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NOTE: Nothing new I can report on the comments debacle, sadly. All I can do is reiterate that it’s not supposed to be this way, and the intention is that it will be fixed. If you use Google Chrome, as you should, this plug-in will get the blog looking more like it ought to (with thanks to AR).

UPDATE: We’re all good again. Thank you for your forbearance, where applicable.

Essential Research is now back in line with Newspoll, with the latest reading of its fortnight rolling average recording Labor with a lead of 53-47 after a one point gain for the Coalition. On the primary vote, the Coalition is up two to 37%, Labor is down one to 36%, the Greens are steady on 10% and One Nation is steady on 8%. Also featured:

• Questions on political donations, including from whom political parties should be allowed to accept them, which records a net positive only from “individual Australian voters”, and heavily negative results for unions, companies (especially foreign), property developers and casinos. Forty-one per cent support a ban on foreign donations to activist groups, with only 31% opposed.

• On the government’s proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act, there is an all but perfect split between strongly support, strongly oppose and no strong opinion either way, following a question that explains the finer detail of the change.

• Fifty-one per cent support and 20% oppose “a carbon emissions trading scheme in the electricity sector to provide more incentive for investing in renewable energy and low-carbon electricity”, demonstrating how much difference including the rationale in the question makes when gauging such issues.

• A question on who should have tax deductibility for donations has churches and religious groups ranking second after “groups that campaign on social issues” at the bottom of the list.

• Respondents were asked which interests were represented by Labor, Liberal and the Greens, and received the responses you would expect, with little change recorded since the question was previously posed in September 2015.

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2488 comments

2,488 thoughts on “Essential Research: 53-47 to Labor

  1. phoenixRED

    Pauline Hanson, One Nation finances to be probed by Electoral Commission

    Special Minister of State Scott Ryan has spoken to Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers about claims of financial mismanagement by One Nation.

    Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt has also formally written to the AEC about the claims aired in the ABC’s Four Corners program last night, despite the fact the AEC is already doing an audit of the party.

    One Nation confirmed to The Australian earlier this month that the commission was running the ruler over their finances dating back a number of years.

    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party has been accused of buying a private plane with funds from a high-rise Victorian property developer to “ferry” their leader around, without officially declaring it as a gift.

    In February, the developer Bill McNee, vehemently denied the claim about the plane which is registered in her Chief of Staff James Ashby’s name.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/pauline-hanson-one-nation-finances-to-be-probed-by-electoral-commission/news-story/f250db2cd73a857106312b73eceab645

  2. matt31

    So I guess that particularly strong sample for Labor a couple of weeks back will have now washed out of the Essential sample, so this isn’t really surprising. Meanwhile Newspoll’s result for the Liberals a fortnight ago was probably slightly on the friendly side for them. 53-54 to Labor looks about where it’s at to me at the moment.

    On another note, started hearing union ads on penalty rates cranking up on free to air television last night. Good to see; the campaign has only just begun.

  3. meher baba

    Responding to a few who asked me on the previous thread how I think Labor has moved to the left?

    I wasn’t thinking so much about negative gearing and CGT: I don’t agree with Labor’s policies on these things, but I think their position is not so much ideological as being driven by genuine concern about the extraordinary state of the Sydney and Melbourne housing markets. What drives my disagreement with their policies is that 1) Sydney and Melbourne are not the whole of Australia, and mucking around with neg gearing and CGT will have all sorts of disagreeable effects in other parts of the country; and 2) I’m not convinced that these policy changes will do much to fix the situation in Sydney and Melbourne anyway, which is the result of broader macroeconomic trends combined with the tendency for newly-arrived migrants to cluster in places where their countrymen and women have previously settled.

    Examples of areas of Labor policy which I see as shifting to the left are a) company tax; b) wanting to legislate to override a decision of the FWC (although I think this is not so much a policy position as an opportunity to grandstand, knowing that their bill is unlikely to become law), c) adopting a stronger than usual position on the minimum wage, d) wanting to leave the temporary deficit repair levy in place.

    I’m not saying that I necessarily disagree with all these policy positions: eg, even though I am a lukewarm supporter of a cut to company tax, I think the compromise worked out with Nick X is worse than what we had before. But, as I said in my previous post, I think Labor is running with a bit of a “low paid vs rich, unions vs business” theme at present. Which is probably good for rallying the troops, but history does not suggest that Labor performs particularly well in elections fought on these issues.

