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. More polling.

    Manu Raju@mkraju
    ·
    6h
    CNN NH POLL CONDUCTED BY UNH
    February 4-7
    LIKELY DEM PRIMARY VOTERS
    Top Choices for Nominee

    Sanders 28%
    Buttigieg 21%
    Biden 11%
    Warren 9%
    Gabbard 6%
    Klobuchar 5%

  2. ItzaDream @ #143 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:36 am

    mundo @ #148 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:34 am

    Danama Papers @ #134 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:29 am

    Spray @ #47 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:24 am

    What a train wreck by Marles.

    Pegasus @ #48 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:24 am

    Speers absolutely skewering a floundering Marles.

    sprocket_ @ #50 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:25 am

    Marles doing a good job.

    Hmmm.

    My favourite bit was when Marles really did a job on Speers, saying….’Well Speersy, I’m not sure how far I’ll get into this answer before you interrupt me, but I’ll give it a go…’ completely turned the interview around.
    Good to see a confident Labor spokesperson taking charge for a change.

    Oh, wait…..

    Did you watch it? He did several times tell Speers to back off and let him answer.

    So not my favorite bit then.
    Humor and ridicule beats rattled and defensive every time.

  3. I shall be interested to see which of these are Bandt priorities: taking votes from Labor, or forcing more government action on emissions.

  4. NE Qld @ #149 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:36 am

    So ‘a future’ is subjective? Do you really think global thermal coal can be completely phased out in 10 years?

    Not globally, no. I thought you were asking about Australia. Thermal coal mining, use and export could be phased out in Australia in 10 years – especially if all the subsidies were removed that currently make Australian coal the cheapest in the world.

  5. RIsays:
    Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 11:01 am
    Population Growth of Western Australia
    “Looking back last eight years of Western Australia’s population, the grow rate is very consistent ranging from 0.77% to 3.70%”

    It’s consistently going up, but hardly consistent.

  6. mundo @ #154 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:40 am

    ItzaDream @ #143 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:36 am

    mundo @ #148 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:34 am

    Danama Papers @ #134 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:29 am

    Spray @ #47 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:24 am

    What a train wreck by Marles.

    Pegasus @ #48 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:24 am

    Speers absolutely skewering a floundering Marles.

    sprocket_ @ #50 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:25 am

    Marles doing a good job.

    Hmmm.

    My favourite bit was when Marles really did a job on Speers, saying….’Well Speersy, I’m not sure how far I’ll get into this answer before you interrupt me, but I’ll give it a go…’ completely turned the interview around.
    Good to see a confident Labor spokesperson taking charge for a change.

    Oh, wait…..

    Did you watch it? He did several times tell Speers to back off and let him answer.

    So not my favorite bit then.
    Humor and ridicule beats rattled and defensive every time.

    So you missed the joke he told Speers, who was making a goose of himself by pretending not to understand him, about the Japanese business man who was at a meeting in Sydney without his interpreter, and having got more than lost in translation and pissed that he was being taken advantage of, stood up and banged the table shouting – ‘You think I know fuck nothing well I telling you I know fuck all’

  7. Australia’s regional infrastructure is not yet up to supporting your machine. My trips to a funeral in Victoria’s Beechworth and a speech in Casino in northern NSW became a tad problematic for the lack of Tesla Superchargers in those areas capable of charging the whole thing in an hour, and giving you another 500 kilometre range – and you need forethought to sort it out.

    Casino is only 70km away from the Tesla Supercharger at the Macadamia Castle, and 180km from the Coffs Harbour one, Fitzsimmons should have had no problem at all. There’s also a free NRMA fast charger at Grafton.

    And as for Credlin’s bullshit, that hardly needs rebutting, but..

    And as people lined up to get fuel this summer to evacuate fire regions, what would have happened if they’d had to wait for the one or two fast chargers, taking a couple of hours at a time, rather than 10 minutes at the bowser?

    If ownership of EVs had become that widespread, is it really likely that there’s still only be “one or two fast chargers”?

    But really, in that alternate-history scenario, almost everyone there would have had their vehicles charged up at their home / accommodation already, which seems a lot more sensible than making them all pack together at a small number of overcrowded fuel retail sites. People don’t treat EVs like ICE cars, running the tank down to near empty before refuelling – they tend to treat them like their phones, charging them overnight regardless of how empty they got during the day.

