714 thoughts on “24 November 2018: Victoria Votes

  1. Labor has blasted Scott Morrison, suggesting he played a role in leaking a confidential police submission to parliament’s intelligence committee, an accusation the prime minister attempted to brush off as a “grubby smear”.


    Porter said in QT that the AFP had not made a submission; a little economical with the truth

    The AFP later confirmed it had made a supplementary submission to the parliamentary committee on intelligence and security on 29 November.

  2. Theresa May faces her first major battle in a crucial period for her Brexit plans, with the government at risk of being declared in contempt of parliament in a row over the publication of official legal advice on the departure deal.

    The prime minister, back in London from the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, will simultaneously begin a charm offensive to win over Conservative MPs in dozens of face-to-face meetings before the Commons votes on the deal on 11 December.

    On Monday afternoon the attorney general, Geoffrey Cox, is scheduled to brief the Commons about his advice on the Brexit plan before – in an unusual move for the government’s chief law officer – answering questions from MPs.

    Downing Street argues strongly that this will be sufficient information for any MP to make up their mind on the legal aspects of the deal before the upcoming five-day debate, and that it keeps to the protocol that full advice is seen as confidential between lawyer and client.


  3. This Liberal leadership thing is weird – it doesn’t seem to apply to FauxMo because he wasn’t elected at a general election.

    No leader is “elected” at a general election anyway, parties chose their leaders, not voters. I’d expect a party that hopes to stay in government to know how our system works. Obviously they don’t.

    And here’s a laugh – .

    And another –

  4. Biggus Stickus Taylor is now Angus Toothpick

    The Morrison government is revising key components of its much vaunted “big stick” divestiture power in the wake of internal objections from more than 20 backbenchers, with MPs arguing breaking up private companies offends core liberal values.

    Sources have told Guardian Australia ministers are now in the process of refining the original government proposal to ensure that divesture happens only after a recommendation by Australia’s competition watchdog, which has first sanctioned poor corporate conduct.

    The courts would also be the ultimate decision-makers, rather than a government minister – a notion that triggered an intense backlash in the business community, and arguments the regime may be unconstitutional.


  5. Deckchairs. Titanic.

    The Liberals appear to be trying to secure little bits of their structure at the expense of the reputation of the party as a whole. The shenanigans employed to keep Kelly on, and tonight’s move to shore up Morrison’s leadership (although that does appear to be more in the optics than the actual details) can do nothing to restore faith in the Australian public. In fact, they’re still carrying on as if that faith is intact, and they can carry on their internal manoeuvres without any repercussions.

    Admittedly, they are stuck in a catch-22 situation. Morrison as PM is dragging the party vote down. But removing him after just a couple of months would be so farcical it would also drag their vote down. So any move they make toward preserving votes – either by reinforcing the stability of the leadership or by replacing the dud leader – is going to cost them votes.

    They can blame Turnbull all they like. But how culpable can a person be if he’s just throwing petrol on a fire that’s already out of control?

  6. Also want to mention this:

    It’s crap. Further down, Martin posts a link to a piece in The Conversation which he cites as proof that household spending on energy hasn’t increased. Two points in that article he didn’t address:

    1. The article explicitly states that for low income earners spending on energy has increased significantly.

    2. While spending overall has remained at a similar proportion, actual usage per household has dropped markedly. If we’re spending the same amount while consuming less, somebody is ripping us off.

    • I remember when my summer electricity bill was $23 for 2 or 3 months prior to my installing solar panels. I now pay $1 a day to be connected to the grid

    • When I quoted from the article in response, Martin wrote this:

      I think what he means by it is that he contributed to the article, those are his words, and he likes the prose. I might be wrong. If I’m not, he’s being a bit of a narcissist.

      At any rate, there’s a definite sense with him that he doesn’t give a crap about the strain on particular income levels, as long as the overall picture looks pretty. It’s a bit like saying that, if 10 people have a billion dollars and 1000 have a hundred dollars, on average they’re all well-off.

  7. Labor has extended its lead over the Morrison government after a horror political fortnight, and the Coalition’s trenchant campaign against key opposition revenue measures, such as negative gearing and dividend imputation, does not seem to have gained much traction with voters.

