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. Bucephalus:

    [‘The fact that the dissenting opinion in the Appeal Verdict was by possibly the most respected Criminal Law Jurorists in Australia carries a great deal of weight in the opinion of my friends who are Barristers who appear before the HCoA.’]

    I’m not sure about that. Arguably if Weinberg (reserve Judge of Appeal) is so proficient at his profession he – apart from altruism, prestige – could’ve earned much more at the bar than as the CDPP. Yes, such an appointment pays well, but nowhere near, say, a Bret Walker, whose strike rate incidentally in the HC is not as good as some think. Weinberg does have a CV one would kill for, but he’s not the bee’s knees of the legal profession. We’ll see in due course, and hopefully, after the dust settles, even provocateur Rex will accept the outcome.

  2. Sprocket
    “ Qatar Airways has updated its travel policy so you can travel with confidence, offering you more flexibility and peace of mind. If you have booked or will book flights for travel up to 30 June 2020 you will be offered the flexibility to change your travel plans free of charge by altering the dates of your booking or exchanging your ticket for a travel voucher valid for one year. ”

    That is a great policy and is sure to earn them loyal customers. Also it will help deter people from undertaking risky trips at the wrong time for fear of losing their air fares.

    We have a dearth of transport policies on this but should. Airports are crowded places where people spend hours. So are peak hour trains. How crowded is too crowded? You can bet privatised airport operators will be in no hurry to work it out.

  3. BW
    Hunt says to get tested if you have flu like symptoms. The CMO says don’t get tested if you have flu like symptoms.
    Is it any wonder people and doctors are getting pissed off.

  4. poroti @ #1843 Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 – 7:07 pm

    Back when he was in WA Mr Porter had the honor of being the first person to make me think- FIGJAM .

    His effort, as WA treasurer, to turn a 3 billion state debt into a 30 billion debt, in the middle of the biggest mining boom that one of the world’s biggest mining regions has ever seen, has to be a record of some kind.

    Yet it doesn’t seemed to have in any way impeded his rise up the power pole. I fear that if the High Court finds Robodebt to be illegal, neither will his role in that cause him any career pain.

    Something seriously wrong with our political system when there is not only no punishment for that kind of incompetence and malevolence, but instead lavish reward. 🙁


    Cud Chewer @ #1846 Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 – 7:17 pm

    But it is washable and reusable

    So is your arse! 🙂

    Perfect match!

  5. The fact that the dissenting opinion in the Appeal Verdict was by possibly the most respected Criminal Law Jurorists in Australia carries a great deal of weight in the opinion of my friends who are Barristers who appear before the HCoA.

    That’s silly. The merit of a thing isn’t a function of who wrote it or how famous/respected they are.

  6. The New York Times paints a very gloomy picture:

    The S&P 500 has tumbled 19 percent over the past few weeks, and Monday was its worst one-day decline in over a decade. The free fall has vaporized more than $5 trillion in stock market wealth.

    …The public health crisis is now threatening to turn into a financial one, which in turn could amplify the virus’s economic fallout.

    “There’s panic,” said Dan Krieter, an analyst at BMO Capital Markets. “We’re heading into what looks to be a global recession, including the U.S.”

    …Still, the downward cycle — there are signs it is underway — might play out like this: As the virus disrupts manufacturing supply chains as well as travel, consumer spending would fall and businesses would falter, and stock prices would plummet. The threat to corporate profits would send investors in search of safe havens, like government bonds, sending those prices up and their yields down, in turn straining the banking industry. Banks would limit financing for businesses, which would cut production or lay off workers to hoard capital.

    Already, investors have hustled to safety, shunning corporate bonds and driving up the financing costs for many companies. And as they piled into U.S. government bonds, long-term interest rates fell to historic lows; benchmark 10-year Treasury bonds, whose interest rates until last week had never sunk below 1 percent, were recently yielding half that.

    …Even for people who don’t have money in the markets, the developments are ominous. Large and small businesses hire or fire workers and buy equipment and raw materials based on their own financial strength and their expectations for how the economy will perform in the future. As companies retrench, it affects workers and suppliers, which then have to tighten their own belts.