  4. CTar1

    VE

    Brexit aside, governments very deliberately have economic policy chosen by a small number of people who do pay attention to economic policy, so that the rest of the country doesn’t have to.

    Very nicely said.

  5. victoria

    Caught up with last night’s four corners. James Ashby has no shame. He should have been held accountable for the conspiracy to bring down the Labor govt via the speaker. yet here he is wrecking the joint with Pauline Hanson. Sheesh!

  6. zoomster

    ‘Examples of areas of Labor policy which I see as shifting to the left are a) company tax; b) wanting to legislate to override a decision of the FWC (although I think this is not so much a policy position as an opportunity to grandstand, knowing that their bill is unlikely to become law), c) adopting a stronger than usual position on the minimum wage, d) wanting to leave the temporary deficit repair levy in place…’

    I don’t see this so much as evidence of shifting to the left as the kind of positions you’d expect a party which represents labour to take.

  7. Greensborough Growler

    mb,

    Too bad about the Unions Work Choices campaign that saw off Howard.
    Union campaigning at grass roots level was extremely important to Andrews being elected in Victoria.

    Workplace reforms are absolutely important issues in deciding elections. Just because it doesn’t affect your vote does not mean the issues do not or have not resonated with mainstream voters.

  8. Doyley

    Labor is simply playing to a game plan that it has been developing since the lady election. Keep pressure on the throat if Turnbull and give him no room to manoeuvre. Shorten is going the job very very well and the reaction of Turnbull and co at the moment reflects the success Shorten and labor are having. Turnbull us frustrated and it shows.

    Over coming months there will be a subtle change in the strategy by labor with plans in place to show Shorten less as a aggressive opposition leader and more as a viable alternative PM. Labor will also start to move towards actual solutions and will start presenting strong policy initiatives just as they did last term.

    The move is already under way with the recent photo ops and feel good coverage of Shorten and family in several magazines and the coverage of the newly released book by Chole Shorten.

    Expect some policy releases to follow in coming weeks and months especially with the budget just around the corner.

    The change will be subtle but noticeable.

    Cheers.

  9. Rossmcg

    The tax treatment of real estate investments is not a right-left matter in my view.

    The current arrangements are simply bad policy and have been for a long time. The real estate boom in Sydney and Melbourne has just brought in to sharper focus.

    When you have people like ex-CBA chief David Murray, certainly no leftie, saying it is bad policy you know it is time something was done.

  10. Doyley

    Should be Chloe Shorten not Chole of course.

    Cheers.

  11. meher baba

    Zoomster: “I don’t see this so much as evidence of shifting to the left as the kind of positions you’d expect a party which represents labour to take.”

    Perhaps, but Labor has had different policies on these issues in the recent past (except perhaps (d): they have always supported the levy, but didn’t say anything about wanting to maintain it until recently: for the obvious reason that there wasn’t any need to do so).

    I accept that many PB posters do not share my view that Labor’s best chance of being elected at the Federal level is to try to draw in some of the aspirational voters. My impression is that the rise of the Greens has shaken some Labor strategists to the extent that they are more concerned to sure up the party’s base than they are about winning over the swinging voters. I think they need to try to do both.

    And they can’t assume that the stumbling, bumbling nature of Turnbull and his team makes it inevitable that they will win the next election. Turnbull’s strength is that he comes across to many people as a rational, thoughtful moderate, and that these characteristics enable him partly to transcend the mediocrity (or worse) of his government. He’s a more dangerous opponent for Labor than he looks.

  12. zoomster

    I don’t want a party which defines itself as left wing, progressive, socialist or whatever.

    I want one which looks at the evidence and makes the best decisions possible on that basis.

    If facts have a left wing bias, then perhaps that party will ‘look’ left wing.

  13. meher baba

    GG: “Too bad about the Unions Work Choices campaign that saw off Howard. Union campaigning at grass roots level was extremely important to Andrews being elected in Victoria.”

    Yes, good points. For me, Work Choices and the things that Andrew campaigned against were more clearcut targets than the penalty rates issue. But I could well be wrong. We’ll see.

