Affairs of state

One finely crafted electoral news item for every state (and territory) that is or might ever conceivably have been part of our great nation.

A bone for every dog in the federation kennel:

New South Wales

Gladys Berejiklian has backed a move for the Liberal Party to desist from endorsing or financially supporting candidates in local government elections, reportedly to distance the state government from adverse findings arising from Independent Commission Against Corruption investigations into a number of councils. Many in the party are displeased with the idea, including a source cited by Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph, who predicted “world war three” because many MPs relied on councillors to organise their numbers at preselections.

Victoria

The second biggest story in the politics of Victoria over the past fortnight has been the expose of the activities of Liberal Party operator Marcus Bastiaan by the Nine newspaper-and-television news complex, a neat counterpoint to its similar revelations involving Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek in June. The revelations have been embarrassing or worse for federal MPs Michael Sukkar and Kevin Andrews, with the former appearing to have directed the latter’s electorate office staff to spend work time on party factional activities.

Together with then state party president Michael Kroger, Bastiaan was instrumental in establishing a conservative ascendancy with help from Bastiaan’s recruitment of members from Mormon churches and the Indian community. Having installed ally Nick Demiris as campaign director, Bastiaan’s fingerprints were on the party’s stridently conservative campaign at the 2018 state election, which yielded the loss of 11 lower house Coalition seats. Religious conservatives led by Karina Okotel, now a federal party vice-president, then split from the Bastiaan network, complaining their numbers had been used to buttress more secular conservatives.

The Age’s report noted that “in the days leading up to the publication of this investigation, News Corporation mastheads have run stories attacking factional opponents of Mr Bastiaan and Mr Sukkar”. Presumably related to this was a report on Okotel’s own party activities in The Australian last weekend, which was long on emotive adjectives but short on tangible allegations of wrongdoing, beyond her having formed an alliance with factional moderates after the split.

Queensland

There are now less than two months to go until the October 31 election, which is already awash with Clive Palmer’s trademark yellow advertising targeting Labor. Thanks the state’s commendable law requiring that donations be publicly disclosed within seven days (or 24 hours in the last week of an election campaign), as compared with over a year after the election at federal level (where only donations upwards of $14,000 need to be disclosed at all, compared with $1000 in Queensland), we are aware that Palmer’s companies have donated more than $80,000 to his United Australia Party. Liberal National Party sources cited by The Guardian say a preference deal has already been struck with Palmer’s outfit, although others in the party are said to be “furious” and “concerned” at the prospect of being tarred with Palmer’s brush.

Western Australia

I have nothing to relate here, which is worth noting in and itself, because the near total absence of voting intention polling from the state since Mark McGowan’s government came to power in 2017 is without modern historical precedent. This reflects the demise of the aggregated state polling that Newspoll used to provide on a quarterly basis in the smaller states (bi-monthly in the larger ones), and an apparent lack of interest in voting intention polling on behalf of the local monopoly newspaper, which offers only attitudinal polling from local market research outfit Painted Dog Research.

The one and only media poll of the term was this one from YouGov Galaxy in the Sunday Times in mid-2018, showing Labor with a lead of 54-46, slightly below the 55.5-44.5 blowout it recorded in 2017. With Newspoll having recorded Mark McGowan’s approval rating at 88% in late June, it can be stated with confidence that the gap would be quite a bit wider than that if a poll were conducted now. The West Australian reported in late July that Utting Research, which has conducted much of Labor’s internal polling over the years, had Labor leading 66-34, which would not sound too far-fetched to anyone in tune with the public mood at present. The next election is to be held on March 13.

South Australia

I have been delinquent in not covering the publication of the state’s draft redistribution a fortnight ago, but Ben Raue at The Tally Room has it covered here and here, complete with easily navigable maps.

These are the first boundaries drawn since the commissioners were liberated from the “fairness provision” which directed them to shoot for boundaries that would deliver a majority to the party with the largest two-party vote. This proved easier said than done, with three of Labor’s four election wins from 2002 and 2014 being achieved without it. The commissioners used the wriggle room allowed them in the legislation to essentially not even try in 2014, before bending other backwards to tilt the playing field to the Liberals in 2018, who duly won a modest majority from 51.9%.

By the Boundaries Commission’s own reckoning, there would have been no difference to the outcome of the 2018 election if it had held under the proposed new boundaries. Nonetheless, the Liberals have weakened in three seats where they are left with new margins of inside 1%: Elder, where their margin is slashed from 4.5% to 0.1%; Newland, down from 2.1% to 0.4%; and Adelaide, down from 1.1% to 0.7%. Their only notable compensation is an increase in their margin in King from 0.8% to 1.5%, and a cut in Labor’s margin in Badcoe from 5.6% to 2.0%.

