Essential Research: sports rorts, ICAC, Australia Day

The latest from Essential finds majority support for removing Bridget McKenzie, but with a third saying they haven’t been following the issue.

Essential Research has not allowed the long weekend to interrupt the fortnightly schedule of its polling, which continues to be limited to attitudinal questions. Conducted last Tuesday to this Monday from a sample of 1080, the most interesting question from the latest poll relates to Bridget McKenzie, whom 51% felt should have been stood down by the Prime Minister. Only 15% felt he was right not to do so, while a further 34% said they had not been following the issue. The question included an explanation of what the issue involved, which is always best avoided, but the wording was suitably neutral (“it is claimed she allocated $100million to sporting organisations in marginal seats to favour the Coalition”).

The poll also finds overwhelming support for the establishment of a federal ICAC – or to be precise, of “an independent federal corruption body to monitor the behaviour of our politicians and public servants”. Fully 80% of respondents were in favour, including 49% strongly in favour, which is five points higher than when Angus Taylor’s troubles prompted the same question to be asked in December. Also featured are yet more findings on Australia Day, for which Essential accentuates the positive by framing the question around “a separate national day to recognise indigenous Australians”. Fifty per cent were in favour of such a thing, down two on last year, but only 18% of these believed it should be in place of, rather than supplementary to, Australia Day. Forty per cent did not support such a day at all, unchanged on last year.

Note that there are two threads below this one of hopefully ongoing interest: the latest guest post from Adrian Beaumont on Monday’s Democratic caucuses in Iowa, and other international concerns; and my review of looming elections in Queensland, where the Liberal National Party has now chosen its candidate for the looming Currumbin by-election, who has not proved to the liking of retiring member Jann Stuckey.

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.

2,092 comments on “Essential Research: sports rorts, ICAC, Australia Day”

Comments Page 1 of 42
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  1. lizzie,
    It just seems as though, due to a dearth of talent (and keeping Barnaby out 😀 ), The National Mining and Agribusiness Party gets to slot in their most captured by special interests MPs.

  2. It was billed as an opportunity for Scott Morrison to “reset” after a disastrous start to the political year.

    Instead, the Prime Minister’s address to the National Press Club was more of a “double-down”. This was a leader on the defensive and unwilling to cede any ground to his critics.

    He is, however, aware of his vulnerabilities and dropped some hints as to how he intends to “fix” his political problems.

    On the bushfires, Scott Morrison wouldn’t express any regrets. He did a few weeks ago, notably acknowledging his holiday in Hawaii was a mistake. But the time for self-reflection, it seems, is over.

    Now, it’s all about practical action to prepare for the next such disaster and shifting the blame to where the Prime Minister clearly thinks it should more reasonably lie: with the states.

    He wants the states to carry out more hazard reduction burning, lift their game on fire-resistant building materials and defer powers to the Commonwealth to deploy Defence resources during an emergency.

    Most of this, which falls into the category of climate “adaptation and resilience”, will require cooperation and concessions from the states. There is no certainty they will be of a mind to give Scott Morrison all he wants.

    ://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-29/scott-morrison-knows-his-weaknesses-but-wont-give-ground/11909328?section=politics

  3. After reading another article about a NT gun club being given $500,000, it’s struck me again how, even if McKenzie acted appropriately, it seems unfair the amount of money and attention sports groups get.

    I know many comminity bands that are on the brink of disbanding over losing their rehearsal facilities or having their minimal council funding removed, if they had any to begin with. Having been on the committee of bands, our whole budgets are much smaller than the grants handed out despite having hundreds of members. These musical and other groups are often the only social outlet for many of its members.

    Not saying sports groups don’t do great things for the community but there is a lot more groups out there that deserve funding. Just my thoughts on the whole thing.

  4. GladysB follows Dan Andrews in establishing a bushfire enquiry. NSW and Victoria underway.

    Meanwhile Scott ‘a day late and dollar short” Morrison faffs around with a Royal,Commission stunt.

    “An independent inquiry into NSW’s bushfire season will start within days, focusing on the impact of climate change, fuel loads and drought as well as the role of hazard reduction.

