Fulminating Formula 1 Friday

It has been rather wild and woolly in Victoria today:

Roofs have been ripped off houses, trees have crashed to the ground and trampolines have flown out of backyards as severe storms batter Victoria.

The State Emergency Service has received more than 520 calls for help since midnight on Friday with 73 calls coming from the Wyndham region in southwest Melbourne alone since 6.30am.

Some 100 calls have come from across Gippsland.

Thousands of Victorian homes were without power, but most have had it restored after the state was buffeted by high winds and heavy rain.

A woman from Wyndham Vale, one of the worst areas hit, rang radio 3AW to say a ‘mini tornado’ had ripped through her street.

In a dramatic call to the radio station, she claimed: “We’ve got people’s fences ripped down, there’s holes in roofs, ceilings have fallen down.

“Someone has lost their whole family-sized trampoline – they’ve got no idea where it’s gone, they are missing their back fence and they’ve gained someone else’s dog.”

A severe thunderstorm warning has been revoked but a severe weather warning for damaging winds and heavy rainfall remains in place for Victoria’s central, northeast and eastern regions, including Melbourne.

Much of Melbourne has recorded more than 12 millimetres since midnight, while Strathbogie in the state’s northeast was drenched by 44mm of rain in nine hours.

Aspendale resident Andrea Perry says her family of four was woken by “an almighty bang” as her neighbour’s roof was dumped onto her home in Melbourne’s southeast.

“The neighbour’s house next door, they are renovating, and the whole roof has completely landed on our house including all of our cars, boat and my husband’s work truck,” she told 3AW on Friday.

“It kind of felt like the world was ending in that moment.”

Victorians have reported gale-force winds tossing trampolines and other children’s play equipment over several fences.

Victoria SES spokeswoman Jacquie Quaine says most calls for help have been for damaged roofs but there’s also been reports of fallen trees.

Though no flash flooding has been reported, Ms Quaine expects SES crews – especially those in Wyndham, Melbourne’s southeast and the Gippsland region – to remain busy for the rest of Friday.

“With the high volume of calls in such concentrated areas, we’re asking for patience,” she told AAP.

Train commuters in many parts of Melbourne have also suffered delays and cancellations.

A tree across tracks in Ripponlea suspended services on the Sandringham line, while trains on other lines were forced to reduce their speed due to wet tracks.

There were also reports major delays on the Sunbury, Lilydale and Craigieburn lines.

The expected top temperature for the day of 21 degrees was achieved before 9am, with a cool change coming through meaning temperatures for the rest of the day were be in the mid to late teens.

The peak gust in Victoria was an eye-watering 96 km/h at Fawkner Beacon in the Bay, just off Brighton.

Just how this little drive in the park is being affected who knows?


However, let me reassure the petrolheads hanging out at The Pub – the forecast for Sunday is

so everything should be hunky-dory.

I think we might have another raffle this evening, but it will start a bit later than usual: 7pm to let those in the Wild West have a better chance of getting their numbers in on time. Please don’t ask for numbers before 7 – I have a few things to do, so just let your engines idle until that witching hour.

275 thoughts on “Fulminating Formula 1 Friday

  1. Anyone want to go on a cruise?

    Second gastro outbreak hits luxury cruise line

    That last bit, about a man dying during the cruise – there is usually a death (or two) on board during any cruise and what makes it so much more interesting is cruise ships don’t have on-board morgues, so the body (or bodies) is stored in the freezer, along with all the frozen food passengers will be eating during their voyage. This happened to a friend of mine, who took her elderly friend on a to week cruise. The friend died during the second week, the ship kept cruising and the body was stashed in the freezer.

    Still want to go on a cruise?

  2. You’re familiar with the clean up campaign, aren’t? I had put my own little heap – chicken wire and a chair. Next morning I found an odd item that didn’t belong to me. Guess what? Some sort of hospital bed pan with cannulas and all … Needless to say that even though it was clean, it was revolting. I despise whoever did that to me. I live in a Lib area.

