Wagga Wagga bye-bye election

The Wagga Wagga by-election has reached its conclusion.


In the by-election on 14 December 1957, on the death of Eddie Graham (Labor), Wal Fife (Liberal) won the seat of Wagga Wagga.

The seat was held by the Liberals till 2018. At the 28 March 2015 election, the seat was won by Daryl Maguire with 53.8% first preferences and beating Dan Hayes (Labor) by 62.9% to 37.1% on preferences.

In July 2018, Maguire was drawn into an inquiry by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption regarding possible corruption involving the former Canterbury Council, through his association with former councillor Michael Hawatt. It was alleged that Maguire had acted on behalf of a “mega big” Chinese client, asking for help in buying into development-approved projects, in return for a commission from the developer for both himself and Hawatt. As a consequence, Maguire resigned from the Liberal Party, and from his roles as Parliamentary Secretary for the Centenary of ANZAC, Counter Terrorism, Corrections and Veterans. After initially refusing to resign from Parliament, he announced he would do so before its next sitting. Maguire tendered his resignation to the Speaker of the Legislative of Assembly on the afternoon of 3 August 2018.

Writs were issued on 17 August for a by-election on  8 September.

The candidates

At the close of nominations, the candidates, in ballot paper order, were

  • Seb McDonagh (Shooters, Fishers and Farmers)
  • Julia Ham (Liberal)
  • Joe McGirr (Independent)
  • Ray Goodlass (Greens)
  • Tom Arentz (Christian Democratic Party)
  • Paul Funnell (Independent)
  • Dan Hayes (Labor)

The count

The voting system was optional preferential, which is why the total votes decreased as preferences were distributed or exhausted.

Wagga Wagga 2018 by-election preference count.png

Erratum: 844 should be 13443 and 3650 should be 42574

The result

Interesting that Ham held her lead until preferences for Funnell and Hayes were distributed. In the end, McGirr won with a whopping 59.6% to Ham’s 40.4%.

The Liberals’ first preferences dropped from 53.8% to 25.5%; two-party preferred from 62.9% to 40.4%.


690 thoughts on “Wagga Wagga bye-bye election

  1. I’m surprised no-=one has mentioned this, with all the muppets/government talk going on.

    “Scooter” is a nickname for “Scott”. There is a Muppet named Scooter. This is him – notice a resemblance? He even has glasses.

    • Scooter was the behind-the-scenes manager of The Muppet Show. (“Five minutes, Miss Piggy” etc.)

      Fozzy Bear was the comic relief. The cartoonists chose wisely.

  2. Australian government planning to reopen strategic Papua New Guinea naval base

    By Mike Head
    21 September 2018

    The government of recently-installed Prime Minister Scott Morrison is working on plans with the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government to develop a joint naval base on PNG’s Manus Island that would host Australian and US warships.

    The return of the Australian and US navies to Manus Island would be a significant preparation for a US-led war against China. Because of its strategic location in the Pacific Ocean, several hundred kilometres north of PNG’s main island, Manus is important for plans to cut China’s access to key trade routes.

    During World War II, Manus became a major US naval and air base, pivotal to the final stages of the war against Japan. Before the US invasion of the Philippines in late 1944, more than 800 ships were in the Manus Island harbour. Installations included wharves and floating docks, four airfields, living quarters for 150,000 troops, a 3,000-bed hospital, fuel depots, supply stores and repair workshops.

    After World War II, Australia took possession of the deep-water port for as long as PNG remained an Australian colony, gradually running down the facility until handing it over when the territory’s formal independence was granted in 1975. Since 2001, Australian governments have maintained a hold over Manus Island as a site for detaining hundreds of refugees barred from reaching Australia.

    According to yesterday’s Australian, ousted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill discussed the proposed transformation of PNG’s Lombrum Naval Base at a July 11 meeting in Brisbane. After a subsequent “scoping mission” by Australian defence officials, O’Neill reportedly wrote to Turnbull to formally express his support for the project.


