Groom at the top

Eight LNP candidates nominate to fill John McVeigh’s vacancy in the Queensland seat of Groom; and the federal government says it will act to retain the Northern Territory’s two seats in the House of Representatives.

Miscellaneous developments from the past week:

• The Toowoomba Chronicle reports eight candidates have nominated for Liberal National Party preselection for the Groom by-election, of whom the front-runners are Rebecca Vonhoff, a Toowoomba councillor; Garth Hamilton, a businessman; Sara Hales, former general manager of Wellcamp Airport; and Shane Charles, former Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise chief executive. Also in the field are “Elders Rural Services’ Andrew Meara … race car driver Daniel Cassidy, Australian Lot Feeders president Bryce Camm and Doctor David van Gend”, the latter being a firebrand social conservative whom the outgoing member, John McVeigh, defeated for preselection when he succeeded Ian Macfarlane in 2016. Notably absent from the list is Senator Matt Canavan, despite a decision by the state executive to leave it to the branch membership whether the seat should go to a Liberal, as it has since 1988, or a National. The date of the by-election is yet to be confirmed.

• Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said on Thursday that the government would introduce a bill that will ensure the Northern Territory retains its two seats in the House of Representatives, though by what mechanism is unclear. A Labor-sponsored bill currently before the Senate provides a crude guarantee of a second Northern Territory seat (without extending the courtesy to the Australian Capital Territory, albeit that its population is such that the question does not arise), but when the same issue emerged before the 2004 election, it was dealt with through a technical tweak to the population statistics used to determine seat entitlements. The bottom line is that the Labor-held seats of Solomon and Lingiari, created when the territory first became entitled to a second seat in 2001 and respectively covering Darwin and the rest of the territory, will continue to exist despite enrolments of less than two-thirds the national norm. It also means the House of Representatives

• The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters is conducting an inquiry into the “future conduct of elections operating during times of emergency situations”, encompassing “restrictions arising from a health pandemic”, “access to polling places during times of natural disasters”, “other potential drivers of social restrictions, such as future civil unrest, or international conflict” and “alternative voting methods including early, remote and postal voting”.

• The West Australian has a Painted Dog Research poll of 932 respondents in WA showing 64% want the state’s hard border maintained beyond December, with 36% favouring a resumption of travel with the eastern states.Hou

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.

590 comments on “Groom at the top”

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  1. Once upon a time those on the left saw the protection of the ABC as some kind of Holy Grail.
    Now, what with the cut backs, the use of work experience personnel in many instances, a softly-softly news offerings, and “even handedness” to the extent the weight of logical opinion (the earth is round) must be balanced by and alternate view (the earth is flat), why would these former cultural warriors bother now?
    To all intents and purposes with Ita in charge, the budget cuts and trying to be all things to all people, the ABC is now a shambling wreck.
    To the extent this is so, the conservatives have tethered the ABC……..shame really…..
    Mind you, the Tories in the UK are into the same game with the BBC but they have not succeeded as well as the LNP has done in Oz…..

  2. Tricot @ #454 Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – 3:54 pm

    Once upon a time those on the left saw the protection of the ABC as some kind of Holy Grail.
    Now, what with the cut backs, the use of work experience personnel in many instances, a softly-softly news offerings, and “even handedness” to the extent the weight of logical opinion (the earth is round) must be balanced by and alternate view (the earth is flat), why would these former cultural warriors bother now?
    To all intents and purposes with Ita in charge, the budget cuts and trying to be all things to all people, the ABC is now a shambling wreck.
    To the extent this is so, the conservatives have tethered the ABC……..shame really…..
    Mind you, the Tories in the UK are into the same game with the BBC but they have not succeeded as well as the LNP has done in Oz…..

    It’s the LNP Privitisation Handbook.

    Starve a Government resource of funds so it can’t do the job it is chartered to do.
    Sell it off to mates at a discount.

  3. Tricot
    The Murdoch gang issued a fatwa against the ABC in the 1930’s due to the blighters daring to broadcast news. The Murdoch family jihad against the ABC has continued ever since.