    The latest Guardian Essential poll shows Labor’s two-party-preferred lead over the government has blown out again to 54% to 46%. A fortnight ago Labor was ahead 52% to 48%, which suggested a tightening in the contest.


    • I had a feeling the last one was a blip. Coming on the heels of the Ipsos one, it did create a false impression of a Coalition comeback (with nothing happening in the political world to justify such an occurrence). Clearly it was just MOE.

      Current feel is still somewhere between 53-47 and 54-46. Same as it’s been for ages.

  8. Geoffrey Cox, the attorney general, has achieved something remarkable; he has united all the Commons opposition parties (and the DUP, which is not sure at the moment which side it’s on) who now want to see him face disciplinary action for not publishing his full Brexit legal advice. John Bercow, the speaker, has promised a decision very soon, possibly tonight, and so it is probable that within the next day or so we may get a full-blown Commons debate on the government’s contempt of parliament.


  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Better late than never I suppose.

    Katharine Murphy expands on today’s Essential poll.
    Batten down the hatches! I note Morrison said that Australians elect a Prime Minister. Actually they don’t.
    A peace deal orchestrated by Morrison to save one of the government’s most controversial MPs has set off a firestorm inside the Liberal Party, as Malcolm Turnbull warns he won’t stay silent while critics try to define his legacy.
    Tony Wright tells us how Turnbull made sure the Morrison government ends the year in a car wreck.
    And the IPA laments Turnbull’s “act of woeful hypocrisy”.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that Scott Morrison’s Coalition could not be more vulnerable. The Coalition is imprisoned in unhappiness she says.
    Jennifer Wilson examines Julie Bishop’s motives behind her red shoes.
    Michelle Grattan writes that rebel right wing Liberal Craig Kelly is a paradox – a man who chronically lacks the numbers but possesses the power to force prime ministers to protect him.
    Peter Hartcher explains why Morrison is right on encryption but wrong on Muslims.
    The Australian says that regardless of the federal situation, Gladys Berejiklian’s government is on the edge because of the ­botched light rail project, the knockdown and rebuild of stadiums, and poor messaging.
    In an excellent contribution Professor Jenny Stewart wonders if religious freedom laws really necessary in modern Australia?
    Jenna Price has some ideas on how to solve the bullying problem in politics.
    And right on cue Nicole Hasham tells us that one in five Australian Border Force staff have recently been bullied or harassed at work and the same proportion has suffered discrimination, according to leaked internal documents that confirm the deeply toxic culture corroding the quasi-military agency.
    Jess Irvine tells us that Sydney property price falls are poised to eclipse losses during Australia’s last recession in the early 1990s – and it’s likely to claim that record before Christmas.
    And Elizabeth Knight says that it’s probably fair to say that Sydney house prices have now officially fallen over the cliff and Melbourne looks to be not too far behind.
    John Birmingham writes on the ridiculous and hypocritical expulsion of Patricia Karvelas from the House for having the gall to show, just like Julie Bishop her bare arms.
    David Crowe reports on a new survey about Australians’ attitude towards both immigration levels and multiculturalism.
    David Marr summarises the survey by saying that politicians may be panicking about immigration. Australians are not.
    This story will play out big time for many months to come!
    Richard Di Natale says that Rowan Dean must be sacked by Sky News and the AFR over his Sarah Hanson-Young article.
    Paul Karp writes about the (lack of) progress on the LBGT bill.
    The whole religion thing is a slow burner for governments in Australia.
    Jordan Baker reports that NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes has accused some of his federal counterparts of wilful ignorance over climate change, saying he understood why striking students were frustrated.
    And Greg Jericho explains how there is no way we will meet our Paris targets, and the Coalition couldn’t care less! As usual he extensively supports his assertions with factual data.
    Looking directly at Trump, Paul Krugman says that denying climate change is evil.
    Meanwhile Sir David Attenborough has just told leaders gathered for a UN climate summit Monday that “right now, we are facing a man-made disaster of global scale, our greatest threat in thousands of years.”
    Industrial relations lawyer John Wilson looks at the consequences of the government replacing APS staff with contractors.
    Some of Australia’s biggest businesses have been slapped down by the ACCC for imposing unfair contract terms on small businesses. Bring it on!
    Mike Pezzullo has spoken out strongly about the relationship between departmental heads and ministers of the day. Richard Mulgan gives Pezzullo some advice at the end of the article.
    Meanwhile former senior public servant Paddy Gourley says that improving the public service will require more than a handful of meaningless ‘themes’. He really gets stuck onto Thodey’s inquiry.
    The Australian public service is least prepared for technological advances including the rise of artificial intelligence, the uptake of robotics and automation, and the rise of global tech giants, a survey of senior public servants has found.
    Barnaby Joyce’s decision to move the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to Armidale has proven to be another cluster cock-up. As minister for agriculture, Joyce presided over the live sheep trade and Murray Darling water theft scandals. More recently, in his role as drought envoy, he has been criticised for wanting to divert environmental water from the Murray Darling to agriculture, in breach of the Federal Water Act.
    Jill Abramson writes that the Mueller investigation is closing in on Trump.
    Young lawyers are pushing back against a culture of overwork in Australia’s top commercial firms, caused in part by the demands of the banking royal commission.
    The SMH editorial says that an Indigenous voice is not a threat to our constitution.
    We consume the products of slavery every day. All of us. Today’s globalised supply chains make it is almost impossible to avoid goods or services free of the fingerprints of slavery. Here’s how we avoid feeling guilty
    A summary of last night’s Q and A.
    John Elder reports that a long-running study of mothers and children has found that chemicals widely used in shampoo, deodorant, nail polish and cosmetics are linked to early onset puberty in girls, which could heighten their health risks later in life.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe has Morrison rescuing Craig Kelly from the burning broad church.

    What a cracker from Matt Golding!

    Mark David’s been having some fun lately!

    Zanetti at the G20. Not particularly funny really.

    Alan Moir has Morrison returning from the G20.

    David Pope sums up the Liberal pre-selection process changes.
    Johannes Leak is a chip off the old block!
    More in here.

  10. The change of rules for knifing a Liberal leader isn’t worth a cracker.

    For a start it doesn’t apply to FauxMo, because he has not taken his party to an election and won. And then there’s the easy option to change that rule at any time. Abbott can still challenge, if he wants to, so can anyone else who thinks FauxMo is destroying the government’s chance of being re-elected.

    Here’s FauxMo explaining how it works (and confirming that it does not apply to him).

    Tonight the Liberal party in acknowledging this, has made a decision. That decision is that an elected Liberal party leader who goes to the election, wins that election and becomes prime minister, they will remain prime minister for that full parliamentary term. They will not be able to be removed from that office. The only safeguard that is put in place is the very high bar of a special majority; that for that rule to be changed, it would require a two-thirds majority of the parliamentary party

    And here’s Amy Remeikis explaining how easy it will be to get around this new rule —

    As was pointed out for Labor, and now, for the Coalition, one of the issues with the 2/3s rule, is that it doesn’t take 2/3s of the party room to change a rule.

    So, say you wanted to get rid of a leader. And say half the party room was in agreement with you, but you didn’t have 2/3s of the room on your side, you still have enough people to change the rule which stops you from being able to do what you want.

    Labor has that issue too. These rules are made by people who know, that if necessary, they are made to be broken. I’m not saying it is going to happen. But if you have lost the support of half of your colleagues, you are in trouble, no matter what the rules say


    So what we had last night looks like a desperate publicity stunt, designed to draw the media’s attention away from the disasters in both houses yesterday. Why did it have to happen late at night? Why was it an “emergency meeting”, was someone about to challenge FauxMo? What was wrong with waiting until this morning and having the vote in the regular party room meeting?

  11. With all the ‘fun’ Turnbull has caused the Coalition it may be time to recycle this Moir cartoon.

  12. Here we go again!

    The brother of Test cricket star Usman Khawaja has been arrested as part of an investigation into a notebook outlining plans to kill senior politicians, including former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his then-deputy Julie Bishop.

    Counterterrorism police detained 39-year-old Arsalan Khawaja at a home in western Sydney this morning over the alleged terror hit list, which was found in an office at the University of New South Wales in August.

    More to come.


    • i’m sure he was. Punishment for (a) being part of the ABC and (b) daring to write an article yesterday critical of the government.

      I look forward to seeing Jewellery Blingshop being escorted out of the chamber next time she turns up in one of her sleeveless frocks.

      There is no rule that says women must cover their arms while in Parliament House.

    • I can’t see why personal happiness had anything to do with politics. Why did they bother with that question?

      Last time I did an Essential I was also asked about toothpaste – those responses were not included in the poll results. It might have been interesting if they had been – do Liberal voters go more for Colgate than Labor voters? Is Oral B the preferred toothpaste of the majority of voters? It’s just as irrelevant as asking people if they are happy.

  13. What an objectionable creep FauxMo is.

    So much for bi-partisan co-operation from Labor on the important issues this week. Why co-operate with someone who sees you as the enemy and is constantly looking for a “defeat” he can blather about at a presser?

    If FauxMo insists on using military terms (he probably thinks it makes him seem tough and masculine when he’s neither) then here’s one he can think about – his government is facing a rout come the election.

    • Leone, I was going to respond with wtte the only “good” thing to be said about FauxMo is that he isn’t a scumbag.

      Then I remembered what he said about Pamela Anderson.

  14. A government program that forces parents to take their children to activities such as playgroup or swimming lessons to keep their parenting payments is to be examined by a Senate inquiry.

    Guardian Australia revealed last month that parents, predominantly single mothers, were being told to undertake activities including “story time” or to begin study at their own expense under the $350m pre-employment program ParentsNext, which was rolled out nationally this year.

    On Tuesday the Senate voted to conduct a wide-ranging review of the program, including its aims, whether it should be compulsory and whether participants should be subject to the same penalties that are imposed on other welfare recipients.


    • It’s a nasty, nasty scheme aimed at taking money from single parents and using it to boost the coffers of private employment providers.

      When parents are told they have to take their toddlers out of kindergarten/preschool (for which they are already paying fees) to attend a rubbish “story time” session you know something stinks with this scheme. Mothers are reporting having to give up or postpone uni studies just so they can cope with the unreasonable demands of this scheme. Mothers report payments being cut without warning because they have allegedly breached the conditions of the program.

      I had a look for the Parents Next providers here – surprise, surprise!

      It’s the same lot who run the employment services (also known as No Employment Services) here for the DHS – Mission Australia, Wesley Employment, something called CHESS which seems to specialise in finding work for people with disabilities and mental illnesses and Bamara, an indigenous service run by the David Liddiard Group.

      If their Parents Next services are anything like their utter uselessness at getting people into work then the whole scheme is a total waste of money.

      It’s not a surprise that Labor supports this scheme, although they are currently muttering about maybe it’s not working out as planned. Labor was no friend to people on any sort of welfare (except the age pension) during their last term in office. Judging by the avoidance of the whole welfare issue by Shorten whenever the topic comes up at his town hall meetings Labor intends to be just as nasty when they return to government. All Bill will promise is an increase in Centrelink call centre workers.

      If Labor wants to run on equality then they can start by improving payments and conditions for the most disadvantaged instead of continually kicking them to the kerb.


      Single parents forced to attend ‘story time’ or lose Centrelink payments

  15. 62.5% …

    though to be honest I am sorry that Mr Pesutto seems to have lost his seat. He was/is a good person among a rabble.

    I’d much rather that Kew (my State seat) had ejected the egregious Tim Smith – a former lightweight rower, and current lightweight pollie.

    • That is what is terrifying the Liberals in Victoria. Pesutto was their 'voice of reason' (deliberate singular!) yet he got booted. There are now no safe federal Liberal seats in the state. While the NSW RWNJs controls the federal party the Libs are cactus in Victoria. #auspol— Gary Fallon (@GaryFallon2) December 4, 2018

    • Ducky,

      I think the Libs may be cactus in at least some pats of SA as well.

      What do you think, Puffy TMD?

  16. Malcolm Turnbull’s intervention in a fight over the future of Craig Kelly has sparked a war inside the NSW Liberal Party’s dominant moderate wing, with its leadership accused of capitulating to conservatives.

    A blistering email obtained by the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age reveals the decision by factional leaders Trent Zimmerman and Matt Kean to support Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s plan to rescue Mr Kelly from certain preselection defeat has triggered bitter recriminations.

    In a late-night missive on Monday, Sally Betts — a close ally of the former prime minister — attacked Mr Zimmerman and Mr Kean for helping save Mr Kelly, a conservative backbencher who helped bring down the National Energy Guarantee and Mr Turnbull’s leadership.

    “To say that the moderates are disappointed in you, as our supposed leader, is an understatement,” she wrote to the North Sydney MP.

    “You supported Kelly – a thug, a bully, and a disgrace and you need to explain that to the moderates.

    “You were happy to sell the moderates down the river and not even ask for anything for our vote … how many other deals are you going to do that disadvantage the moderates?

    “And I am telling you that you have no authority to speak for me or anyone else ever again. I doubt if the majority of the moderates want you to speak for them either.”

    The comments were also circulated to a wide group of people including Mr Turnbull and influential lobbyist Michael Photios, who handed the leadership of the faction to Mr Zimmerman and Mr Kean last year.

    Mr Kelly was facing defeat by local councillor Kent Johns, a moderate-aligned party operator who had the numbers to win the nomination for the safe southern Sydney seat of Hughes.

    In a separate email sent to Ms Betts and Mr Zimmerman on Tuesday, Mr Johns made numerous references to problems within Mr Kelly’s office and wrote: “This was never about political ambition, this was about fixing the office in Hughes and our faction failed”.

    “Even if as moderates we don’t stand for anything philosophically any more you might have thought we had a moral spine,” he added.

    Ms Betts, NSW Young Liberals president Harry Stutchbury and moderate powerbroker Chris Rath abstained from voting against Mr Kelly’s re-endorsement — a crucial decision which allowed him to remain the party’s candidate in the safe Sydney seat of Hughes at the next federal election.

    Mr Morrison personally telephoned Ms Betts to lobby her over fears Mr Kelly would quit the Liberal Party and move to the crossbench had he lost preselection.

    In contrast, Mr Turnbull spent much of Sunday calling state executive members urging them to resist the pressure and likened the plot to save Mr Kelly to giving in to blackmail.

    In a radio interview on Monday, Mr Zimmerman said Mr Turnbull’s intervention effectively gave the state executive no choice but to back Mr Morrison.

    “Malcolm’s intervention meant it did become an issue about the Prime Minister’s authority and that swung the dial in favour of acceding to the request the Prime Minister had made.”

    In her email, Ms Betts challenged Mr Zimmerman’s claim that moderates abstained because of Mr Turnbull’s public statements: “How dare you speak for us … that is simply untrue.”

    Mr Kelly said he was “more than happy to have a preselection, and I’d be happy to run on my record”.

    “There is no other MP who sits in the party room that has moved a seat up the pendulum as far as I have,” he said, in reference to the margin in Hughes.

    Mr Zimmerman and Mr Johns declined to comment. Mr Kean could not be reached.

    When contacted, Ms Betts said she was disappointed state executive members “were even asked to vote” to support Mr Kelly.

    “I am a loyal servant of the moderates and the Liberals, and it is upsetting that my personal comments were leaked,” Ms Betts said.


    • It might be a deliberate protest, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, but I’d prefer not seeing Jewellery’s knobbly knees and spray-tanned thighs.

  17. I posted this over the road just now.

    Link: https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/hoppers-crossing/administrative-assistant/volunteer-receptionist-admin-support-position-3-months/1202257008

    This is the text of an advert that came up on Gumtree just now when I searched administration jobs.
    Note the duties, note the skill level and then note THE RATE OF PAY!

    Volunteer Receptionist/admin support Position 3 months
    Allied Health Practice

    · Will suit for someone looking for a work experience and live around Hoppers crossing.

    · Volunteer (Unpaid) Intern Position 3 months

    Key Responsibilities include (not limited to):

    · Managing appointments

    · Answering phone

    · Managing the waiting room

    · Billing of appointments and taking payments

    · Liaising with doctors, staff and other Allied Health Providers

    · Processing Medicare, HICAP claims and payments

    Skills and Experience

    · Comprehensive computer skills essential

    · Ability to multi-task and perform appropriately under pressure and in stressful situations

    · Strong written and verbal communicative skills

    · Must be well presented

    · Attention to detail

    · Exceptional customer service skills

  18. Yes, they are definitely in caretaker mode

    Labor and the Greens will attempt to prevent the Morrison government from underwriting new coal-fired power as the energy policy battle moves into its next phase.

    Labor on Tuesday resolved to support a Greens bill stopping the commonwealth from providing financial assistance to coal-fired power plants, and there is an effort to secure the requisite parliamentary numbers for an upset as the Morrison government moves ahead with its controversial energy package. Negotiations are under way with crossbenchers in both chambers.

    The government secured a rubber stamp from the Coalition party room on Tuesday for policy measures aimed to reduce power prices, including a contentious divestiture power, but Guardian Australia revealed on Monday night ministers had to rework the original proposal substantially to head off a backbench revolt.

    Frantic work by senior ministers over the past couple of weeks did not prevent a significant debate about the package in the Coalition party room meeting on Tuesday. Nine MPs expressed in-principle objections to the so-called “big stick” divestiture powers, including the former deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop and the Senate president, Scott Ryan.

    Nine MPs, including the former National party leader Barnaby Joyce and several other Nationals, spoke in favour of the package.

    Coalition MPs ticked off the package despite the objections and despite not having sighted the reworked legislation, which is expected to be introduced to the House on either Wednesday or Thursday, and will need the support of two crossbenchers to pass, because Labor is opposed.

    It is not yet clear whether the government will seek to bring on the chamber debate this week – the final sitting week of the year. The former Liberal MP Julia Banks has already expressed strong reservations about the package, telling Guardian Australia on Monday night that divestiture powers were “totally counter to liberal values of free enterprise and small government”.

    With serious concerns being expressed by MPs, business groups and legal experts, the government redrafted its initial proposal on divestiture to remove a government minister as the primary decision-maker, instead handing that power to the courts. The government package will also sunset in 2025.

    Business groups are relieved the government is listening, but are not mollified. The chief executive of the Business Council of Australia, Jennifer Westacott, said it was clear the government had listened to the criticism, but she said “further work needs to be done”.

    Westacott said the proposed laws “represent an unprecedented shift in Australian law, and remain open to a misuse of power” and the government had not yet explained the rationale for the measures.

    The Australian Energy Council, which represents major power companies, took a similar view. The AEC’s chief executive, Sarah McNamara, welcomed the movement, but she said the sector remained “alarmed at the government’s intention to legislate an onerous and unprecedented set of market interventions which will only increase risk to investors and costs for consumers”.

    The government is also attempting to select a number of new projects by the end of January bringing on new power generation, to be underwritten by taxpayers.

    The energy minister, Angus Taylor, who has signalled coal will be in the mix, with a possible indemnity against the risk of a future carbon price, declined to answer questions from journalists on Tuesday about whether the government would enter binding contracts with proponents before the next election, which would be difficult to unwind if the Morrison government loses next year.

    The Greens, with support from Labor, are attempting to head that sortie off at the pass with the new private members’ bill. Discussions with the crossbench are under way in both chambers – but it is unclear whether the foray will succeed.

    Greens MP Adam Bandt, who could be a crucial vote for the government on the divestiture package because the party is not opposed to the idea, warned the Coalition not to “rely on support from the Greens on energy issues while … trying to sign contracts for new coal-fired power stations”.

    Bandt also made it clear the government should wait until the new year to bring the divestiture on for debate. “There is such a high level of division within the government over this proposal that we could see a repeat of the split that emerged over the national energy guarantee, so if the government agrees amongst itself on a policy and actually brings the legislation on for debate next year, we’ll look at it”.

    The government’s difficulties on energy policy were also compounded earlier in the day when the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull publicly declaring his ongoing support for the national energy guarantee.

    Turnbull also mocked former colleagues pushing for coal-fired power stations as being driven by “ideology and idiocy”, saying they were bereft of the facts on the cost of coal generation compared with renewables.

    Turnbull’s comments emboldened Labor in question time to push Scott Morrison about his previous support for the national energy guarantee, which the opposition says it will seek to preserve with a higher emissions reduction target of 45%.


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