Covering the Australian election campaign for 2016.
Table of contents
(May 27, 2016) Day 20 – Politics on the Reef
Australia bleached from UNESCO report
- John Englart reported, “A UNESCO report identifies World Heritage sites at risk from climate change, but there is no mention of Australian sites in the report. The Australian Government requested that all mentions be deleted, and this was complied with by UNESCO. This censorship of science should raise many questions.”: UNESCO report on Heritage sites affected by #climatechange censored in #ReefGate scandal reports.
- Elle Hunt reported, “Draft chapter warned reef was ‘poor and deteriorating’ but all references were excised following government intervention.”: Great Barrier Reef: UN report lead author ‘shocked’ all Australian references removed.
- Adam Markham reported, “This draft chapter for a Unesco report on the Great Barrier Reef warned that it was ‘poor and deteriorating’ and ‘assailed by multiple threats’ but the Australian government asked for it to be pulled.”: Revealed: the report on the Great Barrier Reef that Australia didn’t want the world to see.
- Peter Hannam reported, “The Turnbull government intervened to excise references to Australia in a United Nations report on the risk of climate change to World Heritage sites including the Great Barrier Reef in a move dubbed by one Australian reviewer as “disgusting”.”: Australia cut from UN report on climate threat to avoid damaging reef tourism.
- Michael Slezak reported, “All mentions of Australia were removed from the final version of a Unesco report on climate change and world heritage sites after the Australian government objected on the grounds it could impact on tourism.”: Australia scrubbed from UN climate change report after government intervention.
Morrison Vs Bowen treasurer debate
- Lenore Taylor reported, “Election 2016: Treasurers’ debate at the National Press Club is full of informed arguments, except on key points”: Morrison and Bowen produce a lively treasurers’ debate, but costings are no clearer.
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “Scott Morrison and Chris Bowen avoid three-word slogans and stick to debating ideas and policies, rather than personality.”: Australian election 2016: treasurers’ debate has plenty of sparring but no knockout punch.
ReachTel 2PP to Labor
- James Massola reported, “Economic management will take centre stage when Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten go head to head in a crunch debate on Sunday, as voters continue to drift towards Labor.”: Labor surges in the polls as campaign focus turns to economic credentials.
- Michael Gordon reported, “Bill Shorten has vowed to take the first step to resettle refugees in limbo on Nauru and Manus Island on the day he is sworn in as prime minister, if he wins the July 2 election.”: Bill Shorten vows ‘day one’ action on Nauru and Manus.
Duncan Storrar story continues
- Larissa Ham reported, “After a rollercoaster ride from hero to “villain” – at least according to some sections of the media – infamous Q&A questioner Duncan Storrar has found a way to disperse the $60,000 he never asked for.”: Duncan Storrar to spend crowdfunding money on children’s education, ‘toaster’ for charity.
- Lucia Stein reported, “Father Bob Maguire says today’s announcement of a $6,000 donation from a crowdfunding campaign which raised money for Duncan Storrar will “make a huge difference” for The Father Bob Foundation.”: Duncan Storrar donates $6k from $60k crowdfunding campaign to Father Bob Foundation.
Mal’s advice for Bill on Trump
Malcolm Turnbull has lectured Bill Shorten on foreign policy after he described US presidential candidate Donald Trump as ‘barking mad’. However, Turnbull freely expressed his opinion yesterday on Britain remaining in the European Union.
In March 2016, Christopher Pyne said of Donald Trump, “Donald Trump is “terrifying” and is making American democracy look “kind of weird.”
In 2007, Prime Minister John Howard commented on US presidential candidate, Barack Obama, saying, “If I was running al-Qaeda in Iraq, I would put a circle around March 2008 and pray, as many times as possible, for a victory not only for Obama, but also for the Democrats.”
