More month of May miscellany

Preselection challenges aplenty against federal Liberals from New South Wales; a potential second Labor membership ballot as the party seeks a new leader in New South Wales; and a state by-election looms in Queensland.

There has been an outbreak of preselection challenges against federal Liberal incumbents in New South Wales, which would appear to be the fruit of new preselection rules that put more power in the hands of the party rank-and-file. However, the branch has not been so democratised as to deny the possibility of federal intervention, which Sarah Martin of The Guardian reports is likely to be invoked by the Prime Minister to protect the incumbents.

• Environment Minister Sussan Ley faces a challenge in her rural seat of Farrer from Christian Ellis, whose conservative credentials extend to an effort to expel Malcolm Turnbull from the Liberal Party after he published his autobiography last year. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Ley has complained of “outsiders” descending upon her electorate with “city-based factional branch stacking” and “a toxic culture which isn’t about the policies or the candidate”.

• Further challenges are brewing against two leading factional powerbrokers: Alex Hawke of the centre right, from conservative-aligned army colonel Michael Abrahams; and Trent Zimmerman of the moderate faction, from both Hamish Stitt, a conservative barrister, and Jess Collins, a member of the centre right.

• In the marginal Sydney seat of Reid, moderate-aligned Fiona Martin faces a challenge from sports administrator Natalie Baini. Apparently at an earlier stage of gestation are potential challenges to Bennelong MP John Alexander from Gisele Kapterian, former chief-of-staff to Michaelia Cash; and Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, whose Senate seat is reportedly being eyed by conservative colleague Dallas McInerney, chief executive of Catholic Schools NSW.

• One challenge that will not proceed is the one said to have been of “most concern” to senior Liberals in a report by Sarah Martin of The Guardian. Melissa McIntosh, a member of the centre right faction who won the key seat of Lindsay from Labor in 2019, was said to have been under serious pressure from Mark Davies, Penrith councillor and husband of state Mulgoa MP Tanya Davies, having “lost control of her branches to the conservative faction”. However, Clare Armstrong of News.com.au reports the conservatives have “done a deal to drop the challenge”, the terms of which are unclear.

Preselections elsewhere:

Tom Richardson of InDaily reports that candidates for Labor’s preselection in the Adelaide seat of Spence include Matt Burnell, an official with the Right-aligned Transport Workers Union, and Alice Dawkins, who works with “a consulting firm specialising in Asian strategic engagement” and is the daughter of Keating government Treasurer John Dawkins. The safe Labor seat in northern Adelaide will be vacated at the election by Nick Champion’s move to state politics.

• A Liberal preselection last weekend for the Adelaide seat of Boothby was won by Rachel Swift, moderate-aligned management consultant and medical researcher. Swift was chosen ahead of conservative rival Leah Blythe, who had the backing of outgoing member Nicolle Flint.

• The Tasmanian seat of Lyons will be contested for the Liberals by Susie Bower, Meander Valley councillor and chief executive of the Bell Bay Advanced Manufacturing Zone. Bower was a candidate for Lyons at the recent state election, but polled last out of the six Liberal candidates with 3.5% of the vote. Lyons could potentially have joined Bass and Braddon as a Liberal gain at the 2019 election if not for the mid-campaign disendorsement of the party’s candidate, Jessica Whelan.

Other news:

• Jodi McKay’s resignation as New South Wales Labor leader on Friday potentially sets up a second membership ballot for the party to go with the one that will choose Rebecca White’s successor in Tasmania. This depends on whether former leader Michael Daley puts his name forward in opposition to Chris Minns, who would appear to be the clear favourite. Today’s Sun-Herald reports that head office would prefer that Minns take the position unopposed so as to avoid “an expensive ballot of rank-and-file members, which would take weeks”. However, a tweet by Daley yesterday suggested he was not of a mind to oblige them.

• Labor MP Duncan Pegg announced his resignation from the Queensland parliament early this week after a terminal cancer diagnosis. This will lead at some point to a by-election for his southern Brisbane seat of Stretton, which Pegg retained by a margin of 14.8% at the state election last October. Such has been the electoral record of opposition parties recently that one might have thought the Liberal National Party would sit this one out, but they have in fact jumped into the fray with the endorsement of Jim Bellos, a police officer and former Queenslander of the Year. The Courier-Mail reports the front-runner for Labor preselection is James Martin, an electorate officer to Pegg.

