Ongoing coverage of the Australian election campaign for 2016.
Table of contents
(July 1, 2016) Day 55 – Pre-polling day
Fisher votes update
- Kylie Bartholomew and Annie Gaffney reported, “There’s a new political era afoot for the electorate of Fisher on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast but the seat is still expected to remain safely in the hands of the LNP.”: Constituents grill Fisher candidates.
Greens in Higgins
Continuation of GP rebate freeze
- Mark Di Stefano reported, “In one of his final TV interviews of the long eight week election campaign, Malcolm Turnbull appears to have made a promise that doctors will not raise their fees.”: The PM promised you won’t pay more to go to the doctor and people are proving him wrong
‘Sticking to the plan’ plan
Peter Dutton links asylum seekers with terrorism
- Brisbane Times reported, “Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has linked asylum seekers with terrorism, insisting recent attacks overseas have made border security a key issue for voters at the election.”: Immigration Minister Peter Dutton links asylum seekers with terrorism.
ATO won’t change tax schedules for PM
- Peter Martin reported, “Tax cuts promised from Friday will fail to arrive for up to a year after the Tax Office confirmed it won’t be changing its tax schedules to accommodate the Prime Minister.”: Tax cuts for Australians earning more than $80,000 in limbo.
- Helen Dale wrote, “We’ve learnt from the Scottish referendum and Brexit how ugly and divisive national votes can become. For Australia’s sake, we should avoid a plebiscite”: We have to avoid an ugly marriage equality plebiscite. That means voting Labor.
National Disability Insurance Scheme
The polls – IPSOS
The polls – Galaxy
Julie Bishop phone driving
- Heath Aston reported, “Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has been caught on camera using her mobile phone while driving on a major arterial road in central Perth.”: Julie Bishop caught using mobile phone while driving campaign car in Perth.
Liberal Party Director, Mr Tony Nutt
(June 30, 2016) Day 54 – Maturity in politics
Malcolm Turnbull’s plan to change politics
- Michael Slezak reported, “As election day approaches, green groups are making one last push in the prime minister’s wealthy electorate, hoping to find leverage among the ‘small l liberals’”: Battle for Wentworth: activists rub salt in Turnbull’s climate change-induced wounds.
- Mark Kenny wrote, “Malcolm Turnbull will appeal to Australian voters on Thursday to stick together, stick to what they know and stick with the Coalition for another term of government.”: Malcolm Turnbull’s final message to undecided: stick with me.
No Fibs editorial
- Margo Kingston wrote, “Gonski decided it for me. Such a hard-won consensus to end the State-Private war and embed instead a funding system based on need.. Giving every child the best chance we can to succeed is an economic investment, proof of Australia’s commitment to egalitarianism and insurance against the two nations phenomenon threatening revolution in the UK and the United States.”: The No Fibs #ausvotes editorial.
Nick Xenophon team update
- Natalie Whiting reported, “New polling suggests the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) could snatch lower house seats from the Coalition at Saturday’s election, as well as claiming several Senate spots.”: Poll suggests Nick Xenophon Team could take lower house seats in SA.
Don’t vote invalid, kids.
- Melissa Davey reported, “Former chief of staff to Tony Abbott says many people lack ‘the fundamental building blocks’ of how democracy works, despite having more ways than ever get informed”: Peta Credlin: young people who cast informal votes have ‘no right to moan’.
Higgins votes update
- Mark Hawthorne reported, “Now embattled Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer faces claims she has used a “fake family” in campaign material distributed in the once safe Liberal seat of Higgins, where she is facing a tough campaign from Greens candidate Jason Ball.”: First there was a ‘fake tradie. Now meet the ‘fake family’ of Higgins.
The final FactCheck
Jobson Groath update
Dawson votes update
- Luke Mortimer reported, “CONTROVERSIAL and anything but politically correct, Australian Liberty Alliance Senate candidate for Queensland Bernard Gaynor certainly knows how to kick up a stink.
The Catholic anti-Islamic campaigner, who rallies against same-sex marriage, an Australian republic, foreign aid spending and Halal certification, stopped by Mackay recently.
At the Mackay Show his stall racked up a noticeable amount of attention – Dawson MP George Christensen even stopped by for a chat – and, according to Mr Gaynor, some voting advice.”: ‘I explained how George Christensen could vote for ALA in the Senate’.
