Essential Research: protests, union power and coronavirus policies

Support for anti-racism protests, though perhaps not right now; a mixed bag of outlooks on the trade union movement; and concern that coronavirus support is being withdrawn too early.

As reported by The Guardian, this week’s Essential Research survey focuses on black lives matter protests, union power and the government’s coronavirus policies, producing a mixed bag of results on each:

• Sixty-two per cent felt protesters were “justified in their demands for authorities to address the issue of Indigenous deaths in custody”, but 61% felt “the situation in America is very different to Australia and has no relevance”, and 84% felt protests amid the pandemic put the community at risk.

• Sixty per cent rated unions as very important or quite important for working people, and 74% felt they provided essential services, but 62% thought them too politically biased and 58% agreed that “union protection makes it difficult for employers to discipline, terminate or even promote employees”.

• Sixty-four per cent expressed concern about how the withdrawal of Jobkeeper subsidies “would sit with any second wave of the pandemic”, 53% considered the government had broken a promise by withdrawing payments for childcare workers, 55% thought it too soon to remove support and 43% supported extending free childcare (up seven points on a month ago), but 57% thought the government needed to withdraw help from “some industries”.

The poll was conducted Thursday to Sunday from a sample of 1087; a full report will be published later today.

UPDATE: Full report here.

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.

1,991 comments on “Essential Research: protests, union power and coronavirus policies”

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  1. support to people is being extended in canadia. takeup by business has been slow. -a.v.

    NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh has made extending CERB [canada emergency response benefit]
    eligibility a condition of his party’s support for a key piece of fiscal legislation that is set to be tabled in the House of Commons this week.

    The government will present the supplementary estimates on Wednesday and Parliament must pass that bill, which gives the government the authority to spend on programs and services.

    The legislation is considered a confidence vote — meaning the government could fall if it doesn’t obtain the support of at least one of the opposition parties for these estimates.

  2. The Australian reports that the relationship between Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington and LNP headquarters continues to crumble, after Frecklington received unanimous support last night from party MPs.
    The paper also explores how multiple background figures are on the payroll of one Clive Palmer — not just president David Hutchinson, but ally and former president Bruce McIver and members of the state executive Malcolm Cole and Larry Anthony.

  3. Michael McCormack and wife billed taxpayers for Melbourne Cup flights

    Michael McCormack and his wife flew to Melbourne on a VIP government jet before the Melbourne Cup, celebrated in the marquee of gambling giant Tabcorp, billed taxpayers for their return flights, and justified the trip by reannouncing a three-year-old funding pledge for a sports hall at an event that dismayed local councillors.

  4. Daniel Dale@ddale8
    The FDA has revoked its emergency use authorization for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a coronavirus treatment – saying “it is no longer reasonable” to believe they may be effective for this purpose and that known and potential risks outweigh known and potential benefits.

    Well there you go. Questions:

    – how long was Trump taking hydroxy?
    – did he adhere to the then recommended dosage?
    – is he receiving regular check-ups to monitor any issues from having taken the drug?

  5. Good Morning

    What a good day. Trump loses in the Supreme Court as the Civil Rights Act is upheld in a victory for LGBTI people with implications not good for Morrison’s Religious Discrimination bill mislabeled Religious Freedom. Big loss for evangelicals and may lead to more bleeding of that support.

    The Labor party is indeed having Federal Intervention into branch stacking in a structural reform to rid itself of the disease. Members get representation not factional warlords.

  6. I suppose the MSM will be all over how Greg Hunt and Clive Palmer got sucked in by the Hydrocloroquine hoax.

    Thought not.

  7. Taylormade says:
    Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 7:28 am

    How many ministers will Andrews lose today. Kairouz is looking shaky.

    Isn’t it lovely the Liberals screwed up the state election so badly.

  8. FredNK


    Its especially lovely that its crystal clear mysogyny and homophobia are offences that get you expelled from the Labor party for bringing it into disrepute.
    Winning that state election was worth it.

