A 2019 Australian Federal Election Policy Guide

Too late Mr Murdoch The zeitgeist spirit and values of Australian culture have shifted to a dominant progressive world view. Take your pick

“Safeguarding the economy” v genuine climate change action;

Education and health ‘constraints’ to recover budget surplus v investing in our children;

New laws to “curb trade union power” v Fair Work Commission reform;

Trickle down economics v wealth redistribution;

Free speech v push back against hate speech;

Traditional marriage v universal marriage rights;

Conservative values v race, gender, sexual identity politics;

Conservative economic policy v real life-living standards;

Border protection framed as either/or against humane treatment of AS;

Free market banking v lived financial institution exploitation and corruption;

‘Flexible labor’ [all working or no one working] v a living wage;

There is consequently a shift in the culture of Australian politics. The conservatives, at least some still hanging around, have missed the boat.


Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Last night I was having arguments with myself over how many seats Labor is likely to win at this election and which ones. d. Here are my thoughts. Do with it what you will.

2016                 69 seats ALP

Redistribution 71

Port Adelaide [SA] abolished; Dunkley [Vic] notionally ALP; Bean [ACT] and Fraser [Vic] new seats.


Victoria 3 Corangamite Deakin Chisolm

NSW      3 Gilmore Robertson Banks

Qld        3 Capricornia Forde Dickson

WA        3 Hasluck Pearce Swan

SA         1 Boothby

Total    84

There are casualties on both sides of any war, so I nominate 5 ALP seats at some risk which I hope will be offset by other gains I have not identified.

ALP seats most at risk : Herbert [QLD] Macnamara [Vic] Lindsay [NSW] Griffith [QLD] Braddon [TAS]

Other Coalition losses: Cowper [NSW] Barker [NSW] Page [NSW] and others.

Footnote- I like to think the ALP can go as far as 87 net but I don’t trust QLD to meet its polls promises.

Predictions are educated or idealogical shots in the dark as we know but it is fun to have a crack at it.

February 8 2019




Wages are at record lows and now the Liberals say that’s a “deliberate” part of their economic strategy on Sky News.

Matthias Cormann: “This is a very important point, the whole reason why it is important to have flexibility to ensure that wages can adjust in the context of economic conditions is to avoid massive spikes in unemployment which is incredibly disruptive. That is a deliberate design feature of our economic architecture”.

Reporter Laura Jayes: “So 0.4% wages growth in recent times ..are you saying, perversely, that slow wages growth has allowed us to keep the unemployment level as low as it is ?”

Matthias Cormann: “Well that is self-evident.”




In response Bill Shorten comes out with this


“Today, the Minister for Finance let the cat out of the bag when he said that low wages growth was all part of the Liberals’ economic plan. Only Labor wants to see working class and middle-class Australians get a much-needed pay rise”.


Finally the ALP has remembered the most important role of the party, to support LABOR and not be ashamed of their UNIONS roots that can and will back the rights of people to get a fair crack at the pie. Bring it on.

February 7 2019





In a bid to make themselves relevant to their constituents ahead of the May election, all six QLD Nationals have found a ‘clean coal’ miner’s rebellious spine and signed a letter of demand which was “obtained by The Australian”.

It is expected to “reignite the Coalition’s civil war on energy policy, demanding that Scott Morrison put his shelved “big stick” laws to a vote in budget week and fast-track a decision on the underwriting of a new cleaner coal plant”.

Why now?

Well [1] regional Queensland will take some time to recover from the recent flood decimated crops, machinery, infrastructure and live-stock including and especially in the marginal Labor held seat of Herbert (Townsville) so unemployment has escalated in regional QLD and

[2] the employment cure-all in regional Queensland is of course for Scomo to sign contracts to underwrite a “cleaner coal plant in regional Queensland” before the election is called.

And so say


Michelle it’s mining Landry of Capricornia 50.6

Ken O Dear of Flynn 51.0

George Coalminers son

Dawson 53.4 Llew O where’s Brian of Wide Bay 58.1

Keith coal Pitt of Hinkler 58.4 and the next leader of the Nationals

David Daddy will be proud of Maranoa 67.5

McCormack must have known this letter was coming when he did this train wreck interview with Walid Ali.


This will not help the Nationals in NSW in either the State or Federal elections to hold off SFF and Indy’s. It makes sense for the QLD Nationals to put a line the sand ahead in an election period and look like they are dissociating themselves from their Liberal LNP brethren so they can save at some of the furniture and maintain a QLD voice in the post-election Nationals Party. More smoke and mirrors.

March 2 2019 



Richard Dennis of the Australia Institute sagely noted in November last year

“ It’s amazing what a good old-fashioned electoral drubbing can do to the principles of our elected representatives. After the Victorian state election, progressive ideas become the new reactionary politicians “sensible centre” of Australian politics, Progressive is the new black”.

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/28/progressive-ideas-are-becoming-the-new-sensible-centre-of-australian-politics

As Dennis noted –

Josh Frydenberg, the man who replaced Julie Bishop as deputy leader of the Liberals immediately declared “when Sir Robert Menzies established the Liberal party he made it very clear we were a progressive party, not a reactionary party”. Scott Ryan said his party needed to listen to voters not conservative commentators, senator Jane Hume said the Liberals needed to preselect more women, Tim Wilson now thinks the party needs to take climate action seriously and Julie Bishop declared that the Liberals should adopt a bipartisan approach to climate policy during the 2018 leadership spill.

