Australian Politics


Super reform will win the election

The magnificent David Murray has ramped up pressure on Malcolm Turnbull to abandon the Abbottalyptic ban on super concession reform. From the AFR: The current framework for superannuation tax concessions was “particularly harmful” to low income people, he said. “In order to deliver value to the Australians in the superannuation system, policymakers will have to come to


Turnbull delivers moderate poll boost

From Fairfax: A nationwide ReachTel Seven-West poll of just under 3300 voters taken on Tuesday night showed voters were flooding back to the Coalition under its new management, with Mr Turnbull catapulting ahead of Labor’s Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister with a lead of 61.9 per cent to 38.1 per cent. The Coalition’s support has also rebounded


Nationals kill carbon pricing

From the AFR: Nationals Leader Warren Truss and deputy Barnaby Joyce are due to announce full details of a deal after Question Time on Tuesday, which sees major wins for the Nationals, including an about face on the effects test in competition legislation. But Nationals sources have told the Financial Review that central to the agreement


Abbottalypse gone

The great political wanker of his time has bowed out, from the AFR: A bitterly disappointed Tony Abbott has bowed out, blaming the media and treacherous colleagues for his downfall while vowing to do nothing to destabilise Malcolm Turnbull. Mr Abbott, who lost Monday night’s leadership ballot by 54 voteds to 44 votes, said he was ousted by “poll-driven panic”


What does the squid think of Turnbull?

From Tim Toohey at Goldman Sachs: The Prime Minister elect is promising a “thoroughly liberal government” promoting freedom of “individuals and markets” and promising to consult and explain the case policy change. It is clear that the Prime Minister-elect is targeting business confidence and individual freedom, in a step to reinvigorate the prominence of the ‘small


Turnbull to challenge Abbott LIVE!

From the AFR: Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed he is challenging Prime Minister Tony Abbott for the leadership of the Liberal party. “I met with the Prime Minister and advised him that I would be challenging him for the leadership of the Liberal Party” “And we need a different style of leadership…A style of leadership that


Abbottalypse again

Things did not improve for our inept PM while I was away. Following dunderheaded “captain’s calls” on both bank deposit insurance charges and Syrian refugees, as well as more Abbottalyptic polls from Roy Morgan and Newspoll, the PM appears headed for another leadership challenge, from the AFR: Multiple sources have told AFR Weekend that the plan is


Vhere are your papers?

by Chris Becker Below is independent MP, Andrew Wilkie, in Parliament yesterday on the reasons why Australia is slipping into the realms of a “pre-Police State”: Here are the 10 characteristics of a pre-Police State that the MP outlines: All members of community are monitored by the State (mandatory meta-data retention) The media is manipulated/bullied, particularly


Shuffling the deck chairs

by Chris Becker There are reports this morning that PM Tony Abbott is planning to axe up to six ministers in a Cabinet reshuffle – but not including Joe Hockey –  in what could be a move to forestall another Malcolm Turnbull leadership challenge. Of course, the report comes from The Daily Telegraph so let’s not


The Greens are now a genuine alternative

By Leith van Onselen I used to be highly critical of The Greens under the leadership of Christine Milne, who I viewed as a tad “loopy” and incapable of forming genuine workable policies across a broad range of areas. Not anymore. Since senator Richard Di Natale took over the leadership in May, the Greens have


A nation of brutes and cowards

by Chris Becker Europe’s burgeoning refugee crisis is putting the spotlight on David Cameron’s conservative UK government approach, which has been mentioned as “Australia-lite”. Or in other words, constrained brutality with a pinch of indifference. This has changed in recent days as the spectre of seeing dead children wash up on Turkish beaches and scenes


Murdoch still backing Abbott

By Leith van Onselen In the lead-up to the September 2013 Federal Election, Rupert Murdoch’s tabloids ran a feverish campaign backing Tony Abbott as Prime Minister: With all of the stuff-ups and gaffes that have occurred since becoming Prime Minister, one would have though that Mr Murdoch might be having second thoughts. Not so, with


Is ALP throwing Canning to keep Abbott?

