A second by-election now looms in Queensland, in which One Nation may cause trouble in a traditionally Labor-voting working class seat. Elsewhere, Josh Frydenberg faces a contentious Section 44 challenge, and a Victorian Liberal aspirant regrets not paying his train fare.

At the top of the sidebar are links to guides I have up for three by-election campaigns currently in progress, including yesterday’s new addition:

• Queensland’s festival of democracy on March 28 looks set to receive a new attraction after Jo-Ann Miller’s announcement to parliament yesterday that she is resigning as member of the eastern Ipswich seat of Bundamba, effective immediately. After two decades as Labor member, Miller has grown increasingly estranged from her party over time, a particularly interesting manifestation of which was an appearance alongside Pauline Hanson on the campaign trail two days before the December 2017 state election. One Nation did not field a candidate against Miller in 2017, but has been quick to announce it has a candidate ready to go for the by-election, who will be announced on the weekend. Since Ipswich was the birthplace of the Hanson phenomenon, this could yet make the by-election more interesting than the 21.6% two-party margin suggests. Tony Moore of the Brisbane Times reports Steve Axe, Miller’s electorate officer, will contest the preselection, but Sarah Elks of The Australian reports the front runners are two candidates of the Left: Nick Thompson and Lance McCallum, who are respectively aligned with the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union and the Electrical Trades Union. I have a provisional by-election guide up and running which takes it for granted it will be held on March 28, though this is yet to be officially confirmed. Also on that day will be the Currumbin by-election and council elections, including for the big prizes of the Brisbane city council and lord mayoralty.

• Further on the by-election front, I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday on the Greens preferences imbroglio in Johnston.

Legal matters:

• The Federal Court is hearing a Section 44 challenge against Josh Frydenberg relating to his Hungarian-born mother, which complainant Michael Staindl argues makes him a dual citizen. Frydenberg’s mother and her family fled the country in 1949 as its post-war communist regime tightened its grip on power, describing themselves as stateless on arrival in Australia. Staindl maintains that the whole family’s Hungarian citizenship rights were restored with the collapse of communism in 1949. Staindl is also pursuing defamation action against Scott Morrison over the latter’s claim that his action was motivated by anti-Semitism. The Australian ($) reports a decision is expected “within weeks”.

• In further legal obscurantism news, Emanuele Cicchiello has withdrawn from the race to fill Mary Wooldridge’s vacancy in the Victorian Legislative Council on the grounds that he once pleaded guilty to an offence carrying a prison term of more than five years – for improperly claiming a concessional train fare when he was 19. The Australian ($) reports that those remaining in the field are Asher Judah, former Property Council deputy director and Master Builders policy manager, and Matthew Bach, deputy director of Ivanhoe Girls Grammar.

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.

1,417 comments on “Bundambarama”

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  1. ‘Bulletproof from a pardon’: Fox News analyst says judge in Stone case just made things tough for Trump

    In the wake of Roger Stone’s sentencing of 3.5 years in prison this Thursday, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano posited that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s choice to go along with Attorney General Bill Barr’s sentencing recommendation could have been an effort to pardon-proof the sentence from President Trump.

    “[Jackson’s] trying to make this bulletproof from a pardon,” Napolitano said. “Because she went along exactly with what [Barr] requested.”

    “How could the government possibly object to this?” he continued. “She gave them exactly what they wanted, and it’s half of the number that had outraged the President.”


  2. There should be universal ‘dismay and disgust’ at Roger Stone’s actions: Judge Amy Berman Jackson

    Judge Amy Berman Jackson delivered quite the lecture to Trump ally Roger Stone during his sentencing hearing on Thursday.

    Shortly before sentencing the longtime right-wing dirty trickster, Jackson delivered a blistering condemnation of Stone’s efforts to lie to investigators and intimidate witnesses, all to cover up the truth about his efforts to make contact with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election.

    “The defendant lied about a matter of great national and international significance,” she said. “This is not campaign hijinks. This is not just Roger being Roger.”