    • What a disgusting thing to do.

      We have a different problem around here. You put your junk out for collection, the locals swoop on it and take most of it away before the clean-up truck arrives. Last time I put out rubbish most of it was taken away, even a dead microwave and a broken-beyond-repair computer chair, All that remained for the truck was the one thing that was still useful, a pipe-style bunk bed, unbolted and in several bits.

    • I actually like it when people come before the truck and get what they want. At least it can still be of some use. What locals often do is mess up their footpaths with any small junk possible like clothes and soft toys, etc instead of giving the best bits to charity and put the rest in the bin. Boxes and light items seem to get caught in the wind and you find them on other people’s footpaths or on the roads. Just a few bad days to put up with, I suppose.

    • I agree with you TLBD. From what I’ve seen of them both (and I’ve been watching most of the Primary coverage on CNN) Trump appears to be psyco mad while Cruz is nasty, sort of evil).
      Kasich is a more normal Republican – his parents were Democrats – but his chances of nomination are minimal.
      I am very impressed with Sanders but it looks like Clinton will have the numbers to down him. She will be far from a perfect President but probably the second best since Carter.

    • Brian,

      DD and I have just been talking. We would both prefer Sanders, and are terrified by Cruz.

  3. Knucklehead, just get rid of above the line. Simple.

    “We are very confident that the reforms passed by parliament are consistent with all the relevant requirements in the constitution,” Cormann said. “The whole purpose of the reforms is to empower voters to directly determine where their preferences go and hence who they ultimately end up helping to elect to the Senate.”


    • Of course, the Constitution doesn’t recognise parties so above the line is a nonsense in the first place.

  4. Hi Pubsters,

    There is a Labor Greens flame war occurring across the road. Here is my attempt to flag a reality check:

    Greetings PBs

    Labor, after electoral boundary changes, now needs a uniform swing of 4.4% to win government. I believe that translates to 19 seats that we need to win. However such a swing is never uniform. One of those 19 seats is Reid which according to Antony Green requires a swing of 3.4%.
    As a Reid Labor Branch Vice President, I can categorically state that we CAN NOT win Reid without Greens Preferences. The sitting Liberal MP Craig Laundy won Reid with 0.9% margin. I guesstimate he out spent us $100 to $1 in the 2013 campaign. During the height of Abbott’s unpopularity private polling was showing that he had increased his margin, 52% to 48% 2PP. He was and is a Turnbull confidante at least from the beginning of 2015, probably even earlier. He is one of the top two richest men in Parliament. He has been rewarded by Turnbull with an Assistant Ministry (Multicultural Affairs). We will see Turnbull a lot in Reid campaigning for Laundy,(he was here yesterday).

    I do believe that there will a swing to Labor of about 4-5% in the election. However in Reid with Laundy sitting on 3.4% you can add another 2% due to the above factors. (No wonder Stan Grant turned down the offer by Sussex St to stand, an effective required swing of 5.4% was too hard for the carpetbagger.)
    Labor can’t win Reid without Green Preferences and without Reid Labor can’t win government.
    The Labor Green flame war is only aiding & abetting the Turnbull Govt. Michael Kroger must be rubbing his hands with glee at what he has started.

    • At risk of starting another flame war –

      Why assume all Greens voters will not be preferencing Labor? I would have thought Laundy was likely to be one of the Liberal ‘oncers’.If the protest votes against Labor in 2013 swing back to Labor and there are still plenty of Greens preferences he’s gone.

      A bit of distaste for the Greens because of Di Natale’s treachery can only help Labor by making a lot of those swinging Greens voters return to Labor.