Where they visited
Griffith votes update
Tony Abbott updates
- Helen Davidson reported, ” ‘A lot of big issues have been touched on without really being developed,’ former PM says”: National security has been ignored, says Tony Abbott.
- SBS News reported, “Tony Abbott says he is comfortable with who he is and what he has achieved, dismissing negative media reports as “dirty water under the bridge”.”: ‘I know who I am’: Abbott tells critics.
- Caitlyn Gribbin reported, “Former prime minister Tony Abbott has weighed into the resurfaced election campaign issue of marriage equality, claiming Australians will feel “ripped off” if MPs refuse to back legislation to allow a plebiscite on same-sex marriage in Parliament.”: Tony Abbott says voters would feel ‘ripped off’ if MPs went against plebiscite result.
- James Massola reported, “A close confidant and ally of Tony Abbott has advised the former prime minister to stay in public life and suggested Malcolm Turnbull should appoint him Australia’s next high commissioner in London.”: Send Tony Abbott to London, says ally of former PM.
New England votes update
(June 29, 2016) Day 53 – Coalition crackdown
Coalition to go after welfare
Pensioners won’t be exempt from a welfare crackdown. Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann yesterday released the Coalition’s policy costings with a sudden $2.3 billion saving from the welfare system. Mr Morrison told ABC 730 that he had found the money because of new technology.
“Well, we had already announced measures both in the last MYEFO and last year’s budget which had identified additional ways to ensure that debts were being repaid. And as the technology’s improved we’re learning even more ways to do this,” he said.
- Gabrielle Chan and Lenore Taylor reported, “Coalition unlikely to win minor party and independent backing for superannuation and family benefit changes or company tax cuts, a Guardian Australia survey shows”: Malcolm Turnbull’s tax cuts and savings likely to face Senate roadblock.
- Emily Brooks reported, “Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann delivered the final costings of the election campaign in Canberra on Tuesday afternoon, revealing the Coalition’s $1.2 billion in spending announcements during the campaign would be allocated in $2.3 billion of savings measures. Both are figures projected over the next four years.”: Coalition save $1.1 billion in election costings with welfare crackdown.
- Gareth Hutchens and Gabrielle Chan reported, “Scott Morrison says savings will offset announced extra spending over past few weeks and budget bottom line will be $1.1bn better over next four years”: Welfare and pension crackdown will reap $2bn over four years, says Coalition.
- Michelle Grattan reported, “A A$2 billion welfare crackdown is the main contributor to new savings announced by the government to improve the budget by $1.1 billion across the forward estimates.”: Coalition squeezes welfare lemon again.
Lucy Turnbull fundraiser
- Heath Aston reported, “The Liberal Party’s grovelling apology to Lucy Turnbull has cost much more than just embarrassment.”: Lucy Turnbull fundraiser debacle costs Liberal Party $40,000.
Malcolm Turnbull, Captain Cranky
Julie Bishop gold-standard
- Mark Kenny wrote, “In Chess, the Bishop is prized for its capacity to move as far as needed, “but only diagonally” meaning it is dangerous to the other side without rivalling its King or Queen. The rules state that “each bishop starts on one colour and must always stay on that colour”.”: Julie Bishop: The Coalition’s gold-standard electoral asset and just as lethal.
Queensland wins tablecloth award
Julie Bishop denies attacking Dr Anne Aly
Federal corruption commission
- Stephen Dziedzic reported, “Labor Leader Bill Shorten has opened the door to establishing a federal corruption watchdog in the wake of the Eddie Obeid scandal.”: Bill Shorten open to establishing federal anti-corruption body in wake of Eddie Obeid scandal.
Antony Green’s election calculator
Antony Green’s election calculator allows you to apply recent polls to the seats to gauge the predicted outcome.
National recycling scheme
Jobs and growth
- ABC News reported, “The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) has lodged a dispute with the Fair Work Commission, alleging the CSIRO has unfairly tried to cut jobs in areas like climate science.”: CPSU steps up campaign against CSIRO job cuts.
Out of context
The Malcolm Turnbull Show
- Dan Conifer reported, “Oprah. Ellen. Jerry. The queens and kings of daytime talk shows are known universally by one name only. But they might soon have another among their ranks: Malcolm.”: The Malcolm Turnbull Show joins the ranks of daytime talk shows.