    Layoffs rise; wages decline. Consumers spend less.

    …The result could be a surge in bankruptcies as companies — in particular in the shale industry, where many drillers are deep in debt — tip over a financial cliff. More workers lose their jobs. Families cancel vacations and postpone big purchases.

    Round and round the cycle goes, further sapping the economy.

    …It is possible, of course, that investors’ gloom will prove to be overblown.

    At some point, for example, the coronavirus is likely to stop spreading; it already appears to be easing in China and South Korea. If that happens soon, any economic damage from closed factories and canceled conferences and restricted travel may prove fleeting.

    Just thought I’d end on a brighter note. 🙂

  7. Boerwar

    Glad to hear it re Rome Airport. If they are just less crowded so that people are not bumping into each other I imagine that would help too.

    They finally announced a budget tonight to put advertising of basic hygiene practices on air. About time.

  8. ‘Socrates says:
    Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 9:33 pm


    Glad to hear it re Rome Airport. If they are just less crowded so that people are not bumping into each other I imagine that would help too.

    They finally announced a budget tonight to put advertising of basic hygiene practices on air. About time.’

    China basically gave Australia 4-6 weeks lead time to get ready. Some of that time was used wisely. Some has been completely wasted.

    But what is clearly lacking is clear national leadership. Spending $10 billion on an economic package is not leadership on the Virus.

  9. [‘The second is the court may grant leave and dismiss the appeal.

    In either of these scenarios, Pell would remain a convicted child sex offender and serve the remainder of his minimum, three year and eight month prison sentence.

    La Trobe University law professor Patrick Keyzer, a former associate to retired High Court chief justice Gerard Brennan, believes this is the most likely outcome.’]

    If I were Keyzer I would be more cautious.

  10. Mike Canon Brooks points out another coalition lie – their technology driven climate change policy is a furphy. We already have renewable energy technology that is cheaper than fossil fuels.

    As Cud has suggested if/when there is a recession and they decide to do a stimulus to restart Australia, it should focus on solutions to climate change. Two birds with one stone (budget). Focus on energy and transport. That is 70% of the problem for us. For transport the first thing is to get better public transport, especially to outer suburbs without it. Fast trains to Newcastle, Wooloongong, Geelong etc as Cud has suggested is the obvious first priority.

    I have previously had my doubts about high speed rail (HSR) and stoill do if it is merely used as a boondoggle to sell valueless land near Dubbo. But Brisbane – Sydney – Canberra – Albury – Melbourne is probably getting close to economic now. Not in the sense it will make a profit, but in the sense that it will be cheaper than what we are doing instead. Just avoiding Badgeries Creek saves over $10 billion. With smart legislation to acquire a corridor, the French could build a TGV from Melbourne to Sydney for around $32 billion. We could too, if we got serious about skills training and avoided PPP snakeoil.

  11. Boerwar
    “ But what is clearly lacking is clear national leadership. Spending $10 billion on an economic package is not leadership on the Virus.”

    Nobody not already working for Newscorp or its political arm, the Liberal Party, would dispute that one.

  12. la merda diventa reale..

    “Payments on mortgages are to be suspended in Italy due to the coronavirus outbreak, the country’s government has announced.

    Over 400 people with Covid-19 have died in Italy, as the total number of infections jumped to 9,172 at the start of this week – the largest amount of cases for a country in Europe.

    When asked about the possibility of halting mortgage payments on Radio Anch’io, Laura Castelli, the deputy economy minister, said: ”Yes, that will be the case, for individuals and households.”

  13. citizen @ #1876 Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 – 7:46 pm

    SMH “live” headline:

    Isolation period of 14 days to be reviewed in light of new study

    Australia’s Chief Medical Officer will consider reducing Australia’s 14-day quarantine period in the future following new scientific evidence that coronavirus symptoms appear after five days in 95 per cent of infections.

    That’s dangerously incorrect. The AIM paper I referenced earlier today found that the MEDIAN time to from infection to symptom onset was 5.1 days, and 98 had developed symptoms by 14 days. At 5 days only half of those who are going to develop symptoms have done so. The quarantine period will remain at 14 days.

