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Federal Election 2016

May 11, 2014

Seats of the week: Kooyong and Higgins

A double dose of the Liberal Party's inner eastern Melbourne heartland, encompassing the seats held by Josh Frydenberg and Kelly O'Dwyer.

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Kooyong

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Presently covering Melbourne’s affluent inner east from Kew and Hawthorn eastwards to Balwyn North and Camberwell, Kooyong has been held by the prevailing conservative forces of the day without interruption since its creation at federation, including by Robert Menzies throughout his 31-year career in federal parliament. The seat has had only seven members in its long history, of whom the first two were William Knox and Robert Best, the latter succeeding the former in 1910. Best was defeated as Nationalist candidate at the 1922 election by conservative independent John Latham, who ran in opposition to the prime ministership of Billy Hughes. With that end accomplished by an election that left the anti-Hughes Country Party holding the balance of power, Latham in time joined the Nationalists and served as Attorney-General in Stanley Bruce’s government from 1925 until its defeat in 1929. Bruce’s loss of his seat of Flinders at that election saw Latham emerge as Opposition Leader, but the defeat of the Labor government two years later was effected when Joseph Lyons led Labor defectors into a merger with conservative forces as the United Australia Party, with Latham agreeing to serve as Lyons’s deputy. Latham served as Attorney-General and External Affairs Minister in the Lyons government from 1931 until his retirement at the 1934 election, and a year later was appointed Chief Justice of the High Court.

Latham’s successor as both member for Kooyong and Attorney-General was Robert Menzies, who had been a state parliamentarian since 1928 and Deputy Premier since 1932. Menzies ascended to the prime minister after Joseph Lyons’ death in April 1939, serving for two years as the nation’s wartime leader before resigning in August 1941 after losing the support of his cabinet colleagues. Following Labor’s landslide win at the 1943 election, Menzies returned to the leadership of the United Australia Party which had been held in the interim by Billy Hughes, and brought fragmented conservative forces together a year later under the new banner of the Liberal Party. Two elections later he led the party to a resounding victory, commencing an epic 16-year tenure as prime minister from December 1949 until his retirement in January 1966.

Menzies was succeeded in Kooyong at an April 1966 by-election by Andrew Peacock, who went on to serve as a senior minister in Malcolm Fraser’s government from 1975 until April 1981, when he unsuccessfully challenged Fraser for the leadership. He briefly returned to the ministry from November 1982 until the election defeat the following March, after which he defeated John Howard in the ballot for the party leadership. Despite leading the party to an honourable defeat at the December 1984 election, he was obliged to surrender the leadership the following September after a bungled attempt to force Howard out as deputy. A party room coup returned him to the leadership in May 1989, but he failed to win the March 1990 election despite securing for the Coalition a narrow majority of the two-party preferred vote. He then relinquished the leadership to John Hewson, and served in the shadow ministry until his retirement from politics in November 1994.

The seat’s next member for Petro Georgiou, who as member for so prestigious a seat was generally assumed to have a career as a heavy-hitter ahead of him. However, he instead emerged as a permanent back-bencher and a thorn in the side of the Howard government, particularly in relation to his liberal views on asylum seekers. Georgiou retired at the 2010 election and was succeeded by Josh Frydenberg, a banker and former adviser to Alexander Downer and John Howard who had earlier challenged Georgiou for preselection in 2007. Frydenberg won the 2010 preselection with the backing of the Michael Kroger faction, while rivals associated with the then state Opposition Leader Ted Baillieu initially backed John Roskam, the director of the Institute of Public Affairs. However, Roskam declined to run and instead threw his weight behind industrial relations lawyer John Pesutto, whom Frydenberg defeated in the final round by 283 votes to 239. Frydenberg was promoted to parliamentary secretary to the Prime Minister after the September 2013 election victory.

Higgins

Blue and red numbers respectively indicate booths with two-party majorities for Liberal and Labor. Click for larger image. Map boundaries courtesy of Ben Raue at The Tally Room.

