Empty chairs

Victoria’s Greens gear up for a party vote to fill Richard Di Natale’s Senate vacancy, plus similar developments for the state Liberals in Tasmania and Victoria.

As you can see in the post below this one, the Courier-Mail yesterday had a YouGov Galaxy state poll for Queensland that found both major parties stranded in the mid-thirties on the primary vote. State results from this series are usually followed a day or two later by federal ones, but no sign of that to this point. If it’s Queensland state politics reading you’re after, I can offer my guide to the Currumbin by-election, to be held on March 29. Other than that, there’s the following news on how various parliamentary vacancies around the place will be or might be filled:

Noel Towell of The Age reports two former state MPs who fell victim to the Greens’ weak showing at the November 2018 state election are “potentially strong contenders” to take Richard Di Natale’s Senate seat when he leaves parliament, which will be determined by a vote of party members. These are Lidia Thorpe, who won the Northcote by-election from Labor in June 2018, and Huong Truong, who filled Colleen Hartland’s vacancy in the Western Metropolitan upper house seat in February 2018. The party’s four current state MPs have all ruled themselves out. Others said to be potential starters include Brian Walters, a barrister and former Liberty Victoria president, and Dinesh Mathew, a television actor who ran in the state seat of Caulfield in 2018.

• Former Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman’s seat in parliament will be filled by Nic Street, following a preference countback of the votes Hodgman received in the seat of Franklin at the March 2018 election. This essentially amounted to a race between Street and the other Liberal who nominated for the recount, Simon Duffy. Given Street was only very narrowly unsuccessful when he ran as an incumbent at the election, being squeezed out for the last of the five seats by the Greens, it was little surprise that he easily won the countback with 8219 out of 11,863 (70.5%). This is the second time Street has made it to parliament on a countback, the first being in February 2016 on the retirement of Paul Harriss.

The Age reports Mary Wooldridge’s vacancy in the Victorian Legislative Council is likely to be filled either by Emanuele Cicchiello, former Knox mayor and deputy principal at Lighthouse Christian College, or Asher Judah, who ran unsuccessfully in Bentleigh in 2018. Party sources are quoted expressing surprise that only four people have nominated, with the only woman being Maroondah councillor Nora Lamont, reportedly a long shot. Also in the field is Maxwell Gratton, chief executive of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival.

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.

1,209 comments on “Empty chairs”

  1. “In Collaroy..”

    Houses have always fallen into the sea in the past. The sea level rose 20 metres in 500 years only 12,000 years ago, so buyer beware. There is no climate change occurring. Even if there is it is dog’s will. (Channelling Scomo).

  2. “Only in the Nationals can you quit the party but still be in the LNP, the Coalition, and the government”

    Didn’t Kevin Hogan do the same thing? Not that I’m really paying attention to the goings-on of a dying party.

  3. “Only in the Nationals can you quit the party but still be in the LNP, the Coalition, and the government”

    Not so much a political party as a group of self-interested and self-serving individuals who think their interests can be best advanced by abusing the blind loyalty of voters in Australia’s least educated electorates.

  4. Kakuru @ #855 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 10:45 am

    “Only in the Nationals can you quit the party but still be in the LNP, the Coalition, and the government”

    Didn’t Kevin Hogan do the same thing? Not that I’m really paying attention to the goings-on of a dying party.

    Didn’t he sit in the National Party room, but not the Coalition one?

  5. Btw how annoying is ScoFo’s “I won’t be bullied” on climate change line?

    You’re the PM, FFS.
    Aww, is someone “bullying” you, diddums?
    What a whiny little sook.

    Let’s get this straight: you’re not the victim here, youre a corrupt apologist for vested interests, whose grandchildren will change their surnames to avoid historic association with you when the climate goes belly up. You’re the perpetrator. Or more accurately, cover for the perps. You come cheap too – pathetically low party donations got you to sell the rest of us down the river.

  6. Rex Douglas : the more the merrier, eh. among other things, there will be a shootout at the not-OK corral between the cross-bench friends of climate action & the cross-bench friends of coal. this is a campaign, a campaign with money & resources & high profile backing, fronted by a photogenic (its relevant, imo) fully blue-rinse lady & economic dry, who took tony abbott’s “safe” seat on an openly climate action platform. this is just the beginning. party leaders, friends of coal in all parties & assorted prevaricaters should be worried. -a.v.

  7. citizen

    Back when I was studying undergraduate more than 30 years ago my lecturer in coastal engineering said that any house within 100 metres of the sand on a high energy (surf) beach and not founded on rock, was vulnerable to loss from wave action in a storm.

    And climate change is moving the range of coast vulnerable to cyclones and storm-driven beach erosion further south.

  8. BB @3:56am

    Again, a bunch of Einsteins who tell us with certain knowledge “Ain’t gunna happen”, re. thermonuclear power.