  9. Good news for LGBTI people in the US.

    The Supreme Court ruled Monday that federal anti-discrimination laws protect gay and transgender employees, a major gay rights ruling written by one of the court’s most conservative justices.

    Justice Neil M. Gorsuch and Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the court’s liberals in the 6 to 3 ruling. They said Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination “because of sex,” includes LGBTQ employees.

    “Today, we must decide whether an employer can fire someone simply for being homosexual or transgender. The answer is clear,” Gorsuch wrote. “An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids.”

  10. @Politics_PR tweets

    Civil Rights Law Protects L.G.B.T. Workers, Supreme Court Rules

    @DanRather tweets
    I was born in a very different time and had to go on my own journey for recognising LGBTQ rights. Just like the country itself. Today is a great day for the universal truth that all people are created equal.

  11. More good news.

    In a long-awaited report, an investigation conducted on behalf of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that agency leadership violated its scientific integrity policy through actions that led to the release of a statement that backed President Trump’s false statement about the path of Hurricane Dorian.

    The NOAA statement, issued Sept. 6, 2019, contradicted its own meteorologists at a weather forecast office in Birmingham, Ala.

    The scandal over the forecast for Hurricane Dorian has come to be known as “Sharpiegate,” after President Trump modified a NOAA forecast map shown in an Oval Office briefing to depict the storm threatening Alabama.

    The report, whose findings were accepted by NOAA’s leadership and released Monday, found Neil Jacobs, the acting administrator, and former NOAA deputy chief of staff and communications director Julie Kay Roberts guilty of twice violating codes of the agency’s scientific integrity policy.