Held by the Liberals since its creation in 1949, Higgins owes its blue-ribbon status to the affluence of Toorak and suburbs further to the east, including Glen Iris and Malvern. Prahran in the electorate’s west provides a strong basis of support for Labor and the Greens, while Carnegie and Ashburton in the south-east are naturally marginal. At the time of the electorate’s creation the Toorak end was accommodated by Fawkner, which prior to 1949 had boundaries resembling those of Higgins today. Higgins assumed its present character when Fawkner was abolished at the 1969 election. The seat’s inaugural member was Harold Holt, who had previously been member for Fawkner since 1935. Holt remained in the seat until his disappearance in December 1967, at which point it was used to parachute Senator John Gorton into the the lower house to enable him to assume the prime ministership. Gorton stayed on for two elections after being deposed as Prime Minister in March 1971, before indulging in a quixotic bid to win one of the Australian Capital Territory’s newly acquired Senate seats as an independent in 1975. Roger Shipton subsequently held the seat until 1990, achieving prominence only in 1988 when he stood firm against maverick businessman John Elliott’s designs on his seat. Shipton stared down Elliott only to lose preselection to Peter Costello, who was at no stage troubled in Higgins through his 11 frustrating years as Treasurer and Liberal deputy.

On the morning after the November 2007 election defeat, Costello made the surprise announcement that he would not assume the leadership. Speculation that he might later do so lingered until October 2009, when he announced his resignation from parliament. The Liberals had at this time just completed their preselection for the following election, which was won by Kelly O’Dwyer, a National Australia Bank executive who had earlier spent four years as an adviser to Costello. O’Dwyer was chosen ahead of Toorak businessman Andrew Abercrombie by 222 votes to 112, with candidates earlier falling by the wayside including Tim Wilson, then a policy director at the Institute of Public Affairs and now a Human Rights Commissioner, and the IPA’s executive director John Roskam, whose bid reportedly suffered from an article he wrote for The Punch which had put Costello’s nose out of joint. Tony Abbott said in April 2011 that O’Dwyer was “knocking hard on the door of that Shadow Cabinet”, but she is nonetheless yet to have won promotion.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, is one of the most heavily trafficked forums for online discussion of Australian politics, and joined the Crikey stable in 2008.

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1620 comments

1,620 thoughts on “Seats of the week: Kooyong and Higgins

  1. Sir Mad Cyril

    Besides, I like The Bill. Well at least the episodes from the 1980’s and early 1990’s. Twas a fine show back then.

  2. guytaur

    “@mpesce: If the core promise were to bring the budget back into surplus, there would be no tax cuts until that happened.”

    “@mpesce: It’s not any more complicated than that. Despite all the doubled-speak and repeat of lies until they sound truthy.”

  3. DisplayName

    meher, there is a difference between saying

    “here is how people are currently assessed, we think it’s too generous in the way of X, Y and Z”

    and

    “There are X% disabled people? Doesn’t that sound too high? Are there really that many disabled people around?”

    The former targets the process, the latter targets the people.

  4. spur212

    Essential says it all. The arse has fallen out of Abbott’s leadership ratings. Give it a couple of months and the prism will form around his leadership where he won’t be able to say anything without it negatively impacting the government

  5. DisplayName

    Or to put it another way, the former says “any issues arising from how people are assessed is our fault” the latter says “the problem is all these moochers”.

  6. Bushfire Bill

    [Swinging voters like pensioners have fond memories of The Bill. Those not watching the repeats on 7Two]

    That’s actually a pretty good line…

    SHORTEN:
    “The geniuses the Liberals have dreaming up their slogans have decided to call me ‘The Bill’. The Bill’s a TV show. I used to watch it from time to time. I enjoyed The Bill. So let me borrow a line from The Bill and use it in this debate on the Budget. After all the lies, broken promises and weasel words behind this fabricated hodge-podge, Treasurer… YOU’RE NICKED!”.

  7. zoidlord

    Retweeted by sortius
    Kenneth Tsang ‏@jxeeno 3m

    still no answers for questions on notice from Additional Estimates from comms http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Senate_Estimates/ecctte/estimates/add1314/communications/index … #NBN

  8. kakuru

    SMC:

    [Of course, on seeing those posters, I immediately started humming the theme tune from The Bill to myself.]

    Thanks, I now have the theme tune in my head now. You’re a horrible person SMC, I hope you know that.

  9. Just Me

    [Insurers who pay compensation claims stopped moved a long time ago beyond relying solely on advice from people’s personal treating doctor(s). It seems reasonable to me to try something similar with DSP.]

