An institute you can disparage

A poll for the Institute of Public Affairs shows mixed views on the ABC, but it may be showing its age. Also featured: updates on by-elections in the Northern Territory and Queensland.

Way back between December 6 and 8, an online poll of 1016 respondents was conducted by Dynata for the Institute of Public Affairs covering myriad issues, results of which have been apportioned out piecemeal ever since. The latest serving seeks to counter the consistent finding of other pollsters that the nation’s most trusted news organisation is the ABC. The results have naturally been received with skepticism in some quarters, although asking respondents if they feel the ABC “does not represent the views of ordinary Australians” only seems dubious in that it’s framed in the negative for no clear reason. The poll found 30% in agreement with the proposition versus 32% who disagreed, leaving 38% on the fence.

The result has been elevated to a vote of no confidence in the organisation by Coalition Senator James McGrath (who I suspect might be surprised if he learned how many of its critics are on the left), while a News Corp report seizes on the result for the 18-24 age cohort to suggest the ABC has lost the esteem of the young. The latter overlooks a sub-sample size that would imply an error margin upwards of 10%. The survey period also predated the worst of the bushfires, which have presumably been good for the broadcaster’s public image. Previous results from the survey have covered the date for Australia Day, local councils making political statements and the powers of unelected bureaucrats and removing references to race from the Constitution.

Some news on state (and territory) affairs, including updates on two of the three by-election campaigns currently in progress, guides to which can be accessed on the sidebar:

• The Northern Territory by-election for the northern Darwin seat of Johnston will be held on February 29, an unwelcome development for Michael Gunner’s struggling Labor government ahead an election on August 22. Much attention was focused on the Greens’ decision to put Labor last on its how-to-vote cards, but it may also prove consequential that the Country Liberals have Labor ahead of the Territory Alliance, the new party formed by former CLP Chief Minister Terry Mills. The party’s candidate, Steven Klose, has been boosted by suggestions the party could emerge as the official opposition if it wins the seat, since it would have three seats to the Country Liberals’ two if Mills is joined by Klose and Jeff Collins, an ex-Labor independent who says he is a “50-50 chance” of joining the party. Tune in to the blog on Saturday for live results reporting with more bells and whistles than you might think the occasion properly demands.

• Labor’s candidate for Queensland’s Bundamba by-election will be Lance McCallum, a former Electrical Trades Union official and current executive director of the Just Transition Group, a government body to help energy workers whose jobs might be lost amid the transition to renewables. Michael McKenna of The Australian ($) reports McCallum was nominated unopposed after winning the endorsement of the Left, to which the seat is reserved under factional arrangements. A rival candidate for the Left faction’s ballot, Nick Thompson, had the backing of the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, whose state secretary Michael Ravbar has disputed the legitimacy of the result. The only other known candidate is Sharon Bell of One Nation, who was the party’s federal candidate in Blair last year. No word on a Liberal National Party candidate, but The Australian reports the party is “expected to run”, despite the 21.6% Labor margin. Nominations close on Tuesday.

• A Tasmanian parliamentary committee report has recommended restoring the state’s House of Assembly to 35 seats, from which it was cut to 25 in 1998. Each of the state’s five electoral divisions have returned five members under the Hare-Clark proportional representation system, compared with seven seats previously. An all-party agreement was previously in place to do this in 2010 and 2011, before the then Liberal opposition under Will Hodgman withdrew support as a riposte to government budget cuts. No recommendations have been made in relation to the Legislative Council, which was cut from 19 to 15 in 1998, except insofar as the committee considered the possibility of it have dedicated indigenous seats.

Also, note below this one the latest guest post from Adrian Beaumont, covering recent developments involving the nationalist Sinn Finn party in Ireland and the far right Alternative fur Deutschland in Germany, along with yet another election in Israel.

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.

