Christian Kerr writes:

IR bites – but the Government feels no pain.

“The Coalition’s lead over Labor has been eroded or lost in every state except
Queensland as the industrial relations laws have taken effect,” The Australian
reports today.
And unfortunately for the ALP, that’s the state where they need to gain the most ground.

Mid-Winter boll?

Julian McGauran isn’t the
only parliamentary to mispronounce hyperbole. We’re told Gold Coast MP Steven Ciobo did it
too on Madonna King’s program on 612 ABC Brisbane on Wednesday morning. Perhaps they were reading from the same
briefing note?

Drawing the line. Just out – the draft new electoral boundaries for Queensland.
Things could be nasty for the Nats in Wide Bay and Dawson – and stand
by for a Labor/National clash in the new seat of Wright
(which we presume hasn’t been named after a certain former member for Capricornia).

Going, going…

Being less than emphatic
about her future on ABC local radio this week – marginal Makin MP Trish Draper.

Narky Nats.
Barnaby behaviour seems to have
paid off for the New South Wales Nationals, after agreement from the Liberals
for a joint upper house ticket yesterday that will see the country cousins take
the second, fifth and eighth spots on the ticket. Crikey understands that the Nats told opposition
leader Peter Debnam that if no deal was reached by next week, they’d be running
a separate campaign at the March election. Still, there’s no news – or nothing
public – on the Nationals’ demand for a third of the electoral funding.

Above the law.
The legislation establishing
a Do Not Call register is through parliament – but with political
exempt. Family First Senator Steve Fielding registered his protest
blitz on
journalists’ phones, leaving a pre-recorded message warning of more to
come: “You are receiving this uninvited call today because the
Government and Opposition voted to give a special exemption to
politicians and
political parties to make annoying calls like this one…” Meanwhile,
Natasha Stott Despoja has moved on another favourite, introducing a
member’s bill to force politicians to abide by the Privacy Act and subject political databases to the same rules and regulations of the public
and private sectors.

Having a ball. The award winning Australian short film The Ball
– about a cricket loving PM and a soccer loving refugee – bounces onto
SBS tonight at around 9.20 as part of the World Cup celebrations.

with envy.

As noted recently in Crikey, Dan Cass from Greenpeace Australia
writes: “According to Rehame…
Environment Minister Ian Campbell has made whaling comments in the electronic
media alone 1,124 times in the past month”. Gosh. It’s galling for Greenpeace if
politicians upstage them on whales. Whales are a fundraising cash cow for green
groups – but the Environment Minister is stealing all the attention by seizing
on the issue. A tragic outcome for environment groups, clearly – even though it’s
a good one for whales.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey