Australian Politics


Loon frenzy overtakes Coalition

From Domainfax: An inner-city cocktail bar named after one of the poncier fruits – the cherry – is exactly the kind of place you would expect left-wing government schemers to hatch a plot to legislate gay marriage. And indeed, it was at the Cherry Bar in Sydney’s Star Casino that government minister Christopher Pyne was


One Nation dooms Do-Labor Malcolm

Via Newspoll today: Malcolm Turnbull has suffered a backlash in South Australia while losing more ground in the key state of Queensland, according to a new analysis showing voter support for the Coalition has tumbled 6 per cent nationwide since last year’s federal election. Voters in South Australia have turned against the federal government more


Where’s Australia’s overarching housing policy?

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Does the Australian government have the policy, organisational and conceptual capacity to handle the country’s A$6 trillion housing stock? We ask this question in a newly released research report. The answer is critically important to both household opportunity and prosperity, and to the management of our largest national asset. Australians’ wealth


Gonski 2.0 set to pass after Coalition finds a way

By Leith van Onselen The Turnbull Government has achieved another win, gaining the support of the 10-member Senate cross-bench for its Gonski-2.0 needs-based funding school model. From The Canberra Times: An extra $24 billion is set to flow into the nation’s schools over the next decade under a landmark deal struck between the Turnbull government


One Nation ignoramus calls for ban on foreign property buyers

Please explain: Senator Hanson has called for limits to foreign non-resident home ownership in Australia and will be raising the issue today, on the floor of the Senate. According to Senator Hanson the shortage of affordable housing available for Australians can be addressed by limiting foreign non-residents to one new property and enforcing laws to


WA shreds skilled migration list

By Leith van Onselen WA Premier, Mark McGowan, has signaled that unlike his federal Labor counterpart, Bill Shorten, he actually cares about his workers. With WA unemployment and underemployment sky high: McGowan in March wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to remove Perth from the Regional Sponsorship Migration Scheme, thus effectively preventing a pathway for


Franchise Council scuttles anti-slave labour bill

Maybe it will have to be revolution: The Turnbull government has put its bill to prevent worker exploitation on the backburner, delaying a vote until at least August – a full two years after the 7-Eleven wage scandal was exposed. The move comes amid an extensive behind-the-scenes lobbying campaign by the Franchise Council of Australia, led


Gas export control to be activated

Via The Australian: The Turnbull government has announced it will impose restrictions on Australia’s domestic gas supply in a bid to lower electricity prices. “It is unsustainable for our country to be the world’s largest exporter, but to be paying some of the largest prices for gas,” Resources Minister Matthew Canavan said. Malcolm Turnbull also


30 Newspolls too many for Do-Labor Malcolm?

Via The Australian: The first attempts are being made to discount Malcolm Turnbull’s own benchmark of leadership failure — 30 losing Newspoll surveys in a row. There is disaffected grumbling from those within the Liberal Party trying to lower the threshold for leadership removal by claiming it will be fewer than 30 and pointing to


Deutsche guts dwelling construction outlook

Hello capex cliff round two:  Following our recent review, we have increased our Australian housing starts assumptions 7% in FY17 (following higher than expected 2HCY16 starts), and reduced forecasts in FY18 to 198k units (100bp reduction vs our previous FY18 growth assumption) and FY19 to 177k units (800bp reduction vs our previous FY19 growth


Australia’s China corruption goes global

You know you’ve made it when The Economist picks you up: WHEN Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, urged China earlier this month to respect “the sovereignty of others”, many took it as criticism of China’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea. But the comment might just as easily have been a reference to


Aussie households begin subsidising Asian power bills

We warned and warned and warned and now they are here: Around three quarters of the nation’s households and businesses are now facing substantial rises in their power bills from next month, after Origin Energy announced price hikes for electricity and gas. Rounding out price increases from the big three generators and retailers, Origin Energy


Time Fake Premier Bligh resigned

Via the AFR: The chief executive of the Australian Bankers’ Association Anna Bligh has zeroed in on the development of government’s major bank levy by criticising the lack of industry consultation and the shifting series of rationales put forward for the levy. “Neither appropriate process have been followed or sufficient consultation been allowed,” Ms Bligh said.


Pip, pip, eh Andrew, nice job you’ve got there

Via The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull sought assurances that former trade minister Andrew Robb had not breached ministerial stand­ards after taking a job with China’s Landbridge. …Mr Robb reportedly took a consulting role with Landbridge from July 1, a day before last year’s elect­ion. The government says he was not paid as an MP after May.


China slams press coverage of its dodgy dealings

Via The Australian comes an unwise diplomatic intervention: China’s ambassador to Australia, Cheng Jingye, has hit out at the ABC and Fairfax over a joint Four Corners report on China’s influence in Australia. He said at an Australia China Business Council networking day in Parliament House in Canberra that the report’s producers aimed to “instigate China


Another immigration policy success as refugees win compo

Via Domainfax: The Australian government has agreed to compensate 1900 asylum seekers currently or formerly held at the Manus Island detention centre, in what may be Australia’s largest ever human rights-related settlement. Lawyers Slater and Gordon confirmed the Commonwealth had agreed to reach a conditional settlement of $70 million plus costs, to be distributed to asylum seekers based


Loon Pond comes for clean energy Turnbull

Via the AFR: Malcolm Turnbull has been hit with a stronger-than-anticipated backlash over plans to introduce a Clean Energy Target in a battle which is fast becoming a test of his leadership, Liberal sources say. Despite the CET having the support of senior conservatives and other ministers, it did not translate into backbench support late


China funded shill slams China funded shill for China funding

Yes, you read it right. Only in the Australian and Kazakhstani parliaments would it be possible: The government has used a question to Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to highlight Labor Senator Sam Dastyari’s links to Chinese donors. Ms Bishop said that while the government had always confronted diplomatic challenges, such as China’s conduct in


“Labor” outraged at poor wages growth. Ignores immigration

By Leith van Onselen The fallout from last week’s March quarter national accounts, which saw average compensation per employee contract in nominal terms for the first time in recorded history, continues. According to The Australian Institute, the share of Australian gross domestic product (GDP) going into workers’ pockets has hit a record low. From The Canberra