  4. Why do refs in NZ feel the AllBlack SOBs need charity?

    All NZ teams playing in NZ need to be given a starting deficit of one try and one penalty and pushed back 50m of field position every 20 min. Seems fair to me.

  5. Late Riser:

    Sunday, October 11, 2020 at 2:01 pm

    [‘OK. No brainer. My vote is worth $300. (/sarc)’]

    l must confess I was temporarily enticed, but then, as advised by GG, Palaszczuk has made a counteroffer, having already subsidized domestic electricity in the sum of $250.

    ______________________________________________

    Good result for the Wallabies in Wellington. Went close to winning but the goal attempt by Reece Hodges, kicked from inside his own half, hit the post. The game came alive in the over 8 minutes past full time. Good start for Rennie, too.

  6. Not to mention the way the Wallabies were treated pre-game leadup (training, quarantine etc).

    NZ Rugby, the Rugby Union version of the Republicans.

  7. Thanks Vogon Poet. I thought I heard the commentators say something about non-neutral refs.
    Great penalty attempt which should have been followed up with a penalty in front. Happy they didn’t lose.

  8. Thanks Vogon Poet. I thought I heard the commentators say something about non-neutral refs.
    Great penalty attempt which should have been followed up with a penalty in front. Happy they didn’t lose.

  9. NZRU must be under all sorts of pressure if they seriously wanted an All Blacks vs. Kangaroo hybrid.
    For the first 100 years of the great schism it would have been an interesting novelty but NZRU would have none of it.
    Now it’s an impossibility- can you imagine what the scrums would be like?

  10. After watching that last 10 minutes I guess I shouldn’t ask but was the ref a kiwi Simon Katich?

    Doesnt matter. They turn into kiwis when the step foot on a kiwi pitch.

    The only fair decision they have made in the history of games in NZ was sending SBW off for his hip and shoulder v Lions.

    Regarding the game itself, it is easy to see why the Wallaby backline is hesitant to show energy in attack. They are just getting creamed in the breakdown, both by the AllBlacks and the ref. I hoped both issues would have been fixed by McCaws retirement.

  11. There’s a comprehensive new ABC/Washington Post poll out today. Biden still leading Trump by double digits nationally. There’s also very granular demographic breakdown and a lot of questions about issues were asked.

    I’d link it but I don’t know how to do it on a phone.

  12. Tom the first and best
    Philip Adams on LNL did a fantastic program on ABC news a loooong time ago to mark the establishment of the ABC news service. Included an interview with the first ABC news guy. Hearing about Kieth Murdoch and the shite he threw about for the ABC was ‘deja vu all over again’ . It really has not changed ,like father like son.

  13. All you can ask in a ref is consistency.
    2 scrums back to back, ball at #8 feet, opposition scrum collapsed, Wallabies told to use it, ABs given penalty.
    The finishing touch is the ref having a crack at White for pointing it out .

  14. Well, I don’t have the requisite legal qualifications to understand all the rules but I can tell when a defender comes in from the side of a ruck and picks the ball up in front of his sticks that it’s a penalty.

  15. The ref in today’s Bledisloe Cup was the first non-neutral in forty years, most likely due to C.19 restrictions. Although some of his decisions were quite technical, I never blame the ref.

  16. To all intents and purposes with Ita in charge, the budget cuts and trying to be all things to all people, the ABC is now a shambling wreck.

    Like federal Labor.

  17. “ A r I think it was Whitlam who said only the impotent are pure.

    Media and politics have always been intertwined – ain’t going to change.”

    ____

    Old media have thrown in their lot with centre right conservative parties in a way not see in my lifetime before. They see the conservatives as a life raft against becoming stranded assets in the digital age.

    I don’t think the left of centre parties are doing a very good job of dominating new media, even though they got off to a good start a decade ago. Most people get their news from new media these days, and the challenge for the progressive plurality is to dominate digital. I think trying to appease old media barons by giving them the odd tummy rub (which worked for Gough, Hawke, Keating, Rudd, Blair, Clinton 1 and Obama) is like walking up a dry gulch these days. I think the ‘digital first’ recommendation from the ALP’s review of the 2019 election campaign is the way to go. Those of us in the progressive plurality should be doing what we can to support and multiply the likes of Jordan Shanks and Michael West on digital media.

