Ongoing coverage of the Australian election campaign for 2016.
Table of contents
(June 11, 2016) Day 35 – Snapchat Saturday
Mal signs up for Snapchat
- ABC News reported, “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull joined Snapchat last night with a joke at the expense of one of Australia’s youngest MPs.”: Malcolm Turnbull joins Snapchat with joke at Wyatt Roy’s expense.
Brothel owner quits Liberal Party
- Joshua Robertson reported, “Party left without a candidate in Melbourne seat of Calwell after John Hsu quits campaign and resigns membership”: Liberal party candidate resigns over revelations he owns a brothel.
Great Barrier Reef
- Guardian Australia reported, “Comedian says she put out an announcement because of the need to protect oceans and the reef, and cannot understand what the fuss is all about.”: Ellen DeGeneres bewildered at backlash to her Great Barrier Reef request.
Mal in Nambour
Fergus Hunter reported, “Things get testy between a local Sunshine Coast Green and the Turnbull camp. “Who pays for your dole?” asked Senator James McGrath. “How are you going to fund it?” a Turnbull staffer fired at her when she complained about hospital cuts.”
Longman votes update
- Joshua Robertson reported, “Turnbull campaigns with his youngest minister in the vulnerable Queensland seat of Longman”: Wyatt Roy joined by ‘my mate Malcolm’ in tight race.
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “Leader Bill Shorten says violence is a ‘national disgrace’ and ‘equality for women will be a priority’ if he wins office.” Labor promises $88m for safe housing for victims of domestic violence.
Grey votes update
- Lenore Taylor reported, “In a surprise result, the Reachtel poll, for Seven news, also shows Nick Xenophon’s candidate leading the sitting Liberal MP in the very safe South Australian regional seat of Grey.”: Parties tied in latest poll as Liberals face shock upset in SA safe seat.
Final list of candidates
Politicians sing opera
(June 10, 2016) Day 34 – The votes stop here
- John Englart wrote, “During a tour of flood affected areas in Tasmania on Thursday 9 June, the Prime Minister was asked a question (See SMH report) relating to extreme weather events and climate change:”: Storms, floods and avoiding the dots on climate in #ausvotes.
The Liberal Party’s Parakeelia laundering scheme
Parakeelia Pty Ltd is a wholly owned entity of the Liberal Party with federal party director Tony Nutt and party president Richard Alston as directors. The company was established in 1989 by the then Liberal Party treasurer, Ron Walker and shares the same address in Canberra as the headquarters of the federal Liberal party.
It makes & sells a piece of software called Feedback which MPs and senators purchase for $2,500 using their taxpayer funded office allowance. This allows the party to collate constituent details, requests, issues, etc. The company then makes large yearly donations back to the Liberal Party, effectively laundering taxpayer money. A search of the Australian Electoral Commission shows donor records dating back to 1998-99.
On ABC 730, former Liberal MP for Tangney, Dennis Jensen said, “There was a very clear understanding there’s Feedback training provided to staff members and basically the training is to use it as a database politically rather than to assist constituents. Indeed the instruction given by Feedback trainers is that if there’s not a vote in it, don’t do it.”
- Paul Karp reported, “Independent who lost Liberal preselection says voter-tracking software being used for ‘illegitimate’ purposes”: Dennis Jensen accuses Liberals of profiling constituents and neglecting decided voters.
- My Sunshine Coast reported, “Greens parliamentary leader Richard Di Natale and Greens spokesperson for democracy Senator Lee Rhiannon said today that the Parakeelia scandal should put the need for a national corruption watchdog and political donation reform back on the agenda.”: Parakeelia scandal shows need for corruption watchdog and donation reform: Greens.
- Sky News Australia reported, “Independent candidate for Tangney Dennis Jensen says the Liberal Party is using a taxpayer-funded program for illegitimate reasons.”: Parakeelia software ‘illegitimate’: Jensen.
- James Robertson and Heath Aston reported, “The Liberal campaign is resisting calls for greater transparency about its financial relationship with a voter monitoring company run by the party, as it can be revealed state MPs also use taxpayer money to pay it amounts likely exceeding $100,000 a year.”: Mystery deepens over Parakeelia as Cormann ducks question..
- Conor Duffy reported, “Dumped Liberal MP Dennis Jensen has hit out at the party’s use of controversial election software called Feedback, owned by a major Liberal donor. The Labor party uses a similar program called Campaign Central.”: Tax payer money used to fund voter tracking software.
