Ongoing coverage of the Australian election campaign for 2016.
Table of contents
(June 26, 2016) Day 50 – Dueling launches
Accusations of ABC bias
Has the ABC’s Chris Uhlmann strayed too far this time in supporting the Coalition? Has there been overall bias from the ABC toward the Coalition throughout the election campaign? Many think so and a change.org petition has been raised on the matter here: Stop the ABC Supporting the Coalition Election Campaign.
Labor launch, Queensland edition
Labor election costings
Herbert votes update
- The Age wrote, “Democracy can deliver harsh outcomes, but whoever is the victor, it should be remembered the policy platforms of each major party have strengths and weaknesses. The challenge for each voter is to determine which best suits their preferences, or priorities (as outlined to a degree in this paper today and online with Fairfax Media’s YourVote survey).”: Education is key to future wealth.
- The Sydney Morning Herald wrote, “Mr Turnbull has had barely nine months to set a stronger economic and fairer social path than his predecessor. That is not enough time to write him off.”: Why Malcolm Turnbull deserves his own mandate.
Indi votes update
The scare campaigns
-More to come
(June 25, 2016) Day 49 – The hobbling
Stopping SSM with a plebiscite
- Mark Kenny reported, “A secret push is under way within the Coalition party room to hobble any positive public vote in favour of same-sex marriage equality by giving conservative MPs and senators express permission to vote in Parliament against reform if their individual electorates had voted in a majority for “no”.”: Same-sex marriage: Secret moves within Coalition to hobble plebiscite.
- Paul Farrell reported, “Labor leader draws parallels with Brexit, saying David Cameron was forced to hold referendum by right wing of Tory party”: Marriage equality: Shorten says Turnbull held hostage by conservatives on plebiscite.
Grayndler votes update
- Guardian Australia reported, “Former prime minister says the Greens are aiding conservatives by reducing the ALP’s ability to form government”: Paul Keating slams Greens as self-serving ‘opportunists and Trots’.
- Adam Gartrell reported, “Federal police are refusing to release an uncensored version of the National Broadband Network letter that sparked its controversial media leak investigation, claiming it could endanger lives and threaten national security.”: AFP claims release of NBN documents could endanger national security.
- Dan Conifer reported, “Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has warned Australians against voting for a “weak” Malcolm Turnbull or a “divided” Liberal Party, as he attempts to capitalise on Britain’s vote to leave the European Union.”: Bill Shorten warns against ‘divided’ Liberal Party in wake of Brexit.
Bill Shorten says British Prime Minister David Cameron was “hostage to the right-wing.”
Vote for Coalition because of Brexit
Brisbane votes update
- Cameron Atfield reported, “The Labor Party has referred outgoing Liberal National MP Teresa Gambaro to the Australian Federal Police, just eight days out from the federal election, over revelations about the selection of her electorate office.”: Labor refers Gambaro, Evans to Australian Federal Police.
Higgins votes update
- Tony Wright reported, “Embattled Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer has taken the extraordinary step of forcing Twitter to dismantle a social media “joke” account that compares her election campaign in Higgins to the disastrous 2013 loss of Indi by fellow Liberal Sophie Mirabella.”: Under fire Kelly O’Dwyer scuttles Twitter joke while Peter Costello rushes to her aid.
Guardian Australia reported, “Galaxy Research poll shows Shorten may only pick up two marginal seats, despite devoting large part of campaign time to tight contests”: Labor suffers setback in fight for marginal seats in NSW and Queensland, poll suggests.
- Joshua Robertson reported, “Bellwether federal Queensland seat is a must-win for both Labor and the Coalition if they are to take government, and youth will be a big focus”: Down and out in Petrie, where young people need more than just promises.
Nationals fighting for influence
(June 24, 2016) Day 48 – Fire in the belly
Keating enters the fray
- Paul Karp reported, “Former PM refutes Coalition’s claims his tax cuts demonstrate wisdom of policy, saying reforms in the 1990s were paid for by broadening tax base”: Paul Keating criticises Coalition’s ‘unfunded’ $50bn company tax cut.