Scott Morrison removed pollution targets from his energy policy and dragged a lump of coal into the Parliament.

Suddenly, hi vision and values have had a Damascus road conversion that few voters will believe and those that do [the reactionary climate change deniers in the Coalition] will curse him for it.  He and Angus Taylor are suddenly wary of using the ‘coal’ word, came out spruiking Snowy 2.0, and rebranded Abbott’s climate change response policy only last week.

Why ?

It has been clear in Coalition polling and door-knocking feedback that the non-loyal environmentally concerned voter {NLEC} in urban Australia that appeared in the 2016 election have been joined by rural and regional voters who traditionally would vote for Coalition representatives because they now recognise climate changes is causing much of the droughts, floods, bush-fires and shrinking, polluted waterways rural economies rely on.

The 2016 Australian Electoral Study data by the Australian National University found 23.8% who identified the environment as “extremely important” in how they voted were not always loyal to one party. This equates to around 3.2 million non-loyal environmentally-concerned (NLEC) voters.

At the 2016 election, 22% of NLEC voters voted for the Liberal party; 33% for Labor, 2% for the National Party, 23% for the Greens and 19% for other parties or independents. The NLEC 2016 Liberal voters self-identify as centrists in the AES data. When asked to locate the parties on the same left to right spectrum, these voters self-identify as sitting between the Liberal party and the Labor party, well to the right of the Greens.

Source: Gabrielle Chan. Next election test of leadership on climate and the environment. The Guardian. December 9 2018

Andrews clearly believed voters would support his progressive credentials, declaring on election night:

“We are the most progressive government in the nation. We are the most progressive state in the nation.”

His progressive policy agenda of using regulation and subsidies to tackle climate change and debt funding to boost infrastructure delivered him 52 or more of the 80 lower house seats.

The upcoming NSW election will tell us if was just the dumping Malcolm Turnbull that handed those urban Liberal seats to Andrews.

The regional/rural seats of the NSW State election in an ABN [anyone but Nats] political environment may well see the beginnings of the end of a post-election Coalition in Canberra. 

MARCH 1 2019




With Cee-Pine jumping ship in SA today I had another look at the SA Liberal seats and began to believe in a Liberal wipe out in SA, for a moment. Below is a summary of my musings only. More details under CENTRE ALLIANCE at my blog site.

GREY – 51.9. At the outset, I am going to assume the Liberal candidate is gone here. Rowan Ramsey only holds a 1.9 percent 2PP vote lead over the CA candidate coming into the 2019 election. If the SA pre-election polls are anywhere accurate, this paper thin 2PP margin will not be enough to retain the seat for the Liberal Party in 2019.

The ALP will have to overcome a 5,563 primary deficit (6.2%) to the NXT candidate in 2016 to jump ahead of the CA candidate into second place after the first preferences are counted in 2019. If i was a betting man, I’d go with Centre Alliance in this seat.

BOOTHBY – 52.8. CA would be unlikely to win if it ran a candidate in this seat- it is probably going to be a Liberal v Labor contest once again. However, I would have thought CA would want to take advantage of any anti-Liberal brand swing in South Australia, especially given the recent poll results suggesting habitual Liberal voters are looking for a palatable alternative to vote for at this election. ALP wins this one comfortably.

BARKER – 54.2. I think that Centre Alliance (CA) will win this seat in 2019 if the pre-election polls in SA are tracking accurately. If this seat was in WA or Qld I would be much more circumspect. Kelly Gladigau needs to go shopping for ‘power suits’ to wear as she takes her seat alongside Rebekah Sharkie in the House of Representatives.

STURT 55.8– No CA candidate announced [yet] and the well to do people of Sturt don’t give a flying frigate about whether the SUBS contract will actually provide much needed employment in SA heavy industry areas. I dream of SA without one single COALITION MP like we have in Tassie but I think STURT will be a bridge too far, gosh darn it.

February 28 2019 



What I am getting from a distant view through political journo’s are these themes

WA voters might not blame Scott Morrison directly for the demise of local heroine Julie Bishop, but he’s still tainted by WA irritation with Canberra over a range of issues

– Liberal Party power brokers including Matthias Cormann are using their influence to ensure that an ex University Vice Chancellor wins pre-selection for Julie Bishop’s blue-ribbon seat ahead of any local/Bishop supported candidate;

– To add insult to injury, a male candidate was selected ahead of four female candidates for Stirling despite Morrison’s exhortations that a female candidate should be selected;

– Matthias Cormann, Christian Porter, Ian Goodenough and Michaelia Cash have been subject to ‘chum bucket’ allegations and/or allegations of lying to Senate Estimates hearings on a range of issues.

– A major campaign funding draw card, Julia Bishop, has left the building after being abandoned by her WA colleagues.

– Few people would recognise Melissa Price, Morrison’s Minister for the Environment, who has been kept in cone-of-silence protective custody inside and outside the Parliament. Her duties are reduced to nodding approvingly, standing behind male Liberals Scott Morrison and Angas Taylor.

There a signs of recovery in the WA mining industry such as the Rio Tinto discovery of a huge Copper find in the Pilbara, exploration and investment heading back up, large scale miners want skilled staff to return to the State and there have been bumper crops in regional/rural areas which is better than what is happening in the drought and flood affected east in terms of productivity and employment.


However, suburban and central city areas remain in moth-balls and probably will stay that way until the next election at least.

– The offices and restaurants of the former metropolitan hotspot for smaller miners, West Perth, are not buzzing.

