Another three things

A bluffers’ guide to Saturday’s elections in Queensland, plus further items of marginal interest.

No Newspoll this week it seems. News you can use:

• Queensland’s elections on the weekend are covered in extensive and ongoing detail here. To cut a long story short: the state by-elections of Bundamba and Currumbin resulted in victories for the incumbent parties, namely Labor and the Liberal National Party respectively; Adrian Schrinner of the LNP was re-elected as lord mayor of Brisbane; and the LNP have almost certainly retained a healthy majority on Brisbane City Council. In Bundamba, the LNP ran third behind One Nation (and probably shouldn’t have bothered to run), whose presence in the field also took a bite out of the Labor primary vote. Labor did manage to improve their primary vote at the LNP’s expense in Currumbin, where One Nation is a lot weaker, but the latter’s presence means they will get a lower share of the combined preferences and thus fail to bite into the LNP’s existing 3.3% margin. There has been no notional two-party count, but scrutineers’ figures cited by Antony Green suggest Labor received an uncommonly weak 71% share of Greens preferences.

• Roy Morgan’s promise that it would provide further detail on its half-way intriguing findings on trust in political and business leaders (see here and here) has borne disappointing fruit. Rather than provide the trust and distrust scores as most of us would have hoped, a follow-up release offers only blurry impressions as to the specific attributes that caused the various leaders to be trusted or distrusted, in which “honest/genuine” and “integrity/sincerity” were uselessly listed as distinct response options.

• The Tasmanian government has delayed the date for the periodical Legislative Council elections, which this year encompass the seats of Huon and Rosevears, but only from May 2 to May 30. The Tasmanian Electoral Commission says this will give it more time to “ensure electors have access to the voting process and to maintain the integrity of the 2020 Legislative Council elections during the COVID-19 pandemic”, which presumably means a greater emphasis on postal, pre-poll and maybe telephone voting.

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.

1,029 comments on “Another three things”

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  1. The US ,as with other places, is facing a shortage of ventilators. turns out they started prepping for such a shortage 13 years ago but………
    The U.S. Tried to Build a New Fleet of Ventilators. The Mission Failed.

    As the coronavirus spreads, the collapse of the project helps explain America’s acute shortage.

    Thirteen years ago, a group of U.S. public health officials came up with a plan to address what they regarded as one of the medical system’s crucial vulnerabilities: a shortage of ventilators.

    Money was budgeted. A federal contract was signed. Work got underway.

    And then things suddenly veered off course. A multibillion-dollar maker of medical devices bought the small California company that had been hired to design the new machines. The project ultimately produced zero ventilators.

    The federal government started over with another company in 2014, whose ventilator was approved only last year and whose products have not yet been delivered.

    Today, with the coronavirus ravaging America’s health care system, the nation’s emergency-response stockpile is still waiting on its first shipment

  2. The growing madness of Dotard is evident in a string of tweets with a similar theme, as US confirmed cases clear 135,000 and deaths 2,300. What is forefront of the mind of them leader of the free world’?