    Premier Gladys Berejiklian will announce on Thursday that former NSW Police deputy commissioner Dave Owens and former NSW chief scientist Mary O’Kane will head the six-month inquiry.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/inquiry-into-nsw-bushfires-to-start-as-premier-prepares-for-more-threats-20200129-p53vuj.html

  5. Bugler

    It was said to be theorised by Morrison’s “strategists” that giving money to sports groups would buy votes in a large number of communities without appearing on the radar as a big policy that Labor might attack. It also helped to build Morrison’s image as sporty, likeable bloke, who cared for the quiet Australians.

    All revealed as a cynical exercise now.

  6. Michael Pascoe not impressed…

    “For all but the most rusted on, Scott Morrison destroyed his credibility at the National Press Club on Wednesday – and even some of the rusted on would have to wince.

    The Prime Minister may as well have opened his performance with: “How good are sports rorts? How good are political slush funds? How irrelevant are journalists asking questions?”

    What he actually said was more astounding.”

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/30/michael-pascoe-scott-morrison/

  7. @vanOnselenP tweets

    I’m doing RN breakfast with @frankelly08 after 7:45 this morning. I have new information about the sports rorts saga, tune in… #auspol

  8. Cud Chewer

    Overnight I heard Rebecca Huntley’s talk on Big Ideas.

    Unfortunately the edited version on the ABC page does not have examples of conversation with people in the various groups.

    Take this one: “The Dismissive: This group is very sure that climate change is not happening, and often actively involved as opponents of a national effort to reduce emissions. Some of them are in significant positions of power in government, industry and the media.”

    The opinion of one woman in this category, representative of the whole according to Rebecca, was stunning, as she had absorbed all the denialists’ negative labels, especially the alarmist one, rejected the advice of those stupid experts, and ridiculed the need for something to be done within ten years.

    Listening to it, I could only conclude that the LNP have also carried out focus groups (as well as listening to the RWNJ rantings) as Morrison’s supposed ‘action’ on climate change absolutely jells with these beliefs. His words would have been a great comfort to her and confirmed her view that he was the right leader!