– In Perth’s CBD, the commercial office vacancy last December was 18.5 per cent, compared to Melbourne’s 3.7 per cent and Sydney’s 4.1 per cent.

– Activate Perth, a new non-profit group backed by the Perth City Council and private sector, is now trying to bolster the energy and activity levels by leasing out dozens of empty properties to non-commercial groups for little or no rent.

– The state’s unemployment rate hit 6.8 per cent seasonally adjusted in January, the highest since 2002, and well above the national average of 5 per cent, let alone states like NSW and Victoria.

– The great population influx from the east reversed course five years ago, the state’s annual population growth has only been at most half the national average of 1.6 per cent, and

– The Housing Industry Association says Western Australia will be particularly hard hit by a credit squeeze on mortgage lending from the banks taking effect over the past six months. Chief economist Tim Reardon says the state’s home-building industry started construction on 16,200 homes last year, an 18 per cent fall from what was already a weak year in 2017, and only just over half of the long-term average.

“The severe weakness in building approvals at the end of 2018 was the final straw. From this side of 2018, it is clear that previous chances of a 2019 recovery were killed off by the credit squeeze.”

Source: The Australian Financial Review. Why Bill Shorten’s chances are looking better in Western Australia. February 28 2019. https://outline.com/AUX9W5

The Labor Party will leverage any mood for change [ie kick out whoever is in Government in Canberra] in traditionally conservative Western Australia.

Based on the journo’s information and other research, I’m going to put aside regional/rural electorates and the metropolitan safe seats of Canning, Moore, Tangney and Curtain. There will be some damage to these seats but not very likely enough to give the incumbents a fright on election night.

However, the national downturn in the housing and construction industry which propped up economic growth across Australia after the mining industry collapse is biting hard in urban Western Australia earlier than most other states.

Those economic factors and others like 5.8% unemployment listed above culminate to give Labor a genuine chance of winning the outer metropolitan seats of

Hasluck (on 52.1 % 2PP) and Pearce (53.6)

and perhaps even the inner suburban seats of Swan (53.6) and Stirling (6.1).

It also suggests than Labor are likely to retain outer metropolitan Cowan (50.7) and come away with an improved margin in that seat after the election. 


February 27 2019 




Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce love affair with his leader and the Liberal party continues to publicly fragment.


Today Barnacle publicly advocated for Whacka Williams senate replacement candidate Ms Davey to run on a separate Nationals ticket.


The reason? “If you get put into an unwinnable position, then we have the absolute right to run a separate ticket”.


He believes Ms Davey could be elected on a separate ticket with the assistance of a strong campaign focused on Nationals issues as well as attracting votes from disgruntled LIberal voters who still want to vote conservative.


This is the same Ms Davey that was involved in the exposed teleconference when NSW government water official Gavin Hanlon was recorded offering irrigators sensitive data to help them exploit the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.


Schomo with neither be pleased to know the Nats are on the cusp of pre-selecting NSW State National Ms Hodgkinson to run against the Liberals Warren Mundine in Gilmore to cash in on anti-Liberal sentiment like Ms Davey in the senate race.


Source : https://outline.com/892R43


With Nationals Senator Martin in Tasmania no chance of winning and Ms Davey very unlikely, the Nats drop from 6 senators to 4- below party status in the Senate. Their NT senator retiring and that misogynist pig O’Sullivan lost pre-selection in QLD.


The Nats are under siege in Gilmore, Cowper, Page, Capricornia, Flynn, Dawson and Hinkler from various challengers. No wonder Australia’s political Barnacle Joyce’s party forced the banking RC upon Talkbull and threatened to cross the floor in the last sitting week.


Meanwhile, in WA WA land, Cormann has stuck it to Bishop again, supporting an ex uni vice chancellor to quit her job in December, join the Liberal Party and stand for the seat of Curtain with full WA Liberal power broker support. Enjoy retirement Julie.


Source: Cormann shuts Curtin on Bishop

The Australian. 26 February, 2019 https://outline.com/2Tgf9D


Added to their woes, the banking RC and deferred responses will not go down well in regional/rural Australia but the corruption, lies and deception played out last week in CHUM BUCKET stories will feed right wing minorities like PHON, KATTER and Palmer who will disrupt the flow of preferences in key rural/regional seats in QLD along with LNP out metro’s.


The Nats are going to lose some skin in this election, the question remains how much. At this point I can write off two senate seats [TAS and NSW], most probably Gilmore, Capricornia and Cowper and keep an eye on other Nationals seats in QLD if PHON, KATTER and PALMER cash in on those feeling socially and economically disenfranchised and ignored. Page in NSW is 50/50.

25 February 2019 #auspol 




This from the FInancial Review 


“The Liberal Party’s NSW division met on Friday evening and now just three months away from a federal poll, the gathered office-bearers had one thing on their minds: cold hard cash. And of the 47 Federal Electoral Conferences in the Premier State, one has oodles of it, and then there’s daylight. With $730,000 in the coffers, more than double the nearest FEC, is Warringah. One thing you can’t say about Tony Abbott is that he’s a lacklustre fundraiser.


The bloke even gets his clothes donated. With the exception of the Sutherland Shire’s Cook and Hughes, the Tories’ safest seats are Sydney’s wealthiest (think Bennelong, Berowra, Bradfield, Mackellar, North Sydney and traditionally Warringah and Wentworth).