    Fusion power is going to happen. Its just not going to be economic. What I find interesting is that in your original scenario which was finding enough energy to geo-engineer the planet you dismissed using solar energy which is available today.

    I’ll quite happily explain why fusion will never cheap and certainly never as cheap as solar. Its the same reason sending stuff into space is expensive. Lots of stuff. Lots of expensive stuff. Lots of quality assurance. Solar power is by comparison a hundred times easier to cost reduce (down to almost the cost of raw material).

  9. The reality is that denial on the climate is a 1 party problem.

    So Labor keeps telling us. So Labor will back Steggell’s Bill.
    The Gillard government climate policy setting up structures to keep politics out of decisions as much as possible was the correct one.

    It still is.

    Only when denialists in the LNP are defeated will action on climate policy be possible.

    The fact you have a Tory Independent piling the pressure on proves the point.

  10. This is Hanson’s last term before re-election. Hopefully she’ll be sent packing and she can go back to wherever and whatever she was doing before Malcolm’s vanity DD project enabled her election to the Senate.

  11. “Again, a bunch of Einsteins who tell us with certain knowledge “Ain’t gunna happen”, re. thermonuclear power. ”

    We have already reached the point where wind is cheaper than nuclear, coal or gas, much cheaper. In fact it is so much cheaper now that even if you add extra for a battery and new grid connection wind is still the cheapest.

    So why would anyone invest in research in fusion etc when there is already a lower risk, no-fuel required alternative that does the job at less cost? It is like asking for research into fax machines.

  12. guytaur @ #867 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 11:27 am

    The reality is that denial on the climate is a 1 party problem.

    So Labor keeps telling us. So Labor will back Steggell’s Bill.
    The Gillard government climate policy setting up structures to keep politics out of decisions as much as possible was the correct one.

    It still is.

    Only when denialists in the LNP are defeated will action on climate policy be possible.

    The fact you have a Tory Independent piling the pressure on proves the point.

    So, you’ve seen the Bill and are able to assess it’s suitability.

  13. Confessions @ #868 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 11:30 am

    This is Hanson’s last term before re-election. Hopefully she’ll be sent packing and she can go back to wherever and whatever she was doing before Malcolm’s vanity DD project enabled her election to the Senate.

    Well, considering Roberts got back in at the last election without her on the ticket, that’s probably wishful thinking.

  14. Bloomberg’s next move to drive Trump nuts is a huge ad campaign attacking president’s business failures

    Axios reported Sunday evening that former Mayor Michael Bloomberg intends to employ a similar campaign strategy as Hillary Clinton: attack Trump on his business failures.

    In 2016, Clinton called out Trump’s tendency toward bankruptcy, highlighting every opportunity Trump had to increase his father’s money for a higher profit. But investment after another failed, as Trump was forced to file for bankruptcy six times for five different companies. It’s information Americans should be familiar with, so the question remains, how will Bloomberg’s attacks be any different?

    “He is a real estate promoter as opposed to a businessman,” Bloomberg told Axios. “And they have very different ways of going about things.”

    Bloomberg’s strategy has worked so far. “Bloomberg has been spending hundreds of millions of his own money to drive the president insane,” wrote Vanity Fair last month when Bloomberg’s ads began to surface. They listed off the weekend of tweets where Trump ranted about “little Michael Bloomberg.”

    https://www.rawstory.com/2020/02/bloombergs-next-move-to-drive-trump-nuts-is-a-huge-ad-campaign-attacking-presidents-business-failures/

  15. Whilst the natural reaction to the Collaroy photo is to ask why the Northern Beaches Council allowed people to rebuild right on the bleeding edge of the coast after the destructive storms of only a few years ago, as it looks like to me, you need to know that a lot of the people who live there are in the cohort of very wealthy individuals who are Climate Change Sceptics and active funders of the many organisations in this country who make it their business to sow the seeds of doubt in the rest of the community.

    So, of course they will choose to build a stonking big house right on the ocean, because they can afford to and also to be the living, breathing proof of what they say. That is, that Climate Change is not a problem we should be doing something about. The climate has always changed, we have always had these storms, and just to prove what a load of old cobblers the alarmists are trying to poison people’s minds with they will rebuild their house in the same place just to prove it!

    Just as well they have enough money to keep doing it then. 🙂

  16. Cud Chewer @ #865 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 1:25 pm

    Fusion power is going to happen.

    Fusion power is happening right now. Constantly. On the sun.

    Decades, at a minimum (an optimistic minimum, at that), before it’s happening routinely and controllably on Earth.

    Solar definitely makes a lot more sense for Australia in terms of being available now at a cheap/competitive price, and a good fit for a country that has not that many people and a ton of land (much of which is sunny the vast majority of the time). Pair it with storage and you’re done.

  17. Australia can fund research into Nuclear Fusion in unlimited amounts.

    Until such research pays off it’s just stupid to plan on using it as a power source.

