Australian Politics


McKibbin, Morgan, Broadbent endorse NG reform

The AFR lines up executives for and against negative gearing reform today: Prominent investor Peter Morgan has labelled negative gearing a “Ponzi scheme” and said it posed a risk to the financial system… “At some stage negative gearing has got to go, not necessarily for the tax reasons, but for the leverage it’s putting into the property market, which


RBA and Treasury have become rent seekers

According to Wikipaedia, rent seeking is: When a company, organization or individual uses their resources to obtain an economic gain from others without reciprocating any benefits back to society through wealth creation. The Reserve Bank of Australia and Treasury now epitomise this definition. How? They are advising Prime Minister Turnbull to hose down all reform


MS: Tax election to hit growth

From Morgan Stanley comes the RBA and Treasury’s nightmare: The Federal Opposition’s proposal of a broad overhaul of the housing and investment tax regime challenges the incumbent Government to deliver on promised broad-based tax reform. Change is coming and the impact on macro and markets could be meaningful. Tax reform to dominate election debate: We


Morrison: Negative gearing your “one chance to build wealth”

From the Treasurer of the Property Council via the ABC: Mr Morrison has been leaving clues about the changes he wants to make to tax breaks for Australians who invest in property. He has attacked Labor’s policy — under which only new properties would be able to be negatively geared after a proposed 2017 introduction


Malcolm should defect to Labor

The path of true politics never did run smooth! Australia suddenly finds itself in the strangest of circumstances. Consider our developing political economy: an historic mining boom turned bust and deepening global shock that requires major structural reform to improve competitiveness and productivity to avoid the worst outcomes; blocked by a paralysed RBA and Treasury that


Property Council a wedge between Turnbull/Morrison?

From Domainfax: Little-known tensions between Malcolm Turnbull and Treasurer Scott Morrison prompted the Prime Minister to push previously secret Treasury modelling into the public on Friday – earlier than originally planned. Sources say relations between Mr Turnbull and Mr Morrison have become tense over the extent of tax reform policy, with the Treasurer keen to


Cormann blockades Senate negative gearing debate

By Leith van Onselen If you want a prime example of how dysfunctional Australia’s political system is, look no further than the above footage of yesterday’s Senate estimates questions to Australian Treasury head, John Fraser. In the video, The Greens’ Scott Ludlam and Labor’s Penny Wong ask a bunch of legitimate questions about the role,


Call an early election, Malcolm

I don’t know what kind of advice Prime Minister Turnbull is getting on the economy but judging by what’s being said in august corners and corridors it’s probably not very good. The RBA’s Statement on Monetary Policy on Friday suggested that it genuinely believes that it has conquered the mining boom and bust cycle. Treasury is


The ten firms that control Australia

Via Domainfax: In a firebrand speech in Canberra this week, delivered with the enthusiasm of someone with their eye on the party leadership, Mr Dastyari told a Politics in the Pub audience that he thought he understood power before coming to Canberra as a senator. “You will not find somebody who came more from the


What to do about our loss of confidence in politics

Cross-posted from The Conversation: Ruling is a consequence of professional politicking. Yet it has also created unmatched instability in modern Australian politics. Professionalisation of political operations has come to dominate the way major Australian political parties function, and diminishes government and opposition alike. Tony Abbott sought to rule rather than govern, in much the same


Should the Senate voting system be reformed?

By Leith van Onselen As reported in The AFR today, the Turnbull Government is considering making changes to the Senate voting system to stop micro-parties gaming the preference system to win Senate spots: On Tuesday, after question time, Mr Turnbull canvassed voting reform directly with Labor, which is split on the issue, while acting Special


Emperor Barnett parades naked as mining “prepares for the worst”

“Emperor” Colin Barnett has really lost the plot now. From the AFR: West Australian premier Colin Barnett hopes to win back voters by opening several expensive projects conceived at the height of the resources boom, including the $440 million Elizabeth Quay waterfront precinct. …Another major city project, the Perth City Link, is nearing completion. A


