The week that was

Party turmoil in Victoria and Queensland, state and territory seat entitlements for the next federal parliament determined, and more polling on attitudes to demonstrations in the United States.

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.

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.

1,922 comments on “The week that was”

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  1. C@t

    You know, citizen, I’m surprised that Sydney Boys High alumni, Scott Morrison, with his youthful delusions of grandeur and plan to become PM, didn’t map out a road to the top job through Law, in order to burnish his CV, make connections and learn the legal ropes. I think the observation that he ended up at UNSW doing Economic Geography tells us the anwser to the likely best laid plans of mice and Morrison.

    UNSW is for my (totally unbiased mind) one of the best universities in Australia. It excels in both creativity and STEM. UNSW produced Richard Neville (one-time editor of Tharunka) who then on to found Oz (underground) in Sydney and London, and also well-known local activist Wendy Bacon. NIDA is the pre-eminent training ground for talent in the performing arts.

    But, surely someone like Morrison would have been looking for an establishment education. The fact that he studied at UNSW, but undertook his cultural activities (i.e. going to Liberal Club meetings) at U Syd, is odd.

    There is a vibrant Liberal club at UNSW, well connected to the Liberal stronghold of the Federal seat of Wentworth. Why did Scott not want to be part of that scene, given he was from Bronte?

    I suspect that it was a fundamentalist Christian thing even back when ScoMo was a student. There was a big wave of Billy Graham evangelism that hit U Syd in the 1980s. Most of my friends to U Syd were highly resistant to this virus, but I was very surprised at some very intelligent friends who succumbed.

    But, why not enrol in economic geography at U Syd? The TER / UAI could not have been that different.

  2. Received my 20/21 salary letter today. No increase due to covid 19 and challenging market conditions. I know the board and senior execs are having a 20% cut for 6 months, so am just going to have to suck it up.
    Worked my arse off the last 12 months.

  3. Andrew_Earlwood

    “ It’s time the Union Movement had its own newspaper.

    You know it’s reporting will be better as it will run on the journalist code of ethics.”

    dunno about ‘journalist code of ethics’, sounds oxymoronic…

    It would be better if the union movement owned the NRL and AFL. Owning some form of mass media to leverage that would then position the movement to actually make a difference …

    Do you remember 2KY?

  4. Taylormade @ #1806 Monday, June 22nd, 2020 – 7:48 pm

    Received my 20/21 salary letter today. No increase due to covid 19 and challenging market conditions. I know the board and senior execs are having a 20% cut for 6 months, so am just going to have to suck it up.
    Worked my arse off the last 12 months.

    Thanks, Scotty!

  5. “And Australia really seeking to undercut Xi’s ostensible reason for 80% tariffs on Australian barley?

    Is Mug Morrison starting to play smart?”

    Can’t read all the article due to pay wall. The other interpretation is that he’s going into arse covering mode – the loss of barley trade is going to have annoyed a few farm groups of imagine. This allows him to point to that as him trying to defend Australian interests.

    Still can’t see what the end game is with all this.

  6. Heard Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy interviewed on ABC Newradio this afternoon. From memory, a few observations he made:

    – he believes that the best estimate of the mortality rate is about 2%.
    – looking at the numbers reported, the rate appears to be closer to 5%
    – why the difference?
    — This comes down to the number of cases in many countries being greatly under-reported, grossly so in Brazil and the rest of the Americas (including the USA).
    — the worldwide total number of cases is likely to be tens of millions, not the 9 million reported
    – the recent demonstrations in Australia don’t seem to have led to further infections.
    — One problem he saw is that people who have been doing the right thing might take the wrong message.
    — Much as I sympathise with their cause, I agree with Mr Murphy on this one. — — My view on BLM – Right message, wrong way.

  7. Heydon is gone from the public domain. Too many accusants and too high a level inquiry.

    I doubt even the usual suspects will try to spin although one or two might try the Heydon is a tragic figure, unable to contain his own conduct, silly old goat, the real victim etc.

    It’s really disgusting actually and I hope that no quarter is given. Let’s see if Abbott has any integrity at all or just stays silent.

  8. Bushfire Bill:

    Monday, June 22, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    [‘No-one needs to defend me, Horsey. I don’t project myself as a martyr, like you do.’]

    Cobber, please get off Peg’s case.

