tip off

BludgerTrack: 51.7-48.3 to Labor

After a period of erratic poll results from various outfits, the BludgerTrack poll aggregate appears to be recovering its equilibrium.

This week’s 51-49 Newspoll result has caused a slight moderation in this week’s BludgerTrack poll aggregate, which blew out to 52.2-47.8 last week on the back of strong result for Labor from ReachTEL. The 0.5% shift has had a bigger-than-usual effect on the seat projection, with Labor slipping four seats to barely make it to majority government status. This amounts to one seat each in New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia. There are two new data points for leaders’ ratings, from Newspoll and Essential, and they’ve caused the trendlines to continue moving in the directions they were already headed – inexorably downwards for both leaders on net approval, with a gently narrowing trend on preferred prime minister.

2558
  • 51
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Maybe she had a falling out with her other half, leading to a tragic split.

  • 52
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Magic pudding

    That makes sense

  • 53
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Sounds like they have found the plane.

  • 54
    zoidlord
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Napthine cabinet reshuffle isn’t going to save them.

  • 55
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    This may have consequences for asylum seekers detained in Nauru

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/nauru-chief-justice-quits-citing-rule-of-law-breach-20140312-34n3c.html

  • 56
    zoomster
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    Andrew Bolt having a good blubber…

    STRANGE, after all I've been through, but Monday on the ABC may have been finally too much for me.

    You see, I was denounced on Q&A - on national television - as a racist..

    Yeah, free speech and all that.

    Langton falsely claimed I was a "fool" ...

    Surely that’s just a matter of opinion, Andrew? Or do you have quantifiable proof that you’re not? (In which case, you know what to do…)

    And when Attorney-General George Brandis hotly insisted I was not racist, the ABC audience laughed in derision.

    Bastards. That’s the trouble with this free speech/democracy stuff…people don’t often behave or think the way they SHOULD.

    My wife now wants me to play safe and stop fighting this new racism, and this time I'm listening. This time I was so bruised by Q&A that I didn't go into work on Tuesday. I couldn't stand any sympathy - which you get only when you're meant to feel hurt.

    Can you imagine how Bolt would react if someone said they’d missed work because someone had said something nasty about them?

    The TV has an off switch, Andrew…

    A few more paragraphs of whinging, before Bolt reassures us…

    Yet I am not asking for your sympathy. My critics will say I'm getting no more than what I gave out - except, of course, this is more vile and there's no law against abusing me, or none I'd use.

    Right. So he’s not asking for sympathy, because he’s only taking what he dished out, except it’s not what he dished out, it’s worse, but he’s going to take it on the chin…

    No, what's made me saddest is the fear I'm losing and our country will be muzzled and divided on the bloody lines of race.

    No, Andrew, what you’re seeing is free speech and democracy in action. If you’re allowed to say things which upset people, then they’re allowed to say things which upset you.

    If the pressure they put on you outweighs the strength of your conviction, then that’s exactly how free speech is supposed to work — weak arguments or protaganists are silenced because the majority doesn’t accept their premises.

    Similarly, if the majority howl you down, that’s democracy.

    It isn’t free speech if only one person is allowed to say anything.

    No panellist addressed his deepest concern, that we are indeed all in this together, yet find ourselves being formally divided by race and by people only too keen to play the race card against those who object.

    Well, the man concerned – as you admit – raised the issues he did because he was ignorant of the true state of affairs. That’s why the panel corrected him, not because he was racist.

    Page four has a feature on Dr Misty Jenkins, a blonde and pale science PhD who calls herself Aboriginal...

    The implication here, Mr Bolt, as has been explained to you countless times using reams of butchers paper and some very big and colourful crayons, is that by putting ‘blonde and pale’ with ‘calls herself Aboriginal’, is that she can’t be both.