Tasmania

Local pollster EMRS has published its quarterly state voting intention poll, which reflects Newspoll in finding voters to be over the moon with Premier Peter Gutwein, who came to the job just in time for COVID-19 to hit the fan when Will Hodgman retired in January. Over three polls, the Liberal vote has progressed from 43% to 52% to 54%; Labor has gone from 34% to 28% to 24%; and the Greens have gone from 12% to 10% and back again. Gutwein now leads Labor’s Rebecca White by 70% to 23% as preferred premier, out from 63-26 last time (and 41-39 to White on Gutwein’s debut in March). The poll was conducted by phone from August 18 to 24.

Northern Territory

With the last dregs of counting being conducted from now through Friday, fully our of the 25 seats in the Northern Territory remain in doubt following the election the Saturday before last, with current margins ranging from seven to 18 votes. However, the actual election result is well and truly done and dusted, with Labor having 13 seats in the bag. You can follow the action on my dedicated post, which includes live updating of results.

Australian Capital Territory

Not that I have anything particular to say about it at this point, but the Australian Capital Territory is the next cab off the election rank with polling day on October 17, a fortnight before Queensland.

New Zealand

Do Kiwi nationalists complain of being treated like the seventh state in Australia? Well, they can now, as I have a new Roy Morgan poll to relate ahead of their election which will, like that of the ACT, be held on October 17, with the originally anticipated date of September 19 being pushed back due to its recent COVID-19 flare-up. If this poll is any guide, this may have knocked a coat of paint off Labour without in any way endangering Jacinda Ardern’s government.

Labour is now at 48%, down from 53.5% last month, with National up two to 28.5%. The Greens are up from 8% to 11.5%, and do notably better out of this poll series than rivals Colmar Brunton and Reid Research, which show them struggling to keep their head above the 5% threshold that guarantees them seats in parliment under the country’s mixed-member proportional representation system. New Zealand First remain well below it at 2.5%, albeit that this is up a point on last month, while the free-market liberal ACT New Zealand party is clear of it on 6%, down half a point. The poll was conducted by phone from a sample of 897 “during August”.

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.

1,590 comments on “Affairs of state”

  1. Bluebottle @ #1163 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 7:27 am

    ServeGateGate?

    The unconventional charity run by Scott Morrison’s ‘dear friend’ Leigh Coleman
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/sep/04/the-unconventional-charity-run-by-scott-morrisons-dear-friend-leigh-coleman

    And what is the thread that runs through it? Mining Services contracts, Defence Services contracts and the Pentecostal faith with its religious gloss over a money-making focus.

  2. Anti 5G

    What is it with 5G that appeals to people’s conspiracy tendencies? Of all the rubbish floating out there in conspiracy land this one is truly perplexing!

  3. And I kid you not, a once very good friend of our close relative sent him one final message yesterday telling him to wake up and not be a sheep because Morrison, Howard and Andrews are all part of the cabal. Which cabal relates to children.
    Save to say, our close relative told his friend, the friendship is over.

    Who’s the sheep!?! No wait, he’s a batshit crazy dingbat. 😆

  4. [‘Queensland Opposition leader Deb Frecklington agreed on Thursday “we need strong border controls and we need to make sure that the health and wellbeing of Queenslanders is at the forefront”…

    It is a U-turn for the LNP leader who earlier this year “demanded” borders were opened on July 1, against the advice of Dr Young.

    Ms Frecklington’s rhetoric change follows a recent Newspoll that revealed 84 per cent of Queenslanders back locking down borders to arrivals from Victoria and NSW.

    Ms Frecklington backed the move as long as restrictions remained based on health advice.

    “If that is the health advice then of course I would support that,” she said.’]

    The problem for Freckinglon is that I doubt the Queensland electorate will take her sudden conversion to closed borders seriously- nor should it.

  5. Fess

    It isnt just the 5G.
    Apparently they believe the covid hoax relates to the cabal who steal children through tunnels.

    And to top it all off Trump is the saviour.

    You really cant make this shit up and expect people to believe it. But here we are.

  6. Victoriasays: Friday, September 4, 2020 at 9:01 am

    PhoenixRed

    The aged care facilities have been slow to report deaths from covid. This figure today could relate to that as well.

    *****************************************************************

    It’s understood a number of the newly reported deaths are previously known deaths that have been reclassified.