1,556 comments on “An institute you can disparage”

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  1. Define an ‘Ordinary Australian’!?! What a dumb arse term to put into a survey. Of course everyone who is taking the survey would class themselves as ‘ordinary Australians’ and the people they know, maybe some people they have a rough idea about, but how valid is that? I think more relevantly, how meaningless is that?

  2. Typical. So they can pretend any facts that leak out are Fake News.

    The New York Times
    · 1h
    Government health officials and scientists will have to clear statements about the coronavirus outbreak with the office of Vice President Mike Pence, in an effort to tighten the White House’s control of messaging about the virus

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    The head of the World Health Organisation warned that it would be a “fatal mistake, quite literally” for any country to assume it would not be hit by the coronavirus, as markets plunged and the number of confirmed virus cases rose.
    Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw report that direct assistance to industries and parts of the country bearing the brunt of the financial fallout from coronavirus is being considered by the government amid warnings the outbreak could deliver a $6b hit to the economy.
    The London Telegraph proclaims that the US administration is taking an insane political gamble by pitting itself against its own virologists.
    And there’s a reason most presidents are cautious when mentioning the stock market. President Donald Trump is learning it the hard way this week says the New York Times.
    The coronavirus could wreak economic havoc on a scale not seen since the 2008 financial crisis, analysts have warned, amid mounting concern over the spread of the disease.
    Waleed Aly says it’s not merely the surplus that’s being tested here: it’s the government’s entire economic approach.
    Katharine Murphy reports that today Angus Taylor will signal plans to shift investment from wind and solar to hydrogen, carbon capture and storage, lithium and advanced livestock feed supplements, as part of a “bottom up” strategy to reduce emissions by 2050.
    David Crowe reckons Scott Morrison’s coronavirus response shows he’s learnt a lesson.
    This article from a couple of health experts looks at the “normalisation” of this strain of coronavirus.
    Nick Dyrenfurth, executive director of the John Curtin Research Centre, writes that spin is not a budget strategy or a jobs and wages policy. This is a cracker of an article.
    The Canberra Times editorial says that a revelation that legislation forcing single parents onto Newstart “saved” the budget $5 billion over the last 13 years highlights a long standing gender bias in the way welfare and pension entitlements have been managed.
    John Warhurst declares that we can put up with rorts at the margins from time to time, but when it becomes systemic we are all the losers. The erosion of ethical standards of fairness and equal treatment corrodes the whole system.
    Paul Karp reports that Sport Australia received the final list of projects to be given grants from the former sports minister Bridget McKenzie 17 minutes after the government entered the caretaker period and one day after it was sent to the prime minister’s office.
    Michelle Grattan finishes this contribution on Morrison’s latest 2050 position with “watch out for the messaging when the government turns its attention to electric cars. It will be a lot more positive than in the election campaign, when Labor’s commitment to them was, apparently, a threat to the Aussie weekend.”
    Travel arrangements are being thrown into doubt, and many are wondering whether it’s worth going overseas in the first place. What should you do if you’ve booked a trip?
    Scott Morrison now acknowledges that some stimulus measures will be required to deal with breakdown of supply chains and the decline in trade and tourism because of the virus outbreak writes Jennifer Hewett.
    Morrison will remain at arm’s length from his government’s controversial plan to outsource its visa processing system despite the resignation of his close ally from a consortium in the running for the $1 billion contract.
    Rob Harris tell us that a controversial bill to ban cash payments over $10,000 is poised to pass federal parliament despite bitter divisions within both major parties.
    Euan Black tells us that pressure is mounting on the federal government to lift Australia’s unemployment benefit amid signs the economy is doing worse than anticipated.
    High-ranking Nationals politicians have taken a shot at the National Farmers Federation’s climate policy, in a bid to defend their opposition to Labor’s policy of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.
    Labor has accused the PM of ‘cooking the books’ with the timing of sports grants.
    Kaye Lee writes that watching the Senate inquiry into the sports rorts affair shows that the government has no understanding of what they have done wrong. They just don’t get it she says.
    Sam Maiden reports that Bettina Arndt’s legion of critics have been warned to back off by former Liberal Party president and the chair of the Order of Australia awards, Shane Stone, because “external pressure or lobbying” will not determine if her award is rescinded.
    The firm overseeing the rollout of Australia’s $51 billion taxpayer-funded national broadband network (NBN) has been slammed for lacking transparency and dodging public accountability reports Isabelle Lane.
    The comparative unemployment rates between Australia and New Zealand have been affecting migration, writes Abul Rizvi.,13635
    Michael West ranks Australia’s billionaires as taxpayers.
    The Victorian government has called for a major rethink of product design and reuse, joining the waste industry in a call for a national market for domestic recyclables.
    The cosy relationship between auditing firms and company directors is set to be disrupted with a parliamentary committee recommending corporations go to market for their audit every decade.
    Following the Federal Court’s recent rejection of the ABC’s appeal into the legalities of last year’s AFP raids on its Sydney offices, the Greens remain the party on the front foot pushing for greater press freedoms and protections for whistleblowers writes William Olson.,13634
    Sydney’s Newington College has said it is deeply ashamed of the criminal behaviour of some of its former staff members after several students reported allegations of sexual abuse this week following the death of a former junior school deputy headmaster.
    Michelle Pini writes that Scott Morrison spoke this week about the system failing Hannah Clarke and her children, that all levels of government and the judiciary need to reflect on this, and he promised to act.,13638
    No more public-private partnerships should be entered into for public hospitals in NSW, an inquiry into the troubled Northern Beaches Hospital has recommended.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Matt Golding