  3. I’m seeing a lot of social media comment from people disappointed in Kerryn Phelps. I don’t know why anyone believed her schtick about being a true independent, she’s just another Liberal stooge. A lot of social media users kept quoting her list of aims apparently on her website as proof she was genuine. The list included stuff like getting refugees off Manus and Nauru, doing something to address climate change, supporting more funds for state schools and other worthy centrist causes. All that will be forgotten should she get herself elected. She will toe the Liberal party line.

    This might help convince you.

    Today the MSM were full of stories about Phelps “gatecrashing” a planned Scummo/Sharma presser at a Double Bay coffee shop.

    It’s all rubbish.

    Scummo knew she would be there, he knew what she was going to announce about preferences and he changed his plans and went to a nearby school instead. The media pack and poor Dave Sharma didn’t get the message about the change of plans, so Phelps arrived to a press pack and cameras all set up and waiting. Sharma was left lurking inside the coffee shop waiting for Scummo.

    How very convenient for Ms Phelps, too convenient to be coincidence. Deliberately planned and pre-arranged on Scummo’s orders, I’d say, seeing as Phelps used the presser to announce her complete about-face on preferences.

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. There’s a serious amount of reading in this loit!

    Well how would you be! A fruit growing and packing business at the centre of the strawberry contamination scandal is owned by a convicted drug trafficker named in a confidential report on organised crime.
    Bevan Shields explains how a battle is under way to end Tony Abbott’s 25-year political career. I wish them every success!
    Mike Seccombe writes that even by the deceitful standards of the past few weeks in Liberal Party politics, Scott Morrison’s effort at rallying support ahead of the Wentworth byelection was desperately disingenuous.
    And Paul Bongiorno tells us that Morrison’s momentum is already running out. He concludes by saying that Morrison has three weeks before parliament sits again to get real.
    Paula Matthewson writes about how Morrison is wooing the right, something Turnbull would not do.
    Jess Irvine tells us about Graeme Samuels’ reflections on the banking royal commission so far. Alan Fels has also had something to say.
    NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes wants his federal counterparts to increase money for public schools to match the billions they have promised private schools, saying governments shouldn’t play favourites with Australian kids. He is spot on!
    And his predecessor Adrian Piccoli has written an op-ed in which he describes Morrison’s new education deal as a dud. He doesn’t hold back.
    The SMH editorial does not like it either and says Morrison’s deal means that for the next decade public schools will be short-changed relative to private schools. This stinks!
    Paul Kelly writes that Morrison’s own party in NSW has indicated its ire at the policy shift to end the funding war with the Catholic sector. He describes the policy as a leap of faith.
    There is a lot of pushback on Morrison going by the letters to the SMH editor.
    Peter Goss gives us three charts that show why Catholic primary school parents can afford to pay more.
    The Greens are threatening to have the changes to school funding disallowed in an attempt to redirect billions of dollars from Catholic and independent schools to public education.
    Laura Tingle tells us that Turnbull has left Morrison a ticking time bomb- the religious freedom issue.
    John Menadue tells us the Murdoch is at it again!
    Crispin Hull uses personal experience to look at the aged care industry.
    In the wake of this round of royal commission hearings Elizabeth Knight tells us that insurance more than any other financial services sector has avoided a lot of scrutiny thanks to being partly self-regulated. This is surely set to change she says.
    Adele Ferguson writes that despite the huge rap sheet likely to emerge from Ken Hayne later on what has become obvious is the regulators, institutions and lobby groups that are supposed to be the custodians of the sector’s standards have failed millions of Australians by failing to address the problems.
    Insurance companies have a duty to act in the utmost good faith – but there is no penalty if they don’t. That may have to change with the industry left running for cover after two weeks of the royal commission.
    From the royal commission the AFR’s Duncan Hughes has distilled ten questions we need to ask in order to see if we have the right life insurance cover
