Australian Politics


A nation desperate for economic truth

Some sense today from Adam Creighton and David Uren: AUSTRALIANS are enduring a deep-seated pessimism from a loss of confidence in social and economic institutions at the same time as growing fears of joblessness undermine the government’s economic sales pitch. As the government embarks on a campaign to boost confidence ahead of Christmas, both economic and


Abbott approval crashes into witch’s ditch

Prime Minister Abbott is taking a hammering in the polls. From The Australian: TONY Abbott’s approval rating has dropped to a five-month low and Labor continues to hold a substantial two-party-preferred lead over the Coalition, despite the Prime Minister yesterday insisting this year had been one of “very considerable achievement” by his government. The latest


One term Tony loses his first state

Let’s face it, Tony Abbott not Dennis Napthine was just voted out after one term in Victoria. The question that really matters is why? Phillip Coorey of the AFR had a nice piece on the weekend offer: As the political year draws to a close, Liberals are not panicking but they are scratching their heads


Abbott popularity surges among Indian youth

If only they voted, from the UK Telegraph: Australia’s prime minister, has denied claims he bought “likes” on Facebook after it emerged that his biggest supporters are 18 to 34 year olds from New Delhi. Tony Abbott, whose approval ratings in Australia are low, said the surge was due to a recent visit to Australia


Why is mining so unpopular?

From her newsletter: Gina Rinehart has attacked the “negativity” she says the mining industry is regarded with, considering Australia couldn’t “survive” without it. “For an industry that delivers so much, wouldn’t you think there would be just a little more understanding and less negativity for what mining contributes to our country?”, Rinehart said in a


Lambie grenade blows up FOFA changes

From the AFR: The federal government’s changes to Labor’s future of financial advice laws are about to be unravelled. Renegade Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie and Australian Motoring Enthusiasts Party Senator Ricky Muir have broken ranks with Clive Palmer and will join Labor, the Greens and other Senate crossbenchers to disallow the laws. The


Witch’s ditch opens under Abbott ineptitude

From The Australian: At 39 per cent, Labor’s primary support is higher than the government’s for the first time since July…In two-party-preferred terms, based on preference flows from last year’s election, Labor leads by 55 per cent to 45 per cent. Mr Abbott recorded the third successive dip in his satisfaction rating, which fell one


Australia to lay coal grogan on G20?

Much better from Crikey’s Bernard Keane today after yesterday’s garbage: With Abbott desperate to keep climate off the G20 agenda (because it’s not an economic issue … an even more bizarre form of denialism than claiming climate change doesn’t exist), the announcement couldn’t have come at a worse time for him. The Coalition’s entire post-Malcolm Turnbull


Putin shirtfronts Australia

I’ve already noted that while Tony Abbott was talking tough, Vladimir Putin was busy destroying the underpinnings of Australian LNG. But today it appears the vendetta goes further with Vlad now openly shirt fronting Australia and its many G20 guests by sending a naval armada to sit off Brisbane. From The Australian: RUSSIAN warships are


BHP director says Australia wasted boom

From The Australian comes a moment that shows that if you live long enough you will see everything. Malcolm Broomhead, director at BHP since April this year today says: “We’ve ended up with the highest cost structure, albeit with the highest standard of living in the world, making it twice as expensive to stevedore a


Directors rate Abbott as “poor”

From the AFR: The Abbott government’s rating has taken a dive among company directors who have assessed the Coalition’s performance in its first year in office as “poor” or “very poor”. An Australian Institute of Company Directors survey, released on Wednesday, said that confidence in the Coalition had slumped to its lowest level since its


Tony stumbles into the witch’s ditch

From The Australian: In the past fortnight Labor’s primary vote has risen two points to a 3½-month high of 36 per cent, while support for the Coalition is unchanged at 38 per cent…the ALP holds a crushing lead of 54 to 46 per cent — the reverse of the election result. …In today’s Newspoll, Mr


Clive eats roots, shoots and leaves…

From Crikey’s Bernard Keane: Clive Palmer’s Palmer United Party is facing electoral oblivion, mere months from its key election test in Queensland, where the party was established as a vehicle for Palmer’s personal vendetta against the party he helped found and bankroll, the Liberal National Party. State-based polling taken over four weeks in October by Essential


Why isn’t Oz in the mining transparency drive?

Cross-posted from The Conversation. It’s a far-from-perfect instrument of global governance. But as theExtractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) coalition celebrates its 12th birthday, it can point to steadily increasing membership and dialogue between countries, mining companies and NGOs. Regrettably, Australia, with one of the world’s largest mining economies, has still not committed to joining the 48


Australians support sending help to Ebolan Africa

From Roy Morgan: A special telephone Morgan Poll conducted over the last two nights shows a clear majority of Australians (70%) support Australia sending Australian doctors and nurses to West Africa to fight the Ebola epidemic and 23% do not support sending doctors and nurses while 7% could not say. Today’s special telephone Morgan Poll


Vale Gough

From the always superb Guy Rundle at Crikey: Born in 1916, when the Labor Party was not much more than a decade old, the son of a senior public servant, he grew up in Canberra, when it was not much more than a pseudo-English village. He went on to Sydney University in the ’30s, where


Gough Whitlam dies

From the AFR: “Our father, Gough Whitlam, has died this morning at the age of 98,” a statement issued by his children on Tuesday morning said. “A loving and generous father, he was a source of inspiration to us and our families and for millions of Australians.” Mr Whitlam was prime minister from 1972 until


Abbott shirtfronts polls

From The Australian: THREE out of five Australians are in favour of Tony Abbott confronting Russian President Vladimir Putin over the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 when he visits Australia next month. But despite endorsing the Prime Minister’s tough talk, the latest Newspoll, taken exclusively for The Australian, shows overall support for the ­Coalition has


Coalition revolts against Abbott’s stupid PPL

By Leith van Onselen The Australian has revealed today that Coalition members continue to revolt against Tony Abbott’s paid parental leave (PPL) scheme, with five members resolving to cross the floor and vote against the measure: [The members] are Barry O’Sullivan and Ian Macdonald from Queensland, Dean Smith from Western Australia, Cory Bernardi from South


Abbott releases Putin’s shirtfront

Perhaps intimidated by Vladimir Putin’s physique or his judo black belt, Prime Minister Abbott has backed away from yesterday’s threats: Russian President Vladimir Putin may dodge a shirtfront if he visits Australia next month but should expect a “very robust conversation” over the downing of MH17. …Mr Abbott wouldn’t repeat the aggressive term on Tuesday,


Colin Barnett has no idea

From the AFR, it’s difficult to know where to start with this from WA Premier Colin Barnett in parliament yesterday: “If you are selling a product into a market and the price is falling and falling at a very fast rate, the normal commercial reaction would be to cut back on supply into that industry…You


Russian envoy warns Abbott of Putin judo

It’s a laugh a minute this story. From the AFR: Russian embassy second secretary Alex Oedovskiy said he considered Mr Abbott’s words immature, rather than tough. “As I understand, this is quite an old fashioned term which is not widely used in the modern day game,” he said. “Also, it is illegal. “Another observation would