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Seat of the week: Lyons

The central Tasmanian electorate of Lyons covers some of the poorest and least ethnically diverse territory in the country, and it recorded the nation’s biggest anti-Labor swing at the 2013 election.

Known prior to 1983 as Wilmot, Lyons covers what’s left over of Tasmania after the north-west coast (Braddon), north-east coast (Bass), central Hobart (Denison) and Hobart’s outskirts (Franklin) are ordered into natural communities of interest. It thus includes small towns on either side of Tasmania’s pronounced north-south divide, including New Norfolk outside Hobart and the southern outskirts of Launceston, along with fishing towns and tourist centres on the east coast and rural territory in between, together with a short stretch of the northern coast between Braddon and Bass at Port Sorell. According to the 2011 census, Lyons has the lowest proportion of non-English speakers of any electorate in the country, along with the second lowest proportion of people who finished high school and the sixth lowest median family income. The Liberals gained the seat in 2013 on the back of the election’s biggest swing, which converted an existing Labor margin of 11.9% into a Liberal margin of 1.2%.

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

Wilmot was in conservative hands from 1901 to 1929, when it was won for Labor by the man whose name it now bears. Joseph Lyons had been Tasmania’s Premier until the defeat of his minority government in 1928, and upon entering federal parliament he assumed the position of Postmaster-General in the newly elected government of Jim Scullin. However, Lyons and his followers split from Labor in 1931 after a dispute over economic policy in response to the Depression. Joining with the opposition to become the leader of the new conservative United Australia Party, Lyons became Prime Minister after a landslide win at the election held the following December, retaining the position through two further election victories until his death in 1939.

Labor briefly resumed its hold on Wilmot after the by-election that followed Lyons’ death, but Allan Guy recovered it for the United Australia Party at the general election of 1940. It next changed hands at the 1946 election when Labor’s Gil Duthie unseated Guy against the trend of a national swing to the newly formed Liberal Party. Duthie went on to hold the seat for nearly three decades, until all five Tasmanian seats went from Labor to Liberal in 1975. The 9.9% swing that delivered the seat to Max Burr in 1975 was cemented by an 8.0% swing at the next election in 1977, and the Franklin dam issue ensured the entire state remained on side with the Liberals in 1983 and 1984. The realignment when Burr retired at the 1993 election, when the loss of Burr’s personal vote combined with the statewide backlash against John Hewson’s proposed goods and services tax delivered a decisive 5.6% swing to Labor.

Labor’s member for the next two decades was Dick Adams, a former state government minister who had lost his seat in 1982. Adams survived a swing in 1996 before piling 9.3% on to his margin in 1998, enough of a buffer to survive a small swing in 2001 and a large one in 2004, as northern Tasmania reacted against Labor forestry policies which Adams had bitterly opposed. Strong successive performances in 2007 and 2010 left Adams with what appeared to be a secure buffer, but this proved illusory in the face of a swing in 2013 that reached double figures in all but a handful of the electorate’s booths, and in several cases topped 20%. The victorious Liberal candidate was Eric Hutchinson, a wool marketer with Tasmanian agribusiness company Roberts Limited, who had also run in 2010.

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  • 101
    Greensborough Growler
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    if Clive is the Miley Cyrus “Wrecking Ball”, then Abbott and Co are her fathers pleading “Achy breaky Heart”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=byQIPdHMpjc

  • 102
    zoidlord
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    @bemused/99

    Labor can go back and extend the remaining 13%.

  • 103
    cud chewer
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Fran,

    I presume you’ve delved into this..

    http://bze.org.au/zero-carbon-australia-2020

  • 104
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    MTBW

    Of course I’m easily moved to tears, but I find that there is a great difference between a sudden absence with no explanation, and a gentle winding down, with plenty of time to discuss the future and never leave part without saying “I love you”. So I’m sad, but am so thankful for the years we had together. Our only regret was that we didn’t meet earlier.

