Wednesday, 16 March 2016

While we're waiting for the Turnbull Government to stop chasing its tail.......

A look round at the political landscape in the lead up to this year's federal election.

Which Australian politician said this?

The Prime Minister cannot even summon up the courage to try to fix this mess. His threat of a double dissolution and an early election proves to all of us what this budget is really about. It is not about protecting the jobs of Australians, least of all the one million Australians it says will soon be out of work; it is about the job security of one man and one man only. A Prime Minister frightened of the consequences of his mismanagement now wants to cut and run before he is found out. [House of Representatives Hansard, 14 May 2009]

Why, it was Prime Minister Malcolm Bligh Turnbull as Leader of the Opposition in May 2009.

Looking back less than seven years later, this speech to parliament makes his current situation almost seem like karma.

I’m told there was a “great turnout” for the International Women’s Day dinner at which Labor Senator Penny Wong was guest speaker on 8 March 2016 and for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's Lismore City Hall Q&A on 10 March.

The number of people seeking to book a seat at the dinner exceeded the seating capacity at the Lismore Workers’ Club and people were “spilling out of the building for Bill” according to one supporter of Labor candidate Janelle Saffin, who is seeking election in the Page electorate after losing to the Nationals Kevin Hogan in 2013. 

The Northern Star covered the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate’s visit:

WE asked on our Facebook page which questions you wanted us to ask Penny Wong during her visit.

What will you do for youth unemployment in regional areas?

I think the first thing is to make sure we give our young people the best opportunities they have, or can, to get the skills that they need.
And the problem we've got at the moment is we've got a Federal Government taking money out of TAFE, taking money out of apprenticeships, making university harder to get into and asking people to pay $100,000 for their degree.
So I think the first thing is to try and get the right investments in vocation education, in apprenticeships, in TAFE - and we've got a TAFE funding guarantee - as well as making sure our universities are made accessible.

If your government was elected, would you add dental to the Medicare rebate?

I understand how expensive dental work can be, and in government what we did do was put money towards dentistry services for children.
Certainly, you know there's only one party that supports Medicare and wants to strengthen Medicare and that's the Labor party.

Can you give us an update on the Gonski reforms?

Labor has recently re-committed to the full Gonski funding. Our education policy is a commitment to the full Gonski funding, to roll-out across the country.
Of course this is a very big difference between us and the Liberal and National parties who have walked away from their commitment to fully fund Gonski.
People in rural and regional Australia will be the ones most disadvantaged by the National party's refusal to fund the reforms and I'm very proud Labor has put money on the table to make sure every child can be the best of who they are, no matter where they live.

Tony Windsor represented the people of Tamworth in the NSW Parliament from 1991-2001 and the people of New England in the Federal Parliament from 2001-2013. This year he comes out of retirement to stand in the New England electorate again and support begins to gather.

The Guardian, 29 February 2016:

A Reachtel poll of 712 residents in the seat of New England conducted on 11 January found 32.2% would vote for Windsor as their first preference if he returned – compared with 39.5% for Joyce.
The poll, obtained by Guardian Australia, found 11.2% would vote for Labor and 4.6% would vote for the Greens with 6.2% nominating others including other independents with 5.1% undecided. The Palmer United Party attracted just 1.3%.
The polling results suggest if the majority of Labor and Greens preferences flowed towards Windsor, Joyce – who has been Nationals leader for less than three weeks – could lose New England.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 March 2016:

Exclusive ReachTEL polling of elector sentiment obtained by Fairfax Media - the first such voter-feedback in the crucial electorate - shows primary support for Mr Joyce stands at an apparently healthy 43.1 per cent, compared to Mr Windsor, who trails on 38.
But with the likelihood of strong preference flows from anti-Coalition Labor voters, who constitute 7.1 per cent, and equally hostile Greens voters who account for another 3.4 per cent, there is a reasonable chance Mr Windsor would finish ahead, were a contest held now.
The automated telephone survey of 662 residents across New England was conducted on the evening of March 10 - the very same day Mr Windsor declared his candidacy.

The campaign website was created on 9 March 2016 according to Whois.


On 15 March 2016 a hearing of the Senate Select Committee on the National Broadband Network held in Committee Room 2S3 at Parliament House revealed that the internal company nickname for the roll out of Malcolm Turnbull’s hybrid version of the National Broadband Network (NBN) is Operation Clusterf*ck.


The Northern Star, 15 March 2016:
Thanks to Clarrie Rivers for this snapshot.


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