    FFS, it already happens, and has for many, many years.

    I was assessed for the DSP over 25 years ago, and for that I had to see two independent doctors chosen by Centrelink, in addition to the assessments from my GP and the (world renowned) professor who diagnosed me. I have had a number of re-assessments since (average every 5-6 years), usually involving an independent (ie Centrelink chosen) reviewer.

    Furthermore, the requirements for DSP have been tightened up a lot since I first applied.

    So, it wasn’t easy to get 25 years ago, and is even harder to get (and keep) now.

    Exactly where is the problem?

  10. Fran Barlow

    briefly @1323

    [And the Greens should oppose the excise measures on the same basis.]

    I disagree. The excises measures are different, in that they were arbitrarily abolished when Howard saw petrol prices as “a barbecue stopper”. Along with many others, we have persistently called for indexation to be restored.

    Consider:

    a) Australia is a net importer of petroleum (IIRC the balance is 2:1)
    b) Oil is a scarce resource
    c) It’s a fossil fuel, which should have been priced when we priced carbon.

    If Australia accelerated the drift to EVs, the air would be cleaner our progress on climate change better and the BOP better also.

    These are adequate reasons not to make it a concessionally priced commodity — quite the reverse.

    It’s a political bonus that Abbott’s rightwing fringe is calling this “a backdoor carbon tax”. IMO, if Abbott wants to bring back full indexation we ought to back this one while calling him out for his hypocrisy and inconsistency.

  11. zoidlord

    FTTP architect has been sacked, aka “redundant”:
    http://delimiter.com.au/2014/05/13/nbn-co-made-fttp-architect-ferris-redundant/

  12. mexicanbeemer

    MB 1498 is right, under the right policy settings many disabled people are able to work, the only people that can’t are those with a severe disabilities which thankfully isn’t anywhere near 800,000.

    I suspect a third too a quarter could work and that is pushing it!

  13. Sir Mad Cyril

    [
    Thanks, I now have the theme tune in my head now. You’re a horrible person SMC, I hope you know that.
    ]

    lol

    Blame the Libs! They came up with the posters that made me think of The Bill. Another crime against humanity from our wonderful government.

    Besides, I like the tune. lol

  14. Bushfire Bill

    What’s the bet Abbott gets asked a dixer on the Unions Royal Commission?

  15. zoidlord

    @MB/1532

    There is no right policy under this gov, that is the problem.

    It seems the money already announced (say for example $10,000 to Employers to keep someone on) is to benefit them, not the person looking for the job.

  16. Fran Barlow

    Zommster

    [other Greens MPs oppose Milne {on the “deficit” levy}, and Bandt has said that the issue isn’t settled.

    It’ll be interesting to see how this one pans out.]

    It will be, but I doubt that Milne will be rolled on it. I’d be backing strongly the current position. If we are goping to back the levy, then rather than an explicit policy quid pro quo (it’s not raising enough to do that), I’d want some express political acknowledgment by the regime that the levy is poor process — a demand they surely couldn’t resist, if there’s “an emergency” and they are “just being honest”.

  17. Lynchpin

    BB, is that Shorten’s riposte to the pathetic name calling?

    If so, it is brilliant.

  18. mexicanbeemer

    Zoidy that grant to the employer isn’t even a new policy, it didn’t achieve much the first time around and more than likely wont the second time around.

    As I have said before many disabled people would be better off sacking the disability sector and doing it themselves.

  19. victoria

    Bushfire Bill
    Posted Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 1:33 pm | PERMALINK
    Swinging voters like pensioners have fond memories of The Bill. Those not watching the repeats on 7Two

    That’s actually a pretty good line…

    SHORTEN:
    “The geniuses the Liberals have dreaming up their slogans have decided to call me ‘The Bill’. The Bill’s a TV show. I used to watch it from time to time. I enjoyed The Bill. So let me borrow a line from The Bill and use it in this debate on the Budget. After all the lies, broken promises and weasel words behind this fabricated hodge-podge, Treasurer… YOU’RE NICKED!”.

    Classic

  20. zoidlord

    @1538

    Not if their payments get cut off.

  21. mexicanbeemer

    Zoidy

    Centerlink wont cut their payments off

    They know their system doesn’t work

  22. zoidlord

    @1542

    I didn’t say Centerlink, I said the government policy is to cut DSP off, entirely.

