Rolling coverage of the Australian election campaign for 2016.
Table of contents
(May 17, 2016) Day 10 – Penalty rates
Battle for Indi
- Gabrielle Chan reported, “Corboy, who has a stock feed supply business, is hopeful and says the feedback has been positive. “Without sounding sexist, some people are rapt to have a man to vote for,” Corboy said.”: Indi’s National hopeful: ‘Some people are rapt to have a man to vote for’.
- Wayne Jansson reported, “Last June when Sophie Mirabella won Liberal Party preselection for the Federal seat of Indi, the much anticipated McGowan V’s Mirabella rematch was on and the unofficial campaign was off and running.”: Queen of Mean takes on Miss Congeniality and #Indivotes braces for the onslaught.
- Bridie Jabour wrote, “Traditionally most elections are said to be won in New South Wales and Queensland, but the electorate of Indi in Victoria has cornered quite a bit of attention.”: Today’s campaign: Cathy McGowan and Sophie Mirabella battle it out for Indi.
- Matthew Knott reported, “Liberal candidate for Indi Sophie Mirabella has angered her party by suggesting she is the victim of internal leaks aimed at destabilising her bid to unseat independent Cathy McGowan.”: Sophie Mirabella suggests Liberal Party undermining her in Indi.
Where have they been so far?
- Ri Liu, Nick Evershed, Anna Livsey and David Constable have created a datablog of the campaign so far: “We’re logging every campaign appearance from Bill Shorten and Malcolm Turnbull since the start of the election campaign. Here you can see where they’ve been the most, what they did there, and if they’re visiting more marginal than safe seats. Have we missed any events?” Election campaign tracker: where have the candidates been and what have they promised?
Ending religious exemptions
- Paul Karp reported, “Party’s LGBTI policy contains pledges to increase funding for Safe Schools program and remove anti-discrimination exemptions”: Greens promise to end religious exemptions to Sex Discrimination Act.
Duncan Storrar update
- Duncan Storrar wrote, “Here I sit after returning from hiding from the media. I don’t know where to start this except with what are the lessons for Australia in this episode”: Lessons of the last week.
- Simon O’Brien reported, “Duncan Storrar has thanked Australians for their support and hit out at News Corp papers after a week which saw him labelled as a villain in segments of the media.”: Duncan Storrar thanks Australians for support in wake of Q&A appearance, hits out at News Corp.
Stop the facts
- Matthew Knott reported, “The ABC will make an imminent announcement on the closure of its fact-checking unit, just three years after it was created as a bold experiment in holding politicians and other public figures to account.”: Telling porkies gets easier for pollies as ABC shuts down its Fact Check unit.
Tone hits the phones
Peter Martin says Aussie John Symond is wrong on negative gearing
- Peter Martin wrote, “‘Aussie John’ made at least four statements on live TV that don’t quite stack up when measured against the facts.”: ‘Aussie John’ Symond is wrong on negative gearing. Here’s why.
Brisbane Cross-River Rail announcement soon
- Cameron Atfield reported, “After a first week of the federal election campaign bereft of major announcements for the battleground state of Queensland, Labor has given the unsurprising hint that Cross River Rail will form part of its platform in the state.”: Labor hints at Cross River Rail announcement.
Eating disorder sufferers face loss of services
- Melissa Davey reported, “Australia’s only crisis line for people with an eating disorder is in jeopardy, with no guaranteed federal government funding past June 2017.”: Butterfly Foundation warns eating disorder helpline in jeopardy.
- Sophie Scott and Rebecca Armitage reported, “Australia’s only dedicated support service for people with eating disorders is set to be axed next year, under a shake-up of online mental health services.”: Eating disorder patients left in the lurch as Butterfly Foundation helpline faces axe.
Penalty rates in debate
- James Massola reported, “Unions have rounded on Labor leader Bill Shorten over penalty rates, demanding they be protected by “any means necessary” and backing the Greens’ call to enshrine overtime rates in law.”: Unions turn on Shorten as Labor leader concedes he can’t guarantee penalty rates won’t be cut under ALP.
Backpacker tax on hold until after election
- Lucy Barbour and Chris Uhlmann reported, “The Federal Government will effectively dump its backpacker tax today but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will leave it to his Small Business Minister Kelly O’Dwyer to announce.”: Backpacker tax delay to be announced today, Liberal MP says policy ‘is dead’.
