Monday, 30 November 2009

Hockey favourite but still backable

The bookmakers on Friday had Joe Hockey paying $1.50 for a $1 to be leader of the Liberal Party when the next federal election is held. At midday today he was $1.35 at Centrebet, which would be stealing money if you believed the almost unanimous predictions by the press gallery pundits that Malcolm Turnbull will be ousted at tomorrow’s party meeting.
Clearly some people still have their doubts about what will happen and I am in that category. I cannot believe that an ambitious man such as Joe Hockey would offer himself up for sacrifice to appease people whose views he does not agree with. Still, sensible people have done silly things in the past. Just look at Turnbull. He was stupid enough to challenge Brendan Nelson for the job in the first place.
While the bookmakers are offering prices about other candidates as well, if there is a party room ballot tomorrow there will only be three contenders. Taking out the profit margin provides the followingCrikey Liberal Leader Election Indicator:

Tomorrow's other big meeting

 The board of the Reserve Bank will meet tomorrow to decide if there should be any further change in official interest rates and opinions are almost evenly divided between no change and a quarter of one per cent rise.

The ABC gets serious

First day today for the ABC’s new written word political correspondent. Annabel Crabb leaves behind theSydney Morning Herald to provide her commentary on the ABC News website where I am sure she will continue to be amusing while having more scope to show that she is a first-rate political analyst as well as a humourist.

Tiger Woods a clear world winner

Readers of internet news sites around the world have no doubt about what is the biggest news story of the day. Forget about Iran and nuclear weapons, US health-care proposals, more troops for Afghanistan and the new financial crisis caused by Dubai — Tiger Woods and his relationship with his wife is a clear winner.
On radio, television, newspapers and the internet, this is surely the most covered minor traffic accident in history. And the people are lapping it up. This what I found in the last hour as I surveyed those “Most Popular” reports on internet news sites:
  • BBC News — a Tiger Woods story the most read
  • ABC News Australia — most read
  • New Zealand Herald — most read
  • The Times, London — second most read after leading yesterday
  • The Guardian, London — most viewed
  • USA Today — most read
  • Globe and Mail, Canada — most viewed
  • Washington Post — most read
  • New York Times — most searched
  • Melbourne Age, Australia — most read
  • Sydney Morning Herald, Australia — most read
  • Times of India — second most read

And what interests the people?

Readers of internet news sites around the world have no doubt about what is the biggest news story of the day. Forget about Iran and nuclear weapons, US health care proposals, more troops for Afghanistan and the new financial crisis caused by Dubai - Tiger Woods and his relationship with his wife is a clear winner.
On radio, television, newspapers and the internet, this is surely the most covered minor traffic accident in history. And the people are lapping it up.

This what I found in the last hour as I surveyed those "Most Popular" reports on internet news sites:
BBC News - a Tiger Woods story the most read
ABC News Australia - most read
New Zealand Herald - most read
The Times, London - second most read after leading yesterday
The Guardian, London - most viewed
USA Today - most read
Globe and Mail, Canada - most viewed
Washington Post - most read
New York Times - most searched
Melbourne Age, Australia - most read
Sydney Morning Herald, Australia - most read
Times of India - second most read

What the pollsters say - Labor in a landslide

Monday 30 November 2009 - Three national opinion polls in the last three days and all of them are again showing Labor would win an election in a landslide.

Newspoll - Labor 57% Coalition 43%
Nielsen - Labor 56% Coalition 44%
Morgan - Labor 58.5% Coalition 43.5%

And as for our own little poll, there might only have been 26 respondents but the median prediction of where Newspoll would put the parties was 58%.

Media wrap - The overwhelming media prediction is that Turnbull has had it



Go Joe: voters back Hockey – After a weekend of extreme pressure to challenge for the leadership of the Liberal Party, Joe Hockey last night succumbed and is expected to challenge Malcolm Turnbull tomorrow as a poll shows he is more liked than the Opposition Leader. Two-thirds of voters also want Australia to have an emissions trading scheme. The latest Herald/Nielsen poll finds Mr Hockey is preferred by 36 per cent of voters as the Liberal leader. Mr Turnbull has the backing of 32 per cent and Tony Abbott has 20 per cent – Sydney Morning Herald

Joe Hockey set to take on Malcolm Turnbull – Joe Hockey is expected to announce today he will contest tomorrow's Liberal leadership ballot under a deal allowing the Liberals to crush Kevin Rudd's hope of a pre-Copenhagen deal on climate change. Expectations that Mr Hockey would agree to challenge came as a Newspoll conducted for The Australian on the weekend revealed a stunning eight-percentage-point collapse in the Opposition Leader's rating among voters. Newspoll two party vote Labor 57 Coalition 43 – The Australian

Hockey ready for leadership of divided party – Joe Hockey is poised to run for the Liberal top job tomorrow, despite Malcolm Turnbull insisting he had the shadow treasurer's ''complete support'' – Melbourne Age

No place for Julie Bishop in Hockey's cabinet – Julie  Bishop is expected to stand aside as deputy Liberal leader for Peter Dutton in the event of Joe Hockey securing the leadership because of a troubled relationship between her and Mr Hockey. But she could survive if Mr Hockey fails to contest the leadership, her supporters arguing that she could help balance Tony Abbott's image with female voters – The Australian

Bunkered-down Malcolm Turnbull to fight until the bitter end -  Insiders say Malcolm Turnbull is determined to see his climate change fight through to the bitter end, although he could end up with fewer than 20 votes if he follows through with threats to contest a ballot against Joe Hockey. It would be a closer affair against Tony Abbott, prompting senior figures to warn last night that a close result or even a win by a few votes would be "catastrophic" for the party – The Australian

Three men aiming to be top dog for the Libs – The weekend of the three Liberal contestants – The Australian

