2022 Federal Election Watch - Part 2 the count

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Crankyhawk

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So have the new government cut their own staff as well , or are we going to ignore that ?
They claim to have, but I don’t think the numbers are similar. Jackie Gallagher claimed a million dollars of savings so that’s maybe 12 staff on 80k a year that’s less than one per ALP MP
 

Gralin

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Can you post the staffing levels prior to Abbott?
I was always of the belief the levels were raised, for the benefit of the halfwit independents like Hanson, to buy their vote for the Liberal campaigners.
The assumption is that the new raft of independence do not need to be "paid off" by allowing them to employ friends and relatives on the public dollar.

James Ashby is a perfect example.
Human cancer.
They've gone back to prior staffing levels yes, mysteriously with a larger cross bench and realistically because there are more independents who will need the help.

Think what you want but this is bad for democracy
So have the new government cut their own staff as well , or are we going to ignore that ?
The crossbench, ie anyone elected who isn't part of one of the major parties has their staffing levels set by the government of the day.

Albo's just said they can do the same work with less staff.
 

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Pie eyed

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They've gone back to prior staffing levels yes, mysteriously with a larger cross bench and realistically because there are more independents who will need the help.

Think what you want but this is bad for democracy

The crossbench, ie anyone elected who isn't part of one of the major parties has their staffing levels set by the government of the day.

Albo's just said they can do the same work with less staff.
Seriously I am not for or against. Just wanted know what we are comparing.
The Libs needed to buy off the fruitcake independents like Hanson, so no doubt gilded the lily for them.

Labor have cut a lot of of excesses from the Liberal porkbarrelers and for good reason.
This may or may not be the same.
 

Northalives

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What an absolute crock of s***. There has been exactly zero inference (direct or otherwise) from the ALP that they have any plans to increase welfare payments at any stage to the level that they have advocated for the minimum wage. The rhetoric has been entirely different.

There are some seriously rose coloured glasses getting around here.
What are you on about? The ALP has been in Government for one second and it took over running a country that is worse than a basket case. It got into Government by keeping it's powder dry and not scaring the horses. If Hawke and Keating had told Australians what they had planned for the country during the 1983 election campaign, they would never have been elected.

You are bitter about Morrison not being re-elected or the fact that the Greens will never be anything else but a megaphone for good things to happen but, without a f****ng clue as to how to implement these things so you attack an ALP Government for something they may or may not do!
 

Carn The Berries

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What are you on about? The ALP has been in Government for one second and it took over running a country that is worse than a basket case. It got into Government by keeping it's powder dry and not scaring the horses. If Hawke and Keating had told Australians what they had planned for the country during the 1983 election campaign, they would never have been elected.

You are bitter about Morrison not being re-elected or the fact that the Greens will never be anything else but a megaphone for good things to happen but, without a f****ng clue as to how to implement these things so you attack an ALP Government for something they may or may not do!
You do realise that I'm supporting (albeit indirectly) something that the Greens are advocating for don't you? My entire argument is that the ALP are trying to paint themselves as the party of the downtrodden, yet are simultaneously treading on those on welfare (while spruiking how awesome they are at getting a wage rise for low income workers).

We keep hearing that being able to keep pace with inflation isn't something that is overly controversial, yet when it comes to doing the same for welfare recipients the ALP are baulking at it.

I appreciate there is a level of politicking involved in it, but they haven't said one word to give an indication that they will do the same (out of their own pocket) for welfare recipients as they campaigned for in relation to low income earners.

Like I have said earlier, its just willful ignorance to pretend that its something they have hiding in the shadows ready to release.
 

Gralin

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Seriously I am not for or against. Just wanted know what we are comparing.
The Libs needed to buy off the fruitcake independents like Hanson, so no doubt gilded the lily for them.

Labor have cut a lot of of excesses from the Liberal porkbarrelers and for good reason.
This may or may not be the same.
They're counting on the pork barrel idea and the fact that some of the people complaining are s**t truck campaigners
 

William Wonka

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You do realise that I'm supporting (albeit indirectly) something that the Greens are advocating for don't you? My entire argument is that the ALP are trying to paint themselves as the party of the downtrodden, yet are simultaneously treading on those on welfare (while spruiking how awesome they are at getting a wage rise for low income workers).

We keep hearing that being able to keep pace with inflation isn't something that is overly controversial, yet when it comes to doing the same for welfare recipients the ALP are baulking at it.