• Occasional Poll Bludger contributor Adrian Beaumont has a piece in The Conversation on the apparent trend of non-university educated whites abandoning parties of the centre left in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

Sarah Martin of The Guardian reports the Liberal party room was told this week that the election would be held next year.

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.

2,927 comments on “More month of May miscellany”

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  1. “guytaursays:
    Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 12:06 pm
    ICYMI

    @AlboMP tweeted

    29 years ago today, the High Court handed down its Mabo decision – at last overturning terra nullius, recognising First Australians’ enduring connection to land and country, and paving the way for Paul Keating’s land rights legislation.

    Because of the PK Land Rights legislation, John Howard has won with a even bigger majority than LNP expected and had enough buffer to ward of losses in 1998.
    That was biggest scare campaign I have seen by political party. LNP said that the government will take the land from people that they already own.

  2. Maybe the Guardian blog will have to have live Pinocchio score for Scott ..

    Morrison:
    “On Its Not a Race”

    I addressed this matter earlier this week.

    I stood by the comments as they were made at the time, and I concur with the statements made by Professor Brendan Murphy*, at that time and since in Senate estimates.

    I noticed there are similar comments made by Queensland health* and the head of the AMA*.

    (*When these comments were made, it was in response to the TGA approval process, not the vaccine rollout itself)

  3. Morrison has once again gone ahead with the “ bandaid solution” by making a announcement.

    Not one covid lockdown induced out of work Victorian will receive one cent of support next week. Thousands and thousands of these Victorians will have nothing to live on after a week already of no income and nothing next week as well.

    Wait until the cock ups start to roll in re eligibility, lack of coherent information and, going on the experience post bushfires, the active resistance of Centrelink etc to actually start paying out.

    Just to start with, it would appear that affected regional Victorians will get jack shit despite not working for a week . Not one cent unless regional Victoria is declared a hot zone.

  4. “Vensays:
    Thursday, June 3, 2021 at 3:00 pm
    That was biggest scare campaign I have seen by political party. LNP said that the government will take the land from people that they already own.

    It was Tim Fischer, the so-called nice guy who ran the scariest campaign against PK Land Rights legislation.
    I thought if he is Mr.Nice Guy of Nats, then I thought I don’t want to know about Nats leaders. Unfortunately, I was proven right. We got Barnaby Joyce.

  5. doyley
    As with quarantine, there should have been a policy (and mechanisms implementing it) in place from the start. This mob don’t plan ahead. They don’t prepare for contingencies. They only react, and only when there is a political reason to do so.

    In general this is probably the biggest problem with this government. They have no foresight and no plan for the future.

  6. poroti @5:30am

    “Despite Ghunt+Scrott claims about a veritable avalanche of Pfizer arriving late in the year, Australia will at the end of the day have vaccinated a heap of people with AZ. Could be a nice Antipodean vaccine ‘experiment’ in progress . NZ planned using mainly AZ but at the start of their roll out changed to Pfizer all the way. Will there be a noticeable difference between the countries ? Watch this space ”

    I think that good things often happen for the wrong reasons. In this case, AZ is being shunned by under 50s and some over 50s. All for the wrong reason.

    Australia, the lucky country. Run by second rate leaders who share in its luck.

    There’s a lot of people who will wait for the Pfizer jab.. or Novavax, or Moderna. All of this will shine the light back on Scumo/Brendan’s procurement. Hopefully in time for the election.

  7. @AdamBandt tweets
    This ‘support’ from Morrison is an insult.

    $325 for someone working less than 20hrs is less than minimum wage, less than the average rent for a 1br place in Melb and below the poverty line.

    Morrison’s failures led Melb to this lockdown, and now he’s leaving people in poverty.

    And bear in mind that Melburnians will have to make this $325 stretch over *2* weeks, given they got nothing from the gov for the first lockdown week.

    Plus, if you’ve been saving for a home deposit & have $ set aside (>$10K), you’ll get nothing, as Morrison says you have to raid that first.

