Australian Politics


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


2018 election to add to economic headwinds?

Brace for another 2018 headwind: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull may be forced to call an election after just two years of the Coalition’s current three-year term, political hardheads believe. Senior figures in the Liberal and Labor parties confirmed to Fairfax Media on Monday they are working to be “campaign ready” by June or July of


Did China buy Turnbull the election?

We report, you decide, via The Australian: A senior member of Malcolm Turnbull’s campaign team had ­directly solicited a political ­donation prior to last year’s election campaign from Chinese-born Australian billionaire Chau Chak Wing, who is now at the centre of a political storm over foreign donations and political ­influence. The Australian has also confirmed


Chinese influence compromises integrity of our politics

Cross-posted from The Conversation: This week’s ABC Four Corners/Fairfax expose of Chinese activities in Australia is alarming – not just for its revelations about a multi-fronted pattern of influence-seeking, but also for what it says about our political elite. Are its members – on both sides of politics – naive, stupid, or just greedy for


Give Adani a wide berth

Via the AFR: Indian energy giant Adani has ramped up the pressure on the Turnbull government to use taxpayers’ money to deliver a $1 billion concessional loan for its controversial Carmichael mine with the company saying it would “review its options” if it missed out on the funding. After more than seven years being held up


Treasonous Parliament awash with Chinese dough

From the ABC: ASIO has warned the major parties about taking donations from two billionaires because its intelligence reveals worrying links to the Chinese Communist Party. The agency has also briefed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, his predecessor, Tony Abbott, and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. A Four Corners-Fairfax investigation has discovered the two are property developers


Offshore funders freaked by bubble

ANZ has some good news for us. The offshore lenders that enable the housing bubble are getting nervous: London-based investors in Australia’s banks are fretting about the risk that several small and seemingly well-intentioned changes in housing market policies combine to create a sharp property market correction. ANZ Banking Group chief executive Shayne Elliott, who


Adani loan rife with conflicts

The Guardian: A director of the independent board due to provide recommendations regarding a $900m taxpayer loan to Adani publicly declared she was “very supportive” of its “vital” coal project, a day after she was accused of allowing a perceived conflict of interest to develop. Karla Way-McPhail, who runs mining labour and equipment hire companies,


Pauline Putin in ABC overreach?

This is bloody stupid, Pauline, via The Australian: One Nation has put key budget measures worth at least $5 billion in doubt as the minor party hardens its stance against the government’s agenda, declaring it will oppose almost all Coalition bills unless ABC funding is slashed. As leaked recordings embroil One Nation leader Pauline Hanson


Coalition backs Adani racism-pork

By Leith van Onselen After yesterday accusing GetUp! of “threatening Australian democracy” over the group’s justified opposition to the Adani Carmichael coal project, today the Coalition has labelled them “xenophobic” as well. From The Australian: Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the Greens and “their friends” in the advocacy GetUp! were engaging in xenophobia and dog