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Abbott in trouble again as Leadership speculation re-surfaces

As one pores over the plethora of MSM articles written by a number of political editors since the Bronwyn Bishop resignation, one gets the feeling that Tony Abbott might be facing another leadership spill motion before Christmas.

It would be fair to say that his performance since his ‘near death experience’ in February has been less than stellar, no doubt exacerbated by the experience itself and the realisation that he is being watched very closely.

The Bronwyn Bishop issue has been a public relations disaster for the government and Abbott in particular. It has highlighted once again deficiencies in his judgement and that since the February spill motion there has been no discernible improvement in his performance.

But overriding all of that is the consistent negative polling, a fact no Liberal party member is ignoring, one that clearly shows that both Abbott and his government are looking very shaky.

The Liberal Party has a history of showing no mercy to leaders they view as poor performers or who consistently show they are unable to lead in the polls. Right now, we can be in no doubt that Abbott is currently viewed as a poor performer.

So the question arises as to how long the parliamentary team will give him to turn the corner. Thirty nine of them were prepared to tip him out in February.

It would only take another eleven or twelve to seal the deal. That spill motion in February did not have the support of the cabinet and no alternative leadership candidate was prepared to raise his/her hand.

We can surmise that opinions have changed since then.

With an election little more than twelve months away, time is not on their side. Many now will be taking a keener than normal interest in their own seats, particularly those who came into the parliament for the first time in 2013.

There will be no fat superannuation payout for them. They will be looking to the brains trust deep inside the bowels of the party machine and asking what can be done to win back dis-affected voters.

It may be that the only answer is to find a new leader.

The recent announcement concerning future shipbuilding contracts for the Defence Department might give us a clue. It was, on the face of it, a poorly thought through gesture toward the good people of Adelaide who hold the fate of Christopher Pyne’s political career in their hands.

The very thought that such a high profile government member could lose his seat must send a shudder through Liberal party corridors. They would quite rightly be wondering if he were to lose his seat, how many others would be in the same boat.

But the promise of new contracts being let to the Adelaide shipbuilding yards will only revive memories of the broken 2013 election promise to build submarines there. South Australians are not that naïve.

Self-preservation in any setting is a strong motivator and when the clock is ticking, watch out. Anyone who thinks this is pure speculation should watch this interview with political editor Peter Hartcher at the Sydney Morning Herald.

Hartcher confirms talk within the party about Abbott’s future as leader, about the possibility of an election later this year and that even without an alternative candidate, “they are contemplating getting rid of him anyway.”

One can only guess what might be the number of late night phone calls by leadership contenders assessing their chances.


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  1. flohri1754

    I think that Tones must be literally cursing (internally) Bronwyn Bishop by this time for being so efficient at spotlighting the “entitlements” system ….. nothing the Abbott Government has tried to do to divert the public over the past month has taken attention from those two topics …. just two additional sources of dry rot afflicting the current government’s shaky foundations.

  2. Brad

    Where is this week’s Newspoll which was due on Monday? Could the results be so devastating for Abbott after his mishandling of Bronnygate and the Adam Goodes issue that Rupert is trying to protect his man. Have we got a “national security” story waiting in the wings to divert the public’s attention from Captain Chaos’ continual bumbling and missteps possibly causing a disastrous poll result?

  3. khtagh

    Yes Brad, I have been wondering the same thing, if it was bad for Bill Shorten it would be all over the Murdoch toilet papers(it even fails as that, in realities it does the same thing as its stories, it just spreads the crap), but it is very conspicuous by its absents. Many were talking about what the polls would be late last week, but now…………………………………………..nothing.

  4. kerri

    OK gonna be a bit of a spelling Nazi here John? One “pores” over things rather than being emptied in a controlled manner from a jug! But another good article nonetheless.
    Many online are rubbishing Hartchers interview as an example of today’s MSM cheap journalism of flip flopping when the time is right to demean whoever is most vulnerable and announce it as though no one else has noticed. (Thank dog for the A.I.M.N.)
    But it is no great mystery that the Bishop scandal was soooo poorly handled. Which leads us to ask why was it soooo poorly handled?
    Only The Greens and the independants have previously shown support for the extremely necessary Federal ICAC which of course indicates how many in Canberra have skin to lose if a major inquiry were to take place. As you have rightly pointed out John the public are not stupid and at this point I am hoping the public is bruised enough to take whatever economic/political bones are tossed their way and to give to the LNP as good as the public have received.
    There is no doubt Abbott has skeletons to hide as do most in Canberra, but the voters have seen the efficacy of the N.S.W. I.C.A.C. In dispatching political crooks. What makes Canberra think we believe the corruption ends at the border?

  5. diannaart

    What does the IPA think of Abbott as he is right now? They may see Abbott rather differently, basing their support on how successfully he has implemented their wish list.

  6. Rezenebe

    Kerri, if you are going to be a “spelling Nazi” you need to read your posts carefully before submitting them. On another point, the Australian Capital Territory has 2 Members and 2 Senators as Federal Representatives. The other 222 or so Members and Senators are from the States and the Northern Territory. Canberra is the location of Federal Parliament and State and Northern Territory Representatives spend about 18 to 20 weeks in Canberra each year. The skin and skeletons are likely to be spread far and wide across all Electorates, States and Territories and should be correctly identified as such.