I appreciate there is a level of politicking involved in it, but they haven't said one word to give an indication that they will do the same (out of their own pocket) for welfare recipients as they campaigned for in relation to low income earners.

Like I have said earlier, its just willful ignorance to pretend that its something they have hiding in the shadows ready to release.
Also what you are asking for already happens automatically to a big degree:
Screenshot_20220628-002322_Chrome.jpg
 

Number37

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They've gone back to prior staffing levels yes, mysteriously with a larger cross bench and realistically because there are more independents who will need the help.

Think what you want but this is bad for democracy

The crossbench, ie anyone elected who isn't part of one of the major parties has their staffing levels set by the government of the day.

Albo's just said they can do the same work with less staff.

Scummo was going to do the same thing because they included in the budget provision for employing 30-ish more staff in the Parliamentary Library.
30-ish is about equal to 3 staff for each of the cross benchers.
So they are effectively complaining that the staff are not in their personal office, rather than a reduction in staff.


The lady in charge of the Parliamentary Library had her tenure extended by a year (was due to end in March) so that she can compile a report on how to best do it moving forward.
 

Carn The Berries

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Also what you are asking for already happens automatically to a big degree:
View attachment 1434834
I stand corrected (very humbly so). I wasn't aware that Jobkeeper was automatically indexed in-line with CPI. Teachable moment... Do your research properly before you go off half-cocked.

From:

Pension and JobSeeker indexation

Indexation for other payments​

JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment Partnered and Special Benefit rates are usually adjusted on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with CPI movements over the preceding six month period.

Youth Allowance and Austudy rates are only adjusted once a year, on 1 January, in line with CPI movements over a 12 month period.

Parenting Payment Single is adjusted in line with CPI movements in the same way as JobSeeker Payment but is also benchmarked to 25% of MTAWE (this was the same benchmark used for pension payments prior to changes in 2009).

Cranky's reference above is an interesting. Given there is a mechanism to allow the rate to keep pace with CPI surely it would be political suicide to try and cap it?
 
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William Wonka

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I stand corrected (very humbly so). I wasn't aware that Jobkeeper was automatically indexed in-line with CPI. Teachable moment... Do your research properly before you go off half-cocked.

From:

Pension and JobSeeker indexation

Indexation for other payments​

JobSeeker Payment, Parenting Payment Partnered and Special Benefit rates are usually adjusted on 20 March and 20 September each year in line with CPI movements over the preceding six month period.

Youth Allowance and Austudy rates are only adjusted once a year, on 1 January, in line with CPI movements over a 12 month period.

Parenting Payment Single is adjusted in line with CPI movements in the same way as JobSeeker Payment but is also benchmarked to 25% of MTAWE (this was the same benchmark used for pension payments prior to changes in 2009).

Cranky's reference above is an interesting. Given there is a mechanism to allow the rate to keep pace with CPI surely it would be political suicide to try and cap it?
I'm honestly not sure.
Either way I agree some extra help would absolutely be beneficial to anyone on a pension or allowance and I hope something is forthcoming in the October budget.

Not sure what Crankyhawk is referring to re. a cap...
Last years indexation rate as of Jan 1st was 3.5% is this possibly what you meant?
 

Crankyhawk

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I'm honestly not sure.
Either way I agree some extra help would absolutely be beneficial to anyone on a pension or allowance and I hope something is forthcoming in the October budget.

Not sure what Crankyhawk is referring to re. a cap...
Last years indexation rate as of Jan 1st was 3.5% is this possibly what you meant?
Yeah on looking back appears a misread on my part. The3.5 seems an average out of cpi movements.

 

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Gralin

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CPI doesn't help if rent and food are going up quicker and payments were already below the poverty line
 

Sun Ra

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CPI doesn't help if rent and food are going up quicker and payments were already below the poverty line
Yeah, tell that to federal public servants who had their wages frozen for 5 years plus under the previous govt.
 

Gralin

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Yeah, tell that to federal public servants who had their wages frozen for 5 years plus under the previous govt.
Maybe they should strike.
That's s**t and something should be done about it, not an excuse to keep others in poverty though, just another example of how the politicians have different rules for themselves to everyone else
 

Sun Ra

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Maybe they should strike.
That's s**t and something should be done about it, not an excuse to keep others in poverty though, just another example of how the politicians have different rules for themselves to everyone else
They banned us from striking. Where I worked anyway. Take your second point about poverty.
I was just trying to get across the previous govt's low wage policy was baked in by them. As an employer,
they led by example to other employers in how to screw your work force and treat them with contempt.
 