- Fergus Hunter reported, “The Australian and US elections have again collided after Opposition Leader Bill Shorten doubled down on his criticism of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.” Election 2016: Bill Shorten’s description of Donald Trump as ‘barking mad’ draws ire of Malcolm Turnbull.
Insight into Turnbull spinners
Bulk billing rates rise under Coalition
Cambodia refugee deal falling down
- Dan Conifer reported, “The first group of refugees transferred from Nauru to Cambodia under a controversial deal have all left the country — less than a year after arriving.”: First refugees sent to Cambodia under $55m deal have left.
Green energy, red tape
Government hurdles and obstacles across the country are holding up green energy projects. A campaign is underway to target marginal seats to make politicians take notice.
Labor’s Jamie Clements before the courts
- Guardian Australia reported, “Bill Shorten faces questions on whether charges against former general secretary will damage party in election campaign.”: Jamie Clements suspended from Labor after being charged by electoral commission.
House price growth to slow under Labor
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “Thinktank’s report says policies wouldn’t deliver shock to property market but cause prices to rise more slowly”: Labor’s negative gearing changes would help stabilise housing market: McKell Institute.
- James Massola reported, “Home prices will grow more slowly under Labor’s negative gearing and capital gains tax changes but the housing market will not crash, according to the ALP-aligned think tank that first proposed the policy.”: House price growth to slow under Labor’s negative gearing policy, says Labor think tank.
Mal in Brisbane
(May 26, 2016) Day 19 – Bumbling Barnaby
Asylum seekers sent after live cattle exports frozen
Bumbling Barnaby Joyce has gone a bit too far in making a point on the live animal trade by linking it to asylum seeker boats.
- Tom McIlroy reported, “Malcolm Turnbull has rejected Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce’s comments linking asylum seekers and live animal exports to Indonesia, denying any suggestion the Indonesian government purposefully allowed boats to come to Australia.”: Malcolm Turnbull steps in on debate over Barnaby Joyce’s asylum seekers and live exports comments.
- SBS News reported, “Barnaby Joyce’s comments linking asylum-seeker arrivals to the ban on live exports is “simply not true”, Indonesia says.”: Joyce asylum seeker comments ‘simply not true’: Indonesia.
- Paul Karp reported, “Deputy PM says live export ban comment misinterpreted as Tony Windsor accuses him of being ‘unfit to be a leader’”: Barnaby Joyce denies implying Indonesia allowed boats to travel to Australia.
- Fergus Hunter reported, “Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has sought to clarify comments he made which appeared to suggest that Indonesia unleashed asylum seekers in boats on Australia as punishment for Labor’s 2011 suspension of the live cattle trade.”: Barnaby Joyce downplays comments linking increase in asylum seekers to halt in live cattle trade.
- The Jakarta Post reported, “Jakarta. Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has pushed Indonesia-Australia relations onto the country’s election agenda after linking the ban of live exports to Indonesia and an increase in asylum seekers entering Australia by boat from the archipelago.”: Australian Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce blames boats on Indonesian Govt during live debate.
No feasibility study for promises
Millions have been promised for dams across marginal Coalition seats in Queensland without any feasibility studies having been completed.
Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce and deputy Fiona Nash are all set to hold the annual NSW “confence”.
Barnaby’s advice for Johnny
- Matthew Knott reported, “Barnaby Joyce has stopped the gloats. In the stoush with his nemesis Johnny Depp, schadenfreude ends here.”: Barnaby Joyce takes the moral high ground in dispute with nemesis Johnny Depp.
- Guardian Australia reported, “Barnaby Joyce tells Johnny Depp: get over your anger, it’s time to move on.”: Barnaby Joyce tells Johnny Depp: get over your anger, it’s time to move on.
ABC political journalist, Eliza Borrello has reported that at this morning’s Rockhampton press conference with Malcolm Turnbull and Barnaby Joyce, the journalists were segregated into regional and national groups. They then took questions from the regionals to avoid questions on Joyce’s increased asylum seeker boats from Indonesia due to the 2011 live export trade suspension. Federal MP for Capricornia, Michelle Landry, can be seen conferring with Joyce behind Turnbull before names of journalists on their right are shouted out above follow up questions.