  14. Doyley

    The negative gearing changes are there to close up a tax loophole that has been grabbed onto by those who simply wish to minimise their taxable incomes. Just as labor pushed got changes to super at the top end the same applies to negative gearing. The changes proposed by labor are principally a budget repair measure and if it helps in any small way to put a lid on housebpricsvthen take that as a bonus.

    The real policy initiative to slow house prices and even up the market to some degree is the proposed changes to capital gains tax.

    Cheers.

  15. kakuru

    MB
    Re negative gearing and CGT – no need for you to recite the usual LNP talking points, I’ve heard them all before.
    The increase in housing prices in Sydney and Melbourne has very little to do with population growth (or the boogeyman of “newly-arrived migrants”… is there anything we can’t blame immigrants for?). Growth in house prices is WAY out of proportion to population growth.
    Increased release of ‘stock’ isn’t doing a thing, because so much of the new stock is immediately snapped up by investors – both foreign and local. Neither are under any compulsion to make these dwellings available for actual habitation (which, theoretically, is what the ‘house’ or ‘apartment’ is supposed to be used for.)
    The current taxation landscape heavily favours investors over first-home buyers. It’s not market forces at work (which I infer is what you meant by “macroeconomic trends”), since the current perks for investors (especially negative gearing) are so obviously a distortion of the market.

  16. kezza2

    4.13pm Apr 4, 2017

    Doyley, What’s with the “lady election”? Are you trying to revive the RGR wars?
    —-
    And, generally, what’s with the pompous, pontificating, drive-by piss-moaner all about?

    Sounds like the bastard from the bush.
    —-
    On politics. Mr Andrews, Vic Premier, has gone down a treat (so far) in the Latrobe Valley with his gazillions to alleviate the good citizens from the horrors of the closure of the world’s worst polluting power station.

    It’s lovely to see the workers thanked – in every shop window, too.

  17. Doyley

    zoomster,

    Spot on.

    I still remember the frustration of the MSM in the election campaign with Shorten coming out on top in all of the one on one debate contests with Turnbull.

    The MSM pushed their view that Turnbull had won every contest yet when the post debate polls came out Shorten was judged the winner in all of them.

    The MSM them rushed to cover their are by saying the questions from the audience favoured Shorten. The MSM continually refused to consider that the reason for that was because the issues that most concerned the audience members and the public were labor issues.

    Cheers.

  18. Doyley

    kezza,

    Hi, how are you ?

    Lady election should be last election, of course !

    Hope I am not too late !

    Cheers.

  19. kezza2

    Doyley

    Good thanks, hope you’re the same (you sound like it).

    Umm, couldn’t resist, specially after you posted your Chole Chloe correction!

    Cheers, mate.

  20. bemused

    Mr Barber wants Labor to become ‘Liberal light’ and pander to the so-called ‘aspirational voters’.
    Here’s a tip for you. All voters have aspirations of some sort!
    The ones you refer to are the greedy and grasping after their next negatively geared property so they can pay the school fees for little Murgatroyd and his sister.
    Labor voters have aspirations for a decent health system that looks after all, for an inclusive education system that provides all kids with a good education, job security, affordable housing for all and decent public transport.
    You can stick your aspirations where the sun don’t shine.
    I will campaign on Labor values and aspirations.

  21. zoomster

    meher

    Labor assumed that FWA would do what it has always done up until this point, and only take away a benefit if they were granting one elsewhere; advocating for some degree of company tax does not mean that you’re advocating that this should be a continuous process (I’ve talked before about how the ‘some of this is good, so more must be better’ syndrome derails good policy); I’m not at all sure that I would define Labor’s position on the minimal wage as ‘stronger than usual’ – and if it is, it is probably more due to the facts at present (wage stagnation) than a shift anywhere.

    As for the deficit repair levy, Labor went to the last election arguing it should be made permanent (at least for those earning over 180K).

  22. Rossmcg

    So interest rates are on hold for another months but all eyes will be on Reserve Bank boss Lowe when he speaks at a dinner tonight.

    Peter Martin expects him to have something to say about housing. http://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/rba-keeps-rates-on-hold-amid-increasing-concern-about-house-prices-20170404-gvd6t1.html

    I suspect that the RBA and the regulators who are putting the squeeze on banks to watch their lending while Morrison suggests we all go to the pub for some economic policy advice will be getting a bit pissed off at with a government that wants to leave the work to others.

    Nero and Rome come to mind.

