    https://twitter.com/Paul_Karp/status/1182157387873964032

    He shouldn’t worry he’ll run out of supporters to disappoint f*cking quickly.

    The Greens and the shouty left have never been part of labor’s base. Disappointing you is of no particular concern.

  16. Labor cannot be all things to all people. If some – like DP – are disaffected, well that’s just the way it is. They can whinge. Everyone whinges. Labor is not accountable to its enemies but to its supporters.

  17. I hadn’t thought of this one. Bronnie has experience with Aged Care. 😆

    @PSyvret
    ·
    7m
    I’m waiting for Bronwyn Bishop to get the aged care ambassador gig.

  18. ABC TV News now running an item on how concerned ScoMo is about the Turkish invasion of Syria, two nights after they ran a similar item telling us how unconcerned he was about it.

    Both “serious” news reports.

  19. lizzie @ #364 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 6:49 pm

    C@t

    We don’t all know as much as you do about Labor and just because a ‘fact’ has appeared somewhere doesn’t mean we’ve all seen it a hundred times.

    Regardless of that, I put Marles into the same category as Bowen, Fitzgibbon and the others who worked on the Rudd restoration. Their ambition over-rode their judgement. So bite me. 😉

    To be be honest, you’re looking for a reason not to support Labor.

  20. RI @ #368 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 7:00 pm

    So there are solutions on both the demand and supply side that will expel coal from the market. We should focus on these things.

    No, we should instead focus on your intellectual dishonesty. You repeatedly used the declining coal market as justification for why we don’t need a carbon tax. When it is pointed out to you that coal is not actually declining – something even your own links confirm – you just dissemble.

    There are several possible explanations for this:

    1. I am the only one who knows enough to refute your nonsense. Seems very unlikely.
    2. I am the only one who actually cares enough to refute your nonsense. Seems possible.
    3. I am the only one that actually reads your nonsense. Seems likely.

  21. Well you’ll just have to stop whinging and be satisfied with what you get.

    FMD you wouldn’t want to have any standards around this place.

  22. GG

    I’m not whinging. I do not understand why blind ‘acceptance’ without any criticism is necessary in any organisation. Or adoration of all its members.

  23. Newcastle, the world’s largest coal export port, must “urgently” diversify its traffic, the port’s incoming chairman has said, warning that the “long-term outlook for coal is a threat to the port”.

    The move has been received as a significant sign of the transition away from fossil fuels.

    Coal makes up about 90% of the New South Wales port’s throughput, including some of the world’s highest quality coal for steel production and electricity generation.

    Is this the end of the road for Adani’s Australian megamine?
    Read more
    The pragmatic stance of Newcastle Ports is in stark contrast to the Australian government’s rhetoric on coal, which has sought to subsidise Adani Group’s plans to develop a new coalmining basin in Queensland, and an associated expansion of the Abbot Point coal export terminal on the Great Barrier Reef.

    “Coal has been at the heart of the Hunter’s economy for the better part of two centuries, and it will continue to be central to the prosperity of the region and Port of Newcastle for some time to come,” said Roy Green, the new chair of the Newcastle Ports board.

    “However, there is also an urgent need to diversify the Hunter economy and the port’s business.

    “Clearly the long-term outlook for coal is a threat to the port and Hunter region, but it is also a huge opportunity. While the world’s demand for our coal is beyond our control, our ability to invest in new sources of growth and innovation is not. Among our challenges will be ensuring a level playing field for the development of a viable and competitive container terminal.”

    The former chief economist of National Australia Bank Rob Henderson said the announcement was “indicative of the seismic shift under way in the world of power generation and investment”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/dec/18/newcastle-worlds-biggest-coal-export-port-announces-shift-away-from-coal

    Anyone who wants to understand the politics of the Hunter should read this.

  24. And this…

    Roy Green, chair of the Port of Newcastle, is well placed to reflect on what a post-coal economy might look like in Newcastle. The former Dean of Business at UTS was director of the Employment Studies Centre of the University of Newcastle from 1991–99, when BHP closed and the future of the steel city seemed uncertain. Now, business leaders are again pondering the long-term prospects for the city of more than 500,000 people, given the projected decline of coal as an energy source.

    “This is a decisive moment for Newcastle,” says Green. “The long-term outlook for coal is an existential threat to the Port of Newcastle and the Hunter region. We have to prepare for the further decline of coal as an energy source, but we see this as a huge opportunity. While world demand for our coal is beyond our control, our ability to invest in new sources of growth and innovation is not.”

    Green remembers the closure of the steelworks as “very traumatic”, but adds the city “planned for it very well in collaboration with BHP and various levels of government”.

    The changing face of the city is already apparent, with healthcare and education now the biggest employers.

    “The region is about to undergo another round of transition that is just as important, if not more important, than the closure of the blast furnace,” says Green. “It will define the region for decades to come. If it isn’t able to make the port part of that transition, there will be much greater difficulty in fulfilling the region’s enormous potential in the development of its advanced manufacturing agribusiness and renewable energy capability.”

    Green believes Newcastle, with the largest coal export port in the world, will continue to profit from its high-quality thermal coal used in power stations, but will suffer with the decline in world consumption over coming decades.

    https://aicd.companydirectors.com.au/membership/company-director-magazine/2019-back-editions/june/newcastle-otr

  25. RI @ #381 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 7:15 pm

    https://www.newcastleherald.com.au/story/5876889/newcastle-coal-exports-dip-slightly-but-growth-expected/

    In trade figures for December published this week by the port, coal shipments for the year were put at 158.6 million tonnes, a fall of 400,000 tonnes on the 159 million tonnes exported in 2017.