      Having Turnbull hand around Reid might not be a great idea. It might lose Liberal votes, rather than win them

  5. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/2/91539fc4-ebc5-11e5-888e-2eadd5fbc4a4.html

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/higher-education/melbournes-next-sustainable-step/news-story/b7db0245a5a681563a916a9db8bea76f free


    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/malcolm-turnbull-will-get-6500-tax-cut-while-those-on-65000-end-up-worse-off/news-story/42050a3b6cc8ce871e19992bfeca4214 paywalled

    Malcolm Turnbull will get $6500 tax cut while those on $65,000 end up worse off
    March 20, 2016 12:00am
    SAMANTHA MAIDEN The Sunday Telegraph

    MALCOLM Turnbull will get a $6500-a-year tax cut in the May budget but average earners will get nothing — unless he can convince his Treasurer to cut income taxes.

    Every Australian earning more than $180,000 will secure a big tax cut next year, with the Turnbull government abolishing the temporary deficit levy as planned.

    But scrapping the levy poses a challenge for Treasurer Scott Morrison as he argues there’s no money left for a tax cut for average earners.

    He will secure a $3717 tax cut next year and Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce will net a windfall of $4400.

    By comparison, a couple on a single income of $65,000 with two kids in primary school stand to gain $525 from the fortnightly increase to FTB-A but lose $860 in SchoolKids Bonus and $1806 in FTB-A and B supplements under changes announced by the government. In total they are $2141 worse off.

    The policy to hike taxes for high-income earners split the Liberal Party and sparked bitter divisions in cabinet when The Sunday Telegraph revealed the levy in the lead-up to the 2014 budget.

    Cabinet ministers were furious to learn from a newspaper that the Abbott Government planned to break a key election promise on tax.

  6. Stuffed up one of the tweets above, so I deleted it, that’s why it doesn’t show properly anymore. Here is another one instead.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/peta-credlin-discusses-role-as-federal-election-commentator-on-sky-news/news-story/8f55c85cdc48da617311e0d48a9ecfa3 paywalled

    Peta Credlin discusses role as federal election commentator on Sky News
    March 20, 2016 12:46am
    Samantha Maiden The Sunday Telegraph

    SHE’S “election dynamite’’ and the most talked-about woman in Australian politics. Now Peta Credlin, the former chief of staff of dumped PM Tony Abbott, is getting her own platform on television.

    In news that will send a chill down the spine of some federal MPs, Ms Credlin is in talks with Sky News about joining its federal election coverage.

    While the deal is yet to be finalised, the broadcaster is understood to be close to signing the woman who knows where all the bodies are buried.

    After toughing out weeks of brutal coverage over the Abbott years, including a book by Niki Savva that she described as “vicious’’ and untrue, Ms Credlin is expected to join the broadcaster.

    After a 16-year career in federal politics, she has more campaign experience than most frontbenchers, for Labor or the Coalition.

    Ms Credlin is understood to be keen to deploy her memory to put pressure on both sides.

    During Mr Abbott’s time as party leader, she was integral to policy development and campaign logistics. She has also been part of every major policy and budget discussion within the Coalition over the past eight years, a fact that will make Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull nervous.

    One Liberal said: “She’s smart and has a long memory. I bet those within the Coalition who have tried to make her the scapegoat for Abbott’s removal will be regretting the ferocity of their attacks.

    “She doesn’t suffer fools lightly.”

    Ms Credlin has emerged as a surprise favourite among ALP supporters, with Labor leader Bill Shorten paying tribute to her as a “very strong warrior for her code”.

    He said: “She was a very formidable chief of staff. She served Tony Abbott with great loyalty — far greater loyalty, I suspect, than some of his colleagues displayed.”

    Appearing on the panel for The Australian Women’s Weekly’s annual Women of the Future Awards after the September Liberal leadership spill, Ms Credlin admitted “it has been a tough week”.

    She said: “I refuse to be defined by insider gossip from unnamed sources where no one has the guts to put their name to it.

    “And if you’re a cabinet minister or a journalist and you’re intimidated by the chief of staff of the prime minister — well maybe you don’t deserve your job.

    “If I was a guy, I wouldn’t be bossy, I would be strong. I wouldn’t be a micromanager, I’d be across my brief.

    “If I wasn’t strong, determined, controlling, and got them into government from opposition, then I would be weak and not up to it and should have to go.”