    They complained about the DSP since day 1.

  23. mexicanbeemer

    Zoidy

    Actually the government has been muddled since day 1 but that doesn’t stop the mildly disabled seeking more mainstream educational and employment opportunities.

  24. zoidlord

    @1544

    What your forgetting that’s already happened, and failed, thus the participation rate is so damn low.

    Forcing people off, doesn’t fix the situation.

    Once again, both of you have been bought into this mentality that this fixes the situation.

  25. psyclaw

    MB #1503

    “Insurers who pay compensation claims stopped moved a long time ago beyond relying solely on advice from people’s personal treating doctor(s)”

    Yeah! That’s a rort by insurers. God help the disabled if that became widespread.

    I don’t know what industry you’re from, but the medicos who work for insurers are spurned by other medicos, and considered to be the shit of the medico earth.

    I know a number of them ….. they earn big bucks doing one hour assessments and the more they reject the better the insurer likes them and floods work at them. Big dollars, no preparation, template reports, using old, invalidated by research, tick and flick tests and measures. They never treat patients and work full time in the case rejection industry.

    As I said last week I’ve taken great pleasure in the past tearing down these assessments and sending the insurers back to square one with their tails between their legs.

    Sadly, many of the victims have not got the strength, initiative or insights to take them on. Quite often the insurer’s decision to reject a case (as malingering) is easily overturned at the very first level of appeal, ie by the insurers own formal internal appeals committee.

    In one case I know the insurer sent the victim to 7 medicos in 2 years. Two of them were professional insurers’ medicos …. they rejected the case. The other 5 were real doctors ie who spend most of their time treating patients ….. they all supported the victim. (In the particular area their was a shortage of insurers’ medicos in the required specialty area, so the insurer was forced to use real practising doctors).

    The victim was then rejected on the basis of the 2 shonks’ reports and the 5 supportive reports were totally ignored. But the appeal process requires that all assessments be considered, and disclosed to the victim.

    The appeal committee took about 30 seconds to overturn the decision.

    Insurance companies, aided and abetted by shonk medicos who never actually treat patients will use any means, lawful or not, moral or not, just or not, to save dollars.

    Just like the Abbotteers.

  26. ruawake

    [Anecdotal evidence has always been that – as with medical certificates for sick leave – your average GP is a bit reluctant to overrule patients who consider that they should be eligible to receive a DSP. And there are lots of GPs around, so doctor shopping is a simple matter.]

    Shame one fact blows this crap away. Centrelink Doctors evaluate every DSP claim. Requiring GP reports, specialists reports, pathology test, X-rays etc to make their decision.

    When will people stop parroting simplistic crap?

  27. mari

    Thanks Victoria and Guytaur for good wishes.

    KO7 yes everywhere you see tHem being given away, only reason it is still around is because it wa rupe’s baby, the moment he goes so will The OZ

    what a glorious day in Sydney just been on part of the Bondi walk, should have taken my swimmers with me, so lovely

  28. dave

    Blewitt says he has Diabetes Type 2 and high blood pressure and may not be able to give full evidence today – but will battle through – poor didums.

    Giving himself an out.

  29. mexicanbeemer

    Zoidy

    It does work, the disability sector isn’t designed to help the mildly disabled but rather the more severe disabled.

    Its the same with the Job Services system which isn’t designed for the recent unemployed but rather for the longer term unemployed.

    There are many disabled people in the workforce and there is no reason why a larger number cannot join the workforce even if it is too flick Andrews the bird.

  30. Bushfire Bill

    I would have thought that if he declines, or is unable to give further evidence, considering that Gillard’s and Wilson’s barristers did not have time to contest or cross-examine his evidence, it should be thrown out altogether.

  31. victoria

    deve

    What a shyster

  32. zoidlord

    @Ruawwake/1547

    EXACTLY!

  33. Sir Mad Cyril

    Someone was asking the other week how Howard and Costello’s first budget was reported. Troy Bramston has the front pages of The Australian for the following budgets:

    1978 – Howard’s first Budget

    Headline “It’s Revolting”

    https://twitter.com/TroyBramston/status/466027131764367360

    1983 – Keating’s first Budget

    Headline “Keating’s mild Budget”

    https://twitter.com/TroyBramston/status/466028743488581633

    1996 – Costello’s first budget

    Headline – “Costello punts on cuts, tax”

    https://twitter.com/TroyBramston/status/466029302039851008

    2008 – Swan’s first budget

    Headline – “Swan lite on inflation”

    https://twitter.com/TroyBramston/status/466029897085755392

    Somehow I doubt we will see a “It’s Revolting” from the Oz for tonight’s budget.

