Three things

The major parties in Victoria get fiddling to nobble the Greens in local government; candidates confirmed for Queensland’s Bundamba by-election; and Barrie Cassidy’s moustache strikes back.

Three things:

• The Victorian parliament has passed contentious legislation to change the process by which boundaries are drawn for local government elections, the effect of which will be an end to proportional representation in many councils and a return to single-member wards. This was passed through the upper house with the support of both major parties, and fairly obviously targets the Greens, whose local government footprint expanded considerably in 2016. The legislation is covered in greater detail by Ben Raue at The Tally Room. Relatedly, The Age reports Labor plans to endorse candidates across metropolitan councils at the elections in October, after doing so in only three councils in 2016. The Liberals in Victoria have never endorsed candidates.

• The closure of nominations for Queensland’s March 28 by-election for Bundamba on Tuesday revealed a field of four candidates representing the Labor, the LNP, the Greens in One Nation, just as there will be in Currumbin on the same day. You can read all about it in my election guides for the two seats, which are linked to on the sidebar.

• For those who have forgotten what a Labor election win looks like, Malcolm Farnsworth has posted four hours of ABC election night coverage from 1983 in two parts, here and here. The broadcast predates results at polling booth level and indicative two-party preference counts, which would have to wait until the 1990s, and without which it was difficult for analysts to read the breeze from partial counts in any but the most homogenous seats.

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.

1,957 comments on “Three things”

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  1. Tony Windsor @TonyHWindsor
    Breaking news ….Government endorses science as a means of solving problems …incredible. The two people left at CSIRO are ecstatic at the recognition.

    Karen Andrews MP@karenandrewsmp
    · 16h
    Join me in saying thank you to the incredible Australian researchers who are working hard to develop a coronavirus vaccine, including those at @CSIRO

  2. Victoria says:
    Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 10:10 am


    And that is what continues to baffle me. It is blatantly obvious that trump is a piece of lying crapola.
    It’s also blatantly obvious what Shorten did to members of his own union but there are still some who believe that he is a friend to cleaners and mushroom pickers. Choose your own delusion!

  3. And I generally avoid listening to anything Trump says. Put him on mute and see his body language. He is terrified. He knows he can’t control this messaging. Karma is a bitch. Sadly people are going to suffer as a result of him and his administration’s incompetence

  4. @HenrySherrell
    By any meaningful comparison to other industries and labour market norms, there is no labour shortage in the horticultural industry. Instead, we have a mess given the multiple, ad-hoc immigration policy approaches to employer advocacy.

    Home Affairs is now spreading its wings into conditions of sponsorship and employment.

    Perhaps the boldest policy tweak was the creation of new occupational codes by the Department of Home Affairs exclusively for the horticultural industry. Classifying occupations is meant to be a task undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Yet the Horticultural Industry Labour Agreement has created a new occupation, ‘Horticultural Section Manager’, with an entry-level classification (skill level 5). When you do a search of equivalent ABS entry-level occupations, there is not a single example with managerial responsibilities as part of the job description. It is easy to imagine how employment under this new code could displace veterans of the Seasonal Worker Programme who have progressed to become team leaders.

    For the Pacific, this new approach represents a challenge. While some will argue that the financial costs of these agreements will lessen the effect on Pacific labour mobility programs, employers will be attracted to this option. Recruitment is open to any country, with employers attracted to tapping into well-developed recruitment supply chains in countries such as the Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam. The provision of year-round work on a three or four year visa will also prove attractive, and a direct alternative to the Pacific Labour Scheme. Finally, the Department of Home Affairs is the approving agency instead of the Department of Education, Skills and Employment. While this may seem unimportant, the latter have traditionally had a more rigorous approach to approving employer sponsorship for hiring overseas migrants.

    The one bright spot is the potential for this channel to act as a pathway for Pacific citizens to long-term residency outcomes in Australia.

  5. Referring to my post at 10.27am

    Michael Pascoe
    This is hot, another example of quietly rorted policy.
    So hot I can’t help wondering if the Taylor family has employed people on the low-wage visas

  6. For BK and Chrome or New Edge users.

    From the Dawn Patrol

    Dawn Patrol Part 2. It appears that The Saturday Paper has closed off the Outline route so you will have a new incognito window for each article and click on Keep Reading.

    There is an extension for Chrome and the New “Edge” browsers which seems to enable reading of “The Saturday Paper”

    Enabling this extension will place an icon on the toolbar and simply clicking will enable/disable javascipt for the page in view.

    I would be interested to hear from others re this item.

  7. ‘Firefox says:
    Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 10:14 am

    The Greens team up against the poorest Australians – those living in rural and regional electorates – yet again. What a surprise lol.’

