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. “ The word “just” is doing an awful lot of heavy lifting in that sentence, Mr Katich.

    (You also forgot “and not run out of money herself”).”

    Quite. She would also need to demonstrate some actual enthusiasm in voter turnout. Something that every democrat candidate – and Bernie – seems to be struggling with so far.

  2. The recent rainfall has assisted firefighters to put over 30 fires out since Friday. Some of these blazes have been burning for weeks and even months.#NSWRFS #NSWFires

  3. Pee bee

    Just catching up on your earlier comments today re the ppty market. I dont believe a crash is imminent or a good thing. I dont want prices to go much higher than they already are.

  4. BB

    Nearly 50 years ago I first read about nuclear fusion . Exciting stuff that was apparently going to be powering our lives in the next 10-15 years. My yoof and hair have long gone and here we are still “nearly there” . I wouldn’t be gambling our future on the hope fusion power generation being just around the corner.

  5. shellbell

    As predicted here on Bludger the Orroral Fire was allowed to burn until rain put it out. The only forest type to be totally unaffected by the fires was the Radiata pine plantations.

    The fire burned around 107,000 hectares of which around 20,000 ha were burned in NSW of which significant amounts were in the Scabby Range and Bimberi Nature Reserves. More than half of our main national park – Namadgi NP was burned.

    Most of our tall wet forests have burned for the second time in 17 years. Quite a few of the ACT’s conservation listed species have had all their ACT habitat destroyed.

    No-one has done a calculation on what the fire has done to our CO2 emissions balance. And no-one will.

    Human life and property and infrastructure were generally well-protected by the fire response.

    Barr and Ratts are very, very quiet on an inquiry into this ACT ecological disaster. There is an election due later in the year.

  6. g

    You are not a Carbon ZeroHero. You might as well admit it.

    Nothing to be ashamed of actually. Very few Greens voters are a ZeroHero.

    AvoHero anyone?

  7. Remeikis:

    All the Labor MPs are shaking Llew O’Brien’s hand as they leave.

    Michael McCormack had promised Damian Drum the role following the leadership spill.

    It is always confirmed by a vote of the parliament, but once again, the Coalition underestimated Labor’s tactical abilities. They are just better at this sort of stuff, because they practice on each other through factional battles.

    Also, Llew O’Brien just received a $42,000 payrise for quitting the Nationals party room AND got revenge against McCormack.

    Not a bad day’s work.

  8. Hopefully both the LNP and Labor will fully support Zali’s Bill. Zero net by 2050 is the Paris goal. Labor has already subscribed to it and in the States is working to realise this. This is the bare minimum goal. The LNP would be very well advised to adopt it and set out to achieve a cross-party set of initiatives to support it.

    How strange it would be if the Greens could then truly say that with respect to climate change same/same really did apply to the major parties.

    The country badly needs change. Hopefully Zali will be the catalyst for it. The recalcitrants in the LNP and the Greens will have to look to each other for consolation.

  9. Rex

    She would make a great VP. Best Woman of Colour to get that voter turnout. Already part of the campaign.

    It’s the Centrists who have to put their money where their words were. It’s them that said anyone but Trump. Even some Republicans have said that.

    It’s why the desperation from Centrists. They know they will have to back Sanders or see Trump elected. Their true priorities will be shown.

  10. The most I suggested was that some of the research money now going into alternatives be put over to getting thermonuclear going sooner

    ITER is a money pit that has sucked in tens of billions. No amount of cash is going to hasten its (much delayed) construction. We need to avoid it.

    I don’t see how a clean technology like thermonuclear that has unlimited fuel resources can be classed as “too expensive”.

    I agree it’s expensive now, in the development/experimental stages, but most technologies reduce in cost as they become ubiquitous. There are literally thousands of examples of this, and few counter examples.

    BB its not the cost of the fuel. Its the cost of the insanely complex machine. Some technologies like computer chips and solar cells mature toward the cost of material. Fusion won’t. Happy to walk you through it. By its very nature it requires a lot of complexity. Expensive materials under extreme conditions. Extremely high neutron fluxes. Expensive and complex maintenance. And most importantly all the quality assurance. Someone to tighten the bolt. Someone to test the bolt. Someone to document and witness the work of the other two people.
    Its an extremely difficult thing to do and just won’t simplify the way solar cells and baterries have/will.

  11. Unlimited power also brings us closer to the end of water shortages, both for drinking and agriculture. Also we can manufacture portable fuels – such as for aircraft…

    A: No such thing as “unlimited” energy. No matter what the technology, the physical means to produce it will always cost.

    B: We don’t need unlimited energy. We just need a shitload of cheap energy. The technology for that is already available.

  12. Remeikis again.

    Ken O’Dowd is also the Nationals deputy whip.

    Not sure he can hold on to that position, having just admitted he voted against the party line on national TV.

  13. poroti @ #958 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 4:34 pm

    BB

    Nearly 50 years ago I first read about nuclear fusion . Exciting stuff that was apparently going to be powering our lives in the next 10-15 years. My yoof and hair have long gone and here we are still “nearly there” . I wouldn’t be gambling our future on the hope fusion power generation being just around the corner.

    Yup. Me too.

    The thing to remember is that according to many of the climate experts, we only have about 10 years left before 2 degrees warming becomes inevitable. We have already passed that point for 1.5 degree warming, and this summer has shown us what just a mere 1.1 degrees warming is like.