    I don’t think any conversation would change the minds of people like this.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    John Hewson tells us how he hounded Ros Kelly until she resigned, but he says Bridget McKenzie’s sports rorts are worse. This is in the MUST READ category.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-hounded-ros-kelly-until-she-resigned-but-bridget-mckenzie-s-sports-rorts-are-worse-20200129-p53vsa.html
    Michael Pascoe opines that for all but the most rusted on, Scott Morrison destroyed his credibility at the National Press Club on Wednesday – and even some of the rusted on would have to wince. Another good hit job!
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/30/michael-pascoe-scott-morrison/
    An obviously angry and disillusioned Katharine Murphy writes that our government is choosing to fail on climate and trying to make a virtue of it.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/29/our-government-is-choosing-to-fail-on-climate-and-trying-to-make-a-virtue-of-it
    Anthony Galloway writes that in her first major policy speech since taking over the shadow portfolio, Senator Keneally will declare Australia is changing from a nation built by permanent migrants to an economy relying on temporary visas. She will say that boats carrying asylum seekers cannot be allowed to restart, but the Morrison Government must now turn its attention in cracking down on the plane arrivals.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/kristina-keneally-sounds-alarm-on-temporary-migrants-20200129-p53vol.html
    Rob Harris looks at the continued fallout and recovery attempts from the government on SportsRort. Morrison is reduced to using convoluted word constructs.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/mckenzie-saga-could-drag-on-to-weekend-as-morrison-manages-fall-out-20200129-p53vxh.html
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/29/sports-grants-pm-wont-concede-fault-but-says-clubs-may-get-a-second-chance
    Michelle Grattan was bewildered by Morrison’s stance on SportsRort at the NPC yesterday.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-politicians-not-bureaucrats-are-the-ones-in-touch-morrison-claims-in-sports-affair-130795
    Mungo MacCallum writes that corruption is rife among Morrison’s minions.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/mungo-maccallum-corruption-is-rife-among-morrisons-minions,13538
    Independent MPs and candidates have called out the federal government for targeting their electorates with sports grants in the lead-up to the 2019 election, with information showing grants worth around $1 million were showered on clubs in each of three fiercely contested seats.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6604136/independent-mps-call-out-sports-rorts/?cs=14350
    By the day more and more of Bridget’s SportsRort largesse come to light. This time Christopher Knaus reveals that she gave a $500,000 grant to the Northern Territory shooting club of Nigel Scullion, her former Coalition colleague and fellow shooting enthusiast.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/30/bridget-mckenzie-granted-500000-to-coalition-colleagues-northern-territory-gun-club
    Chip Le Grand reports that the Sport Australia executive who pushed back against political interference in the assessment of community sports grants quit the agency following concerns his own conflict of interest could have compromised the program.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/sport-australia-exec-s-tennis-link-serves-up-twist-in-grants-saga-20200129-p53vsy.html
    The London Telegraph’s Tom Rees explains why coronavirus represents a ‘black swan’ risk for the global economy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/virus-is-a-black-swan-risk-for-the-global-economy-20200128-p53v9v.html
    An open letter from 81 Australian Research Council laureates says that the outlook for humans is dire without urgent action.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/the-outlook-for-humans-is-dire-without-urgent-action-81-laureates-letter-to-australia-20200129-p53vr8.html
    Andrew Leigh in this op-ed writes that the time for denial and distraction is over. He says it’s time for climate action.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6604161/the-time-for-denial-and-distraction-is-over-its-time-for-climate-action/?cs=14258
    While Australia bleeds, corporate multi-nationals are ripping us off blind, none more so than the major accounting firms writes David Paull.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/unaccountable-accounting-firms-secure-lucrative-government-contracts,13535
    The RBA is to blame for the weak economy when it does nothing. The RBA is also to blame when it does something writes Angela Jackson.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/rba-damned-if-it-does-damned-if-it-doesn-t-20200128-p53vgt.html
    Dana McCauley says that Christian Porter is ‘absolutely committed’ to passing the government’s union-busting bill.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/porter-absolutely-committed-to-passing-union-busting-bill-20200129-p53vww.html
    Judith Ireland reports that ACOSS is calling for a $95/week rise in Newstart.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/raise-newstart-by-95-a-week-acoss-20200128-p53vfr.html
    Apparently NSW fire services spent 20 per cent less than Victorian organisations on staffing and capital costs but had to respond to nearly twice the number of fires last year.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/dropped-the-ball-nsw-fire-services-spending-80-per-cent-as-much-as-victoria-20200128-p53vgw.html
    Nick Toscano tells us that one of Australia’s biggest batteries will be built in Queensland under a deal involving energy giant AGL, which backers say will strengthen the grid’s ability to shift from coal to renewable power generation by smoothing out the intermittent nature of wind and solar power.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/game-changer-agl-s-big-battery-deal-set-to-help-rise-of-renewables-20200129-p53vs7.html
    Bevan Shields writes that former British prime minister David Cameron says conservative MPs around the world – including in Australia – must do more to lower emissions, arguing climate change policy is a “natural” issue for the right of politics to take ownership of. Not here it isn’t!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/climate-change-should-be-a-natural-issue-for-conservative-mps-cameron-20200129-p53vy5.html
    As with climate policy, Australia’s leadership is too close to America, too close to Rupert Murdoch and too weak to secure the country from future military threats. This is the second in the “Second Rate Leadership”, series by former public service chief Jon Stanford.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/second-rate-leadership-immense-defence-spend-unlikely-to-secure-australia-in-new-world-order/
    Nicholas Stuart contends that at some point – not this year, probably not next, but certainly at some date between now and 2030 – a future government will finally, logically, and correctly abandon our attempt to build submarines.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6601930/the-best-bi-plane-in-the-sky-why-our-submarine-program-will-likely-be-scrapped/?cs=14258
    After widespread outrage, Victoria’s Attorney-General has written to Governor-General David Hurley asking him to overturn the decision to award Bettina Arndt an Order of Australia. This will get the culture warriors going!
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/gobsmacking-state-attorney-general-calls-for-bettina-arndt-to-be-stripped-of-honour-20200129-p53vyy.html
    Sanders’ momentum has delighted the party’s left wing but alarmed Democratic centrists, who are scrambling to halt his rise before the Iowa caucuses writes Matthew Knott.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/easy-target-for-trump-centrist-democrats-alarmed-by-sanders-surge-20200129-p53vu9.html
    Today’s “Arsehole of the Week” nomination goes to this creature.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-man-charged-with-transferring-money-for-child-sex-tourism-20200129-p53vw1.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EPbfAThU8AA02J-.jpg
    Cathy Wilcox
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/18109315039be7674c8aa6e3873af3cc1fd4f2ea.jpg
    Matt Golding
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/c00ec11ac46f81e9aacaef35d6d4b7fc79703b50.jpg
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/4c9fe2ac1269b34c736f7d8f3d311023bc406b73.jpg
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/da13ad30e5f0a7b62af14ffbf9131c80e99b2fe7.jpg
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/01849ea4575a2d5fe1f7bc9b9a684ea7346ea777.jpg
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/5d088d1fedd4508e0520db96194d72eeed5c02b0.jpg
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/b7489c7aadda6315796bd53e2a50e6803f4c0e0b.jpg
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/7f9911acde0509fa365f70ffe023c00885cd4080.jpg
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EPZcIzcU0AEQX9V.jpg
    John Shakespeare
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/q_86%2Cf_auto/e4461cb6b5d68f0c900ec2231df4c4d5ba489be3.jpg
    Mark David
    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EPZtGz-UcAADBRI.jpg
    Leak on Huawei.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/3b2bd7711fc7caba4611869e159905f8?width=1024