    1. Pulling GMO cotton and GMO canola.
    2. Reducing irrigation by at least 605,000 megalitres
    3. Piling on ecosystem service obligation regulations.
    4. Closing feedlots.
    5. Closing piggeries.
    6. Closing aquaculture.
    7. Closing down the uranium industry.
    8. Closing down the coal industry.
    9. Closing down the live export trade.
    10. Closing down defence industries.
    11. Stop people from hunting ducks.

  8. Great news form Coles.

    Forget about the great toilet paper debacle. Today I received seven (7) “Stickeez” doodahz. How lucky is that “?” More evidence that we are living in this best of all possible worlds. 😍😵


    I have yet to see an official message about co-dwellers of peeps who are into self-quarantine.

    The figure for individuals who have been sent home is over 4,000. (We have no national up-to-date statistic on this, I believe.) Why not? How do we make sensible decisions if we are not being told what is going on at a national level? Are Morrison, Dutton and Hunt hiding behind the traditional Coalition Omerta? Can we trust them? Is the Pope a Catholic?

    Average per dwelling in Australia is 2.7.

    4,000 in the Big Q means that there are around 10,000 people living in houses in which one person has been quarantined.


    Do we have around 6,000 people who are free to go back and forth but who live in the same dwelling with 4,000 who HAVE been quarantined?

    This matters bigly. Why?

    The WHO Report linked by RHW the other day found that family contagion was a heavy contributor to the sum total of all infections.

    WTF is going on?

  10. If you don’t want to be hectored by self-interested Coles and Woolies execs, go to Aldi.

    They are, of course, self-interested. Their solution? Stock and sell more toilet paper. There was a truck load of toilet paper in our Aldi yesterday, and again today.

  11. One figure I saw was that up until yesterday the US had done only 500 C19 infection tests.

    There is an article in today’s Oz in which the journo, who lives in the US, had to take his wife to hospital for a single steroid injection. Cost: over $3000.

    1 in 30 US bankrupties involve medical bills.

    There is a massive avoidance relationship between individuals and the medical establishment. The system could almost have been designed to (a) spend a shitload of money at a national level (b) fail to control an epidemic (c) enrich some at the cost of many.

  12. BK @ #26 Saturday, March 7th, 2020 – 10:58 am

    You’re a genius !
    It worked like a charm

    Thanks for that and there is a similar addon for “Firefox.”

    Dammit I can never figure out where the full stop (period) goes when the inverted commas are in play.

    Half way down the page

    Note – this is a variation of the item previously posted for Chrome and the New Edge (which I am starting to think of very kindly).

    Note. The Colesworths delivery gentleman was unable to buy toilet rolls yesterday.

  13. California Governor has ordered health insurance companies to waive all out of pocket expenses for preventive coronavirus testing.

  14. This is clearer.

    In American English, the punctuation mark (i.e., the full stop or comma) always comes before the closing quotation mark. Conversely, in Australian English, the punctuation mark will usually come after the closing quotation mark, unless the quotation is also a complete sentence. Compare the following two examples. (Both use Australian English).
    The salsola is a salt marsh plant. ‘It stores the salt in its leaves, so is a naturally seasoned plant.’
    The salsola is a salt marsh plant. As salt is stored in its leaves, it is ‘naturally seasoned’.

  15. Ohhhh

    The American Israeli Public Affairs Committee (Aipac), the pro-Israel lobby group, has confirmed that two attendees at their major conference have now tested positive for coronavirus.

    As reporter Ryan Grim noted, there were 18,000 people in attendance, including two-thirds of Congress, and many of attendees also visited offices on the Hill:

    (from the Guardian)

  16. Victoria says:
    It could be argued that for economic motives, the govt has not been more rigid in its containment policy. But I would say an attitude of being calm and carry on, is better than the stupid frenzy of stocking up on toilet paper and the like.

    Victoria, even if the authorities give up, there is nothing insane about planning for 2 weeks of self isolation should you catch it. I for one would never forgive myself if I was the one the gave it to my parents, their chances of survival seem to be worse than mine.

    And it looks like the grand-kids will just sail though it, just another one of the things they pick up at school to give them the sniffles and stress the grandparent immune system.

    Australians travel, live in Wagga, go to Sydney, no big deal. It is behavior that is not understood overseas.

    Heck I had a visitor yesterday passing through from Queensland because he was going to some car race on the weekend in South Australia, did I think he was crazy. No.

    They will not stop it’s spread.

    As for the toilet paper, I subscribe to P1’s view. It is the first thing people notice because it is bulky. I think a lot of people are taking the very sane precaution of getting ahead in there non perishable shopping.

    Why not get prepared for isolation? When it is over you get the reward of not having to shop for three weeks.