- Mark Di Stefano wrote, “If you open up the Australian Financial Review section today, there on the Letters page is a wonderful clapback from someone named “P J Keating, Sydney, NSW”.”: Paul Keating just dropped the perfect “Don’t verbal me dickhead” newspaper letter.
- Michael Koziol reported, “Former Labor prime minister Paul Keating has lashed out at suggestions he would support the Coalition’s corporate tax cuts, calling the $48 billion plan unaffordable.”: Paul Keating slams ‘unaffordable’ corporate tax cuts in fiery letter to editor.
Malcolm Turnbull responds to Paul Keating
- Gareth Hutchens and Paul Karp reported, “Prime minister says substantial superannuation savings will help to partly offset the lower taxes, and dismisses Paul Keating’s letter as political intervention”: Malcolm Turnbull reveals how Coalition will pay for part of $50bn tax cuts.
Silence over environment
- John Englart reported, “On Thursday 23rd June a host of eminent Australians called on the next Australian Government to declare a climate emergency. The call was made in an open letter published as a half page advertisement in The Age Newspaper.”: Eminent Australians climate emergency call met with political silence in #ausvotes.
- Lenore Taylor reported, “The uneasy truce between the PM and his party’s right on climate change and marriage equality is under threat, while the Brexit vote challenges his stability v chaos message.”: Mr Stability: Turnbull’s message rocked by real world ructions and party pressures.
- Gabrielle Chan reported, “Australian prime minister says Brexit win could cause a ‘shock’ that would require ‘strong economic leadership’ “: Malcolm Turnbull urges voters to back Coalition after UK referendum result.
Cowper votes – 50pc two-party preferred
- Anna Henderson reported, “Opposition Leader Bill Shorten is continuing to warn the Government plans to privatise Medicare, countering accusations of a scare campaign by claiming the Coalition’s plan is “scary”.”: ‘Put your hand on your heart’: Sales challenges Shorten on Medicare claim.
The Queensland swing
State of protest
- Jorge Branco reported, “Activists have climbed onto the roof of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s office to send a message about climate change and the Great Barrier Reef.”: Protesters climb on Peter Dutton’s office roof.
SSM plebiscite to be overridden by free vote
- Jane Norman reported, “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has confirmed Coalition MPs will be given a conscience vote on same-sex marriage, regardless of the outcome of a $160 million plebiscite.”: Malcolm Turnbull confirms MPs can vote against gay marriage regardless of plebiscite.
- Matthew Knott reported, “Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says Coalition MPs will be free to ignore the result of the public vote on same-sex marriage and follow their consciences after the national plebiscite.”: Same-sex marriage: Malcolm Turnbull says MPs will have free vote regardless of plebiscite.
Coalition renews attack on Dr Anne Aly
- Lydia Shelly wrote, “Michael Keenan clearly believes cheap political point scoring is more important than sustainable and effective solutions to serious social issues.”: Michael Keenan’s accusations of Anne Aly are an outrageous betrayal of his role.
- Paul Karp reported, “Labor candidate has ‘criticised our national security efforts’, foreign minister says, denying that the Coalition is engaging in Islamophobic dog whistling.”: Julie Bishop steps up attack on Anne Aly in ‘hate preacher’ row.
Indi votes updates
- Wayne Jansson reported, “The ABC Goulburn Murray, The Border Mail #Indivotes forum was held on Monday night at The Wangaratta Performing Arts Centre.”: Voters grill Cathy McGowan and Marty Corboy, Libs cry forum foul.
- Wayne Jansson reported, “As expected, #Indivotes got a whole lot more interesting with pre-polling, the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce even parachuted Mark Latham into the marginal seat.”: Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce parachutes Latham into #IndiVotes.
Gambaro was warned – Brisbane votes
- Cameron Atfield reported, “Outgoing Brisbane MP Teresa Gambaro went against departmental advice when she selected a new electorate office that was considered too expensive, poorly positioned and had insufficient disability access and visitor parking, documents released under Freedom of Information legislation have revealed.”: Gambaro ignored electorate office advice, FOI documents show.
