Australian Politics


Unelectable turns unsustainable

Just last week I forecast that Tony Abbott would hang on this year. That was before the baffling decision to deliver Prince Phillip a knighthood, which appears to have crystallized global Abbott ridicule. The Left press at the Fairfax dailies and the Right press at The Oz are now hammering our adrift PM with equal ferocity. Even


QLD Left attacks Comrade Campbell’s coal quango

You know when your plodding through the ideological labyrinth that is Australian politics when this happens to the massive Abbot Point coal project: The government has offered funds to help build shared-use infrastructure, such as a rail line or airport, from its asset privatisation and lease plan. The LNP is yet to put a figure on how much it is


The true state of Queensland’s economy

Cross posted from The Conversation by Fabrizio Carmignani, Professor, Griffith Business School at Griffith University Judging from the first week of campaigning, the 2015 Queensland election is going to be very much about economics – and jobs in particular. On the one hand, Premier Campbell Newman and his Liberal National Party stress that under their “strong


The high priestess of Abbott failure

Cross-posted from The Conversation Julie Bishop and Peta Credlin had one significant parallel experience on the way to government. They both survived three Liberal leaders. Bishop was deputy to Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and Tony Abbott. Credlin was chief of staff or deputy (Turnbull demoted her) in the offices of all three. The women each have


Business turns on Abbott Government

By Leith van Onselen The Abbott Government’s “open for business” mantra is falling on deaf ears amongst Australian businesses. Last month, The AFR revealed that the Coalition’s rating had taken a dive amongst company directors, with nearly half of the 500 company directors surveyed assessing the Coalition’s performance in its first year in office as


Tony Abbott is not Prime Minister material

From Essential via Crikey: Approval of Tony Abbott’s performance has plunged to its lowest level as Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has again opened up a lead as preferred Prime Minister, today’s Essential Report reveals, as the government ends the year in chaos and recrimination. The Prime Minister’s approval with voters has slumped


Abbott: Hockey to be treasurer forever

From one struggling pollie to another: TONY Abbott has voiced “absolute” confidence in his embattled Treasurer and Defence Minister, as Joe Hockey conceded his cabinet colleagues don’t like being told to “live within their means”. Amid rising speculation about the performance of some ministers, Mr Abbott last night admitted he would reshuffle his front bench


A nation desperate for economic truth

Some sense today from Adam Creighton and David Uren: AUSTRALIANS are enduring a deep-seated pessimism from a loss of confidence in social and economic institutions at the same time as growing fears of joblessness undermine the government’s economic sales pitch. As the government embarks on a campaign to boost confidence ahead of Christmas, both economic and


Abbott approval crashes into witch’s ditch

Prime Minister Abbott is taking a hammering in the polls. From The Australian: TONY Abbott’s approval rating has dropped to a five-month low and Labor continues to hold a substantial two-party-preferred lead over the Coalition, despite the Prime Minister yesterday insisting this year had been one of “very considerable achievement” by his government. The latest


One term Tony loses his first state

Let’s face it, Tony Abbott not Dennis Napthine was just voted out after one term in Victoria. The question that really matters is why? Phillip Coorey of the AFR had a nice piece on the weekend offer: As the political year draws to a close, Liberals are not panicking but they are scratching their heads


Abbott popularity surges among Indian youth

If only they voted, from the UK Telegraph: Australia’s prime minister, has denied claims he bought “likes” on Facebook after it emerged that his biggest supporters are 18 to 34 year olds from New Delhi. Tony Abbott, whose approval ratings in Australia are low, said the surge was due to a recent visit to Australia


Why is mining so unpopular?

From her newsletter: Gina Rinehart has attacked the “negativity” she says the mining industry is regarded with, considering Australia couldn’t “survive” without it. “For an industry that delivers so much, wouldn’t you think there would be just a little more understanding and less negativity for what mining contributes to our country?”, Rinehart said in a


Lambie grenade blows up FOFA changes

From the AFR: The federal government’s changes to Labor’s future of financial advice laws are about to be unravelled. Renegade Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie and Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party Senator Ricky Muir have broken ranks with Clive Palmer and will join Labor, the Greens and other Senate crossbenchers to disallow the laws. The


Witch’s ditch opens under Abbott ineptitude

From The Australian: At 39 per cent, Labor’s primary support is higher than the government’s for the first time since July…In two-party-preferred terms, based on preference flows from last year’s election, Labor leads by 55 per cent to 45 per cent. Mr Abbott recorded the third successive dip in his satisfaction rating, which fell one


Australia to lay coal grogan on G20?

Much better from Crikey’s Bernard Keane today after yesterday’s garbage: With Abbott desperate to keep climate off the G20 agenda (because it’s not an economic issue … an even more bizarre form of denialism than claiming climate change doesn’t exist), the announcement couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. The Coalition’s entire post-Malcolm Turnbull


Putin shirtfronts Australia

I’ve already noted that while Tony Abbott was talking tough, Vladimir Putin was busy destroying the underpinnings of Australian LNG. But today it appears the vendetta goes further with Vlad now openly shirt fronting Australia and its many G20 guests by sending a naval armada to sit off Brisbane. From The Australian: RUSSIAN warships are


BHP director says Australia wasted boom

From The Australian comes a moment that shows that if you live long enough you will see everything. Malcolm Broomhead, director at BHP since April this year today says: “We’ve ended up with the highest cost structure, albeit with the highest standard of living in the world, making it twice as expensive to stevedore a


Directors rate Abbott as “poor”

From the AFR: The Abbott government’s rating has taken a dive among company directors who have assessed the Coalition’s performance in its first year in office as “poor” or “very poor”. An Australian Institute of Company Directors survey, released on Wednesday, said that confidence in the Coalition had slumped to its lowest level since its


Tony stumbles into the witch’s ditch

From The Australian: In the past fortnight Labor’s primary vote has risen two points to a 3½-month high of 36 per cent, while support for the Coalition is unchanged at 38 per cent…the ALP holds a crushing lead of 54 to 46 per cent — the reverse of the election result. …In today’s Newspoll, Mr