    Simon Letch

    Jim Pavlidis

    Johannes Leak in full flight.

    From the US

  4. Morning all. Thanks BK for the comprehensive roundup. On Covid19, at this point it is hard not to conclude that the WHO is avoiding labelling a pandemic for what it is, because of economic concerns. I fear in trying to balance medical and economic interests, they will disappoint both.

  5. Thanks William for reporting the IPA poll. Obvious question – why wait so long to release it? Not very significant anyway, but at almost three months old it does not even include the worst of the fires or the public reaction to Morrison’s absence. Is it a poll release as public influencer? I.e. Giving IPA spruikers a chance to reset the narrative? I can see no otheR reason to publish it now.

  6. The result has been elevated to a vote of no confidence in the organisation by Coalition Senator James McGrath

    How wonderful to see our government representatives wasting the time of parliament with such irrelevant nonsense when there are real issues either affecting or threatening to affect our country.

    Isn’t McGrath ex-IPA?

  7. There’s always a tweet.

    Donald J. Trump@realDonaldTrump
    Obama just appointed an Ebola Czar with zero experience in the medical area and zero experience in infectious disease control. A TOTAL JOKE!
    6:20 am · 18 Oct 2014·

  8. The Dow Jones down over 1,000 points – 10% fall for the week after Trump tweeted it ‘was looking good to me’ on Monday. Local markets to follow suit, noting that Fridays and Mondays are the worst for herd mentality fueled crashes.

    As the First Fleet upper deckers called out to the convicts on the lower decks in rough seas with rough food in their stomachs, Watch Under! (the genesis of the term ‘chunder’)

  9. Crowe’s article is not earth shattering. Leaving aside the careless inaccuracy of the words attributed to the Queensland detective, the assignment of the need to protect women to the family court is mistaken.

    The domestic courts and police are the ones with the teeth on protection. The question is on arrest for breach AVO, do we shift the burden of bail to the person arrested? If we do, this will mean quiet a few people doing remand in custody of which a fair percentage will be indigenous which creates its own issues.