    Rather than a royal commission into the rupeverse (which I’d support if it came to that) I’d rather see a much broader inquiry into media diversity and truth in reporting and opinion.

    The way to break the Rupeverse I think is a combination of the following:

    1. Making it easier for more diverse investment in Australian media. More streaming news services online would be a good start.
    2. Breaking foxtel’s hold on the broadcast rights for the big sporting codes. Encourage the codes to invest in their own platforms for instance. Ban geoblocking technology and the hovering up of content into Foxtel like cartels.
    3. Truth in reporting/opinion legislation.

  18. For all those wondering why Nate Silver is still slightly hedging his bets on his modelled forecast… take a look at how small the sample is on todays highly rated ABC/WP poll (just linked).

    880

    With a voting population of 250mill in a non-compulsory voting system where turnout can be as low as 50% but vary up to 57%.

  19. Andrew_Earlwood @ #476 Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – 3:48 pm

    “ A r I think it was Whitlam who said only the impotent are pure.

    Media and politics have always been intertwined – ain’t going to change.”

    ____

    Old media have thrown in their lot with centre right conservative parties in a way not see in my lifetime before. They see the conservatives as a life raft against becoming stranded assets in the digital age.

    I don’t think the left of centre parties are doing a very good job of dominating new media, even though they got off to a good start a decade ago. Most people get their news from new media these days, and the challenge for the progressive plurality is to dominate digital. I think trying to appease old media barons by giving them the odd tummy rub (which worked for Gough, Hawke, Keating, Rudd, Blair, Clinton 1 and Obama) is like walking up a dry gulch these days. I think the ‘digital first’ recommendation from the ALP’s review of the 2019 election campaign is the way to go. Those of us in the progressive plurality should be doing what we can to support and multiply the likes of Jordan Shanks and Michael West on digital media.

    Rather than a royal commission into the rupeverse (which I’d support if it came to that) I’d rather see a much broader inquiry into media diversity and truth in reporting and opinion.

    The way to break the Rupeverse I think is a combination of the following:

    1. Making it easier for more diverse investment in Australian media. More streaming news services online would be a good start.
    2. Breaking foxtel’s hold on the broadcast rights for the big sporting codes. Encourage the codes to invest in their own platforms for instance. Ban geoblocking technology and the hovering up of content into Foxtel like cartels.
    3. Truth in reporting/opinion legislation.

    It’s notable that the arguably two most successful Labor politicians in Australia at the moment, Andrews and Palaszczuk, have basically just faced down the Murdoch media without any apparent damage.

    Talk over Murdoch’s head, I reckon, and his influence will shrivel even further.

  20. Simon Katich @ #477 Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – 3:55 pm

    For all those wondering why Nate Silver is still slightly hedging his bets on his modelled forecast… take a look at how small the sample is on todays highly rated ABC/WP poll (just linked).

    880

    With a voting population of 250mill in a non-compulsory voting system where turnout can be as low as 50% but vary up to 57%.

    It rather blows my mind that in a media market as huge as the USA, many of their polls have smaller samples than ours in Australia. Surely thay can afford bigger samples?

    And it’s all landlines + mobiles – no online component as far as I could see.

  21. And it’s all landlines + mobiles – no online component as far as I could see.

    The good ones are landlines and mobiles. Some use a mix of those and panels (online?, opt in?). Some online only. Some use other web based magic.

    It makes aggregators like 538 very important.

  22. There is some hope for US aggregators in that there are a lot more pollsters there than here. Assuming they dont herd or group think…. that should mean 538s averaging is reliable.

  23. Insiders ABC
    @InsidersABC
    · 7h
    “Labor premiers have learned over the last several months, because of the way the C’wealth has rounded on @DanielAndrewsMP, the C’wealth won’t be there backing you in if you’ve implemented their hotspots strategy and it doesn’t work,” says @murpharoo. #insiders #auspol

    And in other news, Morrison enjoyed himself this afternoon driving a tank around.

