tip off

Essential Research: 50-50

Still no sign of Newspoll, but the ever-reliable Essential Research still has a two-party deadlock, and offers responses on Peter Cosgrove, unions, parental leave and intolerance.

Essential Research has two-party preferred at 50-50, with both major parties up on the primary vote: the Coalition by a point to 43%, Labor by two to 38%. The Greens are down a point to 8%, the Palmer United Party down one to 3% and others down to two to 7%. Also covered:

• Only 4% rate Peter Cosgrove “not a good choice” for Governor-General, with 30%, 34% and 11% respectively rating the choice excellent, good and acceptable.

• Forty-three per cent are happy for the Governor-General to be appointed by the government, with 40% favouring direct election.

• Sixty-one per cent think unions “important for Australian working people today”, compared with only 30% who think them not important, with 45% thinking workers would be better off if unions were stronger compared with 27% for worse off.

• In response to a question which first explains the specifics of the government’s policy, including the $150,000 ceiling and 1.5% levy, only 23% favoured the government scheme over 36% for the current policy and 32% for neither.

• There are also questions on the prevalence on various forms of intolerance, which you can read about in the report.

  • 51
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Union and opposition calls for legal processes to take their normal course in dealing with these types of allegations appear naive.

    This thought occurred to me as well when hearing the union/ALP response.

    I don’t think the problems described in the ABC/Fairfax investigation are all that severe, and a RC seems like an overreaction, but as I’ve said before I have serious concerns about our police and prosecutors seeming to have lost any zeal for pursuing corruption, fraud, bribery, whiter-collar crime prosecutions.

    If I had confidence that the police or various authorities were actually even trying to enforce the law, letting “legal processes take their course” would be perfectly sensible. I have no such confidence, and that, to me, is the real problem here. I would hope that a RC would have to be broad enough to work out why the existing systems have not been able (or willing?) to prevent whatever problems are identified. There is a parallel (as someone else here pointed out) to the institutional sexual abuse RC – what happened to make the police and other authorities so ineffective. Perhaps the religious affiliation/sensitivities issue got in the way in that case; I’m assuming the RC will have to make some finding on what happened there.

    Basically, I think our police/prosecutors (or maybe legislators if the law is not supportive enough) need a kick up the backside, and if a RC is the way to do this then bring it on I say.

  • 52
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

    Workcover (NSW) prosecuted a haulage company over several weeks (across several years 2003-2005)in relation to a fatality involving a truck driver.

    The court found:

    260 In summary, I have made the following findings beyond reasonable doubt as to the Company’s work practices: that there was no Company policy on driving hours or rest-breaks distinct from the log-book regime; that such policy as there was (“to abide by the log-book”) may not have been communicated to the drivers (and if it was, it was in a perfunctory manner at the commencement of employment); that the “policy” was not enforced or supervised; that the Company did not collect any oral information pertaining to driving hours or rest-breaks and did not conduct any review of the relevant written information (the duplicate log-book pages); and that “compliance” with the “policy” such as it was on rest-breaks and limited driving hours was left totally to the drivers in a system which provided incentives (through pay) to increase driving hours. I have further found, beyond reasonable doubt, that the Company did not take into account the effects of fatigue and sleep deprivation when preparing rosters. Finally, I have found that the Company pressured its drivers to meet delivery deadlines resulting in breaches of the log-book regime – either due to specific time slots for particular depots, as mentioned by Mr McLennan, or to Company imposed deadlines to be there early “in the morning” – and that they risked their jobs or income if they failed to comply. This pressure may have been to meet client expectations, or to manage excessive workloads, or a combination of the two; the result was the same. Needless to say, even the most superficial fatigue management system would have picked up the falsified log-books handed in by the drivers, which could not have tallied with kilometres recorded on their daily worksheets or with the deliveries they were directed to make. Clearly, the failures alleged in the particulars relating to rest-stops, driving hours, driving rosters and the Company’s system of work have been made out to the requisite criminal standard of proof.

  • 53
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    US F MInister Kerry is denounced by some Israeli Ministers as “anti-semitic”|________|_____
    Well Kerry is getting the usual treatment reserved for those who are critical of Israel and its actions

    But a new development too as the Israeli are increasingly strident in their critique of Obama and Kerry and his team who show signs of being sick to death of Israeli demands
    and actions

    Obama showns even in his body langauge his real disdain for Netanyahu and the actions of the zionist Lobby in the USA
    the times are a’changing in the USA..
    .and Netanyahu has only two modes of operation’…always attack your critics…and if that fails…attack them even more violently

    and Kerry warned that Israel may face an economic boycott if it continues to obstruct a settlement with the Palestinians…,that’s very” anti-semitic” in Israeli jargon


  • 54
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

    That’s mari. I have always wanted to “go viral” as they say.