  10. The impact of this result on global sentiment – and the local SMSF franking credit share holders – is likely to be bleak. A recession is on the cards, something Morrison and Frydo the Joker will have to confront HINT: it is not Labor’s fault

    “US stock benchmarks on Thursday finished more than 4% lower and tumbled into correction territory as a sharp retreat for risk assets accelerated into the close on Wall Street. Fears about an outbreak of COVID-19, the infectious disease that reportedly originated in Wuhan, China, late last year, have helped to drive stock benchmarks sharply lower this week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -4.42% closed down about 1,200 points, or 4.4%, at 25,763, while the S&P 500 index SPX, -4.42% closed down 4.4% at 2,978, breaking below a psychological level at 3,000, and the Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, -4.61% finished off 4.6% at 8,566. A correction is widely viewed as a 10% drop from a recent peak, but not greater than 20%.

  11. The problem here is that Frydenberg wasn’t drunk. He thought he was being hilariously funny – and so did Morrison and his MPs. Hindu Mr Modi may not have agreed.

    Imagine taking a group of school children to our Federal Parliament to see the workings of democracy… only to be confronted by the drunken idiocy of Freydenberg.. the performing clown… being applauded by the Government of the day!!!!

  12. a point of view from India on coronavirus.

    “Corona virus: Mohan Hariharan refers to it as a deadly epidemic. Should we panic and refuse to look at the face of a chinaman for fear of catching the disease.
    How deadly is crona virus. Before I answer that I would like to point out that as per CDC America reports about 18000 people die of various types of flu annually. We have no statistics about mortality of flu in India.
    As per the available information mortality rate of Covid has been calculated at 1.4% I.e. for every 1000 persons infected about 14 people are likely to die. This is definitely much less when compared to say Ebola or Hunta virus infections.
    Mortality rates of HIV was 100%.
    So should we panic and worry about Corona virus. NO. Should we concerned about it. Yes an emphatic yes. In this modern age of globalization of transportation and communication spread of the infection is inevitable. But certainly controllable with common sense precautions. Quarrantining a few chinamen or boycotting Chinese goods is not the answer.
    Don’t expose the vulnerable groups like very young, very old and immune compromised to overt infection.
    Washing hands with soap and water use alcohol containing hand rub are sensible ways to practice.”

  13. Lock the Gate Alliance NSW spokesperson Georgina Woods said regional communities like those near the planned Santos Narrabri CSG project could not be expected to have any confidence in the government or industry given the inquiry’s damning findings.

    “The failure of the Berejiklian Government to implement the Chief Scientist’s recommendations is deeply troubling at a time when Santos is seeking approval to drill 850 gas wells right through a recharge zone of the Great Artesian Basin,” she said.

    “We’re calling for an immediate halt to any further assessment of the Narrabri CSG project in light of this scathing report, which found landholders are left to bear the risks of CSG because the industry is uninsurable.

    “The NSW Government must not approve the Narrabri project when we now know that the measures that the Chief Scientist said were needed to control CSG are not in place.”

  14. Hamish on RN discussing tourism losses with industry expert – $2b a month.

    She says ‘a confluence of biblical style events’ – bushfires, coronavirus, social media showing images of Australia as a burnt island…

  15. Thanks BK for the Dawn Patrol.

    Interesting item from “The Australian” apparently to add support for Einstein’s reference to unlimited stupidity.

    The Judicial Conference is right. The politics of the governments that have appointed particular judges to the High Court is not a predictor of how those judges will decide cases. Judges are independent.

    That, however, is not the point.

    The big issue that arises from the court’s decision in the aliens case is not what the nature of particular governments says about certain judges, but what the performance of certain judges says about the vetting procedures of the governments that appointed them.

    The majority in the aliens case did not simply descend from on high. Three of the four judges were appointed when George Brandis was attorney-general in governments led by Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull.

    The majority created a race-based exception to the written text of the Constitution that has the ­effect of benefiting foreign criminals with Aboriginal ancestry.

    and so on.

    A future process will enable appointmentees over which the Government has blackmail material enabling a “correct” opinion in every case.

    Finally from our old friend a quote to gladden my old heart.