    She also expressed astonishment that anyone would be calling for Stone to be pardoned despite being convicted on seven counts that included perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice. She also said that Stone’s assault on the truth was “a threat to our most fundamental institutions, to the very foundation of our democracy.”


  3. I’ve not been keeping an eye on BludgerTrack but, after just looking at Morrison’s net satisfaction which is diving faster than a peregrine falcon, surely the idiot is done.

  4. Paris Street has posted a substantial response on Facebook to Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson revisionism of what happened at St Kevin’s which I can’t uplift

  5. Puffy:’Because it is an incredible act of personal bravery, in which the woman risks her life, and that of her children.

    How do I know?

    Because I successfully did it.’

    I think you are extremely brave and glad you were successful in surviving. Good on you and thanks for sharing.

  6. Puffy,
    I just read what you wrote on the last thread and I agree with you 110%. I, as you may or may not remember, have also admitted to having suffered as you have, and it’s a conversation I continually have with my sons so that they don’t fall into the same modes of behaviour towards women that their father did. I can’t say I have been completely successful, what with all the conflicting male stereotypes that are thrown at them from all directions these days, but I mostly am.

    And that’s what I’d say to you. Yes, you may be missing the aid and comfort that your mum gave to you but you can’t change the fact that she is gone and she is not coming back, so now you must become the matriarch and you must be the guiding light for your children the way your mother was for you. Put the wealth of your experience to good use. As with you and your mother, your kids will always look to their mum for guidance and you should always be ready to give it, as your mum did to you. 🙂