    • “Well..I certainly know what it looks like officer…but in truth I was only cleaning that silver..and the fact that it was two o’clock in the morning and I was on the roof at the time merely enforces my enthusiastic diligence..ie; on the job, anywhere, anytime !”

  7. “Malcolm Turnbull will get $6500 tax cut while those on $65,000 end up worse off”
    Despite the hoopla that was in effect the same as The Rodent’s tax cut era. Peasants got peanuts compared to the high income peeps.All very Tory. ‘Dave’ in the UK in one of his first ‘austerity’ budgets slashed welfare but hey ho those who earned over a million pounds a year got a very nice tax cut.. Ah their slogan “We’re all in this together” .

  8. What next? Prison hulks returning to Botany Bay?

    Private prisons: NSW Government announces plans to let private operators tender for jail at Windsor

    Baird will probably tell us more prisons create more jobs.

    They have to have somewhere to lock up all those protestors against CSG and mining.

    Protesting in NSW will have bigger penalty than owning an unregistered gun.

    • Just saw that. Mr Wallace seems to have deleted that tweet, but his others are just as stupid.

      Wallace says he is “Leader, Australian Conservative Party. Candidate for federal senate (NSW), advocating major democratic reform, ex NSW Police” A flick through his tweets shows him to be your classic, hate-filled RWNJ.

  9. “Baird will probably tell us more prisons create more jobs.’
    Worked for Bill Clinton. Y’all type towns across the country went in for the “prison industrial complex” to solve their employment problems. Worked for a while. From Salon.

    The Clinton dynasty’s horrific legacy

    Hillary Clinton wants to run for president as an economic populist, as a humane progressive interested in bolstering the fortunes of poor and middle class Americans. But before liberals enthusiastically sign up for Team Hillary, they should remember this: In the late 1990s, Bill Clinton played in instrumental role in creating the world’s largest prison system — one that has devastated our inner cities, made a mockery of American idealism abroad, and continues to inflict needless suffering on millions of people. And he did it with his wife’s support.


    Such a giggle 😦

    Bernie won’t win but Grrrr any more Clintons getting near the Whitehouse.

  10. Had a brandy and soda on the verandah of the Seacliff Hotel this afternoon, after which I untied the dog and we walked back to Somerton Park along the beach. Bit of a walk that, dog is still flaked out under my chair.

  11. Gorgeous Dunny,

    I noticed your comment at the Loon Pond regarding the direction Abbott’s eyes appeared to be staring at in the case of Concetta Fierravanti-Wells. You missed the one from 2012 with Peta Credlin. Draw a line from the rAbbott’s eyes towards Ms Credlin & they certainly appear to be staring at her breasts.

    I expect though, during their lengthy and close relationship, he would most likely had a number of opportunities to engage in closer inspection. Probably innocent though. He was probably just checking for lumps or suchlike! 👿

  12. Worth a quick watch



  13. We’ve had a busy weekend here so haven’t been able to relax enough to get my head around what happened in the Senate other than Greens did a deal with Libs and changed the voting.

    I read somewhere that Penny Wong got an amendment passed that would mean all senate leaders would have to agree to reconvene the senate earlier than 10th May. Can someone tell me if this includes the Independants, or is it just the Labor Greens and Coalition?

    Also, I realise most here understand what the changes mean, but is it possible that someone that can explain it clearly write a separate thread? Each article I’ve read has got me confused, each saying slightly different things.

  14. From yesterday, but I missed it. Note the crucial bit at the end (internal polling & why there may not be an early DD election). I’ve copied the lot so you don’t have to break the strike ban on Fairfax clicks yourself.


    Malcolm Turnbull uses Senate reforms to clear decks for July election
    March 19, 2016
    Darren Goodsir, Mark Hawthorne

    The Prime Minister has hailed the passage of electoral voting reforms on Friday as “a great day for democracy” – clearing another major obstacle to a possible July 2 federal election.

    The odds to an early poll shortened dramatically with the passage of the Senate changes, although the process is complex and far from assured as Malcolm Turnbull considers the party’s latest polling.