  7. John Kelly

    Thank you Kerri. Your advice is always welcome.

  8. Rob031

    About the Newspoll. An article on Crikey Poll Bludger says that Newspolls are normally aligned with the start of the Parliamentary sitting. So we have to wait till next week.

  9. stephentardrew

    Yes John only yesterday I was talking to a family member in Adelaide whose husband works in Sub construction and the announcement has actually made the workers even more worried and skeptical and they have vehemently turned against this government. When first elected there was a voice of hope in these people however now they have realised they made a huge mistake even hoping for betterment though they are Labor supporters.

    She said the anger in general around the traps is palpable. A change of leader is not going to do much at all.

    I don’t think there is any chance of them turning this lot around in twelve months and regardless they know that changing leader is a double edged poisoned sword. Trapped by their own stupidity.

    Some are saying this is as bad as it can get well I have a message for them it is going to get a lot worse. Once the public realise that the penalty rates push is Work Choices revisited watch out L-NP. These idiots have such short memories as I watch the IPA reps on the ABC struggle, along with their assertive posturing, while underneath you can see the self-doubt and fear starting to eat at them.

    Anger at the TPP is taking hold and added to the rest of the idiot policies will further undermine their credibility that’s if there is any left.

    From the lies and deception since the first budget it was just a matter of time until the whole shebang unraveled which I must say I predicted.

  10. mars08

    I suspect another crucial, 16 flag, national security “crisis” announcement is just around the corner.

  11. David Stephens

    This looks like another Tony Abbott captain’s pick: http://honesthistory.net.au/wp/stephens-david-monash-interpretive-centre-villers-bretonneux-ii/ $100 million on a high-tech WWI museum in Northern France. Impetus seems to come from PM’s obsession with getting us to focus on ‘victories’ on the Western Front rather than on the ‘glorious defeat’ at Gallipoli. Rumour that only10 per cent of visitors will be Australian. Note also, suggestion of John Howard influence; suggestion of misuse of defence funding. NB article is in two parts, link to the first part also.

  12. Neil of Sydney

    whose husband works in Sub construction

    And what did Labor do about the new subs we will need when in govt? Made a big announcement and then nothing. Beats me why people keep voting Labor because all they do is make announcements and then nothing.

  13. khtagh

    People, we were told not to leave the door open, now we have blow flies inside.

  14. ahcid

    Why are these Lieberal luvvies always someone of somewhere? Or is Neil of Sydney the same bloke as John of Melbourne; or maybe it’s a Menzies House trollbot?

  15. crypt0

    David … howard, abbott et al are just military groupies.
    You know, like rock bands used to have … and probly still do have …
    They never served, but they like to “get involved” … somehow.

  16. Shevill Mathers

    Make their salaries and entitlements-including retirement perks etc. be performance/competency based and length of actual service. At the moment, the LNP as a whole need to refund what the taxpayer has already spent on them, with very little in the way of productivity, new job, new industries, or anything to move Australia forward. We are paying politicians to feather their own nests and retirement first, the country a lagging way behind second. These people would not be this non productive in private enterprise and get the salaries & perks these jokers get . I know this is simplistic, but in many case it is how it works in real life outside government.
    Abbott is SA making promises he will not keep does reveal the tenuous position the LNP are in, with Pyne well and truly in the firing line.

  17. David

    Ah Neil of Syd…he of the labyrinth brain, with its tortuous arrangement of interconnecting cavities, seeking a way out, but trapped in infinite trolling of a confusing wasteland.

  18. Matters Not

    Thirty nine of them were prepared to tip him out in February

    Indeed! At that time, the contest was between Abbott and an ’empty’ chair. While he has successfully run the ‘terror’ campaign (see the latest Essential Poll) the voters (while now scared witless – not that it affects their daily behaviour) aren’t returning to Abbott.

    At the same time, the little ducks like Turnbull, Bishop and Morrison are paddling furiously (mostly underwater) trying their best to get media attention as the Abbott house of cards collapses around him. Even The Australian is questioning whether Pyne and other South Australian LNP members are worth the $80 billion promised. (But remember it is but a ‘promise’ and we all know about Abbott and his promises.)

    Next time, it’s unlikely to be a contest against an empty chair. Turnbull knows his time is rapidly running out. Now or never? Bishop knows that the Libs are most unlikely to choose a woman. Morrison has time on his side, but not if Turnbull wins.

    Very interesting. Every voter as well as schools, hospitals and the like can expect more terror down the track as well as a Flag in the mail.

  19. stephentardrew

    Neil none of your business.

  20. paul walter

    Given all that has happened lately, I presumed that Abbott had finally learned his lesson and decided to ease off with the mean’ n tricky.

    Almost a surprise therefore, to read in the SMH that Abbott has ramped up his pursuit of QA by having the ABC Board put QA under the control of ABC news and current affairs, where an even harsher censorship regime is in place.