  8. DisplayName,

    Spot on.

    Policy announcement after policy announcement. Sometimes even the same policy and yet, each and every time, we then stare into a detail blackhole.

  9. Simon Katich @ #2328 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 11:54 am

    As a younger chap I was appalled by what the indigenous people north of The Entrance did with their land rights. They sold it to a golf resort. .

    Simon, I think that it is worthwhile to note that the particular piece of land that you refer to (Magenta), is a series of foredunes that had been firstly destroyed by sandmining, then used as the Council Tip for 20 years. Vast amounts of asbestos (fibro) and chemical residues, paint, sump oil etc. were disposed of in that totally unregulated tip. I know because I used it. Before the ‘resort’ was built the land was totally overrun by bitou bush. The indigenous decision makers were well advised to dispose of it.

    The beach near there still has ‘rainbow’ streams emerging from it into the ocean after heavy rain.

  10. Beemer

    The Greens wanted vaccination.

    Blame the LNP.

    And right back at you. GAGF.

    Balance is achieved in the abuse stakes.

  11. Paul Bongiorno
    @PaulBongiorno
    ·
    32m
    I have never seen a federal government so afraid and unwilling to defend itself when the Opposition moves a suspension motion. “ I move the member be no longer heard” – the weapon of parliamentary cowards.

  12. Cud Chewer @ #2601 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 3:17 pm

    poroti @5:30am

    “Despite Ghunt+Scrott claims about a veritable avalanche of Pfizer arriving late in the year, Australia will at the end of the day have vaccinated a heap of people with AZ. Could be a nice Antipodean vaccine ‘experiment’ in progress . NZ planned using mainly AZ but at the start of their roll out changed to Pfizer all the way. Will there be a noticeable difference between the countries ? Watch this space ”

    I think that good things often happen for the wrong reasons. In this case, AZ is being shunned by under 50s and some over 50s. All for the wrong reason.

    Australia, the lucky country. Run by second rate leaders who share in its luck.

    There’s a lot of people who will wait for the Pfizer jab.. or Novavax, or Moderna. All of this will shine the light back on Scumo/Brendan’s procurement. Hopefully in time for the election.

    I want everyone jabbed ASAP with what is available.

    I urge everyone to urge others NOT TO WAIT.

  13. @Pollytics tweets

    Not State governments, one government and one government only. Victoria’s – no other state action would have ever qualified for this “assistance” package except NSW with the Northern Beaches. If he wants to wage war with Victoria, the coward should be honest about it.

    @JoshButler tweets
    the strategy behind the new $500 payment, and all the numerous strings attached, is pretty clear – sending a message to state governments that they need to fund their own short lockdowns, and the feds won’t come to the party on every occasion #auspol

  14. guytaur @ #2615 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 3:43 pm

    @Pollytics tweets

    Not State governments, one government and one government only. Victoria’s – no other state action would have ever qualified for this “assistance” package except NSW with the Northern Beaches. If he wants to wage war with Victoria, the coward should be honest about it.

    @JoshButler tweets
    the strategy behind the new $500 payment, and all the numerous strings attached, is pretty clear – sending a message to state governments that they need to fund their own short lockdowns, and the feds won’t come to the party on every occasion #auspol

    My strategy is to put them down the bottom of the ballot paper next chance I get.

  15. Rex

    My second dose is in a few weeks. Having said this, I’d urge anyone who got AZ (like me) to get a booster with Pfizer/Moderna later this year.

    I’m hoping that the government will reccommend this too.

  16. @TheShoevel tweets

    The new Covid Payment announced today will provide $500 for those normally working more than 20 hours a week, or $22 million for those who own a chain of furniture, bedding & electrical stores

  17. Last night I tried to download the Service App, but it said my phone was “unsuitable”. Too old, perhaps?

    Yes, or the phone’s hardware (e.g. amount of memory) isn’t sufficient for the app. The app store page may have more information on why your phone is “unsuitable”.

    I would also try running a manual check for a new software version for your phone (e.g. Settings, About Phone, Check for Updates) – but don’t expect anything if your phone is more than a couple of years old.

  18. Lizzie
    My friend here had a similar issue with her phone, which is not that old.
    Not going to get a new phone just for that as it works for what she needs.

