Essential Report – calculation error on three week state figures:

Essential Media Andrew Bunn’s writes: Re. “Essential’s state-by-state breakdown: a minority Coalition government?” (yesterday, item 3). In the state voting intention report released Tuesday morning which added figures over the last three weeks, there was an error which affects some of the 2PP figures. The error occurred in computation of the aggregate state voting intentions across the three weeks.

Corrected figures increase the 2PP for Labor by 1% in NSW, SA and WA. 2PP in NSW is then Labor 48 Coalition 52; SA is 54/46 and WA is 47/53. National, Victoria and Queensland figures remain unchanged.

Corrected 2PP figures are:

  • National 51% ALP, 49% Coalition
  • NSW 48% ALP, 52% Coalition
  • Victoria 55% ALP, 45% Coalition
  • Queensland 47% ALP, 53% Coalition
  • SA 54% ALP, 46% Coalition
  • WA 47% ALP, 53% Coalition


George Wright, General Manager, Public Affairs, Research and Media , National Australia Bank, writes:  Re. “NAB support Libs” “Crikey Campaign Leftovers: Climate debate fizzer … Women don’t rate Abbott … but Twitter loves him …” (yesterday, item 16). The article carries a photo of the NAB branch in Camben NSW which is on the ground floor of a two story building. The photo also shows that the balcony of the top floor of the building has been covered in bunting for the local Liberal Party candidate in the federal election Russell Matheson.

The implication in the article is that the NAB is publicly supporting or is in some way associated with Mr Matheson or the Liberal Party.  This inference is incorrect. The premises of the NAB Camben branch are leased by the NAB.  NAB only holds the lease for the bottom floor of the building in which the branch is located.

The top floor of the building is leased by the building’s landlord to another tenant, in this case Mr Matheson who has located his campaign office there. While it is understandable that the location of Mr Matheson’s campaign office may give some people the impression he is somehow associated with or supported by the NAB, this is not correct.

NAB is a strong supporter of Australia’s democratic processes, but we do not endorse particular parties of candidates.

Stimulus, Labor and the election:

Andrew Lewis writes: Re. “The campaign against stimulus: contradictory, confused and callous” (yesterday, item 1). I have been following the debate about the extant effectiveness of the stimulus package and was pleased to see Bernard Keane remind us of the coalition line, perfectly summarised by the conflicted Henry Ergas, to wit;  that “Rather than once-off bonuses, the tax cuts should be locked in for a sufficiently lengthy period to genuinely stimulate consumption and encourage initiative.”

I recall this coalition line of argument well as it struck me at the time as being as likely to be true as the “trickle-down effect” and other completely discredited economic theories. If we had gone with the coalition line, it is my opinion that the tax cuts would have been completely ineffectual, while being just as expensive as the stimulus and more so over time.

Only a person who has a lot of money would buy this line, surely. Obviously they have never seen someone from the poorer end of the spectrum win a motza at the track or on the pokies, or any other form of windfall gains. Let me assure you and your readers, those windfall gains are spent, and spent quickly in the vast majority of cases. At least that is what the punters who received this largesse did, but we should remember that the money didn’t go to people earning big dollars.

Truly the rich do inhabit a different world if they believe Mr Ergas’ theory to be true.  My question is, does anyone believe that a $20 tax cut will be more effective in quickly increasing consumption than a windfall cheque for $900? Of the discredited and incredible economic theories I have read in my day, this one takes the cake for inanity.

Janine Walker writes: Thank you Bernard Keane for yesterday’s piece on economic stimulus. I am a senior University executive, my well paid job was always going to be untouched by the GFC. Not so the jobs — and second jobs — of the low skill mothers and fathers and older workers in the community.

It makes me ill to listen to the pompous analysis of those who are by good fortune and good education insulated from all but the most catastrophic of economic events.

Australia’s good fortune during the GFC was its terrific public servants who gave brave advice and a Government with the guts to act quickly without certainty and guarantees about the outcome and no focus groups to reassure them.

How easily we forget.

The mining industry:

Mark Duffett writes: Re. “Keane’s Talking Points: are we there yet? … Maxine might not get there at all” (Campaign Crikey morning edition: Day 32, item 1). “Australia is now less safe a mining investment destination than Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Namibia and Botswana” is “patent nonsense”, according to Bernard Keane this morning.  Bernard, it is simply a fact that that is the current industry perception, as identified by a comprehensive survey.