    Andrew ends with a question – Do I resist or run? I’m sure we know what his loyal bloggers are going to recommend…

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/it-feels-like-i-have-lost-do-i-run-or-resist/story-fni0ffxg-1226852869552

  • 57
    citizen
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    guytaur
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 9:44 am | PERMALINK
    “@latikambourke: PM Abbott – ‘I don’t want to see people parked on the disability support pension.’”

    It’s a wonder he didn’t say he wanted to ‘libertate’ them from disability support, as he did for people losing their jobs.

    Next he will be wanting to ‘liberate’ OAPs from their pension support – maybe order them to dig out weeds alongside his green army conscripts.

  • 58
    Jolyon Wagg
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    Psephos

    Maybe she had a falling out with her other half, leading to a tragic split.

    And I thought I had a dark sense of humour.

  • 59
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Psephos

    What Jolyon said…….

  • 60
    zoidlord
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    NBN Co ‏@NBNCo 25m

    Know someone who will be affected by the copper network disconnection? Help them prepare by visiting http://www.nbnco.com.au/switch

    Maurice Butler ‏@ButlerMaurice 8m

    .@NBNCo I know plenty of people affected by the FTTP disconnection. How do they get help?

    +1 to twitter.

  • 61
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    zoidlord

    The Vic libs are in disarray

  • 62
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    citizen

    Abbott uses very deliberate language

  • 63
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Good grief. Honestly the fibs have lost the bloody plot

    Justin Barbour . Hearing rumours from more than one person that Sophie Mirabella may nominate for the state upper house. #springst

  • 64
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    Z

    Bolt has to be the biggest whinger in Australia. He complained very loudly about Gillard playing the victim card in one the biggest Pot Kettle Black episodes in history.

  • 65
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Want to fix state govt budgets? Forget the GST.

    Want to deflate the housing bubble and prevent it from happening again?

    Want the greatest beneficiaries from public goods (transport, road improvements, good local schools and health services) to contribute the most to funding them? Kinda like user pays, but more wholistic?

    Get the states to implement a decent land tax, on everyone.

    State govt funding problems. Fixed.
    Equity issues. Sorted.
    Fiscal imbalance. Gone.
    GST. 10%.

  • 66
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Dio

    Bolt is the biggest hypocrite alive

  • 67
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    LU

    By decent land tax, you mean fhat every property holder pays a rate in proportion to the value of their property?

  • 68
    Jackol
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    LU –

    Get the states to implement a decent land tax, on everyone.

    I agree, but I don’t see it happening. And of course the states are all worried about competing with the other states… they don’t have to worry about that with the GST because they don’t levy it and it’s a uniform rate. Lazy, cowardly politics, but that’s the way it is.

    The Henry review made it clear there were some good stable revenue sources for state governments, they are just basically choosing not to use them. Presumably because the politics is too hard, or seen as too hard.

  • 69
    citizen
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    BH
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 10:44 am | PERMALINK
    I love Andrew Leigh’s ability to counteract smartarske talking heads like 2CCs Mark Parton.

    Actually Parton is a bit of a has-been. He spent many years on the morning shift of an FM station popular with younger listeners. He then stood for election in the ACT on a right wing agenda and failed. 2CC relays the Sydney shock jocks and so his audience is now mainly that demographic and much lower than in his FM days.

  • 70
    Steve777
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    Just saw Barry O’Farrell interviewed regarding yesterday’s Barangaroo fire (Sydney) and subsequent critical road clsures and traffic chaos. He calmy and reasonably defended the closures, which seem to have been the correct decision. He referred to the insfrastructure backlog that made Sydney’s traffic network vulnerable to unexpected events and referred to his plans to address it, e.g. the SW railway. He didn’t use it as an opportunity to make political points or allocate blame.

    His style is very different from that of Tony Abbott. Had the issues been within the Federal Government’s remit, Abbott would have blustered on blaming the previous Government and would probably have found a way to blame it on the ‘Carbon Tax’.

    Regarding the tragic apparent suicide in Melboune. It must have been dreadful for those who found her. I also wonder at the wisdom of the press reporting the detail of how she was found, beyond the fact that she was found dead at a certain time and place and the belief that there were ‘no suspicious circumstances’.

