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NSW Politics

Dec 11, 2009

Morgan phone poll: 53-47

I held off doing a post on yesterday's unconvincing Morgan phone poll result in the hope they would give us a face-to-face p

I held off doing a post on yesterday’s unconvincing Morgan phone poll result in the hope they would give us a face-to-face poll this week, but either they’ve gone on Christmas break or are returning to their old pattern of combining results fortnightly. Yesterday’s effort was a phone poll from a sample of just 493 respondents, conducted on the back of a survey about climate change. The results were not unlike those of last week’s similarly dubious poll: Labor up a point to 42 per cent, the Coalition down 1.5 per cent to 41.5 per cent and the Greens down one to 9.5 per cent, with Labor’s two-party lead steady on 53-47.


Phoebe Stewart of the ABC reports Palmerston deputy mayor Natasha Griggs has been preselected as the Country Liberal Party candidate for Darwin-based Solomon, defeating three other candidates including Darwin City Council alderman Garry Lambert and Tourism Top End head Tony Clementson. Bob Gosford of The Northern Myth further writes that Bess Price, described by the Northern Territory News as an “indigenous domestic violence campaigner”, has nominated for CLP preselection in the territory’s other electorate, Lingiari. Price has the backing of Alison Anderson, Labor-turned-independent member for Macdonnell, and says she has “always voted Labor” in the past.

VexNews hears the NSW Liberals could dump Chris Spence as candidate for The Entrance early in the New Year. At issue is Spence’s comprehensive resume as a former One Nation activist: research officer to the party’s state upper house MP David Oldfield, federal candidate for Fraser in 1998, state candidate for Barwon in 2003, New South Wales state party secretary, national and state president of the youth wing “Youth Nation”, and ACT branch president and regional council chair.

Samantha Maiden of The Australian reports possible scenarios for federal intervention into the NSW Labor Party include replacing secretary Matthew Thistlethwaite with an administrator answerable to the federal executive, and stripping Joe Tripodi and Eddie Obeid of their preselection (respectively for Fairfield and the upper house).

• Nick Minchin told ABC Television on Wednesday that it would be “healthy for democracy” if restrictions were placed on television election advertising to reduce the costs of campaigning.

• The Labor national executive has endorsed Rob Mitchell for a second try at McEwen, to be vacated at the next election by retiring Liberal Fran Bailey. The court ruling in Mitchell’s unsuccessful legal challenge against the 2007 result saw his margin of defeat increased from 12 to 27.

Damien Madigan of the Blue Mountains Gazette reports the the state leadership change has inspired Labor’s national executive to delay its preselection decision for Macquarie, where Blue Mountains mayor Adam Searle is expected to be named successor to the retiring Bob Debus.

• Reader Sacha Blumen points me to a Wentworth Courier article from a month ago (see page 22) naming two potential Labor candidates for Wentworth – “Paddington veterinarian Barry Nielsen and Darlinghurst barrister Phillip Boulten” – in addition to Stephen Lewis, described in last week’s edition as a Slater & Gordon lawyer, anti-high rise activist and members of the Jewish Board of Deputies. Former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps has also been mentioned in the past. This week the Courier reports the Greens have endorsed Matthew Robertson, a Darlinghurst-based legal researcher for the Refugee Advice and Casework Service.

• Antony Green berates those of us who were “examining the entrails of the booth by booth results to try and divine some patterns” from Saturday’s by-elections, arguing such entrails are only interesting for what they tell us about “how Labor voters react to the Greens as a political party”. The conclusion is that “Labor voters in the ritzier parts of Bradfield seem more likely to view the Greens as a left-wing alternative to Labor than Labor voters in less affluent areas”. Antony has since conducted some entrail examination of his own to conclude that the resulting positive relationship between the two-party Liberal vote in 2007 and the Liberal swing at the by-election is unusual for urban electorates. My own post-mortem was published in Crikey on Monday.

• The NSW Nationals have announced the state seat of Tamworth will be the laboratory for its open primary experiment, in which the party’s candidate will be chosen by a vote open to every person enrolled in the electorate. The naturally conservative seat is held by independent Peter Draper, having been in independent hands for all but two years since Tony Windsor (now the federal member for New England) won it in 1991.