- Matthew Knott reported, “Malcolm Turnbull has often been unkindly accused of liking the sound of his own voice. But over the past eight weeks the Prime Minister has worked hard to show a different side of himself: Malcolm the listener.”: Malcolm Turnbull unleashes his inner Dr Phil on campaign trail.
(June 28, 2016) Day 52 – Immigration matters
Border Force & immigration failures
- Nine News Brisbane reported, “Allegations of corruption in the immigration department are serious and must be investigated, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop says.”: Visa fraud must be investigated: Bishop.
- Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker reported, “Sydney-based US Air Force personnel, Australian Border Force officials and Commonwealth-licensed customs brokers are suspected to have joined international crime syndicates involved in smuggling illicit goods into the country.”: US airmen, Border Force members allegedly join crime gangs involved in smuggling.
- Paul Farrell, Nick Evershed and Bridie Jabour reported, “Documents reveal IHMS, contracted for health services for asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus, failed to meet medical targets”: Immigration department failed to properly oversee healthcare provider, reviews show.
Not a lot of policies
- Lenore Taylor reported, “Both the Coalition and Labor have kept very quiet about a long list of policies, putting them in the too-hard basket.”: Plenty of noise about jobs and growth and Medicare, but deathly silence on so much else.
Trust in politicians
- Katie Burgess reported, “Adversarial politics has eaten away at Australians’ trust in democracy, with more and more voters breaking away from the major parties, a survey has revealed.”: Australians’ trust in politicians hits two-decade low.
Menzies votes update
- Richard Willingham reported, “The fundraising body supporting veteran Victorian Liberal MP Kevin Andrews received a $10,000 donation from the powerful NSW pokies lobby last year.”: ClubsNSW donated $10,000 to Kevin Andrews’ Victorian-based Menzies 200 club last year.
Cowper votes update
- Heath Aston reported, “Coalition strategists appear to have hit the panic button in the NSW seat of Cowper, mobilising Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in an attempt to protect former National Party minister Luke Hartsuyker against the late challenge by the independent.”: Coalition panics at possible return of Rob Oakeshott in seat of Cowper, deploys Malcolm Turnbull.
- Paul Karp reported, “Opposition leader’s remarks suggest the party would block any bill to enable a plebiscite, in the event that it lost the federal election”: Labor will not accept marriage equality deal if it loses election, Shorten says.
- Michael Koziol reported, “A split has emerged in the Coalition over how MPs would vote in the wake of a successful plebiscite on same-sex marriage, with several intending to abstain or vote in line with their electorate rather than the nation.”: Coalition MPs split on response to same-sex marriage plebiscite.
- Lucy Carter reported, “A number of women have contacted the ABC to say Liberal Party election campaign material sent to their home addresses has changed their surnames to match the man they live with.”: Liberal Party letters change women’s surnames to match their male housemate.
- Peter Hannam reported, “As Australians prepare to vote in federal election, the country’s environmental challenges are only increasing. Here are five key charts.”: Australia’s environmental peril revealed in five charts.
- Lenore Taylor reported, “Labor leader says Malcolm Turnbull’s ‘radical’ economic plan ignores the real lessons of Britain’s vote to leave the EU”: Bill Shorten: Coalition’s ‘trickle-down economics’ risks Brexit-style alienation.
- Peter Martin reported, “In budgeting it’s known as the magic asterisk, the get-out-of-jail-free card. If it looks as though you’ll be in the red, you simply add in a figure for general unspecified savings and, magically, your problem’s solved.”: Coalition uses get-out-of-jail-free card to fix its costings.
- Lenore Taylor reported, “The Coalition suddenly retrieves welfare savings from the back of the couch and Bill Shorten adds a postscript to his final pitch at the National Press Club”: At election campaign’s 11th hour, sneaky tactics trump credible arguments.
Banking Royal Commission
- Georgina Mitchell reported, “A royal commission into banks is back on the agenda in the dying days of the election campaign, after whistleblower Jeff Morris asked about the issue on national television.”: Q&A: Liberal Mathias Cormann faces grilling for avoiding Royal Commission into banks.
Apprentice numbers slump
- Heath Aston reported, “The number of apprentices across Australia has plunged since the Coalition took office, government figures show, with some of the steepest falls occurring in high-unemployment marginal seats still up for grabs at Saturday’s election.”: Apprentice numbers slump in key marginal seats, government figures reveal.