    Sorry, I haven’t seen the email as yet. I am a bit slack checking that account. When is the get together?

  • 55
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    Should have been “Thanks Mari”.

  • 56
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    From previous thread.

    bemused@1701 on ReachTEL: ABC, republicanism, Cosgrove v Bryce | The Poll Bludger


    Why don’t the government buy $25M of shares in SPC? SPC could use the money and if it gets back on its feet the government could get its money back.

    The $25M goes to the shareholders from whom they purchase the shares on the ASX, unless there is a new issue of shares. A new issue of shares would dilute the value of existing shares.
    Also, SPC AFAIK is not listed so it would be Coca-Cola Amatil shares, part of a much larger entity.

  • 57
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    On twitter from Margot Kingston

    Bloody hell – @MathiasCormann says Govt KNEW #SPC latest workers conditions when made #SPC decision – confirms Abbott Hockey & Abetz LIED!

  • 58
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    Sorry if already posted but this could get rather interesting.

    Two of the board members of the authority that approved the dumping of 3m cubic metres of dredging spoil in the Great Barrier Reef waters are still involved in an investigation for potential conflicts of interest, including links to mining companies.


  • 59
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Hopefully end of March ie last week in PM, will let you know in next week check that email please.

    Trying to get you “viral” at the moment

  • 60
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

    Is Abbott Sharman’s “shramana?”

  • 61
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink


    It was linked here a few days back, but well worth reposting

  • 62
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink


    Ta. The date was from today but the blighters had just updated it and reposted.

  • 63
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Mari, will do.

  • 64
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    Excellent primer on the Amanda Knox travesty:

    I hadn’t been following that, it is an excellent summary. It would have been even better if it had focused on the evidence and corruption – it didn’t need to continually compare Italian criminal procedure to the US as if some how US style procedure is the perfect standard. If the article is accurate it was a dodgy case regardless of the merits of sequestration as a tool to improve jury deliberations.

  • 65
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    And with regards to SPCA and where “the line gets drawn”:

    I think the idea that there needs to be a systematic approach to government assistance of corporations is reasonable.

    I think that the more hard-headed economic rationalists here, in the media (eg Bernard Keane), and of course the government, are overly discounting some of the non-economic issues here.

    Business should be carried out rationally, in terms of optimizing use of resources etc etc.

    Government needs to be concerned about the health of the broader economy, of course, but also other things, like the human side of employment, the social welfare of individuals, towns and regions, etc.

    I think a consistent cost-benefit type of analysis applied to these decisions would make this a more tractable issue (although there’s no reason to believe the government isn’t simply using this as a platform to bash unions, rather than any holistic consideration).

    Meher baba alluded to an interesting point in one of his posts. I disagree with MB’s general take on SPCA, for example, but the idea that there is some desirability of us turning into an almost 100% service economy funded by resource extraction does seem to be a feature of this government, and some previous governments’ thinking. Personally I see this as a very dangerous long-term economic philosophy. Resource extraction is, by its nature, finite, and worse the commodities markets are very volatile – putting all your wealth eggs in the dig-it-up-ship-it-out basket is a recipe for future economic instability and actual poverty.

    A robust economy is, to me, like a robust ecosystem. Diversity is crucial. Good biodiversity in an ecosystem basically by definition implies that there are some species that are maladapted to current conditions and which will be tenuous marginal species at the current time – the point being that these currently maladapted species are vital to the robustness of the ecosystem as a whole because their current maladaptations form the basis for the ability to rapidly respond to changing external factors. If all the species that find it hard to survive in the current conditions die off, then when the conditions change your entire ecosystem is adapted to the old conditions and maladapted for the new conditions.

    Whether any given business is supported or not is a complex question. Letting entire sectors of the economy die off just because we’re getting good coin for digging up dirt now is, to my mind, foolishness in the extreme.

  • 66
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

    A trio of Nationals MPs have added their voices to demands for additional drought assistance to farmers, brushing aside comparisons with the multimillion-dollar packages sought for SPC Ardmona and General Motors Holden.

    In a clear sign that the junior Coalition partner is prepared to push back against the dominant economic dries in the Liberal Party, Nationals MPs Darren Chester and John “Wacka” Williams and George Christensen have all thrown their support behind Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, with Mr Christensen suggesting the time was ripe to consider a government-backed rural development bank.