Party heavies turn against Turnbull – The Liberal Party is preparing for a new and untested leadership team of Joe Hockey and Peter Dutton in a desperate gamble to prevent an election rout – Melbourne Herald Sun


Kevin Rudd considers double dissolution election over CPRS – Voters are one step closer to a double dissolution election, with the Government weighing its options if its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill is defeated again – Brisbane Courier Mail

Fed-up cops will vote for change – Rank and file police officers plan to turn their backs on the Brumby Labor government at the next election.  An independent survey of more than 2000 officers commissioned by the Police Association shows support for Labor is at dismal levels. Only 9 per cent of those surveyed will vote Labor, although almost half believe Labor will retain power – Melbourne Herald Sun

Greens name election hopes – The executive director of the Nature Conservation Council, Cate Faehrmann, and the Mayor of Byron Bay, Jan Barham, are set to become state MPs for the Greens after winning preselection at the weekend – Sydney Morning Herald


Rudd's approval rating slips but his scheme wins voters – Two thirds of Australian voters back the introduction of an emissions trading scheme - the very policy that is tearing down Malcolm Turnbull's leadership. A majority of voters, 57 per cent, also support the Government calling an early election if the scheme is blocked. Nielsen puts the two party vote at Labor 56 to Liberal 44 with Rudd’s approval rating down two points to 66.

Malcolm Turnbull pays the price for mayhem - His standing in the latest Newspoll as preferred prime minister has dropped to a record low of 14 per cent against Kevin Rudd, and he is being out-pointed by Joe Hockey as preferred Liberal leader. When those surveyed were asked who was the best person to lead the Liberal Party, 33 per cent chose Mr Hockey, while Mr Turnbull received 30 per cent support and Mr Abbott was backed by 19 per cent. When voters were asked who they preferred of the two declared candidates - Mr Turnbull and Mr Abbott - the support was evenly split, 42 per cent for Mr Turnbull and 41 per cent for Mr Abbott.  Two party preferred Labor 57 Coalition 43 – The Australian

Half want a delay on ETS – Australians want to tackle climate change. They endorse emissions trading as a solution, but want to put off a decision on this emissions trading scheme until next year. The Nielsen poll finds confusion and division in the community on the hottest political topic of our time. But the division is most intense among Coalition supporters, spelling big trouble for their next leader – Melbourne Age

Opposition pushes ahead of Labor in key areas – Public confidence in the Rees Labor Government has plunged to such lows that the Coalition has forged ahead in the public's perceptions of how it would handle almost every single policy area, a Herald/Nielsen poll found last weekend – Sydney Morning Herald


Barack Obama to push Kevin Rudd for more troops – Kevin Rudd could be asked to send more Australian troops to Afghanistan when he meets President Barack Obama at the White House tomorrow. The Prime Minister was forced on the defensive yesterday, after a report that much of the discussion between Mr Rudd and Mr Obama on Afghanistan would focus on whether Australia could contribute additional troops to the eight-year war – The Australian

Economic matters

Historic rate boost – Economists expect the Reserve Bank to make history tomorrow by raising official interest rates for the third month running, despite a warning from the Federal Treasurer that companies are set to slash spending – Melbourne Herald Sun

Political life

Michelle Chantelois reveals she wants her hubby back – Michelle Chantelois has revealed she wants to reunite with her estranged husband - a week after accusing Premier Mike Rann of having a sexual affair. In her first interview since alleging on television she had an affair with Mr Rann, Ms Chantelois said she was taking steps to rebuild her life and relationships. She is now in Queensland with her 11-year-old son to protect him from the spotlight, she told The Adelaide Advertiser.

South Australian Premier Mike Rann plans to sue over tryst claims – The woman who claimed she had an affair with South Australian Premier Mike Rann four years ago has hit back over his denials of the tryst. A spokeswoman for Mr Rann emphasised that the Premier was pursuing defamation action. "The Premier has no intention of dignifying these repeat allegations with a reply," she said – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Political lurks and perks

Michael Johnson investigated over use of Commonwealth carQueensland federal MP Michael Johnson is at the centre of a federal investigation into the use of his taxpayer-funded Commonwealth car. As Liberal Party infighting continued yesterday, it was revealed Mr Johnson was being investigated over the use of his taxpayer-funded Toyota Aurion. A "furious" Liberal Party Chief Whip Alex Somlyay yesterday said he had ordered the vehicle be returned to Canberra when he heard Mr Johnson's wife had been driving it – Brisbane Courier Mail

Health and hospitals

Queensland hospital beds fail to keep pace with populationQueensland health authorities have responded to booming population growth with just one extra hospital bed for every 13,553 new residents. The abysmal planning failure is exposed in state and federal health figures analysed by The Courier-Mail.


Political gift bill labelled sexist – Developers have stepped up their attacks on legislation banning developers from donating to political parties, complaining the new law is sexist and violates people's civil rights. In letters to members of the Opposition and Government, the developer lobby group Urban Taskforce says a bill just introduced into Parliament by the Premier, Nathan Rees, authorises discrimination against people ''who have done no wrong other than to marry someone involved in the property development industry'' – Sydney Morning Herald


Transport vision ready, but not the billions – The NSW Government is due to hand down its ambitious 25-year transport blueprint this week, outlining a priority list of at least 10 road and rail projects valued at more than $50 billion, along with controversial options such as a congestion tax – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

Aboriginal heritage law 'threaten projects' – Councils and developers are struggling to comply with new laws protecting Aboriginal culture, trade routes and even insects from development activity – Adelaide Advertiser


Turnbull overplays his hand with rival – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald writes that after agonising over the weekend, Joe Hockey is inclining towards standing for the leadership of the Liberal Party tomorrow, with the blessing of his wife, Melissa Babbage. This would set him on an excruciating course; the conventional political wisdom is he should bide his time for an easier, post-election turn at the leadership. But he told colleagues yesterday he would not sit back and preserve his own prospects by avoiding his responsibility as the party's leadership favourite.