  14. GG:

    We need more detail about the “Wooley’s Grecian System”, methinks

    I thought you’ve not got any hair on your head!

  15. Sad to see everyone complaining there is no consistency in coronavirus advice.

    When I noted this 10 days ago I was called a racist panic merchant. My, how the worm turns.

    Just write an app, publish it, and get everybody on-board.

    It’s really fucking simple.

    Now, as to the central charge, isn’t it interesting that the big outbreak in Sydney is in the North-West Ryde, Dundas, Epping, Eastwood area… Eastwood complained of racist typecasting in the SMH. Tom Whatsisname wrote shaming articles. The plaza was empty. All those bigoted Anglos.

  16. The coronavirus is no longer just a slow-moving public health crisis that may soon turn into a rapid-moving one. It’s a crisis of transparency. It’s a crisis of government legitimacy. So it is in this spirit that we all have to say: enough.

    Whose side is the Trump administration on? Based on every public appearance we’ve seen so far — whether it’s from a cabinet member or the director of the Centers for Disease Control or the president himself — the answer is clear: not the public’s. President Trump, hellbent on re-election, is focused on massaging numbers and silencing bearers of bad news. That’s what autocrats do. And it’s endangering lives.

  17. C@tmomma says:
    Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 9:32 pm
    The New York Times paints a very gloomy picture:

    The economic consequences in China and Korea will likely be lessened because they have managed (apparently) to arrest the social spread of the virus. In China the country was locked down for several weeks. In Korea they’ve used mass, free testing.

    In other locations, the first reflex has been denial followed by complacency and confusion. Other than in Italy – belatedly, and massively – there have been few attempts to prevent social spread. As a result, the social, medical and economic costs in these countries will likely balloon right out of control very quickly. The key to this is to combine mass testing with efficient hygiene practices and well-targeted isolation. Korea has evidently done it very quickly. Other countries should examine their approach.

  18. RI,
    That’s not the story I read about C-19 in South Korea last night. They have a national election for President underway and C-19 has become highly politicised as a result.

  19. RI,
    Here it is. It does say, as you have said:

    The authorities have begun a vast, fast program to test potential Covid-19 patients. It is open to all (including undocumented immigrants) and free of charge for anyone who displays telltale symptoms or has a doctor’s referral. Special drive-through clinics have been set up. More than 196,000 people had been tested as of Monday morning.

    However, it also goes on to say much more:

  20. President Trump, hellbent on re-election,

    Mainly to avoid jail. The moment he is no longer president he will go straight to legal hell for the rest of his life, one way or another.

  21. “”There are some evil people in politics today.””

    C@t, you may have noticed that the Libs and their putrid, incompetent ilk were also there yesterday. 🙁

  22. If the social spread of the virus can be arrested it would decline and disappear. The virus can only persist for as long as it can spread. So arresting the spread is essential. To do this, it’s necessary to know who has the virus. The way to acquire that knowledge is to test as many people as possible.

  23. If I had a sociopath lurking deep in a corner of my heart it would be glad Labor did not win the last election. As in ‘Be careful what you wish for, Morrison, because you might just get it.’ kind of way.

    As it is, I am too worried that the poor and vulnerable I know will be hit by this virus with no resources to back them up, and a government too impoverished of ideas, good-will, knowledge and leadership to prevent be of much use.

    This pandemic proves that money, at the same time, is both life-savingly important and totally unimportant. Money spent on collective resources, such as the health system, is vital. Individual wealth accumulated by taking from collective resources cannot buy a cure that does not exist, nor shield your child from a sick nurse who must work no matter what.

    Unless you live the life of the One Percent, who have fashioned for themselves a world apart from everyone else, your money cannot protect you.

  24. imacca @ #1891 Tuesday, March 10th, 2020 – 10:30 pm

    “”There are some evil people in politics today.””

    C@t, you may have noticed that the Libs and their putrid, incompetent ilk were also there yesterday. 🙁

    Oh yes. Paul Krugman takes us down memory lane:

    Let’s take a trip down memory lane.