  • 105
    cud chewer
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I found this interesting…

    http://ashghebranious.wordpress.com/2014/07/11/someone-tried-to-pull-a-fast-one/

    From what we know, PUP sent round an amendment on the Monday of this week. Later talks between PUP and the Coalition had PUP made changes to this amendment, but it appears, the coalition where planning on a double cross all along.
    .
    The focus of the changes to the original amendment were mostly technical terminology over who exactly is liable for what Palmer called a penalty if they do not pass on the refund to consumers. The coalition spent the entire week talking with PUP over these technical terms. But they did not tell PUP one very very important thing.
    .
    You see, the Senate can’t initiate amendments that raise revenue. Penalty or not. The Coalition are well aware of this. It’s bread and butter stuff for those in Federal Politics. So the coalition spent the entire week trying to divert PUP’s attention from this little trap and argued technical terminology and lawyer words.
    .
    What would have happened is the Coalition would have passed the repeal bill with the amendment that they then KNEW would be struck down as unconstitutional. So they get their repeal, and Palmer and PUP get shafted.

  • 106
    BK
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    Mark Latham takes direct aim at The Australian and its Hedley Thomas and Grace Collier.
    Mark doesn’t mince words.
    http://www.afr.com/p/national/arts_saleroom/being_mauled_by_news_corp_paper_lbotAKWOCGp6yK9lZBslzI

  • 107
    rossmcg
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Bk

    Latham still had some fire in his belly. He may have been a loose cannon as LOTO, but when he finds the target …

  • 108
    rossmcg
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    …still has….

  • 109
    confessions
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    BK:

    Thanks for the link to Latham. Not the first time he’s given it to Hedley Thomas either.

  • 110
    MTBW
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:25 pm | Permalink

    lizzie

    You will be fine! Sad but fine!

    You impress me as a strong person just take care of you.

  • 111
    fredex
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    http://forum.climatechangeactionnetwork.org.au/article.php?story=20060608204452903

    *From CSIRO*

    *8 years ago*.

    Solar thermal technology is capable of producing Australia's entire electricity demand and is the only renewable energy capable of making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, a confidential coal research report obtained by The Canberra Times says.

    The report, by the Cooperative Research Centre for Coal in Sustainable Development, claims solar thermal technology "is poised to play a significant role in baseload generation for Australia" and will be cost-competitive with coal within seven years.

    It says solar thermal-generated power is capable of meeting the requirements of two major electric power markets - "large-scale dispatchable markets comprised of grid-connected peaking and base-load power and rapidly expanding distributed markets including both on-grid and remote off-grid applications"....

    The CRC's report claims a 35sqkm area with high levels of sunlight and low cloud cover "could produce Australia's entire current power demand" using solar thermal technology....

    CSIRO renewable energy manager Wes Stein, who advised the CRC on aspects of the report, said Australia had the potential to be a world leader in solar thermal technology.

    The original report was pulled from the public domain – this was, of course, the Howard years.

    The dismally sad thing is that we have pissed this opportunity against the wall of industry opposition, the technology was, still is, in place, the economies have come to fruition.

    If this report had become a blueprint for action then we would not have a problem or debate now.
    The problem would be near enough to solvered to be inconsequential.

    Waste.

  • 112
    psyclaw
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    Bemused Comrade

    We live in a 7 year old estate not far from Newcastle NSW.

    Last week, private contractors installed rope between all the telephony pits along our street. I spoke to one of the installers (an unskilled worker, a hired hand not very conversant with the NBN history or politics) who said he thought the ropes were to drag the fibreoptic through.

    So it may mean that we are to get FTTP ????? ………….. or FTTN and thence to premises through nylon rope!

    Turnbull may have decided that nylon rope is superior to 7 year old copper ….. this would be commensurate with the competence and visions of this rabble.

  • 113
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    psyclaw – They’ll deliver the jam cans next week.

  • 114
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Fran Barlow

    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Recently I was challenged on Twitter to support a claim by me that it was technically possible for Australia to make a rapid change to a renewables-based stationary energy system. I expressed the opinion that it ought not to be beyond us to get the Eastern Grid at least 60% renewable by 2030. I suspect we could do better than that, but I wanted to be confident of avoiding overreach.