After spending a nominal $50,000 or so on their own candidates, these “donor” FEC’s then bankroll campaigns in marginal seats like Banks, Gilmore, Lindsay and Macarthur. Warringah was Lindsay’s donor conference in 2016 but after Fiona Scott voted for Malcolm Turnbull in the 2015 leadership ballot, Abbott yanked her funding, diverting it instead to the Central Coast seat of Dobell.


The Libs duly lost Lindsay in two-party preferred terms of 48.9 per cent to Labor’s 51.1 percent and Dobell by 45.2 per cent to Labor’s 54.8 per cent. And tough luck for Dobell’s Liberals this time around: Abbott is expected to spend almost all of his war chest – whose balance should easily tip $1 million by the time writs are issued in April – fighting off independent Zali Steggall.


This makes a mockery of his claim in Sydney’s The Sun-Herald two Sundays back that


“the big money in this campaign will certainly be with the independents.”


And of his private remark about Steggall at dinner with The Australian’s Simon Benson in Canberra the previous Monday:


“You don’t have to be a good candidate when you’ve got $1 million behind you and good advisers.”


Abbott’s certainly never been accused of consulting any of the latter”





I would love to see the back of Tony Abbott but he has that X factor luck that the unworthy are often blessed with by the political gods. Damn it. 

25 February 2019  #auspol #coalmining #Adani




Nearly 60 industrial sites had already got the green light to increase emissions recently , cancelling out cuts paid for by Coalition using Tony Abbott’s so called “Direct Action” carbon emissions policy before Morrison re-branded something already existent and made it easier to exploit.


The increases were very recently quietly approved under the “safeguard mechanism”, which was introduced as part of Direct Action to ensure cuts paid for using the main part of the policy – the emission reduction fund – were not undone by emissions increasing in other parts of the economy.


Under the safeguard mechanism, government agency the Clean Energy Regulator sets an emissions limit for each large industrial site based on its highest level of emissions over the previous five years.


But companies can apply to have the limit recalculated. An analysis of data on the regulator’s website by consultants RepuTex Carbon found the regulator had simultaneously allowed 57 industrial sites to increase emissions above their previous highest level.


If all sites emitted to their newly approved level, it could add up to 22m tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year – 4% of Australia’s annual emissions. Based on the average price paid by the government – $11.90 per tonne of carbon dioxide – it would effectively cancel out up to $261.8m of emissions cuts a year.


Unsurprislingly, the biggest increases allowed under the safeguard mechanism have been for coalmining operations, including Whitehaven’s Maules Creek open cut mine in New South Wales, BM Alliance’s Broadmeadow mine in Queensland and Citic Pacific’s Sino Iron project in the Pilbara.


Source: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/feb/19/emissions-increases-approved-by-regulator-may-wipe-out-260m-of-direct-action-cuts


This so called ‘new’ climate change policy announced today in nothing more than Morrison using public funding for extending the life coal fired power stations by stealth with a simple re-branding of Abbott’s ‘Direct Action’ policy and giving a green light to coal miners and others to up their emission output by fiddling with the books of the so called Clean Energy Regulator.


The environment and energy minister, Josh Frydenberg, said “the safeguard mechanism was operating in accordance with legislation, rules and regulations ” [which we are changing to suit coal, iron ore and other miners as we speak].


Evidence ?


As noted by an on the ball PBer earlier, The Morrison government’s emissions reduction fund – rebadged as a “climate solutions” policy and to be boosted with an extra $2bn – is being used to help one of the world’s biggest gold miners pay for a fossil fuel power plant the company concedes it would have built anyway.


Fund opponents say it is the latest evidence that design flaws in the scheme are leading to taxpayers’ money being wasted on projects that are commercially viable even without public support. In some cases, the climate funding is going to new fossil fuel projects on the grounds that they are cleaner than the dirty projects they replace.



24 FEBRUARY 2019 




In the Senate, the Nationals go into the election with 6 seats. However, the Tasmanian senator [Steve Martin] is not going to be re-elected. He joined the NATS after the 2016 and after he replaced disqualified Jacqui Lambie.


The Liberals in TAS will take 2 senate seats and leave him stranded. If the replacement for John Wacka Williams in NSW fails to win a senate seat as a National, which is very likely, the Nationals will be reduced to 4 senate seats and lose their senate Party status of five minimum.


There are new attitudes to politics developing in rural and regional seats once the domain the National Party.


1 Women in particular are speaking out against the status quo. Several rural independents at a State and Federal level are women.


2 The behaviour of once respected rural representatives like Andrew Broad and Barnaby Joyce is making it harder for rural voters to tick the usual ‘Nationals’ box at election time.


3 Country towns are not what they used to be. Attitudes are shifting on things like climate change, native logging. mining on farmland and social issues.


The National Farmers Federation NFF recognised climate change was exacerbating droughts and called for action on climate change, yet the Nationals went ‘pro coal’


;- The NFF backed the NEG, yet Nationals parliamentarians voted to bring Malcolm Turnbull down as leader;


Most rural seats vote for same sex marriage when they were once known as resolutely against any of the kind; Yet only Darren Chester voted for same sex marriage;


A Regional Well-being Survey found 65% considered native forest logging unacceptable; Yet the Nationals are urging Andrew’s in Victoria to open up native forest areas for logging.


4 Inside the Nationals, federal director Scott Mitchell belled the cat by claiming that Barnaby Joyce had factionalised the party, not by philosophy but by personality clashes, populism and self-interested ambition. He identified a fundamental split between progressives led by Darren Chester and capital C conservatives like Matt Canavan and George Christensen.