    There was also a spike in the state’s death toll on Monday, when the state recorded 41 new deaths.

    That total included 22 people who died in the weeks leading up to 27 August and were reported to DHHS by aged care facilities.

  7. Kronomex

    I don’t read that article about failure to establish grassland reserves around Melbourne as corruption so much as incompetence. The State could have put an overarching scheme in place at minimal cost back in 2010. They failed to do so, now exposing themselves to higher costs, which is incompetence. The incompetence was during both the previous Liberal (Minister Matthew Guy) and current Labor governments. Given the shenanigans of Liberal councils like Casey involved in development approvals in this area the corruption probably lay at a different level, under both Liberal and Labor controlled Councils.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-08-14/sacked-casey-mayor-susan-serey-wins-liberal-party-role/12556468

    But the failure of State Labor to reign in these Councils and enforce the grasslands policy was incompetent.

  8. There has to be corrupt like commission into the media , and a media authority given the power to be tough , the results

    It will improve the nature of independent reporting , report in the best interest of the pubic, not in the self interest of the media tycoon/outlet

    It will split the foreign owned lib/nats propaganda units IPA/Newsltd from the libs/nats political partys

    There will be no personal /friendly relationship between those in the media or any politician/political party/s

    The media tycoons/outlets will not be able to donate to /or be offered favours by politicians/political partys

  9. Apparently they believe the covid hoax relates to the cabal who steal children through tunnels.

    Seriously?

    I take back my earlier comment. THIS truly is highly perplexing!!

  10. Fess

    It’s all part of the qanon movement that has been co opted by the anti vaxxer, covid hoax believers etc.
    The Trump cult has infected the world. The next few months are going to be even more cray cray.

  11. Nothing new about 5G ‘woo’ . For decades there has been crud spread about ‘electromagnetic radiation’ ( insert scary music) . Remember all the fear about high tension power lines way back ? Still ? ‘Invisible rays’ aka electromagnetic radiation and wacky stuff have been soul mates since Marconi if not before.

  12. What is it with 5G that appeals to people’s conspiracy tendencies? Of all the rubbish floating out there in conspiracy land this one is truly perplexing!

    I always find it funny, it seems those that believe the 5G nonsense also believe the other BS conspiracy theories. My Conspiracy nut relative tried the whole 5G with me a few months ago but that was something I was NOT going to put up with primarily because he knows I was in the regular Army for over 10 years and was in the Corp of Signals as a Radio Operator (OISCR) in the 80’s and could go through the science.
    The really bizarro thing is that 5G is simply the old analogue frequencies repurposed AND it is using a whole lot less power than was pumped out of the broadcast antennas.

    Then again …. it was the older generation that were subject to the output of these frequencies from the 50’s through to the 2000’s AND a whole lot of the older generation vote for PHON so perhaps it’s not a stretch to suggest the their brains were perhaps fried by 5G? Then again, maybe they’re just fumducks.

  13. Q: What does it say about our pathetic media, when the media in the UK have scrutinised Abbott more in a few days, then we have here in decades.

    Nailed it..they used the language (misogynist, homophobe, climate denier) openly and freely- words our media were terrified to use.

  14. Last week I responded on Twitter to the Vic Police chief when he called out about the “Bat Shit” crazy conspiracy nuts and someone asked what it had to do with Bats. My response:

    “The Bat Shit sticks to the 5G antennas and thus changes the frequency which then means the radio waves can penetrate the tin foil hats frying the brains making people crave Pizza & drink babies blood & think the world is round instead of flat. Isn’t this obvious?”

  15. Torchbearer @ #1217 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:29 am

    Q: What does it say about our pathetic media, when the media in the UK have scrutinised Abbott more in a few days, then we have here in decades.

    Nailed it..they used the language (misogynist, homophobe, climate denier) openly and freely- words our media were terrified to use.

    They beat back the Murdorcs’ attempt to take over the majority of the media in that country as well. Plus, they took his pathetic company to task in parliament via an investigative committee.

  16. A hit piece on Trump in ‘ The Atlantic ‘

    Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

    The president has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members, and asked that wounded veterans be kept out of military parades, multiple sources tell The Atlantic.

    Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

    Trump remained fixated on McCain, one of the few prominent Republicans to continue criticizing him after he won the nomination. When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,”

    MORE : https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2020/09/trump-americans-who-died-at-war-are-losers-and-suckers/615997/

  17. They think the 5G waves will pierce their tinfoil hats?

    I got the whole 5G schtik the other day from a guest at my birthday lunch.