    The Coalition, with the support of the Greens and independent senator Nick Xenophon, pushed through the bill against Labor and crossbench opposition shortly after 1.30pm by 36 votes to 23.

    The marathon 40-hour debate contained much abuse and name-calling, with one continuous 28-hour sitting.

    Shortly after the Senate vote, the bill passed the House of Representatives by 81 votes to 31, with some Labor members, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, not present for the final count.

    Mr Turnbull said there was nothing more important than proper parliamentary representation that reflected “as far as possible the will of the Australian people”.

    “For too long, the Senate voting system has been disturbed by backroom deals, by preference whisperers, by the manipulation of micro parties – such that the will of the Australian people has been frustrated,” he told Parliament.

    But Labor’s Tony Burke mocked the Prime Minister’s claims, saying his greatest policy achievement so far had been the “rorting of the Senate vote”.

    The debate was one of the longest considerations of a single bill in the past 26 years.

    The Senate sat all through the night to approve the laws, which will allow voters to allocate their own preferences above the line on the Senate ballot paper.

    If they choose to vote below the line they won’t have to number every box.

    As well, group voting tickets have been abolished, a measure introduced to address the rise of micro-parties and preference whisperers that have seen senators elected with as little as 0.5 per cent of the primary vote.

    The government already has two triggers for an election of the full Senate and lower house, but could get a fresh trigger if the upper house rejects a bill to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission.

    A number of scenarios have been plotted for a possible July election, which include bringing forward the May 10 budget to May 3 to allow time for the government supply bills to be passed prior to an election being requested on May 11.

    If a double dissolution were confirmed, all senators would be up for election – rather than half the upper house.

    With the new voting rules in place, it would be virtually impossible for so-called micro-party senators, including Ricky Muir from the Motoring Enthusiasts, and Family First’s Bob Day, to retain their places.

    A senior Liberal Party figure told Fairfax Media that Mr Turnbull had “effectively given himself a put option” with the passing of the Senate reforms, which take effect from July 1.

    A put option is an investment device used by share traders to hedge their position in a deal, and can help to limit losses.

    “Malcolm is a good businessman, and when he was in business he always liked to deal with a put option in place,” said the source. “Politically, he has effectively given himself a put option as this has allowed him to hedge his bets. It doesn’t mean he will go to a double dissolution immediately, but the option is now there for him.”

    Internal Liberal Party polling shows that Mr Turnbull’s voter support is on a downward trend – although the last Fairfax-Ipsos poll, published last Sunday showed Coalition two-party support up 1 percentage point at 53-47.

    Key Liberal Party pollster Crosby Textor has advised the government to avoid calling an election unless that trend is heading up.

    “The advice from Tex [Mark Textor] is to not go early,” Fairfax Media was told. “Malcolm may choose to ignore that advice, but I doubt very much if that will happen before the federal budget.”

    Crosby Textor will conduct polling in key Brisbane seats on budget night. If that polling shows the federal budget has been well received by voters, it could provide the impetus for Mr Turnbull to call an election.

    Crosby Textor refused to comment on the specifics of the polling work it will be conducting on behalf of the Liberal Party on budget night and in subsequent weeks.

    “CrosbyTextor does not comment on the work it does for specific clients,” said a company spokesperson. ” However, in all cases, Crosby Textor gives complex complex strategic advice based on in-depth research. Anyone who suggests that can be distilled to one line is misleading you and your readers.”

  15. The Libs wanted the president of the Senate to have the say-so on the Senate coming back early.

    Penny Wong had a vote passed saying that it would be decided by the majority on the floor. Not all members of a party have to be present for that vote because the leader or deputy-leader of that party in the Senate will have their proxy votes.

    • I’m not quite sure how they would organize such a vote before the Senate returns. 😀

      Teleconferencing, email, pigeon-post or whatever.

    • After what he’s done to stuff the NBN, I suppose an online effort is off the table, with the door closed.

