Australian Politics


Falling iron ore anvil crushes Morrison’s khaki election

The latest PollBludger aggregated poll says it more eloquently than I can: Scott Morrison’s grab bag of rapists, carpetbaggers, corporate insurgents and nutbags are going to lose power. There are only three levers to pull to change this now. First, a successful transition from pandemic COVID to endemic COVID will lift some political pressure. However.


Another day, another JobKeeper rort shocker

The AFR’s Joe Aston continues to shine a bright light on the widespread rorting of the Morrison Government’s JobKeeper program. The latest egregious example comes from tiny listed cleaning company Millennium Services Group, which pocketed more in JobKeeper subsidies than its entire market capitalisation: “The dinky little cleaning contractor with a market capitalisation of just


Experts slam Melbourne’s playground ban

As Melburnians suffer through their 200th day of lockdown since the beginning of the pandemic, medical experts have urged the Victorian Government to rethink its ban on playgrounds, warning the negative mental health impacts outweigh the tiny risks of coronavirus transmission: Pediatrician Margie Danchin said the playground shutdown must be replaced with a nuanced plan


The idiocy of Melbourne’s playground ban

Debate has opened over the closure of Melbourne playgrounds to combat the coronavirus. Police began patrolling parks on Tuesday and playgrounds were taped-off. Authorities claim that 50 of Victoria’s 227 active cases yesterday involved children under 10 and that the Delta strain is more infectious for children, but deaths remain extremely rare. Victoria’s Chief Health


China mocks Australia as it cuts steel exports

More wolf warrior diplomacy today at The Global Times: China’s steel shipments to Australia have dwindled by more than 50 percent in recent months, faster than the country’s overall steel export plunge, and the trend is set to further accelerate, as China takes more measures to cut output and restrict exports, industry insiders said. China’s


Coalition’s fake housing affordability inquiry is for developers

It’s official. As alluded to last month, the Morrison Government has launched another housing affordability inquiry – this time examining ‘supply-side impediments’. Below is the marketing spiel from Coalition committee chair Jason Falinski: “As data provided by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), the Treasury and the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows, home ownership,


What will the Taliban do now?

Stratfor with the note: After gaining control of Kabul, the Talibanb’s desire for international legitimacy will be shaped by their willingness and capability to constrain transnational militants from using Afghanistan as a base of operations. As the Taliban enter final negotiations with representatives of the Afghan government, the group has already engaged in outreach to


Immigration collapse driving up wages

Another day, another story about how the collapse in immigration is driving up wages and conditions for domestic workers that no longer have to compete for jobs with foreigners. This time the empirical evidence is from New Zealand, which in the years leading up to COVID ran a similar mass immigration policy to Australia: Skilled


We kicked the can in Afghanistan

We kicked the can in Afghanistan. It cost the US $2.2tr to occupy and try to rebuild the place. That’s more than a respectable effort, spending the equivalent of accumulated 10% of its own GDP to get it done over 20 years. This is hardly running away. It is admitting that some things can’t be


Oh, to be Trudeau!

That’s what Scott Morrison would be thinking today if he didn’t have a personality disorder. Canada has creamed it on the vaccine thanks to an early and well-diversified procurement policy: Trudeau government polls have reflected this success:   And today Justin Trudeau does what Scott Morrison would give his right (and left) ball to do:


Who is Jim Chalmers? Who knows!

No long and detailed analysis from Paul Kelly for Labor this election. Just a throwaway piece of journalism from a five-minute chat on the blower was enough for Labor’s shadow treasurer and mystery man, Jim Unchalmer, to lay out his party’s unmanifesto: “If I become the treasurer, I want it to be in a government


Indian FTA must not include immigration

Australia is set to resume negotiations with India with regard to a free-trade agreement (FTA). The two nations had initially commenced discussions on a trade deal in 2011, but the negotiations stalled in 2015. Trade Minister Dan Tehan has advised that India’s Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal has agreed to resume negotiations after a recent meeting with


Dan’s Westgate tunnel textbook infrastructure pork

The Grattan Institute’s Transport and Cities Program Director, Marion Terrill, has lashed the Dan Andrews Victorian Government’s botched West Gate Tunnel Project. She also suggests that Victoria is the national leader in infrastructure waste and mismanegement: “The West Gate Tunnel project has blown out by a further $3.3 billion, and we taxpayers are being asked


Australia sucked into Berejiklian Delta vortex

Gladys Berejiklian is about to become the most hated person in Australia. Her failure to contain the Delta COVID strain, which looks kind of deliberate given her half-arsed lockdowns, is running headlong into everyday Australian’s deepest expectations for their governments, to be protected from the virus. This expectation has been stoked ceaselessly by all levels


Turnbull, Rudd demand soft China rhetoric

From The Guardian comes some sort of sense: Former Australian prime ministers Malcolm Turnbull and Kevin Rudd have urged the federal government not to ramp up rhetoric against China for domestic political purposes, arguing it could harm social cohesion. Turnbull said he worried “that some of the political rhetoric, if played for the local rightwing


Dan’s West Gate tunnel turns bottomless money pit

In 2017, Daniel Andrews’ Victorian Government agreed to an unsolicited bid from toll giant Transurban to build the West Gate Tunnel Project – a four kilometre toll road currently under construction in Melbourne to link the West Gate Freeway at Yarraville with the Port of Melbourne and CityLink at Docklands. Under the project’s terms, Trans­urban


ScoMo rejects JobKeeper transparency bill

Legislation to enact new COVID-19 financial support payments for workers and businesses will go back before the Senate on 9 August. Independent senator Rex Patrick had amended the government’s original legislation so that details of big businesses who had received JobKeeper or who will get payments under the new scheme would be made public. However,


Payne slams China’s 14 conditions as Albo kisses Beijing’s ring

Bravo Marise Payne, Minister for Foreign Affairs: “We have been advised by China that they will only engage in high-level dialogue if we meet certain conditions. Australia ­places no conditions on dialogue,” she told the Australia China Business Council’s annual Canberra gathering. “We can’t meet the conditions, such as the now well-known list of 14


ALP opens big poll lead over Coalition

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is enjoying its biggest two-party preferred polling lead over the Coalition since the January 2020 bushfires, according to Roy Morgan Research: ALP support has increased to 53.5% (up 1% point since mid-July) cf. L-NP on 46.5% (down 1% points) on a two-party preferred basis after Sydney’s month-long lockdown was extended


General Frewen meet David Ricardo

Why would he? In war it’s just shoot ’em up. But in vaccine rollouts, one has to be careful what one says. From the top, the rollout is still leading the Third World: The media is doing its best to motivate with fear. Here’s a couple of X-Rays floating about showing the difference between being


What’s the point of another housing inquiry?

Fairfax’s senior economics writer, Jessica Irvine, wants another housing affordability inquiry chaired by former Treasury secretary Ken Henry: [We need] a high-level Treasury review, of the ilk of the Ken Henry tax review… So, I texted Henry to see if he’s up for it. He replied: “Jess. Sure. I’d chair such a review. The question


RBNZ: House prices “unsustainable”. Tightens macroprudential

Via the RBNZ this morning: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand – Te Pūtea Matua – will soon begin consulting on ways to tighten mortgage lending standards, Deputy Governor and General Manager for Financial Stability Geoff Bascand says. The action follows the signing of an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on macro-prudential policy with the Minister