    Apparently those spikes on the virus are antennae that are tuned to the 5G frequency, which “activates” them to burrow into brain cells.

    This implies that the virus itself is man-made, straight out of a laboratory in China (I think it was China, but maybe it was Pine Gap).

    It is a well known “fact” that the ICU wards are actually empty. There are no COVID-19 patients in them, or indeed anywhere. It is a vast conspiracy of Health bureaucrats, government, police and the Illuminati to control our minds.

    This was just the tame stuff, the most rational phase of the discussion.

    In my defence… hey, it was my birthday. I wasn’t going to chuck him out.

  18. Alpha Zero @ #1221 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:42 am

    81 Cases in Vic, 131 Same Time last week.

    Sub 50 by Monday?

    The testing rates are declining and there are some suburbs around Dandenong and Casey which aren’t testing enough.

    The Age has some good interactive info: https://www.theage.com.au/interactive/2020/coronavirus/victoria-postcode-data-september3/index.html

    Though as was reported by Virginia Trioli this morning, some people who definitely have it, are refusing to get tested and confirmed because they don’t want the lockdown to go on longer than it is already. However, what if their actions cause another widespread outbreak? Exactly what they fear, but they will have caused the lockdown that will result!

    On the other hand, you can’t make people get tested. A democracy Catch 22.

  19. citizen @ #1220 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:40 am

    This CNN opinion piece considers Trump’s belief that America is extremely lucky to have him as president, rather than the traditional notion that a president is fortunate to be chosen to serve the people.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/09/03/politics/donald-trump-president-2020/index.html

    So lucky that he’s now telling them to go and vote twice (a felony) – send in a mail vote and then vote in person – in his continuing efforts to completely annul the validity of the polls, and annul democracy while he’s about it. Who’s needs democracy when there is a ‘chosen one’!

  20. Having just watched Palaszczuk’s presser, she’s matured into a very astute politician. I didn’t quite catch the question, but she responded (wwttte) that although she has been under a concerted attack from sections of the media (read here Sky News after dark), she will not be intimidated and will continue to follow the advice of her CMO. She and the CMO then went to explain the arrangements for the Aussie Rules Grand Final. Quite impressive.

  21. It’s an interesting stance – keeping the numbers down by reducing testing especially in the expectation of a positive result – but of course is completely arse up. Is there a public education awareness campaign in Victoria dealing with these sorts of issues? (asking in ignorance and very aware of how much press this is getting, and of course Andrews’ never ending media performances now entering the pantheons of legend, olympian by any other name.

  22. Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #1223 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:49 am

    phoenixRED @ #1195 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 6:53 am

    Virginia Trioli – this morning getting texts and reports of people refusing to go get tested, even with symptoms – their thinking – adding to the numbers – and so extending the lockdown and so further making their present lives uncomfortable

    Why give any prominence to them?

    Is it not better to know about such people, than not?

  23. @Cat,

    We can still test their fecal matter. They can’t evade that test…

    I really think that a community science door to door type operation might be required…

  24. Mavis @ #1228 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:58 am

    Having just watched Palaszczuk’s presser, she’s matured into a very astute politician. I didn’t quite catch the question, but she responded (wwttte) that although she has been under a concerted attack from sections of the media (read here Sky News after dark), she will not be intimidated and will continue to follow the advice of her CMO. She and the CMO then went to explain the arrangements for the Aussie Rules Grand Final. Quite impressive.

    She has even perfected the photo op of hitting the Sheerin into the air! Perfect!

  25. For all those Greens supporters!
    The Australian Greens are seeking a part-time (30 hours per week) communications and research manager for a six month project management role, working with the national election readiness team.
    National Research & Communications Project Manager – Negotiable Location
    Australian Greens
    Melbourne | Part Time | Contract
    https://www.ethicaljobs.com.au/members/australiangreens/national-research-communications-project-manager-negotiable-location

  26. C@tmomma @ #1235 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:11 am

    Mavis @ #1228 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 9:58 am

    Having just watched Palaszczuk’s presser, she’s matured into a very astute politician. I didn’t quite catch the question, but she responded (wwttte) that although she has been under a concerted attack from sections of the media (read here Sky News after dark), she will not be intimidated and will continue to follow the advice of her CMO. She and the CMO then went to explain the arrangements for the Aussie Rules Grand Final. Quite impressive.

    She has even perfected the photo op of hitting the Sheerin into the air! Perfect!

    I think you’re describing a handball. 🙂

  27. Scrott’s “dear friend” mentioned in the Dawn Patrol,so dear he mentioned him in his maiden speech, looks a bit of a spiv. Interestingly this investigation was ” prompted after inquiries from news.com.au.”