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Michael Koziol reports that public health experts have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to release the modelling the government is using to make major decisions on coronavirus shut downs, arguing it would boost confidence in those choices and give people more clarity about when life may return to normal.
    And Sean Kelly says Morrison must give us more detail if we are to trust his judgment.
    Michael Bachelard gets out the crystal ball to see what lies on the other side. Well worth reading.
    So does Sean Carney who says nothing will ever be the same again.
    Scott Morrison has offered coronavirus wage guarantee for those who have lost jobs, but details still to come writes Amy Remeikis.
    Economist Angela Jackson writes that our social safety net faces its biggest test in generations. Shea says the age of thriving not surviving is over for the time being.
    A combination of wage subsidies and loan guarantees is the only way to hold together employers, workers, and ultimately the Australian economy writes Kevin Rudd who takes the opportunity to put the boot into the critics of his handling of the GFC.
    The SMH editorial makes the point that this pandemic will demand a dramatic expansion of our mental health system.
    We cannot wait two weeks – we must go into lockdown now for the sake of our healthcare workers writes immunologist Professor John Dwyer.
    Michelle Grattan asks, “Which leaders and health experts will be on the right side of history on COVID-19 policy?”
    David Crowe says that foreign buyers will be slapped with tougher rules to prevent them acquiring Australian companies during the coronavirus crisis amid plunging share prices and fears of predatory takeovers.
    Our greatest failure has been the decline of our democracy laments John Lord.
    It looks like it will be another brutal week for retailer stores.
    Dr Steven Hail believes that government spending can save the economy from serious recession in the wake of Covid-19.,13726
    Sydney scientists have developed a world-first COVID-19 diagnostic tool to help frontline healthcare workers rapidly identify patients. The free online program trains doctors to spot COVID-19 in CT scans of patients’ lungs.
    The coronavirus is the worst intelligence failure in US history writes Mikah Zenko. He says Trump’s judgments are highly transmissible, infecting the thinking and behaviour of nearly every official or adviser who comes in contact with the initial carrier.
    Research scientist Tosh Szatow writes that it’s not too early though to start laying the groundwork for measuring our response and the critical data needed for the next pandemic.
    In scenes reminiscent of September 11, 2001, emergency service workers are battling to save the dying in New York as the impact of coronavirus worsens.
    Bloody idiots!
    Today’s “Arsehole of the Week” nominee.

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir

    David Rowe

    Matt Golding

    Jim Pavlidis

    Mark David

    Glen Le Lievre

    Michael Leunig

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  4. Though they could have preferenced the Animal Justice Party ahead of Labor. Though I would have thought, in the age of animal to human transfer of Coronavirus, animals wouldn’t be too popular. However, Animal Justice do tend to concentrate on Domestic and Farm Animals before Wild Animal Markets in Wuhan. 🙂

  5. It’s encouraging to see the number of daily new cases being reported continues to decrease following the stricter regime of inter-personal contacts introduced by the Government.

    From the Age.

    Cases to top 4000 in Australia, but daily rate of infection decreases
    The number of Australians who have contracted the coronavirus will top 4000 on Monday, with 16 deaths as of Sunday night after a Victorian man in his 80s and a 75-year-old Queensland woman who was a passenger on board the Ruby Princess cruise ship became the latest victims.

    Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases was much less than it would have been without mitigation measures, and early signs of a flattening of the disease curve were welcome.

    He said daily rates of increase, which were between 25 per cent and 30 per cent last week, were now in the “low teens”.

  6. There’s a definite pattern emerging:

    1. Labor suggests a sensible move.

    2. Senior Morrison government Minister or the Prime Minister, pooh poohs the idea on national TV and likely on 2GB.

    3. Absolutely reputable expert in the field echoes Labor’s suggestion. For example:

    We cannot wait two weeks – we must go into lockdown now for the sake of our healthcare workers writes immunologist Professor John Dwyer.

    4. Government implements idea but makes it seem like it was all their own work. 🙄

  7. @SuDharmapala
    $150 mil into Domestic Violence initiatives – when you de-fund it by $300 mil and put $150 mil back – you are still defunding spend… did #ScottyFromMarketing think we were stupid or something.. and no – don’t answer that question

  8. Watched Where’s My Roy Cohn? on Friday night which I recommend although the history is told in a choppy way.

    I did come away thinking that all the dozen or so people interviewed and putting the boot in, including family and his law partners, probably did not do so in his lifetime.

  9. Rick Wilson‏Verified account @TheRickWilson

    This is what you are to him, Americans.

    An audience.

    Not his constituents. Not the people who hired him. Not even humans.

    You’re boxes in a spreadsheet of his Neilsen ratings.

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump

    “President Trump is a ratings hit. Since reviving the daily White House briefing Mr. Trump and his coronavirus updates have attracted an average audience of 8.5 million on cable news, roughly the viewership of the season finale of ‘The Bachelor.’ Numbers are continuing to rise…

  10. Re cover for those renting not being kicked out, they will still have to pay the outstanding amount. There is no relief to residential renters at all.

    Yes those who own properties that are leased often have mortgages and can be under financial stress but there is a clear difference that is not highlighted at the moment.

    Those renting do not own the property, no equity in the property therefore no power.