Gralin

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They banned us from striking. Where I worked anyway. Take your second point about poverty.
I was just trying to get across the previous govt's low wage policy was baked in by them. As an employer,
they led by example to other employers in how to screw your work force and treat them with contempt.
The problem is they're betting everyone won't walk out.

100% it's by design too
 

Sydney Kicker

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CPI doesn't help if rent and food are going up quicker and payments were already below the poverty line
That's why they use Pensioner and Beneficiary Living Cost Index (PBLCI). It's a better index than the CPI for this purpose as it it is designed to reflect spending patterns by households that are in receipt of benefits.

 

SBD Gonzalez

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Kidding, right?
The always-sensible Paul Bongiorno in last week's The Saturday Paper about what a breath of fresh air this new government is. (Although he leaves unchallenged Albanese's bullschitte about the Greens voting against Rudd's CPRS in 2009. If Albanese has proof that the Greens were wrong in saying Treasury's own figures showed the CPRS would offer no reductions in emissions for the first 25 years, he sould say so, or else shut up and admit Labor tried to do appear to take climate change seriously while in reality doing 5/8 of bugger all.)

Heavy crossbench to bear​



Thirty-four is the number and it has turned federal parliamentary politics on its head. After an agonising month of counting and distributing preferences for both houses of the parliament, the Australian Electoral Commission has tabulated the biggest shakeout in the two-party system since 1910, with a record number of members and senators who owe their allegiance to neither the government nor the opposition.

Voters returned 16 members to the crossbench in the house of representatives and 18 in the senate. While the Albanese government has a slender majority in the lower house – 77 of the 151-seat chamber – it falls a long way short in the senate. With only 26 senators out of 76, it would need 13 others to vote with it for legislation to be passed.

The combinations to get there make for some fascinating scenarios. The temptation is to assume the easy option, assigning fellow travellers on the progressive side of politics to support Labor. That would be the 12 Greens and the new independent from the ACT, David Pocock. If Pocock isn’t persuaded, there would be the option of turning to Jacqui Lambie and her new colleague, Tammy Tyrrell.

No one imagines that Pauline Hanson and her sidekick, Malcolm Roberts, would be quick to vote with Labor. Nor would the new United Australia Party senator from Victoria, Ralph “Deej” Babet. He is a conspiracy theorist from the “freedom” anti-vax right.

Based on the indications we have so far from the Peter Dutton-led Coalition, his 32 senators would be urged to make life as difficult as possible for Prime Minister Anthony Albanese. But of course, if the opposition backed the government on some issues, the crossbench would be sidelined.

The fact is non-government parties command all the attention when they hold the balance of power and their votes are crucial. In this regard, the crossbench in the lower house would appear to have lost its potency. But Ben Oquist, former chief of staff to the Greens’ founding leader, Bob Brown, says the sheer numbers mean this parliament will change the nature of the public and policy debate. He thinks it will be a “very noisy” parliament in the sense that all these disparate voices will be jostling to make sure they are heard. The public interest in the new teal independents is already obvious, with no shortage of interviews on radio and television.

Albanese told his first government party room meeting that he wants to change the way politics works in this country. “We need to be more inclusive,” he said. And, “we can do this”.

The leader of the house, Tony Burke, has already had a meeting and phone conversations with Warringah independent Zali Steggall. She is urging a revamp of the standing orders, regulating the way the parliament operates, with more respect shown for the right of non-government members to contribute to debates and initiate legislation.

Burke has signalled that he accepts the numbers demand the independents be allocated more questions. He is yet to finalise his revamp and is inviting all 16 crossbenchers to attend a meeting with him before he does. But the government’s chief parliamentary tactician is baulking at abandoning so-called “Dorothy Dixers”, where government backbenchers get to ask prearranged questions. They are the ones where, according to Steggall, the government tells us how good it is and how bad their opponents are. It certainly became tedious in the previous parliament.

The Liberals are wary of the government’s willingness to play footsie with the independents, fearing it will come at their expense. The new manager of opposition business, Paul Fletcher, is unimpressed with Albanese’s claims he will take parliament and its procedures more seriously. When the government released its sitting schedule with just eight weeks allocated until the end of the year, Fletcher said it was “remarkably light on” and accused the government of a “go-slow”.