  • 71
    poroti
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    Zoomster

    That Bolt blog entry is the whiniest sook I’ve read in a very long time. What a precious petal he is. Had some great Hyper Bowl though. Audience laughed at him and he described it as “this lynching” :lol:

  • 72
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    By decent land tax, you mean fhat every property holder pays a rate in proportion to the value of their property?

    Yes, but in proportion to the unimproved value of the land. And yes, everyone: no primary residence exemptions, no value thresholds, and set it at about 1.0-1.5% on all land. It could also include a higher rate for non-citizens and non-permanent residents, if you want to affect speculation from OS.

    Of course, there need to be measures in place to allow those who cannot pay the tax each year (e.g. anyone on a pension)to accumulated a land tax debt, which can be paid off when the property is sold. Something similar to the way HECS/HELP fees are indexed would be appropriate, ie. the outstanding land tax debt is inflated by CPI each year.

    There’s an old wisdom in public economics that says “if it can’t move, tax it.”

  • 73
    fredex
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    OK I only heard this on ABC RN Books and Arts as I was passing by the radio so its a garbled version of what I thought I heard. Needs checking.

    Apparently Brandis has written to the Arts Council and told them that if arts groups [subtle reference to Bienalle] protest about sponsorship from private companies [subtle reference to Transfield] they could lose their government funding [not subtle threat].

    Confirm, or otherwise, before believing, I could have several elements wrong.

  • 74
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    You are probably right about the politics of it, Jackol

  • 75
    rossmcg
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:35 am | Permalink

    LU

    I understand the logic of the land tax argument. I have been living in the same house for 28 years, no land transfer stamp duty for me.
    Taxation should be about sharing the burden, not lumping it on a few. I would put my hand up to pay some land tax if it got rid of stamp duty and helped my sons into a home. But i suspect all the abolition of stamp duty would do is raise the price of houses some more

  • 76
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Steve777

    Is the cause of the fire known?

    Re the suicide, When I was initially reading it, I thought it was a gruesome crime. Only to get to the bottom of the article and read there was no suspicious circumstances. Lot to be desired with this style of report

  • 77
    citizen
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Isn’t Netflix a potential competitor to Murdoch for streaming movies over the Internet?

    Hence this story on news.com.au which I didn’t bother to open:

    Is this the world's most ruthless company?
    IT'S pumped out hits such as House of Cards, but working at Netflix is like having psychopath Frank Underwood for a boss. Check out how it treats staff.

  • 78
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Z

    Yes Bolt is an amazing hypocrite. Interestingly he actually is quite good at picking up hypocrisy in others but is totally blind to it in himself.

  • 79
    Steve777
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Victoria @76 – the cause has not been confirmed but WorkCover believed it was caused by a welding accident about 2pm (http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/barangaroo-fire-triggers-sydney-cbd-chaos-20140312-34mj6.html). If true, it would seem to me that there was some breakdown in processes or procedures for a relatively minor thing like that to get so out of control (my opinion, not in article).

  • 80
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Taxation should be about sharing the burden, not lumping it on a few.

    Yep, and when the State Govts need revenue, but only get it when transfers take place (i.e. stamp duty) they will juice the market to get that revenue. It’s perverse.

    I would put my hand up to pay some land tax if it got rid of stamp duty and helped my sons into a home.

    That’s good of you, and I think if a land tax were marketed that way, it would have some legs.

    But i suspect all the abolition of stamp duty would do is raise the price of houses some more

    Why’s that? Home buyers pay what they can (subject to income and finance constraints), so I can’t see that going up. But under a stamp duty regime, the seller’s hold out for more because so much of the final sale price goes to the Govt. Removing stamp duty might actually reduce the price, as sellers will receive all of the revenue, not tens of thousands of dollars less.

    Over time, a land tax should actually reduce property prices and hold them down, because the economic rents earned by property owners are socialised, reducing their income-earning potential.

