Australian Politics


Bowen: “Age of tax entitlement must end”

Via The Guardian today comes Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen: Seven years ago this April, my predecessor as shadow treasurer, Joe Hockey, got to his feet in London to declare the “age of entitlement” over. He didn’t declare any specific policies, just that budgets were under so much pressure that people who receive support from governments


Is Labor’s franking credit reform unfair?

Fact check from the ABC: The claim For months the Morrison Government has argued Labor’s controversial plan to raise more than $5 billion a year by scrapping refundable franking credits on dividends from shares is “not fair”. In a speech to the Alliance for a Fairer Retirement System, Assistant Treasurer Stuart Robert said the plan would hit


Strayan corruption not improving

Via The Guardian: Australia has failed to improve on its record low ranking in a global measure of government corruption, prompting renewed calls for a powerful federal integrity commission to be established “without delay and political wrangling”. The most widely recognised measure of public-sector corruption, Transparency International’s corruption perception index (CPI), was released on Tuesday afternoon, ranking


More Scummo trouble

Via the AFR: Liberal Party veteran, former banker and renewable energy advocate Oliver Yates said he was challenging Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for his blue-ribbon seat of Kooyong primarily because the government refused to act on climate change. Mr Yates, the son of former federal Liberal MP Bill Yates, also said he would oppose Labor’s plans


China harasses, stalks NZ critic

Via Peter Hartcher today: After a quarter-century of researching China, Anne-Marie Brady is a veteran of Chinese government spying and harassment. “I was prepared for pressure in China,” says the 52-year-old New Zealander, a well-regarded professor of political science at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. “But I always felt safe in New Zealand. So


Err…the Coalition already has Australia in recession

Via The Australian: Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann have refused to back Defence Minister Christopher Pyne’s claim that a Shorten government would plunge Australia into recession. …When asked on Network Seven if the government was engaging in fear mongering by warning of a recession, Mr Morrison said: “I didn’t say that. What I


Developer: Labor’s negative gearing policy to boost supply

By Leith van Onselen The Coalition’s incessant claim that Labor’s negative gearing policy would reduce rental supply and force-up rents has been demolished once again, with one Sydney developer claiming that Labor’s policy would be a “shot in the arm” of the off-the-plan market. From The AFR: Mark Bainey, chief executive of Capio Property Group,


Labor has little to fear from negative gearing policy

By Leith van Onselen The Australian has stepped-up its scare campaign against Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax (CGT) reforms, arguing that Labor risks alienating its voter base and losing crucial votes in the upcoming federal election. Here’s Adam Creighton and Michael Roddan: More than a quarter of all Australians who own an investment property


Mark Latham scythes into NSW election

Via The Australian comes Mark Latham campaigning in Western Sydney: …According to Mr Latham, the Berejiklian government’s much-vaunted “hi-tech Disneyland” ­vision for the area was another casualty of the state government’s “disastrous lack of planning” and its failure to manage the city’s migrant “population ­explosion”. …“If you can’t build a couple of tram tracks on the


The Coalition’s Murdoch fixation is killing it

As I wrote last year, the Australian political economy has splintered into discrete “identity” groups that replicate the machinery of the old nation state: In Australia the phenomenon of identity politics has gone much further. The fragmentation of national consciousness into vertical market identities has formed its own self-sustaining political economy structure. The Guardian is


2019 to be a volatile year for Australian foreign policy

Cross posted from The Conversation by Susan Harris Rimmer Australian Research Council Future Fellow, Griffith Law School, Griffith University By the end of 2019 we should be able to assess how Australia is travelling with the grand plan laid out in the 2017 Foreign Policy White Paper. In this, an election year, I examine the status of


Cabinet papers reveal Howard and Costello budget black hole

Cross posted from The Conversation   by Frank Bongiorno Professor of History, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, Australian National University On the morning of Monday, March 4 1996, the young treasurer in the Howard government, Peter Costello, and his press secretary, Tony Smith – now the speaker of the House of Representatives – took


2018 Arsehat of the Year is the Fake Left press

Crikey announced late last week that Peter Dutton was its 2018 Arsehat of the Year: In some ways, having two-time Crikey Arsehat winner Dutton in the list of nominees is like drafting Lionel Messi to a local under-12s league. Dutton’s baseline skills — a legitimately breathtaking callousness toward refugees, a knee-jerk tendency for inflammatory racial sentiment, and a seeming suspicion


Adani delayed again by 11th hour red tape

QLD Labor is running interference for Bill Shorten: Indian energy giant Adani will miss its Christmas deadline to begin construction of its controversial $2 billion Carmichael mine after the Palaszczuk Labor government commissioned an independent review into the company’s environmental management plans – a process which is expected to take at least two months. Although Adani Mining


Labor’s dodgy China links expose leadership

Via The Australian: Bill Shorten was present with other senior party leaders at a Chinese Friends of Labor fundraising dinner in Sydney that is believed to be the focus of a raid on the NSW ALP’s headquarters by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Officials from the NSW corruption body swooped on the ALP Sussex Street


NSW Labor right China links turn nuclear

Via The Australian: The NSW Labor Party’s head office in Sydney has been raided by the Independent Commission Against Corruption today as part of an investigation into ALP donations. Officials of the NSW ICAC are believed to have searched the ALP’s Sussex Street office for financial documents linked to an annual party fundraising event called


Licence to whore for another six months

Via AFR: The sex scandal plaguing the Nationals has intensified after MP Andrew Broad quit Parliament altogether. Moments after his leader Michael McCormack suggested he “consider his future”, Mr Broad released a statement saying he would not recontest his safe Victoria rural seat of Mallee at the election, due in May. This will avoid another


Bill Shorten goes all in ‘Big Australia’

By Leith van Onselen With Australia’s permanent migration program already an insane 180,000 in 2017-18 – more than double the level at the turn of the century: And net overseas migration (NOM) running at more than triple the historical average, which is projected to continue for decades to come: Labor’s national conference agreed to effectively double


Essential: Labor galloping to victory

Via The Guardian: More than half of voters in the latest Guardian Essential poll believe Bill Shorten and Labor will win the next federal election. Only 21% think the Morrison government can recover from a horror year, and prevail at the polls in 2019. The disillusionment of Australian voters is also palpable in the final opinion survey


Scummo to offer nothing burger tax cut

Via The Australian: Scott Morrison will unveil $10.6 billion in tax cuts and targeted spending before next year’s election in a last-ditch effort to recast his government’s fortunes. With Newspoll showing the Coalition facing a crushing defeat, the Prime Minister will rely on the best budget numbers in a decade, revealed in yesterday’s mid-year economic


Young Lib dill misdiagnoses party doom

Where do these dills come from? Domain: The reality is that the conservative base has not come back to the Liberal Party since Tunrbull was removed from office, but certainly more moderates and swing voters have deserted us. …Where four months ago it seemed as if Turnbull could have defeated Shorten with grit and a