  23. meher baba

    Kakuru: ” It’s not market forces at work (which I infer is what you meant by “macroeconomic trends”), since the current perks for investors (especially negative gearing) are so obviously a distortion of the market.”

    Yes, but the neg gearing and CGT rules have existed for ever and a day (there was no CGT at all a few decades back), but the current situation in Sydney and Melbourne is so right now: it was only a couple of years back that the Reserve Bank was talking confidently that the heat had gone from the housing market.

    The current situation in Sydney and Melbourne is the result of a whole lot of things coming together: 1) sustained historically low interest rates; 2) the rising popularity/availability of interest-only mortgages; 3) the gradual curtailment of superannuation as a tax-effective option for investors; 4) the superior performance of housing in Sydney and Melbourne in terms of capital growth vis-a-vis shares in recent years, which has created a housing investor market which has started to feed on itself, also drawing in more foreign and interstate investors; 5) a mismatch between demand and supply in Sydney (Melbourne isn’t so bad), with building approvals softening a bit at just the wrong time (and this also convincing the RBA that they could lower interest rates again when, with the benefit of hindsight, it would have better for them not to do so).

    My impression is that neg gearing isn’t a key factor in this: quite a lot of the money flowing in to the overheated housing markets lately isn’t geared. Where I live in Hobart, the housing market is starting to heat up at the moment, and there is talk of a lot of would-be purchasers making cash offers (no deposit, settle for cash in two weeks). In Sydney and quite a few other markets, the rents are now so high relative to the mortgage repayments that investors aren’t making much of a cash loss anyway, so neg gearing doesn’t matter.

    Obviously it’s the capital gains available that are drawing so much of this investment into residential housing. In that context, I thought that the idea of reducing the CGT discount from 50% to 40% was quite a good one. And I would also strongly support some sort of tall poppies change to neg gearing for residential: eg, investors would not be allowed to deduct more than a certain percentage of their wage and salary income and/or not allowed to own more than one or two properties.

    But Labor’s current policy goes too far IMO: it would have a significant impact on both the residential property and rental markets, with the risk of unintended consequences. The aim should be to take the heat out of these markets, not to disrupt them entirely.

  24. zoomster

    …and, of course, policies which are appropriate when money is streaming into the coffers (during the mining boom) are not so when purses are a bit tighter.

  25. CTar1

    mb

    Examples of areas of Labor policy which I see as shifting to the left

    I’ll skip a bit on that part but feel free to explain Liberal Party policy going forward (after all you can ‘talk’ to people).

  26. grimace

    @ meher baba

    I disagree with your position on negative gearing and CGT. Let’s start by asking ourselves “what is the purpose of a housing market?” For me, the purpose of such a “market” is primarily to efficiently provide housing for the population, not to provide a means for wealth accumulation.

    Everybody sensible realises there is more to Australia than Sydney and Melbourne, and most areas of Australia are suffering from property prices that are significantly inflated by historical standards and whose value represents a very significant multiple of the yearly earnings of the local resident population.

    Let’s take a simplistic example of a property investor vs a home occupier who are aiming to purchase the same property. The home occupier has only their income to support mortgage payments. The property investor has the future rent, plus their own income, plus negative gearing plus the CGT concessions to support their investment decision. The investor is at a significant financial advantage and when this scenario is played out economy wide, prices are driven up significantly past the point where an unsubsidised home can afford to purchase property and they are displaced from the ownership market and are forced to rent.

    Worse, inflated property prices reverberate throughout the economy by reducing discretionary expenditure, by forcing people into the instability of renting when they would otherwise purchase and by driving up business costs through inflated commercial rents.

    I’d like to challenge your thoughts on company tax and the minimum wage, unfortunately I’m out of time.

  27. meher baba

    zoomster: “Labor assumed that FWA would do what it has always done up until this point, and only take away a benefit if they were granting one elsewhere”

    Since the advent of enterprise bargaining, the FWA and its predecessors have also had a remit to look at the continuing relevance of awards in light of emerging trends in enterprise agreements. And the fact of the matter is that most big employers in the retail and fast food sectors have struck deals with unions that have held down penalty rates in cash terms, so that pay increases have been shared more equitably across all working days. And rightly so, IMO: there are many workers who, because of things like school hours and the availability of childcare, can’t organise their lives to take account of the much higher rates of total remuneration available to people who can include sundays and public holidays in their regular working hours.