  8. Christine Phillips @cscviews
    ·
    4m
    Recent research suggests Sous Vide cooking adds a significant amount of micro plastics to your body … how goods slow cooking in plastic

  9. Greensborough Growler @ #161 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 8:48 am

    Danama Papers @ #141 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:29 am

    Spray @ #47 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:24 am

    What a train wreck by Marles.

    Pegasus @ #48 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:24 am

    Speers absolutely skewering a floundering Marles.

    sprocket_ @ #50 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:25 am

    Marles doing a good job.

    Hmmm.

    A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest.

    I haven’t seen it. I was merely showing the diversity of opinions, as well as the posters expressing them.

    So, I guess you’re right. You only saw what you wanted to see and disregarded the rest.

  10. a r @ #160 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:47 am

    Player One @ #158 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 10:44 am

    I shall be interested to see which of these are Bandt priorities: taking votes from Labor, or forcing more government action on emissions.

    If he did the second, he would also achieve the first! 🙂

    Not if Labor also calls for them same (or better!) action from the government on emissions. 🙂

    Unlikely. Labor appears to be preparing for a ‘bipartisan’ approach on emissions.

    They apparently think this will win them the next election 🙁

  11. The Big Coal Lie.

    Coal has a future for so long as hypocritical Greens coal-hugging voters continue to import tens of millions of tons of coal-fired CO2 emissions in their cars, in their housing materials, in their clothes, in their food, in their flights, in their wine, and in their household appliances.

    Bandt could lead a revolt against this.
    Bandt could lead a protest about this outside Greens HQ.
    Bandt could take to the streets on this.
    Bandt could lead by personal example with the Greens New Deal Pledge coal-fired CO2 emissions strike pledge on this.
    But Bandt will not. And why not?
    You would have to ask the Greens Lead Hypocrite himself.

  12. caf, while I completely agree with your sentiment, it definitely needs further thought in future mass evacuations. Most travellers would have been away from their home chargers while on holidays.

  13. caf

    The real answer to that Credlin proposition is that if everyone had had an EV for the last ten years then then (a) the infrastructure would be pervasive, (b) electricity generation would be far more distributed and (c) the fires would have been far less likely in the first place.

  14. Our new Resources Minister.

    “Queensland Nationals MP Keith Pitt, one of the government’s most outspoken advocates for nuclear power who previously quit the frontbench over his opposition to the Paris Agreement, has been catapulted from the backbench into cabinet as Resources Minister”.

    Paris Agreement

    “In August 2018, Mr Pitt resigned from the assistant ministry in protest over Australia’s participation in global action on climate change”.

    “I have today advised the Deputy Prime Minister and Prime Minister of my decision to resign from the ministry. It has been a great privilege to serve the Australian people, particularly in a role which delivers much needed infrastructure to the regions. However, I will always put the national interest and the interests of my constituents above my own. I will always put reducing power prices, before Paris.”

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/nuclear-paris-and-a-return-to-cabinet-who-is-keith-pitt/news-story/ac1225c7faea9e679d6c6a0924951710

  15. Dutton blaming the fires on “arsonists”.

    I sincerely believe that Dutton went into the police because he “knows” that most people are criminally motivated and can only be prevented from evil by strict discipline and punitive legislation. Hence his catch cry, taken up by other MPs, that he is “keeping Australians safe”.

    I have never felt less safe than under the rule of this govt.

  16. Boerwar says:
    Sunday, February 9, 2020 at 8:57 am

    …”As for the planet itself, the collision between the Milky Way and Andromeda Galaxies will provide some interesting moments. As will the time when our Sun turns into a red giant.

    For all of the discussion above, entropy beckons”…

    …………………..

    Was is really necessary to re-quote over 1000 words of several other people’s fairly thoughtful discussion about the planet’s current predicament, before inserting your own completly irrelevant, and pointless tripe about an event that is several billion years away?

  17. NE Qld @ #162 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:50 am

    Thanks Player One. So your view is similar to Marles’. An economic phase out of coal by not providing Government subsidies.

