Australian Politics


Is Labor riven by China?

Is the Pope a Catholic? First, via The Australian: Bill Shorten has defended Premier Daniel Andrews for joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative, arguing the deal was part of the “normal day to day work” of state politicians. The Opposition Leader said he was not surprised Mr Andrews released the memorandum of understanding over the


Negative gearing reform polling still strong

Via The Australian: An exclusive Newspoll conduct­ed for The Australian reveale­d a seven-point fall in suppor­t for Mr Shorten’s centrepiece housing policy amid a softening market, although backer­s of Labor’s tax overhaul still outweigh opponents by 47 to 33 per cent. Of those surveyed, 42 per cent believed the policy would cause house prices to


Morrison’s immigration capitulation nearly complete

By Leith van Onselen It’s been amazing watching Scott Morrison’s speedy transformation from mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ defender to a sceptic on the verge of slashing the permanent migrant intake. As recently as four months ago, Scott Morrison lambasted Tony Abbott’s push to cut the migrant intake to 110,000, warning it risked Australia’s future economic


Headless chook Australian China policy runs on

The headless chook of Australian China policy runs on today. First, some sensible news on Japan, via the AFR: Australia and Japan are expected to reach agreement on a deal to facilitate larger and more regular joint military exercises, when Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visits Darwin later this week, as China increases its influence


Is the Coalition readying to cut immigration?

By Leith van Onselen The Australian reports that the Morrison Government is considering letting the states determine Australia’s migrant intake by submitting to the federal government their annual migration needs: The new framework being proposed would shift the onus for determining the permanent ­migration intake from the commonwealth government to the states and territories, with


I guess Peter Hartcher doesn’t read MB

Holding ever tighter to his Canberra bubble, Peter Hartcher again misled over the demise of Malcolm Turnbull on the weekend: The former prime minister set out the basics during his appearance on the ABC’s Q&A show on Thursday: “The economy was strong. It’s one of the things I’m most proud of. When I became prime minister, I


Newspoll: ScoMo collapses

Shockingly, it appears ScoMo’s disastrous Newspolls were actually a honeymoon: Scott Morrison has failed to arrest the slide in support for the government, with his own approval rating taking another hit in the wake of Malcolm Turnbull’s tirade against those who plotted his downfall. An exclusive Newspoll conducted for The Australian shows the Coalition falling


Frydenberg panics, demands return of criminal mortgages

It would be amusing if it were not so horribly corrupt, via the AFR comes Amateur Treasurer Josh Frydenberg mainlining panic straight into bank executive veins: “I would encourage the banks when it comes to lending, in particular for small business, make sure you get the balance right, keep the books open and don’t lose


Will NSW Labor maintain the rage against mass immigration?

By Leith van Onselen With mass immigration opponent, Luke Foley, resigning from the NSW Labor Party’s leadership last week, I was nervous that Labor would change track and elect a ‘Big Australia’ puppet as leader. Initially, things were looking promising as Kogarah MP, Chris Minns, moved into leadership contention. Minns promised to campaign against the federal


The five new rules of Western politics

Via Allister Heath at The Telegraph: “…It used to be so easy. When the economy did well, the incumbent party won; when it did badly, it was the opposition’s turn, with voters switching their allegiance with the ups and down of the cycle… Fast-forward 25 years, and the landscape has changed beyond recognition almost everywhere.


Do-nothing Malcolm re-writes political history with ABC pen

Via The Guardian comes the post-truth world: Malcolm Turnbull has declared his removal from the prime ministership remains an act of unexplained madness, and has accused leading conservatives of “blowing up” the government, in his first, take-no-prisoners public appearance since the leadership coup in August. As well as unloading on the architects of the defenestration, declaring


Is Bob Carr’s groveling the future of Australia?