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Things are unravelling in the Victorian ALP.
    Steve Bracks and Jenny Macklin are tipped to head a review into Victorian Labor’s branch stacking scandal.
    Jenna Price is concerned that no political party at any level across Australia is immune to episodes of grasping factionalism, branch stacking, bullying and harassment. Yet bullies are forgiven, rewarded, reinstated.
    The Age’s Chip Le Grand looks at the whole practice of branch stacking.
    Noel Towell looks at what his all means for Dan Andrews now – and beyond.
    David Crowe writes that Adem Somyurek’s methods were part of a political culture that reaches far beyond his city, state and party.
    Branch stacking is as old as politics in Australia, but as we now know, it has grown ever more toxic, says Tony Wright in this article about the sordid history of branch stacking.
    Branch stacking isn’t just the domain of Labor, writes John Lord.
    “Few people had heard of Adem Somyurek but he wielded great power in the Victorian Labor Party. How could Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese not know how he used that influence?”, asks Jennifer Hewett.
    Watching Sam Dastyari, arguably the most notable faceless man NSW Labor ever trained, proffer his opinions from a moral high ground has been stomach-churning, a painful reminder of how dark politics within the Australian Labor Party really is, writes Emma Husar who says the system is broken.
    The Australian’s Brad Norington thinks Bill Shorten could be a winner if he plays his cards right.
    Meanwhile The Australian reveals that Liberal National Party backroom figures behind a destabilising campaign against Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington are on the payroll of political rival Clive Palmer.
    And Christopher Knaus reveals that Michael McCormack and his wife flew to Melbourne on a VIP government jet before the Melbourne Cup, celebrated in the marquee of gambling giant Tabcorp, billed taxpayers for their return flights, and justified the trip by reannouncing a three-year-old funding pledge for a sports hall at an event that dismayed local councillors. Choice!
    Katharine Murphy looks at the latest Essential poll in which 64% of Australians fear businesses will suffer if Jobkeeper is withdrawn early.
    Katie Burgess reports that Scott Morrison has warned Australians will need to tighten their belts, as the nation recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
    China has halted imports from European salmon suppliers amid fears they might be linked to a coronavirus outbreak at a Beijing market, although experts say the fish itself is unlikely to carry the disease. The knee-jerk begins.
    In another informative contribution Peter Hartcher writes that, as Xi pushes harder and harder for global dominance, he is provoking a growing pushback. Not just from the US. A growing number of people, countries and organisations are realising that Xi’s China is not the China they thought they knew.
    Australia’s diplomatic challenges have become more acute as China flexes its muscle, but closer relations with Putin’s Russia would be hard to reconcile, opines the SMH editorial.
    According to Fergus Hunter and Nick Bonyhady ,the Morrison government has accused Labor of reviving its “Mediscare” campaign tactics in a high-stakes row over Australia Post, with the Senate crossbench set to decide the fate of changes to letter deliveries that a union claims will threaten one in four postie jobs.
    Aaron Patrick reports that NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s budget update forecasts the budget will shrink 10 per cent this financial year, hit by the drought, bushfires and COVID-19.
    It seems black letter law applies to sewers now. Michaela Whitbourn reports on a law case decided yesterday basically on the meaning of the word “flushable”.
    State and federal safeguards could be merged to create a “single touch” process to approve major projects under an ambitious plan that has sparked claims it will damage the environment. What could possibly go wrong? It will certainly create some interest in the Senate.
    We may live to regret open-slather construction stimulus says Professor of Construction Management, Martin Loosemore. He is concerned that we will pay for mistakes made now in the form of debt created by cost blowouts and unscrupulous developers. We will have to live with poor-quality, ill-conceived and environmentally damaging developments for decades.
    Michelle Grattan says that Morrison needs to take great care with his deregulation push.
    Australia’s ageing population and lower net overseas migration policy will make it impossible to deliver economic growth forecasts after international borders are opened, writes Abul Rizvi.,13999
    Australia must avoid propping up zombie firms and jobs parked in the slow lane of taxpayer-subsidised intensive care if it is to hit the growth target required to restore prosperity implores the editorial in the AFR.
    Jennifer Duke tells us that Liberal MP John Alexander’s push to allow home buyers to buy property within their retirement funds has been criticised by superannuation funds and Labor as a risky move that would send house prices soaring.
    Official data on Australia’s economy continues to expose Coalition incompetence. Alan Austin analyses the latest data.,13998
    Tom Switzer and Jacinta Nampijinpa Price tell us why censoring history makes the past impossible to grasp.
    Karen Maley explains how consumer confidence may be rising, but the country’s big banks suspect about 96,000 home loan borrowers who asked for a six-month loan deferral are facing financial difficulties.
    When Indigenous Australians are being denied linguistic rights during incarceration, our court system is being undermined, writes Dr Robert Wood.,13982
    Michael Pascoe licks his lips as the Senate passed a Greens motion on Monday ordering the Minister for Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities to table documents by tomorrowrelating to the government’s $2.5 billion Community Development Grants rort.
    More from Pascoe who writes that with the neoliberals back in charge ‘market forces’ will be let rip.
    To get Australia out of a hole, the Morrison government must look beyond the dirt, writes The New Daily’s Toby Phillips.
    Yet another dysfunctional NSW has been suspended.
    Eden-Monaro’s Bumbalong will need more than Scott Morrison’s billion-dollar promises says a cynical Paul Bongiorno.
    Spotify has drastically reduced the revenue it reports from subscriptions to its music streaming service in Australia, in a move which may get the attention of the Australian Taxation Office. Let’s hope the ATO gets stuck into them and their ilk!
    Patrick Hatch with the latest movements on Virgin Australia. Whatever happens, there will be some very expensive haircuts!
    Stephen Bartholomeusz thinks the two bidders in the race for Virgin Australia will try to recreate a version of the airline from its past, one that will be quite different to the airline we know today.
    Electric vehicle charging network Evie Networks’ boss Chris Mills is hoping its tie-up with the $7 billion fuel giant Ampol is the first step in helping service stations make the transition from petrol bowsers to charging stations. This would be a critical start to create increased demand for electric vehicles here.
    Nick Toscano reports that Australia’s lucrative exports of natural gas are being hit by a global supply glut and the coronavirus crisis destroying demand, with dozens of cargoes either anchored offshore or idling at sea as Asian buyers delay deliveries.
    While the media, which boasts Westpac as one of its biggest advertisers, continues to whitewash the bank’s complicity in crimes against children, Nathan Lynch reports on the true cost of its failures.
    We don’t need China to tell us Australian racism exists – just ask international students, writes Yang Tian.
    Correctly, Labor has blasted comments by Liberal senator Amanda Stoker that the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, was the “knee on the throat” and “absolutely choking” the state’s economy. Such a paragon of Christian righteousness!
    BP has signalled a gloomy outlook for the global energy industry, taking a writedown of as much as $US17.5bn and warning it may leave oil and gas in the ground amid a rapid transition away from fossil fuels.
    Zona Black looks at the privacy issues around the use of cameras at supermarket self-service stations.
    The fight against coronavirus is a serious matter, but sport’s way of addressing it sometimes borders on comical, writes Greg Baum as he looks at the AFL’s somewhat contradictory approach.
    Overnight US regulators have revoked emergency authorisation for malaria drugs promoted by Trump for treating COVID-19 amid growing evidence they don’t work and could cause serious side effects.
    The US Supreme Court has ruled that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.
    Donald Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, will publish a “harrowing and salacious” book about the president this August, according to reports.
    Republicans are hypocrites. They happily ‘de-funded’ the police the US actually needs writes David Sirota.
    The gap between Trump’s world and reality is widening. It’s disturbing to watch explains Francine Prose.
    This article in Quillette says America has problems but tearing down statues won’t fix them.
    German intelligence officials have placed a regional branch of the far-right Alternative for Germany party under observation, a move that comes as its leading figure fights his expulsion from the party for failing to disclose his ties to extremist groups.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    Peter Broelman