    James Frost outlines the criminal charges certain insurers could face.
    A new Office of National Intelligence will have increased powers to access personal information and scrutinise online activities. But who will monitor the monitor asks Karen Middleton.
    Nick O’Malley writes that Labor is laughing as Coalition kowtows to Murdoch.
    Latika Bourke reports that a defiant Theresa May has demanded respect from EU leaders and ordered they come up with a way to resolve the impasse in the Brexit negotiations and reminded that she would opt for a no deal scenario rather than accept a bad one.
    Nick Miller reckons May is in the process of raising the white flag on Brexit.
    The Australia Institute’s Ebony Bennett writes that closing eyes to climate change won’t stop warming, She describes Morrison is the man without a plan.
    Matt Wade expresses concern of the marketisation of aged care.
    Meanwhile aged care industry leaders have warned against using the planned royal commission as a “witch hunt”, but said the inquiry should assess whether a user pays system could drive investment.
    Gladys has a bit of boy trouble it seems.
    Eryk Bagshaw says that the Morrison government have been told to start putting away money in the event the market has a hard-landing.
    Next month, Queensland will debate changes to pregnancy termination legislation. While many argue current laws disadvantage poorer women, particularly in rural areas, others are keen to maintain the status quo.
    Ross Gittins looks at the principle of risks-based motor vehicle insurance to reduce the road toll.
    In a long argument Jack Waterford writes that Liberal politicians, federal and territorial, are being remarkably coy about whether they had any influence over the National Capital Authority’s decision to forbid pill testing at a pop concert, but it is almost unimaginable that one of Canberra’s most timorous agencies would have acted of its own initiative.
    Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton yesterday voted to save his own job after a Senate Committee found he had misled parliament over the visas for Au Pair Affair. Martin Hirst reports on a remarkably narrow escape.
    Australia’s environment department head has told an inquiry it is wrong to assume that no due diligence was undertaken before a record $444m grant was offered to a private foundation for Great Barrier Reef projects. But the chair of a Senate inquiry examining the controversial grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation says he is “convinced now that there has been no long-term work into this proposal”.
    By not addressing the manner in which Husar was slut shamed and how that shaming was further justified by other journalists, Julia Baird failed to inform readers of one of the main causes — the media, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
    Tom McIlroy cheekily writes that the Coalition looks set to have as many MPs named Andrew as they have women after the next election, new analysis has found.
    Amanda Reade writes about how the gig economy is wreaking havoc on ABC’s shrinking budget.
    Trump goes into predator mode to defend Kavanagh.
    The New York Times reports that the deputy US Attorney-General, Rod Rosenstein, suggested last year that he secretly record President Donald Trump in the White House to expose the chaos consuming the administration, and he discussed recruiting Cabinet members to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office for being unfit.

    Cartoon Corner

    A sinister contribution from David Rowe.

    This one from Glen Le Lievre says it all.

    A cute contribution from Peter Broelman.

    And a good one from Zanetti.

    From Matt Golding.

    Jon Kudelka updates the parable of the good samaritan.

    And Kudelka has one on private school funding.
    David Pope excoriates Morrison’s education cash splash. Must see!
    More in here.

  5. Interesting thread –

    So if the government wants to stop anyone leaving Australia all they have to do is raise a fake welfare debt and the travel bans apply.

  6. NBN delays. I received a letter from my ISP telling me NBN was arriving in May 2018; didn’t happened.

    No more letters, but their website said 21 Sep 2018: didn’t happen.

    Now it says 26 Oct 2018… Uh huh…

    • If you still have a landline telephone, report any and every fault (crackling etc.) while you can.

      20+ years of fault complaints have finally improved my ADSL connection to 7.5Mbps.

      It looks like my NBN FTTN cabinets are ~500m away (not next to the pillar at the end of the street.)

      I’ll be happy with a solid 50/20 Mbps connection; 100Mbps FTTN is Elon Musk smoking something.

