Australian Politics


Labor’s climate policies held hostage by gas cartel

Via The Australian: Bill Shorten will impose an ­aggressive pollution cap on ­industry and business if elected, in a bid to meet Labor’s ambitious climate change targets, and will push for half of all new cars sold in Australia to be electric within a decade. On the eve of the federal budge­t, the Opposition Leader


Chinese outfits dodge foreign influence register

Via The Guardian: A group closely linked to the Chinese Communist party has not declared itself on the federal government’s new foreign influence register, prompting criticism from China experts. Only 25 groups or individuals have declared themselves on the government’sforeign influence transparency register, designed to make public the identity of foreign government agents attempting to influence Australian democracy.


Scummo saved by surplus?

So says Mr Joye today: In what could be an electoral game changer, the government’s budget has remarkably moved into a full surplus on several key measures – the “net operating balance” and “fiscal balance” report a surplus of more than $7 billion over the year to February – 12 months ahead of the government’s forecast,


Al Jazeera One Nation sting part two: The Kochening

Via Al Jazeera: An official from Australia’s far-right One Nation party offered to influence the country’s democracy as part of a bid to secure political funding from Koch Industries, a United States energy giant, an Al Jazeera investigation has found. The offer was revealed in the second episode of Al Jazeera’s three-year investigation into the US and Australian


Tim Wilson latest LNP dud in trouble

Via Domain: Liberal rising star Tim Wilson is set to come under attack from the Victorian union movement, which is buoyed by internal research indicating Labor could snatch his inner Melbourne seat. …Mr Wilson holds Goldstein by a comfortable 12.7 per cent but research commissioned by Trades Hall has Labor ahead. Victorian Trades Hall Council


Is Bill Shorten the Manchurian Candidate?

He’s doing his best impression of it today, at The Australian: Bill Shorten has made a dramatic move to win back support from Chinese-Australian voters following last week’s disastrous NSW election defeat, declaring Labor is not a racist party and that he welcomes the rise of China as a global power. In a group chat


Scummo floating on life raft of lies

Via New Daily: Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull have declined to endorse Scott Morrison’s account that he never sought to capitalise on anti-Muslim sentiment, citing shadow cabinet confidentiality. In her first public comments on the issue, the former foreign minister said she did not intend to discuss it, despite the Prime Minister’s claim it is


Shorten shines on campaign trail

Give that man a cigar, at News: Speaking with on his campaign bus in Perth, Mr Shorten said having rich parents had become almost the most important factor in deciding which Aussies succeeded. “Having rich parents is always useful; it’ll never go out of fashion. But, we can’t create a stratified society where having


King Scummo: Jail every refugee!

Via Peter Hartcher: Scott Morrison as immigration minister proposed a multibillion-dollar program to build new mass detention facilities in Australia for asylum seekers who were living in the community on bridging visas, according to multiple informed sources. …Mr Morrison’s proposal was opposed by then treasurer Joe Hockey, who “hit the roof”, in the words of


Newspoll: Scummo set for drubbing

Here’s the latest quarterly Newspoll graphic: Barring a miracle it is over. More at The Guardian: Labor remains ahead of the Morrison government as the major parties gear up for budget week and the looming federal campaign, and, in the wake of the Christchurch murders, 63% of voters believe white extremism is as dangerous as


Party of Fear terrified of Mediscare

Via News comes Mediscare 2.0: The campaign that caused irreparable damage to Malcolm Turnbull’s government at the last election is being revived a week before the Budget. [Labor] is promising to end the Medicare rebate freeze in its first 50 days, should it win power. …Mr Shorten’s claim the Coalition was planning to privatise parts of


China trade threats “all bark and no bite”

Nice from Richard McGregor via Newsroom: Talk of strained relations between New Zealand and China has led to fears of trade reprisals – but one expert says the Asian superpower has been “all bark and no bite” with its threats in recent years. Richard McGregor, an Australian journalist who spent nearly a decade as the


Scummo launches operation coal suicide

Because the only numbers that matter are those in your party room, via the AFR: Scott Morrison and Nationals leader Michael McCormack are working on a peace deal over coal fired power to prevent another outbreak of hostilities within the Coalition before the federal election. After the Nationals performed poorly in Saturday’s NSW state election


Immigration after Christchurch

Today ends MB’s self-imposed blackout on Christchurch coverage. We paused because we did not believe that anyone would benefit from politicisation of the event.  Sometimes not taking responsibility for something is the only responsible path. Alas that that sentiment was not shared by the broader political economy. Suffice to say that: QLD was represented by


Did Chris Pyne doom Aussie coal?

Readers will know that MB is no fan of the $180bn man, Chris Pyne, but this is a bit rich, at The Australian: Australian coal is set to face tighter scrutiny at Chinese ports at least until after the May election, with a speech by Defence Minister Christopher Pyne in Singapore in January blamed in


Dan Andrews turns infrastructure blowtorch back on ScoMo

By Leith van Onselen Shortly after Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a small cut in Australia’s non-humanitarian permanent migrant cap to 160,000 (from 190,000), Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews has called for the federal government to cough-up billions of dollars in additional funding to assist the states in coping with unrelenting immigration-driven population growth. From The


Crispin Hull exposes politicians’ Big Australia “madness”

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax’s Crispin Hull has clearly taken over from Ross Gittins (who has curiously gone silent) in pointing-out the pitfalls of the ‘Big Australia’ mass immigration policy. Back in January 2017, Hull argued that the main solution to making housing more affordable rests with winding-back immigration: The principal cause of housing unaffordability


Paedo Pell gets six years

Warning: not economics, via Domain: Chief Judge Kidd acknowledged George Pell’s sentence would have been lower at the time of offending, but says he needs to take into account the current understandings of the issue of child sex abuse. He says he must technically have regard of “protection of the community from you”, however he