    Constitutional lawyer Greg Craven says the majority’s decision marks a fundamental shift in the way the High Court interprets the Constitution. It is based, he says, on “impressionistic” judging.

    I wonder what help Chief Justice Susan Kiefel has requested. I suggest none, zilch, zero from the “journalists” at “The Australian”.

    P.S. Gawd knows what Mr. G. Craven means – perhaps along the lines of ⏬⏬⏬ but with brilliant primary colours to impress the MAFS crowd.

    Good morning all. ☮☕

  16. Dr. Dena Grayson‏Verified account @DrDenaGrayson

    OMG. This nimwit is “leading” our nation’s response to the #CoronavirusOutbreak.

    Mike Pence’s past claim that ‘smoking doesn’t kill’ resurfaces after Trump names him to lead coronavirus response

    …… while he was governor of Indiana, Pence penned an op-ed where he claimed that despite the “hysteria” from the “political class,” there’s no evidence that smoking is dangerous for humans. “In fact, 2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer,” Pence wrote.

    Trump settled on Pence to lead coronavirus response because he didn’t ‘have anything else to do’: report

    “The decision to put Mr. Pence in charge was made on Wednesday after the president told some people that the vice president didn’t ‘have anything else to do,’ according to people familiar with the president’s comments,” the Times reported.

  17. The GOP has abandoned its principles to ‘further the personal desires and wealth’ of Trump: Rick Wilson and friends

    In an op-ed for The Atlantic this Thursday, political strategists Reed Galen and John Weaver, along with GOP media consultant Rick Wilson, argue that the Republican Party has abandoned “principle, morality, or the pursuit of the common welfare” and instead seeks to “further the personal desires and wealth of one man.”

    “Trump is the antithesis of what the Republican Party was founded to defend, and that makes him the tangible and temporal target of our current efforts,” the trio write. “Defeating him is only the beginning of a national reformation that will be the work of years, perhaps decades.”

  18. Interesting to see Labor types blindly jumping on the Hindu Nationalist bandwagon with the “yoga is Hinduism” pile-on. Has polling identified right-wing Hindu Nationalists as a critical demographic that Labor need to woo with unqualified support for Modi and BJP’s agenda?

    This is quite an interesting article on the history of modern postural yoga, which seems to be largely based on research presented in Mark Singleton’s “Yoga Body: The origins of modern postural practice”, and Norman Sjoman’s “The Yoga Tradition of the Mysore Palace”.

    Lately, Hindus in America have started flying the saffron flag over American-style yoga, which consists largely of yogic asanas and stretches. The leading Indo-American lobby, Hindu American Foundation (HAF), has recently started a vocal campaign to remind Americans that yoga was made in India by Hindus. Not just any ordinary Hindus, but Sanskrit-speaking, forest-dwelling Brahmin sages who learned to discipline their bodies in order to purify their atman. The purist Hindu position, articulated by the HAF, is that all yoga, including its physical or hatha yoga component, is rooted in the Hindu religion/way of life that goes all the way back to the Vedic sages and yogis.

    There is only one problem with this purist history of yoga: it is false. Yogic asanas were never ‘Vedic’ to begin with. Far from being considered the crown jewel of Hinduism, yogic asanas were in fact looked down upon by Hindu intellectuals and reformers—including the great Swami Vivekananda—as fit only for sorcerers, fakirs and jogis. Moreover, what HAF calls the “rape of yoga”, referring to the separation of asanas from their spiritual underpinning, did not start in the supposedly decadent West; it began, in fact, in the akharas and gymnasiums of 19th and 20th century India run by Indian nationalists seeking to counter Western images of effete Indians. It is in this nationalistic phase that hatha yoga took on many elements of Western gymnastics and body-building, which show up in the world-renowned Iyengar and Ashtanga Vinyasa schools of yoga. Far from honestly acknowledging the Western contributions to modern yoga, we Indians simply brand all yoga as ‘Vedic,’ a smug claim that has no intellectual integrity.

