On the subject of...

State Politics

6
Sep
2016

Turnbull & G20, Iran Threat, Andrews Poll Down; Obama’s Dr on Hilary

While Turnbull himself could not be blamed for the absence of three ministers and other Coalition MPs at the end of Thursday’s Reps session, he must have failed to emphasise to the whips and others the importance of attending the first session after an election result which he had publicised as providing a majority. The absence of 10 Coalition MPs allowed Labor (which had obviously planned to take advantage of any absences) to indicate that this is another example of Turnbull of mis-management. And this theme has been taken up in the media too, including one suggestion that Turnbull lacks a “wingman” to support him in Parliament. Perhaps the failure to sack the Chief Whip, Pyne, illustrates the problem.
31
Aug
2016

Turnbull Satisfies Electorate Less than Shorten, Enterprise Bargaining, Global Warming, Presidential Candidates’ Health

The first Newspoll since the election on July 2 shows only a slight fall in the Coalition’s TPP from 50.4 per cent to 50 per cent but a large drop in Turnbull’s net satisfaction ratio to the point where it is now less than Shorten’s (minus 18 cf minus 14). Late last year Turnbull was plus 38 while Shorten was minus 38. While Turnbull still has the Better PM rating, the gap has narrowed sharply. Importantly, the poll also shows that “Reducing debt and deficit” are strongly supported by both Coalition and Labor voters, almost as strongly as “Maintain border security”.
19
Aug
2016

GST Shares, Budget Strategy, NT Royal Cn

In my Commentary on Tuesday I suggested that Turnbull’s announcement at the WA Liberal Party’s conference held last weekend that each State would now be guaranteed a minimum share of GST revenue was, once again, lacking in any serious analysis or any checking first even with senior ministers, let alone other states. It has subsequently emerged that the new arrangements, the calculation of which has not been stated, are first to be discussed with other states and that it is unclear when they might start (although WA Premier Barnett who has an election next March says he thought it would be this calendar year). The Australian also published an analysis on the assumption that the minimum share would likely be 75% and that WA (now receiving only 30%) might not receive any future benefit from any such arrangement. My letter to the Australian on the issue was published yesterday with four others (see GST Shares).
5
Aug
2016

Outcome in Senate, NT Royal Cn, Rudd, Bank Interest Rates, US Defence Policy, CFMEU Behaviour

Since the election on July 2, Turnbull has continued his record of mistaken decisions as to both substance and process, plus a failure to indicate what substantive policies will be pursued other than the legislation already foreshadowed to restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission and to make unions more accountable under the registered organisation arrangements. But unless the (recounted) loss of Herbet by 37 votes is successfully challenged and another election held there (which seems too risky a venture), he has a majority of only one in the Reps and a deficit of 16 in the Senate.This means that if the two houses sit together he would need 9 votes from cross benchers (who include no less than 4 from One Nation and 3 from Xenophon) to obtain a majority to pass that legislation, which is a possibility but clearly uncertain. It is of some importance to climate change and extremist terrorist policy that One Nation ended up with 4 Senate seats, including one held by a sceptic (Malcolm Roberts) on global warming who is well versed in the data.
8
Jul
2016

Bolt on Grand Mufti

In my Commentary of 3 July I drew attention to the statement by the Australian leader of Muslims, Grand Mufti Mohammed, that “no person can ever change” Islam’s rejection of homosexuality and to my letter published in The Australian expressing concern about the statement and the implications of it for Islamic support of sharia law and jihadism.
6
Apr
2016

Turnbull Loses Coalition Lead in Newspoll

The latest Newspoll showing a negative TTP of 49/51 for the Coalition (see below) has sent the Turnbull government, and the Liberal Party itself, a clear message to fix the role being played by the current leadership. The poll includes a section indicating only 19% favoured allowing the States to impose an income tax. This does not necessarily rule out such a development in the future. But it confirms that the handling of the issue by Turnbull has been so bad that, as suggested in yesterday’s Commentary, it requires a major change in the role being played by him as PM.
3
Apr
2016

Turnbull’s State Income Tax Still Afloat

When Malcolm Turnbull announced that he would offer the States the opportunity to impose an income tax, he described it as one of the greatest potential reforms to Federation in ‘generations’... “this, we believe, is the only way that we can genuinely reform our Federation... It will give the states real financial autonomy”. But when the States rejected the offer, Turnbull initially described it as being “not there” now. Soon however it reappeared, first in the COAG Communique and then in Turnbull’s explanation (sic) of the reason for the rejection and the implication as he sees it.
1
Apr
2016

Turnbull on Federal State Relations

It is becoming more difficult by the day to guess what rationale is behind the limited policy announcements Malcolm Turnbull is starting to make. One interpretation of Turnbull’s latest announcement is that he reached a personal view that he needed to announce something new. That led to his decision to announce a “new” policy on federal-state relations without providing substantive detail because he thought that there would general agreement that something needed to be done to reduce the vertical fiscal imbalance between the Federal and State governments. And that there would be much discussion of the idea and praise for him for initiating it.
13
Sep
2015

Refugees Surge Raises Serious Problems

The difficulties being experienced by refugees from Syria, Iraq and other Middle East countries in reaching Germany are not stopping the increasing attempts by individuals to take advantage of the free inflow which that country is allowing. Some are portraying Merkel as a saviour and there is pressure on other western countries to accept increased numbers.