Category Archives: Opposition Leader

When is Australia’s next Federal Election?

That’s a harder question than it seems.  The complex interaction between laws relating to double dissolution elections, half Senate elections, House of Representatives elections, State elections (coming up in New South Wales and Victoria), and the timing of football finals and more, mean the earliest reasonably possible date is 4 August 2018, for which the election would have to be called by 2 July – only two months away – and the latest reasonably possible date would be May 18, 2019.

Making a judgement about which Saturday, between those dates, might be Election Day was complicated enough, and we were going to post this article which credibly suggests 20 October 2018: http://beginrant.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/begin-rant-why-ive-got-my-money-on-october-20/.

Until the events of Wednesday 9 May 2018 made it much more complicated, that is!  Four ineligible “Members” of the House of Representatives flagged or delivered their resignations, to join Tim Hammond who recently resigned because of the impact of frequent travel on his young family: www.news.com.au/national/politics/labor-senator-katy-gallagher-ineligible-to-serve-in-federal-parliament/news-story/868c92e0d0a6f8a1cc0de14abd01a5a2.  All four (plus Mr Hammond) are non-Government MPs.

We’ve now got 5 by-elections across 4 states, and as Paula Matthewson notes in her newsletter* Despatches on 9 May:

“Somewhat surprisingly, the AEC website advises that “there are no constitutional or statutory requirement that writs … be issued within any prescribed period”.

“Interestingly there’s precedent for a Speaker to decline to issue a writ when a federal election is ‘pending’ to avoid having two elections in close proximity.”

This opens up the possibility of the Prime Minister (OK, notionally the Speaker of the House of Representatives, but let’s be real) waiting until 2 July or a couple of days before, and an early Australian general election would then be called for 4 August.

As Matthewson further noted:

“If opinion polls show that voters have responded favourably to the Budget, would this be a path that Turnbull would take to an ‘early’ election? The option would have to be tempting given it’s expensive to participate in a by-election, and the Coalition isn’t exactly cashed up when compared with the combined election war-chest that has been created by Labor and the union movement.”

Other things which might push Prime Minister Turnbull towards one Election Day or another include:

  • Voters can get cranky if they are sent to the polls too frequently or too early: with whom would the voters of the five by-election seats get angry, if required to vote in a general election shortly after a by-election? Maybe Labor, whose MPs/processes have caused four of the five by-elections, or maybe the Prime Minister who chose the schedule for both.
  • Four of those 5 seats are on a knife-edge, and campaigners in Liberal HQ will be urging the Prime Minister to do nothing which might alienate the voters.  Don’t forget he’s governing with a one-seat majority, and the prospect of doubling or tripling that margin must be appealing.
  • As noted by Ms Matthewson above, the Federal Budget has just been brought down, and no-one knows how the electorate is reacting: one thing for sure is that much of the media for the next day or two, at least, will be consumed with discussion of the resignations and by-elections rather than the budget.
  • The by-elections are a real opportunity to thoroughly test how well the parties campaign, and whether the budget is an electoral plus or minus.
  • If the timing of the by-elections means the general election needs to be further away, not calling that general election on 4 August means the general election might have to be called at time at which the political landscape is somewhat unknown and unpredictable: for example, when polling is less propitious for the Liberal-National Party Coalition, and fewer election date options are available, as Ms Crosby lays out in her Begin Rant article linked above.
  • Does Labor want an election now or next year? While it isn’t up to them to decide, they can put the Prime Minister under a lot of pressure over many of the choices he might make – and there will be concerns within the Coalition at their capacity to withstand sustained populist pressure.
  • The media – and some in the Australian Labor Party – are characterising these by-elections as a test of Labor Opposition Bill Shorten’s leadership: the incumbent Government would probably prefer to face Mr Shorten in a general election rather than a new Labor leader enjoying a honeymoon with the electorate.

So, our best bet:

Prime Minister Turnbull is most likely to wait and see how well his budget is received in the community over the next week, and then choose both by-election and general election dates.

Which ones? On balance, probably by-elections now (say, June) which maintains some flexibility to call a general election for late October, May 18 2019, or February 28 2019, or less likely another date in 2019 albeit identified in Ms Crosby’s article as somewhat unfavourable … but if by-election dates aren’t announced in the next couple of weeks, get ready for a general election on 4 August 2018.

 

PS … Thanks to everyone who has been debating these options on Facebook et al – the discussion has provided plenty of food for thought!

 

 

* You should subscribe, via this page www.linkedin.com/pulse/have-you-signed-up-your-daily-despatches-paula-matthewson/

 

 

 

Queensland’s New Opposition Frontbench

Queensland’s new Liberal National Party Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington announced her new frontbench last Friday 15 December 2017.