Truth in politics
Warringah votes update
- James Robertson reported, “While political operatives are focusing intently on the country’s most marginal seats, excitable chatter is mounting about one of its safest: former prime minister Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah.”: Tony Abbott tipped for a scare in Warringah.
The Queensland swing
- Joshua Robertson reported, “Predictions in Queensland are changing daily, with ALP polling showing 10 seats on margins of less than 2%, but the Coalition is playing down prospects of an upset”: Labor seeks to exploit the Turnbull factor in perennial swing state of Queensland.
Petrie votes update
New England votes update
- Fergus Hunter reported, “Independent candidate Tony Windsor says he is seeking legal advice over a front-page newspaper story that alleged he was a schoolyard bully, as the hard-fought campaign for New England gets increasingly personal.”: Tony Windsor calls in lawyers over bullying claims.
(June 27, 2016) Day 51 – Porous borders
Crims puncture border security
A joint investigation by Fairfax and ABC 730 has revealed allegations of corruption and a cash-for-visa racket inside the Immigration Department. Criminal gangs and people smugglers are engaging in a national scam of student and work visas charging clients up to $50,000 in cash.
Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, Michael Pezzullo, has referred 132 cases over the past 12 months to the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, the highest ever.
While the Coalition was focussed on asylum seeker boats, the borders became increasingly porous for criminals. Former immigration investigations head, Joseph Petyanszki, told Fairfax that, “”fear mongering” on refugees and asylum seekers has been used to deflect attention from the real problems in the immigration system.”
The scandal has prompted Senator Nick Xenophon to call for a review of immigration law enforcement and the introduction of a national corruption body similar to New South Wales’ Independent Commission Against Corruption.
- Fergus Hunter reported, “Labor is demanding answers from the Turnbull government over revelations crime syndicates and people smugglers are rorting the visa system on a grand scale, potentially with the help of allegedly corrupt immigration officers.”: Labor demands answers on ‘appalling, astounding’ Border Force claims.
- Nick McKenzie reported, “Australian immigration officials have been referred for investigation over more than 100 cases of alleged corrupt activity in Australia’s skilled and student visa program.”: Corruption and widespread rorting ‘undermining Australia’s immigration programs’.
- Nick McKenzie reported, “A prominent member of Melbourne’s Indian community said he knew of at least 40 Indians who had paid large cash sums to obtain fake skilled and student visas in an effort to get permanent residency.”: Visa scammer caught on hidden camera as department refers cases to corruption watchdog.
- Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker reported, “Crime syndicates and people smugglers are involved in widespread rorting of Australia’s work and student visa programs, according to whistleblowers and a former top immigration official.”: Corruption and crime syndicates threaten Australia’s border security.
Mayo votes update – Jamie Briggs refuses to speak to ABC
NSW Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells hides in bathroom
- Mark Di Stefano reported, “Liberal senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells fled the venue of the Coalition’s official campaign launch on Sunday after being confronted by BuzzFeed News with questions about the recent mass departure of staff from her office.”: This senator hid in a bathroom for 10 minutes while we tried to ask her questions.
New England votes update
- Gabrielle Chan reported, “Nationals’ state director says Windsors expressing ‘faux outrage’ over advertisement he says is tongue in cheek”: Tony Windsor demands Nationals apologise to wife over ‘gutter’ attack ad.
Battlefield Qld – Seat of Lilley
Tangentially affected by SSM
- Paul Karp reported, “Former prime minister also backs Brexit, saying vote was ‘a reaffirmation of the nation’s determination to decide’ on immigration”: John Howard calls for laws to protect those ‘tangentially affected’ by same-sex marriage.
- Sky News Australia reported, “Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has told Sky News he intends to take the view of his constituency when it comes to a parliamentary vote on marriage equality.”: MPs ‘crazy’ to ignore plebiscite will: Ciobo.
Bill in Victoria
Mal in South Australia
- John Englart reported, “Still undecided after several weeks of the election campaign? Are you confused on policies? Do you have a pet issue that may influence your vote? I might have just the election issue scorecard to help you decide.”: 2016 Election Scorecards for #Ausvotes to help you decide.
Antony Green prepares
Raytheon awarded big defence contract
Newspoll – 51pc to Coalition
- Gareth Hutchens reported, “Election 2016: government’s primary vote rises to a 14-week high in boost for Malcolm Turnbull in campaign’s final week”: Coalition support jumps to 51% over Labor’s 49%, according to Newspoll.