    Cathy Wilcox

    Mark Knight

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    Glen Le Lievre

    John Shakespeare

    Andrew Dyson

    John Spooner

    From the US

  13. Laurence Tribe@tribelaw
    8. What became of the conservatives’ refrain that liberals should stop trying to “legislate from the bench”? How does the shoe feel when it’s on the other foot? The Kavanaugh dissent unhelpfully says “We are judges, not Members of Congress.” Right! (Go to #9):

    Laurence Tribe@tribelaw
    9. My response to Justice Kavanaugh is: So BE a judge — the way Justice Gorsuch, Chief Justice Roberts, and Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan, and Sotomayor were in this pair of cases. And confront their reasoning head-on — without leaning on empty slogans and cliches. (Go to #10)

    This decision begs the question of the fate of Trump’s overturning Obama-era anti discrimination measures for LGBTI people serving in the military and receiving Obamacare.

  14. Morning all. Vic minister Marlene Kairouz is officially “embattled”. Why did she not resign with the dep treasurer yesterday? If they had been investigating this for a year, with secret videos, and she was this involved, then she must have known she was gone. Sheer hubris.

  15. “Few people had heard of Adem Somyurek but he wielded great power in the Victorian Labor Party. How could Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese not know how he used that influence?”, asks Jennifer Hewett.

    Thanks BK. This whole affair reminds me of that trio of federal Labor so-called powerbrokers who were instrumental in mobilising the partyroom to get rid of Rudd. I can’t remember their names now, and certainly had never heard of them before that time. This guy in Victoria is the same.

  16. If Bill Shorten comes back because factional war lords have lost power thats a win.

    Not that I think thats going to happen. Its the right factions doing the infighting.

    Meanwhile I note Katherine Murphy is not fooled as to what matters for the next Fedeal election.

  17. Fess

    Jennifer Hewett is asking the wrong question.

    Of course it was widely known.
    Question should be who arranged the hit to get rid of Somyurek.

  18. Urban Wronski
    Never forget – Mr & Mrs Mick Mack are very special people at the head of a backward, corrupt, moribund party that exists solely to give the backward, moribund corrupt Liberal Party, the numbers to fake a mandate. & to win elections without policies. Political sacred cows.

  19. Trump: If COVID-19 testing stops — the US won’t have coronavirus cases anymore

    President Donald Trump came up with his latest idea for how to reduce cases of the coronavirus in the United States: stop testing.

    Speaking at a roundtable on “Fighting for America’s Seniors” on Monday, Trump remarked, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”

    Earlier in the day, Trump tweeted that testing made the United States “look bad.”