    • 2gravel:

      Don’t be too impatient, they will stuff it up when they do get there. It’s now a case of be grateful for what you have.

      🙂 I know what you mean.

      We waited 6+ months before switching our fast(!) ADSL2+ connection to NBN FTTN.
      20/1(ish) to 50/20 is a big improvement – yet some things seem slower. Hmm…

      Anything over 7.5/1Mbps would be an improvement,

  7. Good!

    Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority board member to resign over potential conflict of interest

    A board member of the federal agency responsible for managing and protecting the Great Barrier Reef has said she will quit after an ABC investigation revealed she had potential conflicts of interest in relation to $20 million of tenders managed by the body.

    Since 2012, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has awarded contracts worth more than $20 million for the culling of the coral-eating crown-of-thorns starfish.

    The ABC revealed on Wednesday that Cairns-based tourism operator Margie McKenzie, who sits on the board of the Authority, also owns the company that was subcontracted to do the culling.

    The money flowed through two other companies, which won the government contracts, both of which are led by Ms McKenzie’s husband, Col McKenzie


    • I don’t have time to waste on the ravings of Wendy Grace Collier. (She hates her real name being mentioned.) I’m certainly not going to read anything that says Morrison scares Shorten. I think it’s the other way round, Scummo is terrified of Labor and of Shorten and that’s why he’s so obviously paranoid about everything Labor.

  8. ‘We stopped these’: Roman Quaedvlieg says Scott Morrison gave him boat trophy
    Former border force head says he was handed a migrant boat model as a thank-you gift for work on border protection

    Scott Morrison gave a model of an asylum-seeker boat emblazoned with the words “We stopped these” to Roman Quaedvlieg as a thank-you gift for his work on the Coalition’s border protection policy, Quaedvlieg has said.

    The gift was a replica of one that Morrison said was a gift from a constituent, with the words “I stopped these”, referring to the fishing boats used to transport asylum seekers – mainly via Indonesia – to Australia to seek refuge.

    Morrison said his model had been with him for about four years but he did not mention that he had also given out others as gifts


  9. New PM, same old playbook. Combination of puff pieces about what a ‘great guy’ he is, and bashing people on welfare. Nothing ever changes. Not only that, but he’s also doubled down on the tired old Liberal policies we saw under Abbott and Turnbull. Favouring private schools, reneging on environmental responsibilities etc. All that’s lacking so far is the terror scare/dodgy arrests. And some kind of underhand attempt to discredit the ALP.

    I don’t know how they can possibly hope to achieve anything that way. I reckon the real failing of the robodebt/welfare bashing approach is not the unfairness of picking on the defenceless – that’s the worst aspect of it, but not the most damaging to the party. The failing is that it’s so apparent that none of it is going to save any money. Most of these programs cost a lot more than they save, and they don’t manage to take attention away from the much larger wastage in other areas. If the bottom line figure – the national debt – keeps growing, nobody’s going to be impressed with this fiddling around the edges stuff.

    Same with the jobs figures, which they tried so hard to sell. The obvious point is this: if one million jobs created is such a good thing, why hasn’t the unemployment rate come down? They can’t trumpet one aspect of it without addressing the other, they just look stupid.

    They’re spending all their energy and ingenuity on just treading water. Can’t really do that if you’re already behind 54-46. You have to find a way to change things. Right now they’re the same failures they were under Turnbull without the guy at the top mitigating the damage with his personal popularity.

    • In BK’s links this morning was this –
      “Paula Matthewson writes about how Morrison is wooing the right, something Turnbull would not do.”

      I don’t usually bother with Ms Matthewson’s wafflings, I am not interested in what a former Howard staffer has to say. I skimmed that piece. It left me wondering why Scummo wants to pander to those who are already rusted-on Liberal voters. Is he so afraid of Shorten that he believes even they would desert him for Labor? It’s hard to see how that could happen, but if Scummo turns out to be half the disaster as PM that I think he’s going to be then it’s possible.

