After a particularly eventful week, a whole bunch of electorally relevant news to report:
• The last official population updates have confirmed next month’s official determination of how many seats each state and territory will be entitled to in the next parliament will cause the abolition of seats in Western Australia and the Northern Territory, and the creation of a new one in Victoria for the second consecutive term. Antony Green offers detailed consideration of how the redistributions might look, suggesting Victoria’s will most likely result in the creation of another safe Labor seat in Melbourne’s outer north-west, while Western Australia’s could either mash together Hasluck and Burt in eastern Perth, or abolish the safe Liberal south-of-the-river seat of Tangney, with knock-on effects that would weaken Labor’s position in Fremantle and/or Burt.
• In the wake of the 60 Minutes/The Age expose on Adem Somyurek’s branch stacking activities on Sunday, Labor’s national executive has taken control of all the Victorian branch’s federal and state preselections for the next three years. Steve Bracks and Jenny Macklin have been brought in to serve as administrators until January, and an audit of the branch’s 16,000 members will be conducted to ensure that are genuine consenting members and paid their own fees.
• Ipsos has published polling on the recent demonstrations in the United States from fifteen countries, which found Australians to be supportive of what were specified as “peaceful protests in the US” and disapproving of Donald Trump’s handling of them, although perhaps in slightly lesser degree than other more liberal democracies. Two outliers were India and Russia, which produced some seemingly anomalous results: the former had a strangely high rating for Trump and the latter relatively low support for the protests, yet both were uniquely favourable towards the notion that “more violent protests are an appropriate response”.
• The Tasmanian government has announced the periodical Legislative Council elections for the seats of Huon and Rosevears will be held on August 1, having been delayed from their normally allotted time of the first Tuesday in May.
In Queensland, where the next election is a little over four months away:
• After floating the possibility of an election conducted entirely by post, the Queensland government announced this week that the October 31 state election will be conducted in a more-or-less normal fashion. However, pre-poll voting is being all but actively encouraged, to the extent that Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath says there will be an “election period” rather than an election day. This will mean “more pre-poll locations, longer pre-poll hours, and more pre-poll voting days in the two weeks prior to the election”.
• The Liberal National Party opposition was thrown into turmoil last week after the Courier-Mail ($) received internal polling showing Labor leading 51-49 in Redlands, 52-48 in Gaven, 55-45 in Mansfield and 58-42 in inner urban Mount Ommaney. The parties were tied in the Sunshine Coast hinterland seat of Glass House, while the LNP led by 52-48 in the Gold Coast seat of Currumbin, which it recently retained by a similar margin at a by-election. Frecklington’s supporters pointed the finger at the state branch president, Dave Hutchinson, who was reportedly told by Frecklington that his position was untenable after Clive Palmer hired him as a property consultant in January. The party room unanimously affirmed its support for Frecklington on Monday, as mooted rival David Crisafulli ruled out a challenge ahead of the election.
• The Queensland parliament this week passed an array of electoral law changes including campaign spending caps of $92,000 per candidate and limitations on signage at polling places. The changes have been criticised ($) by the Liberal National Party and Katter’s Australian Party, who complain that union advertising will now dominate at polling booths, and that the laws was pushed through with indecent haste on Tuesday and Wednesday.
1,922 comments on “The week that was”
Happy Friday! Our drink of choice this weekend is Colonial Brewing Co. #colonialbrewing
Your guess is prolly better than mine. Looks like lots of noise for the consumption of locals.
If I recall correctly, early in Abbot’s tenure, the Libs were mooting the idea that degrees were going to cost $30k a year and interest on the hers debt was linked to the 10 year bond rate.
So a typical graduate degree would cost in excess of $130k* and quiet likely never be paid off in the students life time.
* assuming the bond rate was 5%, the interest is applicable immediately, and the graduate degree took 4 years. So at the end of 2 years you would owe two lots of $30k plus the interest on the first year debt of $1,500. Total debt of $61,500. Etc etc.
Good morning Dawn Patrollers. It’s a Saturday Special!
Perter Hartcher writes there is only one way Scott Morrison can end a decade of political dysfunction and that is to unify the nation around a serious reform agenda.
If the Morrison government continues to react defensively on race, it may find itself out of step with our US ally, writes George Megalogenis. He gives us some things to think about.
David Crowe says we shouldn’t dismiss cyber threat as an imaginary problem or political stunt.
China has denied responsibility for cyber attacks against Australia amid warnings from security experts that the threats could increase in strength and sophistication.
Concerns are being raised about the ‘boofhead diplomacy’ being conducted at the highest levels of China/Australia relations. But apart from the Murdoch tabloids urging all and sundry to call out China whatever the cost, who else is in their camp? Hamish McDonald finds out .