  24. Greensborough Growler @ #484 Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – 4:53 pm

    Shannon Watts
    @shannonrwatts
    Amy Thorn, the registered nurse from West Virginia who recently spoke at the Republican National Convention to defend Donald Trump’s response to the COVID crisis, has been arrested for shooting a woman in the stomach during an argument: https://wchstv.com/news/local/records-williamson-nurse-facing-charge-after-shooting-woman-in-abdomen

    I thought Thorn birds impaled themselves?

  25. Andrew_Earlwood
    I would love Channel 10 to show CBS sports instead of needing Fox for American sports and the failure of the free to airs to actually use their extra channels to create subject based networks is one of the biggest failures of the Howard era.

  26. lizzie @ #485 Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – 4:25 pm

    Insiders ABC
    @InsidersABC
    · 7h
    “Labor premiers have learned over the last several months, because of the way the C’wealth has rounded on @DanielAndrewsMP, the C’wealth won’t be there backing you in if you’ve implemented their hotspots strategy and it doesn’t work,” says @murpharoo. #insiders #auspol

    And in other news, Morrison enjoyed himself this afternoon driving a tank around.

    I really think Deb Frecklington should pack him off back to Canberra before he does any more damage to her election prospects.

  27. First NZ ref doing a Bledisloe since Greg Cornelsen’s four tries at Eden Park in 1978.

    I get bored when we get the blame the ref stuff – it is all over FoxSports where it should remain.

    Rather rejoice that we can compete and have cleared out a lot of the crap Cheika, a periennal moaner, imposed on us.

    Plus bring back six week tours of NZ and NZ touring here rather than the plaing Argentina twice a year.

  28. Mexicanbeemer, when the fta channels first went digital 10 did have a dedicated sport channel 1.
    They got into financial trouble and was it the tech genius Packer or Murdoch (L) or perhaps both who bought in.
    Sport gradually started to disappear from 1 and migrated to foxtel.
    The major sports don’t care about eyeballs, only $. The virus has shown how short-sighted that was with all the networks backing out of those deals at a million miles an hour.

  29. I get bored when we get the blame the ref stuff

    Just as well I am not here to entertain you.

    It isnt about the result. The referring of the breakdown was different depending on which team had the ball and that is not good enough. That sort of thing changes how teams attack and structure their play. And it has been happening for donkeys.

    The foot on the sideline is different. Millimetres like that shouldnt matter and be dwelt on. Same with passes that drift forward. But the breakdown must be adjudicated fairly.

  30. I watched parts of the rugby, including the last 20 minutes. I thought Australia was magnificent in holding out the NZ XVI..

    One thing rugby has which the other football codes don’t, is you keep playing until the ball is dead.

  31. ajm @ #488 Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – 4:40 pm

    lizzie @ #485 Sunday, October 11th, 2020 – 4:25 pm

    Insiders ABC
    @InsidersABC
    · 7h
    “Labor premiers have learned over the last several months, because of the way the C’wealth has rounded on @DanielAndrewsMP, the C’wealth won’t be there backing you in if you’ve implemented their hotspots strategy and it doesn’t work,” says @murpharoo. #insiders #auspol

    And in other news, Morrison enjoyed himself this afternoon driving a tank around.

    I really think Deb Frecklington should pack him off back to Canberra before he does any more damage to her election prospects.

    I’m quite happy for Morison to be dad bodding his way around offering me protection. Paraphrasing what I read of his statements they sounded like, “It would be a shame if you vote for Palaszczuk. I’ll be nicer if you vote for Frecklington.” And that sentiment nicely (and transparently) complements today’s $300 bribe from Frecklington.

    But more seriously, I think the LNP are a touch concerned. They have to get noticed. It’s eight days until early voting starts. There’s also a similarity to the USA 2020 election campaign with the two sides there also focusing on covid and law ‘n order.

  32. Sprocket

    [One thing rugby has which the other football codes don’t, is you keep playing until the ball is dead.]

    League has that rule although the bloke with the ball just lies down

  33. Out driving today I noticed a winery at Chandlers Hill in the southern Adelaide Hills has just been reopened by a company called Watkins. They have a combination wine and coffee tasting room under the following brand.

  34. Shellbell

    A lost ball stops it in league, whilst the last 8 minutes of the rugby had multiple ‘loose carries’, as long as the opposing team got possession, they kept going. And no tackle limit.

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