      I did find it funny though that Fairfax, a while back when Scummo became PM, took the trouble to point out that although he lives in a place that’s close to Port Hacking actually lives about half a km from the water in an ordinary one-storey house, not a (perish the thought) waterfront mansion.

      Sharri Markson seems to have been pushing the same “ordinary dad” schtick today. He’s not an ordinary bloke from the suburbs. He has been earning substantial salaries for years, he’s wealthy, or should be.

    • I’m going to guess at two reasons for it. One is that the media Right looooooooove being pandered to, and will take any opportunity to tell everyone about it. They’re a minority, but they’re a very noisy minority, and Morrison knows the amount of fawning press he’ll get if it’s put about that he’s giving those love-starved jackals what they want.

      The other is that anything that portrays Morrison as a ‘winner’ is a plus for him. “Wooing the Right” is something Turnbull was supposed to be congratulated for avoiding; he was meant to be some kind of ‘sensible centre’ creature. He did woo the Right of course, but the narrative was supposed to have him wooing the rest of us. So of course Morrison is doing something Turnbull ‘would not do’ by wooing the Right. Only now we’re supposed to see it as a positive. For some reason.

      Actually, for a very specific reason, which is that anything the current Liberal leader does is ‘good’. It’s the media’s job to frame it so that it’s seen that way. Never mind that it’s diametrically opposite to the way the previous guy was sold to us. We have to view it this way now.

  10. Something else I’m not going to waste time on – Sharri Markson’s fairytale about Scummo being an ordinary bloke with a mortgage.

    Scummo has been earning lots of money since he left uni, thanks to well-off patrons and mentors in the Liberal Party. No matter how many times he stuffed up his mentors always found him another well-paid position.

    If he’s still paying his mortgage then maybe it’s because his church demands its members tithe. If Scummo is handing over the usual 10% of his income, as tithing usually demands, then he’s now paying that church more over a year than a lot of Australians can earn in the same time. Just think about that, and then think about Horizon Church and its tax-free status.

    Also –

    Here’s some ancient history about Scummo’s work as director of the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport.
    McCully’s tourism structure cracking

    Australian standards of public sector behaviour “are lower than ours,” said Mr Mallard.

    New Zealanders were much more traditional and had a Westminster-type approach. That meant more things on paper, more concern about process, and being less bombastic.

    “My experience with Australian politicians is that rules and ethics are not as important to them as they are to New Zealanders.”

    Mr Morrison said he did not want to respond to Mr Mallard’s personal comments. “I have no interest in New Zealand politics.”


  11. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Fergus Hunter tells us that Ed Husic has warned the government to “tread carefully” on controversial legislation that seeks to give intelligence and law enforcement agencies greater access to Australians’ encrypted data.
    Paul Biegler thinks said cybersecurity legislation might go a bit far.
    Katharine Murphy writes that Morrison is a leader in a hurry – but not to end the disgrace of Nauru.
    The SMH editorial says Luke Foley has a good chance of winning in 2019.
    Alexandra Smith looks at the internal problems beleaguering the NSW Liberal party.
    The Guardian says that Morrison’s announcement of an extra $4.6bn in funding over the next decade for private schools makes no sense. It concludes by saying transparency and independent analysis are essential to informed and rational debate about and schools funding and are now sadly lacking.
    A good piece from Peter van Onselen on Dave Sharma’s playing of the wrong trick in Wentworth.
    Consultant Daryl Dixon writes that clearly, it’s time for the policy bureaucrats and regulators to dirty their hands and become involved with what’s happening out in the real world. Enacting legislation is one thing, making sure it’s effective and works in practice is a totally different and more important issue.
    “Did Rupert Murdoch really go after Malcolm Turnbull?”, asks Jennifer Duke.
    As Australia’s growing appetite for natural produce infiltrates mainstream markets, consumers have been warned that the ‘organic’ label doesn’t necessarily adhere to organic certification standards
    A good weekend column from Peter FitzSimons.
    Now that everything has been said about the 10th anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, it’s worth asking how close we are to the next crisis. In the market for corporate loans, investors have fulfilled at least one prerequisite: They’re dropping their guard.
    Trump has unleashed an attack on Kavanagh’s accuser. Via Twitter of course.
    And he has issued an ominous warning about the Justice Department and the FBI, promising more firings to rid a “lingering stench” after reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein discussed secretly recording Trump.
    The rise and rise of penis extension surgery.