  7. I believe this is in an article in the Australian.

    Stuart Khan
    Ex-⁦@AustralianLabor⁩ Federal Environment Minister @SkyNewsRicho
    ⁩ puts forward his carefully considered ideas for sustainable water management in Australia: “Frogs be dammed … we need more water and more patriots”.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    In quite a cutting contribution David Crowe says we’ve yet to see what Scott Morrison really stands for.
    Jenna Price looks into how to stop men killing their wives and children.
    The Australian Government has fallen into one that encourages divisiveness among its citizens rather than promoting unity, writes Grant Turner.
    Domenic Powell reports that the chief executives of two of the nation’s largest retail employers have blamed incorrectly configured software as a key cause of staff underpayments, arguing this issue also often leads to businesses overpaying workers. I have a message for them. It works . . . you don’t!
    Katharine Murphy explains how Anthony Albanese has said Labor has to take the initiative in defending Australia against the dangers of climate change because the summer of catastrophe has highlighted our national vulnerability and because business and the states are now demanding national leadership.
    Alexandra Smith writes that Liberal and Labor ministers from NSW and Victoria are demanding the federal government release $1.6 billion in NDIS funding, saying that short changing people with disabilities should not be used to balance the federal budget.
    Shane Wright explains how a surprise lift in the jobless rate has raised expectations of an interest rate cut to strengthen the economy.
    Tim Pallas declares that it is now the states that are doing the heavy lifting on reform while Canberra retreats into its shell.
    John Kehoe writes that Australia’s domestic private economy last year went backwards for the first time since the 2008 global financial crisis and says fixing the slow economy is up to Canberra.
    Rightly, Tony Featherstone declares that large companies’ practice of late payment has to stop.
    Michael West provides us with Scott Morrison scorecard from before the triple black swan of bushfires, floods and virus.
    Kasey Edwards explains what we haven’t learnt from St Kevin’s. She makes quite a few good points.
    Meanwhile the acting principal of St Kevin’s College has been forced to step aside less than 24 hours after being promoted to the position, due to an allegation that she pressured a former school counsellor not to report a grooming allegation involving a teacher and a schoolboy.
    Christine Jackman gets stuck into Andrew Bolt and Gerard Henderson over their reaction to the St Kevin’s esposé.
    Our economy has become one in which the demand for employment exceeds the number of suitable vacancies, writes Nicholas Haines wo describes the job market as a game of musical chairs.
    Nine months into his first term as elected Prime Minister, has the “miracle” man lost his halo and – like the acrid smoke which hung menacingly over the country – is Morrison’s Government on the nose asks Michelle Pini.
    The closure of Australia’s largest coal-fired power plant could be brought forward as Origin Energy assesses a “range of scenarios”, including the impact of climate change and the influx of renewable energy, which could influence its shutdown date. This will set the Coalition rump going!
    Greg Bourne tells us that a paper published in the scientific journal Nature by Benjamin Hmiel and colleagues shows that the proportion of methane emissions made by man is 25 to 40 per cent greater than previously estimated. This represents bad news for the boosters of gas fired power.
    Nuclear power is expensive, slow, inflexible, uninsurable, toxic and dangerous at a time when renewable energy generation and storage is becoming faster, cheaper and more efficient writes Josh Wilson, shadow minister for the environment.
    The terms of reference for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements steer a careful path around the question of climate change. What a surprise!
    Oh my! The Berejiklian government concedes the cost of its signature metro rail project under Sydney Harbour and the central city is set to blow out by up to $3 billion, laying blame primarily on an “overheated” market for contractors.
    Michelle Grattan’s Friday essay goes to the government juggling health security and wealth security as its China travel ban is extended.
    Victoria’s former Liberal party director has avoided a referral to Australia’s highest court over controversial ads designed to look like they came from the electoral commission. Looks like another green light to me.
    “Let’s get religion off the agenda – NOW” exhorts Rosemary Jacob.
    Isabelle Lane tells us how the battle for online grocery shopping supremacy in Australia is ramping up.
    Sam Maiden reports that Adam Bandt has called for school fees to be scrapped for public schools as families face costs of up to $5000 a year for ‘free’ education.
    According to Anthony Galloway Labor will go to the next election promising to achieve a net zero emissions target by the middle of the century and to junk Kyoto carry-over credits, again setting up climate change as a major battleground over the next two years.
    Judith Ireland writes that almost 18 per cent of Australian children live in poverty, amid fears “the next generation is set up for failure,” due to rising housing costs and stagnant income support.
    Rosemary Rogers, the former chief of staff to then-NAB chief executive Andrew Thorburn, has pleaded guilty to dishonestly obtaining financial benefit by ­deception. $14.3m in fact.
    “When scandal means nothing, how can the media hold our leaders to account?”, asks Jeff Sparrow.
    The judge who handed down a 40 months sentence on Roger Stone blasted the notorious dirty trickster, describing his behaviour as “a threat to our most fundamental institutions”.
    Bernie Sanders is cruising towards the Democratic nomination but Richard Wolffe wonders if he can win.
    Qantas could deploy special flights to help retrieve stranded Chinese students as the window narrows for them to arrive in time for semester one.
    More than 150 historians and researchers have signed up to access the soon-to-open Vatican archives of Pope Pius XII, evidence of the intense scholarly interest into the World War II-era pope and his record during the Holocaust.
    This “businessman” has earned nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    Glen Le Lievre

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  9. I feel sorry for all the good peeps who have done lots of good things in volunteering for the boy scouts and who must now be in despair.

  10. The most resistant organisation to abuse claims in Australia is the Scouts citing:

    (a) the devolved nature of the organisation (“all care no responsibility”);
    (b) no insurance (or insurance denied) for the time at which the abuse occurred.

    The many time hebephile, Robert Potter, who Bettina Ardnt described as a “good bloke”, was a scout master.

  11. joan kunze @madameshawshank

    @7NewsSydney and@ScottMorrisonMP

    The Hawaii tickets were booked in March. #ScottyfromMarketing was planning to go there all along.

  12. On Bloomberg:

    ‘The culture of the company has been compared to a fraternity, with employees bragging in the company’s office about their sexual exploits.[29] The company was sued four times by female employees for sexual harassment, including one incident in which a victim claimed to have been raped.[30][31] During this time, colleagues published a pamphlet entitled Portable Bloomberg: The Wit and Wisdom of Michael Bloomberg. The work included off-color sayings that were attributed to him, many of which are considered sexist or misogynistic. [32][33][29]’


  13. ‘shellbell says:
    Friday, February 21, 2020 at 8:05 am

    The most resistant organisation to abuse claims in Australia is the Scouts citing:

    (a) the devolved nature of the organisation (“all care no responsibility”);
    (b) no insurance (or insurance denied) for the time at which the abuse occurred.