  34. shellbell

    Madcyril

    [Besides, I like The Bill. Well at least the episodes from the 1980′s and early 1990′s. Twas a fine show back then.]

    Agree – better shown when the detectives looked like they enjoyed a bit of hard living rather than self-grooming

  35. Bushfire Bill

    Blewitt was the big brave bloke who was going to lift the lid off shenanigans in the AWU, and throw himself on the mercy of the Court as a sacrifice for all the bad things he’d done in his life.

    After turning up virtually unannounced and now, it seems, squibbing cross-examination (where the barristers today may not be as kind to him as yesterday’s Counsel Assisting was), he deserves little or no credibility.

  36. BH

    BB Brilliant comeback. Took liberty of sending link to Labor pollie, hope you don’t mind

    Bill Shorten just made lovely comments about Neville Wran

  37. victoria

    Good lord what has JBishop done with her hair!!!

  38. zoidlord

    @MB/1550

    You obviously ignoring the facts MB, but rather parroting what Andrew says.

  39. Bushfire Bill

    [“Costello punts on cuts, tax”]

    Strewth!

    You wouldn’t want to have had few vinos and try to say that one, would you!

  40. victoria

    Meanwhile at ICAC

    You’re lying thru your teeth, aren’t you? Tim Koelma is doggedly sticking to the line his firm 8×5 was a ridgey didge media&PR company #icac

  41. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    maher baba
    That post about about disability and work, is a mark of someone who has nfi.

  42. guytaur

    “@AustralianLabor: Question Time is about to start, watch live on @ABCNews24: http://t.co/jr2y7ioMaz #qt #auspol”

    I have not seen this very often. Labor expecting a good one?

  43. victoria

    No,no,no,no,no, says The Commish about Koelma’s various versions of how he came to be involved with the Tinkler Group #icac

  44. mexicanbeemer

    Zoidy

    I think I know more about the disabled than Andrew does

  45. Sir Mad Cyril

    [
    Agree – better shown when the detectives looked like they enjoyed a bit of hard living rather than self-grooming
    ]

    shellbell,

    Yes indeed. It certainly had a feel of gritty realism to it back then.

  46. victoria

    Did you think the horses were developing properties? asks Watson about the use of Tinkler’s horse stud to hide payments from Buildev #icac

  47. ruawake

    Tony admits he is a liar.

  48. guytaur

    “@AustralianLabor: “The PM promised… ‘No cuts…’ How can the Australian people trust anything the PM has to say?” @billshortenmp #auspol #qt”

  49. Sir Mad Cyril

    [
    Did you think the horses were developing properties? asks Watson about the use of Tinkler’s horse stud to hide payments from Buildev #icac
    ]

    Was Mr Ed in residence?

  50. BK

    What on EARTH has Mesma done to her hair?

  51. DisplayName

    There is also a difference between asking those questions privately because you’re genuinely curious about the answer, and projecting those “questions” publicly (aka insinuating) when you already have an answer designed into a budget you’re about to release.

  52. victoria

    BK

    I have already asked that question!

  53. Sir sustainable future

    from the UK

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/may/12/support-labour-drops-tories-lead-guardian-icm-poll?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

    the rise of the UKIP is scary – I guess here the LNP has morphed into a far right party in rhetoric if not in practice (xenophobia but immigrant numbers un-changed; nationalistic, but signing free trade agreements as though they’ll benefit australia; etc). on a plus side, the lib-dems will not go near the tories again if they side with UKIP. i am surprised the Lib Dems are polling so well – Labour must be stuffing up bad or be facing the same murdochshite our progressive parties face.

  54. Boerwar

    Madame Speaker allows the Manager of Opposition Business a pro forma non POO.

  55. victoria

    The member for Dobell still has her spot behind the PM

  56. J341983

    RAbbott looks rattled…

  57. guytaur

    Burke just got away with pointing out the bias of the Speaker

  58. Bushfire Bill

    For a different type of bullshit act, try here: http://203.174.157.189/webcast/

    Royal Commission is back up live.