Robert Taylor of The West Australian has written an action-packed column on Labor federal preselection matters in Western Australia. It commences thus:

On the surface, the WA Labor Party’s powerful state administrative committee looks to have a straightforward job next Monday when it meets to approve candidates in crucial seats for next year’s Federal election. In typical Labor fashion, three of the candidates for the most winnable Liberal seats of Swan, Cowan and Canning are unopposed, the backroom deals having already been done between the factional powerbrokers to obviate the need for a vote and all the inherent dangers that accompany them. In Durack, where there’s an outside chance of Labor rolling incumbent Barry Haase in the redrawn Kalgooorlie-based electorate, former State Geraldton Labor MP Shane Hill is also unopposed, but that’s because he was really the only one who wanted it badly enough. In Stirling, where Labor has a second to none chance of rolling incumbent Michael Keenan, something obviously went wrong because two people decided to nominate against the favourite Louise Durack, but an upset is highly unlikely.

So the administrative committee had very little to worry about until last Thursday when the Corruption and Crime Commission released its long-awaited report on goings-on at the City of Wanneroo, which handed a couple of misconduct findings to deputy mayor Sam Salpietro and fired a salvo across the bows of Wanneroo mayor Jon Kelly. The problem for Labor is that Mr Kelly is the party’s hope in the seat of Cowan, held by the Liberals Luke Simpkins with a thin 2.4 per cent margin. Labor sees a combination of the local mayor and Kevin Rudd as an irresistible combination in Cowan and had all but pencilled in the seat as a win before last week’s report. The CCC made it clear that in its opinion Mr Kelly was prepared to curry favour with former premier-turned-lobbyist Brian Burke in order to further his own political ambitions. Mr Kelly argued both at the commission and since the report came out that he did everything possible to distance himself from Mr Burke, but put bluntly the CCC just didn’t believe him – which must make the ALP’s administrative committee wonder whether the voters of Cowan will either.

• Dennis Shanahan of The Australian has been in touch to point out an error in last week’s Newspoll post, which stated both Newspoll and the Nielsen poll were both conducted on the Friday and Saturday. Newspoll’s surveying in fact continued throughout Sunday, with The Australian releasing the result at the end of the day.

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Frank Calabrese

So Jon Kelly withdraws from Cowan – thanks tp a certain B Burke.



Bolta is still not taking comments


The Finnigans

Barnyard, The Silence of the Ham:

comment image


“Whale meat is a traditional part of the diet in both Japan and Scandinavia.”

Well, cannibalism is a traditional part of the diet in parts of New Guinea. That alone doesn’t make it right. Simply arguing a practice should be retained sinply because it is “traditional” is a circular argument.

Besides, if you’re going to argue tradition, then the hunting methods should be traditional as well. To their credit, the natives of Alaska do use traditional hunting techniques when whaling. But this doesn’t exactly apply to the Japanese, does it? The shogunate wasn’t famous for sending enormous whaling vessels to the Southern Ocean.

The Finnigans

[Essential Report, 58/42]

Gus, the Harrowing for Abbott, adds a dash of Barnyard, you have the Mission Impossible.

Bushfire Bill

[Essential Report


Back to normal at last.

Bushfire Bill

Bolt has been taking his stupid pills today

His basic argument is that – literally in the middle of nowhere – an Antarctic weather station has recorded higher temperatures (a.k.a. “effects of global warming”) because it has had a runway built and has added dormitories to cater for tourists.

As dormitories and runways clearly affect climate in Antarctica (presumably with all the heat just rippling off them serving to warm an area of several square miles) Bolt dismisses all the climate conclusions based on temperature readings taken there as bunkum.

This is almost as bad (but not quite) as his suggestin that the huge iceberg which fell off the Antarctic ice sheet and is now approaching shipping lanes in warmer latitudes is proof that the Earth is cooling, as in, “How could an iceberg survive in warmer latitudes if the Earth wasn’t cooling instead of warming?”.

This is a seriously stupid man. He claims to have read “the science” (one of the few people who make this claim, usually to shut up Annabelle Crabbe on Insiders) yet can get so much so wrong (another example his “cooling” chart that actually showed warming).


[I had a look at William’s link to the West Australian’s poll.]

Yes, I did as well. With a sample of only 400, it’s difficult to take the poll as a serious indicator of “WA’s reaction to Abbott”, as the headline suggested.

But, the 53/47 TPP, follows the last quarterly figures (Jul-Sept) of Newspoll and Nielsen, whose combined samples were significant (1,000+) which registered 53.8/46.2, and the recent three Nielsen’s, small samples again, but returned 53.7/46.3.

I suspect Newspoll will be releasing a quarterly state breakdown soon, which will gives us another reasonable sample to throw into the mix.

But the above figures all show swings to the ALP in WA in the order of 7%.

This would result in 5 seats falling.

QLD, similarly, is showing swings to the ALP.

