Chris Bowen treasurer Labor budget surplus federal election
Chris Bowen (Image: AAP/Rohan Thomson)


Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has said the Labor Party is not “talking the right language” to its traditional working class base. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, Bowen points out that Labor has had swings towards it in wealthy areas and against it in poorer areas

Bowen announced his nomination for the Labor leadership from his western Sydney childhood home yesterday, arguing that he can better reconnect Labor with suburban voters than the left’s Anthony Albanese. Finance spokesman Jim Chalmers was expected to fall in line behind Bowen, but is “still prepared” ($) to run himself, with some urging Bowen to pull out in his favour according to The Australian.

Tony Burke is reportedly leading a revolt within the NSW right to get behind the Albanese instead of the right’s own Bowen, while Bill Shorten has “stunned colleagues” by stepping in to lobby against Albanese.


The Coalition has secured its 76th seat and majority government, the AEC tally room shows, with the suburban Melbourne seat of Chisholm remaining in Liberal hands despite a 2.2% swing against it and last year’s frustrated defection of sitting MP Julia Banks. The ABC predicts that the Coalition may win as many as 78 seats.

Hong Kong-born Liberal Gladys Liu has made history, defeating Labor’s Taiwan-born Jennifer Yang in Chisholm to become the first female Chinese-Australian MP, the ABC noted. The race for Chisholm, which has a large Chinese-Australian community, was a contentious one, with uncertainty over how closely attempts to spread misinformation via WeChat was linked to Lui’s campaign.



The AEC has found 87 cases of unlawful political advertising, The Guardian reports, after receiving almost 500 complaints during the 2019 campaign.

The commission opted to issue direct warnings rather than take punitive actions, which a spokesman said was a “much faster and more effective” way to resolve breaches. There were some complaints where the AEC could not take action, even though voters were being misled or deceived, because the actions did not break electoral law — something that renewed calls for truth in political advertising laws may be able to address.

In related news, Kooyong independent candidate Oliver Yates has threatened to take the Liberal Party to the court of disputed returns over its deceptive Chinese language signs, which were designed to look like AEC signage but actually directed people to vote Liberal.


Labor didn’t have that policy but there are people within the party who want that policy.

Tim Wilson

The member for Goldstein’s attempts to defend the “death tax” scare campaign after being pressed by the ABC’s Patricia Karvelas.


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Ex-ACTU boss slams ‘union hubris, vanity’ ($)

Barnaby Joyce agitating for return to cabinet as Morrison prepares frontbench

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The media is in denial about the surge of the far right

“Nor have the media really grappled with the implications of this. Hanson could not have faced a more difficult election environment: the disgrace of having her party revealed as treacherously seeking foreign help to undermine our gun laws, brawling with political rivals in Parliament House, conspiracy theoriesabout the Port Arthur massacre, the scandal around Steve Dickson and a wealthy rival pumping tens of millions into advertising to compete with her. This is a party that appears to have gone out of its way to alienate all but the lunatic fringe of the far right — and yet she still emerged with a serious chunk of the vote.”

How the Coalition played a long game to win the franking credits debate

“Liberal MP Tim Wilson began a months-long crusade against Labor’s franking credit reform policy making it a front-and-centre election issue. In September, Wilson, the member for Goldstein in Victoria, launched a parliamentary committee looking into Labor’s proposed franking credit reforms as a pre-election inquiry. He went on a pilgrimage visiting RSL club function rooms across the nation, speaking to self-funded retirees about how hard the reform would hit them. The forums were meant to be “hearings” into franking credits with retirees — a way to take in feedback.”

Can we still trust political polling?

“Think of a “representative baker” now. Is it the hipster in Newtown or Northcote baking artisanal sourdough, or the employee of a Coles bakery? And what is the baker thinking? What are his points of engagement with the world, the things that help shape his attitudes?

A few decades ago we could predict with significant accuracy the stimuli he would be exposed to. Today, is it Netflix bingeing, social media, free-to-air TV, or the infinite spectrum of the internet and immersion in algorithmic designed filter bubbles?”


It’s good the PM has God on his side, he may need all the assistance he can getRoss Gittins (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Ever since the global financial crisis in 2008-09, and more so since the busting of our mining construction boom in 2013, our economy has been acting strangely, behaving in ways it used not to. If Morrison and his Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, understand the way it hasn’t been back to business as usual, they’ve shown little sign of it. If they haven’t yet got the message – perhaps because a politicised Treasury hasn’t been game to give them news they won’t like – enlightenment, in the form of being hit on the head by the bureau of statistics, may not be far off.”

Abbott’s loss is not a win for GetUpMiranda Devine (The Daily Telegraph): “The most conservative Liberal booths swung hard against Abbott. Mosman booths which had voted as much as 65 per cent for him in 2016, delivered a primary vote less than 40 per cent on Saturday. These are people who have voted for Abbott time and again, but they felt he had gone rogue. They hadn’t given him a mandate to destroy the party, bring down a Liberal government and deliver Australia to Bill Shorten.”

First eggs, now milk — who’s cooking up this mess? ($) – Hugo Rifkind (The Australian/The Times): “Is it OK to milkshake a right-wing populist?” is basically the same question, but repeated as farce. Or, I suppose, as more of a farce. In the end, egging and milkshaking aren’t much better than punching, even if they make you chortle. Both are signs not only of political failure but of political short-sightedness, too, because they can both be done back to you, or indeed, to anyone. Farage’s milkshake assailant was arrested for “common assault”. Let’s not make it too common, eh?”


The Latest Headlines



  • The ACCC v NSW Ports case will have a case management hearing in the federal court, with the consumer watchdog challenging a $5.1 billion NSW government deal to privatise key ports.

  • Former Catholic priest Vincent Gerard Ryan will be sentenced on charges of historical sexual and indecent assault.

  • The Geoffrey Rush defamation fallout continues, with an interlocutory hearing to be held in the wake of his win against Nationwide News.


  • The trial for Zagi Kozarov, a former public prosecutor suing the state of Victoria, claiming her job pursuing the state’s worst sex offenders has left her mentally scarred with PTSD, will continue.


  • Kerry O’Brien will host “Voice, Treaty, Truth”, a conversation between Noel Pearson, Professor Bronwyn Fredericks, Avelina Tarrago, and Eddie Synot about The Uluru Statement from the Heart, in the lead up to Reconciliation Week 2019.

  • The Queensland Futures Institute will hold its 2019 Policy Leaders Breakfast, discussing enhancing Queensland’s links with Asia.

  • Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will head to regional Queensland, amid backlash from regional Labor MPs following the party’s federal election defeat.