    “Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases. Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double-edged sword – Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!” he said.

  20. From yesterday this sums it up.

    @Chaser tweets

    “We don’t need an ICAC” says nation going through its 16th major political scandal in 12 months

  21. ‘We can’t see any way his visit will be good for the city’: Largest Tulsa newspaper says Trump not welcome

    “Tulsa is still dealing with the challenges created by a pandemic. The city and state have authorized reopening, but that doesn’t make a mass indoor gathering of people pressed closely together and cheering a good idea.”

    The editorial board of Tulsa, Oklahoma’s largest daily newspaper on Monday slammed President Donald Trump’s planned June 20 campaign rally as a poorly timed and badly located event that risks undermining the city’s fight against Covid-19 and dangerously inflaming street protests over police brutality.

    “There is no treatment for Covid-19 and no vaccine. It will be our healthcare system that will have to deal with whatever effects follow.”
    —Tulsa World editorial board

  22. Thanks BK. If Bill Shorten was not a factional warlord then the Short-Cons did not exist. Somyurek is not alone, nor Victoria the only state with such people, though he certainly deserved to go.

    But so too do the LNP staffers now known to actually be on Clive Palmer’s payroll – surely a huge conflict of interest. They are lobbyists, not politicians.

    And so too should the hapless ersatz leader of the Federal Nationals, a small group of rural grifters pretending to be a political party. His taxpayer funded Cup trip shows the one thing he is confident in is that his spending will not be challenged. So I hereby award a Golden Bronnie for sense of entitlement to Mr McCormack.

    If we could just have a similar in depth investigation of the PM and his pentecostalist faction please?

  23. Trump: If COVID-19 testing stops — the US won’t have coronavirus cases anymore

    President Donald Trump came up with his latest idea for how to reduce cases of the coronavirus in the United States: stop testing.

    Speaking at a roundtable on “Fighting for America’s Seniors” on Monday, Trump remarked, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”

    I’ve actually been waiting for him to say this for weeks now, and am frankly amazed it’s taken him this long to arrive at this ‘logic’. 😆

  24. Confessions @ #39 Tuesday, June 16th, 2020 – 6:31 am

    Trump: If COVID-19 testing stops — the US won’t have coronavirus cases anymore

    President Donald Trump came up with his latest idea for how to reduce cases of the coronavirus in the United States: stop testing.

    Speaking at a roundtable on “Fighting for America’s Seniors” on Monday, Trump remarked, “If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any.”

    I’ve actually been waiting for him to say this for weeks now, and am frankly amazed it’s taken him this long to arrive at this ‘logic’. 😆

    He did say it weeks ago!

  25. @Bukumbooee
    Geez it’s a shame a Labor MP wasn’t just bonking staff, getting other MP’s to give them a job while they were preggers, then a made a big of chunk of change selling salacious details to MSM while LNP covered up with Envoyship shut up bribes etc. They’d be off Scotty-free.

  26. Socrates

    Shorten won’t be such a factional warlord after reforms. Change the structure so factional warlords lose power and thats a big win.

    The Labor party will be much better off as a result and all the political pain of today will have been worth it.

    Of course the proof is in real reform not a whitewash talking about it.

  27. Barney:

    It must’ve been lost amongst all the other crazy shit that’s come out of his mouth. I lose track. 😀

  28. Shellbell

    IBAC has only been around for approx 8 years, but they have investigated a range of matters including the education dept, councils, police conduct and the like.

  29. The ALP are going to stop factionalism? They have formal factions with lists of members in Parliament and trade positions in Cabinets, on Committees and Preselections. The Unions belong to factions and have parliamentary seats allocated by the size and power of their factions in State Conference.

    How are they going wipe all that away?

  30. @Chaser tweets

    Here’s the deal politicians, either you make an ICAC or we start offering a $2000 bounty for every tip-off we receive that leads to an MP getting sacked for corruption. Your call.

  31. Buce

    There is a difference between factions and factional warlords.

    The LNP denying for years it had factions has enabled neo nazis to attempt to take over.

    Well done.

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