    And, of course, this summer has also shown us that Australians will be among the first impacted, and also among the worst impacted.

    So, in terms of being much use in keeping us below 2 degrees, then if it ain’t happening sometime in the next 10 years, then it just ain’t happening 🙁

  14. John NOBEL,
    “… may be them French subs can be delivered with nuclear tea kettles faster, they can then be plugged into the grid?”

    What about powered waterproof baguettes armed with exploding snails?

  15. Karen Middleton
    @KarenMMiddleton
    ·
    2m
    The secretary of PM&C Phil Gaetjens will make a public statement “in due course” about the report he wrote on Bridget McKenzie, says Finance Minister Mathias Cormann. The government has refused the Senate’s request to produce the Gaetjens report.

  16. BW

    I think I camped in Namadgi NP while doing Outward Bound camps between 1982 and 1985. Perhaps too absorbed in the missing of creature comforts limited my appreciation.

    I assume, without knowing, that there may be some discussion at the inquiries about whether fires were allowed to burn/be contained in anticipation of rain in due course.

  17. The Guardian

    So, in conclusion, the Nationals leader’s pick for the deputy speaker position was gazumped by a Labor troll, after the rogue Nats plan to fleece Michael McCormack, led by Barnaby Joyce, and put Ken O’Dowd in place of Damian Drum was scuttled.

    What does it mean?

    Nothing other than the man who has led the charge against McCormack, Llew O’Brien, gets a payrise, and McCormack has once again, and quite publicly, had his authority over his party shot to pieces.

    And that last bit is what is going to cost him long term.

  18. @BelindaJones68
    ·
    2m
    2019:
    Lib/Nats gave Shorten so much shit whenever he said ‘If Adani stacks up economically & environmentally..’

    2020:
    Lib/Nat MPs parroting their Lib Talking Points about Collinsville coal-fired power plant study ‘If it stacks up economically & environmentally..’

  19. “Shameful” Senator Jacqui Lambie unleashes after the government refuses to table “The Gaetjens Report”, if they got nothing to hide why keep it a secret

    —————————————-
    Hypocrisy from Lambie who has kept secret her deal on medieval repeal with the same mob ,she is now attacking for keeping something secret

  20. lizzie @ #989 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 5:52 pm

    @BelindaJones68
    ·
    2m
    2019:
    Lib/Nats gave Shorten so much shit whenever he said ‘If Adani stacks up economically & environmentally..’

    2020:
    Lib/Nat MPs parroting their Lib Talking Points about Collinsville coal-fired power plant study ‘If it stacks up economically & environmentally..’

    Sounds like they’re both same same

  21. Also means the PM had no control in the selection of the deputy speaker.

    Love how Albanese walked the line so well stating “it doesn’t matter how much the pm ‘MARKETS’ this”

    Scotty from marketing hates the moniker, but it is so apt it is scary.

  22. Zali Steggall wants the public to force politicians to act on climate change, Malcolm Turnbull hits out at Nationals over coal

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-10/coalition-reassessing-climate-targets-zali-steggall-bill/11948956

    Pressure is building on the Federal Government to do more to address climate change with politicians now turning to Australians to ask for their help, as Parliament continues to bicker over the best way forward.
    :::
    While it has the support of the crossbench, the bill is expected to fail because it does not have the backing of Labor and the Government.

    ————
    https://climateactnow.com.au/

    On March 23, Independent MP Zali Steggall will introduce a private member’s bill to Parliament and call for a conscience vote.

    Australia needs sensible climate change legislation to transition to the future.

    Sign the petition to make your voice heard
    Urge your MP to have a conscience vote for the Climate Change Act
    Be there to show your support on March 23

    ———–

    Overview of the Climate Change Bill
    https://climate-act-images.s3-ap-southeast-2.amazonaws.com/Zali+Steggall+-+Climate+Change+Bill+2020+Overview.pdf

  23. The Orroral fire is not yet extinguished (ACT has received a lot less rain than the coast). I noticed some smoke this afternoon. Similarly, ACT dam levels have not benefitted greatly. ESA advice at 16:44 today:

    The Orroral Valley Fire is at ADVICE level bushfire warning.

    Recent rainfall will not extinguish the fire, although milder temperatures and continued rain will greatly assist the fire suppression efforts.

    The fire is now contained, meaning the whole fire perimeter is behind identifiable control lines. Active firefighting and mop up to a depth of 100 metres width around the perimeter is proceeding. Active fire may be located inside the perimeter.

    https://esa.act.gov.au/orroral-valley-fire-advice-440pm-10022020

  24. Scott @ #992 Monday, February 10th, 2020 – 4:53 pm

    “Shameful” Senator Jacqui Lambie unleashes after the government refuses to table “The Gaetjens Report”, if they got nothing to hide why keep it a secret

    —————————————-
    Hypocrisy from Lambie who has kept secret her deal on medieval repeal with the same mob ,she is now attacking for keeping something secret

    It is hypocritical, however her current position is also the correct one. Governments shouldn’t be able to keep secrets from the governed. Least of all democratic governments.

  25. Tony Windsor
    @TonyHWindsor
    ·
    2m
    ….back at the ranch the Independents within the House of Reps introduce Climate legislation that looks to the future while Joyce and his band of rednecks take care of their own immediate needs.

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