    Those who own the property have the power – this is not highlighted.

    The government is not actually doing anything and again it is up to states to put some protections in place.

    This government is very good at blaming the states doing nothing and taking the credit.

  11. Michael Koziol reports that public health experts have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to release the modelling the government is using to make major decisions on coronavirus shut downs, arguing it would boost confidence in those choices and give people more clarity about when life may return to normal.

    Umm.. that’s got to be a silly question surely? Without an end game strategy no one could possibly answer it. Any strategy that does not involve mass testing does not have an end game. And without an end game strategy you would have to rely upon shut downs indefinitely – otherwise the virus would rebound. So the real question is, when is this government going to announce mass testing and with it a strategy to buy/make vast quantities of test kits?

  12. Another must-view video. Its long but its worth it.
    An interview with a South Korean expert.
    Goes into a lot of basic questions about the virus and it explains in exact detail what South Korea has done so well and all of its procedures and protocols.
    One interesting thing is he says, yes wearing a mask does actually reduce your chances of catching the virus. Skip to 16:00 if you want to see this bit.
    In South Korea you can get tested if your doctor thinks its a good idea. Also you can rock up and get tested for about $140USD. If you test positive, you get your money back.
    Also every person arriving at Incheon airport gets tested.
    Another factoid. Until March 23, South Korea had done 338,000 tests. How did we stack up at that date?

  13. Someone should do a reprise cartoon of Trump throwing paper towels to the Puerto Ricans but this time make it Ventilators to the Governors in the US.

  14. So I guess with only a maximum of 2 people in any one space, that means flights intrastate will cease as well as flights interstate – you could fly to Sydney without having to self isolate for 14 days. Now there won’t be a flight.

  15. Things are pretty grim in New York.

    Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Sunday offered a grim assessment of the coronavirus pandemic engulfing the state, as he reported that 237 people had died since the day before, the largest one-day increase since the coronavirus outbreak began.

    And the projections, he added, suggests that the crisis facing New York could grow even worse.

    “I don’t think there’s any way to look at those numbers,” Mr. Cuomo said, “without seeing thousands of people pass away.”

    The number of confirmed cases jumped by 7,200 in one day, putting the total of confirmed cases at 59,513 cases as of Sunday. More than half of the cases, or 33,768, are in New York City, according to the latest figures from the city and state.

    About 8,500 people are currently hospitalized, an increase of 16 percent from Saturday to Sunday. Of those, 2,037 are in intensive care units, which are equipped with ventilators.

  16. From the Canberra Times article..

    Take a paper commissioned by the federal government to obtain the advice of 22 experts from Group of Eight universities. It reported two views among them.

    “One view, influenced by our position on the epidemic curve, the limitations of wide community testing and surveillance and the experience of other countries, argues for a comprehensive, simultaneous ban across Australia,” it said.

    “The other, influenced by the fact that a large number of our cases are a direct/contacts of importation (which have now been stopped), influenced by the large variation in case density across Australia and the adverse consequences of closure and the sustainability and compliance to an early closure, argued for a more proportionate response”.

    The first view was “a dominant position in this group”, the paper said. What it didn’t add was that this was the overwhelming view.

    When asked about the paper at a Tuesday news conference, both Morrison and Murphy were noticeably uneasy. Murphy said: “Any measures we place, we believe need to be for the long haul. The idea that you can put measures in place for four weeks and suddenly stop them and the virus will be gone is not credible.”

    But another paper circulating, including to senior business figures, argues “the case for a short, sharp lockdown” as the best way to go. The paper is from Raina MacIntyre, who heads UNSW’s Biosecurity Program; Louisa Jorm, director of the Centre for Big Data Research in Health, UNSW; Tim Churches, health data scientist at UNSW; and Richard Nunes-Vaz, from the Torrens Resilience Institute at Flinders University.

    “We are deeply concerned about the prospect of Australia losing control of the epidemic to a degree which would exceed health system capacity and result in far greater numbers of cases, more health and economic losses, and a longer time to societal recovery,” the paper says.

    “A short, sharp lockdown of 4-8 weeks will improve control of the epidemic in Australia, reduce case numbers and bring us to a more manageable baseline from which phased lifting of restrictions and economic recovery can occur.