Liberals floundering in chaos – Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Age sees the Liberal Party as a madhouse. Malcolm Turnbull amazed even the Turnbull sceptics by his wild performance yesterday. Turnbull unleashed appeared to many Liberals Turnbull unhinged, as he vented his considerable capacity for wrath against Senate leader Nick Minchin, now cast as the devil by his leader but quite popular in party ranks. Turnbull would have better stayed in bed, rather than appear with Laurie Oakes. His support went further backwards.

If Joe wins, he loses and caves in to Neanderthals – Malcolm Farr in the Sydney Daily Telegraph writes that Joe Hockey knows that to stand for and probably win the Liberal leadership tomorrow would mean he would see little of Ignatius, or four-year old Xavier or two-year-old Adelaide, during the coming election year. Taking the leadership would also almost certainly mean making a compromise in his views on the need for an ETS - and a surrender to people who some around Hockey refer to as “the Neanderthals” - and in his support for Turnbull. Hockey had only two options: back Turnbull all the way; or stand himself with an ETS policy tailored to the demands of people in the party he had argued against for months. All that sacrifice - family, party, principle - to fight an election which from this vantage point the Coalition is set to lose.

It's all over for defiant leader – says Steve Lewis in the Melbourne Herald Sun. Malcolm Turnbull is now Liberal Party leader in name only.

Malcolm and the mincer – Paul Sheehan in the Sydney Morning Herald becomes another journalist to have a flexible view of private conversations as he writes of having dinner with Nick Minchin back in August

Can the Liberals survive the heat? – Alexander Downer in the Adelaide Advertiser remembers that the Liberal Party lost the 2007 election partly because the public did not think it cared enough about climate change.

Joe Hockey's political hot potato – Nick Greiner’s advice to Joe Hockey: "No for the party. No for him." What I mean by that is if you want to be the leader of a party then you must have a chance of winning. And if you have a chance of winning you should run. But you have to run on your own terms. Margaret Thatcher would not have run on a platform in defence of unionism" – Glenn Milne in The Australian

Kingmaker Howard gives Hockey his blessing – writes Tony Wright in the Melbourje Age

Party facing no-win situation as it grapples with carbon conundrum – Lenore Taylor in The Australian writes that the  Liberal Party has run out of good options. Even less-bad options are looking thin. The refusal of the right wing to accept the 49-46 partyroom decision in favour of the ETS deal and Malcolm Turnbull's utter determination not to bow to their demands, even as his party falls apart around him leave only potentially disastrous choices. If Joe Hockey takes the leadership, it would be after agreeing to delay a vote on the emissions trading bills until next year – The Australian

A good deal, so cool the hot airThe Australian in its editorial argues: Come next month, as the world negotiates some form of agreement about greenhouse reductions, it is absurd to think, as some in the Coalition appear to do, that we can stand aloof. Healthy scepticism is one thing. Risking Australia doing nothing in the face of international consensus is another. It shows bad judgment. A case exists for delaying the Rudd government's legislation until after the Copenhagen conference, when it will be clearer what other nations will do. But the bill, as amended after five weeks' intense negotiations with the Coalition, is as good a deal for business and farmers as they are likely to get.

After the tumult, Libs get back on track – Dennis Shanahan in The Australian writes that after a tumultuous two weeks, the leadership and policy of the Liberal Party appears on track to match the sentiment of the Liberal Party faithful. Joe Hockey is set to replace Malcolm Turnbull, but based on a policy of voting against the ETS until after the Copenhagen climate conference next month.

Power giants crying foul? What a joke! - A carbon tax would be a fairer system instead of Rudd's flawed plan writes Kenneth Davidson in the Melbourne Age.

A real review would broaden the fight against corruption - An independent body to monitor integrity would be good for Victoria writes Colleen Lewis in the Melbourne Age

From case to cause of child abuse - To avoid subjecting more children to the trauma of removal from neglectful families, the root causes need to be tackled argues Dorothy Scott in the Melbourne Age

Interest rates are sure to rise, but probably not yet – writes Michael Stutchbury in The Australian


NSW rejigs model for $6bn sale of state power assets – The $6 billion NSW power privatisation will be restructured in a bid to bring more electricity traders into the state and increase competition in the market. NSW Treasurer Eric Roozendaal will today seek approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to offer the trading rights of the privatisation in five tranches, rather than the originally planned three blocks – The Australian

Bye-bye to Dubai – Investors are expected to continue their retreat to safer areas this week after doubts emerged about the willingness of Gulf state Abu Dhabi to help rescue its neighbour, Dubai, from its debt crisis. After a weekend of silence because of a religious festival, pressure will build on it today to detail its plan to delay debt repayments and indicate whether oil-rich Abu Dhabi has expressed a willingness to underwrite its unpaid loans – Melbourne Age


Record month of heat and rainMelbourne is all but guaranteed to post its hottest November on record, in a month of strange weather that has produced above-average rainfall – Melbourne Age

Senate in a spin as carbon debate rages – The Senate will resume debating the Federal Government's emissions trading legislation this morning, but Labor strategists concede they cannot force a vote before the Liberal Party leadership contest is resolved tomorrow – Melbourne Age

Family power bills up $400 – Electricity prices in NSW will soar by a staggering 60 per cent over the next three years, adding more than $400 to the average household power bill. And Kevin Rudd's plan to cut greenhouse gases would account for 50 per cent of the increase, according to a secret report with the State Government – Sydney Daily Telegraph