    I have not seen the Marles interview, but I doubt he was proposing that Labor remove all coal subsidies. This was not Labor policy even before they dumped their more ambitious emissions reduction targets – from memory, what they were proposing prior to the last election was not to subsidize any new coal-fired generation. And it was unlikely there was going to be any new coal-fired generation no matter who won the election (unless Barnaby Joyce were to be become PM).

  18. In concert with community and environmental groups, the Greens party has had a campaign and advocated for ‘cash for cans’ scheme for years. They have kept the issue alive despite the decade-long opposition by both major parties.

    Victoria – the lone hold-out.

    A recycling crisis, public outrage and nowhere to hide, voila there’s movement.

    Cash-for-cans scheme now a certainty for Victoria:
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/cash-for-cans-scheme-now-a-certainty-for-victoria-20200209-p53z30.html

    A Victorian cash-for-cans and bottles scheme is now a certainty regardless of which party leads the government with the Victorian Coalition committing to introducing the recycling program.

    Opposition Leader Michael O’Brien confirmed the Coalition was devising its own scheme as part of its policy of eliminating rubbish sent to landfill by 2035.

    The Labor state government is planning to introduce a container deposit scheme by 2023 but has confirmed almost no detail beyond that. It would need to win the 2022 election to make good on that commitment.

    ———

    Recently….

    Fix Victoria’s Recycling Crisis:
    https://greens.org.au/vic/fix-waste-crisis

    The Victorian state government has known about this escalating crisis since at least February 2018. Yet instead of taking action to create a local recycling industry with sustainable jobs, the Andrews Labor Government voted down the Greens plan for a 10c refund on bottles and cans, and is sitting on a huge $500 million fund that could be spent on creating solutions.
    :::
    The solutions to Victoria’s recycling crisis already exist, we just need a government with the vision and commitment to put them in place.

    Right now, Daniel Andrews’ Labor government has a $500 million dollar fund, collected from the fees that councils pay when they send rubbish to landfill. But instead of using this fund to fix the waste crisis, the Labor government is using it to prop up their budget.

  19. Ingrid M
    @iMusing
    ·
    2h
    hey remember when the ABC syndicated Speers big TV event debut interviewing the Prime Minister and he didn’t ask a single question about coal? Speers has spent this entire interview demanding answers of the Opposition on coal, over 2 years out from an election #Insiders

  20. I recently had a discussion with someone who is attending a state dinner with Widodo.
    What message would I like to send to Widodo, I was asked.
    An interesting challenge: formulating just one main message.

  21. lizzie @ #169 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:58 am

    Player One

    Labor appears to be preparing for a ‘bipartisan’ approach on emissions.

    Evidence please.

    There was an article (in the Guardian, I think) which discussed what Labor’s likely new policy would look like. It concluded it would be virtually no different from the Coalition.

    I have previously posted it. I will try and find it again.

  22. Player One @ #178 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 12:09 pm

    NE Qld @ #162 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 11:50 am

    Thanks Player One. So your view is similar to Marles’. An economic phase out of coal by not providing Government subsidies.

    I have not seen the Marles interview, but I doubt he was proposing that Labor remove all coal subsidies. This was not Labor policy even before they dumped their more ambitious emissions reduction targets – from memory, what they were proposing prior to the last election was not to subsidize any new coal-fired generation. And it was unlikely there was going to be any new coal-fired generation no matter who won the election (unless Barnaby Joyce were to be become PM).

    Make of this what you will…

    “A Labor government is not going to put a cent into subsidising coal-fired power. And that is the practical question as to whether or not it happens.”

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/we-wont-block-new-coal-projects-labor/news-story/3ae10a8420e44e2a9a903aba051149b4

  23. lizzie @ #175 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 12:05 pm

    Dutton blaming the fires on “arsonists”.

    I sincerely believe that Dutton went into the police because he “knows” that most people are criminally motivated and can only be prevented from evil by strict discipline and punitive legislation. Hence his catch cry, taken up by other MPs, that he is “keeping Australians safe”.

    I have never felt less safe than under the rule of this govt.

    Which is their intent. Make you feel unsafe, then say only they can protect you. (Not lizzie you, who is not for fooling)

  24. zoomster @ #37 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 6:10 am

    If you’re interested in the subject of over population, check this guy out –

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UbmG8gtBPM

    Some basic messages:

    – we’ve already reached replacement level. (The problem is that, as people are living longer, the population will continue to rise despite this).