Laura Tingle says that Labor’s branch stacking turmoil may not help Morrison in Eden-Monaro. I found her logic a bit hard to follow though.
Nick Bonyhady and Jennifer Duke report that the $13-a-week minimum wage rise has upped the stakes for negotiations over industrial relations reform due to start next week, with the government arguing pay and conditions rules should be simplified before the increase comes into effect.
Billions of dollars of support from state and territory governments to protect their economies from the coronavirus pandemic is set to be removed at the same time as federal government stimulus. Shane Wright is concerned about what effect this confluence will have on economic recovery.
And Ross Gittins is saying recovery from recession won’t get us out of the low-growth trap. He makes some valid and concerning observations.
The Government predicted unattainable levels of population growth in the last Budget, with true figures revealing how weak our economy is, writes Abul Rizvi.
The editorial in The Saturday Paper looks at the forgotten people of JobKeeper and JobSeeker support.
The world needs to adopt a modern form of Keynesian economics to overthrow neoliberal ideologies, writes Dr Steven Hail.
Rick Morton has gone to court papers to show how Justin Hemmes concedes his billion-dollar Merivale pub empire could never have expanded so aggressively were it not for a Howard-era workplace agreement that paid some staff substantially below the modern award for a decade. But amid these underpayment allegations, however, the businessman has been drafted by two Coalition governments to provide economic and workplace advice in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Now Labor’s branch stacking virus has been detected in NSW.
Adem Somyurek wasn’t brought down by one person. It was an absolute carpet bombing, writes Katharine Murphy. She says what Albanese needs is his colleagues to see a cause larger than themselves, and rise to the occasion.
Karen Middleton writes that as fallout from the Adem Somyurek scandal continues, some in Labor are celebrating the courage of those who brought him down.
The Victorian branch stacking debacle shows that old fashioned political machines have been replaced by warring tribes that undermine good government, writes Aaron Patrick.
Paul Bongiorno chronicles the spectacular fall of Adem Somyurek.
The Australian tells us that “embattled” Labor MP Anthony Byrne’s covert role in the taping of fallen party powerbroker Adem Somyurek has been labelled unethical and potentially illegal by ALP elder and former parliamentary security committee member Michael Danby.
Luke Henriques-Gomes reports that employment service providers have warned the newly unemployed will have to wait three months to claim up to $1,200 for training and other expenses from July, when the federal government winds back changes that eased access to a special jobseeker fund during the coronavirus pandemic.
Australian security agencies believe China is behind the cyber raids on all levels of government, industry and critical infrastructure including hospitals, local councils and state-owned utilities.
Nick Toscano and Charlotte Grieve write that the mining giants confront an ancient, incalculable risk when it comes to social and environmental issues.
The Morrison Government is bad, but is it that people don’t care anymore ponders John Lord.
If the government has its way, our universities will be hit shortly by a grand scheme of social engineering. The proposed overhaul of university fees, announced on Friday, is nothing short of radical says Tim Soutphommasane who proclaims that it’s all because of this now perpetual culture war that defines our national politics.
And Professor Andrew Norton believes that a simpler reset could have met Dan Tehan’s education aims.
The SMH editorial says that the federal government should not gut arts degrees to pay for STEM courses.
Andrew Clark thinks the government is under pressure to be more open about the trial of a former spy and his lawyer, accused of disclosing information about a controversial East Timor bugging operation.
Superannuation returns are set to be flat or perhaps slightly higher for the June financial year despite the market panic accompanying the coronavirus pandemic, according to the latest figures from Chant West.
Amy McQuire for The Saturday Paper explains the failure of justice for Indigenous people.
Psychologist Peter Hughes writes about the purity paradox, where tolerance and intolerance Increase at the same time.
The AFR says that retail sales might have bounced back, but COVID-19 has accelerated a shift on online that is already leading smart retailers to make hard decisions.
“What will happen when Australia’s mortgage freeze ends?”, asks Martin Farrer.
Charlotte Grieves reports that a global reinsurance company that was paid to cover work on the Adani Carmichael coal mine in central Queensland has ruled out any future financing of the controversial coal project.
According to Katharine Murphy, the Morrison government is designing a support package for the tourism sector that might include consumer incentives to take holidays in some Australian regions to offset the loss of revenue from international visitors.
The head of the World Health Organisation says the coronavirus pandemic is “accelerating” and that more than 150,000 cases have been reported within 24 hours – the highest single-day number so far.
Meanwhile Monday’s easing of coronavirus restrictions will go ahead as planned, despite a third day of double-digit increases in positive cases in Victoria.