    Cartoon Corner. Slim pickings I’m afraid.

    Peter Broelman and a vegetable rogues’ gallery.

    A few more in here.

  12. PvO didn’t do his research.

    Dave Sharma did not grow up in Wentworth, not unless Wentworth was somehow moved across the harbour to Turramurra for a few years.

    A quick bit of research tells us the Sharma family migrated from Canada in 1975, lived at Parramatta for a few years and then moved to Turramurra in 1979. Sharma attended Turramurra High School – so much for growing up in “Wentworth”. He still lives in Turramurra.



    Sharma says he is looking at properties in Wentworth plus new schools for his daughters. He might not need to bother.

  13. Meanwhile over at Sauron’s Mordor Media the turd polishing is continuing apace

    ScoMo gives a masterclass
    We have an election coming. And this time it’s different — our sitting prime minister is a marketing man. And boy, does it show.

    A brilliant display of Team Morrison’s marketing deftness was the strawberry scandal, a genuine crisis for growers and a disturbing new threat of economic terrorism. The timing of the announcement by the PM and Attorney-General Chris­tian Porter to come down hard on these terrorist “grubs” with 15-year jail terms completely overwhelmed Labor’s new policy around getting rid of the gender gap through super contributions during maternity leave.


  14. And that is why chaplaincy has no place in schools

    The largest provider of school chaplains, Scripture Union Queensland, has been the subject of a complaint to the tax office questioning whether it has breached its tax deductibility status to collect $33m in donations.

    The complaint from a secular organisation, seen by Guardian Australia, notes that the deductible gift-recipient status of SUQ’s schools ministry fund depends on it being for the “furtherance of religious instruction in government schools in Australia”.

    But the chaplaincy program is based on pastoral care, not religious education.

    SUQ’s chief executive, Peter James, said it is meeting its obligation under taxation law and defended the fund’s tax deductible status by arguing that chaplaincy is “explicitly religious in nature”.


  15. How very Blazing Saddles

    The education minister, Dan Tehan, has conceded the states could derail the Coalition’s $4.6bn package for Catholic and independent schools but warned “we don’t want to make schoolkids pay the price” for debates about fair funding.

    The comments on the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday raise the prospect that children in all sectors – including government schools – could miss out on funding increases legislated in 2017 if dissidents such as the New South Wales education minister, Rob Stokes, continue to demand state schools share in extra funding given to non-government schools.


    • If all that strategy talk is true, and I’m pretty certain it is, then the Libs definitely can’t trust one another because they would never know who was plotting against them.

      If Liberal MPs cannot trust one another then why the hell should we trust them with governing us?

      Bring on the election!

    • I have to say, I sadly agree with him. It will be generations before this country grows up enough to be sensible and adult about this issue. I am pleased at least that he acknowledges that it was the coward howard who blew all this up.

  16. Scummo is making a lot of expensive promises. Today it’s $175 million for an extra 30 MRI licences.

    How is he planning on paying for all his promises? Well, he isn’t.

    If you listened to yesterday’s Real Time, with Bill Maher, you would have heard a discussion about the need for the Democrats to copy Trump and just make lavish promises before an election without worrying about cost or even keeping those promises. They mentioned Trump’s promise to replace Obamacare with “something amazing”. It hasn’t happened. It won’t happen.