Bill in Adelaide
Mal in Darwin
- Malcolm Turnbull does jobs and growth, ‘politics in the pub’ with Liberal MP for Solomon Natasha Griggs.
Sniper Peta Credlin attacks
- Latika Bourke reported, “Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin has launched another scathing critique of Malcolm Turnbull’s campaigning tactics, accusing the Prime Minister of casting into the cold hopeful Liberal candidates.”: Peta Credlin launches fresh attack on Malcolm Turnbull.
(May 16, 2016) Day 9 – Riveting viewing
- Roy Morgan reported, “In mid-May ALP support 52.5% (up 1.5%) is now clearly in front of the L-NP 47.5% (down 1.5%) on a two-party preferred basis after the first week of official campaigning following Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s decision to call a Double Dissolution Election for Saturday July 2.”: In the first week of the campaign ALP grabs election winning lead: ALP 52.5% cf. L-NP 47.5%.
Catholic bishops enter the fray
- Paul Karp reported, “Clergy say future political decisions risk undermining ‘the dignity and uniqueness of marriage.’”: Catholic bishops use election to warn against marriage equality.
Negative gearing zombie
- ABC Fact Check reported, “The claim that rents increased when negative gearing was briefly abolished in the 1980s is one that has been often repeated by those who seek to maintain the status quo.”: Fact Check zombie: Malcolm Turnbull repeats Joe Hockey’s negative gearing claim.
Bill in Geelong
- Lenore Taylor wrote, “The Labor leader, who is otherwise running an effective campaign, is often diverted by conservatives and the Greens alike”: Bill Shorten: caught between the Tele and the deep Greens sea.
Mal in Fremantle
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “PM asked to explain absence of Sherry Sufi, who held controversial views on same-sex marriage and stolen generations apology.”: Turnbull campaigns without Fremantle candidate after true work history revealed.
- Sophie Morris and Andrew Probyn reported, “Malcolm Turnbull has distanced himself from controversial views of Liberal candidate for Fremantle Sherry Sufi after excluding him from a press conference in the Labor-held electorate.”: Malcolm Turnbull distances himself from controversial views of Liberal Fremantle candidate Sherry Sufi.
- Clare Blumer reported, “Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten both say the election is about answering the question “who do you trust?”, and Vote Compass data suggests Mr Turnbull has the advantage over his opponent.”: Vote Compass: Malcolm Turnbull leads Bill Shorten on question of who voters trust.
Abbott-Turnbull Government has failed on shipping jobs
Kevin Rudd supports Bill Shorten
- Nine News Australia reported, “Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has put on the record that he is backing Bill Shorten in the July 2 election.”: Kevin Rudd confirms he’s ‘proud’ to endorse Bill Shorten as PM.
Tony Abbott says Peta Credlin riveting
- Allison Worrall reported, “Former prime minister Tony Abbott has praised Peta Credlin’s recent political commentary as powerful and “riveting viewing”, just days after she delivered a scathing criticism of the Turnbull election campaign.”: ‘Riveting viewing’: Tony Abbott praises Peta Credlin’s political commentary.
America wins from Australian tax cuts
- SBS News reported, “The American tax office will gain more revenue from the Turnbull government’s proposed cut to the company tax rate, the Australia Institute warns”: Claim company tax cut a gift to US coffers.
(May 15, 2016) Day 8 – Green tide
Greens to focus on environment, asylum seekers and fairness
- Jill Stark reported, “Greens leader Richard Di Natale has challenged Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten to include him in the next leaders debate, claiming the rising “Green tide” is causing panic in Labor and Liberal ranks.”: ‘The Green tide is coming in’: Di Natale challenges Turnbull, Shorten to leaders debate.
- Paul Karp reported, “Richard Di Natale rejects Labor’s claims it would not form minority government with Greens as just ‘a lot of tough talk’”: Greens would demand asylum seeker policy change under any deal with Labor.
Tony Abbott campaigns at home
- Paul Karp reported, “Malcolm Turnbull’s campaign tries to stay positive amid doctors’ revolt while Tony Abbott lists his achievements.”: Week two opens with low-key policies and top gear Abbott.
Humane approach to asylum seekers from Liberal
- Adam Gartrell reported, “The high-profile Liberal Party candidate who rolled Bronwyn Bishop had described asylum seekers who came to Australia by boat as the victims of pirates and crooks and said they should be welcomed rather than shunned.”: Liberal candidate argued for humane approach to asylum seekers.