  19. shellbell @ #18 Friday, February 28th, 2020 – 8:10 am

    Crowe’s article is not earth shattering. Leaving aside the careless inaccuracy of the words attributed to the Queensland detective, the assignment of the need to protect women to the family court is mistaken.

    The domestic courts and police are the ones with the teeth on protection. The question is on arrest for breach AVO, do we shift the burden of bail to the person arrested? If we do, this will mean quiet a few people doing remand in custody of which a fair percentage will be indigenous which creates its own issues.

    The article may not be perfect. However, it demonstrates a call to action on dealing with the inadequacies of our family law and broader legal system in that it does nothing to eliminate the on going murder of women through domestic violence.

    Just looking for errors when people put up different ideas rather than you considering and improving them is simply a hat tip to protecting the power of the status quo. Attitudes are going to have to change. Fobbing off any initiatives through legalese pedantry isn’t going to cut it , comrade.

  20. The Dow Jones index of leading US shares has suffered its biggest points fall in history amid the coronavirus crisis, closing down 1,190.95 in New York. Asian and Australian markets are also expected to fall.

  21. Phillip Lodge
    Did a survey of friends, family and associates. “Do you trust the Institute of Public Affairs? “30% said “No”, 10% said “They wouldn’t trust that bunch of fucking evil fascist bastards in a million years and 60% said, “What the fuck is the IPA?”

  22. Dow falls 1,191 points — the most in history

    New York (CNN Business) — US stocks again sold off sharply on Thursday as worries about coronavirus mounted. The S&P 500 posted its worst day since August 18, 2011, and the three main indexes fell into correction territory. Stocks are on track for their worst week since the financial crisis.

    The Dow (INDU) dropped 1,191 points, or 4.4% in its worst one-day point drop in history. The index has fallen more than 10% below its most-recent peak, putting it in correction.

  23. WTAF is this steaming pile of crap supposed to signify!?!

    Interesting to see Labor types blindly jumping on the Hindu Nationalist bandwagon with the “yoga is Hinduism” pile-on.

    Prove it, bakunin, or get off the Pot! Don’t just baldly make a claim about people then run away from it after providing no proof. Also trying to distract from the core of your accusation by putting up, yet again, a great screed meant to prove it!?! Which has zero relevance to your initial sentiment.

  24. lizzie @ #31 Friday, February 28th, 2020 – 8:39 am

    Phillip Lodge
    Did a survey of friends, family and associates. “Do you trust the Institute of Public Affairs? “30% said “No”, 10% said “They wouldn’t trust that bunch of fucking evil fascist bastards in a million years and 60% said, “What the fuck is the IPA?”

    Good for a laugh – unlike the IPA.

  25. Saudi Arabia has closed off the holiest sites in Islam to foreign pilgrims over the coronavirus, disrupting travel for thousands of Muslims already headed to the kingdom and potentially affecting plans later this year for millions more ahead of the fasting month of Ramadan and the annual hajj pilgrimage.

    The unprecedented move, which wasn’t taken even during the 1918 flu epidemic that killed tens of millions worldwide, showed the growing worry about the virus across the Middle East, which has more than 360 confirmed cases.

    Authorities also suspended entry to travellers holding tourist visas from nations affected by the virus. “We expect that this will give Saudi Arabia a chance to really strengthen their own disease control measures for the moment,” said Rick Brennan, the WHO’s emergency director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

    “We ask God Almighty to spare all humanity from all harm,” the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement announcing the decision.

    The news shocked the world’s Muslims, many of whom save their entire lives for a chance to see the Kaaba and walk along the path of the Prophet Muhammad and visit his tomb in Medina.

  26. WTAF is this steaming pile of crap supposed to signify!?!

    I think it’s meant to justify Frydenberg’s immature outburst with more of that misguided, ignorant ‘same-same’ nonsense.