5 The party leader has been underwhelming and he angered growers by making a mess of attempts to establish an agriculture visa.


Those five issues are symptomatic of a deeper, more threatening problem for the National Party which has always been present but more recently turbo charged; a fundamental belief that rural communities are being overlooked, their voices ignored and their interests not being represented in the Parliament by those elected to act in their interests.


Bob Katter, Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott, Peter Andren and Cathy McGowan all won seats from the Coalition by campaigning to act in the interest of their rural communities with a very localised policy suite. All five won as Independents in rural/regional seats at a Federal level.


Oakeshott is going around again in the NSW seat of Cowper in the federal election, currently held by retiring Luke Hartsuyker.


At a State Government level, by elections in Orange and Wagga Wagga shocked the Coalition parties along with big swings in Murray and Cootamumdra.


Independent Suzanna Sheed won Shepparton in 2014 and in 2018 Ali Cupper beat an 8 percent margin to beat Nationals Peter Crisp in Mildura.


In the NSW State election in March, the Nationals are facing full faced opposition from Independents, the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party and an activist group calling themselves “Anyone but Nats” who have been encouraging the NFF head to run against Barnaby Joyce in May.


The NSW election will offer some good insight into the future of the National Party at a Federal level – you will need the popcorn, its going to be a long night for some.

23 February 2019 


# chaos #adani #auspol 




What QLD seats


Herbert (50.02) and Longman (4.5) for Labor and Capricornia (50.8) Flynn (51.0) Dawson (53.4) Leichhardt (54.0) Wide Bay (58.3) and Hinkler (58.4) for the LNP


Working against Labor in QLD regional/rural seats


1. A widespread QLD perception that Labor is at best inconsistent, favouring environmental concerns over mining development in one moment and the 50,000 coal mining jobs on the table in the next;


2. Federal Labor MPs like Cathy O’Toole in Herbert pushing for coal mining jobs and development like Adani, others outside of Qld saying its “a good thing” that coal prices have dropped [Richard Marles];


3. The QLD Labor Govt, rightly or wrong, being perceived as pussy footing around on the issue – one minute backing local coal miners and in the next deferring Adani development over environmental concerns; It seems the Adani project will now be stalled for anything between “ six months and 2 years” over local fauna concerns.


4. Bob Katter allegedly has recruited two disgruntled CFMEU coal miners to run against Labor in Dawson and Flynn;


5. An disgustingly horrible ex QLD CFMEU boss has recently been found guilty of the rape of a woman in QLD and sent to prison for three years+; This horrible act is impossible to comprehend. It will do alot of harm to perceptions of decent union people. 


6. Recent floods have decimated crops and employment in northern QLD for months to come, leaving many looking for work and facing financial ruin; and


7. No-one can predict where Hanson and Palmer will run candidates and the impact of their preference flows on coal mining or other rural/regional seats.


The Adani project has been divisive for the union movement and the Labor Party, which faces the challenge of balancing the concerns of workers with environmental policies.


Whatever opportunity in lost in rural/regional QLD for Labor, they would be hoping, will be offset by the notion that a bird in the Victorian hand is better than two birds in the Qld bush.


An anti-mining sentiment [specifically anti Adani] will play well in many Victorian seats.


Three are held by the ALP under Greens threat -Macnamara (51.3); Cooper (54.3) Wills (54.9);


three other marginal ALP seats -Isaacs (52.3), Bendigo (53.9) and Dunkley (51.3);


and a raft of Coalition seats including Corangamite (50.03) and Chisolm (3.4) in particular, but also others like Casey (54.5) Deakin (6.3) and Higgins (7.8).


Labor will need to tip their QLD resources into other seats held by the Liberals in outer metro areas where the coal mining issue wont bite as hard.


Forde (51.7); Petrie (51.7) Dickson (52.0) Bonner (53.4); Brisbane (56.0) and Bowman (57.1).


Although I don’t agree with the perception that Shorten has sat on the fence about coal mining, the perception in QLD at least is that he is playing for both teams. This will cost him support from both the environmentalists and the pro-coal mining voters in QLD, like Morrison did with the Israel embassy fiasco and the LGBTIQ+ rights v “Religious freedom” debate in NSW and Victoria. Many voters on both sides of those debates will not vote for Morrison because he has ticked them all off with indecision.

February 22 2019 # chaos # auspol





2017 – Mundine is awarded a contract by Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion with $200,000 in consultancy fees on Indigenous business policy and $100,000 to establish a television show -Mundine Means Business- on Sky News. Scullion claims he did not discuss the contract with Mundine.


2018 - Mundine is awarded a second grant of $220,00 to continue what Scullion described as his “very successful television show” by the Department, again on Sky News. Scullion confirmed no other Aboriginal person had been given the opportunity to apply for television show funding.


December 2019 - Indigenous Affairs Minister Scullion tentatively signs off on a three new lucrative 3-year contracts with RISE Ventures. This company provides services to the community development program (CDP) in six regions in a joint venture with local Indigenous businesses. Warren Mundine is Chairman and 50% owner of Rise Ventures.


Aspects of the CDP contract with Rise Ventures are still being actively negotiated when…


January 2019 - Warren Mundine is hand - picked by Scott Morrison to stand in marginal seat of Gilmore, pushing the locally pre-selected candidate aside. He remains Chairman of Rise Ventures who are still negotiating the details of the CDP contract.