Lindsay votes update
- Conor Duffy reported, “Former Liberal Party member and Tony Abbott supporter, Marcus Cornish, who is running as an independent conservative in the crucial western Sydney seat of Lindsay, will preference Labor above the Liberal Party.”: Liberal defector and Tony Abbott supporter Marcus Cornish preferences Labor.
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “More than $8bn worth of savings that have failed to pass the Senate are still counted in the Coalition’s budget plans, only some of which Labor will support”: Coalition and Labor wrangle over budget ‘zombie measures’.
Battlefield Qld – Herbert votes update
- Brisbane Times reported, “Considered the unofficial king of north Queensland, Johnathan Thurston has summoned his inner politician to again pressure Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to fund a new stadium in Townsville.”: Johnathan Thurston pressures PM over Townsville stadium.
Pauline Hanson and James Ashby
So last year
Politics and the ADF don’t mix
- Cameron Atfield reported, “Brisbane’s Labor candidate will remove billboards depicting him in his army uniform following a directive from the Australian Defence Force to cease and desist.”: Labor’s Pat O’Neill to remove military-themed billboards.
- Paul Karp reported, “It was ‘a really sad day’, says Labor candidate for Eden Monaro, after being instructed by ADF not to use photos of himself in uniform in campaign materials.”: Mike Kelly resigns from army reserves over campaign use of photos in uniform.
- Paul Karp reported, “Oakeshott, to run in NSW seat of Cowper, says in ‘unlikely’ event of hung parliament he would give Malcolm Turnbull first shot at forming majority.” Former independent MP Rob Oakeshott will contest 2016 election.
‘Piss off’, says Barnaby
- Heath Aston reported, “Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce told a constituent to “piss off” after a heated exchange over mining in a pub in his New England electorate.”: Barnaby Joyce tells constituent to ‘piss off’ during heated pub exchange.
Prime Minister of Tasmania, Tony Abbott
The Mercury still believes Tony Abbott is the prime minister.
Budget repair and tightening up tax benefit part A
- James Massola reported, “Labor has announced new savings measures and cuts worth $16.2 billion over a decade that would hit wealthier families, private health insurance and higher education in a bid to convince voters it is serious about budget repair.”: Labor claims $16 billion savings in hit to families, private health, unis.
- James Massola reported, “Labor will target wealthy families and claim a $2.2 billion, 10 year saving as it toughens up the eligibility for family tax benefit part A on Friday.”: High income families targeted by Labor in $2.2 billion savings proposal.
Scott Morrison theory of black holes
Scott Morrison likes the Cronulla Sharks
(June 9, 2016) Day 33 – One leader show
- Gabrielle Chan reported, “Changing the rules around political donations would be good for the public and the politicians themselves.” Political donations: for voters, 2 July should be clean up Australia day.
Battlefield Queensland – Capricornia votes update
Bill Shorten goes it alone on People’s Forum
- Heath Aston reported, “After side-stepping the Brisbane people’s forum in favour of his proposed Facebook leader’s debate idea, Malcolm Turnbull might have regretted not flying north to Broncos Leagues Club on Wednesday.”: Malcolm Turnbull eludes people’s forum for a tougher grilling.
- Amanda Meade reported, “Hosts Paul Murray and Andrew Bolt take the prime minister to task for refusing to appear alongside Bill Shorten at Sky News people’s forum in Brisbane”: Sky News not amused by Malcolm Turnbull’s no-show as Shorten rewarded.
- Sky News Australia reported, “Politicians can never fully prepare for questions from everyday voters. But from tax on tampons to a Snapchat ‘face swap’ with the prime minister, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten had an answer.”: Shorten attends people’s forum alone.
- Heath Aston reported, “The party’s slogan is Less Government – More Freedom. But the Liberal Democrats could just as easily use Less Women: More Male Candidates. The libertarian party that got a toehold in the Senate in 2013 through the election of David Leyonhjelm in NSW, is fielding a list of election candidates that is almost exclusively male.” The party accused of forgetting women: Liberal Democrats call for ‘more chicks’.
Trolln’ on the Great Barrier Reef
- Amy Mitchell-Whittington reported, “Talk show star Ellen DeGeneres has joined the fight to protect the Great Barrier Reef days after a Queensland girl’s petition aimed at the US host reached more than 10,000 signatures.”: Finding Dory star Ellen DeGeneres heeds Qld girl’s petition to save reef.