    As for the government, they should be putting isolation kits together to hand out to those not prepared when they put people into isolation, not having the chief thug telling the population we are going to arrest you.

    By now there should be clear instructions to GP’s on how to prepare an isolation room, clear instructions as to where to go if you thinks you have issues. None of this has happened.

    Morrison thought the solution was a glossy brochure.

  17. It’s looking more and more likely that Biden will get the nomination.
    I personally think he has the best chance of knocking off Trump, so that’s a good thing.
    He has the benefit of the deflected glow of nostalgia for the Obama presidency, is moderate and won’t scare the horses. He’s also a smaller target for Trump.
    Personally I liked Warren’s policies but sadly she’s out. Bernie is a elderly nut with a dodgy ticker and has too much baggage – he’d be easy meat for Trump.
    Biden represents a bridge for the next progressive generation – he now needs to find himself a younger, female, running mate.

  18. This bloke needs to be scheduled:

    [‘To recap what just happened at this Trump CDC press conference on coronavirus:

    The president wore his re-election campaign hat and interrupted the event to ask a Fox News reporter if his town hall on the network had good ratings.

    He attacked CNN.

    He called the governor of Washington state, the epicenter of a major outbreak, a “snake” and “not a good governor”, and said he disagreed with his own vice president saying nice things about the governor while visiting the state.

    Trump said he has not considered canceling his rallies and is not worried about risks.

    He made false and exaggerated claims about the availability of coronavirus tests, ignoring the reality that his VP has acknowledged, which is that there is a shortage among US healthcare providers right now.

    He said he would prefer if people on the Grand Princess cruise remained on the ship so that US numbers would not go up.

    He gloated about his “natural ability” to understand the epidemic.’]

    He’s also said that a vaccine is close to being developed though most experts say it’s at least 12 months away. He’s in the home straight of his presidency and Biden’s likely nomination will increase his unhingement. And if he’s not (as he boasts) worried about contracting the virus at rallies, that’s good – go to more.

    Although a vaccine won’t be available for some time, here’s a guide to the coronavirus drugs and vaccines in development:

  19. sprocket_ @ #74 Saturday, March 7th, 2020 – 10:23 am

    There are 3,500 people on a Princess Line ship (also owners of the Diamond Princess) moored off California, and of the 46 tested, 21 have coronavirus positive results – 2 passengers, and 19 crew members. So far 2 people who left the ship at an earlier port have died of Covid-19.

    So Dotard is asked what will he do about it?

    He’ll get everyone off that ship ASAP, because keeping them there just ensures that they’ll all get infected (and then need to be taken off the ship anyways for medical support). Right?

    Or no, that assumes Trump possesses some amount of decency and sense. He’ll probably send the ship to Mexico or something. 🙁

  20. I

    Nothing to worry about.The letter was perfect. So are the tests. And WHO is wrong on the death rate. And it is all a Dem hoax. Pence is perfect to lead on all this.

  21. Frednk

    Preparing for 2 week Self isolation is all well and good. But people are buying trolley loads of toilet paper.
    In any case. Free delivery on online orders over 300 dollars. Which for most people is enough stock to cover at least two weeks.
    So no, I dont buy into the panic buying. It is unnecessary.

  22. Preparing for 2 week Self isolation is all well and good. But people are buying trolley loads of toilet paper.

    I don’t really understand it to be honest. Are they afraid there is about to be a chronic global shortage or something?

    In any case, 2 months ago we saw the best of Australians responding selflessly in response to the bushfire crisis, now we are seeing the worst: me first, selfishness and no thought for others less fortunate.

  23. Explanation for video above.

    Nine News Australia
    · 15m
    #BREAKING: A scuffle broke out at a Woolworths in Chullora this morning with patrons coming to blows over toilet paper, forcing employees to intervene. Bankstown police attended the scene and no charges have been laid. #9News

  24. [‘A Toorak doctor who has tested positive for coronavirus consulted about 70 Melbourne patients for five days while infected.

    Health Minister Jenny Mikakos confirmed the doctor, in his 70s, may have contracted the virus on a flight in the US.

    He developed a runny nose on an internal flight from Denver to San Francisco on February 27 and then flew from San Francisco to Melbourne on flight UA0060 arriving at 9.30am on February 29.’

    The doctor also treated two patients at aged care facility MecwaCare.’]

    You’d think that a doctor should’ve known of the potential cause of his own symptoms.

  25. More than 4,000 Aussies are in quarantine right now.

    That did not take very long from first detections in each state, did it?

    If that 4,000 did not stock up on a fortnight’s supplies, they are now all depending on somebody else to supply them over the next fortnight. Now, some of them would not have the financial capability to supply themselves a fortnight ahead of time. But most would. How ‘selfish’ of them not to have planned ahead so that vital national response resources can be allocated to more needy people.