The precarious situation of asylum seekers in Australia has been heightened by Covid-19, as they struggle to find work, keep their children in school and put food on the table with little to no support from the government says Mike Seccombe.
From Jakarta James Massola tells us that the world’s next coronavirus hotspot is emerging next door to us.
Tim Elliott waxes lyrical about the health workers behind Australia’s COVID-19 success story. Uplifting.
New documents reveal the Murray–Darling Basin is at risk of water shortfalls because of an increase in permanent crops, particularly almond trees, explains Karen Middleton.
The ACCC has savaged Qantas for not telling customers they were entitled to refunds on flights cancelled as a result of the coronavirus.
Elizabeth Farrelly is more than a bit concerned about the future of the Powerhouse Museum and it’s wonderful permanent exhibits.
Figures from Victoria Police show the number of child abuse images and videos being traded online in Victoria has more than doubled in the last year. This is sick!
As the National Disability Insurance Agency awaits the findings of research it has commissioned into autism support and treatment, members of the autism community are concerned the report may never be made public, writes Rick Morton.
Malcolm Knox tells us that Kevin Roberts’ axing is symptomatic of cricket’s wider malaise.
How is this possibly going to end well? Trump has tweeted, “Any protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes who are going to Oklahoma please understand, you will not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle, or Minneapolis. It will be a much different scene!”
Meanwhile Twitter has flagged a video tweeted by Donald Trump, which contained a fake CNN news segment about a “racist baby”, adding a warning label that the post contained manipulated media.
This is Boris Johnson’s midlife crisis. The rest of us just have to live in it, writes Marina Hyde.
Don’t be fooled. The US supreme court hasn’t suddenly become left wing says Nathan Robinson.
Republicans in Tennessee have voted to ban abortion as early as six weeks after conception, in a surprise midnight vote held in the middle of a pandemic, without members of the public present. Is America f****d or what?
John Bolton confirms Trump’s wickedness – but still he deserves Americans’ scorn says Jonathan Freedland.
The AFP has provided us with these three individuals’ nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.
Sam Newman also deserves a nomination.
From the US
Doctors Fauci and Birx warned Trump administration against Tulsa rally: report
According to a new report from NBC News, members of President Trump’s coronavirus task force warned against his plan to restart his rallies in the midst of a global pandemic.
“Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, and task force response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx both vocalized concerns internally in the last week about the safety of holding a rally with as many as 19,000 of people in an enclosed arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma on Saturday,” NBC News reports.
“But President Donald Trump and his campaign advisers are proceeding with the event, which is expected to draw tens of thousands inside and outside the venue who will neither be socially distant nor required to wear face coverings. They claim attendees ‘assume a personal risk” and “that is part of life.’” the report continued.
Trump relaunches attack on 75-year-old protester who suffered fractured skull
Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old protester who suffered a fractured skull after being shoved to the ground by police in Buffalo, has once again become the target of President Donald Trump’s ire.
“I don’t like to see people hurt,” the president said. “But he put himself right into the midst of the soldiers. These police, they meant business. They were walking and he puts himself right there. And you could tell they knew him. They knew him. But he’s had a long history. Too bad he had to get hurt.”
The problem the US has is now two-fold:
1. the risk of further and more widespread community transmission from these mass gathering events (protests included).
2. more critically however, is that the coronavirus response has been so politicised that if the above happens, there is no way communities will shut down again to control the spread of infection.
The country is in a total mess entirely of its own making because of the absence of leadership, and extreme political tribalism.
Trump is all class!
Thanks BK for the Saturday Special Dawn Patrol.
Thanks BK. I also found Laura Tingle’s reasoning somewhat puzzling.
Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 5:32 am
Trump calling police, “soldiers,” highlights much of the problem.
The Lincoln Project founders Rick Wilson, Steve Schmidt, Reed Galen and John Weaver interviewed about the goings on the past couple weeks.
No surprises here.
RIP Sir Ian Holm:
Oscar-nominated British actor Ian Holm, famed for his roles in Hollywood blockbusters “Lord of the Rings” and “Alien”, died on Friday aged 88, his agent said.
Nominated for an Oscar for his portrayal as the coach Sam Mussabini in the 1981 award-winning film “Chariots of Fire” — which also saw him earn his second BAFTA and best supporting actor award at the Cannes Film Festival — Holm appeared in a host of top international films.
He played the main antagonist Ash in the first “Alien” movie, and featured in “The Madness of King George” and “The Aviator”.
Holm suffered with a Parkinson’s related illness, his agency said in a statement.