    Germany is producing 40billion KWH, 27% of their need. They are aiming to be totally renewable by 2050.

    Makes Abbott’s efforts look even more pathetic

  • 115
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    psyclaw@112

    Bemused Comrade

    We live in a 7 year old estate not far from Newcastle NSW.

    Last week, private contractors installed rope between all the telephony pits along our street. I spoke to one of the installers (an unskilled worker, a hired hand not very conversant with the NBN history or politics) who said he thought the ropes were to drag the fibreoptic through.

    So it may mean that we are to get FTTP ????? ………….. or FTTN and thence to premises through nylon rope!

    Turnbull may have decided that nylon rope is superior to 7 year old copper ….. this would be commensurate with the competence and visions of this rabble.

    The story about the nylon rope sounds plausible to me.

    A lot of the work in installing cable of any type is not highly skilled.

    How did they get the nylon rope through the ducts? You would not be able to just push it through.

  • 116
    lizzie
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    Don’t they still use tame rats??

  • 117
    zoidlord
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Retweeted by Nick Ross
    F1 PEND ‏@BruceHore 42m

    @NickRossTech which also explains why #nbnco are trying to get everything locked in with #fttn before the CBA comes out. #NBN

  • 118
    poroti
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

    AussieAchmed

    What has always been most telling about Germany’s targets is that they are hugely reliant on their export industry. The Germans would not go down that path if renewable energy would stuff their competitiveness.

  • 119
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    How did they get the nylon rope through the ducts?

    The ducts are, I think, equipped with small chains. Probably not strong enough to pull the optic cable. So use the chains to pull the rope and then the stronger rope to drag the cable.

  • 120
    Roger Miller
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    The cable ducts should already have a draw rope, but may not be large enough to pull a heavy multicore fibre. the fibre will need to be pulled a long way so will be quicker to get it in if the draw rope is continuous and follows the right path through the ducts.

  • 121
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    lizzie@116

    bemused

    Don’t they still use tame rats??

    Hahahaha… I hadn’t heard that one.

    But years ago I heard a true story about a Telstra guy who used his Jack Russell to pull a cord across the ceiling in offices. Much quicker than having to lift tiles at regular intervals.

    I suspect they use a rod of some sort to push it through.

  • 122
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    Roger Miller@120

    The cable ducts should already have a draw rope, but may not be large enough to pull a heavy multicore fibre. the fibre will need to be pulled a long way so will be quicker to get it in if the draw rope is continuous and follows the right path through the ducts.

    Yes, if a draw cord has been left behind from when the original copper cable was installed that would solve the problem.

    Is multicore fibre heavy? I suppose all things are relative, but I think it would be much thinner and lighter than the copper it was replacing.

  • 123
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    CC

    [I presume you’ve delved into this.. http://bze.org.au/zero-carbon-australia-2020

    I have, but browsing some of its assumptions, I find them to be quite a bit on the optimistic side. Also, the person challenging is disputing these and I’ve disputed his modelling in return … which was dated and produced largely by someone on the pro-nuclear RW climate denying side of discussion. (The challenger FTR isn’t a denier and sees himself as a solid environmentalist and ledt-of-centre person. He and another similar fellow does however say that Australia can’t get a clean energy system or go much above 20% decarbonised without nuclear power. I disagree, but am trying to put together the modelling to show this is technically possible)

  • 124
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    CC

    What would have happened is the Coalition would have passed the repeal bill with the amendment that they then KNEW would be struck down as unconstitutional. So they get their repeal, and Palmer and PUP get shafted.

    I’m not sure the reasoning here is sound. While it’s true that money bills or revenue raising is the exclusive remit of the lower house, the amendments, if accepted, would surely have drawn their legal effect from their passage through the HoR and then been assented to in the senate.