    The many time hebephile, Robert Potter, who Bettina Ardnt described as a “good bloke”, was a scout master.’

    In which case I assume that it has avoided joining the National Redress Scheme.

    There are a number of recalcitrant organizations. It is almost as if we need a re-run of naming and shaming to put the a bit more squeeze on them.

  14. No contract. Just shovel some more money at News Corp under the pretext of paying for a Spelling Bee (which no doubt will have News Corp branding all over it).

    File under: Keep News Corp sweet.

  15. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has scoffed at Labor’s move towards a “wellbeing budget” similar to Jacinda Ardern’s approach in New Zealand.

    Shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers has floated including social and environmental outcomes alongside traditional financial indicators in the nation’s books.

    But Mr Frydenberg accused Dr Chalmers of looking for an alternative to proper accounting.

    “This is Labor doublespeak for higher taxes and more debt,” the treasurer said.

    Because voters are just cash registers on legs in Coalition eyes.


  16. Is this a new S44 challenge by yet another person against Frydenberg? How many times do the courts need to strike this down before people catch a clue that Frydenberg isn’t going to be ruled ineligible to sit in parliament?

  17. So the blowout in Sydney metro rail project gets a mention in Dawn Patrol again whilst the west gate tunnel and Melbourne metro rail project gets ignored again. I can only put it down to one is a Liberal state govt and the other is Labor.

  18. AUSTRALIA’S youngest sworn Federal Cabinet Minister is glad he never fell to the Communists.

    Matthew Canavan was 17 and finishing high school at Chisholm Catholic College, Cornubia, when he flirted with the idea of being a Communist.

    During his university days studying Economics and Arts, Matthew met Andrea, another volunteer for Edmund Rice Camps.

    The pair fell in love and began preparing for a lifetime commitment through marriage.

    His mere thoughts sprang into a personal recommitment to the Catholic faith, and it was in the nick of time.

    Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott had just been named leader of the Liberal Party.

    “By that stage of my life, after having kids, I’d considered myself socially conservative and re-found my faith after getting married, and so I kind of liked Tony Abbott (a Catholic),” he said.

    “I remember emailing a mate saying if they made Tony leader, I’ll apply for a job with him.

    “We all sort of laughed (saying) they won’t make Tony Abbott leader; that’s not going to happen.

    “Anyway, he was made leader, so I thought, well, this is a sign from God, so I’d better do it.”


  19. Confessions @ #24 Friday, February 21st, 2020 – 5:46 am

    Is this a new S44 challenge by yet another person against Frydenberg? How many times do the courts need to strike this down before people catch a clue that Frydenberg isn’t going to be ruled ineligible to sit in parliament?

    This is the only challenge to his eligibility under S44 that I’ve seen.

  20. Taylormade

    If you want articles on a certain subject posted here, there is absolutely nothing stopping you.

    Meanwhile, sneering at someone who is generous to devote time and energy to preparing a short list of interesting/relevant reading material for the rest of us is more than a bit naff.

    Go to it: get up every morning at the crack of dawn, trawl through several on line publications, and post your selection.

    There is nothing stopping you but your own apathy.

  21. Roger Stone sentenced to jail so now Trump can pardon him. He’s already assembled a pardon panel to guide the clemency process.

    The White House is moving to take more direct control over pardons and commutations, with President Trump aiming to limit the role of the Justice Department in the clemency process as he weighs a flurry of additional pardon announcements, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Trump, who granted clemency Tuesday to a group of 11 people that included several political allies and supporters, has assembled a team of advisers to recommend and vet candidates for pardons, according to several people with knowledge of the matter who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

    The group, essentially an informal task force of at least a half-dozen presidential allies, has been meeting since late last year to discuss a revamped pardon system in the White House. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is taking a leading role in the new clemency initiative and has supported the idea of putting the White House more directly in control of the process that in past administrations has been housed in the Justice Department, officials said.