Climate policy absence
- John Englart reported, “The High Court has found there is an implied right of political speech in the Australian Constitution, but that doesn’t stop the Liberal Party putting pressure for an inconvenient election billboard to be taken down.”: The Liberals have a missing climate policy, but don’t want you to know.
(June 23, 2016) Day 47 – Up on my soapbox
Naviphobia, the fear of boats continues
- James Massola reported, “Malcolm Turnbull has sharpened his attack on Bill Shorten’s asylum seeker policy, claiming people smugglers will use Labor’s plan to abolish temporary protection visas as a “marketing ploy” to resume their operations.”: Labor abolishing TPVs will be a ‘marketing ploy’ for people smugglers, says Malcolm Turnbull.
Fear of Dr Anne Aly – Cowan votes
- Dylan Caporn and Phoebe Wearne reported, “Justice Minister Michael Keenan has repeatedly refused to debate Labor’s candidate for Cowan Dr Anne Aly over claims he made about her support for counter terrorism policies.”: Michael Keenan won’t debate Labor candidate over terror claims.
- Brendan Foster reported, “Labor candidate and counter-terrorism expert Anne Aly has accused Federal Justice Minister Michael Keenan of running a smear campaign against her after he claimed she “supported” radical preacher Junaid Thorne be given a shorter jail term.”: Labor candidate Anne Aly claims Liberals running smear campaign against her.
Fear of union takeover
- Alice Workman reported, “The Department of Education has refused to provide access to modelling the department has done on the impact of fee deregulation on university students and the higher education sector.”: Government refuses to release secret modelling on Uni deregulation.
Julie “Thatcher” Bishop
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has misquoted former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher whilst singing the praises of NSW Premier Mike Baird and condemning Labor governments everywhere. In answering a question about the Baird Government’s surplus budget, Ms Bishop attributed to Mrs Thatcher the line, “The trouble with socialists (is) they eventually run out of other people’s money.”
According to the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, the nearest quote to this comes from a 1976 TV interview with Mrs Thatcher where she said, “Socialist governments traditionally do make a financial mess. They always run out of other people’s money.”
Tasmanian senate vote
- Adam Morton reported, “Nine days out, and Hobart is decked in a rainbow of election corflutes, for independent MP Andrew Wilkie, for his major party opponents and (in certain inner suburbs) for the Greens. But arguably the most visible posters are of a woman in a different race who, according to conventional wisdom, has no chance of winning.”: Lisa Singh could win a seat for Labor despite being dump.
Turnbull not committed to Cross-River rail
(June 22, 2016) Day 46 – What a whopper!
Stop the boats fear campaign re-starts
Newscorp and the Turnbull Government have reset their “Stop the Boats” fear crusade with just over two weeks remaining in the federal election campaign.
On Wednesday, The Daily Telegraph’s national political editor, Simon Benson, detailed an attempted Vietnamese asylum seeker boat arrival with the tabloid’s editor Christopher Dore claiming on the front page that people smugglers had re-started their trade due to the Australian election.
“The news comes as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday revealed people smugglers were using revelations Labor would provide a permanent home to 30,000 illegal arrivals in Australia as a marketing tool,” he wrote.
“Mr Turnbull’s intervention on the contentious issue follows The Daily Telegraph’s exposure last week that Labor would provide permanent settlement for the bulk of the 30,000 asylum seekers who arrived under the Rudd/Gillard government and are still awaiting processing in Australia.”
However, far from “re-starting” as the front page claims, in 2015, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton revealed that twenty boats had been turned back under under the Abbott-Turnbull Government’s Operation Sovereign borders policy.
No Fibs also covered the “Cash for turnbacks” scandal in mid-2015 in which alleged payments were made to people smugglers by the Australian Government to return asylum seekers to Indonesia. The government refused to comment to the media or at a special senate inquiry into the matter. The full blog of the saga is here, By hook or by crook – The #CashForTurnbacks scandal.