Peta Credlin floats the boats
- Paul Karp reported, “Daily Telegraph column echoes Tony Abbott’s comments that lawyers warned against towing asylum seeker boats to Indonesia, but does not say when.”: Peta Credlin suggests government lawyers said boat turnbacks were illegal.
- Nicole Pedersen-McKinnon reported, “The Coalition super policy spells disaster if you dissolve a marriage.”: The Coalition’s $714k super shock for divorcees.
(May 14, 2016) Day 7 – Bill is back in Queensland
A word from David Marler (@Qldaah)
The media appears to have abandoned covering the education policy championed by Labor in Brisbane today. Instead, the hungry beast continues to hunt the prized Labor ‘gotcha’ moment of failing to follow the leader on asylum seeker policy.
When a former Socialist Alliance member and current Brisbane teacher interrupted Bill Shorten’s speech on education, the media swung their guns onto boats. In doing so, it gave Malcolm Turnbull an easy platform for the nightly news to chastise Labor’s record. It seems easier for the media to put a heckler to air and play with boats than it is to scrutinise Labor’s education policy. This dogmatic media focus is exactly how we end up with idiots in charge and spend the following three years asking ourselves how we arrived here.
Laura Tingle lamented this week, “If, judged by the nightly news bulletin, you think the election campaign this week has been full of the inconsequential, try following it on social media where we are treated to, in a number of cases, people who are unable to distinguish between the story they are covering – the election campaign – and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to become reality TV stars: photos of the media pack getting off planes and buses; selfies with politicians at campaign events; what has been eaten for lunch; that sort of thing.”
I’m not disregarding the plight of refugees. It’s the single-minded, blinkered quest for the ‘gotcha’ moment that threatens to spoil this Australian election again.
You can do better, Australian media.
Rally for Queensland
- Fresh from his People’s Forum victory last night, Bill Shorten has returned to Queensland for the “Fight for for Queensland” rally.
- Labor MP for Griffith Terri Butler interviews Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.
- Eliza Borrello reported, “Labor’s federal election campaign has continued to be dogged by the asylum seeker issue, with a lone protestor heckling the Opposition Leader during an event in Brisbane.”: Bill Shorten heckled by teacher over refugee policy in Brisbane.
- Tom McIlroy reported, “A protester angry about Labor’s asylum seeker policies has interrupted a speech by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten on the campaign trail. “: Teacher takes on Bill Shorten over asylum seeker policy.
- Stephen Koukoulas wrote, “Better growth, a smaller deficit and higher wages have failed to materialise, giving the lie to the Liberals’ claim to be superior managers.”: How the Coalition has failed on three key economic promises.
A word on Shorten
- David Marr writes, “If Bill Shorten wants to steer the Labor Party back into power, he needs to stop looking like the boy who just wants to be liked.”: Bill Shorten: the man in the machine.
Pathology and diagnostic imaging costs to rise
- Paul Karp reported, “Australian Medical Association president says people will still pay more for pathology services and diagnostic imaging”: Government to help pathologists tackle rent but $650m bulk-billing cut will stay.
Mal in Reid
- Michael Koziol reported, “Federal Liberal MP Craig Laundy, whose marginal seat is affected by involuntary council mergers, says he expects voters not to punish him for the Baird government’s agenda.”: Don’t punish me for council mergers, says Liberal MP Craig Laundy.
(May 13, 2016) Day 6 – Saints and sinners
News Corp attacks Duncan Storrar
Duncan Storrar is neither hero or villain. He’s an anti-hero who challenged the political establishment. He made some, especially conservatives, angry.
After Mr Storrar’s appearance on ABC QandA on Monday night, a crowd-funding campaign began to help the battler and his family. Associate Editor at The Australian, Caroline Overington, responded by looking into the background of the single Dad and reported, “The truth about my father, Duncan Storrar, the Q&A ‘hero’.
She found Storrar’s estranged son, Aztec Major, who revealed history of family abuse and drug use. The story was reworked on today’s Herald Sun by Anthony Galloway, adding a list of criminal activity, “Q&A star Duncan Storrar exposed as thug as public raise $60,000”.
Overington is a big Malcolm Turnbull fan who ABC Media Watch exposed in 2007. She attempted to use her influence in the media over a Turnbull opponent for Wentworth, Danielle Ecuyer, to direct her preferences: “How To Vote”.