Fletcher seems oblivious to the contribution his own side of politics made to the very sparse record of parliament sitting this year. It smacks of negativity for the sake of it.

But with a new government in charge after nine years and with a significant rearrangement of departments – especially in the climate and energy areas – the pace of settling in behind the scenes has been furious, despite Covid-19 depleting the ranks in key offices and the many staff vacancies still to be filled.

Fletcher should be careful what he wishes for. Albanese is very comfortable in parliament and was a successful leader of the house in prime minister Julia Gillard’s minority government. One Labor insider says the government doubts if “Dutton and Fletcher are even aware there are standing orders, let alone what they do”.

This observation is fed by the way in which Morrison and his ministers refused every attempt to suspend standing orders to debate hot-button issues during the last parliament. “They were too scared,” is a government view. “There’s no one with Christopher Pyne’s knowledge of the standing orders or tactical smarts.”

Albanese is phlegmatic about the situation. He says the parliament “can be a funny place at times”. In what must be the understatement of the year, he said “sometimes people will vote in ways that you sort of scratch your head”. He is still smarting from the fact the Greens voted with the Coalition in 2009 to reject the Rudd government’s carbon pollution reduction scheme. He says, “From time to time you’ll get political parties vote in ways that are unexpected.”

On cue, Peter Dutton committed his senators to voting against Labor’s proposal to legislate its 43 per cent emissions reduction target by 2030. Curiously, he seemed not to have any particular difficulty with the target – suggesting a range of possibilities. It was just that legislating it could cause hardship for businesses and home owners. Clearly he is leaving open the option of reigniting the climate wars as an immediate hip-pocket issue. It’s straight out of former opposition leader Tony Abbott’s playbook.

What is instructive here is Dutton’s refusal to legislate, “because that was the position we took to the Australian people and millions of people voted for us on that basis”. But his unilateral, backward-looking declaration has ignited murmurs of revolt in his ranks. The residual moderates have told several newspapers they may cross the floor to signal to Liberal voters who deserted for the climate action independents that they get the message.

Others in the decimated Liberal ranks are unimpressed with Dutton announcing policy without the scrutiny of the party room. One is particularly furious, telling me: “There’s no reset, no strategy except more of the same.” How Dutton plans to win back the hordes of hitherto Liberal voters who deserted the party for the teals or even the Greens has more than one shell-shocked Liberal wondering.

Albanese believes things have moved on during the past 10 years and his line in the sand over the 43 per cent target is a real test of this in the senate. The Greens leader, Adam Bandt, hardened his rhetoric about the inadequacy of Labor’s target during the week, but at the same time on radio appeared to keep open the prospect of voting to support it. Bandt says Labor’s “my way or the highway” approach was rejected by voters at the election.

The prime minister, however, says he is merely delivering on the agenda he successfully took to voters. The pre-fight-day sparring supports Oquist’s prediction that it will indeed be a noisy parliament, even if the arguments manage to be more civil. Burke says he has no plans to turn the place into a “polite dinner party”. Nor should he. After all, it is the cut and thrust of debate that drives our democracy.

Paul Fletcher’s charge that the delay of recalling parliament is “entirely at odds with Labor’s claim they do not want to waste a day” is itself at odds with the government’s frenetic pace in dealing with international crises directly related to Australia’s interests. On Sunday, after a huddle between Albanese, Foreign Affairs minister Penny Wong and Home Affairs minister Clare O’Neil, O’Neil was dispatched to Sri Lanka.

Arriving on Monday with a redirected $50 million of development and food aid, O’Neil recommitted the new government in this most tangible of ways to the Australia–Sri Lanka joint working group to counter people smuggling and other transnational crime. This was established with the Morrison government to stop asylum-seeker boats arriving in Australian waters.

O’Neil’s message – “nothing has changed” – hasn’t stopped an estimated 300 desperate people boarding boats since the election. We can only hope the boost in humanitarian aid relieves some of the pain after their hasty repatriation.

Albanese himself leaves tomorrow for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization meeting in Madrid, followed by a reconciliation meeting in Paris with President Emmanuel Macron. Almost certainly on the itinerary is a flying visit to Kyiv to express solidarity with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in his resistance to the brutal Russian invasion.

The prime minister will have much to report when parliament sits in a month’s time.
 

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