  9. GG
    “ Lindsay Fox and Gina Rinehart to build a new container terminal in SW Vic at Portland on the old Pivot site.
    Some welcome jobs for regional Victoria if true.”

    This one makes no sense to me. Most container freight demand arises in cities, not rural areas. You also need a deep water port and improved road or rail links, which aren’t cheap. It is too close to Melbourne to be economic for ships to stop at both. The rail links to Portland are also poor. I do not see how this solves any problem for either State (Vic or SA). Wouldn’t an upgraded grain terminal make more sense? Or upgrading the rail line to Melbourne – still creates work but at completion you have at least reduced transport costs.

    Shellbell

    Thanks. I doubt Heydon is poor; he should pay for the consequences of his behaviour.

  10. Its about time more Australians joined unions if they want pay rises. In my experience you get fuck all hoping that CEOs are going to give you anything out of the goodness of their heart.

  11. Steve Davis.

    Yes. After all Peter Costello is saying we are going to have high taxes and ongoing deficits. We might as well have strong unions getting pay rises.

  12. sd

    “Its about time more Australians joined unions if they want pay rises.”

    When I tried to recruit union members the response was wtte why pay high union dues when we get the pay rises anyway through the EBA.

  13. ScoMo is a “New Money” chancer from The Shire. And not much “New Money” either. His old man was a copper from the notoriously corrupt station at Bronte, but clearly not sufficiently on-the-take to send young Scotty to a proper GPS school. Sydney Boys had to make do.

    Followed by… how gauche! – a Red Brick university.

    That’s why he spent so much time sucking up at Sydney. You met a better class of chap there.

    Did Scotty study Law? No… Geography. “What happened to the Aral Sea [1000 words, must be in by Tuesday, no excuses]”.

    Old Money Liberals will not be impressed. And ARE not.

    Never will be.

  14. Pegasus

    AE

    As usual you get the wrong end of the stick. My position is if it was “an open secret” for many years, then don’t you think ‘Labor-friendly’ lawyers and other Labor-aligned individuals would have known? Why didn’t they expose Heydon?

    I am not sure that political alignment is important in this particular case.

    The big problem in all these cases is proof. In my case, I had my own problems, and decided that I would never let a woman under my supervision, or a woman colleague, endure what had happened to me. As a friend said to me “You would not speak on your own behalf, but you spoke up for me, and protected me”.

    Why would I not speak up omg my own behalf – because my career would have been destroyed.

    See, e.g. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/mar/09/australian-senior-surgeon-gabrielle-mcmullin-attacked-sexual-harassment

    So, in the many times I have been approached as a friendly face over sexual harassment, or as it should properly be called, sexual assault claims, I have explained in detail to the complainant what courses of action are open. I am always guided by the complainant in what we do. If the person (it is almost, but not always, a woman) wants to make a formal complaint, including to the police I support them. If they are concerned a complaint may destroy their career, then I help them to make sure they do not end up in a situation where they can be harassed again.

    If you listen to Background Briefing: https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/why-is-csiro-losing-its-brightest-stars/8031440
    you will hear some of the cases I have been involved in.

    None of the cases are simple, but in the end, it is always the womens careers who are hurt by the allegations.

    So why didn’t the Labor Lawyers expose Heydon? Did the women involved want publicity? It would have hurt their careers.

    I think the hight court road the women eventually went is slower, but far more effective in the long term.

  15. Blobbit says:
    Monday, June 22, 2020 at 7:55 pm
    “And Australia really seeking to undercut Xi’s ostensible reason for 80% tariffs on Australian barley?

    Is Mug Morrison starting to play smart?”

    Can’t read all the article due to pay wall. The other interpretation is that he’s going into arse covering mode – the loss of barley trade is going to have annoyed a few farm groups of imagine. This allows him to point to that as him trying to defend Australian interests.

    Still can’t see what the end game is with all this.

    The issue of farm subsidies has been a point of contention (and an excuse for point scoring) for a very long time. Both the US and the EU’s predecessor were continually criticised by Australia for having massive farm subsidies while our government claimed we were essentially subsidy free.

    I was a junior public servant in the then Department of Overseas Trade in the early 1970s, in the Division dealing with trade in agricultural commodities and minerals. Claiming unfair subsidies by our “friends” was a large part of our work.