    “If we fail to do this, we face continued epidemic growth, potential failure of the health system, and a far longer road to recovery.”

  17. Reminds me of a “horrorscope” that was at one point regularly published. Many years ago.

    The gist of it was that for every star sign, you’d have your own feast of pain, misery and disappointment. “Expect to break up with someone”. Etc.

    Only it was particularly brutal to Capricorns. Always abrupt and depressing. Things like “Give up”.

    I’m a Capricorn. I thought it was hilarious 🙂

  18. Thanks BK for assembling the Dawn Patrol.

    From the BK Files.

    In scenes reminiscent of September 11, 2001, emergency service workers are battling to save the dying in New York as the impact of coronavirus worsens.

    Since many hospitals are in dire need of personal protective equipment like N95 masks, paramedic crews employed by the hospitals also face shortages. The Brooklyn paramedic said she had started sewing her homemade masks with bandannas and coffee filters.

    Another paramedic in Brooklyn said she had been using the same N95 mask for days. This past week, as she and her partner exited an apartment building after tending to a patient, the building’s supervisor — noticing the pair’s worn equipment — met them downstairs and shoved new N95 masks and a can of Lysol into their arms.

    The richest country in the world.

    Fortunately we Strayans have better in store with each of us prolly planning on an individual boot camp. 🥾 – good for kicking one self up the backside.

    Song for the day (originally by “The Platters”).

    Only you (Mr. Morrison) can make, all, this world seem right
    Only you (Mr. Morrison) can make the darkness bright
    Only you (Mr. Morrison) and you (Mr. Morrison) alone can thrill me like you (Mr. Morrison) do
    And fill my heart with love for only you, (Mr. Morrison)

    ♫ Tra ♫♪ la ♪♫ la ♫

    Yes, I remembered my mediation. 💊 ☕

    Interestingly the N95 masks mentioned in the article above are going for about 10 – 15 dollars each with 10 filters (EBay). 😷

  19. NSW is on the way to testing 100,000 people which is 1:800.

    If South Korea has tested fewer than 400,000 it is testing about 1:1275

  20. On that NEJM study about how covid19 can be detected for up to days on copper, cardboard, plastic etc:

    Yes, the virus can be detected on some surfaces for up to a day, but the reality is that the levels drop off quickly. For example, the article shows that the virus’s half-life on stainless steel and plastic was 5.6 hours and 6.8 hours, respectively. (Half-life is how long it takes the viral concentration to decrease by half, then half of that half, and so on until it’s gone.)

    Now, let’s examine the full causal chain that would have to exist for you to get sick from a contaminated Amazon package at your door or a gallon of milk from the grocery store.

    In the case of the Amazon package, the driver would have to be infected and still working despite limited symptoms. (If they were very ill, they would most likely be home; if they had no symptoms, it’s unlikely they would be coughing or sneezing frequently.) Let’s say they wipe their nose, don’t wash their hands and then transfer some virus to your package.

    Even then, there would be a time lag from when they transferred the virus until you picked up the package at your door, with the virus degrading all the while. In the worst-case scenario, a visibly sick driver picks up your package from the truck, walks to your front door and sneezes into their hands or directly on the package immediately before handing it to you.

    Even in that highly unlikely scenario, you can break this causal chain.

    Breaking the chain:

    – Bring parcels off your front stoop and just inside your front door and leave them there for a time or wipe the package down with disinfectant before opening it outdoors and discarding the packaging immediately. Wash your hands after touching it and before touching anything inside your home.
    – When grocery shopping don’t touch your face while out shopping. Wash your hands immediately when you get home and before touching anything in the home. Put your groceries away and immediately wash your hands afterwards.
    – Wipe items you need to use immediately with disinfectant when you get them home.

  21. Mr. Morrison said yesterday that when the States depart from the National Cabinet position it is not a departure but solidarity – or WTTE. 😵😵😵

  22. What do we know about the coming wage subsidy so far?

    It will be up to $1500 a fortnight for full time workers

    It will be paid to the employer, to keep employees on the payroll

    There will be “legal obligations” for employers who access the payments, to ensure it does go to keeping workers employed.

    It will be the single biggest measure of the stimulus so far

    Some parts of it will require a recall of parliament.

  23. The government is going to release its “call me anything but a wage subsidy “ package today.

    Unless the subsidy includes casual, gig workers and sole traders then it is not good enough.

    Expect noise and numbers and pats on the back from the government but if the subsidy only applies to permanents then it is letting up to 3.3 million casuals and others hanging.

  24. Morning all and thanks for the roundup BK. Looking at the rate of infection per person in every State it certainly pays to liven in a State with a Labor premier right now. Victoria and WA lowest, NSW and SA highest.

    It is good that Scomo has finally agreed to income support and the two person meeting limit. Though, like everything else, he had to be dragged kicking and screaming to this step, weeks after experts told him to do it. Stay healthy everyone.

  25. Confessions,

    Airports are exempt, like public transport.
    Very quiet at BNE airport this morning. (My flight home last night was cancelled; taking a detour via Melbourne today.)

  26. Australian environment scores 0.8 out of 10 for 2019
    This report is just up until the end of the year, before many of the fires really took off

    ‘Probably the worst year in a century’: the environmental toll of 2019

    The index of environmental conditions in Australia scored 2019 at 0.8 out of 10 – the worst result across all the years analysed from 2000.

    The year delivered unprecedented bushfires, record heat, very low soil moisture, low vegetation growth and 40 additions to the threatened species list.

    The report’s lead author, Prof Albert van Dijk of the Australian National University’s Fenner school of environment and society, told Guardian Australia 2019 was “probably the worst in a century or more” for the environment.

    “This is not the new normal – this is just getting worse and worse,” he said, adding that 2019 had seen a “continuing descent into an ever more dismal future. You start to see ecosystems fall apart and then struggle to recover before the next major disturbance.”

    Interactive website of the report, with a datamap and you can get regional, electorate and LGA based reports

  27. shellbell

    Look at the rules. In NSW (has changed slightly recently to include some very minor exceptions) you have to have symptoms and you have to either have come from overseas or have had contact with someone from overseas.

    If you have symptoms but you don’t know how you got infected, you don’t get tested. You’ll go on to infect other people and they will be excluded from testing. So if your figures are right then we’ve been putting a lot of effort into chasing down contact chains of people who arrived from overseas and were allowed into the community.

    Whereas in South Korea, practically anyone with symptoms, regardless of who they had had contact with, got tested. Plus they are willing to test you straight up, no questions asked, if you pay for it.

    One reason they can do this is that they weren’t wasting tests on people allowed into the community from overseas. They were all isolated.

    In any case this does not change one simple fact. We are not testing nearly enough people here to head down community transmission and our rules are making this impossible.

  28. Jaeger:

    That’s good to know. Some regional towns in WA like ours rely on flights from Perth for medical supplies.

  29. shellbell

    “NSW new cases at 127 should keep the national figure in the 300s”

    Diagnosed cases. Not actual. See above – we’re not testing for community transmission so its pretty meaningless.

    Edit: To make this clearer. What we are seeing is tailing off of overseas sourced cases plus we are flying blind with respect to community transmission. So yeah, don’t trust the figures.

  30. Morning all and thanks for the roundup BK. Looking at the rate of infection per person in every State it certainly pays to liven in a State with a Labor premier right now. Victoria and WA lowest, NSW and SA highest.

    FWIW my own view is that we’re about 2 weeks behind the eastern states. We still have cruise ships docking in Perth for goodness sakes.

    Hopefully the stronger measures the feds have introduced the past week, coupled with lockdown measures the state govt are introducing this week will mean we don’t catch up with the rate of infection growth that states like NSW has seen.

  31. Cud Chewer @ #45 Monday, March 30th, 2020 – 8:29 am


    “NSW new cases at 127 should keep the national figure in the 300s”

    Diagnosed cases. Not actual. See above – we’re not testing for community transmission so its pretty meaningless.

    Flutracking is monitoring community cases that are below the radar. They have expanded their weekly questionaire to include mild C-19 symptoms.

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