  • 125
    Roger Miller
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.astelec.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/3638c704-8b4c-4d29-9e73-33b76120e2fe-768×380.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.astelec.com.au/about/&h=380&w=768&tbnid=1sJmyHQ0WLCdjM&zoom=1&tbnh=158&tbnw=319&usg=__022EhCtWofyXqkLm02xhPkd0KlE=

    Here is a fibre multicore being installed

  • 126
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    bemused

    Is multicore fibre heavy? I suppose all things are relative, but I think it would be much thinner and lighter than the copper it was replacing.

    It takes some persuading to go around bends – stiffer. And care needed. (Experience from having a cable dragged up 32 floors in London).

  • 127
    Jackol
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Until the 1960s, Boeing aircraft manufacturers used ferrets to carry cables to inaccessible areas. Unfortunately the animals’ role was cut short as they often gave up their task or fell asleep.

    http://qi.com/infocloud/ferrets

  • 128
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

    Great piece by latham.

    Hedley thomas is now focussed on Clive and his business dealing with the Chinese

  • 129
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Jackol

    Unfortunately the animals’ role was cut short as they often gave up their task or fell asleep.

    And they smell bad.

  • 130
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    Roger Miller@125

    http://www.google.com.au/imgres?imgurl=http://www.astelec.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/3638c704-8b4c-4d29-9e73-33b76120e2fe-768×380.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.astelec.com.au/about/&h=380&w=768&tbnid=1sJmyHQ0WLCdjM&zoom=1&tbnh=158&tbnw=319&usg=__022EhCtWofyXqkLm02xhPkd0KlE=

    Here is a fibre multicore being installed

    Yes, I have seen such cables being installed in the Melbourne CBD and also observed activities such as joining of fibres.

  • 131
    Martin B
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I have, but browsing some of its assumptions, I find them to be quite a bit on the optimistic side.

    IIRC they get to Zero Carbon primarily through a 50% reduction in demand. I have no doubt that efficiency measures can keep pace with population/economic growth so that total demand remains flat or declines slighy in the near term, but 50% in under a decade does seem overly optimistic to me.

  • 132
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    CTar1@126

    bemused


    Is multicore fibre heavy? I suppose all things are relative, but I think it would be much thinner and lighter than the copper it was replacing.


    It takes some persuading to go around bends – stiffer. And care needed. (Experience from having a cable dragged up 32 floors in London).

    The truly large copper cables were not very flexible either.

  • 133
    Martin B
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Fran, I don’t know if you’ve seen the list of planned renewable energy plants on the Geosciences Australia, but I think the first thing I’d do is assume that we could successfully get the largest of these up and running, and then see what the shortfall might be.

    http://www.ga.gov.au/renewable/map.php?type=proposed

  • 134
    Acerbic Conehead
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    bemused,

    How did they get the nylon rope through the ducts?

    Tones has brought in some chimley urchins on 457′s.

  • 135
    bemused
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    Acerbic Conehead@134

    bemused,


    How did they get the nylon rope through the ducts?


    Tones has brought in some chimley urchins on 457′s.

    :lol: :lol: :lol:

  • 136
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    AC

    Quadruple :lol: s.

  • 137
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Permalink

    Power prices keep going up irrespective of whether the carbon price is removed or not

    The Coalition is working with the PUP over the weekend to ensure its amendments meet constitutional requirements and that penalties for not passing on savings are limited to gas and electricity entities.

    Mr Abbott told a Liberal National Party conference in Brisbane today that it is Labor that is keeping the Government from fulfilling its commitment to scrap the tax.

    "When you look at things in the Senate, sure, Mr Palmer has three senators, but Mr Shorten has 25 and we know that Mr Palmer will change his mind come Monday but Bill Shorten will still be there supporting putting your power prices up," he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-12/pm-blames-labor-for-senate-chaos/5592192

  • 138
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Rhys Muldoon
    If Abbott doesn't call a double dissolution, he is a liar who also has no ticker. It's as simple as that. #auspol

  • 139
    briefly
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    124
    Fran Barlow

    The Senate can neither originate nor amend a money bill. So, as long as the bill was found to be a money bill and not just a penalty, had it first passed the Senate and then been accepted by the House, it would have been invalid.