  • 67
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    On the general issue of government competence/government salesmanship, I’ve been astonished by the extent to which the federal government has focussed on issues which are not even of general interest to its base, but only to the more eccentric subset thereof: culture war stuff, Freedom Commissioners, curriculum reviews and so on. The seem to have done their level best to make sure everyone knows they are ideologues rather than pragmatists. The stuff will really hit the fan when there’s a horror budget, since I suspect people are rapidly coming to the conclusion that there will be pain not because it’s unavoidable and needs to be shared equally, but because the government likes inflicting pain.

    The contrast with Mr O’Farrell couldn’t be greater: he’s far and away the best centre-right political strategist in the country.

  • 68
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    It’s always safe to assume that anything said by the Prime Minister, a member of his cabinet or a senior Liberal Party spokesman consists of lies or disinformation unless it is confirmed by a reliable source (which includes the ABC, Fairfax and many other sources but excludes commercial TV and radio or any News Corporation outlet).

    Abbott is truly pathetic, now blaming workers for decisions made in line with an Industry policy he ‘forgot’ to tell the voters about before the election. He blamed the ‘carbon tax’ for other decisions, he’s blaming the ABC for the fact that’s his Government has thoroughly stuffed relations with Indonesia and whenever he can blames the previous Government when he breaks promises he never intended to keep, as with Gonski. Abbott and his Government is beneath contempt.

  • 69
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    PM unhappy with the ABC ?

    Keith Jackson was the ABC’s first general manager of corporate relations from 1985 to 1988

    …….”That’s all very well,” says Hawke, rolling his eyes, ”but, Ken, there are some black spots.”

    He accuses the ABC of ”bias, partiality and propaganda”, citing a Four Corners program on uranium mining. He complains about radicals dictating a left-wing, anti-government agenda for the ABC. The implication is that management is in the thrall of the staff union.


  • 70
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    Just got polled (I live in Griffith) by Nationwide Market Research about the by election. Real person on the line (Seth Effricen eccent, not that I’m biased) and quite a lot of questions about attitudes to the candidates and the national leaders and how I thought the candidates would work for the electorate. Also how I voted at the last election and how I was going to vote on Saturday. Plus usual demographic questions, Anyone know who they usually work for?

  • 71
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:31 pm | Permalink


    Centre where are you please don’t slip your wrists will you

  • 72
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Dr Sharman Stone is doing some toe cutting surgery on the toe cutters.

  • 73
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Bloody hell – @MathiasCormann says Govt KNEW #SPC latest workers conditions when made #SPC decision – confirms Abbott Hockey & Abetz LIED!

    FFS!! Wait till the media gets a hold of this!

    Oh wait… they don’t do that anymore. Move on.

  • 74
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Please don’t let Cormann turn out to be a goodie after all. He trots out the standard Hockeynomics lines so faithfully.

  • 75
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    The Public Sector Informant has an article by Jack Waterford on Peter Cosgrove: ‘Cosgrove: the history hagiographers forget’. The article is somewhat constrained by being a book review of the biography of Cosgrove by Patrick Lindsay.

    My view is that the 4% of Australians who did not support Cosgrove’s elevation to GG might have at least doubled to 8% had they read Waterford’s article.

    Inter alia, Waterford wtte:

    (1) Howard wanted to elevate Cosgrove to GG but Janet blocked it.

    (2) Cosgrove was a full and active participant in the standard Dutroon bastardisation. a/c Waterford, Cosgrove…’was an enthusiast for the tradition and a standout in its infliction.’

    (3) There is no mention in the Waterford article of what may, or may not have, happened at Duntroon when Cosgrove was Commandant there in 1997.

    (4) a/c Waterford, (when Cosgrove was had of the ADF) ‘But a big problem – and a continuing one – is that many people, including ADF people, did not really believe that he, or the senior echelons of the services, really meant it.

    ‘While Cosgrove was chief of the defence force, its performance in this area deteriorated and so, probably, did the systems in place designed to combat it.’

    (5) Waterford reminds us that Cosgrove (a) publicly ratted on his mate Keelty in order to gain political brownie points with Howard and (b) lied in so doing.

    Hollingworth was rolled because his past caught up with him.

    Will the same happen to Cosgrove?

  • 76
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

    Conservative Govts across the country are in a state of turmoil.

    Australia has lost its way.

  • 77
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Pity legal advertising is so heavily regulated here or we could have adds like this one


  • 78
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    Nice post Jackol@65

    If one keeps in mind that the purpose of community is to maximise the happiness of the members, and that parts of this happiness are not measurable by recourse to financial metrics but intangibles, such as a sense of place and belonging, then it is rational in some circumstances to underwrite activities that entail a subsidy of one kind or another up to a certain point.