    This is what Scummo is doing now. He’s been making some pretty extravagant promises since becoming PM without ever mentioning how he plans to pay for them. His school funding promise is another example – no mention of where all those billions for private schools will come from. Obviously his promises are just empty election bribes.

    How does all this extravagance work with his earlier promise to have the budget return to surplus by 2020? Obviously it won’t get there.As Treasurer, Scummo presided over record borrowings, most of them not due to be paid back before 2040 or later. Lord knows what the money was for, the ATM government has not done anything useful with it. Is Scummo planning on stupendous levels of borrowing to pay for his promises, should (God forbid) his government be returned, or is he just setting a lot of booby traps for the next Labor government?

    Real Time is available on YouTube, if you missed it yesterday.

  17. Kerryn Phelps on The Project tonight, carefully avoiding answering a question on why she is preferencing the Liberal Party.

    She’s in it to win, she says. It’s obvious she has done a deal with Scummo. She knows she can’t win without preferences from disgruntled Libs who used to support Turnbull and now want to make a protest vote.

    Wentworth voters should just vote Labor.

  18. If there is bullying by staff in a minister’s office then the minister concerned is responsible. Staff bullying other staff means one of two things – the minister knows about this bad behaviour and condones it, maybe even encourages it, or the minister is well aware of the bullying but is too weak to take any action. You can’t get around this by saying “Mr Wyatt is not the main subject of the probe”. Of course he is, he’s responsible for the actions of his staff.

  19. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    A second threatening letter has been sent to the Perth headquarters of the Special Air Service Regiment warning against helping a Defence Inspector-General inquiry into allegations of misconduct and war crimes by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan.
    The AFR says that big business is quietly preparing for a potential change of government in Canberra to the Labor Party through financial donations, meetings with Bill Shorten and hiring politically connected staff.
    Greg Jericho writes that Morrison is trying to look like a leader but he wonders if can he kill off the Coalition’s political headaches?
    Urban Wronski takes a look at how Morrison is travelling – terminally conflicted compromised and confused.
    More than $12 billion has been wiped from the value of major listed financial companies this year as the Hayne royal commission has worsened an already weak trading environment. And Hayne’s report comes out on Friday!
    Adrian Piccoli’s demolition of Morrison’s education announcement had got a lot of support from SMH readers. As it should!
    And Michael Koziol reports that the Morrison government has given Catholic schools more than 10 times the amount of money needed to maintain “affordable choice” for parents, according to analysis by the Grattan Institute.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that it is another example of how a financial fix in one sector only begets more demands for more money elsewhere given the distorted application of equality that dominates the perennial school funding wars in Australia.
    The Greens’ position is that they say, he Coalition government’s $4.6 billion special deal with Catholic and independent schools is nothing short of a brazen buy-off of the sector to stop them campaigning against the Liberals. In any other setting, it would be called hush money.
    Continuing its series The Guardian looks at whether the ascendency of Lachlan will bring about a cultural change at News Corp.
    Professor Margaret O’Connor writes that the recently announced royal commission needs to reveal the fundamental causes of all the sad stories in aged care.
    For all the horror stories about aged care there are positive developments. There are new models that promote purpose and meaning
    The new head of the industry superannuation lobby has called a halt to the contentious “fox and henhouse” advertisements, which were designed to turn consumers off bank-owned funds and influence government policy.
    Small business says it is facing a credit crunch and is blaming the royal commission into financial services for causing nervous banks to slow lending to the self-employed.
    Ross Gittins goes into considerable detail in saying that Frydenberg will really have his work cut out.
    Bronwyn Bryceson, an SMH reader, has a contribution that says she wants to her genuine contrition from the banks.
    Kerry-Anne Walsh has written a book “Hoodwinked: How Pauline Hanson Fooled a Nation” in which she has quite a bit about James Ashby, the man behind Pauline Hanson.
    The largest provider of school chaplains, Scripture Union Queensland, has been the subject of a complaint to the tax office questioning whether it has breached its tax deductibility status to collect $33m in donations. Good!
    Using her own experiences Jill Stark explains how GPs are struggling in a system ill-equipped to deal with mental health.
    This SMH editorial says the country is still getting it wrong on mental health.
    Five years since the Abbott government scrapped the Climate Commission, the environmentalist Tim Flannery says our energy policy remains hostage to lobbyists, political self-interest and “mad ideologues”.
    Underpayment is baked into the price we pay when we go to cafes. Would you buy a coffee if you had to pay its true cost?
    Labour, the movement that prizes members’ democracy above all else, is now strongly in favour of a people’s vote on Brexit: that is the collective decision hovering over the party’s annual conference in Liverpool, and it speaks well of the wisdom of the Labour crowd.
    In his new book, Populism Now!: The case for progressive populism, David McKnight, the Australian journalist and historian, believes in rescuing populism from the political Right.
    They were the must-have products of summer 2017, but ten months after the initial cryptocurrency crash Australians seem to have turned their backs on digital coins.
    Bloomberg has an article that says that the UN has entered its darkest hour. It wonders whether or not it is fit for purpose in an era of surging nationalism and mounting geopolitical tensions. And Trump isn’t helping one little bit!
    California professor Christine Blasey Ford has agreed to testify before a Senate panel on Thursday morning about her sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

    A rather sparse Cartoon Corner.

    Yet another ripper from David Rowe.

    Mark David takes Abbott door knocking.

    Roy Taylor and food tampering.

    Jon Kudelka on the depth of the new PM.
    Just a few more in here.

  20. Well, today’s a great day for determining just how busted our political media are. We’re a month out from the coup. 2PP leading up to the coup was hovering around 51-49 to 52-48. So a month into the job Morrison has – maybe – regained 2 of the 5 percentage points he cost the party when he replaced Turnbull. He’s put his party in a considerably worse position than it was. And he’s being lauded for it.

    Ponder that for a moment.

    What we’ve seen here is a correction. That’s all. 56-44 was entirely unrealistic, and it was due to public reaction at the challenge being handled so horribly badly. Morrison, and the Liberals in general, mostly got a leave-pass from the press on that. A bit of hand-wringing that press favourite Turnbull got shunted off, but mostly puff pieces about the bright and shiny new future Morrison had in store for us. A “New Team!” (featuring all the same old faces, but never mind). Given a week, all the superlatives Turnbull used to receive had been smoothly transferred to the next guy. In truth, 52-48 at this stage would be unacceptable, as it would mean nothing had been achieved, no positive outcome for the Coalition. 54-46 is a disaster for them. But the press gallery are all out there polishing it up as if it shows momentum.

    If you ask me, they all know very well how the next election is going to go. The obsession with PPM isn’t really about pretending the Coalition can win, it’s the first step in what will be a relentless campaign to tell Australians in the next term how much they all hate PM Shorten and should therefore reject his policy measures. “‘Unpopular’ Shorten Becomes Next On The PM Merry-Go-Round” will be the headlines, directing us all to think of him as a short-term seat-warmer. Along with the usual demands for immediate results and hysterical finger-pointing at the debt figures. And we’ll be straight back to “Opposition Leader X Says…” reportage.

    • Absolutely agree.

      Just want to add that the “New Team”, hyped up as a “new generation” like a TV series spin-off, or maybe inspired by the Muppets with their “Muppet Babies: The Next Generation” actually contained some pretty rotten blasts from the past. Scummo chose to retrieve some odious, corrupt-to-the-core carcases from their well-deserved banishment to the back benches and restored them to his ministry. And to a much increased salary, of course out of gratitude for their support.

      Stuart “Rolex” Robert installed as as Assistant Treasurer, FFS! He’s going to have his greasy paws on all sorts of wonderful opportunities for rorting.

      Sussan “Gold Coast Real Estate” Ley as Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories. Is she going to boost regional towns by flying in on charter flights to snap up all the local real estate at bargain prices?

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