  • 81
    don
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    MTBW@50

    http://www.smh.com.au/world/missing-malaysia-airlines-plane-kuala-lumpur-media-lashes-channel-nines-copilot-coverage-20140313-hvi2a.html

    Now we are upsetting Kuala Lumpur!

    Tough. You can’t please all the people all the time.

    This is an important piece of news which bears directly on the behaviour and attitudes of the copilot.

  • 82
    don
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    all I can find on the position of the missing plane is this:

    http://www.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/oil-rig-worker-says-he-saw-missing-plane-burning-s/2197416/

    Does anyone have better info?

  • 83
    WeWantPaul
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    What is the logic for unimproved value? Is it to encourage improvement and minimize land use? In many ways it functions more fairly as a tax using market value – but that would dilute the impact on land use.

    It is fair it is smart it is efficient and also has a positive impact on all those horrible unused bits of land in cities where the holding costs are sufficient to force the owner to develop or sell.

    If it was phased in correctly it would have relatively little impact on the lower and middle markets in real estate. You could also have a mechanism to save the little old lady living in a hovel worth $20 million by allowing in limited circumstances people to accumulate the tax until death or sale (so it would then function a bit as a death duty).

    If you coordinated and phased it in with an ability to invest part your super in your primary residence I think you could sell it.

    It is also an indirect way of discouraging negative gearing. You’d need to phase it in to try and ensure there was no market shock.

  • 84
    Diogenes
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    don

    They say a Chinese satellite has possibly found it.

    A CHINESE satellite looking into the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 has "observed a suspected crash area at sea", in what experts say is the first solid lead in the search for the missing plane.

    Three satellite images, published by China's State Administration for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defence (SASTIND), appear to show floating object in the South China Sea on Sunday - one day after the jet carrying 239 people disappeared.

  • 85
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Thanks steve

  • 86
    fredex
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    From the GG, of all places.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/sydney-biennale-shame-risks-funding-says-george-brandis/story-fn59niix-1226853051859#

    "FEDERAL Arts Minister George Brandis has signalled a significant shake-up of arts funding to avoid political "blackballing", in the wake of what he describes as the "shameful" decision by the Biennale of Sydney to reject private sponsorship from Transfield.

    In a muscular, culture-wars intervention, Senator Brandis has issued an indirect threat against ongoing funding for the Biennale and other arts funding recipients that reject private sponsorship because of political pressure."

  • 87
    citizen
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Re the Barrangaroo fire yesterday, the TV news showed a CFMEU person who was concerned that processes for accounting for the safety of all workers on the site were inadequate.

    This sort of incident tends to blunt claims by certain people that all problems at building sites are the fault of building unions.

  • 88
    don
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Diogenes@84don

    They say a Chinese satellite has possibly found it.

    That’s pretty much the same report I found. Presumably they are sending aircraft now to look.

  • 89
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    State Labor branches should be looking at housing affordability. They should coordinate on a policy that addresses housing costs (and property cost generally) in a systematic way.

    Land tax is that method.

    They can tie it into an intergenerational equity argument, like the one rossmcg put forward.

    A land tax can be sold as guaranteeing funding to state supplied services, without relying on the Feds, and thereby solving the “blame game.”

    Land tax be presented as “the alternative to increasing the GST – and we all know that that hurts low income earners and pensioners the most.”

    Excessive property costs feeds into the capital costs of business, and in turn affect productivity. So another argument goes: “If you want to improve productivity, don’t cut workers wages, cut capital costs.”

    It makes soooo much sense. It’s low-hanging fruit. It can be done state by state. It affects the very wealthy much more than the less-wealthy. It is a policy that is Labor’s for the taking.

  • 90
    rossmcg
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    LU

    It’s a while ago, but when I bought my house i saved some money, some for the deposit and some for the extras like stamp duty.
    Now I wouldn’t be surprised if you could borrow to pay stamp duty and without that impost you have more to spend so that increases competition in a sector of the market so the price goes up.
    I an no economist, obviously, but people say all the first home buyers grant does is increase the price of first homes.

