Peter Dutton’s party increasingly cradles the prehistoric, argues Binoy Kampmark.
Federal and state by-elections
The North Sydney Council decided to revert to its former position of opposing the Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link toll roads. Andrew Chuter reports.
The NSW Nationals’ narrow victory in the Upper Hunter byelection has saved the scandal-plagued government of Premier Gladys Berejiklian, writes Stephen O'Brien.
New South Wales communities ravaged by the Black Summer fires are now suffering the impact of the harsh winter cold as they await for their homes to be rebuilt, reports Paul Oboohov.
While the margin by which independent candidate Dr Kerryn Phelps won the Wentworth byelection may not be as great as the election night count suggested, the result in this historically-safe Liberal seat is a major blow for Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the federal Coalition government.
Dr Kerryn Phelps, the favorite to win Wentworth, said that while she is 'ashamed' of Australia's refugee policy she did not support allowing the offshore detainees to be resettled here.
The result of the Batman by-election on March 17, triggered by the resignation of Labor MP David Feeney over his citizenship status, shows Labor, with the right combination of candidate and policy, can hold off the Greens.
Labor’s Ged Kearney retained the seat, with 43% of the primary vote. The Greens’ Alex Bhathal, who many expected to win, received 39%. The Liberals did not contest the seat, although a variety of small conservative parties did.
More than 100 people marched in Northcote on March 10 in support of refugee rights. The rally was called by the Refugee Action Collective to focus attention on refugees in the context of the Batman by-election.
Aziz Muhammad, who has been imprisoned on Manus Island for 5 years, spoke to the rally via skype. He spoke of the “terrible” conditions on Manus Island. The three camps where refugees are living are overcrowded. There is no proper medical care. Mental health is deteriorating, as people see no hope. Refugees have been badly beaten by local people.
Lidia Gunnai-Gunditj Thorpe is a Gunnai-Gunditjmara woman living on Wurundjeri Country in Melbourne’s north and the Greens candidate in the November 18 byelection for the Victorian state seat of Northcote.
Comfortably held by Labor since it was created in 1927, the seat of Northcote has seen a surge in support for the Greens in recent years. Some polls are indicating that Thorpe is on track to take the seat with a primary vote of about 40%.
The NSW Gladys Berejiklian government’s forced council amalgamation policy is in crisis, after the NSW Court of Appeal on March 27 blocked the merger of Ku-ring-gai and Hornsby Councils.
The court accepted Ku-ring-gai Council’s appeal against the merger, in part because the state government kept the KPMG consultants’ report on the amalgamations secret from the public and from the delegate appointed to investigate the merger.
NSW Premier Mike Baird’s vision of “NSW Inc” is under increasing fire as the year ends. Dubbed the “Smiling Assassin”, “Mike the Vandal”, and “Robert Askin with a smiling face”, Baird’s approval ratings have plummeted as a number of his pet projects face rising opposition.
The former Liberal NSW Premier Askin was notoriously corrupt, renowned for his dodgy dealings with developers and his demand that his driver “run over the bastards” during an anti-Vietnam War protest in 1966 against visiting US President Lyndon Johnson.
The NSW Coalition government is in deep trouble after the disastrous by-election in the rural seat of Orange on November 12 in which the Nationals suffered a 34% swing against it.
Nationals state leader and Deputy Premier Troy Grant has been forced to resign, and has been replaced by John Barilaro.
The swing was the highest ever recorded in a NSW by-election, with some booths reporting a swing away from the Nationals of more than 60%. It is now possible the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party (SFFP) candidate, Philip Donato, could win the seat on Labor preferences.
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