    Investigation into charity run by ex-Hillsong CEO Leigh Coleman, Many Rivers Microfinance

    CHARITY under scrutiny after $1.3m spent to generate trickle of loans for Indigenous Australians.

    By Robert Burton-Bradley

    AUGUST 19, 2011 11:46AM

    A CHRISTIAN charity which has so far spent more than $1.3 million to generate just $330,000 in loans for Indigenous Australians is being investigated.

    Many Rivers Microfinance is run by a former Hillsong executive who has already come under parliamentary scrutiny over an earlier loans program that delivered only a trickle of funds to the Indigenous community.

    In 2006 Leigh Coleman’s operation at Hillsong Emerge – the evangelical group’s former benevolent arm – had its funding discontinued after revelations the vast majority of taxpayer dollars went to employing staff.

    Mr Coleman’s current program at Many Rivers has since successfully raised millions of dollars from the Federal Government and some of the country’s biggest companies including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Westpac.

    Life in charity: Who is Leigh Coleman?

    But since its inception in 2007 to the end of the 2010 financial year the latest available records show it has delivered just 74 microenterprise loans worth a total of $330,000.

    https://www.news.com.au/national/ex-hillsong-executive-leigh-coleman-and-charity-many-rivers-microfinance-under-investigation/news-story/de1f8e2af66c6ac443e729b889b96bd2

  28. DPRee @ #1236 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:13 am

    For all those Greens supporters!
    The Australian Greens are seeking a part-time (30 hours per week) communications and research manager for a six month project management role, working with the national election readiness team.
    National Research & Communications Project Manager – Negotiable Location
    Australian Greens
    Melbourne | Part Time | Contract
    https://www.ethicaljobs.com.au/members/australiangreens/national-research-communications-project-manager-negotiable-location

    Managing research is only part of a part time job? 😆

  29. C@tmomma says: Friday, September 4, 2020 at 10:10 am

    “How do you know who’s poo is whose in the zoo? You could locate it by street, maybe?”

    Nope, the plan is that every person will be given a sheet of stickers with a unique number identifier and when they do a poo they are to place a sticker on it before flushing.

  30. Confessions @ #1198 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:59 am

    What is it with 5G that appeals to people’s conspiracy tendencies?

    I thought the basis was Huawei? In the sense that all the 5G infrastructure being installed tends to either be made by Huawei (or other Chinese companies) or packed full of ‘Made in China’ parts. Appeals to people who wish the cold war never ended, and to anyone with an axe to grind against China.

    Although would be surprised if 4G/3G/etc. are any different in terms of being predominately produced/supplied by China.

  31. This workplace unpaid wage business is rampant theft. These bastards should be prosecuted. Aboriginal children go to jail for stealing biscuits. Imagine if the workers were pinching from business it’d be royal commissions and screaming headlines.

  32. a r
    The crap was before “OMG ! Huawei is building it all”. Although it would not be surprising if it was then encouraged by those who had been caught with their pants down re 5G tech development. After all there are 10s and 100s of billions up for grabs.

  33. ItzaDream

    Power lines are saying “Waddaboutme !?”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..
    Long After an ’80s Scare, Suspicion of Power Lines Prevails …www.nytimes.com
    Nov 30, 2014 – News reports in the 1980s and early 1990s fueled fears of a national cancer epidemic caused by power lines .
    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/health/long-after-an-80s-scare-suspicion-of-power-lines-prevails.html

  34. Remember the old “They banned dancing because you know what that leads to” ? Tasmania does 😆
    ;

    While having a read of Tasmania’s restrictions, I found this fun one:

    Restrictions remain in place for dancing in all venues where food and alcohol is consumed because of the increased risk of close contact….

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2020/sep/04/coronavirus-australia-latest-updates-borders-national-cabinet-scott-morrison-gladys-berejiklian-health-business-nsw-queensland-police-victoria-hotel-quarantine-live-news

  35. poroti @ #1250 Friday, September 4th, 2020 – 8:39 am

    ItzaDream

    Power lines are saying “Waddaboutme !?”
    ……………………………………………………………………………………..
    Long After an ’80s Scare, Suspicion of Power Lines Prevails …www.nytimes.com
    Nov 30, 2014 – News reports in the 1980s and early 1990s fueled fears of a national cancer epidemic caused by power lines .
    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/01/health/long-after-an-80s-scare-suspicion-of-power-lines-prevails.html

    https://youtu.be/cUJJHfzc-Zg

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