    Newcastle coal exports peaked in 2016, at 161.4 million tonnes.

    FFS, briefly … even the link itself tells the story … “newcastle-coal-exports-dip-slightly-but-growth-expected”

    And what do you find when you read the actual story …

    The 1769 coal ships arriving in 2018 was a slight increase on the 1757 recorded the previous year.

    Port Waratah chief executive Hennie du Ploy said coal volumes were expected to rise this year.

    Please … stop digging. It’s getting a little embarrassing 🙁

  26. P1 from earlier today re XR. It’s not just the demands but the means of having those demands implemented that I believe a majority of people will not agree with.

    Demand 1 is a fine ideal and can’t argue with that.

    Demand 2 is mostly ok except a 2025 timeframe would be hard to comply with.

    Demand 3. I just can’t agree with making an elected government subservient to an unelected commission. I don’t believe a majority of people would either if they fully understood what XR demands mean.

  27. Greensborough Growler @ #370 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 4:03 pm

    The Greens and the shouty left have never been part of labor’s base. Disappointing you is of no particular concern.

    The Left have never been part of Labor’s base, eh? Interesting perspective that one.

    Another right winger who sees themselves as the “sensible centre”.

    But then again you have your finger on the pulse of what makes the nation tick don’t you? We all saw evidence of that during the SSM debate. You posted on here numerous times about how that was not only going to be rejected, but comfortably rejected. That was your view from the “sensible centre” (ie well to the right of centre).

    How’d that work out for you again? I’m sure your belief that Labor should move further and further to the right (to where you are) to win voters is going to go just as swimmingly as your prediction on SSM. And of course when (not if) it proves to be an unmitigated disaster, it will be because they didn’t move far enough to the right, won’t it?

  28. And if you’re going to piss on Richard Marles from great heights because of his leadership involvement, then what say you about Anthony Albanese, who couldn’t even look poor Julia Gillard in the face and tell her he was one of Kevin Rudd 2.0’s numbers men? Instead he lied through his teeth to her about it.

  29. RI @ #371 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 6:05 pm

    Labor cannot be all things to all people. If some – like DP – are disaffected, well that’s just the way it is. They can whinge. Everyone whinges. Labor is not accountable to its enemies but to its supporters.

    After being pilloried for suggesting that Labor write off the pro-coal vote and stick to its guns on climate-change I’m baffled at this suggestion to blithely write off the vote of disaffected Labor backers such as DP and others.

    The people who didn’t vote for (or preference) Labor at the last election are not Labor’s supporters. Why put such a disproportionate amount of effort into them, particularly when doing so requires telling people who did support Labor to, effectively, GAGF?

  30. Danama Papers @ #392 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 7:25 pm

    Greensborough Growler @ #370 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 4:03 pm

    The Greens and the shouty left have never been part of labor’s base. Disappointing you is of no particular concern.

    The Left have never been part of Labor’s base, eh? Interesting perspective that one.

    Another right winger who sees themselves as the “sensible centre”.

    But then again you have your finger on the pulse of what makes the nation tick don’t you? We all saw evidence of that during the SSM debate. You posted on here numerous times about how that was not only going to be rejected, but comfortably rejected. That was your view from the “sensible centre” (ie well to the right of centre).

    How’d that work out for you again? I’m sure your belief that Labor should move further and further to the right (to where you are) to win voters is going to go just as swimmingly as your prediction on SSM. And of course when (not if) it proves to be an unmitigated disaster, it will be because they didn’t move far enough to the right, won’t it?

    Labor is going to where the votes are to win Government. If that ruffles your sensitive feathers, I could not care less.

  31. davidwh @ #390 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 7:23 pm

    P1 from earlier today re XR. It’s not just the demands but the means of having those demands implemented that I believe a majority of people will not agree with.

    Demand 1 is a fine ideal and can’t argue with that.

    Demand 2 is mostly ok except a 2025 timeframe would be hard to comply with.

    Demand 3. I just can’t agree with making an elected government subservient to an unelected commission. I don’t believe a majority of people would either if they fully understood what XR demands mean.

    Fair comment. XR does demand a “citizens assembly”. But I don’t see where XR demands the citizens assembly recommendations have to be implemented. This article – which may or may not represent their demands accurately – says the citizens assembly would “discuss and make recommendations”. A recommendation is not itself a demand:

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/08/what-are-extinction-rebellion-key-demands-climate-emergency

    A semantic quibble, perhaps. But possibly an important one. XR seems to primarily be demanding a voice.

  32. C@tmomma @ #393 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 7:27 pm

    And if you’re going to piss on Richard Marles from great heights because of his leadership involvement, then what say you about Anthony Albanese, who couldn’t even look poor Julia Gillard in the face and tell her he was one of Kevin Rudd 2.0’s numbers men? Instead he lied through his teeth to her about it.

    And here we have it. Just another Labor factional brawl. Except that on this one, lives may depend 🙁

  33. Greensborough Growler @ #395 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 4:28 pm

    Labor is going to where the votes are to win Government. If that ruffles your sensitive feathers, I could not care less.

    “There go my people. I must find out where they’re going so I can lead them”

    Now as things are getting quite heated, How about we leave this discussion until 2022 when we can both see the efficacy of this “moving right” strategy. If it wins Labor government I will be the first to admit I was wrong. As I’m sure you will do if if turns out to be a disaster, as you did after the SSM debate when you turned out to be wrong.

    Until then?

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