    Assuming this trend is going to continue, it’s also quite reasonable for the FWC to consider whether or not the awards need to be modernised to take account of industry trends. Perhaps they have jumped a bit earlier for the retail and catering sectors than they should: that would certainly be the case if there were plenty of EAs in the sector that still included the award level of penalty rates (and I must confess that I don’t know the answer to that question).

    But, IMO, Labor’s position on this issue is difficult to support. Unions affiliated with the Labor Party have seen fit to bargain down from the award penalty rates for many of their members, but the Labor Party is now arguing that the award penalty rates are an inalienable right that should be enshrined in legislation. It’s not quite the moral high ground that I would want to have in such an argument, although it seems to have worked quite well for them politically so far. And that’s perhaps the point.

  28. lizzie

    Murphy is worth reading for her criticism of Coalition, who refuse to consider the bipartisanship available.

    “Honestly, some days you really do feel like screaming.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/apr/04/coalition-paralysed-on-policy-as-morrison-and-cormann-sing-from-different-song-sheets?CMP=share_btn_tw

  29. zoomster

    meher

    The point is that Labor didn’t ‘move to the left’ when it disagreed with the FWC; it had made its previous comments on an assumption which had been valid up to that point.

    And yes, Labor and the unions had traded off Sunday penalty rates for benefits elsewhere – that does not make their present stance contradictory. If the FWC had said, “There’s not much difference between Saturday and Sunday, so we’re going to raise Saturday’s rate and lower Sunday’s” that would have been harder to argue against.

    Instead, they have cut people’s pay without any compensation.

    The FWC did something it has not done before. Labor reacting to it in ways it hasn’t done before is not Labor shifting to the left, but Labor staying exactly where it was and the FWC shifting to the right.

  30. lizzie

    meher baba

    [IMO: there are many workers who, because of things like school hours and the availability of childcare, can’t organise their lives to take account of the much higher rates of total remuneration available to people who can include sundays and public holidays in their regular working hours.]

    That is a fascinating reversal of the way most people see the ‘problem’.

  31. Rossmcg

    Lizzie

    The problem with Murphy is that she is late to the game in realising her poster boy Turnbull is a fraud and is likely to change her mind about him the next time he announces something.

  32. grimace

    You strike me as someone who would not have a clue what it was like to work weekends, night times and public holidays in a low wage position.

    What you have said here is complete and utter rubbish:
    “And rightly so, IMO: there are many workers who, because of things like school hours and the availability of childcare, can’t organise their lives to take account of the much higher rates of total remuneration available to people who can include sundays and public holidays in their regular working hours.”

    People who work weekends, night times and public holidays have to turn the lives of those around them upside down because of the anti social hours they work. They work these type of hours because they have no choice, they work these hours because they NEED the money that penalty rates bring and they work these hours IN SPITE of their impact on their family.

    If penalty rates were so attractive then we’d see the entire population clamoring to work weekends, night times and public holidays. The reality is, given a choice, very few people would work under these arrangements.

    You’ve clearly never lived with someone who has been night shift or spent significant periods of time in a low wage position working weekends and public holidays.

  33. Tom

    zoomster
    I don’t want a party which defines itself as left wing, progressive, socialist or whatever.

    I want one which looks at the evidence and makes the best decisions possible on that basis.

    If facts have a left wing bias, then perhaps that party will ‘look’ left wing.

    Agree. A party for the times and the circumstances. Else we end up with the Abbott/Turnbull idealogues.
    Tom.

  34. kezza2

    5.oopm Apr 4 2017

    Bankers aren’t the only spiv central. Finance companies are still running amok.

    Had a call a couple of days ago from a friend regarding his friend.

    Long story short, last year his friend came into an inheritance, approx. $230,000. He’d never had any money. He gave his son $5000 to buy a car. The son was 22 years old.

    The son went to a Subaru outlet, and before he knew it (or purposely), he drove out with a $50,000 car (downpayment $5 grand) with repayments of $700 p.m. At the time he had a job as a fork lift driver. Don’t know what he was earning per week, but know that he was living with his mother (disability pensioner) and paying no rent.

    Of course, the bottom’s fallen out of the fork lift driving market, sonny’s out of a job, and expecting daddyo to bail him out. Unfortunately (or fortunately) daddyo just bought a property, and has no cash to spare.

