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ReachTEL: ABC, republicanism, Cosgrove v Bryce

ReachTEL gives both sides of the argument something to go on in relation to ABC bias, and finds evidence of conservatism on matters vice-regal and republican.

The Fairfax papers today offer three attitudinal findings from a ReachTEL automated phone poll, which was conducted on Thursday evening from a sample of 2146 respondents:

• After Tony Abbott’s efforts to place the matter on the agenda earlier this week, a question on ABC bias finds 59.6% of respondents saying there is none. However, conservative critics of the public broadcaster can at least point to the fact that many more think it biased to Labor (32.2%) than the Coalition (8.2%). While the result at both ends may have been influenced by Abbott’s activism, it nonetheless offers an interesting supplement to the yearly ABC-commissioned Newspoll surveys, which consistently find overwhelming majorities considering its reporting to be “balanced and even-handed” without probing into respondents’ partisanship. The Sydney Morning Herald’s graphic features breakdowns by age and gender.

• Support for republicanism appears to be at a low ebb, with 39.4% in favour and 41.6% opposed. Tellingly, the 18-34 cohort joins 65-plus in recording a net negative rating (though by a considerably smaller margin), with those in between recording majorities in favour. Age and gender breakdowns here.

• There’s also a question on who is preferred out of the incumbent Governor-General and her designated successor, with 57.1% favouring Peter Cosgrove versus 42.9% for Quentin Bryce. I do wonder though about a method which requires a definite answer from all respondents to such a question, given the number that wouldn’t have an opinion.

UPDATE: And now a further finding from the poll that 52.5% agree that Labor should distance itself from the union movement”, compared with 25.6% who disagree.

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Victoria is set to follow Queensland restricting group protest



Socrates It is important in these matters to get the facts. Like Hunt, the Get Up campaign seems to be misrepresenting what is happening. But lies appear to be the new normal now that the Abbott Government is busy degrading public policy discourse with a constant stream of lies, pathetic excuses, inconsistent decisions, a lack of accountability and a lack of transparency. The gist is that Hunt is seeking to delist less than 10% of the Tasmanian World Heritage Area. He is not seeking to delist the ‘tall wet forests’ and he is not seeking to delist forests like the ‘Tarkine’. Whatever happens the overwhelming majority of the Tarkine will remain listed as will a significant proportion of Tasmania’s tall wet forests. Hunt is seeking to delist over 100,000 hectares of World Heritage Area on the basis that it is degraded. He reckons that there are 117 areas that are ‘devastated’. (It is interesting that when the Government is lauding the praises of foresty practices, it never, ever uses the term ‘devastating’.” But, black is the new white and the area sought to be delisted is ‘devastated’ by forestry. But, of the 100,000+ hectares nominated for delisting, only 12,000 hectares has been harvested. This 12,000 hectares is spotted in coupes scattered through the 100,000+ hectares that Hunt is seeking to delist. These coupes would now be a chaos of stumps, charred waste, scattered seed trees, weeds, bare ground and partially silted gullies and streams. Aka ‘devastated’. The heritage policy question is, quite simply, this. Is the 100,000+ hectares of world heritage value even if around 10% of it is severely damaged? The World Heritage Committee took the view that the other 90,000 hectares had World Heritage Value and that the 12,000 would regenerate over time. Which they will. It will take around two to five centuries to do so. So, it is dead wrong to say that the Abbott Government decision to seek delisting is going to destroy Tasmania’s tall wet forests and the Tarkine forest. It is also dead wrong for Hunt to be implying that the entire parcel is devastated and without world heritage values when (a) only about 10% has been logged and will regenerate and (b) the logged coupes do not destroy the surrounding world heritage values and (c) that the parcel as a whole will improve over time as the coupes regenerate. BTW, this is… Read more »

SPC says Tony Abbott’s claims about their pay and conditions are untrue.
[SPC Ardmona has hit back at claims by the Prime Minister that its business troubles are due to “extraordinary” workplace conditions, saying the statements are “mistaken and need to be refuted by the facts”.]
Clearly, Abbott lied when he said SPC was the source of the information.

Have a good day all. Maybe Abbott will be gone when my lights are switched back on?


So, first Smithy rips Shawie a new one. So Shawie reckons, right mate, eff you, it’s on. A coupla hours later Shawie rips Smithy, Nappy, and the whole damn Liberal crew a new one.


Morning all. I am briefly logging in from town since we are still without power for a second day after gale force winds ripped through Adelaide’s eastern suburbs on Monday night.

I was dismayed to read of this action by Greg Hunt, though pleased to support the Getup campaign against it:
With the backing of environmentalists and the forestry industry, critical areas of Tasmania’s spectacular forests were officially placed on the World Heritage list in June last year. But if the Abbott Government is successful in its new bid, this could all be taken away. In an extraordinary move, Environment Minister Greg Hunt has submitted a proposal to the World Heritage Committee, seeking to delist Tasmania’s World Heritage forests.

Call on Minister Hunt to withdraw his proposal, which will strip Tasmania’s forests of their World Heritage status: ]

Stripping forests like the Tarkine of World Heritage status is a joke, except that Hunt is serious. In fact, sustainable commercial exploitation of world heritage areas is permissible under the WH rules. The reason they want the status revoked is so Tasmanian foresters can go back to clear felling. Shame, Greg Hunt, shame.


Surprise No 98. Despite promising repeatedly to put downwards pressure on the COL before the election and despite promising repeatedly that it was not that the party that increases taxes, the Abbott Government has just quietly pocketed a suite of tax increases on alcohol products.

Surprise No 99. Despite refusing to support Holden for no reason having to do with awards, and despite refusing to support SPC and despite drawing ‘a line in the sand’ on industry assistance the Abbott Government has announced $16 million for Cadbury’s factory in Tasmania and $3.5 million for SAFCOL in Tasmania.