Australians mostly opposed to foreign ownership
Mazoe Ford from the ABC’s Vote Compass election coverage team has found that despite the success of foreign investment for Queensland’s cotton farm, Cubbie Station, up to 80 percent of Australians think the Federal Government should restrict foreign ownership.
Still seeing black holes
- SBS News reported, “Treasurer Scott Morrison insists Labor still has a black hole in its election costings despite making backflips on some measures.”: Labor still has budget black hole:Morrison.
Mal’s advice on Brexit
- SBS News reported, “Malcolm Turnbull has hit back at criticism from a Conservative MP in Britain over his support for the UK remaining part of the European Union.”: Turnbull stands by opposition to ‘Brexit’.
Donor dodger vows a fresh start
- Alex Beech reported, “Federal Cabinet secretary Arthur Sinodinos says he will fight for political donation reform if the Coalition wins government.”: Arthur Sinodinos to seek political donation reform if Coalition re-elected.
Trouble in Lindsay
- Conor Duffy reported, “Former Liberal Party member and independent councillor Marcus Cornish says he will run against incumbent Liberal MP Fiona Scott in the crucial marginal electorate of Lindsay.”: Fiona Scott facing challenge in Lindsay from Abbott backer Marcus Cornish.
Nova Peris breaks down
- Alex Beech reported, “Outgoing Labor senator Nova Peris has given an emotional defence of her decision to quit politics, declaring: “Until you are an Indigenous person, do not criticise me for the decisions I’ve made”.”: Nova Peris delivers passionate speech defending her decision to leave politics.
- Helen Davidson reported, “Labor senator and dual Olympian says: ‘Until you are an Aboriginal person do not criticise me for the decisions I have made’.”: Nova Peris defends her decision to quit politics: ‘I am leaving on my terms’.
- SBS News reported, “Northern Territory Senator and former Olympian Nova Peris has been congratulated for exposing the racist hate-mail she receives.”: Senator Nova Peris calls out racist hate mail.
- ABC Fact Check has found, “As part of the 2016 budget, the Government announced some changes to the tax treatment of superannuation for those who have high account balances or who plan to make large after-tax contributions in the future.”: Fact check: Are the Government’s super changes ‘not at all’ retrospective?
Telstra to manage health records
- Mark Kenny reported, “The Turnbull government is pushing ahead with plans to place sensitive medical records under corporate management and will announce on Thursday that Telstra Health – a division of Telstra – has been awarded the contract to manage a new national cancer screening register from next year.”: Telstra wins contract to manage your health records.
David Feeney saga
- Simon Benson reported, “Labor’s campaign blueprint confirming that it would secretly adopt the same asylum seeker policy as the government, has been accidentally leaked by bumbling MP David Feeney.”: Labor MP David Feeney leaks Opposition asylum seeker blueprint.
- Fergus Hunter reported, “Labor frontbencher David Feeney has accidentally leaked confidential opposition briefing notes, leaving them behind in a TV studio after a car crash interview.” David Feeney accidentally ‘leaks’ sensitive Labor briefing notes.
Bill in Darwin
- Helen Davidson reported, “Labor Senate hopeful says causes of crime being ignored as Northern Territory passes more hardline laws.”: Pat Dodson: Indigenous incarceration rate ‘shameful’ due to failure to address poverty.
(May 25, 2016) Day 18 – Carping on with Barnaby
Tomato Barnaby Joyce
No wonder people across the world think Barnaby is about to explode with his recent performance in the Australian parliament yelling, “carp!” at the Labor Party. The new Deputy Prime Minister also aggressively attacked the opposition during question time by yelling, “disgusting, mud-sucking creatures!” in their direction. Now, in the ongoing saga over his dogs, Johnny Depp has told a US chat show that Joyce looks like he’s been crossed with a tomato and might explode.