“It is with great sadness we can confirm that the actor Sir Ian Holm CBE passed away this morning at the age of 88,” said the statement.
“He died peacefully in hospital with his family and carer.”
Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #14 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 5:53 am
How Trump views the police:
E. G. Theodore @ #1953 Friday, June 19th, 2020 – 9:18 pm
Why I could hardly believe my innocent eyes to read how a simple typo could result in being the butt of the “Hornswagglarati” demonisation and discreditation subcommitte’s remainderering me to the outer limits to circle the phantom zone alone.
I simply typed “hornswoogled” in error.
All who are near and dear to me will testify that I don’t actually know nuffink about nuffink and have passed my knowledge on down the generations.
A recent conversation with my youngest favourite daughter puts the matter in brilliant clarity –
I –“What do I know?”
She – “Nothing”.
Branch stacking scandal leaves Albanese exposed, but a win in Eden-Monaro looms large for both leaders
Failing the pub test: how can Australian voters call time on MPs’ expense claims?
Trust in politicians is plunging and integrity reform is slow – but a simple fix could save taxpayers from forking out for questionable claims
‘A disaster waiting to happen’: Indian community leader says branch stacking damages politics
Can branch stacking be stopped?
Features: Nick Greiner, former Liberal Premier of New South Wales and Peter Beattie, former Labor Premier of Queensland
Scroll, scroll, scroll your mouse,
Past the cut and paste,
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
Peg’s a repetitive bore!
Team Trump’s campaign strategy for Biden isn’t working because Biden isn’t a fool braggart like Trump is.
Morning all. Thanks BK for the well summarised roundup. I really struggled with this SMH story, which I thought missed key points.
“ The SMH editorial says that the federal government should not gut arts degrees to pay for STEM courses.”
Gutting Arts degree funding is terrible, especially from a cabinet full of holders of those degrees. Yet claiming it will somehow pay for an increase in STEM courses is false. Arts courses are cheap to run, sometimes making a profit. Uni central admins often skim off more than half the fees from teaching departments to pay for executives and grounds projects. STEM courses are expensive to run, often requiring subsidy, so there is no “swap” here. The new fee levels will not reflect real costs. Will they be challenged?
The total Uni income will not add up either. This is smoke and mirrors; either total government funding must rise or fee places will fall.
Good morning. Jeez you sleep a lot when you are sick!
Anyhoo, I thought Bob Katter was a union man? So why’s he criticising the new campaign finance laws in Queensland by agreeing with the LNP ‘that union advertising will now dominate at polling booths’? And what would be wrong with that anyway, we have free speech, as the RW warriors like to remind us when they want to have their say!
There is a second major problem with the switch of uni funding from Arts to STEM courses. It will not create more jobs. Many STEM graduates in Adelaide right now are unemployed. A combination of a slowdown in mining, public sector job cuts, downturn in public funded infrastructure works and Covid 19 hitting domestic construction has been very damaging.
So where will new jobs for these people come from? The industries government is spruiking – like gas – are among the least labour intensive in the whole economy. The gas industry has one job for every three million in turnover. It is worse then mining for low job numbers. It would be cheaper to hire more ministerial staffers (and we have far too many of those). Renewable power projects employ far more projects, but are being stymied by federal policy.
I think right wing economic morons forget that places like Silicon Valley started around government funded income streams. In that case, it was the location of US navy signals research for many years, and next to Stanford university, which was funded by a generous private donor. It took fifty years to become self funding.
I found these photos of Bob Katter disturbing without knowing the context.
Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #24 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 8:43 am
I see what you mean. 😐
But, but, Barney, didn’t you know that PB has become The Greens’ Labor, Boo! Bulletin Board? 😆
The ramifications of branch stacking by both major parties is that there are politicians who are pre-selected for safe seats on criteria other than merit.
That some supporters of the political duopoly do not see this as a fundamental issue relating to democracy and matters of competency is unsurprising.
Power for power’s sake is corrosive and detrimental to policy outcomes including leadership.
By all means stick your heads in the sand.
Someone should tell BobKat it’s not Halloween yet! 😆
Btw, I’ve been watching all the new anti Trump ads on Morning Joe, which they play as soon as they are released. The Republicans Against Trump latest is killer driller! I like that their name shortens to R.A.T., as in deserting the sinking ship. 😉
When the “Covid recession” hit, the Morrison gov took a deep breath, plunged in, and spent some money. They even promised six month’s assistance. ‘Crisis!’, they cried. ‘We’re here to save you!’