Ben Eltham wrote today, “The curious mix of misguided charity and conservative rage directed at Duncan Storrar explains why the Coalition are so anxious to keep inequality off the electoral agenda. Whatever you do, don’t mention the (class) war,”: Duncan Storrar on Q&A. The pursuit of Duncan Storrar reveals the savagery of Australia’s class warfare.
In a radio interview, Herald Sun editor, Damon Johnston, told Jon Faine on ABC 744 Melbourne that, “If you put yourself on the public stage and particularly in the middle of an election campaign questioning government policy, questioning this, I think you’re entitled to be subjected to a bit of scrutiny.”
Michael Safi wrote, “Storrar found his past was considered fair game in the media after he articulated with disarming clarity how the budget looks from the lowest rungs.”: Duncan Storrar went on Q&A – now his personal life is dragged through the mud.
Tony Abbott hits Dawson
- Sky News reported, “Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has been declared the winner of the Sky News People’s Forum.”: People’s Forum vote Shorten over Turnbull.
- Matthew Knott wrote, “Real estate agents and bankers: hardly the two professions most beloved by voters.”: First election debate: Malcolm Turnbull rushes to defence of real estate agents and bankers.
What’s with that #ausvotes emoj?
- Twitter AU explains the new #ausvotes emoj and reveals that #auspol was the world’s third most trending hashtag in 2015: Introducing the #ausvotes Twitter emoji.
RSRT puts weet-bix and cornflakes at risk
- A small businessperson has stepped into a Michaelia Cash and Ewen Jones media conference in Townsville to tell of dire consequences should Labor win the election and bring back the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. He says, “Nothing would move. There’s 30,000 trucks that would be off the road. Just think about that. You wouldn’t have your Corn flakes, your Weet-bix, anything.”
- Clare Blumer reported, “The Coalition is running its election campaign off the back of its “jobs and growth” budget, while Labor is selling a message around its traditional strongholds of health and education.”: Vote Compass: Party faithful fall in line with election 2016 priorities.
- Clare Blumer reported, “The first Vote Compass results reveal that Australians rate the economy as the most important election issue, followed by education and health care.”: Vote Compass: Double dissolution trigger not a big issue for voters.
Inner West Sydney with Bill
Bill Shorten misleading on working mums, millionaires and the budget
- ABC Fact Check has found, “Mr Shorten’s statement is misleading. “This budget” does not change benefits to working mums, nor does it give a significant tax cut to “people on $1 million”.”: Fact check: Did the budget take from working mums and give tax cuts to millionaires?
Negating negative gearing
- Lindy Kerin reported, “The Federal Opposition insists it is not concerned about the real estate industry’s threat to unleash a campaign against Labor’s negative gearing policy.”: Real estate industry unleashes campaign against Labor’s negative gearing policy.
Letters are going out
Woman manhandled in Hindmarch
- One Term Tories reported on Facebook that a protestor was manhandled at the Adelaide walkaround.
Mal in Hindmarsh
- Heath Aston reported, “After five days on the campaign trail, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has ticked off a traditional task of all political leaders: the shopping centre walkabout.”: Malcolm Turnbull breezes through traditional shopping centre walkabout.
“Mr Harbourside Mansion,” quips frenemy
- James Massola reported, “Liberal MP Warren Enstch has delivered a stinging rebuke to Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, accusing her of sour grapes and possessing a “nasty streak” after the political operative turned media commentator labelled Malcolm Turnbull “Mr Harbourside Mansion”.”: ‘This confirms her nasty streak’: Liberal MP Warren Entsch delivers stinging rebuke to Peta Credlin.
- Bridie Jabour wrote, “Liberal party frenemy and Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, is already delivering Sky News bang for its buck in her role as commentator, branding Malcolm Turnbull “Mr Harbourside Mansion” and criticising the prime minister for cancelling a walk-through of western Sydney shopping centre on Wednesday after the candidate he was with, Fiona Scott, was asked about how she voted in the leadership spill.”: Today’s campaign: Peta Credlin snipes at Turnbull as leaders prepare for first debate.
- Mark Kenny reported, “Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, Peta Credlin, has rounded on Malcolm Turnbull’s campaign team for appearing elitist after cancelling a planned street walk in Western Sydney on Wednesday following questions over last year’s leadership change.”: Peta Credlin questions campaign tactics of ‘Mr Harbourside Mansion’ Malcolm Turnbull.