    Morrison is not criticising Trump but is merely carrying on the long tradition of pretending to support Australian growers by claiming that their competitors are receiving an unfair advantage. Nobody in positions of influence in the US and elsewhere really takes any notice.

  16. Horsey
    They are the selfish bastards of the workplace and I’ve met plenty.Ride off the members efforts and results.

  17. Portland looks like a bit of eyesore when having a nice walk around Cape Bridgewater
    —————
    Cape Grant maybe. Yes Portland looks like an industrial wasteland from there. You can’t see Portland from Cape Bridgewater. There was a disturbing story about a plan to build some sort of tourist resort at Bridgewater last week though. Fortunately the locals haven’t been seduced by the illusory promise of tourist dollars.

  18. SD

    Yes there are plenty of those. Always has been.

    However unions do have a job to do to get people to join.
    After all that’s what Heydon was doing. Making it more difficult for unions to recruit members.

    It’s good that for now it’s failed. I am glad Sally McManus is in charge as I think she is up to the challenge of getting more union members. Including thinking about how unions cover those working at home.

  19. D & M

    “I am not sure that political alignment is important in this particular case”.

    Agree. Which is the point I was trying to make, obviously too obliquely for the likes of AE and BB . Also, responding to Sprocket, in particular, who was doing the guilt by association schtick.

  20. Which is the point I was trying to make, obviously too obliquely for the likes of AE and BB .

    No. It’s YOUR inability to express yourself in the English language.

    Have you tried Swahili?

  21. Guytaur
    Unions need to do a better job at forming relationships with workers and there are some unions that do this but others are seriously lacking in their interpersonal skills.

  22. Trump failed to stop Bolton’s book being released. No reason to think he can stop his niece’s book either.

    President Donald Trump said that his niece, who is set to publish a tell-all book about him and his family, had signed a nondisclosure agreement and is “not allowed to write a book.”

    Mary Trump, the President’s niece and the daughter of his late older brother, Fred Trump Jr., has penned a book described as a “revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him.” The book is set to be released on July 28, according to the book’s publisher Simon & Schuster.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/06/21/politics/trump-niece-book-nda/index.html

  23. Guytaur
    It always is a challenge to recruit new members and always will be. Some people only see the $500 a year fee.When you are getting $3000 a year more by putting down $500 its a fair trade.

  24. Beemer

    Yes. Not helped by the bosses interfering in that communication all the time.

    There are good reasons for the “closed shop” concept.

  25. Speaking of pie-in-the-sky building projects to “kick-start” our economy, can any policy people reading please give up on more freeways, especially the toll-road (unfree) kind. Their business cases are deader than Dyson Heydon’s chances of chairing another RC.

    Covid19 has made people and office-based firms realise that they can telecommute much more easily than was thought before. It will not stop. There will be a bounce back in commuting, but not to the levels before. Take Transurban’s word for it:
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/commuters-may-never-return-to-the-roads-says-transurban-boss-20200622-p554wm.html

    In the short term the capacity of public transport is constrained by social distancing. In the long term either a vaccine or mask wearing will see most of that return. Then freeway volumes may fall even further.

    If politicians want to plug infrastructure projects as a way to create jobs in law and finance firms, sorry I mean construction firms, try power grid and renewable energy projects, road and rail maintenance, long distance rail freight, more rail rolling stock (better for distancing), freight access and city intermodal terminals, local streetscape and even bikeway projects. Demand for all of them is up. Forget airports, cruise ship ports and freeway capacity expansions. Those geese are cooked.

    Night all.

  26. The book is set to be released on July 28, according to the book’s publisher Simon & Schuster.

    They’re all pulling the trigger too early. Late September to mid October, please.

  27. SD

    Yes. No argument from me on that. If it was easy to have workers rights we would not need unions. Or labour parties.

  28. Beemer

    Unions have their good and bad apples too. Including in communicating with workers.

    However at the moment we know the idea of “union reform” is to diminish the power of unions and thus workers rights.
    It was what Heydon’s Royal Commission was all about.

  29. Guytaur
    The laws are an easy excuse for laziness because employers cannot stop work colleagues from discussing the workplace so the union rep can easily engage if they bother.

  30. ”If it was easy to have workers rights we would not need unions. Or labour parties.”

    No, individual workers, many of who’s resources are limited to what’s left from their last pay packet, are meant to ”negotiate” one on one with multi-million/multi-billion dollar corporates.

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