Third consecutive win for Seven network – The Seven Network has won the 2009 ratings year, its third consecutive win. It won the year on the back of sustained success for drama Packed To The Rafters, which maintained the same audience average as last year (1.9 million viewers) and its news and current affairs slate as well as dominance of the observational documentary genre – The Australian


Social engineering

Children's program does fat lot of good – A national children's activity program that has already snared more than $200 million of public money is proving an expensive flop, according to experts who say children who take part are doing barely more exercise overall than non-participants – The Australian

Aged care

Aged care goes from bad to worse – Aged care has deteriorated in Victoria over the past two years, with some nurses looking after 47 elderly people at a time at nursing homes, compared to 39 in 2007 – Melbourne Age


Human rights call to change laws on apostasy – Changing apostasy laws that mandate penalising or even killing people who convert away from a religion is one of the top priorities for interfaith, according to a human rights specialist – Melbourne Age

The house

A land where dwelling size and social status count - According to official data to be released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the average floor space of new free-standing houses last financial year hit a record 245.3sq m. Australia also topped the list for all new houses, which includes apartments and other dwellings, with an average size of 214.6sq m. By contrast, the average size of new houses in the US in the September quarter was 201.5sq m – The Australian

The drink

Drunk mob chaos on party stripDarwin’s party strip was closed down after hundreds of drunk patrons spilled into the street yesterday morning. Several people were arrested when about 300 partygoers on Mitchell St refused to disperse just after Discovery Nightclub closed about 4am – Northern Territory News

Schoolies Week to stay despite 'worst ever' class of 2009 – Premier Anna Bligh has ruled out scrapping the controversial Schoolies festival despite police branding the class of 2009 the worst behaved yet. There were record arrests during the first week of the event. Gold Coast Mayor Ron Clarke has described Schoolies as a blight on the tourist city, and residents and business leaders have called for the festival to be abandoned. But Ms Bligh said yesterday Schoolies would "really get out of hand" if the Government stopped providing organised entertainment and emergency services, a "safety response" costing taxpayers more than $1 million a year – Brisbane Courier Mail

The drugs

Sydney's killer drugs on the dancefloor – The head of one Australia's largest emergency departments said his ward was more like a private social and meteorological barometer. He can tell if it is going to be a busy night just by the weather. He can also detect whether a dance festival is in town – Sydney Daily Telegraph

The punt

Punters can join post office queue – Punters will be able to use their local Australia Post office to deposit and withdraw money from their Tabcorp betting accounts under a controversial new partnership which has outraged problem-gambling counsellors and anti-gambling campaigners – Sydney Morning Herald

Real estate

Shortage of premises means big rent risesSydney rents are set to climb more than 21 per cent over the next three years, the forecasting group BIS Shrapnel says – Sydney Morning Herald


30 charged over car defect racket – Thirty people have been charged after police smashed two rackets involving car enthusiasts and hoons paying public servants to wipe clean their driving records. An eight-month Anti-Corruption Branch inquiry has resulted in 144 bribery and corruption-related offences being laid against 30 people four of them customer services officers in the Transport Department – Adelaide Advertiser

Is this news?

'Smart State' Queenslanders among least tertiary educated – Fewer Queenslanders have a tertiary education than their counterparts in most other states and territories, making a mockery of the Smart State mantra. Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that while the proportion of Australians with a bachelor degree or above has increased over the past eight years from 17 per cent of the population to 23 per cent, Queensland is lagging well behind the national average – Brisbane Courier Mail

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Media wrap - The morning's polls support the punters in making Joe Hockey favourite



Malcolm Turnbull stance cops a poll axing – Malcolm Turnbull's hopes of fighting off a Liberal rebellion over climate change to hold on to the Opposition leadership have been shattered by a poll showing a whopping 60 per cent of Australians are against Kevin Rudd rushing the Emissions Trading Scheme through parliament – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

Joe Hockey goes to former PM John Howard for advice – Reluctant Liberal leadership hope Joe Hockey yesterday sought out John Howard at his Sydney home for advice on whether to run for leader of the party to end the crisis destroying the Opposition – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Liberal Party will do Malcolm in – Malcolm Turnbull faces a humiliating outcome on Tuesday morning with an overwhelming number of his colleagues preparing to vote for a spill of his leadership. Turnbull's crusade in the media at the expense of the Liberal Party's reputation in the past two days is shifting even more votes away from him. The vote could end up being a three to one drubbing – Sydney Sunday Telegraph

I am not God's gift: Tony Abbott – The only declared leadership challenger to Malcolm Turnbull, Tony Abbott, says he's a "pragmatic common-sense" politician and not a narrow-minded conservative – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

Big Joe feels the rising pressure – Battered Liberals from both sides of the emissions trading debate yesterday pinned their hopes for a united party on the broad shoulders of Joe Hockey, who remained silent in the face of intense pressure from all sides – Melbourne Sunday Age

Three men and a party: the future of the Liberals starts here – A day of Liberal campaigning – Melbourne Sunday Age

Joe deluged with tweet nothings – Cyberspace lit up yesterday after federal shadow treasurer Joe Hockey used social networking site Twitter to appeal for help on the emissions trading scheme debate – Melbourne Sunday Age

Ready to roll - Joe Hockey - ''heir'' Hockey, according to punters - remains tight-lipped about assuming control of the Liberal Party in the next 48 hours. Mr Hockey firmed into $1.50 favourite with Centrebet, which had Malcolm Turnbull drifting out to $4 and declared contender Tony Abbott at $5 – Sydney Sun Herald

Climate change is cool on streets where Liberals labourMelbourne Sunday Age goes for a vox pop and finds you get get one of three responses. Don't care. Don't know. Don't vote.


