On the subject of...

Election Cycle

2
Sep
2018

Morrison’s Energy Policy

At his first press conference with Frydenbrg (held before Turnbull’s resignation had been effected legally), Scott Morrison said “I want to start by thanking, and he still is the Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. I have known Malcolm for a long time, as you know. He has been a dear friend. He has served his country, in a noble, and professional way. Josh and I have watched and worked with him as he has led our Cabinets and the achievements. We have been proud to serve with him as a government, whether it is in the economy, whether it is in all the other areas that Malcolm has outlined today at his earlier press conference. He is a great Australian who has contributed a great deal to this country and our party and our nation will be very grateful for his contribution”
30
Aug
2018

Waiting for Godot?

My Commentary on 27/8 was headed “Better Than Turnbull, but …”. This qualification reflected my concern about Morrison’s decisions on the composition of Cabinet but also about the fall in the Coalition’s 44/56 TPP in the Newspoll. This suggested that he would be unlikely to be given a honeymoon and would need to get going if the Coalition is to “sell” policies which would be accepted at the next year’s election
27
Aug
2018

Assessing Morrison

Morrison must be given what he said he stands for – “a fair go” – and for, in the end, supporting the removal of Turnbull, but only just. But it should be recognised that he did not challenge Turnbull, Dutton did; he allowed himself to be coached by T into challenging Dutton; and he put his arm around Turnbull and made sympathetic noises about his leadership. Turnbull’s main aim – to destroy the Liberal party – may not be finished: outside Parliament he may involve himself from now until the election in helping Labor whenever the chance occurred.
24
Aug
2018

A Very Important Change

The belated but successful challenge to Malcolm Turnbull after three years as Liberal leader is very important for the Coalition and for Australia -potentially. Readers of my Commentary will be aware of the adverse views which I hold on his socialistic objectives and the apparent ego which focussed him mainly on trying to make his mark through politics regardless of which side. In fact, after 3 years as leader he will be remembered as having achieved very little other than drawing attention to himself and departing from Liberal beliefs.
18
Aug
2018

More Ridiculing of Turnbull’s Policies 18/8

Commenting on this morning’s media speculation that he might challenge Turnbull for PM, Peter Dutton said “In relation to media stories today, just to make very clear, the Prime Minister has my support and I support the policies of the Government. My position hasn’t changed from my comments last Thursday.” (see Dutton Says Supports Turnbull). That of course is a short time ago and he has also said that, while in Cabinet, he is bound to support government policy.
17
Aug
2018

Last Weekend for Turnbull?

I suggested in yesterday’s Commentary that Turnbull’s proposals on NEG policy (sic) have created a chaotic situation in which changes now seem to be made almost every day in an attempt to persuade rebel MP’s to re-think their opposition to the policy and avoid resignations by some Ministers. These rebels are particularly opposed to any legislation which seeks to lock in the 26 per cent reduction in emissions under the Paris accord. It should be noted that, while 10 rebels have been publicly identified, there appear to be others who are also unhappy with some of the existing NEG proposals. Former Major General Jim Molan (now a Senator), for example, told Sky News last night that he did not accept any legislation endorsing the 26 per cent reduction in emissions.
16
Aug
2018

Shorten to Save Turnbull?

In today’s Australian, it is reported that attempts are being made by so called “rebel” MPs (said to be 10) to persuade some ministers to resign their positions. This would avoid the requirement that ministers vote with the government and Assistant Minister Keith Pitt is mentioned as a possible resignation (see Possible Resignations by Ministers Re Neg). He and Deputy PM McCormack had apparently proposed establishing a $5bn fund to build “at least three new power stations (presumably coal-fired) under a government-owned company model to keep the cost off the budget books”, but this was apparently rejected by the government.
7
Aug
2018

Samuel Griffith Conference Showed Increased Conservatism

The annual conference of the Samuel Griffith Society , which finished at 1.00 pm last Sunday after starting on Friday evening, was notable for many reasons but most importantly showed through those who spoke and attended that the “conservative” movement is strongly increasing. The expansion in the Society is due importantly to the contribution by leadership from Stuart Wood QC, who is also able to be a leading industrial relations barrister.
27
Jul
2018

Questioning Continues Regarding Effects on Pricing under NEG

Today’s Australian reports that the views of three groups in the Senate appear to depend on whether and/or by how much the supposed final version of NEG will reduce costs. Pauline Hanson says she is “strongly against” the NEG and wants to pull out of the Paris accord requiring reduced carbon emissions as coal-fired power stations would deliver cheaper power. Senator Leyonhjelm, the Liberal Democrat, said he wanted to see evidence the NEG would dramatically lower power prices before he would back the deal: “they need to fall by at least 50 per cent to restore competitiveness and take pressure off households”. The Centre Alliance’s Rex Patrick said he and Senate colleague Stirling Griff backed the NEG’s goals but their vote would depend on how much the policy brought down power bills: “we would expect on the pricing side for there to be a clear indication of what the savings will be, and that the modelling that generates those savings is released publicly, including all assumptions that were made,” Senator Patrick said (see Some Senate Opposition to NEG).