By Leith van Onselen A new opinion poll for the upcoming Canning by-election, conducted by Essential Research, has the Coalition leading Labor 51% to 49% on a two-party preferred basis, suggesting the Coalition will be returned, but with a big swing against it (the Liberals currently hold the seat with a 12% margin). According to


Fairfax hits back at Coalition whinger

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax Media has hit back hard at Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton’s, claim yesterday that it was actively trying to “bring the government down” and was conducting “a bit of a jihad” against the Government. Fairfax’s Mark Kenny has described Dutton’s whinge as “like a recurring wave of nausea” from a “faultering


A Coalition of whingers

by Chris Becker Following a Fairfax Media report yesterday that several cabinet members want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to dump Treasurer Joe Hockey, Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, has come out on the offensive this morning: “I think it would be helpful if some of the commentators in the area, in this space of politics, started


Will Hockey be the Government’s fall guy?

By Leith van Onselen Fairfax is running an article today claiming that Prime Minister Tony Abbott is being urged to dump Joe Hockey as Treasurer before calling an early election in March 2016, with Social Services Minister, Scott Morrison, tipped as Hockey’s replacement: Fairfax Media has been told by two cabinet ministers that talks over


There is only one way to China-proof Australia

It’s all far too late but at least the right questions are being asked by a few, from Callam Pickering: If Chinese authorities are successful in orchestrating their economic transition, then Australian growth will take a direct hit through weaker export volumes and earnings. Education exports and tourism are the two main areas that could


Govt needs a better salesman than Hockey

Cross-posted from The Conversation: There’s an ad on TV that starts: “If you were me, what would you do next?” If I were Tony Abbott, I’d scheme to get a new treasurer without the existing one blowing me up. Here’s one left-field suggestion: persuade Joe Hockey to become ambassador to Washington. Kim Beazley has been


SA becomes key election battleground

By Leith van Onselen The Abbott Government could rue the day that it let the car assembly industry shutter. With South Australian unemployment shooting for the stars: Full-time jobs growth and hours worked contracting at a rate of knots: And the closure of Holden in 2017 likely to cost tens-of-thousands of jobs, independent senator for


AFG begs for macroprudential mercy

From the AFR: The chief executive of the country’s largest mortgage broker, the newly listed Australian Finance Group, has urged the banking regulator to “hold fire” on more moves to cool investor lending market, saying current measures are already “starting to bite”. AFG managing director Brett McKeon, who owns just under 10 per cent of the company which


Abbottalypse self

From Australia’s media king-maker, Peter Hartcher: The next leadership crisis won’t be like the last. The backbenchers who organised the spill motion in February are not minded to organise another. …The striking fact is that Abbott is failing because of self-inflicted injuries. Potential challengers are standing back as Abbott’s government collapses in on itself, unassisted.


Abbottalypse coal and Canning

From The Australian: Tony Abbott has escalated his ­attack on anti-coal activists and challenged Labor to stand up for jobs, by moving to ban green groups from using the courts to stop major developments such as the Adani coalmine. The government used the ­announcement, which would strike out the provision in environmental laws that allows


Keating gives Howard a reform backhander

By Leith van Onselen Former Prime Minister, Paul Keating, has penned a stunning rebuke of John Howard’s claim yesterday that Liberal bipartisanship facilitated the crucial economic reforms of the 1980s and early-1990s. From The AFR: It has become a creeping part of the orthodoxy of late that the reformation of Australia’s financial, product and labour


Abbottalypse builds

From the AFR, Abbottalypse gay rolls on: Sources have told The Australian Financial Review that “footsoldiers” for both Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, who are on opposite sides of the same-sex marriage debate, have been taking informal soundings in recent days, targeting colleagues who voted for Mr Abbott in the February leadership spill. “They’re seeing if


Another day, another Abbottalypse poll

From Domainfax: Malcolm Turnbull is cementing his lead over Tony Abbott as the most popular choice as Liberal leader and prime minister across all major voter groups, according to new polling which also shows the Coalition is facing a 36-seat electoral wipeout. Despite Mr Abbott telling party faithful on Saturday that the government had “had two great years in