As Senate sits on, Rudd says no to early election – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has said he would not call an early election even if the Opposition dumped Malcolm Turnbull as leader and the new leader scuttled the Government's emissions trading scheme legislation – Melbourne Sunday Age

Labor man Peter Tinley takes Willagee by-election – The WA Labor Party is breathing a collective sigh of relief after former SAS soldier Peter Tinley won the seat of Willagee. The former SAS Major was elected the member for Willagee following former Premier Alan Carpenter’s resignation in September – Perth Sunday Times

Economic matters

Seniors pay price of financial crisis – The financial carnage of the past year has triggered a surge in the number of older people reliant on welfare. Figures from the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs reveal private incomes for pensioners plunged by almost 20 per cent last financial year as share prices, dividend payments and interest rates fell sharply – Sydney Sun Herald

Law and order

Police to have power to strip-search at random – Victorian police will soon have sweeping powers to search people at random, including strip-search, even if there is no reasonable suspicion those targeted have done anything wrong. The ''stop and search'' tactic is part of a law and order crackdown set to be passed by State Parliament, despite the Government conceding that the legislation breaches the Victorian Human Rights Charter – Melbourne Sunday Age

Health and hospitals

Cash wasted on hospital paperwork: AMA chief – The Rudd Government has spent too much on hospital pen pushers at the expense of patient care as waiting lists rise and overcrowded emergency departments struggle to cope, the president of the Australian Medical Association said yesterday – Sydney Herald Sun

Pharmacy clinics are a health risk, claim GPs – A joint venture between a pharmacy chain and nurse practitioners to open clinics that will provide treatment for  such ailments  as colds and flu has been attacked  by the Australian Medical Association as a threat to public health – Sydney Sun Herald


Kevin Rudd had 'no idea' about hostage Nigel Brennan – The mother of freed hostage Nigel Brennan says Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was clueless about her son's case when she asked him for assistance in freeing her son from his Somali captors earlier this year – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Waste watch

Taps off for thirsty asylum seekers – Tonnes of bottled water, costing thousands of dollars, are being airlifted to Christmas Island for dehydrated asylum seekers as they step on to the arrivals wharf - despite a tap being just metres away – Brisbane Sunday Mail


Real grassroots fury putting heat on ETS – Piers Akerman in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph says it’s a matter of grave concern for stalwart rank-and-file Liberal Party members that Malcolm Turnbull’s number one supporter for his global-warming stance is now no less a figure than Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, while his number two supporter is the former union leader, Greg Combet.

Trio who came to bury their leader – Glenn Milne in the Sydney Sunday Telegraph gives some examples of just how bitter the differences within the Liberal Party have become.

Malcolm Turnbull's biggest mistake was joining the wrong party -  says Eddie McGuire in the Melbourne Herald Sun

Push comes to shove as Opposition party sours – Michelle Grattan in the Sydney Sun Herald says matters of style and substance aside, Malcolm Turnbull's rush to take the top job was bad judgment.

Libs' future in Kevin or in hell – Paul Daley in the Sydney Sun Herald on Kevin Andrews, a pollie who wears his heart – and his principles – on his sleeve.

Joe doesn't want to die wondering – Suggestions that Joe Hockey does not want or is unwilling to take the Liberal leadership now are wrong. Hockey, I believe, is acutely mindful that his time, though premature, is here. That's why he's likely to seize his moment when the Liberal Party meets in Canberra on Tuesday to determine Malcolm Turnbull's future. He's told mates he doesn't want to die wondering - Sydney Sun Herald


Australian CEOs get million-dollar bonuses, despite global financial crisis – Almost 20 per cent of chief executives at Australia's biggest companies received bonuses of more than $1 million last year, despite the global financial crisis – Sydney Sunday Telegraph


Queensland Water Commission recycles water plan – Queensland Water Commission is urging the Government to look at spending billions of dollars on two more purified recycled water schemes despite barely using the existing one. The State Government has spent $2.4 billion on the Western Corridor project, one of the largest recycled water schemes in the world. But it has been labelled a white elephant after Premier Anna Bligh, in a dramatic turnaround last November, scrapped plans to add treated sewage to drinking supplies in Wivenhoe Dam – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Fence me in: farms protect rare habitats - NSW farmers are boosting populations of endangered birds and mammals by partitioning their land for conservation. Landowners have rushed to join the $37.5 million Federal Government scheme, designed to conserve ecologically rare areas – Sydney Herald Sun

Royal call to arms for rich to lead climate change battleBritain and France have committed to paying developing nations to combat global warming by calling for a $US10 billion ($10.9 billion) climate fund financed by rich countries – Sydney Herald Sun


Independent commission to run Australian rugby leagueRugby league is about to be handed back to the people with a long-awaited independent commission just weeks away from becoming a reality. In the most stunning administration shake-up since Super League, News Ltd (publisher of The Sunday Mail) and the Australian Rugby League are finalising an agreement that will mean independence day arrives before the March kick-off to the 2010 season – Brisbane Sunday Mail

Aussie TV tops list – Victorians are choosing to watch more local Australian television shows, while figures reveal this year's ratings battle is going down to the wire. Of the top 20 regular series watched in Melbourne, 17 were made or produced in Australia, OzTam ratings show. The official ratings year finished last night and the battle for overall supremacy in Melbourne was neck-and-neck between channels Nine and Seven – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun


Real estate

Underquoting bid fails – A Federal Government move to introduce tough real estate laws to stop underquoting has stalled. The changes to property laws - whereby homeowners could be fined up to $220,000 if caught advertising their home below their genuine selling price - were proposed by Consumer Affairs Minister Craig Emerson in June and expected to roll out from January 1, 2010 – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

$910m property boom hits home – More than $900 million worth of real estate sold across Victoria yesterday, as the state held its biggest home shopping sale for 2009 – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun


Pokie venues are 'fun palaces' – Dozens of Victorian children are being treated for gambling problems in a troubling trend fuelled by unfettered internet access and child-friendly pokies venues – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

When gambling is all in the family – Family-friendly clubs and pubs make up more than half the 70 Victorian pokies venues in which players lose $10 million or more a year – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun

The drink

Fans to 'dob-a-yob'at MCG - Fans who witness drunk, unruly or violent behaviour can discreetly send a message to a special number, which will go through to a bolstered squad of security guards under the "dob-a-yob" system – Melbourne Sunday Herald Sun


Fire reports may scare off visitors: tourism centre – Bushfires could scare tourists away from the Blue Mountains unless ''media management'' can be deployed to counter negative perceptions, a national report into the effect of climate change on tourism says – Sydney Herald Sun

Saturday, 28 November 2009

What will Newspoll show?