They are:

Deb Frecklington Opposition Leader and Shadow Minister for Trade
Tim Mander Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Treasurer
Andrew Powell Shadow Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning
Fiona Simpson Shadow Minister for Employment and Small Business Shadow Minister for Training and Skills Development
Ros Bates Shadow Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Shadow Minister for Women
Jarrod Bleijie Shadow Minister for Education and Shadow Minister for Industrial Relations, Manager of Opposition Business
David Janetzki Shadow Attorney-General and Shadow Minister for Justice
Steve Minnikin Shadow Minister for Transport and Main Roads
Dale Last Shadow Minister for Natural Resources and Mines, Shadow Minister for Northern Queensland
Trevor Watts Shadow Minister for Police and Counter Terrorism, Shadow Minister for Corrective Services
David Crisafulli Shadow Minister for Environment, Science and the Great Barrier Reef, Shadow Minister for Tourism
Tony Perrett Shadow Minister for Agricultural Industry Development and Fisheries and Forestry
Michael Hart Shadow Minister for Housing and Public Works, Shadow Minister for Energy, Shadow Minister for Innovation and Digital Technology
Ann Leahy Shadow Minister for Local Government
Dr Christian Rowan Shadow Minister for Communities and Shadow Minister for Disability Services and Seniors, Shadow Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Shadow Minister for the Arts
John-Paul Langbroek Shadow Minister for Sport & Racing and Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Shadow Minister for the Commonwealth Games
Stephen Bennett Shadow Minister for Child Safety, Youth and Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, Shadow Minister for Veterans
Lachlan Millar Shadow Minister for Fire, Emergency Services and Volunteers
Shadow Assistant Ministers
Sam O’Connor Shadow Assistant Minister to the Opposition Leader and Shadow Assistant Minister for Youth
Dan Purdie Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury
David Batt Shadow Assistant Minister for State Development
Simone Wilson Shadow Assistant Minister for Education
Brent Mickelberg Shadow Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry Development

 

You can download a list with short biographies here http://bit.ly/2CVhNAY, and if you missed last week’s biographies of the new Government, that can be downloaded here.

 

 

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 3 July 2017

The value of the Great Barrier Reef, a boxing match, and Gordon Nuttall’s superannuation dominated news* last week in Queensland.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

Queensland Parliament, early 20th century

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 19 June 2017

The State budget dominated Queensland media* in the first half of last week, as did attacks under Parliamentary privilege on the integrity of Paul Pisisale, and the labelling of Caboolture as Australia’s dole bludger capital.

 

Queensland budget

 

Governing

Tony Fitzgerald (Photo: State Library)

 

Opposition and Crossbench

 

Politics

 

Community

Energy Minister Mark Bailey

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

Queensland’s Speaker Peter Wellington

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

Last Week in Queensland – 29 May 2017

Schapelle Corby’s release and the McCulkin murder trial and verdict drove a lot of other news* out, but:

Adani mine subsidies or maybe not, divisions in the State Government, and multiple scandals for One Nation Party … last week in Queensland.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

  • Queensland’s Parliament sat last week, and next sits from Tuesday 13 June to Friday 16 June – that’s budget week, which will be presented on the Tuesday
  • The notice paper for the next sittings of the Queensland Parliament can be downloaded here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/sitting-dates/latest-sitting-dates
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • Federal Parliament sat last week, and again this week, from Monday 29 May to Thursday 1 June – the House of Representatives will be sitting, and Senate Estimates Committees will be in session

    Federal Parliament House

  • The forward agenda for the Federal Parliament can be found here www.dpmc.gov.au/resource-centre

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 25 May 2017

A claimed split in the Government over Adani mine, and blame-shifting over the Cross River Rail project dominated news* in Queensland last week.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 15 May 2017

Corruption in Queensland’s towing industry, criticism of Queensland’s top cop, and reaction to the Federal budget, dominated the news* last week in Queensland.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

Treasurer Curtis Pitt, with Deputy Premier Trad and Employment Minister Grace

 

Parliament

Federal Parliament House

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 27 March 2017

Cyclone Debbie bearing down, M1 upgrade funding secured, the LNP caught offering deals to One Nation,  and Adani mine viability is debated (again, still) – last week in Queensland*.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

Federal Parliament House

  • Queensland’s Parliament sat last week, and next sits again from Tuesday 9 May to Thursday 11 May
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • Both chambers of the Federal Parliament sit this week, from Monday 27 March to Thursday 30 March

 

Sleeper Issues?

Stuart Robert, former Minister

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 20 March 2017

Last week in Queensland: unemployment rising, activists continue trying to block Adani mine, LNP’s regional tour & stronger media coverage rolls on, while the One Nation Party also garners ongoing media coverage*.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

  • Queensland’s Parliament sits this week, from Tuesday 21 March to Thursday 23 March
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • Both chambers of the Federal Parliament also sit this week, from Monday 20 March to Thursday 23 March

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.
** Anyone who thinks Michael Ravbar is a friend of the Premier is wrong; anyone who claims that, without believing it, is a liar.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 13 March 2017

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls built better media coverage, until former Premier Newman crashed it for him, while the Government released their plan to fix Queensland Rail, last week in Queensland*.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

Current & past LNP Leaders, Nicholls & Newman

 

Politics

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

Queensland Parliament, early 20th century

  • Queensland’s Parliament will next sit from Tuesday 21 March to Thursday 23 March
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • Both chambers of the Federal Parliament next sit from Monday 20 March to Thursday 23 March

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.