  22. Backing up John Schindlers comment yesterday : “That would be a disastrous choice…so I assume Don will do it.”

    ‘Possibly the craziest and scariest thing he has done’: Conservative blasts Trump for DNI Richard Grenell

    Conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot blasted President Donald Trump’s new appointee Richard Grenell to take over as acting director of national intelligence.

    Appointing a political loyalist means Trump will have greater control on intelligence information. It will now be under the control of what one person called a “rude Twitter troll.” But Grenell has zero experience in the world of national intelligence.

    “Grenell has no intelligence background,” Boot explained. “He spent the George W. Bush administration as the spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, where he developed a terrible reputation among reporters. The veteran Reuters correspondent Irwin Arieff told HuffPost that Grenell was ‘the most dishonest and deceptive press person I ever worked with. He often lied.’ That is a big problem, given that the job of the DNI is to tell the truth — including uncomfortable truths that the president would rather not hear.”


  23. zoon,

    Taylormade is a repeat whinger when it comes to BK’s efforts.

    It was pathetic the first time, doubly so now.

    Some people seem to expect everything they want, is just given to them.

  24. Well after signing up for YouGov online polling and putting up with marketing polls for some weeks, I have finally been polled on federal politics.

    The overall process to get to answer the political questions reminds me a lot of the old Gary Morgan polling technique, which was market surveys for their customers – with prizes and giveaways – and voting intention thrown in. YouGov? Same same.

    So what does this mean? You have to be fwarking patient, have time on your hands, and be incentivised to put up with the crap of consumerism marketing surveys through pokey giveaways. YouGov offers points which you can exchange for gift cards and the like. I have questions about the randomness of this political voting intention polling.

    So to the questions:

    Employee, own business, other
    Which Party, I chose ‘not sure’
    Which Party are you leaning to, I chose ‘not sure’
    Which Party do you identify with, I answered truthfully
    Performance of Scott Morrison
    Performance of Anthony Albanese
    Preferred PM
    What is the most important issue, interestingly a free form box – not radio buttons. My answer? Action on climate change
    Then a whole bunch of questions on climate change, what caused it, what caused the bushfires, how much would I pay extra for clean energy.
    Then a series of questions on income – gross, net, monthly – about 6 in total
    Highest educational level

  25. Confessions says: Friday, February 21, 2020 at 8:57 am

    Roger Stone sentenced to jail so now Trump can pardon him. He’s already assembled a pardon panel to guide the clemency process.

    The White House is moving to take more direct control over pardons and commutations, with President Trump aiming to limit the role of the Justice Department in the clemency process as he weighs a flurry of additional pardon announcements, according to people familiar with the matter.


  26. sprocket:

    And you get a paltry amount of points which take forever to accumulate to get just the minimum required before you derive benefit.

  27. Sprocket,

    Speaking of grants I was contacted yesterday by a large philanthropic trust which we submitted a project proposal for potential funding.

    Sadly we are not in the running this time around however it was a constructive discussion.

    Inevitably the discussion turned to Sen Bridget McKenzie and the person noted that due to that issue their organisation was doing a root and branch review of their grants program in light of the rort and many other organisations were doing the same thing with some withdrawing from current philanthropic activities due to their distaste with the Federal Government’s lack of proper oversight, etc.

    Thanks Senator.

  28. Taylormade says:
    Friday, February 21, 2020 at 8:47 am
    So the blowout in Sydney metro rail project gets a mention in Dawn Patrol again whilst the west gate tunnel and Melbourne metro rail project gets ignored again. I can only put it down to one is a Liberal state govt and the other is Labor.


    BK is not the ABC. He is a private citizen and cannot and should not be bullied into posting what someone else wants. It is a very right wing Trumpian thing to both bully and whine when you don’t get what you want.