Before the last Newspoll I asked the readers of Crikey for their prediction of what it would show as the position of Labor and the Coalition and the answer was spot on. After a week of turmoil in the Liberal Party I am intrigued to see what the collective wisdom thinks is happening this time. There thus is our own little poll on the left of this story.

Morgan has Labor extending its Federal lead

I know most of the political pundits are hanging out to see how Newspoll in The Australian judges the reaction to the recent extraordinary business in the Liberal Party but last night's Morgan Poll already tells the story. That disunity is political death for a political party is shown by the Morgan finding that Labor's two party vote is up a couple of percent. And that survey of 961 electors was conducted on the weekend of November 21/22 before the first attempt at a leadership spill let alone the second.

I will be surprised if the next lot of poll results do not show Labor advancing even further.

Media wrap - The Liberal leadership contest



Liberals facing election rout – The Coalition faces an electoral wipeout at next year's federal election if the rebels led by Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin succeed in blocking the government's climate change legislation – The Australian

Tony Abbott favourite to wrest leadership - Abbott was last night the frontrunner to oust Malcolm Turnbull from the Liberal leadership next week and steer his troubled party away from his support for Kevin Rudd's climate change policies – The Australian

Malcolm Turnbull unmoved as support dives – The instant Malcolm Turnbull accepted the resignations of Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin on Thursday afternoon, his Liberal Party support base began to collapse. According to angry colleagues, the Opposition Leader's blunt rejection of a proposal for compromise by Mr Abbott was probably the beginning of the end for the former banker, or at the very least the beginning of the biggest fight of Mr Turnbull's political career – The Australian

Hockey in hot seat – Liberal Party powerbrokers are trying to dump Malcolm Turnbull for Joe Hockey in a bid to unify the party and block the emissions trading scheme - a move that will give the Rudd Government a trigger for a double dissolution election –Sydney Morning Herald

Devil of a decision for Liberals' latest hope – If Joe Hockey wants to be the next leader of the Liberal Party the job is his - for a price. It's very expensive. He will spend this weekend agonising over whether he wants to pay it – Sydney Morning Herald

I won't be spooked: Turnbull – A resolute Malcolm Turnbull declared last night that he would not be ''spooked'' into stepping down as Liberal Party leader after his opponents mounted a new assault aimed at installing Joe Hockey in the job on Tuesday –Sydney Morning Herald

CLP, Labor prepare for early federal election - If the Federal Government's emissions trading scheme (ETS) is voted down or deferred by the Senate on Monday, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is likely to call a double-dissolution election.- Northern Territory News

Climate right for an ambush early Liberal election – The Government is opening the path to an early climate change election as the Liberal Party crisis drags out into next week with a dramatic leadership showdown – Sydney Daily Telegraph

Malcolm Turnbull vows to fight for Liberal leadership – The majority of Queenslanders approve of Malcolm Turnbull's decision to agree to a deal on climate change despite the move almost certainly costing him his leadership. A Galaxy poll, conducted exclusively for The Courier-Mail, shows 56 per cent of Queenslanders approved of the agreement on the ETS, including 73 per cent of ALP voters and 42 per cent of Coalition voters. But 50 per cent of Liberal and Nationals supporters said they do not back Mr Turnbull's actions.

Double trouble might trigger election  Adelaide Advertiser

State MPs in Liberal revolt - Among high-profile party members in open revolt was Tasmanian senator Eric Abetz, the party's Deputy Leader in the Senate. Late last night his state colleagues David Bushby and Stephen Parry also resigned – Hobart Mercury

Hockey's time may come too soon – Should he step into the breach and declare himself a candidate for the leadership of his shattered party, Joe Hockey would be one of the most reluctant leaders ever to head the Coalition – The Australian

Leader prolongs agony – Michelle Grattan in the Melbourne Agewrits that Malcolm Turnbull knows surely that either he will be defeated or, if by some miracle he survived, his ongoing leadership would be untenable and the party would fall into even more chaos.

Ordinary Joe an appealing leading man – A profile of the reluctant challenger – the Melbourne Age

Bishop to weigh up the party room odds – Deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop will spend the weekend phoning colleagues to gauge her support in the party room before Monday's leadership spill –Melbourne Age

Force may be with Dutton for deputy job – Peter Dutton is the second former Queensland policeman to arrive at Parliament inCanberra and initially be dismissed as another Constable Plod. The first was Bill Hayden, who rose to Labor leader and subsequently governor-general. Mr Dutton's supporters say there is nothing plodding about the man who may well be deputy Liberal leader by early next week – Melbourne Age

Senate roadblock stalls deal – Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull's deal to pass Labor's emissions trading scheme hit a wall yesterday when his own senators refused to back a gag motion to bring on the final vote – Melbourne Age

What the ETS battle is about – On one side of the climate divide in the Liberal Party are those who believe the planet is warming due to human activity and that action is needed to cut carbon emissions. Many in this group aligned to Malcolm Turnbull also make a political calculation: that voters strongly believe in climate change and want action taken to tackle it. On the other side of the debate are a mix of motives and arguments. Some Liberals insist the climate is no longer warming. Others suggest that, even if the planet is warming, they are deeply sceptical that human activity is driving it.