    • It was done to stop Turnbull’s plans to bring the budget down a week early, giving the senate a whole week (!!!) to scrutinise it and pass it so he could call an early election on 12 May, the latest possible date for calling a DD.

      If he tries this on the senate will have to be recalled for the vote, and it’s now likely that vote would be a loss to the government.

      Top marks to Penny Wong for managing to spring this surprise on the government, right at the end of business on Friday, and for getting a division when a lot of the government senators had already left the building or were too busy to run in for a vote.

      Here’s how it began, with a motion from Mitch Fifield to adjorn.

      Senator FIFIELD (Victoria—Manager of Government Business in the Senate, Minister for Communications and Minister for the Arts) (14:09): I move:

      That the Senate, at its rising, adjourn till Tuesday, 10 May 2016, at 12.30 pm, or such other time as may be fixed by the President or, in the event of the President being unavailable, by the Deputy President, and that the time of meeting so determined shall be notified to each senator

      And then Penny pounced.

      Read the rest here –

  16. There was a brilliant Trump cartoon on Twitter earlier today – his mouth had been stretched out and made into the shape of a trumpet, which he was playing, and out was coming hate music.

    I forgot to save a copy, and now can’t find it. If anyone can help . . .

  17. tlbd

    Thanks for clearing up that little mystery for me, so I take it they have to consult with the Independents as well.

  18. The senate does not vote by video conference or phone hook-up, senators have to be in the chamber in person. Also, there are no proxy votes accepted. If you can’t be there the other side is supposed to arrange a pair with one of their number abstaining from a vote.

    Same thing for the reps.

  19. Ok. I must have been dreaming

    The Senate president has been given the power to bring the upper house back for an early budget sitting.

    But a successful last-minute amendment from Labor means the president will have to either get approval of party leaders or an absolute majority of senators to change the next sitting day from May 10, the scheduled date for the federal budget.

    Read more at http://www.9news.com.au/national/2016/03/18/14/34/senate-could-come-back-for-early-budget#yWJxhzGvZ7WXWE9H.99

  20. I wasn’t dreaming

    Senator WONG (South Australia—Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) (14:09): I move the following amendment to that motion:

    at the end of the motion add, “provided that the President or Deputy President may not fix a time under this order unless that time has the concurrence of an absolute majority of senators, where the leader or deputy leader of a party in the Senate can concur on behalf of every senator in that party”.


    Extra bit from Penny:

    If I may speak on the amendment, I note I have 20 minutes, and colleagues will be very pleased to know I will not take up that much time. Light-heartedness aside, we have had a game of national kabuki over these last weeks as this government tries to make a decision on whether or not it will go to a double dissolution or early election and whether or not this will require the bringing forward of the federal budget. The government, as has been its wont in relation to tax policy, has allowed this speculation to continue. Ministers have at various times used different variations of words such as, ‘We’re working towards,’ or, ‘The budget is scheduled on,’ and other such weasel words, and we have seen a great deal of speculation in the media about that possibility.

    I want to make it very clear, from the Labor Party’s perspective, that we will not be agreeing to a sitting of the Senate that is not currently scheduled simply to assist this government in an election timetable. If the government were minded to so do, then the government ought have moved a transparent motion to that effect, which it could have done this week. The amendment I have moved ensures that the discretion that the President and the Deputy President have to fix another, earlier time for the Senate is bounded by the requirement of a majority of senators concurring. The motion that the Manager of Government Business has moved is a normal part of what the Senate does in between sittings, but I note the circumstances in which we rise on this occasion are quite different. We have had a great deal of speculation, we have had ministers ducking and weaving and we have not had the government being clear about what its intentions are.

  21. Norty cat

    The cat, who lives on George St in Hamilton East, has brought home 11 pairs of underpants and more than 50 socks in the last two months………….”In our last house she’d bring home a bit of everything – she’d bring home men’s undies, women’s undies, togs, she even brought home a hockey shin pad and a jumper.

    “She was much less discerning – now she’s decided menswear is the thing..


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