  59. BK

    Abbott’s got his asynchronous, frenetic hand movements going full bore at QT.

  60. zoidlord

    @1565

    Obviously again you don’t.

    I been in the Centerlink system since John Howard time, same bullshit they throw out then, then is it now.

    These guys have NFI and just pushing their ideology BS on us. It is a mistake to take anything what Andrews or anyone else for that matter, because what they say and do are totally different.

  61. ruawake

    No changes to Pensions without an election. What is Abbott upto?

  62. BK

    I’ve had enough of this QT crap already. I’m going out to spray capeweed.

  63. Bushfire Bill

    Blewitt now being asked by Wilson’s lawyer how he has sustained himelf financially since he left the Union.

    Blewitt asks, “Do I have to answer this Your Honour?”

  64. victoria

    In Brian De Palma’s 1987 film The Untouchables, the capture of gangster Al Capone’s bookkeeper is a breakthrough moment for Eliot Ness and his crew of prohibition cops.

    At the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Monday, counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson got his very own bookkeeper. His name is Ray Carter.

    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/icacs-geoffrey-watson-gets-his-bookkeeper-20140513-zradb.html

  65. Dan Gulberry

    [@JulieBishop has just returned from her cleaning job. Still wearing the mop on her head #qt #auspol]

  66. guytaur

    “@AustralianLabor: “The PM promised… “No change to pensions…” How can the OZ people trust anything this PM says?” @billshortenmp #auspol #qt”

    Seems Labor going to hammer Abbott on broken promises as much as Abbott did Gillard. Good I say.

  67. Just Me

    [1546
    psyclaw]

    Thanks you for your work in this area. Can be very unrewarding and soul destroying stuff.

    Your comments remind me of an infamous legal case a few years back in Sydney involving one of those obnoxious medicos-for-hire (a psychiatrist in this case), whose attitude to disability was scathingly dismissed by an appeal judge as something like ‘requiring all four limbs to be missing in order to qualify for a claim’.

  68. victoria

    BK

    Agreed. I have switched off too

  69. Bushfire Bill

    Blewitt asked to step outside the courtroom,and indeed be confined to a room without a live feed of the Commission, while Wilson’s brief explains to Heydon just why she’s so interested in Blewitt’s finances.

    Hmmm… sounds like something interesting coming up…

  70. Sir sustainable future

    [“Costello punts on cuts, tax”

    Strewth!

    You wouldn’t want to have had few vinos and try to say that one, would you!]

    BB – I had the same thought (as well as a mental image of costello wearing an interesting looking hat)

  71. Boerwar

    LOL
    Blewitt has been taken to a room while someone explains why she wants to pursue a line of questioning about why he REALLY shifted to Indonesia.

  72. mexicanbeemer

    Zoidy

    I do know what I am talking about!

  73. zoidlord

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/federal-budget/whats-driving-the-budget-it-isnt-newstart-family-or-disability-benefits-20140512-zraet.html#ixzz31YM6qlaT

    Read the first paragraph:

    “But spending on the disability support pension is projected to grow only 2.8 per cent, spending on unemployment benefits only 1.1 per cent, while spending on family tax benefits is expected to slide in real terms even before any budget cutbacks.”

    “Even the age pension is only expected to increase in cost by 4.7 per cent a year above the rate of inflation.”

    “The really big drivers of government spending are childcare and paid parental leave, whose costs are set to soar 14 per cent a year above the rate of inflation; hospitals, whose costs are set to soar 11.7 per cent; and carers payments whose costs are set to soar 10.2 per cent a year.”

    Tony Abbott’s own policies cost more than the current policies!

  74. shellbell

    A coat of arms or something in Latin behind Dyson Heydon QC would be better than a powder blue wall.

  75. guytaur

    If you want the questions but not the answers Australian Labor is tweeting the Labor ones.

    Also looks like Bob Katter is getting a question soon

  76. Centre

    ooh bird brain (mesma) doesn’t look too bad were her new hair do.

  77. Bushfire Bill

    Heydon is worried about questioning Blewitt’s motivations.

    We’re starting to get controversial here. Wilson’s lawyer is suggesting that there may be some financial funny business going on and that Blewitt’s motives may be be pure of heart.