- Michael Slezak and Elle Hunt reported, “Greg Hunt defends conservative government’s actions in torrent of posts to the Finding Dory star”: Ellen DeGeneres bombarded by Great Barrier Reef tweets from Australian minister.
Foreign policy debate
Arthur doesn’t know (again)
- Tom McIlroy reported, “Cabinet Secretary Arthur Sinodinos said he doesn’t know if taxpayer funds have been paid to a private company controlled by Liberal Party bosses, which in turn transferred $500,000 to the Coalition.”: Arthur Sinodinos ‘doesn’t know’ if taxpayer cash goes to Liberal donor Parakeelia.
- From 2007, David Marr reported, “DESPITE assurances that he had broken all links with the Liberal Party, Fairfax Media chairman Ron Walker remains the principal shareholder in a software company operated by the party. Parakeelia Pty Ltd was set up in 1989 shortly after Mr Walker became Liberal Party treasurer. For the past decade the company has been developing and selling controversial Feedback software that allows MPs to collate and store information on their constituents.”: Walker linked to Liberal company.
Turnbull Government expenditure to fall
- Gabrielle Chan reported, “Independent candidate for New England speaks of ‘very strange money trail’ between mining company and federal Nationals”: Tony Windsor accuses Barnaby Joyce of ‘self-interest’ over Santos Nationals donations.
Multinational tax avoidance
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “Report calls on government to strengthen Australia’s multinational tax avoidance laws and make financial reporting requirements more transparent”: Multinational tax avoidance cost Australia $6bn in 2014, Oxfam report claims.
Bill in Tasmania
Mal in Tasmania
Andrew Hastie – Canning votes update
- Paul Karp reported, “Liberal MP accuses Australian Defence Force of using ‘a bit of policy to try and push me around’”: Andrew Hastie defiant after sacking from army reserve for wearing uniform in ads.
- Tom McIlroy reported, “Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has backed Liberal Andrew Hastie’s refusal to remove photos of his military uniform from election campaign advertising, an act of disobedience that prompted the Canning MP’s sacking by the Australian Defence Force.”: Andrew Hastie sacked from Army Reserve over campaign photos.
- Jane Norman reported, “The Coalition has accused Labor of exaggerating the benefits of its $3 billion childcare package, taking aim at the case studies it used in its policy document.”: Labor exaggerating benefits of childcare package, Federal Government says.
(June 8, 2016) Day 32 – The best laid plans
Greg Hunt attempts to Twitter battle Ellen DeGeneres
- Cayla Dengate reported, “Film and TV star Ellen DeGeneres, who voices the lead character in Finding Dory, has made a direct plea to Australians to protect the Great Barrier Reef and conservationists say her voice could make a difference.”: Ellen DeGeneres reminds Australia how special our reef is.
- Gabrielle Chan reported, “Labor redoubles efforts to push for bank royal commission after regulator launches legal action against National Australia Bank”: Malcolm Turnbull insists bank inquiry unnecessary after fresh rate-rigging case.
Labor’s ten year plan
- Paul Karp reported, “Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen admits Labor plans to increase deficit over next four years but pledges return to surplus at same time as Coalition”: Labor concedes 10-year economic plan will see budget deficit worsen in short term.
Peter Dutton, the MP that wasn’t there
- Lee Zachariah went in search of Peter Dutton in the seat of Dickson, “I’m worried about Peter Dutton. The last time the country saw our Minister for Immigration, he was on Sky News reminding us that immigrants are coming to take our jobs AND leech off welfare.”: Where in the world is Peter Dutton? An investigation.
- Joshua Robertson also went looking for Peter Dutton in May, “The immigration minister hit the headlines again this week yet remains all but anonymous to those he represents”: ‘Who is Peter Dutton?’ The MP for the least engaged electorate in Queensland.
Kennedy votes update
Bronwyn Bishop laments
- Heath Aston reported, “Conservative columnist Andrew Bolt knew Bronwyn Bishop was going to resign before she had spoken to Tony Abbott and accepted her fate, the former Speaker has claimed.”: ‘Andrew Bolt knew I was resigning before me’: Bronwyn Bishop.