    This week it is 4,000. What happens if next week it is 40,000 and if, in a month’s time it is 400,000?

    We don’t know what trajectory it will take in Australia. But prudent considerations would include being ready to do a home stint. No biggie, really. Most larders would have quite a few supplies already sitting there.

    The notion that we can indefinitely rely on existing systems here could well be false. We don’t know. The trajectories in other countries are not at all a cause for confidence. If the notion IS false, it is too late once that situation arises.

    If that happens and I hope we don’t get there, as sure as night follows day, all the peeps who screamed about others doing ‘panic’, will panic and scream for government support.

  26. Here are 7 ridiculous and disturbing moments from Trump’s visit to the CDC

    As the administration tries to cope with the ballooning coronavirus crisis, President Donald Trump visited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday to assess the response.

    Unfortunately, the visit did not inspire confidence in the president’s management of the situation. In fact, it included more of the disinformation campaign Trump has been engaging in to diminish the negative impact the reality of the crisis might have on his public standing.

    Here are seven of the most ridiculous and disturbing moments:

    1. Trump arrived wearing a campaign hat to the CDC.
    2. Trump lied and said anyone who wants to get tested for the virus can be tested.
    3. Trump compared the tests to the conduct that got him impeached.
    4. Trump cited Fox News for data on the virus, rather than the administration he leads.
    5. Trump went off on a tangent about the ratings for his Fox News town hall.
    6. Robert Redfield, the director of the CDC, said the “most important thing” he wanted to say was praise of Trump.
    7. Trump lashed out at Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is dealing with a major outbreak in the state.

    “I told Mike [Pence] not to be complimentary of the governor because that Gov is a snake

  27. Trump made a damning admission about why he wants to keep passengers on a cruise ship with coronavirus

    “I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship” — Trump explains that he doesn’t want to let people off the Grand Princess cruise ship because he doesn’t want the number of coronavirus cases in the country to go up

    This is, of course, exactly what critics have been saying. Trump isn’t worried about the public health crisis itself, but the way it is reported and the impact it has on his public standing. If he really meant he wanted to keep the virus contained as much as possible, he could have said that. Instead, he repeatedly referred to the “numbers” — the reported figures of infection cases. He previously manipulated these numbers to give the impression that the outbreak is less serious than it is.

  28. Worldwide, not counting China, well over 10 million students have been sent home.
    IMO, that number will climb by the millions over the next couple of months.
    Ideally the students will not spend their times hanging around in dense concentrations.
    Ideally, they will spend most of the next fortnight or so, at home.
    No amount of home deliveries will reach that many students and their families.

    Many, perhaps most of them, will have assumed that there was no need to ‘panic’ and that there was no need to prepare. Perhaps they were relaxed and enjoyed a giggle at the toilet paper hoarders. So they won’t have a fortnight’s worth of necessities.

    So, they are going to go to shops to pick up such unplanned-for necessities as food, toilet paper and medicines… perhaps to spread the Virus. Perhaps to catch it.

  29. Boerwar @ #94 Saturday, March 7th, 2020 – 11:11 am

    If that 4,000 did not stock up on a fortnight’s supplies, they are now all depending on somebody else to supply them over the next fortnight.

    Surely if someone is placed under quarantine it’s the quarantining authority’s responsibility to ensure they’re adequately supplied with food, water, and other basic necessities for the duration? Doing otherwise just invites them to ignore the quarantine.

  30. The chief thug was quick to give us a fridge magnet for a non existent terrorist threats. Quick to ask for more powers to arrest people ( what is the chief thug going to do turn state prisons into isolation wards, I don’t think so).

    Where is the fridge magnet telling us where to phone if you have issues, telling us what to look for ( which seems to start pretty much as the flu, an issue in itself).

    Where is the fridge magnet telling us to order online for our food if we have to isolate ( which is a dam good idea if you don’t live 40 km from the super market). And how to accept delivery so the delivery person is not at risk.

  31. An 180 kilogram turtled named Yoshi has excited scientists, who tracked her remarkable journey halfway around the world after she was released from 20 years in captivity.

    It’s believed the loggerhead turtle may be Australian, after she made a determined 37,000-kilometre swim across the Indian Ocean to a turtle nesting site on Western Australia’s Pilbara coastline.

    Scientists, who began tracking her journey from Cape Town two years ago, believe Yoshi may have wanted to return to her original hatching site to breed and nest.

    Sabrina Fossette, a research scientist from WA’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions, said it was very exciting.

    “This turtle spent 20 years in captivity and still, you put her in the water and she suddenly remembers she probably has something to do on the other side of the ocean and just starts crossing it,” Dr Fossette said.

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