    In addition, the happiness to be spread about needs to be capable of being extended into the future. It’s illusory to do things that generate large amounts of happiness now at the expense of equal amounts of happiness in the future. This is after all, one of the rationales for taking action on climate change — that future generations ought not to have to live in the squalor we authored pursuing recklessly our own enrichment. An economy that is too reliant on selling commodities may do very well in short periods for its immediate beneficiaries, but be in constant dysfunction between these moments, and exposes itself to serious risk if the resources ever become depleted. Moreover, as we saw with the commodity price boom period here, there were significant distortions in the way income was distributed, and in a number of country towns, life was blighted for the locals.

  • 79
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

    I assume the Naptime Govt is back in crisis mode?

  • 80
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:49 pm | Permalink


    It is interesting that each and every one of them is deadly silent on the corporate agribusinesses and insists on talking about family farms.

    It is also interesting that they are ignoring the cost to the taxpayer.

    It is also interesting that all of them are climate thieves. If they reckon things are bad now, what is it going to be like in the future?

    Do they seriously think that the rest of us should continue to bail farmers out because of the folly of the Coalition’s climate action policies?

  • 81
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

    John Howards Cole Royal Commission into the building unions cost $60-70 million

    Not one prosecution of a unionist

    This RC will be not better and just a pathetic immature bully boy tactic by an immature pathetic excuse for a PM

  • 82
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    If Murdoch keeps delaying Newspoll until Abbott has a good week, then we may never see another Newspoll again.

  • 83
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink



  • 84
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink


    Of course, if they were so inclined, the state and Federal governments could offer to part purchase SPCA from them underwriting a share of the costs. It’s hard to imagine them doing that bit it’s possible in theory.

  • 85
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

    Just showed that to a practising person. She kept asking, ‘Is this real?’

  • 86
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Any more falls like today and they might just get it for nothing.

  • 87
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:56 pm | Permalink


    We never knew how firm was the petticoat rule in Howard’s day, did we? There were hints, but it now seems as if no appointment was made without her approval.

  • 88
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    We are being asked to bail out drought stricken people who voted en masse for climate change is bullshit parties and want to take even more water from the MD river system. For some reason I feel like saying “Get Stuffed” .

  • 89
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Ruawake #79

    Yes, Geoff Shaw voted down the govt business program.

    Napthine was on the local radio saying everything’s fine, Shaw doesn’t call the shots.

    Journos are starting to ridicule Napthine – I reckon it’s terminal now.

  • 90
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink


    Smith has stepped down as Speaker, and Ms fyffe is now the speaker

  • 91
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink


    We never knew for sure his firm a grip on power Jeanette Howard had, but I reckon it was pretty strong.

  • 92
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 5:59 pm | Permalink


    We never knew for sure how firm a grip on power Jeanette Howard had, but I reckon it was pretty strong.

  • 93
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    rossmcg, I am sure Little Johnny’s heart and mind followed….

  • 94
    lefty e
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    SPC says Abbott’s lying: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/spc-rejects-government-claims-issues-the-facts-on-workers-allowances-20140204-31ynj.html

    So does his own Liberal backbencher: http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-04/nrn-lies-on-spc/5236284

    I guess that settles the matter: Abbott is dishonest.

  • 95
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    “@andrewjhansen: ‘Green tape’? A term to make a protection sound like a nuisance. Next they’ll dismantle sexual assault laws by calling them ‘pink tape’.”

  • 96
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Abbott’s secret Beer Tax.

    Abbott government quietly introduces biggest increase to alcohol tax in three years.

    9 News tonight. (gotta be with half a percentage point) :lol:

  • 97
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    @GuardianAus: Manus Island design report and environmental impact statement http://t.co/koGDrggRJL

    @hbrown10: ABC statement on reporting of asylum-seeker claims http://t.co/96x9dilBu2

  • 98
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    The IPA’s Julian Leeser talking about the effect of the carbon tax on SPCA: “They use tin cans ansd aluminium is one of the most energy intensity industries there is!”
    Says it all really. Tin cans are rolled steel coated with a tin plating. Where’s the aluminium you one-eyed dill?

  • 99
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:13 pm | Permalink


    I guess the I in IPA stands for Idiot. As for the aluminium. The boss cocky of the aluminium smelter who Abbott tried to blame the carbon tax on its closure said a rise of 1 cent in the exchange rate had more effect than the carbon “tax” .

  • 100
    Posted Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Further to my post at 98 it is quite likely that the rolled steel for the cans is sourced from overseas where, according to the likes of Leeser, there is no carbon tax.