(June 7, 2016) Day 31 – Jobs for the girls
Ironing out the election
- Emily Brooks reported, “The man contesting former Treasurer Wayne Swan’s Brisbane seat of Lilley, David Kingston, has apologised for “chauvinistic” comments he published on a travel blog, including calling washing and ironing “women’s work”.”: Liberal candidate David Kingston apologises for ‘chauvinistic’ comments.
- Peter Devlin reported, “A ‘chauvinistic’ Liberal candidate labelled washing clothes as ‘woman’s work’ and said he was surprised a woman could drive a truck. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to defend the comments of Queensland candidate, David Kingston who is running for the seat of Lilley.”: Malcolm Turnbull refuses to defend a ‘chauvinist’ candidate who labelled ironing and washing as ‘women’s work’ and ‘who was surprised a female could drive a truck’.
- Renee Viellaris reported, “PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused to defend a “chauvinist” Queensland candidate who labelled ironing and washing as “women’s work” and applauded his wife for being “well-behaved”.David Kingston, running against former deputy prime minister Wayne Swan, who holds the electorate of Lilley by a wafer-thin margin, logged his thoughts on online travel diary TravelPod during his one-month tour of four Australian states.”: ‘Feminist’ PM red-faced after candidate’s ‘chauvinistic’ diary.
George Christensen withdraws donation offer
- Cameron Atfield reported, “Queensland federal Coalition MP George Christensen has withdrawn a pledge to donate $12,000 to a local turtle rescue group after it was referred to the Australian Electoral Commission.”: Coalition MP George Christensen withdraws donation over bribery claims.
- George Christensen speaks to Emily Smith about being referred to the Australian Electoral Commission: Audio.
- Emily Smith and Cas Garvey reported, “FEDERAL Dawson MP George Christensen has been referred to the Australian Electoral Commission for seeking to give Libby Edge of Eco Barge Turtle Sanctuary a $12,000 “personal contribution” if re-elected.”: George Christensen referred to AEC over ‘$12,000 offer’.
Avoiding the questions
- Matthew Knott wrote, “This year’s election campaign, stretching out to eight weeks, should offer the perfect opportunity to grill politicians on the questions voters want answered.”: How Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten are avoiding the questions.
Higgins votes update
- Mark Hawthorne and James Massola reported, “The union movement has launched a robocall campaign to undermine assistant treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer over superannuation changes, in a move that could help the Greens in their attempt to hijack the once blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Higgins.”: Unions target Kelly O’Dwyer in blue ribbon seat of Higgins over super changes.
Great Barrier Reef degradation
- Brisbane Times reported, “Once colourful corals surrounding a Great Barrier Reef island have turned a ghastly shade of brown, with new images showing how algae has impacted the natural wonder.”: Lizard Island corals ‘slimy’ after bleaching.
- James Eyers reported, “The corporate regulator has launched legal action against National Australia Bank for allegedly manipulating the bank bill swap rate (BBSW) 50 times. NAB said it would fight the case.”: NAB sued by ASIC over rate rigging.
Young Liberals Black Ops
- Michael Koziol reported, “When Julian Chu arrived at a regular meeting of his Earlwood-Kingsgrove Young Liberals on April 6, he knew it would not be business-as-usual. Chu, the branch president, was about to be subjected to a bizarre attempted leadership coup that represents the thin end of the wedge for the factionally-riven NSW Liberal Party.”: Young Liberals: Liberal Party investigating ‘black ops’ branch meeting as flailing faction flexes muscles.
Debating the debate
- Mark Di Stefano reported, “The prime minister had been asked to attend another of the Sky News “People’s Forums” in Brisbane tomorrow night. Instead, he officially rejected the request on Tuesday, announcing he’d be taking part in a Facebook debate next week.”: Prime Minister announces first ever Facebook debate, rejecting Sky News.
Mal in Picton
The John Howard walk returns
- Tom McIlroy reported, “Former prime minister John Howard has called on supporters of Tony Abbott to vote for the reelection of Malcolm Turnbull, warning the country needs stability.”: John Howard calls on Tony Abbott’s supporters to back Malcolm Turnbull.
- Matthew Doran reported, “Former prime minister John Howard has criticised independent Senator Nick Xenophon, likening him to former One Nation MP Pauline Hanson for his stance on free trade.”: Howard draws parallels between Xenophon, Hanson and Trump in SA electoral battle.