    – we should reach 11 billion but that can be coped with.** It’s unlikely, on current projections, that we’ll exceed this.

    I haven’t tested the guy’s statements but it all seems very evidence based.

    Question for those who haven’t seen the doco: What is the average number of children born to a woman in Bangladesh?

    Fascinating watch.

    So much better when a subject is removed from the hysterics and hyperbole.

  25. Slim hope I know, however the only way we will get meaningful action on emissions reduction in next two years is by bipartisan support. It won’t happen but it is the right move from Labor.

  26. lizzie @ #181 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 12:16 pm

    Ingrid M
    @iMusing
    ·
    2h
    hey remember when the ABC syndicated Speers big TV event debut interviewing the Prime Minister and he didn’t ask a single question about coal? Speers has spent this entire interview demanding answers of the Opposition on coal, over 2 years out from an election #Insiders

    Ingrid appears to be a partisan Labor person.

    Ingrid would know, along with everyone else, what the Govts agenda is re coal.

    Labor has no official policy on coal, just a mixed bag of opinions, which Speers is entitled to question the deputy leader about.

  27. ‘Australia’s regional infrastructure is not yet up to supporting your machine. My trips to a funeral in Victoria’s Beechworth..’

    Beechworth doesn’t support present machines very well, either – I once ran out of petrol on the mistaken assumption I could refuel in Beechworth after 5 pm.

    However, a very quick google shows that there are three recharging stations in Beechworth….so there are more recharging stations than there are petrol stations.

  28. Given Speers’ interview with Frydenberg last week, Marles should have anticipated that he’d get the same treatment; Speers not prepared to put up with political doublespeak. It also appears that he wanted to dispel any notion of partiality. Those appearing on “Insiders” should prepare themselves accordingly.

  29. NE Qld @ #190 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 12:22 pm

    Slim hope I know, however the only way we will get meaningful action on emissions reduction in next two years is by bipartisan support. It won’t happen but it is the right move from Labor.

    There’ll be no meaningful action on emissions reduction if the parliamentary fossil fuel cartel of LibNat and Labor members get their way.

    Only the Greens and enviro-Independents can force meaningful change by voters giving them the balance of power.

  30. Rex Douglas @ #184 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 12:18 pm

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/we-wont-block-new-coal-projects-labor/news-story/3ae10a8420e44e2a9a903aba051149b4

    Christ, what a muddled morass of mixed messages!

    But, interestingly …

    He said Labor wanted to achieve bipartisanship with the government on climate change policy.

    “We have been seeking bipartisanship for a long time in relation to this. But to get bipartisanship, we actually need to have a side that we can talk to,” Mr Marles said.

    I think we can predict where this is going to go.

    And, finlly, you have to laugh at this bit …

    “Right now, we’re watching a whole lot of people having a war with each other inside their partyroom … That’s preventing the conservatives in this country even coming to the table to have a discussion about this.”

    It is not really clear which party room he is talking about. Could be either 🙂

  31. NE Qld @ #190 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 9:22 am

    Slim hope I know, however the only way we will get meaningful action on emissions reduction in next two years is by bipartisan support. It won’t happen but it is the right move from Labor.

    I really can’t see how bipartisanship on this issue is possible when one side of the aisle doesn’t even accept the scientific reality of AGW!

  32. Pegasus @ #189 Sunday, February 9th, 2020 – 12:22 pm

    P1

    Was it this article by Jeff Sparrows in August 2019?

    Australia’s climate change inaction is now bipartisan. Protest is all we have left

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/aug/22/australias-climate-change-inaction-is-now-bipartisan-protest-is-all-we-have-left

    Thanks for that, but no. It was more recent. In the last few weeks. It may not have been the Guardian. I will try and track it down.

  33. P1

    A bipartisan position is commonsense. As Marles points out, Labor has been willing to talk to the Liberals on this since around 2009. It hasn’t happened, and it’s unlikely to happen, but the olive branch is still out there.

    After all, it shouldn’t matter who comes up with an emissions policy — as long as it is effective and gets implemented.

    If the Liberals come up with an effective emissions policy, are you saying that Labor should not support it just because?

    Marles’ point, however, is that Labor has waited a very long time for such a policy, and it hasn’t eventuated. The likelihood that one will eventuate is thus vanishingly small.

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