    It is best ignored or simply laughed at.

  27. Growler

    You should read the article and my comments properly before you post. You haven’t.

    It is a tepid article saying something vague about money and the need to do better while keeping clear of one of the obvious issues.

    What are we going to do about the hundreds or thousands of raging men who breach AVOs?

    Got a proposal?

  28. Mr Frydenberg was doing more than pouring shit on yoga. He mocked the ‘Om’ chant as well. The two together belong to Hindu traditions.

    Frydenberg’s apologists remind me of the anti-semites who don’t get it. Some don’t get it because they don’t get it. Some don’t get it because they don’t want to get it.

  29. Confessions @ #36 Friday, February 28th, 2020 – 8:54 am

    WTAF is this steaming pile of crap supposed to signify!?!

    I think it’s meant to justify Frydenberg’s immature outburst with more of that misguided, ignorant ‘same-same’ nonsense.

    It is best ignored or simply laughed at.

    Oh. And there I was thinking that it was Labor that were being attacked by Frydenburg. However, in bakunin’s ‘same same’ worldview, being outraged at being attacked, or is it even proposing a Wellness Budget…which Frydenburg has opportunistically linked to yoga…is equivalent to Labor pandering to Hindu Nationalists!?!

    How freaking lolworthy can you get!?! 😆

  30. Around half of all AVOs are breached:

    If the plan is to physically separate the breachers by jailing them then we are going to need a new set of jails. I imagine it would more or less completely displace the current activities of the criminal justice system.

    But perhaps the first thousand incarcerations or so might deter the next hundred thousand or so?

    As noted above, it would also dramatically increase the already hugely disproportionate jailing rates of Indigenous men.

  31. Much thanks BK for todays reports.

    As I mentioned yesterday, a couple of my extended family were due to leave for the USA on Monday. After seeing Trumps press conference on the coved19, they have cancelled the Trip.

    Trump was as usual looking after the interests of himself and his cronies. Trying to protect the stockmarket.

    It hasn’t worked. Surprise surprise.

    Could this finally be what breaks the spell of those who have supported him so far?

  32. No doubt Frydenberg also feels superior to NZ, which has a wellness budget. After all, it’s led by a woman who can’t possibly know more than he does about budget balancing. (sarc, of course)

  33. C@t:

    Mumble tweeted yesterday in response to Frydenberg’s QT rant that it must play well in the partyroom, the assumption being that most other people would simply roll their eyes at more nonsense from Canberra. Now we know Greens voters approved of it too.

  34. A controversial bill to ban cash payments over $10,000 and impose two-year jail sentences on those caught using cash above that limit is poised to pass Federal Parliament despite bitter divisions within both major parties.

    The Morrison government is set to win support from Labor to legislate the controversial crackdown, which is likely to be opposed by the entire Senate crossbench from the Greens to One Nation.

    The proposal has been criticised by tradespeople, pensioners and some ethnic communities, with government MPs reporting a fierce backlash from within their own branches over the laws.

    Some Labor MPs have also expressed reservations over the laws, aimed at cracking down on crime syndicates that launder money through the black-market economy, however the opposition will likely vote in favour of the laws when a Senate committee inquiry hands down a recommendation that the bill be supported on Friday.

    Assistant Minister Michael Sukkar has moved to quell unrest among the Coalition party room over the bill in the face of a torrent of criticism from backbench MPs as well as party members who believe the crackdown on cash is a breach of the government’s stated belief in the free market.

    Mr Sukkar said the laws were a recommendation from the government’s Black Economy Taskforce as a way to stop criminal gangs using large cash purchases of cars, houses and jewellery to launder their gains from illegal activities.

    “The key focus of the bill is reducing the ease with which organised crime gangs can operate throughout the country,” Mr Sukkar said.

    Government sources told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald they were prepared to call the bluff of Coalition senators and the “tin foil hat brigade” who might cross the floor on the issue.

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