Australian Politics


Newspoll: Abbott support tumbles

From the AFR: The Abbott government’s extraordinary collapse in public support has been confirmed in the latest Newspoll, which puts Labor well ahead on a two-party basis and shows the Coalition has lost its carbon tax advantage. The Newspoll, published in The Australian on Tuesday, finds the Coalition’s election winning margin has been erased in just three


What’s going on with the Abbott Government?

Cross-posted from The Conversation For every opposition, the prospect of taking office – attaining politics’ ultimate prize, often after years of hard grind – can be relied upon to drown out the little noises of self-doubt and self-criticism that lurk inside the head of any reasonable politician. The transition to power? We’re ready. There’s a


Lib: PM’s office has “obsessive control phobia”

From the SMH: Tony Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin are enforcing a culture of “obsessive centralised control phobia” and are out of touch with voters, according to Liberal National Party senator Ian Macdonald, who has delivered a scathing attack on the Prime Minister’s office. Senator Macdonald is furious that he has not


Government and the ABC

Crikey today wades into the increasingly hostile attack on the ABC from the Abbott Government: The ABC Act, section 78, subsection 6: “Except as provided by this section, or as expressly provided by a provision of another Act, the Corporation is not subject to direction by or on behalf of the Government of the Commonwealth.” Malcolm Turnbull


Abbott fractures Liberal grey beards

From the AFR this morning: One of the most senior figures of the Howard government and a leading ­figure of the Liberal Party’s conservative wing, Peter Reith, has accused Prime Minister Tony Abbott of orchestrating the veto of a $3.4 billion US bid for GrainCorp, which he described as the latest of several botched decisions… and raised concerns that the


Roy Morgan: Labor back in front

I would not normally be bothering with polls at this time in the election cycle but with a likely second round election for six WA Senate seats, which will determine control of the upper house, we should keep abreast. Fresh from Roy Morgan: On a two-party preferred basis the ALP is 51.5%, up 2.5% since


Abbott backflips on Gonski

It’s damage control all around now for the besieged Abbott Government. From the AFR: Prime Minister Tony Abbott has bowed to immense pressure over schools funding, saying $1.2 billion had been found so that all deals and offers can be honoured. Mr Abbott said Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, which did not sign


More Snowden spying leaks coming

From The Australian: The Abbott government is bracing for a new series of disclosures about Australian intelligence activity, which is likely to include fresh details on Indonesian spying that will further test the relationship with Jakarta. Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, is also believed to have extensive material involving Australian intelligence efforts


Business, nation, pine for Turnbull

Laura Tingle today gives voice to the not too secret hopes of the nation: …the strange thing over the past month or so is having been out talking to different groups of company directors, bank customers, economists and the like about the new government, the same question has inevitably surfaced: when will the Coalition bring Malcolm


Abbott’s Asian enragement moves to China

From the SMH: The Chinese government has delivered an angry rebuke over “irresponsible remarks” made by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop regarding its newly declared air defence zone in the East China Sea, in the latest diplomatic headache for the Abbott government in Asia. Ms Bishop summoned Chinese ambassador Ma Zhaoxu on Monday to express the


Abbott caves on spying, pivots to Asia

From The Australian: INDONESIA has accepted Tony Abbott’s explanation of the 2009 spying scandal but says the bilateral relationship will not fully resume until a new “protocol and code of ethical conduct” is agreed and implemented between the two countries. …”What we’re going to do in the future, at least what I suggest, is after


Abbott needs a lesson in real politik, fast

It’s been quite something to watch the Abbott Government’s international forays in its early months. I can’t recall a new Government being so internationally oriented in its early days, a good thing in principle. Upon his election, Prime Minister Abbott immediately toured south east Asia, aiming to deliver on his “stop the boats” election commitments.


Honeymoon schmoneymoon

From the AFR: In the first The Australian Financial Review/Nielsen poll since the September 7 election, Labor leads the Coalition on a two-party preferred basis by 52 per cent to 48 per cent, a post-election swing towards Labor of about 6 percentage points. Labor’s primary vote rose 4 points from its election result to 37 per cent and the Coalition’s fell


Gary Banks: Policy must transcend the spin cycle

By Leith van Onselen Speaking at the Institute of Public Administration annual conference in Canberra yesterday, the former head of the Productivity Commission, Gary Banks, criticised “a decade in which spin has often triumphed over substance in policy making”, lambasting a range of poorly thought-out government policies that have come “out of the blue”, introduced


Indo pulls military as Textor rules Abbott

From the SMH: Australia’s asylum-seeker measures in Indonesia have been thrown into disarray with Jakarta pulling the plug on all military co-operation in retaliation for the Abbott government’s refusal to explain the phone tapping of Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. Relations between Canberra and Jakarta have descended to their lowest level since the East Timor


Business turns on Abbott’s Indo “machismo”

From the AFR, not that business interests are the be-all and end-all in foreign policy but when so little as actually at stake it seems pretty stupid to just throw money away: Australian companies invested in Indonesia have become collateral damage in the spying row that continues to escalate between the two countries. Such companies


Turnbull shows path to better government

Cross-posted from The Conversation Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called for politicians to take up their “megaphones” to explain policy and argue for reforms. Launching the book Dog Days: Australia After the Boom, by leading economist Ross Garnaut, Turnbull said the era when policy makers were greeted with unexpected revenue to prop up populist policies