In response, Joyce has told the media he is Hannibal Lecter.
- Latika Bourke reported, “Actor Johnny Depp has told American late-night television that Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister looks like he was “inbred with a tomato” in the seemingly never-ending saga over the actor’s dogs.”: Johnny Depp mocks Barnaby Joyce: ‘He looks somehow inbred with a tomato’.
- Bridie Jabour reported, “Johnny Depp has said Barnaby Joyce looks like he’s “inbred with a tomato” as he continues to mock the apology he made with his wife, Amber Heard, for smuggling their two dogs into Australia.”: Johnny Depp says Barnaby Joyce looks like he’s ‘inbred with a tomato’.
Tony Abbott troubles
- Mark Kenny and Heath Aston reported, “Tony Abbott’s campaign in the Sydney stronghold of Warringah has succumbed to bitter infighting as rank-and-file Liberals complain over strategy and position for “life-after-Abbott”, tipping the former prime minister will quit if left off Malcolm Turnbull’s post-election frontbench.”: Infighting, retirement speculation hits Tony Abbott’s campaign for Warringah.
Black holes within black holes
- Stephen Koukoulas wrote, “The Coalition’s frenzied attack on Labor’s budget black hole and costing of election promises is not only lame, it is somewhat juvenile.”: Delving into budget black holes.
Scare campaign terminated
Mathias Cormann has botched his lines this morning by telling the media that Bill Shorten is what the country needs.
Andrew Hastie defies orders
- Nathan Hondros reported, “Canning MP Andrew Hastie is defying “orders” from the Australian Defence Force (ADF) to remove photos of himself in uniform from federal election campaign material.”: Canning MP defies ‘orders’ to take down uniformed campaign photos.
Mal in the Dandenongs
Bill in Melbourne
- Rose Donohoe reported, “Michael Agzarian believes “top Liberal Party” members dobbed him in to the AEC.”: Sydney designer pressured over Turnbull posters.
Bullet Train Party
- Charles Firth wrote, “When I was young– maybe four or five — I remember very distinctly my mother implementing a form of radical democracy in our household, whereby everyone would vote on a continuing basis about everything our family would do: the food we ate, the clothes we’d wear, the games we’d play, the adventures we’d go on.”: The Bullet Train for Australia Party is the only sensible choice this election.
(May 24, 2016) Day 17 – Spendometers and black hole politics
There’s a black hole in your black hole, Treasurer
- Paul Karp reported, “Mathias Cormann says $66bn estimate comes from $30bn costed policies and $35bn ‘where Labor in one way or another has said you must restore that spending’.”: Coalition says ‘black hole’ calculations include statements that are not Labor policies.
- James Massola reported, “Treasurer Scott Morrison has denied there is a black hole of as much as $35 billion in the government’s own claim Labor has a $67-billion, four-year black hole in its budget costings.”: The black hole in ScoMo’s $67b black hole.
ScoMo behind the lines
- James Massola and Peter Martin reported, “Research intended for use in a bid to discredit Labor’s negative gearing campaign was commissioned after a meeting between Scott Morrison and a close friend and senior figure in Australia’s property industry.”: Draft report intended to discredit Labor on negative gearing linked to Scott Morrison meeting.
- Tom McIlroy reported, “It’s the throw away line that the Liberal Party hopes will cost Bill Shorten the election.”: Bill Shorten’s ‘spend-o-meter’ comment explained.
Mal in Geelong
Labor candidates not allowed to wear uniforms
Labor candidate for Brisbane Pat O’Neill has been told by the Department of Defence to take down three billboards of him wearing his army uniform. However, there was no complaint when Liberal candidate Andie Hastie used his army career in the campaign for Canning.