  • 91
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    Diogenes

    Yes Bolt is an amazing hypocrite.

    He has a lot of company within the political class, so not that amazing. He has inhabited the persona he created for the Murdochracy so long, that he is simply unable to grasp the world, understand nuance and least of of all, meet the famous Robbie Burns aspiration of seeing himself as others see him.

    Interestingly he actually is quite good at picking up hypocrisy in others

    Well he’s quick to assert it, but some of them on close examination turn out to be strawmen.

    but is totally blind to it in himself.

    Well yes. He’s not really much for introspection or listening to others in the hope of grasping the provenance of their ideas and their subtlety. He has no use for such things. Doubtless, they make his head hurt.

    The character he plays is a reckless, nasty, semi-educated rightwing attack dog. Just last wekk he was hinting that the Malaysian Air Crash was done by Muslims, based, no doubt, on the same feelings he had when breivik carried out his atrocity in Norway. He’s the classic exemplar of someone who learns nothing and forgets even that.

    It is amusing though to see him hoist on his own petard — the right to abuse others in the name of free speech. It’s also telling and useful to be reminded, again, that Bolt really doesn’t understand what racism describes, except perhaps in its really gross and simplistic senses, even if that entails dropping in on his narcissistic pity party.

  • 92
    don
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    this site has the best images so far, taken from a satellite. Scroll down.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11218881

  • 93
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Now I wouldn’t be surprised if you could borrow to pay stamp duty and without that impost you have more to spend so that increases competition in a sector of the market so the price goes up.

    Yeah, but you can only pay the same total amount, so the final price (to the buyer) is the same; but the seller gets more. One point being that older people (like my parents), who still hold the family home (my P’s have a lovely four bedroom home on a quarter of an acre less than 5km to the city centre), will receive more on selling it if stamp duty is removed, and so are more likely to sell it – andn hopefully it goes to a family that will actually use all four bedrooms!

    That’s called economic efficiency – the best use of finite resources – but stamp duty, and all transfer taxes, get in the way.

  • 94
    mikehilliard
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

    Up the road (inner Sydney) at the shops yesterday evening the guy behind the counter was watching the Barangaroo fire, outside the road was jammed with traffic.

    “Bit of a shambles” I said referring to the traffic.

    “Bet the bloody unions did it” he said.

    This is what Abbott creates, uncalled for bitter resentment.

  • 95
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    rossmcg

    My son purchased his first home recently. A small old house at the lower end of the market. It cost him $22,000 for stamp duty. He had the 20% deposit as required by the lender, but not the $22,000 for s/duty. He could have borrowed this from the lender, but it would require mortgage insurance. From recollection, it would cost an additional $8,000 which would then have to be borrowed as well.

  • 96
    Libertarian Unionist
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    I an no economist, obviously, but people say all the first home buyers grant does is increase the price of first homes.

    That’s correct, because the money goes to the seller first, before a sale, so the price they can offer is inflated. In contrast, stamp duty comes off the price after the sale, so is effectively a deduction from the seller’s revenue (even though it’s the buyer who pays the tax).

  • 97
    kezza2
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Summing up of Andrew Bolt done best on Q&A, Monday 10 October, 2011.

    [RICHARD FLANAGAN: Well, I think if you stood on the moon, two things would be visible, the Great Wall of China and the self pity of Andrew Bolt.

  • 98
    victoria
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    mikehilliard

    Why would a union cause a fire that could potentially have been a disaster and killed dozens of workers. What is wrong with people?

  • 99
    CTar1
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    don

    The satellite photos in here:

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-26554875

  • 100
    mikehilliard
    Posted Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    victoria

    Honestly I’m not making it up & I said the same thing, why would they do that? Didn’t get an answer, just a shrug.

    I think people now associate any negatives news to do with building sites with the unions. This is what Abbott wants.

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