It scared them. When they discovered that they hadn’t spent as much as they thought, they were so relieved that they rapidly reverted to their normal parsimonious attitude and ‘took back’ the money. They’ve abandoned health to economic concerns. Not a penny more will they spend. Every date that Morrison had set has been abandoned as he talks of nothing but opening the borders. Tehan is even talking as if ‘the pandemic’ (as he loves to call it) is over.
Joe Scarborough sat down with Rick Wilson for a chat. Always such good value.
There’s branch stacking in The Greens as well, so they shouldn’t act holier than thou.
Does anyone have more information on the significance of finding evidence of coronavirus in the Italian sewerage before Christmas 2019? Did that come directly from Wuhan?
Confessions @ #34 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 9:10 am
Thanks, ‘fess. I’ll listen to it while I eat breakfast.
A salient point was made on one of the podcasts last week that these are the guys that, from the get-go, refused to work in the Trump Administration, hence why it’s so dysfunctional, and that the Democrats better not let down their guard IF Joe Biden wins the election and the Dems win the Senate because these guys will then go back to work on them! As they try and reshape the Republican Party.
“ There’s branch stacking in The Greens as well, so they shouldn’t act holier than thou.”
Cat I am sure that is even more true in the Liberal party too. But it would be great for Labor’s chances of winning the next election if there was less of it in the Labor party. It isn’t just the look. From Obeid to Somyurek branch stacking seems to bring individuals into parliament who damage the brand and send policy debate backwards.
Pegasus @ #31 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 7:08 am
Who says we don’t see it?
Where are those arguing that it should be allowed?
Who here is arguing against the federal intervention to address the issue?
lizzie @ #36 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 9:13 am
From what I’ve heard the district in Italy where the infection was centred has a lot of high end garment houses that employ Chinese seamstresses, who are experts at embroidery and the sort of detail work expensive haute couture clothes have. I think a lot of them came from Wuhan and there were direct flights between the two places.
The RAT podcast interview was very telling. All of them agreed that the GOP is the party of Trump for the foreseeable future, and those pro-Trump governors are really just sucking up to him with an eye on the 2024 presidential race.
I doubt any of them will be back in the Republican party any time soon, Biden win or not.
C@tmomma @ #35 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 7:10 am
True, but the more critical worry for the Greens is their culture of misogyny and of covering up or refusing to address sexual assault and abuse within the party.
Exactly. This is what irritates as Peg makes assumptions about PB in order to belittle Labor.
Katharine Murphy is not so sanguine.
“But from where I sit, shrugging off the seriousness of the Somyurek revelations and barrelling after the “rat” felt like part of the problem. Frankly, it felt arse about. It felt like media politics. It felt like missing the wood for the trees.
If you join a couple more dots, another thing is clear: Somyurek’s enterprise had evidently grown so unmanageable that it couldn’t be brought undone by conventional means. Conventionally, political movements self-regulate. If a factional powerbroker gets too big for their britches, or becomes surplus to requirements, they get taken out internally. There are short, sharp, power realignments. But in this case, a nuclear strike was unleashed. An absolute carpet bombing.
The scale of the hit on Somyurek’s power accumulation enterprise in Victoria speaks volumes: it speaks to a political organisation having to draft external help. If you have to do that, I suspect you are no longer certain you can regulate your own monsters.
Self-appointed kingmakers of all factional colours and stripes seeking to become too big to fail, or be checked, is something we should all be worried about, because it speaks to an institution off the rails.
Australian politics has been locked in a cycle of the accumulation of power for its own sake for more than a decade, a cycle that has corroded public trust in the representative class. The Covid-19 crisis has briefly jolted the whole enterprise out of its self-obsessed, zero-sum, rat-fucking and revenge soap opera at taxpayer expense default – but that is the abyss that yawns before us: power without purpose.”
Socrates @ #38 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 9:16 am
And Labor seem to be the only political party willing to confront it head on and transparently in public in order to root it out of the party. It isn’t happening overnight but it is happening. The Greens and the Liberals and probably the Nationals too, are doing diddly squat about it except for pretending it doesn’t happen in their parties.
The funny thing about the branch stacking is that the people behind the Rudd Coup in 2010 are out spinning their actions before the 10th anniversary of the second day of fundamental injustice. Talk about tone death.
Surely you’d want that anniversary unremarked but apparently not.
Ah yes, I remember now.
I hope you’re recovering?
Look at the data, the reduction in the Maths course cost was done to hide the increase in university fees. Or in other words, “release the cultural worriers to hide the increase” was what he said
Love your work Peg. Keep them coming.
lizzie @ #43 Saturday, June 20th, 2020 – 7:21 am
Pegasus once said of her lack of criticism of the Greens that she finds it counterproductive to air her grievances with the Greens party here.
Perhaps Labor voting PBers are simply following her example.