  18. Wow. Bandt nails Morrison to the mast.

    An answer in total contradiction of the man who waved a lump of coal around in parliament from Morrison in response.

    Edit: Apparently linking coal to climate change is anti capitalist.

  19. Mark Hertling‏Verified account @MarkHertling

    As a soldier/commander, I engaged w/ @LindseyGrahamSC on occasions in Iraq & Europe.

    I didn’t see this side of him.

    These smears are disgusting and despicable, and Sen Graham has no proof of these allegations.

    Tom Nichols‏Verified account @RadioFreeTom

    As @NormOrnstein often says, we’ll one day know what turned Graham. It won’t be pretty.

    : Asked whether the summary firing of LTC Alexander Vindman was justified Graham says Vindman was part of broader plot against President Trump by FBI Agents, CIA Agents and DOJ Lawyers.

    : Remarkable. Sen. Graham says he talked to AG Barr this morning and they have set up a “process” by which Rudy Giuliani will now send his Biden “dirt” directly to AG Barr.

  20. I see there is not a word about why so many people had their electricity cut off in NSW apart from storms. All so different in the media when power goes out in Liberal states compared to Labor states.

  21. CC

    I am all for Fusion research. I am all for it being practical research.
    I hope it succeeds.

    Until it does any government planning on using it is just stupidly incompetent

  22. Two moderate Liberals have declared the Morrison government should not underwrite a new coal-fired power station, as the trade minister Simon Birmingham has acknowledged the Coalition has already signed up to a net zero carbon emissions target “for the world” by 2050.

  23. guytaur I’m a big fan of fusion and have been since the 80s when I was studying undergrad physics.

    Bottom line..

    We will succeed in engineering terms. It will work. It will generate power.

    It will never be cheap. It simply cannot be given the sophisticated materials and engineering.

    Simpler technologies will rule.

  24. Mark Hertling‏Verified account @MarkHertling

    As a soldier/commander, I engaged w/ @LindseyGrahamSC on occasions in Iraq & Europe.

    I didn’t see this side of him.

    These smears are disgusting and despicable, and Sen Graham has no proof of these allegations.

    A pity that Trump seems to have forgotten all about how he was going to strengthen defamation/libel laws. Guess even he can see how that one would blow up in his face.

  25. Claire Wheaton
    @claireawheaton
    After losing 20 of the town’s 25 homes – Nerrigundah is now under water. One resident, while angry and sad, says “it’s nice to have the ground washed”. That’s glass half full if I’ve ever seen it.

  26. The government has hit a major hurdle in its bid to keep the Liddell power station open after a new report found it would cost $300 million of taxpayer funds to extend the life of the plant.

    AGL gave a five-year warning it planned to close the plant but Energy Minister Angus Taylor lobbied to keep the station open until 2026.

    A draft report by federal and state bureaucrats found it would cost $300 million to extend the life of the plant, and AGL said it did not want to come up with the funds.

    Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell said he understood there was opposition to keeping Liddell open, with sources telling Sky News the station was so aged it could lead to widespread power outages and reliability issues.

  27. CC

    Yes I agree.

    For those that doubt this will be clear when Fusion is a proven technology.

    It’s more climate deniers fantasy.
    Maybe it’s economist fantasy. Clinging desperately to straws on a cliff to uphold their neo liberal austerity economic model.

  28. Barnaby had a sudden call from nature. Like a baby, he went red in the face, too. 😆

    @BelindaJones68
    ·
    10m
    @M_McCormackMP
    was asked a Dixer from Christensen & stepped up to Despatch Box to give his answer.

    Barnaby got up & walked out, rolling his eyes on the way!

    He obviously couldn’t bear to sit there & listen to his leader, last week he said he’d support Mick Mack

  29. New Hampshire @7News/ Emerson College Tracking Poll:
    (Change from yesterday)

    Sanders 30% (-)
    Buttigieg 23% (+3)
    Klobuchar 14% (+1)
    Warren 11% (-1)
    Biden 10% (-1)

  30. steve davis @ #889 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 12:07 pm

    The government has hit a major hurdle in its bid to keep the Liddell power station open after a new report found it would cost $300 million of taxpayer funds to extend the life of the plant.

    AGL gave a five-year warning it planned to close the plant but Energy Minister Angus Taylor lobbied to keep the station open until 2026.

    A draft report by federal and state bureaucrats found it would cost $300 million to extend the life of the plant, and AGL said it did not want to come up with the funds.

    Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell said he understood there was opposition to keeping Liddell open, with sources telling Sky News the station was so aged it could lead to widespread power outages and reliability issues.

    These figures aren’t particularly new, there was talk of the cost of extending its life at the time it was proposed.

    AGL has agreed to keep Liddell open until April 2023.

    If common sense applies this won’t be extended.

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