Friday 22nd February 2019-


Indigenous Affairs Minister Scullion is dragged before a senate’s estimates committee to answer some chum questions. Of the three-year contracts still being negotiated finalisation with Rise Ventures,


Senator McAllister raised a conflict of interest between Mundine as a Liberal candidate and Chairman and part owner of Rise Ventures. Scullion said he had been given verbal advise that Mundine was standing down as Chairman of Rise Ventures.


An hour later, Indigenous Affairs Dept secretary Ray Griggs advised the committee that he had received advise that Mundine would be standing down from his role with Rise Ventures next Monday. Nothing was said about whether or not Mundine would divest his 50% ownership of Rise Ventures.


Griggs agreed there was an


“absolute perception of conflict of interest; whether it’s a real conflict is another matter”.


Of the funding granted for Mundine’s Sky News television program Senator Jenny McAllister asks -


“A person who was known to be very close to the prime minister, sitting on the prime minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council, receives a direct grant that no one else was able to apply for to have a television program to raise his public profile, and then that person is a candidate for the Liberal party. Can you see the problem? “


Scullion said there was no connection between Mundine’s decision to run for the Liberal party and the awarding of the funds.




Calla Wahlquist. Warren Mundine steps down from company that won contracts for Indigenous job services. The Guardian. FrIday 22 Feb 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/22/warren-mundine-steps-down-from-company-that-won-contracts-for-indigenous-job-services


Paul Karp: Warren Mundine is picked by Scott Morrison to stand in marginal seat of Gilmore. The Guardian 22 January 2019. https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/22/warren-mundine-picked-by-scott-morrison-to-stand-in-marginal-nsw-seat

 FEBRUARY 21 2019 #auspol


But wait there’s more: the final chapter of the sitting fortnight Muppet Show Pig Pen


I thought after a number of Coalition folks were busted with their grubby hands in the till and lying to anyone and everyone who would listen the Coalition would be shy of pulling more ‘look after your Liberal mates’ stunts. I was wrong.


Christian Porter, yes our Attorney General and WA Liberal member for Pearce, waited until Parliament had risen until April to announce a bunch high paying Administrative Appeals Tribunal [AAT] appointments, stacking it with Coalition mates as Abbott had done during his time as leader.


Shadow attorney general Mark Dreyfus said the government “has a shameful record on stacking the AAT with Liberal donors, former MPs, former staffers and mates – but it has outdone itself today. Porter has announced a staggering 86 appointments to the AAT after parliament rose, full of Liberal mates,” he said.


Among the 34 new AAT appointments announced yesterday were six former Coalition parliamentarians and eight former Coalition staffers. Don’t worry, he had already appointed a former Mathias Cormann Chief of Staff to a full-time position in November last year.


Making sure other WA Liberal colleagues didn’t miss out, the member for Pearce appointed former WA parliamentarian Michael Sutherland to a five-year full-time appointment [You know, the bloke who called refugee activists “a bunch of coach-roaches”] and former WA Liberal MP Joe Francis.


And what do these appointments to the AAT pay? Full-time senior AAT members are paid more than $380,000 a year and even junior members are paid at least $190,000


Yesterday, Porter also gave former Coalition senate Speaker Stephen Parry a seven-year full time appointment. Others included ex National De-Ann Kelly and ex Liberal MP Bob Baldwin, a former Turnbull adviser, a former Alexander Downer Adviser, former Jeff Kennett Chief of Staff John Griffith and one token former Labor MP, David Cox.


Porter also announced that 52 current members of the AAT have been reappointed, dozens of whom are Tony Abbott-era appointments including Andrew Nikolic, Karen McNamara, Helen Kroger, Grant Chapman and Chris Puplick.


Source. Paul Karp. Full of Liberal mates’: Labor accuses Coalition of ‘stacking’ tribunal. The Guardian 21 Feb 2019.



If the Australian electorate don’t chuck this corrupt nepotism-soaked mob out in May I give up; I will go deeper into the Tasmanian bush, eat cornflakes raw as my staple and grow some funny green plants so I can feed my dog and pay for subsistence. This is insane government at it’s worst.

FEBRUARY 20 2019 #auspol 




Here is the doom and gloom assessment of conservative hack for the Australian, Paul Kelly 


“The Liberal Party is divided against itself and alienated from the political centre. This is a dual crisis and it runs deep. The truth is that recovery and reconstruction will take years. In the interim, Scott Morrison will govern as best he can, minimise the damage and hold out for a May federal election. …


The Liberals have misread the times. They struggle to talk to their own voters because they are ­unsure of their core beliefs.


They have lost the battle of ideas and are usually outplayed by Labor at tactical politics. There are two rival mythologies fashioned from within — the conservative and the progressive — and this split is worsen­ing despite Morrison’s best efforts. …The Liberals have been outsmarted in terms of power and ­influence.


The institutional norms that helped them from big business to the Christian churches are manifestly weaker; the rise of progressive values has caught them short and divided; the feminisation of the workforce has assisted Labor and left the Liberals ­exposed; the pervasive influence of the universities and education sectors fuels prejudice against the Liberals; they are constantly trapped by the rise of climate change as a moral issue and they have remarkably little cultural influence”



That’s kind of true but once again it misses the woods for the trees.


The underlying issue for political parties remains economic. Households have been left behind in the new Australian growth story and that has made them angry:



The Labor Party has done a better job of corralling this grievance into a “fairness” agenda while the Liberals have done nothing but make it worse while pretending otherwise. ——


The Coalition will keep tossing dead cats on the table to avoid this fundamental weakness being exposed along with the feather duster they took to the banking RC findings. Labor is on the right track to win IF they cover these economic issues well.