The Abbott Government is also providing industry assistance of $420,000,000 to the rural sector. It is also providing billions of dollars in industry assistance to the mining industry by way of fuel excise exemptions.

Surprises, lies and pathetic excuses abound.

Abbott and Hockey made up some award conditions that did not exist at SPC and lied to Australians about that. They also reckoned that the Government was not supporting SPC because the existing awards were too generous. But the SPC award conditions are less generous than the Cadbury’s award conditions. Abbott is Margie about it and is trying to pretend that the Cadbury’s sponsorship logo on his taxpayer-funded bike rides has nothing to do with giving free taxpayers’ money to Kraft. Nor has Abbott complained about the generous parliamentary award conditions that he receives on his bike rides. And no-one in the Liberal Party, least of all Unemployment Minister Abetz, appears to give a bugger what the SAFCOL award conditions are.

The only seriously useful things about this policy shambles have been some rather good stone fruit and cling peach jokes.


New laws in Afghanistan. Good thing we went there to protect women, eh?



The subtext is that spanish speakers, doubled in the US since 1990 is on the way to challenging english as the dominant language in the US.

comment image


The vast majority of uniforms never assault anyone. We know that some assault each other. Here’s one who has assaulted a civilian.

Yet we are supposed to believe that Navy staff would never, every, not in a million years, assault asylum seekers.

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

it is

Puff, the Magic Dragon.
Puff, the Magic Dragon.

Abbott must be furious that is once again a woman who is pricking his smelly bubble. 👿


Rates on hold means you are all stuck with me for the next month. On the upside that means I have to endure the result of the Griffith by-election 🙂

Fran Barlow


I would definitely complain in those circumstances, but you have a fair bit to deal with at the moment, so it’s perfectly understandable that you may not be keen.

Personally, I find making complaints cathartic and they allow me to move on when there’s no more to be done.


The singing of “America the Beautiful” in a number of languageson a Coke ad…a pretty ordinary thing …on the TV opening of the Superbowl…has drawn a barrage of attacks from the Tea Party Repugnants and their supporters who say that only Enbglish should have been used…a quite racist attitude and stupid to boot in electoral terms….



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

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

meher 4 may be so (although the polling on this has been very muddled, and there’s little evidence they don’t want an ETS – it’s ‘the carbon tax’ which polls badly) but that doeesn’t mean the government has handled/is handling the issue well. There’s a difference between ‘doing what The People want’ and ‘doing what The People want competently’. The second is good governance. The Coalition created a rod for their own back on this issue. Firstly, they were stupid to stick with Direct Action, which was a bandaid measure slapped together in the context of the 2010 election, and never meant to be a permanent policy. When the ‘carbon tax’ deal was announced, they should have leapfrogged over Labor and the Greens and promised to go straight to an ETS. By not doing this, they’ve put themselves in a position where the policy they support is at direct odds with their core beliefs – Direct Action means ‘bigger’ government, picking winners, subsidising private companies, and so on. They have also made climate change an issue which will run and run. If they’d gone for an ETS, it’s likely it would be in place now (the Greens and Labor would have looked silly opposing its passage through both Houses). “How we tackle climate change’ would thus be dead as an issue, and the series of hot days we’re experiencing would reinforce that we had a sagacious government who had foreseen the problem and were already acting on it. As it is, every spot of peculiar weather will remind people that we don’t have effective action on climate change in place. And, of course, Abbott still hasn’t repealed the ‘carbon tax’ – as Sharman Stone pointed out. He’s made some big statements on this (‘Parliament will sit until this is sorted!”) which have proven to be specious. If he keeps trying to get it through with the present unco operative Senate, he keeps the issue – and his inability to do anything about it – alive. If he doesn’t, he’ll be accused of dropping the ball (as Rudd was, in the same circumstance). There is also very little evidence that he’s actively trying to build relationships with the incoming Senators to ensure that it’s a done deal (that would be thinking ahead; this government doesn’t do that). Come July, Palmer will have him over a barrel. He knows that Abbott has… Read more »

[Interesting that to date the sMH has only published 38 responses go today’s Peter Reith column. Must be some serious moderation going on there.
I know they won’t publish mine because I point out that apart from his obvious bias, he is a man who has serious questions to answer about his integrity.
Hardly the ideal type for a regular column in a newspaper that promotes its independence.]

Mine was roundly rejected – I suggested Reith could give a reconvened ABCC tips on where to source balaclavas and attack dogs.


Joe Ludwig makes some good comment about tge Clean Energy Commission a help for farming

Victoria I’m no fan of Kim Carr but he was baying for bloood with Laws today. He said Sharman Stone was right and that Abbott and Hockey were
liar. Laws didn’t like that but Carrdidn’t back down.

When Carr finished Laws said he would ring Abbott to see how he felt about being called a liar. Said it was a lack of respect for the PM of the country at which stage I fell about screaming.

Judith Sloan, his favourite, rang in to contradict Carr and Stone so I switched off.

meher baba

BW@1686: I’ll take your word for it re Indonesia. If true, it would be disturbing some of the business backers of the Libs (although see my earlier post in which I pointed out that the Libs these days are increasingly the political party of “lazy” investors in mining and property rather than the promoters of the sort of entrepreneurial types trying to build up trade with our near neighbours.

Re the promise to deliver 5% emissions cuts by 2020: I doubt that the Abbott Government sees that as a promise for which the constituency they pitch to will try to hold them to account.

Leaving all of this to one side, I was never trying to set myself up to defend Abbott and his mob. I wasn’t trying to say that they were doing a great job, merely that they are coming across publicly as being far more disorganised and incompetent than they actually are.

I think I need to choose my words more carefully next time.