Australian Politics


Another immigration policy success as refugees win compo

Via Domainfax: The Australian government has agreed to compensate 1900 asylum seekers currently or formerly held at the Manus Island detention centre, in what may be Australia’s largest ever human rights-related settlement. Lawyers Slater and Gordon confirmed the Commonwealth had agreed to reach a conditional settlement of $70 million plus costs, to be distributed to asylum seekers based


Loon Pond comes for clean energy Turnbull

Via the AFR: Malcolm Turnbull has been hit with a stronger-than-anticipated backlash over plans to introduce a Clean Energy Target in a battle which is fast becoming a test of his leadership, Liberal sources say. Despite the CET having the support of senior conservatives and other ministers, it did not translate into backbench support late


China funded shill slams China funded shill for China funding

Yes, you read it right. Only in the Australian and Kazakhstani parliaments would it be possible: The government has used a question to Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop to highlight Labor Senator Sam Dastyari’s links to Chinese donors. Ms Bishop said that while the government had always confronted diplomatic challenges, such as China’s conduct in


“Labor” outraged at poor wages growth. Ignores immigration

By Leith van Onselen The fallout from last week’s March quarter national accounts, which saw average compensation per employee contract in nominal terms for the first time in recorded history, continues. According to The Australian Institute, the share of Australian gross domestic product (GDP) going into workers’ pockets has hit a record low. From The Canberra


2018 election to add to economic headwinds?

Brace for another 2018 headwind: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull may be forced to call an election after just two years of the Coalition’s current three-year term, political hardheads believe. Senior figures in the Liberal and Labor parties confirmed to Fairfax Media on Monday they are working to be “campaign ready” by June or July of


Did China buy Turnbull the election?

We report, you decide, via The Australian: A senior member of Malcolm Turnbull’s campaign team had ­directly solicited a political ­donation prior to last year’s election campaign from Chinese-born Australian billionaire Chau Chak Wing, who is now at the centre of a political storm over foreign donations and political ­influence. The Australian has also confirmed


Chinese influence compromises integrity of our politics

Cross-posted from The Conversation: This week’s ABC Four Corners/Fairfax expose of Chinese activities in Australia is alarming – not just for its revelations about a multi-fronted pattern of influence-seeking, but also for what it says about our political elite. Are its members – on both sides of politics – naive, stupid, or just greedy for


Give Adani a wide berth

Via the AFR: Indian energy giant Adani has ramped up the pressure on the Turnbull government to use taxpayers’ money to deliver a $1 billion concessional loan for its controversial Carmichael mine with the company saying it would “review its options” if it missed out on the funding. After more than seven years being held up


Treasonous Parliament awash with Chinese dough

From the ABC: ASIO has warned the major parties about taking donations from two billionaires because its intelligence reveals worrying links to the Chinese Communist Party. The agency has also briefed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, his predecessor, Tony Abbott, and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. A Four Corners-Fairfax investigation has discovered the two are property developers


Offshore funders freaked by bubble

ANZ has some good news for us. The offshore lenders that enable the housing bubble are getting nervous: London-based investors in Australia’s banks are fretting about the risk that several small and seemingly well-intentioned changes in housing market policies combine to create a sharp property market correction. ANZ Banking Group chief executive Shayne Elliott, who


Adani loan rife with conflicts

The Guardian: A director of the independent board due to provide recommendations regarding a $900m taxpayer loan to Adani publicly declared she was “very supportive” of its “vital” coal project, a day after she was accused of allowing a perceived conflict of interest to develop. Karla Way-McPhail, who runs mining labour and equipment hire companies,


Pauline Putin in ABC overreach?

This is bloody stupid, Pauline, via The Australian: One Nation has put key budget measures worth at least $5 billion in doubt as the minor party hardens its stance against the government’s agenda, declaring it will oppose almost all Coalition bills unless ABC funding is slashed. As leaked recordings embroil One Nation leader Pauline Hanson


Coalition backs Adani racism-pork

By Leith van Onselen After yesterday accusing GetUp! of “threatening Australian democracy” over the group’s justified opposition to the Adani Carmichael coal project, today the Coalition has labelled them “xenophobic” as well. From The Australian: Resources Minister Matt Canavan said the Greens and “their friends” in the advocacy GetUp! were engaging in xenophobia and dog


Will cutting immigration smash the stock market?

The AFR says so: Poorly constructed and strict immigration policy is one of the biggest threats to sharemarket returns, say some of the country’s biggest money managers. An expert panel at the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Conference in Sydney on Thursday agreed Australian investors could face deteriorating returns thanks to short-sighted policy that curbed population growth. “One of


What do realistic assumptions do to Morrison’s Budget?

Recall Scott Morrison’s Budget fantasy: From Stephen Anthony today: On budget night, Scott Morrison pivoted from deficit-busting achieved through spending cuts, to a higher tax strategy — raising the Medicare levy and imposing the new bank levy — and by projecting rosy growth rates. He has assumed surging growth in tax receipts (from households and


Time to tell Adani where to go

Well done to Matthew Stevens: I mean, here we have a coal project proponent that has spent seven years driving through jungles of red and green tape, and more recently through a brutal wilderness of anti-coal resistance, only to belatedly find itself in desperate need for about $1.2 billion of government assistance if the project


Sometimes ad hominem is the only response

This idiot just never gets it: The man who vowed to financially support Adani’s Carmichael coal project while Premier of Queensland, Campbell Newman, says the Palaszczuk government’s inability to make a decision over the project was a “towering disgrace”. Mr Newman, who was Queensland premier between March 2012 and February 2015, and said the Labor


Terror strikes UK

I’ve been waiting for more detail on this before reporting but it does not look good, via the BBC: Nineteen people have been killed and about 50 injured in a suspected terror attack at Manchester Arena. Police were called to reports of an explosion at the venue at about 22:35 BST following a pop concert


Peter Dutton deploys Howard’s immigration ‘bait-and-switch’

By Leith van Onselen Over the weekend, Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, launched a crackdown on 7,500 so-called “fake” refugees living in Australia, vowing to deport those that do not lodge an application for protection by October. From ABC News: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has given 7,500 asylum seekers living in Australia until October to lodge


Pathetic Labor plays politics on bank levy

By Leith van Onselen Yesterday, Labor gave a perfect example of why I hate politics so much. Instead of offering bipartisan support for the Turnbull Government’s 0.06% levy on the big banks’ liabilities, it offered the following dross during Question Time. The Guardian’s politics blog broke-down Labor’s shenanigans: And the below summary from The Australian’s


PVO: Turnbull should retire for Bishop

From Peter van Onselen: If the government limps along where it is now for another year, Turnbull will ebb ever so close to the 30 consecutive Newspolls trailing Labor that he used as his excuse to remove Tony Abbott. That moment in time risks sending the government into a death spiral as it closes in


Conservatives use biased stats to condemn Lefty political bias

By Leith van Onselen The Menzies Research Centre has released the findings of a study which shows that left-leaning organisations spend a combined $160 million a year on political campaigning, with unions accounting for about $121 million of this expenditure. In contrast, organisations that are affiliated with the conservative side of politics spend just $46