17 February 2019 



The Australian screams "Labors vote has collapsed"  in a 51-49 IPSOS POLL 


# chaos # auspol. 




We all know Qld is critical to winning Government and the electorate often defies the polls in QLD and WA in particular.


I usually halve what the polls say about seat ‘losses’ in Qld; So if it says 10 seats are in danger I put it down to five maximum and that as an outlier., more likely 2-3.


I’m not banking on the ‘boats’ things having much impact except in the rural/regional Coalition seats Skye-Schmo echo chamber where mining is far more important anyway- Maranoa, Capricornia and Flynn. [fly in fly out workers -Dawson Kennedy Herbert] especially after the floods mess that will take a while to clean up.


Don’t underplay what the floods event will have on the mindset of voters up there in these seats.


If Labor can walk away with all 8 seats intact [including Herbert] and drag 3 seats from the LIBS/NATS in Qld that will be enough. There won’t be a Ruddslide.. but it will be enough. Besides, I don’t pay much attention to Ipsos polls – they consistently get the Greens vote wrong, for example.

Saturday, February 16


# chaos #auspol.


Tick toc on the Nationals time bomb clock.


The Nationals seem to have decided it’s a good idea to back Labor’s weaponising otherwise uncontroversial legislation – passing Senate bills over Liberal opposition in the House of Representatives.


Enter stage right [courtesy of Nationals support], amendments to the obscure Treasury Laws Amendment (2018 Measures No5) bill.


The amendments are designed to help in competition law cases such as farmers and suppliers taking on Coles and Woolworths in court for misuse of market power.


Labor senator Doug Cameron tabled amendments which state that people or organisations suing for damages for alleged restrictive trade practices – including misuse of market power, the new “effects test” designed to protect small business – can apply at any time to be exempted from paying their opposition’s costs.


The court can agree the party will not be liable for costs if the case is reasonable, raises a significant issue that affects others and “the disparity between the financial position” of the parties might deter the smaller party from taking action.


Small and family businesses can also ask the ombudsman for help in preparing a case for a no-costs order. Nationals Senator John ‘Wacka’ Williams said the effects test – which passed in August 2017 – gave small businesses a remedy “if big businesses are using their market share to undersell, sell cheap and squash their opponents.


The amendment’s mean that


“ if I was going to sue Woolworths for trying to screw me down and if I lose then I don’t have to pay costs. If you’re getting put out of business by the big end of town, the last thing you can afford to do is go to court, to lose, and then be hit by costs for your and the defendants’ legal costs. They make it easier and fairer for small business to have the courage to go to court without the fear of losing everything if a costs order is made against them.”


In effect, the Morrison Government may face a second parliamentary defeat with Nationals MPs Barnaby Joyce, Keith Pitt and Andrew Broad indicating they would support the amendment bill in the HOR.


On Thursday night, Senate leader Cormann rose to quash a division which would have seen Nationals senators crossing the floor to support the bill- the optics of that in the media after a HOR defeat earlier in the week was a bridge too far.


The amendments passed in the Senate with a deathly silence when the call for “no’s” was made. Cormann slumped back in his chair, dismayed. Another time bomb is heading to the House or Representatives to test the duck-and-weave skills of Christopher Pine and Scott Morrison.


They will try to keep if off the agenda for debate or capitulate. It seems the Nationals have decided [at least some of them] they have nothing to lose and making a big noise about this policy will send a message to their constituents that the Nationals are not the Liberal Party, they are standing up for regional and rural farmers and small businesses and they should not be punished for the sins of the Liberal Party on the Banking RC, for example.


With 7 of the their 16 HOR seats under genuine threat, they have to do something to remain relevant to farmer brown et al.

February 15 2019




August 20 2018 - Dutton is exposed as an indirect beneficiary of a trust that operates childcare centres that receive federal subsidies. The constitutional law experts Anne Twomey and George Williams have said those facts create an “arguable case” he is ineligible to sit in federal parliament as he is in breach of section s44..


According to Dutton’s register of interests he, his spouse and children are direct beneficiaries of the RHT Family Trust. Section 44 of the constitution prevents members of parliament from having an “indirect pecuniary interest”


Under a ruling disqualifying Family First senator Bob Day in 2017 on the same grounds, the high court made clear that a parliamentarian need not be a party to a contract with the commonwealth to have an “indirect pecuniary interest” in an agreement.




In the week of the Liberal leadership spill, the lower house voted 69 to 68 not to refer Dutton to the court, with crossbench MPs Bandt, Sharkie, McGowan and Wilkie all voting with Labor in favour of the referral.


A legal opinion from the commonwealth solicitor general released on the day of the leadership spill that delivered Morrison the prime ministership said Dutton was “not incapable” of sitting as a member of parliament but there was still “some risk” the high court might find he had a conflict of interestTurnbull would live to regret that ‘victory’.


September 13 2018 Malcolm Turnbull Tweets


“The point I have made to @ScottMorrisonMP and other colleagues is that given the uncertainty around Peter Dutton’s eligibility, acknowledged by the Solicitor General, he should be referred to the High Court, as Barnaby was, to clarify the matter”.


Former Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop then raised the stakes further – calling for “clarity” around all members’ eligibility and refusing to say how she would vote on a referral. Dutton responded by saying he had “never taken a dollar of distribution from that enterprise”, characterising it as his “wife’s business".