  29. Spr:’Who can spot the outrageous aspect of this grant?’

    Would it be the relative low amount? I mean if Sky could get $30m surely Newscorp should get something similar.

  30. Socrates

    Agree. Heads should (and likely will) roll at ARTC and elsewhere for their appalling lack of proper investment and processes in regards to track and infrastructure maintenance.

    Very sad state of affairs. A tragedy that should not have happened.

  31. Spot the patterns of links between the attitudes of three peeps.

    The Extinction Rebellion leadership needs to clean the movement up or it will face the same sort of persistent problems that Corbyn faced in the same sort of space and for the same sorts of reasons:

    Staindl, Poulton and Hallam.


    ‘The Melbourne activist challenging Josh Frydenberg’s eligibility for parliament on citizenship grounds is a member of protest group Extinction Rebellion who insists his motivation for the High Court case against the Treasurer is “climate action”.

    Michael Staindl took part in Extinction Rebellion’s Spring Rebellion last week, including partici­pating in a “Last Supper” demonstration where activists pretended to eat coal in the fountain outside Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria.

    Mr Staindl in July filed a High Court challenge testing Mr Frydenberg’s eligibility to represent the Melbourne seat of Kooyong. The challenge will test whether he inherited dual citizenship through his Hungarian mother, Erica, who fled the Holocaust.’



    ‘Poulton says the book was fiction and he is not a Holocaust denier. However, he has also written that Australians who have been derided as neo-Nazis should instead be called “neo-Aussies” because their goal is “sustaining a predominantly white European population.”’


    Roger Hallam… co-founder of the Extinction Rebellion


  32. lizzie @ #10 Friday, February 21st, 2020 – 7:41 am

    I believe this is in an article in the Australian.

    Stuart Khan
    Ex-⁦@AustralianLabor⁩ Federal Environment Minister @SkyNewsRicho
    ⁩ puts forward his carefully considered ideas for sustainable water management in Australia: “Frogs be dammed … we need more water and more patriots”.

    Yes indeedy and what a story. Who is this self styled “Richo” who writes with such an air of superior insight and such penetration to the core of a difficult problem ❓ – Read on and weep* as Richo explains the evil that lies in the hearts of men (wimmin absent from specific mention today) in the guise of Green Power wot prevents the genius and nation building fire of the current Prime Minister from flowing like the rivers of Babylon (where we sat down) in a mighty rush down to the sea or something.


    It is no surprise that with a continent as dry as Australia our most precious resource would be water.

    If that is a given, how is it that it is well nigh impossible to build a dam in this country? We had a brilliant start with the Snowy River Scheme, but it is almost as if we completed that and decided to rest on our laurels.

    Those laurels are getting pretty parched now. It is a forlorn task to find a site for a new dam that the Greens might support. Greens opposition to new dams is implacable

    I hope we find someone in power somewhere prepared to tell the nay-sayers where to get off. It would be wonderful if Scott Morrison could find the courage to build a dam as well as finance a new coal-fired power station on the east coast of Australia. If he showed that kind of courage, Anthony Albanese would be flat out ever beating him.

    I seldom mention the Greens but if the party has Richo stirred or shaken then more power to youse. Does he get paid for this obvious piece of partisan bullshit ❓

    * My guess is that “Richo” writes as though he has four aces in his hand while others suspect there may be something else – possibly a busted flush.

  33. Soc, what surprised me was the small number of passengers (153 I believe). Could something like this accident be the catalyst for stopping passenger trains running at all?

  34. A sarcastic facebook comment from mate of mine —

    ‘Congratulations to everyone who worked on the 2015 ALP National Platform climate policy, which Albo announced yesterday.’

    Alas, I haven’t noticed much excitement here, from those who were demanding Labor put up a policy in this area…

    I’m hoping that (i) the targets set are minimums and (ii) there’s wiggle room left so that the policy can be fleshed out closer to the election, when the state of the technologies available and other similar details are known – things change a lot in this space very quickly.

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