Nova Peris calls it a day
- Helen Davidson and Paul Karp reported, “The first Indigenous woman elected to federal parliament will not recontest despite having the No 1 spot on the Northern Territory Labor Senate ticket.”: Nova Peris resigns from the Senate after reports she was seeking AFL job.
Pauline Hanson has popped up yet again for the election hoping to scrape enough votes together to make the senate. Whether to scare us or inspire, as perennial as the shock-polli herself, the media loves to trot out the story of her comeback at every election. Hanson last contested the 2015 Queensland election as a candidate for the seat of Lockyer.
- Jorge Branco reported, “Perennial political candidate Pauline Hanson is eyeing off more than just her own spot in the senate, claiming her candidates have a shot in every state they’ll contest.”: Pauline Hanson ‘quietly confident’ of Senate win.
(May 23, 2016) Day 16 – Donations and the Mob
Mafia link to Liberals
From 2014, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker and Royce Millar reported, “The suspected Mafia godfather of Melbourne helped bankroll a Liberal Party marginal federal seat campaign in the 2013 election, raising the prospect that the proceeds of crime have flowed into Liberal coffers.”: Libs take money off Mafia man.
From 2015, William PJ Kulich reported, “McMillan’s Liberal MP Russell Broadbent has said claims made by Fairfax and the ABC that he arranged meetings between Mafia figures and federal ministers are incorrect.”: Broadbent denies Mafia ties.
From 2015, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard and Sean Nicholls reported, “Mafia figures donated tens of thousands of dollars to the discredited NSW Liberal Party fundraising vehicle, the Millennium Forum, as part of an ultimately successful campaign to allow a known criminal to stay in Australia.”: Key Liberal fundraising body took Mafia money for access.
From 2015, Nick McKenzie, Clay Hichens and Klaus Toft reported on Amanda Vanstone, Phillip Ruddock and Russell Broadbent in, The Mafia in Australia: Drugs, Murder and Politics.
- Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker reported, “Slain gangland lawyer and Mafia associate Joe Acquaro spent two decades cultivating, and donating to, senior Liberal politicians on behalf of alleged crime figures, even having a meeting with Malcolm Turnbull.”: Mafia adviser’s meetings with Malcolm Turnbull, MPs.
Bill in Perth
- Jane Norman reported, “It is quarter-time in the election contest and a clear contrast is emerging between the two leaders’ styles and strategies.”: Labor strategies see Shorten ‘get out there’, Turnbull maintains ‘sterile’ approach.
Changing the rules
- Katharine Murphy reported, “Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison at odds over proposal to address politicians’ ability to claim both allowance and deduction.”: Liberals split over Labor plan to change rules allowing MPs to ‘double dip’.
Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally asks
- Kristina Keneally writes, “Why does a man who apparently made such great financial deals make such lousy deals in his political career?”: Is the real Malcolm missing in action, or hiding in plain sight?
Sussan Ley frozen at the wheel
- Caitlyn Gribbin reported, “The Federal Health Minister says she wants to lift the Government’s freeze on Medicare rebates but the Finance and Treasury departments are not “allowing” her to do so.”: Sussan Ley says Finance, Treasury won’t let her unfreeze Medicare rebates.
Palaszczuks respond to Dutton comments
Granddaughter of Polish refugees fleeing the Nazis, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has visited her home electorate of Inala with father Henry to respond to Federal Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s comments that refugees are illiterate, take Australian jobs, live on welfare and use up Medicare. The pair also comment on the recent plan by SBS to film the next season of ‘Struggle Street’ in Inala. Brisbane’s LNP Mayor Graham Quirk has banned SBS from filming on council property which the premier supports.
Young Annastacia and Bill
A photo of younger Annastacia Palaszczuk and Bill Shorten has been released.
- Cameron Atfield reported, “The Labor Party has taken a distinctly retro approach to appeal to digital-savvy millennials in a bid to get them to the ballot box on July 2.”: Labor goes retro to appeal to millennials.
Mal in Merimbula