On Wednesday, after a longstanding policy of not discussing the government’s asylum seeker policy of Operation Sovereign Borders, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull revealed that Australian Border Force had encountered 28 attempted asylum seeker boats and refouled 734 people.
Also on Wednesday, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton confirmed that a Vietnamese boat had been intercepted in the Timor Sea with 21 on board. He admitted that the problem of people trying to reach Australia was ongoing.
“The issue of boats and people getting on boats and paying people smugglers that somehow it’s gone away, it’s just not the case,” he said.
Barnaby Joyce no show
- John Englart reported, “Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals candidate for New England, Barnaby Joyce, attended a lunchtime candidates forum in Tamworth, but was a no show for the Energy Futures Forum at Armidale in the evening of Tuesday 21 June. The New England electorate is a tight contest with former Independent MP Tony Windsor standing for election.”: Barnaby Joyce no show at Energy Futures Forum Armidale.
Mal flies into M1
Lucy Turnbull compromised
- Heath Aston and Jacob Saulwick reported, “Lucy Turnbull has rushed to distance herself from a $3000-a-head fundraiser in which the Liberal Party used her powerful state government-appointed job as part of the lure for party donors.”: Lucy Turnbull compromised after Liberal Party spruiks her apolitical state role at elite fundraiser.
- Brigid Andersen reported, “The businessman who chaired the Coalition’s 2013 Commission of Audit says the Opposition’s claims that the Government plans to privatise Medicare are a “gross misrepresentation”.”: Medicare privatisation claims a ‘gross misrepresentation’, Tony Shepherd says.
Aggression over ‘Invasion Day’
Anna Henderson reported, “A Liberal candidate has been caught out threatening violence against people who describe the European settlement of Australia as Invasion Day.”: ‘High five. In the face. With a chair’: Liberal candidate Ben Willis apologises for Invasion Day comments.
South Australia votes – Cory Bernardi
- Paul Karp reported, “Liberal senator attacks prime minister in blog post over comments Turnbull made on Q&A and says they have never discussed homophobia: Cory Bernardi furious Malcolm Turnbull ‘implied Coalition MPs are homophobic’.
- Josh Butler reported, “Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has denied he is a homophobe, claiming it was “unfortunate” that the Prime Minister had “appeased” people who said he was, and denied that Malcolm Turnbull had ever spoken to him about his views on LGBTI people.”: Cory Bernardi denies being homophobic, slams Turnbull for implying such.
- Josh Butler reported, “Scott Morrison, a straight white Christian male politician, claims he has experienced the same sort of “hatred and bigotry” which face LGBTI people striving for marriage equality.”: Scott Morrison, straight white man, says he has experienced bigotry for his same-sex marriage views.
- Stephen Dziedzic and Jane Norman reported, “Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has weighed into the debate over same-sex marriage, saying advocates for traditional marriage have also endured hatred and bigotry.”: Scott Morrison weighs in on gay marriage after Penny Wong comments.
- Rebecca Shaw wrote, “Scott Morrison has compared people disagreeing with his stance on same-sex marriage as being comparable to the bigotry that LGBTI people face. Comedian Rebecca Shaw takes us through a day in his life if this were true.”: A day in the life of Scott Morrison if he actually faced the same bigotry as LGBTI people.
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “The treasurer cites nuanced reports, partly critical and partly supportive of Labor’s policy, to claim it would be a ‘sledgehammer’ on the property market”: Scott Morrison is losing his negative gearing modelling war.
- James Massola and Jennifer Duke reported, “Labor’s proposed negative gearing changes could see property prices fall by up to 15 per cent and rents rise by 6 per cent, according to the worst-case scenarios in a new independent analysis.Under the best-case scenario, the new report by property analysts SQM Research states that Australian house prices would fall by a combined 4 per cent over 2018, 2019 and 2020 if Labor’s proposal to limit negative gearing is implemented.”: House prices to fall, rents to rise under Labor negative gearing policy.