Battle of the airwaves as Libs state their case – An outline of a day in Canberra and in the media around the country

NSW in the eye of the leadership storm - For years, in the federal Liberal Party, when it comes to leadership stoushes or speculation, it has been Sydney versus Melbourne. These days Sydney dominates. There were only ever three serious choices as leader this week: Malcolm Turnbull, Joe Hockey and Tony Abbott. And the bloke they last replaced as leader was also a Sydneysider - Brendan Nelson – Sydney Morning Herald

Turnbull gave the right's man the chance to do what he liked - Minchin lost faith in Turnbull's ability during the OzCar affair in June. Then, when Turnbull sought to push the party towards negotiating with Labor on the emissions trading scheme, Minchin, who does not believe in man-made climate change, declared war – Sydney Morning Herald

Rees gains no bounce from sacking Tripodi – Nathan Rees has failed to gain any bounce from sacking Joe Tripodi and deciding to ban donations from developers, a Herald/Nielsen poll shows, in what are probably terminal signs for the Premier's leadership. Labor's primary vote remains at 31 per cent to the Coalition's 43 per cent. On a two-party preferred basis, the Coalition leads 55-45 – Sydney Morning Herald

Emissions scheme misses deadline - By 3.45pm the Senate had spent 28 hours debating amendments to the legislation drawn up between Wong and her Opposition counterpart, Ian Macfarlane. Of about 300 amendments, the Senate got though about 34 – Sydney Morning Herald


The heat is on in Bradfield - In the byelection next Saturday Liberal infighting is likely to cost the party votes, probably to the Greens, says the election analyst Antony Green. He believes the brawling has focused attention on climate change to such an extent that some may switch their vote – Sydney Morning Herald


Anger simmers in paradise lost on Christmas Island – Piers Akerman visits Christmas Island to report for the Sydney Daily Telegraph

Blitz on working holiday visa scam – A specialist integrity unit has been formed inside the Department of Immigration to deal with widespread fraud in the working holiday visa program, on which industries such as fruit growing depend – Sydney Morning Herald

Aboriginal affairs

$2bn diverted from aid for Aborigines and welfare – The Northern Territory Labor government has for the past five years diverted $2 billion earmarked for indigenous disadvantage and other key services to mainstream spending in marginal Darwin seats – The Australian

Open Government

Health department accused of censorship – The University of Sydney removed from its website an extremely critical essay about a new multimillion-dollar emergency department IT system after pressure from the NSW Health Department – Sydney Morning Herald


Party rift puts liberalism at the crossroads - The Melbourne Age editorial says: Mr Turnbull has spurned calls to step down beforehand, a stance that some see as another instance of his unhelpful arrogance but which is correct in the circumstances: by rejecting him the Liberals will be declaring where they stand on an environmental crisis facing the entire planet, and they should be prepared to do so honestly.

Folly of Liberal change of heart – The Sydney Daily Telegraph editorial: … this current crisis is tearing apart the entire federal Liberal party. Even worse for the Liberals is that the central issue in this ongoing debacle, climate change, will remain in play no matter who Turnbull is replaced by.

Liberals jump to the left and lurch to the right – The Sydney Morning Herald editorial says: Turnbull believes, rightly, that the Liberal Party is unelectable if it appears opposed to an emissions trading scheme. Turnbull's opponents believe, also apparently with justification, that the party will split if it is asked to support the carbon pollution reduction scheme. For the sake of party unity, they want to delay. The party is thus forced to choose between what is good for the Liberal Party, or good for the country. We believe it must choose the latter.

Liberals in red-hot trouble on climate – The editorial in The Australian in laying siege to Malcolm Turnbull's leadership, his Liberal Party opponents are doing more than fighting to throw him over - they are dismantling the foundations of their own political future. Replacing the Opposition Leader will not mark the end of Liberal divisions.

Shadows lengthen - With a crippled leader and the prospect of an early election wipe-out, the sun is setting on the Liberals writes Shaun Carney in the Melbourne Age

Malcolm Turnbull headed for the political sewer – Laurie Oakes in the Brisbane Courier Mail likens Malcolm Turnbull to Saint Sebastian – having emerged from two party meetings during the week riddled with arrows but, to the frustration of his opponents, still alive. So on Thursday Tony Abbott, Liberal senate leader Nick Minchin, and a bunch of other front-benchers set about beating him to death. The sewer awaits.

Rebellion may ruin the Liberals – Mark Kenny in the Adelaide Advertiser declares the so-called "Turnbull experiment", which many Liberals entered into only reluctantly when Brendan Nelson imploded, is over. The party that briefly departed from the divisive politics of John Howard, now looks to be lurching back to the right. This is a classic sucker move induced by the success of the centrist Kevin Rudd phenomenon. There, on the right, it will find ideological purity but little or no scope for electoral success. The federal Liberal Party has just adopted a recipe for failure.

Rebels with a lost cause – Paul Kelly in The Australian sees the test for the Liberals as whether this wilful contest becomes an act of political suicide or offers the means to salvage a better electoral position. The future of the Liberal Party for years hinges upon this question.

Pitchfork revolt punctures the carbon bubble – Michael Stutchbury in The Australian says the Rudd-Turnbull greenhouse gas emissions deal is supposed to give business the certainty it needs to pour billions of dollars into transforming Australia into a low-carbon economy. But, like the conservative political revolt it has triggered, the course of Australia's biggest policy upheaval in a generation is anything but certain.

Shadowy scenes from a political soap opera – Dennis Shanahan writes in The Australian that thanks to the smoking ruin that is the Liberal Party and the quicksand of confusion in the Senate, two critical political events appear likely to take place next week in Canberra; there will be a ballot for the Liberal leadership and the government's emissions trading scheme will be deferred.

