Australian Politics


Newspoll: Turnbull further in front

It’s beginning to look more like a proper honeymoon now, from The Australian: The latest Newspoll, taken exclusively for The Australian, reveals the government is still making gains eight weeks after Mr Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister, extending its lead over Labor to 53 per cent to 47 per cent after preferences.  


You’re making a big mistake, PM Turnbull

From a speech yesterday by PM Turnbull at The Melbourne Institute: Economics is often said to be the dismal science. Well, there should be nothing dismal about today’s discussions. And that’s not just because we are in Marvellous Melbourne — somewhat damply glowing with joy and pride at the way in which Michelle Payne gloriously


Your cloud passport to being hacked

Cross-posted from Sovereign Man. It wasn’t that long ago that you could travel from one corner of the world to another with nothing but your good looks. There are people still alive today, in fact, who were born into a world where passports were not widely used for international travel. The passport itself is a


Amnesty: Abbottalypse a people smuggler

From Amnesty International: Good governments live up to the values of the public who elected them. They uphold and abide by the laws they help create. They govern transparently, so the public know that those values and laws are not being undermined. Shortly after being elected, the Australian Government created Operation Sovereign Borders; a vast


Straya rattles saber on Chinese islands

From the WSJ: Australian defense planners are looking at the possibility of a naval sail-through close to China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea, in case the government decides to follow its close ally the U.S. in testing Beijing’s territorial claims. “Australia has been looking at options,” said one official in Australia’s military familiar


Still embarrasing Straya

You can’t keep a good Abbottalypse down, from The Age: Two of Australia’s leading Catholic priests say they are “appalled, ashamed and offended” that former prime minister Tony Abbott would cite the Bible on the world stage to argue for anti-immigration measures. Mr Abbott on Wednesday morning told the Margaret Thatcher Lecture in London that


Lomborg ‘consensus centre’ extinct

By Leith van Onselen First Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull jettisoned Tony Abbott’s “captain’s calls” not to reform Australia’s giant and inequitable tax concessions (e.g. superannuation, negative gearing and the CGT discount), now he has taken an axe to Abbott’s “captain’s call” to appoint and fund “sceptical environmentalist”, Bjorn Lomborg, as an adjunct professor for a new “consensus centre”,


We hurt the loon pond’s feelings

The Loon Pond is hurt, via The Australian: Liberal senator Eric Abetz has ­unleashed an attack on the Canberra press gallery, arguing it is hostile to conservative, Christian politicians while giving favourable treatment to left-leaning or Muslim MPs. Senator Abetz said the media had treated him and his conservative colleagues, in particular former prime minister


Westpac comedy complete as Gail talks it up

From Victoria Thieberger: One of the trickiest tasks in keeping the Australian economy growing into a 25th year is preventing shaky business and consumer confidence sliding into bleak pessimism, despite clear signs of a cooling housing market. The Reserve Bank knows this, and the government knows it. There are tentative signs that PM Turnbull’s positive


Mirabile dictu: A policy election?

From Laura Tingle: [Greg] Hunt has had a busy week this week. He’s finally appointed board members to the Climate Change Authority (which suggests it might survive after Abbott’s attempts to kill it). There have been announcements about maps of the electricity grid designed to pinpoint spots where the efficiency of renewable energy investments can


Bitter Maurice sprays loon pond all over

From The Australian comes a loon pond spray to remember: Malcolm Turnbull’s dispatch of Tony Abbott from the prime ministership settled a score that had been festering from the moment Abbott became opposition leader. They are very different people. Unlike conservative Abbott, Turnbull appeals to the fashionable Left. He is a postmodern kind of guy,


Di Natale nails Press Club address

By Leith van Onselen I am fast becoming a fan of the Australian Greens under senator Richard Di Natale, who took over the leadership in May from Christine Milne. Under Di Natale, the Greens quickly changed track and supported the Government’s fuel excise re-indexation (opposed by Labor). The Greens then supported the Government’s Aged Pension


Malcolm calls reform summit but is he ready?

It appears Malcolm Turnbull has studied the consensus methods of the Bob Hawke prime ministership which is all to the good, from The Age: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has called a mini-summit for later this week, inviting leaders from the worlds of business, unions, community organisations and think tanks to discuss the state of the


Get gloomy or fail, Malcolm

The Australian elite have fully embraced pop-psychology as their primary economic narrative and if it continues it will sink the nation and its new government. New examples appear every day with the drover’s dog telling Malcolm Turnbull to be “positive” and repair “confidence”. To wit from the AFR: It is not going to be the all


Hunt grabs electricity doom loop live wires

Some whacky stuff from Environment Minister Greg Hunt via The Australian: Mr Hunt has created the Office of Climate Change and Renew­ables Innovation within the Environment Department, which will bring together all climate change and renewable energy programs from across government. …Mr Hunt said there were no changes to existing policies. The new office would reinforce


Morrison’s vision: Tax cuts and welfare cheats

From The Australian comes the Morrison vision for reform of the national economy: In his first interview as Treasurer, Mr Morrison said the Turnbull government would focus on “starting” the economy rather than simply “stopping” things like the carbon and mining taxes. “Spending as a percentage of GDP is at 26 per cent. That is not sustainable,” Mr


Abbott’s brown shirts fume

So much for going gently into that good night, from the AFR: Liberals still seething over last week’s leadership spill are vowing to target Treasurer Scott Morrison, who has found himself the ongoing focus of Tony Abbott’s ire. Mr Abbott accused Mr Morrison of “badly misleading” the Australian people after Mr Morrison said last week that he


What’s an idiot in charge do to confidence?

Quite a lot apparently, from Forexlive: Australia ANZ Consumer Confidence 114.5, up 8.7% w/w (prior 105.3) For the week ended September 20 … the week we got a new PM That’s the biggest rise in a week on record ANZ comments: Bounce in confidence was broad-based In particular, views on economic conditions over the next


Turnbull’s moderate poll bounce continues

It’s not scorching but Malcolm Turnbull has turned around the Coalition’s electoral fortunes for now, from The Australian: The Coalition’s primary vote jumped five points to 44 per cent, its highest level since November 2013 and only 1.6 points below the result at the last election. Labor’s primary vote tumbled four points to a three-month


Farewell Maurice, it was bizarre

From Fairfax: As expected. Our new PM, Malcolm Turnbull, quietly let Maurice Newman’s position as chairman of the Business Advisory Council expire Saturday night while everyone’s focus was on his ministerial chess play. It leaves the BAC without a chairman for now, according to the council’s web site. But the real test of Turnbull’s intentions