The last quarterly’s had the swing at 2.3% which would see 5 seats fall, and the last Galaxy in QLD less than 1 month ago, had the swing at 3.6%, which is 7 seats.

It’s the top end of the possibilities, but for 12 seats to be in play for the ALP in WA and QLD, two states that have been graveyards for the ALP for sometime, I think says something.


Essential Report


The Finnigans

[Methinks “Clean” might become one of those Marketing words like “Lite” and “low fat”.]

GG, ……. and “Organic”, “Natural”, “Free Range”, “Grain Fed”, “Cage Free”, “Fair Trade”, “Slave Free”, “Certified Humane”, “Dolphin Friendly” ( :kiss: ) ………… “Barnyard Free”


[ The $7.5 billion project at Alpha, in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, includes a new coal mine, clean coal power station and new rail line from Alpha to Abbot Point near Bowen in the state’s north.

If this is true and this is Clive Palmer’s baby, then expect Barnarby Joyce to be short on mates in the near future as his pal goes over to the clean energy camp.]

My take on it is that Palmer has no intention of trying to “pioneer” a “clean coal” power station and currently no one is able to build any “traditional” “dirty” coal fired stations!

Palmer is petting all his eggs in the basket of having the current ETS proposal and any future ones put totally out of the equation so that he can go ahead unimpeded in building a “conventional” power station. Hence the support of Barnaby, Minchin, Abbott and the denier lobby to kill the ETS proposed!

[Waratah Coal says a proposed $1.25 billion clean-coal power station in Queensland’s central west will meet the State Government’s new environmental guidelines.

The company has released details of a planned 900 megawatt plant to be built near Alpha in the Galilee Basin.

It would be situated next to Waratah’s proposed coal mine in the region.

Chief executive Peter Lynch says the site will have a ready supply of reject coal from the mine and can also feed electricity to Mt Isa.]

[Environmentalists are concerned about the impact of proposed coal mines in Queensland’s central west.

The Mackay Conservation Group says mining leases cover the entire Galilee Basin, north of Alpha and Barcaldine.

The group is holding a public meeting in Alpha tonight to discuss the concerns.

The Environment Group’s Patricia Julien says mining puts many woodland species at risk.

“If we have extensive clearing, if you have clearing of up to 70 per cent of an area, and that could happen over time, in this region, you’ll see extinction of most of your bird species, and that’s happened down in Victoria,” she said.]


[It’s news to me that this is possible at all.]

Really? This is the great white hope of the Labor Party!

Clean coal, is where they ‘simply’ capture the CO2 emissions, then cool and pressurize them to make liquid CO2, then pump that into a deep saline aquifer or an old gas field… It sounds pretty expensive to me. There’s a pilot plant run by some Swedish Company – I think in the US, but they haven’t been allowed to pump the CO2 into the ground yet. the NIMBY’s are a bit annoyed. I think the ‘capture’ part of Carbon Capture and Storage is very feasible, it’s not been proven that the liquid CO2 will stay put.

There’s a pilot plant to be built in the Otway Basin (Southern Vic) I think… the places suitable for storage are quite numerous in Australia, but they may not always be close to the power station.

Frank Calabrese

Courtesy of the Associated Press, here is Silvio getting his biffo in the Face.

Greensborough Growler
Greensborough Growler

Methinks “Clean” might become one of those Marketing words like “Lite” and “low fat”.

Bushfire Bill

[The $7.5 billion project at Alpha, in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, includes a new coal mine, clean coal power station and new rail line from Alpha to Abbot Point near Bowen in the state’s north.]

If this is true and this is Clive Palmer’s baby, then expect Barnarby Joyce to be short on mates in the near future as his pal goes over to the clean energy camp.


[To sequestrate the CO2 gas takes up about 30% of the energy produced by a coal power plant]

It’s news to me that this is possible at all.

Dr Good


Are you saying that Coal power can be GHG emission free with current technology for only roughly a 30% increase in running costs?

If so, it will put nuclear and probably solar thermal out of business for hundreds of years.


[Only vegetarians can oppose all whaling with any consistency.]
And I do.

[What exactly is a “clean coal power station”?]

It will be very intresting to see how they propose this will be monitored and fixed if it fails. AFAIK we still don’t have a working large scale pilot coal power plant with CCT in place. If they are just talking about burning the coal sourced-methane gas that is only a token. To sequestrate the CO2 gas takes up about 30% of the energy produced by a coal power plant, so I don’t see how it could be cost competitive without a carbon price being put on all plants in Australia.


‘sequesters’ or ‘sequestrates’… ? Not sure of the right usage here.