Have you got data that says otherwise? Let’s see it, then.  Or do you have a problem with the survey methodology? Tell us about that, too. If you can’t, then put a sock in the irrelevant (“right-wing, pro-tobacco and anti-gun control”) name-calling that says more about you than it does about the Fraser Institute

Now, you can argue that those industry perceptions are not justified (in fact, please do), but the reality remains that it’s those perceptions that drive investment, and that’s the bottom line.

And please, please stop continuing to make the fundamental error of assuming a one-to-one correspondence between Australian-based companies and the Australian mining industry. Rio Tinto and BHP are global companies. In particular, I suspect you’ll find they both have interests in each of Tanzania, Zambia, Ghana, Namibia and Botswana.

The disinteresting election:

Les Heimann writes: Re. “Rundle essay: failure to launch? — Labor’s ‘realism’ is a fantasy” (yesterday, item 2). I liked Guy Rundle’s outline of Labor’s malaise. It’s true Labor has become all pin and no point — not a skerrick left of the grand vision that attracted me to Gough Whitlam. It was he who should be recognised as the epitome of “yes we will”.

And then Australia displayed its innate conservatism. Sure they voted him back in 1974 but the more conservative forces pressed in from all sides and …. well we all know the rest. This practical recognition of Australian’s inaction was truly the beginning of the end of true Labor. The rise and rise of John Howard also marked the beginning of the end of the true Liberal.

When Tony Abbott spoke — as he did at the National Press Club on the 17th of August — referring to the two parties as centre right and centre left he summarised the current political scenario perfectly. At this time there is but six degrees of separation between Labor and Liberal and this  race to the middle brings with it nothing to talk about because there is nothing to differentiate the two major parties around the majority of Australia.

In any case I agree with Guy this election is about nothing because nothing is at stake.

Jim van Ommen writes: Irrespective of how things pan out on Saturday, I just would like to express my total disgust for newspapers that are so politically biased as to seldom give you the truth let alone nothing but the truth. It is a form of corruption that needs to be dealt with or else Australia ceases to be a democracy and if we don’t think that is a danger of some magnitude, we literally need our heads’ read.

Australia is increasingly becoming what is called a mediacracy, a form of indirect government by the popular media, often a result of democracy going awry. Many I believe are either oblivious of this fact or else are being conned into buying news that is in reality nothing but propaganda. Then again there are those who like to read what they want to hear, like a type of security blanket and never exposed to the realities of life that should shape our thinking, the way we express ourselves and what we give support to in one way or another.

Yes money represents power, power represents influence and influence may cause us to buy things not worth buying. How often do we really objectively think about the things we have been buying, I’m not just talking about commodities, but the real issues that determine the direction this country should take if it is to do justice to the name of “ Commonwealth of Australia “ or nations for that matter.

If nothing else, before we head for the polls on Saturday let’s just check for ourselves to what extent we have been conned by the media thus far. I have been watching this for a long time and can assure you that the opinions expressed in one of our main papers are totally unrepresentative of the figures we read about in the polls.

On the whole the polls do not differ greatly and we all know it is about a 50/50 situation as to who will win, but the comments selected for publication would have us believe that 95 % are in favor of a coalition government.

That is not just inaccurate reporting, but a consistent bias and propaganda and we need to ask ourselves, “are we buying this”?

The Democrats:

David Thackrah, a Democrats member, writes: Re. “Cox: the weird and wonderful world of Senate preferences” (yesterday, item 11).What it meant by Eva Cox when she writes “an oddly mixed approach from a party trying to re-place itself on the political spectrum”? The Australian Democrats credit the voting public with enough “nous” to decide their own preference and not blindly follow the demands of a Party Plan.

Eva Cox, I assume thinks most people vote above the line for the Senate. Perhaps more Australian Democrats manage to vote below the line thus establishing their own preference in an election. At the booth AD “How to Vote” distributors usually tell people if they enquire, to vote “exactly the way they want to” as the preferences indicated “are a guide” as expressed by the party meeting election requirements.

More importantly the media experience for this Laberal election has seen information about minor parties censored.

Rural health:

Megan Stoyles writes: I recently wrote an article on IT health in the bush for older Australians for the aged care magazine INsite. Nursing services in rural NSW reported on how they were able to prevent emergency hospitalisations  of older people with chronic and serious heart, breathing , diabetes and other  problems, and improve their contact and health checks from a once a fortnight visit from a nurse, to a daily monitoring program with results analysed immediately, then any remedial action and treatment from nurses working from home  also offered immediately via the internet.

Those providing these services, and the families and those receiving this care are hanging out for the National Broadband Network roll out as the current internet is not strong enough and often drops out during the checks. Nothing rolls royce about this care, just about saving lives.

Australia is a bit bigger than Singapore or Korea and its population deserves better broadband than it now has.