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. Cud Chewer is right. NSW is hopeless. 100% took young girl to hospital with breathing difficulties + fever and no test. Prognosis given was probably viral bronchitis. Didn’t fit the profile for a COVID test apparently.

  2. Changed 2 weeks ago when the criteria were upgraded to include patients with severe symptoms despite no contact history.

    Each Ruby Princess passenger got 25 tests!
    I am amazed. I used to work with a FACEM who said the quickest way to kill a sick patient is to admit them under a plastic surgeon.

  3. Oakeshott Country says:
    Monday, March 30, 2020 at 7:17 pm

    Mate I have a friend who has the cough and his wife has the full range of symptoms, including breathing issues. Can they get tested? No.

    Presenting to a NSW hospital with a full range of symptoms AND breathing issues will get you a test. Mate, I think you are telling porkies
    Go anywhere with breathing problems and I dare say people will drop everything and have a look.

  4. DM says:
    Monday, March 30, 2020 at 7:12 pm
    This should cheer up some people

    That would be me. Thanks. I will have to send the Minister a note of thanks.

  5. Tricot @ #680 Monday, March 30th, 2020 – 4:55 pm

    Back in the day, Labor did an outstanding job in Darwin’s devastation during Gough’s tenure……People have very short memories and even shorter periods of gratitude………..

    I was there. I saw competent disaster management in action.

    Both the bushfire and coronavirus efforts by the current feds don’t bear much resemblance. 🙁


    Cud Chewer @ #690 Monday, March 30th, 2020 – 5:06 pm

    Regarding Woolworths and its registration for priority access for seniors.

    My mum has been trying all day to register. Has anyone else noticed if the system is borked?

    I signed up a few days back, and placed my first order last night, to be delivered tomorrow.

    So far, so good.

    Coles are supposed to be introducing their priority delivery service any day, so that should help get more stuff out to where it is needed. (Assuming there is a Coles near your mum.)

  6. “Changed 2 weeks ago when the criteria were upgraded to include patients with severe symptoms despite no contact history.”

    A: I’m inclined to believe you but, how severe?
    B: Show me the web page that says that.
    C: If its only severe cases we are still flying blind as to the real number of infected people in the community.

  7. A common roster for ICUs is 7x 12 hours and 7 off.
    Those who do it tend to enjoy the long break which also allows most infections to declare themselves

  8. The job keeper subsidy does not apply to all casuals. You have to have been employed as a casual for at least 12 months to be eligible. This is unfair.

    If you are employed on a short term contract, for example, and have lost your job as a result of the virus you are not entitled to the subsidy.

    Australia has a highly casualized workforce and many of those workers will be ignored and left out. Every worker, full time, part time casual or gig, should be treated equally and every worker who has lost their job as a result of the virus should be able to access the same compensation for their job lose.

    Why should their be a difference between a casual worker employed in a job for 11 months and a casual worker employed by the same business for 13 months ? Both have lost their job as a result of the virus and yet both are not treated equally.

    Why should a permanent worker who has worked for a business for 11 months be eligible for the subsidy but a casual worker who has been employed by the same business for 11 months not be entitled ?

    The subsidy is too complex and too narrow with too many workers missing out.


  9. How frequently are the buses from The Entrance to Tuggerah going to be in morning peak hour? Where do you think the stops should be?

  10. John Daley of the Grattan Institute implies in this piece

    that increased deficit spending by the federal government today will eventually have to be offset by federal government surpluses in the future. That is not true, and it has never been true in the history of Australia’s federation. The vast majority of the time the federal government runs deficits. This is because in the Australian economy it is normal for both the foreign sector and the domestic private sector to run surpluses. When this happens, the federal government by definition runs a deficit that equals the sum of the other two sectors’ surpluses.

    The constraint on the federal government’s spending is the productive capacity of the economy. The federal government should not target any particular fiscal balance. Whether the federal government should be running a deficit or a surplus, and how large, depends on what is happening in the other two sectors. The federal government’s fiscal balance should be allowed to rise or fall to whatever level is needed at the time to provide good quality jobs for all who want to work, ecologically sustainable production, and stable prices, while meeting the savings desires of the foreign and domestic non-government sectors. In Australia that will nearly always involve a federal government deficit.

    The only circumstance in which it would make sense to have a federal government surplus is if the foreign sector were running a large deficit (or put another way, if Australia were running a large current account surplus with regard to the foreign sector). In that situation a federal government surplus would probably be necessary to delete some of the non-government sector’s spending power in order to prevent accelerating inflation.

    Some people who can talk authoritatively about these topics include Steven Hail, Bill Mitchell, Martin Watts, and James Juniper.

  11. Nicholas,

    John Daley thinks he knows a lot on a wide variety of topics. Having seen him work up close wrt the energy system, IMHO he is a blowhard.

    Pick your battles 🙂

  12. I’m hearing that the commonwealth public service heads are now panicking. After dragging their feet with arranging work from home despite telling everyone else to do it, and being roundly criticised, they are now ordering staff to work from home immediately.

    Apparently the lack of forward planning is resulting in logistical problems with equipment, connections, etc. And putting a huge load on Fraudband in Canberra and other places no doubt. Will it cope? Who knows?

  13. Has anyone asked Scrott how we’re going to pay for all this?
    You know, the way they did when Labor was in government during the GFC?

  14. Whoa Sales just asked Highpants how we’re going to pay for it all. Joshy said we’ll be paying it back for years.
    So there.
    Move on.
    See Labor, that’s how you do it.

  15. CC

    [Testing for COVID-19 in NSW

    Testing is recommended for a person with fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (eg, night sweats, chills) or acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) who meets one or more of the following criteria:

    a close contact in the 14 days prior to illness onset with a confirmed case
    international travel in the 14 days prior to illness onset
    a cruise ship passenger or crew member who has travelled in the 14 days prior to illness onset
    a healthcare worker
    an aged care or other residential care worker
    in a geographically localised area with elevated risk of community transmission – see Locally acquired cases and clusters in NSW.

    Testing is recommended for a person with fever (≥38°C) or history of fever (e.g. night sweats, chills) or acute respiratory infection (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat in the following settings where there are two or more cases of illness clinically consistent with COVID-19:

    aged care and other residential care facilities
    military operational settings
    boarding schools
    correctional facilities
    detention centres
    Aboriginal rural and remote communities, in consultation with the local Public Health Unit
    settings where COVID-19 outbreaks have occurred, in consultation with the local Public Health Unit – see Locally acquired cases and clusters in NSW.

    Testing is recommended for hospitalised patients with fever (≥38°C) and acute respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, sore throat) of an unknown cause.

    Note that testing for other pathogens is not routinely recommended unless it will influence clinical care.

    Clinicians should use their clinical judgment to test patients outside these criteria.]

  16. Frydenberg, the lousy bastard, says “I’m looking forwards, not backwards, Leigh” when asked if he now recognizes Labor’s stimulus efforts during the GFC as being good economic management practice.

    Mean and petty to the last.

  17. Boerwar says:
    Monday, March 30, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Apparently some parents are already getting fed up with babysitting their parents’ grandkids.

    Very good.

  18. Yes. I still can’t get my head about the reasons for putting the station at Tuggerah

    Or anything at Tuggerah.
    That Westfields is hell on earth.

  19. Apparently some parents are already getting fed up with babysitting their parents’ grandkids.

    Some kids are sick of being babysat and home-schooled by their grandparents children.

  20. 😆 and 🙁

    Possum Comitatus
    The weird bit is how some employees will get a pay rise out of this, because the previous wage theft they were experiencing won’t be able to be undertaken with the governments money

  21. It is obvious that the station has to be in the bushland opposite Wyong Golf Course. Growth is greatest in the Munmorah- Wyee corridor. A station at Tuggerah will be a white elephant

  22. Tuggerah Westfield has an excellent Bavarian Restaurant. The Thuringianrostbratwurst is the best I have had this side of Erfürt

  23. In any case, an apparent deficit in the external current account is matched (always) by a surplus in the external capital account. We could run the opposite balances – a surplus in the current account and a deficit in the capital account. In this instance, we would be converting a current account surplus into external savings, as Norway has been doing and as Japan and China have been doing for decades. The public sector could still be in balance or in surplus or in deficit. This really becomes a matter of identifying where national savings are accumulating – in the domestic public or private sectors or in the external sector/s. In Germany, the tendency is for national savings to accumulate in the domestic public sector as well as in the external sector through the operation of the Euro credit markets.

    In each case, the effect of high national savings rates in these economies has been to reduce the discount rate in the home sector – to drive down the cost of capital and to suppress household consumption. The result has been to permit the creation of highly capital intense export-facing industrialisation in Japan, China and Germany. In Norway’s case, their current account bounty has simply been re-invested elsewhere. These are essentially the result of imbalances-and-rebalancing in the global system. They tend to result in under-investment in third economies and in the proliferation of debts.

  24. Dandy Murray: “John Daley thinks he knows a lot on a wide variety of topics. Having seen him work up close wrt the energy system, IMHO he is a blowhard.”

    I’m glad there’s another poster on here who feels the same way about him as I do. Of course, I have a deeply ingrained, arguably pathological antipathy towards anyone who works at/has ever worked at McKinseys.

  25. I wonder whether the extremes of segregation during a civil war, and the sheer danger of travel, and just how risky it can be to gather in groups, has delivered Syria freedom the Virus.

    Or maybe they have other things to worry about more?

  26. From Norman Swan’s interview, it sounds as if anyone in NSW can get a test if they have a friendly GP and are prepared to swab themselves!

  27. Starting to pick up a signal that those who may have been on the cusp of retirement but who are getting caned by the Virus are doing one of two things: retiring now or thinking about how to hang on for longer than they were planning to do because their nest eggs have been scrambled.

  28. mundo says:
    Monday, March 30, 2020 at 8:00 pm
    Whoa Sales just asked Highpants how we’re going to pay for it all. Joshy said we’ll be paying it back for years.
    So there.
    Move on.
    See Labor, that’s how you do it.

    If by this the LNP mean the Commonwealth will be running a surplus for decades to come then we will have to get used to permanent depression.

    The contrary policy is to assert the economy will be expanded until it reaches full employment and then fiscal policy will be run to maintain price stability.

    Labor should not get drawn into debt-and-deficit games….political games that are really just pea-and-thimble tricks.

  29. ‘Simon Katich says:
    Monday, March 30, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Apparently some parents are already getting fed up with babysitting their parents’ grandkids.

    Some kids are sick of being babysat and home-schooled by their grandparents children.’

    Oooh. One response I got to that one was, “Tell them ‘miaow.'”

  30. Sk Very droll

    Dont encourage me.

    I have jumped off the bridge at the weir there at Palmdale. Into Ourimbah Ck. Some years ago.

    Warnervale then. They were gonna make that airport into a second (third) Sydney one werent they? And pretty sure there is a Hillsong type Church nearby. A mate of mine goes there.

    Having said that, I remember Ourimbah station being packed at commuter time… back in the 90’s. Maybe Tuggerah is designed to take in that catchment.

  31. Boerwar

    They have the advantage of having SFA incoming tourists from high risk areas. Especially since ISIS and all the other head choppers started getting their arses kicked. Sorta buggered up recruitment of all those foreign jihadis who flocked there in the early days

  32. Confirmed cases each day are down, no big queues at ICU, an increase but no huge surge in infections from an unknown source (community transmission) just yet. All good news.

    There is one piece of data that concerns me that I would like an answer to. That is the geographical spread of infections from an unknown source. Graphically, on this page:

    Numbers on this page:

    Now, at one level it’s easy to explain, clusters in Sydney that extend outwards into the regions. But isolated cases are spread far and wide all over the place, Wagga, Griffith, Goulburn, Dubbo, Orange etc etc. How have so many isolated, unexplained cases travelled so far and can we really be confident that we’ve picked up the contacts of these patients, both prior to and after transmission?

  33. Scotty from Marketing. Always a minute late and a dollar short. Or in this case 4 weeks and $200 billion.

    The three stages of the economic respons are collectively too complex, confusing, late and still inadequate.

    Still the compliant media will pump his tires. He’s likely get lucky on the health response and even his omnishambles of an economic response will look good compared to some countries. Landslide win 2022 with austerity and tax cut budgets for a decade thereafter.

  34. Boerwar

    What is it with the ‘barrel bomb’ ooga booga’ ? Is it kinder to have one of these land on your head than a 44 gallon drum full of explosives ?

  35. Dandy Murray: “Some of my best friends work for McKinsey’s, MB ”

    Well, I’m in a reasonably good mood tonight, and I appreciate the statistical work you’ve been doing, so I’ll let that go just the once.

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