    From the US

    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/1_220.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/5_149.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/3_170.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/17_33.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/6_130.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/8_96.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/4.gif
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/14_42.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/11_68.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/19_24.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/7_112.jpg
    https://images.theweek.com/sites/default/files/8_95.jpg

  10. You could have 99% of people wanting a federal ICAC but it just isn’t going to ocurr while Saponaceous “The Fungus” from Marketing is in charge. They’re scared faecaelless at the thought of having their corruption and dirty dealings get out into the public arena. Sorry, it just ain’t gonna happen.

    Sean, The Donald’s vibrating anal exciter, Hannity is at it again.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/29/hannitys-ugly-meltdown-romney-wanting-truth-is-trump-hatred/

  11. Morning bludgers

    Much thanks BK.

    Hope Boerwar and others are doing 0kay in light of fires in Canberra region.

    In my part of world, next few days are going to be very hot with thunderstorms due on Saturday.
    WeatheronPB#

  12. @QuentinDempster tweets

    @vanOnselenP tells @frankelly08 he has “written evidence” of the prime minister’s office involvement in sports grants allocations which may indicate a more hands-on role than mere passing on representations as @ScottMorrisonMP told NPC yesterday. @10NewsFirst = We need an ICAC.

  13. Mike Kelly
    @MikeKellyofEM
    · 8m
    So yesterday ABC RN was in Bega & interviewed Darren Chester the Member for Gippsland & didn’t call me. Today they are in Bateman’s Bay & aren’t talking to Fiona Phillips. On Monday Q&A will be in Bega & will have Jim Molan & Andrew Constance with no one from Labor.

    They must have forgotten all about balance.
    But Jim Molan? Why give him so much publicity?

  14. lizzie @ #15 Thursday, January 30th, 2020 – 8:09 am

    Mike Kelly
    @MikeKellyofEM
    · 8m
    So yesterday ABC RN was in Bega & interviewed Darren Chester the Member for Gippsland & didn’t call me. Today they are in Bateman’s Bay & aren’t talking to Fiona Phillips. On Monday Q&A will be in Bega & will have Jim Molan & Andrew Constance with no one from Labor.

    They must have forgotten all about balance.
    But Jim Molan? Why give him so much publicity?

    I think the the Australian Quiet Party has been so quiet lately the meeja forgot there was actually an opposition.

  15. sprocket

    How irrelevant are journalists asking questions?”

    He probably did not need to ask that. He already made sure of the answer.

    —————————————————–
    Dedicated Accuracy – just call me Obee.
    @ObeeWhen
    The #NationalPressClub agrees to have Scott Morrison come on his terms. Single question only from journo’s with no follow ups coordinated lest someone misses out on asking their question.