"Mr Turnbull never raised once with me any issue around section 44 … he never asked me for the legal advice that I had that showed I had no problem at all. The other point to make is … when the Labor party sought to refer the matter to the high court, [Turnbull] voted for it not to be referred.”


Then Treasurer Morrison brushed off the constitutional cloud over the home affairs minister, telling reporters in Queanbeyan it was


“not something I’m terribly distracted by. Morrison said the referral was “actually voted on in the House of Representatives and was determined that that was not necessary by the Parliament. I think people have had enough of the lawyer’s picnics on these sort of issues.”


Bishop did not rule out supporting a referral. “If there’s a vote on the matter well I’ll make my mind up at that time, but of course we want clarity around the standing of all the members of parliament,”.




November 28, 2018 — 12.00am Prime Minister Scott Morrison is blindsided by a shock resignation of Julia Bishop. that drives him further into minority government. Mr Morrison was kept in the dark over the damaging blow to his hold on power in another sign of the rupture within the Liberal Party over the power of its "regressive right wing" to set its policy direction.


The government has one of its own MPs, Tony Smith, to sit as Speaker and therefore has only 73 votes on the floor of the chamber.




November 28 2018 Leader of the House Christopher Pine threatens to refer Dr Kerryn Phelps, Mike Freelander {ALP}and Tony Zappier [ALP] to the High Court if parliament decides to refer the home affairs minister Peter Dutton to the high court to test his eligibility to sit in parliament.


Phelps and Freelander because of their occupation as GPs and because Phelps is a city of Sydney councillor and Zappia because of questions about his interest in his wife’s fitness centre.


The vote that saved Dutton in August was now under threat because Turnbull was gone, Julia Banks defected to the cross-benches and Tony Smith is appointed speaker, reducing the Coalition vote to 73. Phelps, who met both attorney general Christian Porter and his shadow Mark Dreyfus on Tuesday to discuss the issue, said there was “no question” it was “obviously a threat” to refer herself and two other MPs. 


“I think it is outrageous that there is a conflation of Peter Dutton’s situation, with childcare centres, and Medicare rebates for patients. It’s well established that Medicare rebates are a statutory benefit to a patient, if I hadn’t assured myself about that before I stood for election I would not have nominated.”


Phelps said it was a “very important decision” about whether to refer Dutton, noting that the validity of his decisions as immigration and home affairs minister could The Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie told ABC AM it was “pretty disappointing” the government was threatening retaliation on section 44 and that Dutton had a “case to answer” because the solicitor general’s advice was “a little unclear. I don’t think the government wants to be seen to be running a protection racket for Peter Dutton”




November 29 2018. Independent Wilkie puts at end to the speculation of High Court referrals by arguing for a ‘job lot’ of referrals to the High Court including Dutton, Liberal Chris Crewther, Nationals David Gillespie and Labor’s , all of whom had “financial question marks over them” – for alleged indirect pecuniary interests in agreements with the commonwealth.


With McGowan and Bishop ambivalent about how they would vote, Mr Potatoe head survives to the election. Or does he ? February 2018 Enter the Paladin fiasco and dodgy dealings around the $443 million dollar contract awarded to a mob registered in a shed in Dutton’s own electorate and an employee who happens to have the surname Dutton, etc etc.

February 12 2019 





I’m over this constant debate about franking credits cash refunds and Wilson’s scare campaign.


Facts don’t get in the way of good media fodder for Schomo but let me say my last word on this subject.


Parliamentary Budget Office provided information clearly demonstrates that SMSF members “are not on struggle street”.


For example, in 2014-2015 more than 80 per cent of excess franking credits claimed by SMSFs went to funds with balances above $1 million and more than half by funds with balances above $2.44 million.


Source: Caitlin Fitzsimmons Real ‘victims’ of Labor’s dividend tax policy are not average Joannes. SMH 24 November 2018.


Here are the Marginal Coalition seats where the policy might bite for Labor trying to gain seats


                                                     50+ voters    2PP


Gilmore NSW                                61.2            50.6


Cowper NSW                                58.6            54.5


Page NSW                                     57.6            52.1


Grey SA                                          57.1            51.7


Barker SA                                       56.9           54.0


Boothby SA                                    51.9          52.3


Corangamite VIC                          51.5           50.6


Here are the Marginal ALP seats where the policy might bite for Labor trying to retain seats


                                       50+ Voters       2PP


Richmond NSW           57.9                   4.0


Lyons TAS                    56.1                    4.0


Braddon TAS                55.3                   2.4


Eden-Monaro NSW      53.9                   2.9


Bendigo VIC                  51.4                  3.9


Longman QLD              50.1                   4.5


Macquarie NSW           49.7                   2.2


Dobell NSW                   49.6                   4.8


Source: Australian Electoral Commission. Federal Voting Entitlement– Elector Count by Division, Age Groups and Gender for all States/Territories as at 30 September 2018.https://www.aec.gov.au/Enrolling_to_vote/Enrolment_stats/elector_count/2018/elector-count-sep-2018.pdf


The latest newspoll said 50% of those 50-65 said NO to the policy and 59% of those 65+ also said NO, the rest were either for the policy or undecided.


My view is only Eden Monara and Macqaurie might get a kick in the butt in Labor held seats and Gilmore, Page and Grey will be a bit tougher to win at this election, That’s about it – nothing to sweat over really.