  19. The woes of China’s ‘bad bank’ point to deeper problems

    The fate of China’s giant “bad bank,” Huarong Asset Management, remains unresolved, underscoring the dilemma China’s authorities confront as they try to clean up an over-leveraged corporate sector riddled with bad and questionable lending.

    Huarong triggered something of a panic in China’s debt markets earlier this year when it failed to issue its financial results.

    Huarong isn’t an isolated case. The four companies set up to manage the 1990s bad debt legacy expanded beyond their charters into their own quasi-banking activities, with Huarong, at least, adding to its pile of bad debts with new ones of its own making.
    Loading

    Recent reports that China is considering establishing a new holding company to sit across the top of all four suggests that the problems within Huarong aren’t isolated.

    Between them the bad debt managers have debts of more than $US450 billion ($581 billion), including tens of billions of dollars of bonds outstanding in local and offshore markets. Huarong alone has issued about $US40 billion of bonds, roughly half of them in dollar bonds issued offshore.

    Spreads on the bonds have been blowing out and Huarong’s bonds are trading at discounts of 30 to 40 per cent from their face value as investors have digested the once-unthinkable possibility that the authorities won’t stand behind one of their bigger and most important state-owned enterprises.

    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/the-woes-of-china-s-bad-bank-point-to-deeper-problems-20210603-p57xq9.html

  20. @EddyJokovich tweets

    Imagine if Gough Whitlam just sat down after Cyclone Tracey and gave a big FU to Darwin and said that you’re on your own. That’s exactly what Morrison and Frydenberg are doing to Melbourne, the biggest FU in politics. #auspol #qt

    _________________
    @timpoliti tweets

    Scott Morrison:
    “Resilience, strength, determination, character, that‘s what beats a virus.”

    Science: vaccinations beat a virus.

    #ScoVid

  21. Jaeger & laughtong

    It’s at least six years old but works perfectly for my simple needs. I’ll just have to pretend I’m an old lady who doesn’t have a mobile.

    Something similar when my medical centre sent me a form to print out and my printer didn’t understand it.

  22. Cud Chewer @ #2484 Thursday, June 3rd, 2021 – 3:38 pm

    Yabba, where exactly is that tip?

    It is the ‘suburb’ that is called Magenta. If you do a Google maps search for that and put it on satellite view it will be right in the middle. You can see the line of the vegetation change extending north-east from the north west corner of the golf course, in the National Park, showing the extent of the sand mining, behind the beach. Those bastards actually planted bitou bush to replace very rare coastal rainforest!

  23. @timpoliti tweets

    Scott Morrison:
    “Resilience, strength, determination, character, that‘s what beats a virus.”

    Science: vaccinations beat a virus.

    #ScoVid

    Not in Scotties church.

  24. My Facebook feed which I only check for family photos from my eastern states relatives has a post re the indie card. Has anybody else seen this. It is basically saying that the LNP is planning to add pensioners to the card because they get taxpayer money.
    I had in the past seen rumours the government would go,down this path but didn’t think even Morrison would be stupid enough to upset pensioners Australia wide.
    The story supposedly came from Gillespies office.

  25. In contrast to our Federal Government

    @POTUS tweets

    Today, we are announcing a month-long effort to get 70% of adult Americans vaccinated. It will take everyone doing their part so we can declare our independence from COVID-19 and free ourselves from the grip it has held over our lives.

  26. a r
    Apparently there has been some results out of the U.K. that show that a first dose az followed by Pfizer is a better outcome than 2 doses of either type. As I cannot currently assess the virus anywhere nearby I am waiting and hope my husband and I can go for the mix.
    On vaccinations son had second Pfizer on Tuesday, crook as in aches and pain, blinding headache by evening lasted about 36 hours. Some workmates vaccinated at same time still sick, no one was unaffected.

  27. @TheAusInstitute tweets

    “Speers spent 10 mins trying to get the Treasurer to admit 1+1=2, instead we’ve got number salad & everything except clarity,”

    “When we remove LMITO & replace it w Stage 3 tax cuts everyone up to $90000/year is going to be worse off.”

    Full #SpinBin here!

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