    That’s not journalism, that’s enabling lies, a total waste and a sham. SHAME ON YOU NPC
    5:04 PM · Jan 29, 2020·Twitter Web App
    70
    Retweets
    https://twitter.com/ObeeWhen/status/1222445470372352000?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed%7Ctwterm%5E1222445470372352000&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fpbxmastragics.com%2F2020%2F01%2F25%2Fa-vertical-triptych%2F

  16. ‘John Hewson tells us how he hounded Ros Kelly until she resigned, but he says Bridget McKenzie’s sports rorts are worse. ‘

    It’s much easier to spook Labor than the coalition.
    It’s a cream puffs vs hard heads thing.

  17. mundo

    I was having a discussion yesterday with an ex-ABC producer who said that part of the problem now with the quality of interviews (and the choice of guests, I imagine) is the dearth of experienced (?) producers. The presenters are not always to blame.

  18. @LaTrioli tweets

    TUNE IN – at 8.30am Vic AG Jill Hennessy and Bettina Arndt join me to discuss the controversial sex therapists Order of Australia: @JillHennessyMP wants the Order rescinded: @thebettinaarndt is furious. @abcmelbourne

  19. John Hewson tells us how he hounded Ros Kelly until she resigned, but he says Bridget McKenzie’s sports rorts are worse. This is in the MUST READ category.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/i-hounded-ros-kelly-until-she-resigned-but-bridget-mckenzie-s-sports-rorts-are-worse-20200129-p53vsa.html

    From William’s notes above – 34% of respondents have not been following the issue. Add 15% who advocated not standing down Ms. McKenzie plus the possibility that the average voter only gets exercised about his non existent franking credit cash backs (I’m still waiting for my $30,000). Using data from the “Mythbusters” goldfish memory investigation I estimate that of the 51% – 27% of those will have forgotten the whole sad saga by the time of the tennis finals. The rest will sort of grumble and rant until the next stuffup comes along (expect a minor stuffup today as a water tester).

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/sports-rorts-triggered-alarm-from-the-start/news-story/a435cbf57f38bf300974136bb80ebdb2

    A Sport Australia insider has ­revealed concerns about ­Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie’s involvement in a controversial $100m grants program were raised “consistently” from the scheme’s inception.

    Lifting the lid on what the government agency knew, the insider told The Australian that the alarm was raised from the outset because — for the first time in Sport Australia’s history — ministerial ­approval was required to green-light grants.

    Advanced players may be wondering who or what caused the “new improved” model requiring ministerial approval. An accident perhaps, a miracle, mayhap a typographical error. The backroom filled with slave monkeys and their typewriters can’t be expected to always get everything right.☮☕

  20. poroti

    It has always been the general rule that journos are only allowed one question at NPC. Occasionally they get away with a follow-up.

    For me, some of them mucked up yesterday by not confining their questions to a single point, but gave a preamble covering too much extra. Probably gave Morrison too much leeway. A bit like some Opp Q’s in QT which fail. (Always with the concession that Mr Weasel is the master of avoidance.)

  21. Thank you once again BK.

    ——

    Smokey skies and an orange Sun have returned to Sydney. The satellite image shows a plume of smoke extending from the SW to cover Sydney – from the Canberra fires perhaps. Smoke covers the ACT, SE NSW and NE Victoria.

    At least there’s no smoke at ground level here.

  22. Well, here’s some meat for you all to chew on.

    Quentin Dempster
    @QuentinDempster
    ·
    9m
    @AlboMP tells @frankelly08 we’re not on track to meet Paris CO2 emissions reduction targets.

    Denies he said ALP’s 45% reduction target was “a mistake”. Declares Oz now a “recalcitrant” nation but won’t post new declarative target until just before election. Clever or cowardly?

  23. @RNBreakfast
    ·
    30m
    Ten’s
    @vanOnselenP tells RN Breakfast: “I’m working on a story today. I need to verify a few things and fact check what I’ve got. But I do now have written evidence of the Prime Minister’s office being more involved in the Sports Rorts saga than what the Prime Minister has said”

  24. Good to see SAHealth have acquiesced to me and my lobbying skills and changed their advice on school students returning from Wuhan.

    However, this advice has not yet filtered through to the ‘school to parent’ communications system SkoolBag, nor via email or any other forms of communications. So, if you are a parent of such children you may be either unaware or confused by the mixed messages.