Abbott stays on to finish off conservatism

From Paul Kelly: Turnbull, as Prime Minister, has no plan to bring Abbott back into the cabinet in a senior role either before or after the election. In their face-to-face encounter two months ago, Turnbull tried to counsel Abbott, given the profound personal trauma involved in losing the prime ministership. While he made no formal


Coalition seeks to flush loon pond

The nut-jobs that have occupied the Coalition are under attack, from BS: A factional brawl within the Liberal Party risks engulfing Malcolm Turnbull in the lead-up to this year’s election, as his emboldened moderate faction prepares to challenge key supporters of Tony Abbott for preselection. Right-aligned senator Con­cetta Fierravanti-Wells and Craig Kelly, MP for the


Libs backpedal from Abbott

The Australian tries to make the Libs appear firm today as they back down in the face of ASIO and military warnings against inflammatory Abbott speak: Liberal MPs say politicians have a duty to engage in an “open and honest” debate about Islamic ­extremism, and one senator has warned that telephone calls from the nation’s top spy chief


ASIO tells Abbott to zip it

From The Australian: ASIO director-general Duncan Lewis has phoned Coalition poli­ticians to urge them to use the soothing language favoured by Malcolm Turnbull in their public discussion of Islam. In what is thought to be an unprecedented intervention in politics by a head of the spy agency, Mr Lewis is said to have told the


Former chief of army tells Abbott to zip it

From The Australian: The nation’s political leaders have been warned to put aside ­domestic politics and “sniping” in the vital debate about how the world should deal with Islamist terrorism. As Malcolm Turnbull insisted “every single word” he said on the issue was based on advice from ASIO and the federal police so he did


Maurice declares war on Western weakness

Old loon ponders don’t die they just join a militia, from The Australian: This stark reality presented most recently in Paris when terrorists killed 130 innocent civilians. Around the Western world, the response was “sensible” and “measured”. There was talk of standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the French people. How we shared their pain. Our


Parko’s revenge

By Leith van Onselen Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has given former Treasury Secretary, Dr Martin Parkinson, a new lease on public life, appointing him head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, according to The AFR. This is great news. Dr Parkinson has an excellent understanding of tax reform and is well placed to


Kingslayer slain

From The Australian: Labor is facing the same devastating defeat that it suffered at the last federal election, as Bill Shorten’s standing with voters as the alternative prime minister has tumbled to the lowest level for any ALP leader in more than a decade. The latest Newspoll, taken ­exclusively for The Australian, ­reveals Labor’s primary


Turnbull sidelines the neocons

From The Age: Malcolm Turnbull believes “pragmatism and compromise” is the key to Syria and the terrorism it fuels, as an unstated international consensus emerges which could see a temporary reprieve for the brutal dictator President Bashar al-Assad, leaving him in place while a new power-sharing arrangement is constructed. Assad’s removal had been a non-negotiable demand


Saddam forgotten as Howard backs Assad

From The Australian: John Howard’s suggestion that Western powers strike a “deal” with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to defeat Islamic State has been highlighted by Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese. The former Liberal prime minister last night said political negotiations were needed to resolve Syria’s civil war and dealing with Assad, who had killed thousands of


David Leyonhjelm has love-in with NRA nut jobs

By Leith van Onselen Liberal Democratic Senator, David Leyonhjelm, has truly ‘jumped the shark’, appealing to the National Rifle Association (NRA) in America not to follow Australia’s lead and implement greater gun control. In the interview (above), Leyonhjelm says the following about Australia’s gun laws: “I dont think Australia is a model for the United


Qantas flies rings around Canberra

Does anyone recall the Qantas bailout from eighteen months ago? Bozo Joe loved it: Treasurer Joe Hockey could still ­provide government assistance to ­Qantas Airways, saying the ­government’s edict about ending ­corporate welfare does not apply to the airline because it does not operate in a free-market environment. With a beleaguered Qantas ­increasingly anxious for