  78. Bushfire Bill

    May NOT be pure of heart.

  79. Boerwar

    …and why Blewitt’s testimony possibly showed sharp internal contrast over time…

  80. guytaur

    “@Rob_Stott: At the GP for a bulk billed appointment WHILE I CAN”

  81. Centre

    Credlin looks like drag.

  82. Boerwar

    BB

    This is a test for Heydon. IMHO, if he stops this line of questioning in its tracks he is running a protection racket.

  83. guytaur

    “@FarrellPF: Strange events at union Royal Commission. Blewitt asked to wait outside while relevance of evidence being considered, but feed still live.”

  84. dave

    Blewitt didn’t like answering why he lived in Indonesia – asked if he had to answer.

    Counsel said she wanted it answered and asked that Blewitt goes outside so that she can tell the Commish why.

    Counsel explains that Blewitt had financial problems and that a third party had paid some of Blewitt’s expenses.

    Council has screenshot of phone emails from Lombok between Blewitt and Wison – friendly emails in 2010 (I think) – in conflict with what Blewitt said yesterday.

    Not the tone of a man writing to a bully who had stood over him.

    Commissioner is ‘resisting’ what is being put – mulling is a better word.

    http://203.174.157.189/webcast/

  85. Bushfire Bill

    Heydon seems to be saying that we may have to take Blewitt’s word for everything.

    Ironically, Heydon thinks emails and letters sent and received 15 years later may be too far removed from events to be relevant.

    I see Heydopn’s fifteen years and raise him five.

  86. Boerwar

    Mr Blewitt’s person is doing his best to stop Mr Blewitt being questioned along these lines.

  87. guytaur

    Abbott just lost it. Does not even seem to know it.

    Look at the faces of the LNP members

  88. briefly

    [1530
    Fran Barlow

    briefly @1323

    And the Greens should oppose the excise measures on the same basis.

    I disagree. The excises measures are different, in that they were arbitrarily abolished when Howard saw petrol prices as “a barbecue stopper”. Along with many others, we have persistently called for indexation to be restored.]

    Excise is only nominally a tax on road use and on fuel. But is actually a tax on commuters and on the cost of producing goods and services. It can be compared with payroll tax, which looks like a tax on employment but is actually paid for by higher prices and lower production.

    Excise is also regressive – mostly, it cannot be avoided by workers and commuters. But it can and will be passed on by those businesses that have enough pricing power. Because fuel use is ubiquitous in the economy, it is also taxes those goods and services that are otherwise exempt from sales tax – food, education and health services.

    I am all in favour of high taxes on tobacco and alcohol. Rather than taxing fuel, I would prefer taxes on gaming, which is a destructive pursuit that delivers absolutely no economic welfare whatsoever.

  89. Boerwar

    Heydon protects Blewitt…

    Meh.

  90. guytaur

    “@SamCD01: Member for Grayndler – “Did you miss your bike ride this morning?””

  91. Bushfire Bill

    Heydon rejects communications between Blewitt and Wilson that show they were quite pally right up to 2010.

  92. mexicanbeemer

    The Greens opposing the debt tax is bizarre

  93. sceptic

    BB

    Council assisting the RC is a total GOOSE… unlike the ICAC where it is all about exposure, truth & light… Wilso is protecting his doggy witness

    So now the RC shows his colours by rejecting Heydons submission… biased as hell!!

    Hang on for fire works!

    Call ambulance for Blewitt

  94. zoidlord

    Retweeted by sortius
    Ketan Joshi ‏@KetanJ0 4m

    “Keeping carbon price and scrapping Direct Action are most favoured options, according to ‘alternative budget’ tool” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/13/budget-2014-guardian-readers-have-their-say-on-reducing-the-deficit

  95. Puff, the Magic Dragon.

    Link for union bashing RC please?

  96. sceptic

    Blewitt admits existence of emails with Smith & Nowicki… should be a hoot when Heydon asked the RC for these…& the RC doesn’t have them… why NOT?

    No due diligence ?

    Heydon… getting very shirty!!!

  97. sceptic

    Blewitt is the RC witness & Wilson gave him the Dorthy Dix run yesterday… today Heydon how to do forensic questioning

    RC is off to the worst possible start