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. Former resources minister Matt Canavan repeatedly delayed releasing documents about his interactions with coal lobbyists until he resigned his post, rendering a freedom of information request void.

    The case again highlights a significant flaw in Australia’s FOI regime, which makes it exceedingly difficult to access documents held by a minister if they shift portfolios or resign.

    In November, the Australian Conservation Foundation sought access to all records of Canavan’s interactions with New Hope Coal and its lobbyists in the weeks leading up to the announcement of a crackdown on the use of secondary boycotts by environmental activists.

    The minister identified six relevant documents but asked for more time to consult third parties. But the ACF says the deadline came and went without it receiving any response.

    Last week, following Canavan’s resignation as minister, ACF campaigner Christian Slattery contacted the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources for an update. He was told the request was now void because Canavan no longer held the office and the documents had not been kept by his successor, Keith Pitt, meaning they were “no longer in the possession of a minister”.

    The decision has frustrated Slattery, who said the public had a clear right to know how Canavan had interacted with industry before the activist crackdown.

    “The public has a right to know who is lobbying our elected representatives,” he told the Guardian. “In this instance, the government has used Australia’s broken FOI laws to try to hide the influence of the coal industry over our politics.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/11/canavan-delayed-releasing-documents-about-coal-lobby-interactions-before-resigning

  2. Greensborough Growler @ #1200 Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 – 6:33 am

    Despite continuing upheaval, not much is happening with the essential Poll this morning.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/feb/11/essential-poll-morrison-still-in-the-doldrums-with-voters-after-bushfires-and-sports-grants

    And that’s a good thing. I’d be disappointed to see the memory of Morrison’s woeful behaviour being washed away with the rain. The storms which, themselves, are another salient reminder of Climate Change and its effects on our weather.

  3. Greensborough Growler @ #1205 Tuesday, February 11th, 2020 – 7:40 am

    I daresay that the catastrophic economic impact on Tourism of the Bushfires and the Carona Virus will linger for some time. The political impact may be a slow burn for awhile. But, history shows that a regimes power slides in the wake of Natural Disasters. So the LNP may be in trouble over coming months.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-11/twin-disasters-coronavirus-bushfires-hit-tourism-sector/11949922

    And you watch Morrison and Frydenburg try and craft a Leave Pass on the Surplus for themselves as a result. While, as we know, if it were Labor in the same position they would call those things, ‘excuses’.

  4. mexican

    ‘The network was built with an eye to the future of where they thought Melbourne would grow.’

    No, it was built to suit the interests of MPs, who at the time weren’t paid. This meant Parliament was filled with men with agendas, so the rail line went where it benefited them.

    Read “The Land Boomers” – and all of a sudden, some of the perennial problems of Melbourne’s transport system makes sense!

  5. zoomster says:
    Tuesday, February 11, 2020 at 7:51 am

    mexican

    ‘The network was built with an eye to the future of where they thought Melbourne would grow.’

    No, it was built to suit the interests of MPs, who at the time weren’t paid. This meant Parliament was filled with men with agendas, so the rail line went where it benefited them.

    Read “The Land Boomers” – and all of a sudden, some of the perennial problems of Melbourne’s transport system makes sense!
    ———————————————–
    The history shows the motive of those politicians and land speculators was looking to future profit from future growth. In a round about way they got it right with some glaring omissions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *