Australian Politics


70% of pollies fastened to corporate teat

Via the ABC: In the past three years, nearly 70 per cent of federal ministers and shadow ministers have accepted corporate hospitality, which can be anything from a lavish lunch, to tickets to the AFL grand final, to airline lounge memberships. More than a quarter of senior and assistant ministers took jobs with special interests


Kohler contracts Trump derangement syndrome

Via Alan Kohler today: An alliance of the American military establishment and Republican trade hawks wants to break up the connections that have become embedded between US companies and China, as part of an attempt to prevent China gaining economic, geopolitical and technological predominance. …Beijing is digging in, settling in for a long siege because


Alexander Downer on how to lose friends and disinterest people

By Leith van Onselen With the satisfaction with Australia’s political system plunging to all-time lows, and distrust growing and voters flocking to minor parties: Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Alexander Downer, is playing ‘blame the victim’. From The AFR: There’s an old political slogan you might remember … the public get the politicians they deserve. Through


Australia/PNG mull naval base

Excellent news, from The Australian: Australia is working on plans with Papua New Guinea to develop a joint naval base on Manus Island, edging out Chinese interest in the strategically vital port with a new facility that would be capable of hosting Australian and US ­warships. The Australian understands Malcolm Turnbull and PNG Prime Minister


Aussie voters shun major parties as distrust grows

By Leith van Onselen A new study by The ABC shows that satisfaction with Australia’s political system has plunged to all-time lows, with distrust growing and voters flocking to minor parties: Most Australians no longer trust any tier of government: federal, state or local council. Government ministers and members of parliament — trusted by less


Malcolm Turnbull killed his own prime ministership

Domainfax is in fake uproar today: Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke to News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch two days before last month’s Liberal Party leadership spill, urging the media mogul to stop a campaign against him. Mr Turnbull challenged Mr Murdoch over the coverage of his government in News Corp newspapers and its


Time to drain the lobbying swamp

Better work from The Guardian today: Not a single lobbyist has been punished for breaching rules in the past five years – either federally, or in Victoria, Western Australia, Queensland or South Australia. Experts warn that the lack of enforcement leaves the sector to largely police itself, and that even if authorities took action they


ScoMo’s hedge fund mates to run Australian borders

Yes, it’s border security Coalition style, via The Australian: Liberal Party heavyweight Scott Briggs — a close friend and ­political ally of Scott Morrison and a former professional colleague of new Immigration Minister David Coleman — is driving a bid to win a visa-­processing contract understood to be valued at up to $1 billion. …According


Scott Morrison’s new mass immigration defence: bald-faced lies

By Leith van Onselen When it comes to Australia’s immigration program, you would be hard pressed to find a bigger liar than Prime Minister Scott Morrison (see here, here, here, here, and here). Yesterday, Scott Morrison was interviewed by, where he supposedly exposed “Australia’s biggest immigration myth” that population growth was being driven by


Coalition love only for dudes

It’s not going well for love, via The Guardian: Ann Sudmalis has used parliamentary privilege to blast a state Liberal MP, Gareth Ward, accusing him of “bullying, betrayal and backstabbing” and flexing “his vengeance on strong Liberal women”. The member for Gilmore, flanked by fellow Liberal Jane Prentice, who lost her preselection earlier this year,


The Guardian pumps Migration Council propaganda

MB has recorded the extraordinary conflict that Migration Council chair, Innes Willox, has developed as he simultaneously campaigns for more more migrants and less migrant wage protections.  Last week the Migration Council chair produced dubious statistics to argue for more migrants with science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills even though STEM graduates have the highest unemployment rates in


Frydenberg goes the inequality raw prawn

Via Domainfax comes your new Treasurer: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has dismissed claims of rising inequality and urged voters to back the government agenda for economic growth, while naming housing affordability and youth unemployment as two priorities in his new job. In a pivotal dispute with Labor ahead of the next election, the deputy Liberal Party


IPSOS rains on PM Property Council

Via Domainfax: Australian voters have given Prime Minister Scott Morrison the edge on key leadership qualities like trust and economic management, rating him ahead of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in a personal contest that will shape the outcome of the next election. Mr Morrison is considered trustworthy by 49 per cent of voters compared to


Every single day the gas cartel reaches into your wallet

Via The Australian: In documents submitted to the Victorian government this week, AGL said it wanted the Crib Point import terminal, 65km southeast of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, operating in the first half of 2020. “Victoria, and the other states – South Australia, New South Wales and Tasmania – that rely heavily on gas


There is such a thing as too much of a good thing, Sir Frank

By Leith van Onselen Billionaire founder of Westfield Shopping Centres and key member of Australia’s ‘growth lobby’, Frank Lowy, used last night’s Lowy Institute speech to attack Australian’s growing unease towards mass immigration and to push his support for a ‘Big Australia’. From The SMH: “I note that for the first time in the history


Love tears Government apart

Love is not going well. Via The Australian: Scott Morrison has called on ­Malcolm Turnbull to stop undermining the government, with the Prime Minister’s office approaching key members of the ousted leader’s camp in a bid to end leaking and destabilisation. The appeal comes amid accu­sations that Mr Turnbull and his former deputy, Julie Bishop,


What happens when PM Property Council loses Wentworth?

Fresh news: Speaker of the House the Hon Tony Smith has announced that a by-election will be held in the division of Wentworth on Saturday 20 October. The by-election follows the resignation of the Hon Malcolm Turnbull. — Australian House of Representatives (@AboutTheHouse) September 12, 2018 John Hewson is succinct: Former Prime Minister John


PM Property Council, rate hikes bash consumer

The Westpac Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment declined 3% to 100.5 in September from 103.6 in August. This is the weakest sentiment read since November last year. While the Index is still in positive territory, it is now only just above the 100 level. The detail suggests that confidence has been affected by increases


PM Property Council faces Wentworth wipe out

The anger is palpable, via New Daily: The Liberal vote in Malcolm Turnbull’s blue ribbon seat of Wentworth has nosedived since his removal as prime minister, new polling shows. The research, commissioned by former Liberal pre-selection hopeful Andrew Bragg, found the party’s best chance to retain the eastern Sydney electorate was to stand a woman


How to manage a “beautiful deleveraging”

From Ray Dalio: As you know, I believe that everything happens over and over again and that by looking at those things happening many times, one can see the patterns and understand the cause-effect relationships to develop principles for dealing with them. Prior to 2008, I had studied these relationships for debt crises with my colleagues at Bridgewater,