    He’s wondering why on earth a finance company (obviously associated with the dealership) would agree to finance a kid for a $50,000 car. And if there’s any remedy?

    Sounds like repo, to me.

  35. antonbruckner11

    Only one thing is certain: when the roof collapses on One Nation (and Pauline), Ashby will stroll off without a scratch on him. The moment I heard he’d teamed up with Pauline, I knew she was in big trouble. She only had to look at his form. Silly woman.

  36. zoomster

    As for this:

    ‘ there are many workers who, because of things like school hours and the availability of childcare, can’t organise their lives to take account of the much higher rates of total remuneration available to people who can include sundays and public holidays in their regular working hours.’

    People don’t not work on Sundays because they can’t find someone to look after the kids. They don’t not work on Sundays because they have worked for at least five days (and often five and a half days) and don’t want to work an extra day – particularly when they can actually spend some time with the kids.

    The biggest argument for penalty rates is that one: right now, most workers could top up their pay by working Sundays (even if it is an extra job). They don’t, not because they can’t dump the kids with someone else but because they’re plum tuckered out and don’t want to work an extra day, even for ginormous sums of money.

    Come the time when the person serving you a cafe latte on a Sunday isn’t a university student or the person cleaning the toilets isn’t a single mother, but is instead someone who had a Monday-Friday, 9-5 job, then there’s an argument that penalty rates are too high.

  37. grimace

    Lizzie, MB is talking complete crap.

    I’ve worked weekends, night times & public holidays and have lived with people doing it while I was working conventional hours. Nobody who has ever experienced either would say what MB just did.

  38. 1934pc

    “”primarily to efficiently provide housing for the population, not to provide a means for wealth accumulation. “”
    Look what has been done to the utilities like power and water, they have been privatised
    for profit!.

  39. lizzie

    [The Northern Territory Government has issued a warning to the National Broadband Network (NBN) saying it is too often rolling out “technically inferior” satellite services.

    In a submission to a parliamentary committee, the NT Government says the technology is likely to fail precisely when it is needed most.

    Business owners in remote parts of the Territory, like grazier Roley James who runs a cattle station 700 kilometres south of Darwin, say their NBN satellite connection is at best patchy.

    “It’s quite intermittent. It drops out for half an hour to an hour, it can go up to an hour-and-a-half at times,” Mr James said.]

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-03/nt-government-warns-nbn-over-technically-inferior-satellite/8411308

  40. lizzie

    [
    The Bolt Report‏Verified account
    @theboltreport

    The ABC tried to ruin One Nation. When will the taxpayer funded broadcaster stop misusing its power? @SenatorMRoberts joins #TheBoltReport]

  41. poroti

    zoomster

    Shocking isn’t it that people would want to spend some time with friends and family rather than being good little economic units down t’mill.

  42. grimace

    Ignoramus central. Lucky the viewership of two old men furiously agreeing with each other and shouting at clouds will only make it to three figures if its a good day.

  43. kezza2

    The penalty rates issue has a long way to play out yet.

    In the Latrobe Valley there are plenty who are seething about it. Working irregular hours/shifts to take home less pay? Fury is the sound, meher baba.

    These people have already organised their lives to take into account shared parenting.

    Indeed, on a recent public holiday I had cause to chat to a bloke, a young bloke with a young family, who was pretty damned pissed off that he had to work that day – because, as management said, he was on staff, and if they hired their casual workers, they’d have to pay extra.

    I said to him, but the penalty rates decrease doesn’t come in until July. He said, management was already gearing up for the change. Sucks, big time.

  44. poroti

    Well done Anastacia Bjelke Petersen nee Hinze

    ‘Barbaric’ decision gives mine green light to use 355 billion litres of water
    Farmers rattled as Adani coal mine granted unlimited water access

    Fairfax Media sought comment from Queensland mine’s minister Anthony Lynham, whose department issued the licence under special rules that shield Adani from close scrutiny of its water use.

    The licence would not be subject to the new Water Act Referral Panel set up to ensure “the sustainable management of water in Queensland”, a spokesman for Mr Lynham said.

    http://www.smh.com.au/environment/barbaric-farmers-rattled-as-adani-coal-mine-granted-unlimited-water-access-20170404-gvdk5v.html

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