    The 2008 financial crisis was brought on by the collapse of an immense housing bubble. But many on the right denied that there was anything amiss. Larry Kudlow, now Trump’s chief economist, ridiculed “bubbleheads” who suggested that housing prices were out of line.

    And I can tell you from personal experience that when I began writing about the housing bubble I was relentlessly accused of playing politics: “You only say there’s a bubble because you hate President Bush.”

    When the economy began to slide, mainstream Republicans remained deeply in denial. Phil Gramm, John McCain’s senior economic adviser during the 2008 presidential campaign, declared that America was only suffering a “mental recession” and had become a “nation of whiners.”

    Even the failure of Lehman Brothers, which sent the economy into a full meltdown, initially didn’t put a dent in conservative denial. Kudlow hailed the failure as good news, because it signaled an end to bailouts, and predicted housing and financial recovery in “months, not years.”

    Wait, there’s more. After the economic crisis helped Barack Obama win the 2008 election, right-wing pundits declared that it was all a left-wing conspiracy. Karl Rove and Bill O’Reilly accused the news media of hyping bad news to enable Obama’s socialist agenda, while Rush Limbaugh asserted that Senator Chuck Schumer personally caused the crisis (don’t ask).

    The point is that Trump’s luridly delusional response to the coronavirus and his conspiracy theorizing about Democrats and the news media aren’t really that different from the way the right dealt with the financial crisis a dozen years ago. True, last time the crazy talk wasn’t coming directly from the president of the United States. But that’s not the important distinction between then and now.

    No, what’s different now is that denial and the resulting delay are likely to have deadly consequences.

  25. JM
    Call me cynical or a crazy old woman, but it is my firm belief that once Trump is no longer President he will be epsteined. I think he is fighting for his life.

  26. PTMD,
    You will likely like these words by Jennifer Senior:

    At a Friday news conference at the C.D.C., Trump told reporters that tests for the coronavirus were now available to anyone who needed one. Yet just afterward, we heard from governor after governor and doctor after doctor that this is categorically untrue, with states in dire need of more tests. “We have no local testing available,” Dr. Walter Mills, president of the California Academy of Family Physicians, told The San Jose Mercury News.

    And of course, it was at that same news conference that Trump infamously said, “I like the numbers being where they are,” in explaining why he was reluctant to let passengers, some of whom have tested positive for the virus, off the Grand Princess cruise ship floating off California (it has since been given permission to dock in Oakland).

    That news conference was, to me, the most frightening moment of the Trump presidency. His preening narcissism, his compulsive lying, his vindictiveness, his terror of germs and his terrifying inability to grasp basic science — all of it eclipsed his primary responsibilities to us as Americans, which was to provide urgent care, namely in the form of leadership.

    It’s preposterous for Trump to resist determining how widespread this epidemic is. Yet right now, the United States isn’t reporting how many people have been tested; the C.D.C. pulled the number from its website. Late last week, an extraordinarily detailed article by The Atlantic, counting state by state, put that number at only 1,895. In South Korea, the number was more than 140,000. (Which Trump dismissed as “sampling.” It was not. It was testing, straight and simple.)

    Because we’re testing only the sickest of the sick, the American fatality rate from the coronavirus is roughly 4 percent. It’s a frightening and highly deceptive number, even higher than China’s. (Most experts predict it’s likely to wind up at 0.5 percent, which is five times more deadly than the typical flu, and it could be as high as 1 percent.) But Trump has made the dangerous calculation that he’d prefer to keep the number of cases low than convey the full magnitude of contagion.

  27. RI
    There is something to that but there would be some problems
    1. We are still letting in people from overseas
    2. Some would have the virus but it not be detectable yet
    3. The virus can mutate
    4. You couldn’t test everyone simultaneously
    And if people slip through the net, it would start again

  28. Steve777
    Tuesday, March 10, 2020 at 10:45 pm
    The way to avoid the Virus is to avoid people.
    Didn’t Sartre say something similar?

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