    Strange the Feds have gone feral on this, requiring ALL people returning from Hubei province to be quarantined for 14 days, only a day after Tehan ridiculed some schools for bucking his advice and wisely asking some students to stay home (preschools and primary schools are the highest risk potential considering – the close proximity of large groups, low level of personal hygiene, young people are more likely to die from the virus). Have the media picked up on yet another mess up by these incompetents? They are a walking, talking permanent cluster F.

  25. ”From William’s notes above – 34% of respondents have not been following the issue..” [Sports Rorts]

    Might that be something to do with media coverage? I’ve been exposed to little or no news from commercial radio or TV or from Newscrap. Are these sources downplaying the issue in favour of Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant, Tennis, boosting Scumo’s press conference or anyone or anything else?

  26. lizzie

    For me, some of them mucked up yesterday by not confining their questions to a single point, but gave a preamble covering too much extra.

    Thanks for that observation. Gives the pollies a real chance to wander all over the place except the actual question.

  27. Steve777 @ #32 Thursday, January 30th, 2020 – 5:45 am

    ”From William’s notes above – 34% of respondents have not been following the issue..” [Sports Rorts]

    Might that be something to do with media coverage? I’ve been exposed to little or no news from commercial radio or TV or from Newscrap. Are these sources downplaying the issue in favour of Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant, Tennis, boosting Scumo’s press conference or anyone or anything else?

    I think it’s more to do with it being school holidays, Australia Day long weekend and people getting ready to go back to work/school.

  28. Thanks for that observation. Gives the pollies a real chance to wander all over the place except the actual question.

    Yep. The local ABC radio presenter, who I often accuse of being very supportive of the Right, did well yesterday interviewing the SA Health Minister. He smelled blood on an issue and quickly honed in on one very short and simple question that he then repeated after every attempt the minister made to talk around it.

  29. I think it’s more to do with it being school holidays, Australia Day long weekend and people getting ready to go back to work/school.

    I am with Steve747. In some areas and demographics, there is almost never any news that is detrimental to the Morrison Government.

  30. ‘Senseless cruelty’: peak welfare body pushes for $95-a-week increase to Newstart

    Acoss says the Newstart unemployment benefit now covers only three-quarters of recipients’ basic needs

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/30/senseless-cruelty-peak-welfare-body-pushes-for-95-a-week-increase-to-newstart

    The Newstart allowance, which has not increased in real terms in 25 years, is indexed to inflation, while other payments are tied to wages. This means the unemployment benefit continues to fall further behind living costs, as well as other payments like the age pension, and is now considered one of the least generous employment benefits in the world.

    The $3.8bn-a-year Acoss proposal would boost payments for 850,000 people across the country, including those on other allowances such as youth allowance and sickness allowance, and also calls for a $20-a-week increase to rent assistance.

  31. poroti

    Some journos/presenters/radio personalities just love the sound of their own voice too much. The good ones lead the subject on with short questions and murmurs of approval until they drop themselves right in it.

  32. Steve777 @ #33 Thursday, January 30th, 2020 – 8:45 am

    ”From William’s notes above – 34% of respondents have not been following the issue..” [Sports Rorts]

    Might that be something to do with media coverage? I’ve been exposed to little or no news from commercial radio or TV or from Newscrap. Are these sources downplaying the issue in favour of Coronavirus, Kobe Bryant, Tennis, boosting Scumo’s press conference or anyone or anything else?

    Short answer – “I dunno”. If I didn’t read “Poll Bludger” I would be as remote as the “man in the moon”. One section of my family get their news from the “Sunrise” program (you can win a house). Another gets information from an online source and another section is so occupied with work and family illness that the “rorts” are just background noise (they all do it anyway).

    The notes from William are more interesting with 80% (49% strongly) in favour of a Federal ICAC which with an all encompassing reach and punitive measures may see the end of the little peccadillo entertained by Ms. McKenzie (sole suspect – forget the grassy knoll and a second gunman – forget the MAFIA) acting alone but wearing gloves and a mask (come and get me Copper).