Pros and cons of product differentiation – Peter van Onselen in The Australian remembers that Liberal Party founder Robert Menzies said of the dark days of opposition: "To my mind, the chief objective of an opposition should be to make voters feel that the opposition, in both personnel and ideas, is as different as possible." The battle over the soul of the Liberal Party we have seen played out this week goes to the essence of Menzies' point: differentiation with the government. Is it right to differentiate on climate change policy, or is doing so a recipe for electoral annihilation? Liberals are split down the middle.

Minchin plays a game to match Machiavelli - In all his long years of perfecting the strategy of divide and conquer, this was surely Nick Minchin’s most cunning construction. He had only to ensure the debate on the endless emissions trading scheme amendments — about 200 of them — would string along until he and his lieutenants had put in place the means to lever Malcolm Turnbull out of his job – Tony Wright in the Melbourne Age

Be patient, Malcolm – Graham Reilly in the Melbourne Age asks: Why can't Malcolm's recalcitrant ''colleagues'' just come out and say we just want to stick it up him? I would have more sympathy with that than for their current lemming-like sprint to the cliff top at the bottom of which lies only years of political obscurity and rising sea levels.

Even before Copenhagen, the world is moving – Tim Colebatch writes in the Melbourne Age that Liberal Party is now divided into three camps on climate change - and the only policy on which a majority can agree is to delay a decision.

The greening of Higgins - ''We wanted to turn this into the climate change byelection and events this week have done that for us,'' said Greens' candidate Dr Clive Hamilton, a Canberra academic parachuted into the seat – Melbourne Age

Liberals wallow in sceptic tank – Miranda Devine in the Sydney Morning Herald sees Tony Abbott as the intellectual leader of a pared-down Liberal Party that will emerge from the ashes Turnbull leaves behind.

Rudd's scheme unfair but effective – argues Ross Gittins in the Sydney Morning Herald

Holding Liberalism together – Gerard Henderson believes there is little prospect the Liberal Party will follow Labor down the disastrous path of a big split – Sydney Morning Herald

Hoist on their own petard - If Malcolm Turnbull's week needed further darkening, take a peek at the emails behind his second-greatest political miscalculation. Jacob Saulwick reports in the Sydney Morning Herald

Floundering against the global current – Peter Hartcher in the Sydney Morning Herald finds that somehow a seemingly irresistible force for climate change action unravelled. Now it's time to point fingers at those responsible. 'Good Malcolm' fights his bad side – Malcolm Turnbull appears to be preparing to do something unusual in politics - put his leadership to the sword rather than retreat on a point of principle – Mark Metherell in the Sydney Morning Herald


Another crisis looms over the world - Tribulation in the Gulf state of Dubai threatens to derail global recovery – Sydney Morning Herald


Deep climate cuts needed, says Europe - As momentum builds for the Copenhagen talks, the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and the Swedish Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, signalled that the two biggest polluters needed to be more ambitious in their plans to limit greenhouse gas emissions. ''We hope that both the Chinese and US indications represent the first steps towards steeper reductions,'' the leaders said in a joint statement – Sydney Morning Herald

Rudd plan to help small islands hit by rising seas - Kevin Rudd will this weekend announce financial help for small island states affected by climate change. His initiative will come at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Trinidad and Tobago, which is shaping as a last-minute attempt to rally support for the Copenhagen summit – Sydney Morning Herald

Marine scientists issue call to arms after devastating report – More than 70 Australian marine scientists have called for immediate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions after the release of the first report card on the impact of climate change on the marine environment – Sydney Morning Herald


Looking good never mattered to departing TV veteran Ian Ross – After yesterday bowing out as Sydney's long-serving No. 1 newsreader, Ian Ross now plans to lead a humble life - drinking champagne and travelling the world – Sydney Daily Telegraph



Hope for the disabled in airline fight – Disability advocates hope the Paralympian Kurt Fearnley can do what others are already trying to do in the courts: force Australian airlines to change the way they treat disabled passengers – Sydney Morning Herald

Real estate

First-home buyers fade away - There were just 2626 first-home buyers in NSW last month, the first month without the full Federal Government boost. There had been 6079 first-home buyer grants in September during a rush to capitalise on the last days of the full boost – Sydney Morning Herald

Horse racing

South Australia now only state to allow jump racingSouth Australia will be the only state allowing jumps racing after the 2010 season - but officials fear for its long-term survival. .Victoria today announced it would axe jumps after the 2010 racing season – Adelaide Advertiser


Poorer schools outshine the rest – The nation's first school comparisons were released yesterday by the Victorian government, highlighting the greater improvement made by students in disadvantaged schools compared with their more affluent peers – The Australian

More than 130 Victorian state schools identified as underperforming - The State Government vowed to help struggling schools as comprehensive school performance data went online for the first time – Melbourne Herald Sun


Brumby Government bans group linked to Church of Scientology from Victorian schools – The Government acted after learning from the Herald Sun that thousands of dollars of taxpayers' money was used to back a school art prize run by the Scientology-sponsored Youth for Human Rights. It follows a similar move by the NSW Government last week - Melbourne Herald Sun

The drink

Schoolies from NSW to cause more troubles on Gold Coast – They don't start arriving en masse until today, but southern schoolies are already causing headaches for Gold Coast police. Five NSW schoolies were arrested on Thursday night and early yesterday, including one who was caught with an extendable baton – Brisbane Courier Mail

Too many drunks at hospitals – Drunks  are overburdening the state's hospital emergency rooms, researchers have found. Each year about 3000 people die and 65,000 are taken to hospital in Australia because of alcohol abuse, the Alcohol Education and Rehabilitation Foundation (AER) said – Sydney Daily Telegraph