Via the AFR: China says Australia has agreed to adopt a “trilateral” foreign policy approach to the South Pacific which would see the two countries cooperating rather than competing for influence in the region. In the first meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers in almost three years, China also signalled it was willing to


OBOR Dan done dirt cheap

Via The Australian comes more unsettling revelations about Dan Andrews’ China foray: A staffer in Daniel Andrews’s office has been linked to China’s United Front organisation, which co-ordinates Beijing’s overseas influence operations, amid growing criticism of the Victoria Premier’s decision to sign up to Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Australian can reveal Mr Andrews’s adviser


Corrupt RBA and APRA politicised by bursting housing bubble

As we’ve observed before, there is nothing that the Reserve Bank of Australia and friends won’t do, no place they won’t go, to protect their pet housing bubble. On the surface the financial regulators appear to be happily deflating said bubble by pretending that the economic outlook is good, tightening macroprudential and holding interest rates


Coalition’s launches another dud negative gearing scare campaign

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition’s analysis of income and tax data for 2015-16 shows that 1.3 million Australians owned a negatively-geared investment property during that financial year. Around 640,000 people lived in seats held by the Coalition, whereas 570,000 were in seats held by Labor.  The results have prompted Treasurer Josh Frydenberg to claim


Labor savages Andrew’s Chinese secession

Via The Australian: Amid growing concerns over the strategic implications of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s signature foreign policy initiative, a number of federal Labor MPs told The Australian they were astonished the Andrews government had decided to break ranks with federal Labor to back the controversial initiative. “This must be stopped. Everyone knows that Andrews


ScoMo slams Victoria’s China secession

And quite rightly, via The Australian: Scott Morrison has lashed out at Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews for signing a secret infrastructure deal with China. The Prime Minister said today that he was “surprised” that Victoria had decided to sign up to China’s Belt and Road Initiative without consulting the Commonwealth, and broke with his foreign


NSW Treasurer declares war on feds over mass immigration

By Leith van Onselen NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has appeared on 2GB Radio, where he directly attacked the federal government’s “all care and no responsibility” approach to immigration that has left the states bearing the economic and social infrastructure costs while the feds collect the benefits from income taxes. Perrottet called for state governments to


To save the furniture, ScoMo must cut immigration

It’s blindingly obvious what ScoMo should do, via Judith Sloan: At the rate the Morrison government is going, it will need only two or three second-hand Taragos to ferry around the surviving Liberal parliamentarians after the next election. For the life of me, I can’t understand why Scott Morrison doesn’t do something to avoid this outcome.


Has Tim Wilson heard of the i-n-t-e-r-n-e-t?

It’s new and really cool: Liberal MP Tim Wilson has called on Bill Shorten to sack Labor frontbencher Andrew Leigh for talking down Australia’s economy in an opinion piece in the New York Times. Mr Wilson said “bagging Australia’s economy” in the United States would deter much needed investment. “Bill Shorten can’t have both: it’s


Despite appearances, Aussie foreign policy is beginning to make sense again

On the surface, Aussie foreign policy is in chaos with religious nutter Scott Morrison at war with everyone over Jeruslem, via the AFR: The uneasy peace between Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison has been shattered with the former prime minister effectively branding his successor a liar. Mr Turnbull has taken issue with Mr Morrison after


Morrison’s Jerusalem suicide bombing

Via Paul Kelly today: Malcolm Turnbull’s public comments from Indonesia confirm that Scott Morrison has no ­responsible option but the abandonment of his unwise, ill-considered and dangerous pre-Went­worth by-election announce­ment about the option of moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem. The real issue is obvious: it is Morrison’s competence as Prime Minister and his grasp


Cross-bench the new conservatives

Via Richard Dennis today: Crossbenchers have become the new conservatives of the Australian Parliament. When the Coalition’s “liberals” support discrimination against gay teachers and its “conservatives” support nationalising electricity companies, it’s no surprise that once safe Coalition seats keep falling to independents. It’s also no surprise that Kerryn Phelps, Cathy McGowan (who took the Liberal


Turnbull slams Morrison Jerusalem brain fart

Via The Australian: Scott Morrison has dismissed Malcolm Turnbull’s concerns about moving Australia’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, declaring Australia “decides what our foreign policy is and only Australia.” …Mr Turnbull said last night at the Our Ocean conference in Bali that Australia must consult with nearby Muslim-majority neighbours before moving the embassy to Jerusalem.


As Labor looms, the mining enemy stirs

Via The Australian today: Rio Tinto chief Jean-Sebastien Jacques says mining is one of the least-trusted industries and miners need to collaborate to reinvent the sector at a time when technology is throwing up both challenges and opportunities and communities are demanding more. In a speech to open the International Mining and Resources Conference in