  • 140
    victoria
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Since the election in September 2013, the Abbott government borrowing levels have exploded, as it has issued $87.05 billion worth of government bonds and T-Notes. On average, this new government borrowing has been around $2 billion a week.

    The borrowing has been necessary as it needs to fund or cover the budget deficit plus maturities of debt (bonds and T-Notes) that were issued in the past. Netting this out means that the level of gross government debt has reached a record $322.687 billion which is $49.5 billion higher than when the Abbott government was elected.

    http://thekouk.com/blog/gross-government-debt-hits-323-billion.html#.U8CybecaySN

  • 141
    Rex Douglas
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    LDP & Family First – ‘grave concerns’ over carbon tax provisions
    The Senate’s two most fervent supporters of lowering taxes have said they may not be able to vote for the repeal of the carbon tax due to the last-minute inclusion of severe compliance amendments that have the potential to be worse than the tax itself…

    https://journalists.medianet.com.au/Release.aspx?R=805940

    :lol:

  • 142
    zoidlord
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Retweeted by AMA President
    Australian Medicine ‏@amaausmed 16m

    Young families face a $200 hike in medical bills because of the $7 co-payment. Read more https://ama.com.au/ausmed/co-payment-200-blow-families … #auspol

  • 143
    zoidlord
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    Conroy questioning NBN Co on missed targets from yesterday’s hearings:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yH6sDQdzN0

    Anyone see the Irony?

  • 144
    CTar1
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    zoid

    Anyone see the Irony?

    Yep.

    But Truffles, I think, saying 90% of the population will get HTTP, rather than 93%, is a strike at Abbott.

    A ‘don’t listen to what I say’, but watch ‘what I do’ proposition.

    Talc is getting ‘game’.

  • 145
    Fran Barlow
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Briefly

    The Senate can neither originate nor amend a money bill. So, as long as the bill was found to be a money bill and not just a penalty, had it first passed the Senate and then been accepted by the House, it would have been invalid.

    Indeed that’s so, but assuming it was found to be a money bill, and no merely a penalty, I’m assuming that a proposed PUP amendment would be incorporated into a redrafted bill coming from the HoR. That said, you could make the language and compliance mechanism of the bill to fit exactly the form of a penalty, in which the ACCC became the prosecuting authority with the Federal Court hearing objections to imposition of penalties.

  • 146
    zoidlord
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    @CTar1/144

    Seems to be the case:

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/in-depth/labors-nbn-to-reach-majority/story-e6frgaif-1226986152979#

    “The CEO of NBN Co Bill Morrow told a senate committee hearing neither the government nor voters would be “upset” if 80 or 90 per cent of customers received broadband through fibre-to-the premises (FTTP) instead of fibre-to-the-network (FTTN) — provided it was the cheapest option.”

  • 147
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

    Targets for China

    By 2020, installed capacity of wind, solar and biomass power is targeted to more than quadruple, from less than 50 GW in 2010 to more than 200 GW in 2020.

  • 148
    psyclaw
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    CTar1

    Bemused

    Roger

    :)

  • 149
    psyclaw
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

    What if the PUPs hatred for Abbott exceeded their dislike of carbon pricing.

    What if the former was growing day by day?

  • 150
    AussieAchmed
    Posted Saturday, July 12, 2014 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Abbott’s alternative of “Direct Action” goes down the other path of subsidising projects to encourage companies or farmers to reduce their emissions.

    He will do this by establishing a multi-billion dollar Emissions Reduction Fund which will pay subsidies to companies who can prove that can reduce emissions below a certain baseline level.

    Where do people think the funding for the ERF will come from? It will come out of taxpayers pockets…..Abbott still hasn’t said where he is going to get these billions from. You can kiss your maybe/could be $550 a year goodbye to fund the ERF

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