    Big day out today. Couple of hours day release. 😎

  33. Climate breakdown ‘is increasing violence against women’

    Exclusive: attempts to tackle crisis fail because gender issues are not addressed, report finds

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jan/29/climate-breakdown-is-increasing-violence-against-women

    The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) carried out what is understood to be the biggest and most comprehensive study yet of the issue, taking two years and involving more than 1,000 sources of research.

    “We found gender-based violence to be pervasive, and there is enough clear evidence to suggest that climate change is increasing gender-based violence,” said Cate Owren, a lead author of the report, published on Wednesday. “As environmental degradation and stress on ecosystems increases, that in turn creates scarcity and stress for people, and the evidence shows that, where environmental pressures increase, gender-based violence increases.”

  34. Former WH CoS during the Obama years reckons Democrats have a shot at taking control of the Senate because of Trump’s impeachment. This also gives an indication of why Lincoln Project is targeting those vulnerable Republicans. So far Collins, Gardner and McSally all have ads targeting them.

    But if the scandal is working to preserve the Democratic tilt in the House, it could upend things in the Senate, where Republicans hold a three-seat margin. Impeachment will likely decide the fate of a handful of Senate Republicans currently in cycle. For Sens. Susan Collins (Maine), Thom Tillis (N.C.), Joni Ernst (Iowa), Cory Gardner (Colo.) and Martha McSally (Ariz.), a vote to convict is unthinkable: It risks the president’s wrath and a likely primary challenge. That combination would force each senator to embrace an agenda alien to most swing voters.

    A vote to acquit, however, will force every senator to own Trump’s emboldened rhetoric of being exonerated. Which means they’ll have to defend Trump when the next embarrassing audio recording hits the airwaves, or when another witness surfaces to speak, or when John Bolton’s book comes out, or when internal memos about the “drug deal” come out via the Freedom of Information Act. Republican senators will become full-time exonerators.

    That dilemma is now playing out in real time. Some 63 percent of voters in Arizona, Colorado, Maine and North Carolina look unfavorably on the Senate’s decision to date to disallow witnesses and hide documents — yet all five senators mentioned earlier have, so far, voted against transparency. That may partly explain why the five Republican senators are “underwater,” meaning that more constituents view them negatively than positively. And if that snapshot bodes poorly, the trend lines are worse: In the last quarter of 2019, McSally and Collins saw 5- and 4-point drops, respectively, in their “net” approval rating — an indication that a rising share of their constituents view them in a negative light.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/01/29/rahm-emanuel-oped-impeachment-senate/?itid=hp_no-name_opinion-card-g%3Ahomepage%2Fstory-ans

  35. Greensborough Growler @ #40 Thursday, January 30th, 2020 – 8:59 am

    CPG journos love the opportunity to ask the PM questions.

    Morrison loves the opportunity not to answer them.

    CPG journos love the opportunity to ask the PM questions.

    Morrison loves the opportunity not to answer them.

    CPG journos love the opportunity to marvel at how Morrison doesn’t answer them because they think it’s sooo clever.

  36. The merchants of death.Selling arms with impunity

    https://johnmenadue.com/michelle-fahy-the-merchants-of-death-selling-arms-with-impunity/

    Australia’s military industry exports are increasing rapidly fuelled by $195bn in federal funding to 2025-26 and strong collaboration between federal, state, and local governments and agencies. Team Defence Australia showcases Aussie weapons-making ingenuity at arms expos world-wide, all year round. Where is all this cash and activity leading us? And do we want to go there?
    :::
    Despite official claims by the Defence Department as to the rigorous approval process for Australian military exports, in recent weeks we have learned from a Guardian Australia FOI request that 86 weapons export permits were granted in the 2018-19 year alone to four known human rights abusing nations: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Sri Lanka and the Congo.
    :::
    Defence and national security are a federal responsibility, but that hasn’t stopped a headlong rush by every state and territory government in Australia to create their own defence advisory boards, with accompanying appointments of high profile ‘defence industry advocates’, in a naked grab for a cut of the $195 billion the federal government has on offer to enhance Australia’s ‘defence capability’ over the decade to 2025-26.
    :::
    The speed with which all this appeared has been remarkable. The questions now are, to what end, and to whose benefit, are these vast sums being expended? And do we want to go where this policy is leading us?

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