    Has ever there been a more untrustworthy individual than the current PM?

    Kiss goodbye to news of the sort that brought down Bishop or exposed the flaws in the Adani Galilee coal mine, when journalism is already so gelded and fragile in this country.

  21. Neil of Sydney

    Neil none of your business.

    What do you mean? What did Labor do about our replacement subs? Nothing. Just a big announcement with no details and another mess for the Coalition govt to deal with.

  22. Peter F

    Abbott would now have us sit back and allow ‘a review’ of entitlements, to take several months. “The old system has failed us’ so we will produce a new one. No use looking into what happened under the old system. We might just discover how it was that HE was ‘more entitled’ than the PM of the day when he was opposition leader.

    No good looking back, let’s look to the future. Can’t you just imagine it?

  23. Kaye Lee

    “Every voter as well as schools, hospitals and the like can expect more terror down the track as well as a Flag in the mail.”

    Lucy Wicks is the member for Robertson. She was a captain’s pick parachuted in by Tony in 2013 (she was on the NSW Liberal executive and lived in Tony’s electorate). I looked up her expenses.

    Flags 14 Oct 13 $175.00
    Flags 14 Oct 13 $1,050.00
    Flags 14 Oct 13 $270.45
    Flags 14 Oct 13 $92.73
    Flags 14 Oct 13 $831.82
    Flags 14 Oct 13 $69.09
    Flags 14 Oct 13 $475.00
    Flags 11 Jul 14 $75.45
    Flags 11 Jul 14 $210.00
    Flags 11 Jul 14 $324.55
    Flags 11 Jul 14 $185.45
    Flags 11 Jul 14 $525.00
    Flags 11 Jul 14 $1,243.64
    Flags 11 Jul 14 $163.60

    She will go a long way in the Abbott government!

  24. brickbob

    The winds of change are sweeping across this country,you can feel them, touch them and hear them,and they will hit Abbott and Co with a ferocity of a cyclone Tracy,there will be some survivors but it will take them years to get back on theirfeet.”””

  25. Irwin McAleese

    Neil of Sydney. Why do we need the subs at all?

  26. Lee

    “Beats me why people keep voting Labor because all they do is make announcements and then nothing.”

    Oh you mean like the Labor government announced the building of a new Royal Adelaide Hospital and now it is nearing completion?

  27. The AIM Network

    Neil, just for you:

    The Defence White Paper, released by the former Labor government on May 3, 2013, said Australia’s existing Collins Class submarine fleet would be replaced with an expanded fleet of 12 conventional submarines. “The future submarines will be assembled in South Australia,” it said.

  28. Kaye Lee

    As opposed to Abbott telling Barnaby he could have $50 million for Armidale hospital to help keep the medical school viable and then withdrawing it when Tony Windsor pulled out of the race.

    Or promising Andrew Wilkie $1 billion for a hospital in Tasmania which even he found an obscene bribe.

    And I seem to recall David Johnston announcing before the last election that the Coalition would build the subs in SA.

    And then there is Malcolm’s “cheaper faster quicker” NBN. Snort.

    Shaky ground there Neil. The examples of Abbott announcing things to win votes and then reneging is NOT a place you want to go.

  29. David

    Oh Neil… talk about returning to bite your arse. care for a canoe!! Well done Kaye Lee

  30. Neil of Sydney

    The Defence White Paper, released by the former Labor government on May 3, 2013, said Australia’s existing Collins Class submarine fleet would be replaced with an expanded fleet of 12 conventional submarines. “The future submarines will be assembled in South Australia,” it said

    Like i said an announcement and then nothing.

    12 what? 12 upgraded Collins class? 12 completely new from scratch submarines? 12 subs based on the German subs? 12 subs based on a Japanese design??? 12 what??

    Just an announcement and then nothing.

  31. Kaye Lee

    And what did David Johnston do Neil? You DO recall there was an election in the offing in May 2013.

  32. The AIM Network

    Just an announcement and then nothing.

    It would be poor form of me to openly ridicule a person who comments here, but I can no longer hold back.

    The reason Labor then did nothing, Neil, is because they lost the fkn election! How can they order submarines to be built while in opposition. You really are thick. Or you really are a troll.

    The next time I see totally stupid comments from you awaiting moderation (and 99% of your comments are stupid) I won’t be wasting my time by letting them through. They’ll be going straight in the trash bin. So if you want your comments published then you’d best think about what you are writing. It’s far easier for one of our dozen or so moderators to click delete than it is for you to engage your punitive brain and write a comment.

    It’s up to you.

  33. Kaye Lee

    I guess Neil wanted Gillard to do a Victoria – sign up to a contract seconds before the caretaker period and make sure you include huge compensation should the project not go ahead.

  34. Neil of Sydney

    The reason Labor then did nothing, Neil, is because they lost the fkn election! How can they order submarines to be built while in opposition.

    Labor did no research into what the 12 replacement subs would be. Just an announcement that there would be 12.

    No need to place orders but they should have started investigating whether we build an upgraded Collins Class, 12 subs based on a German design, 12 subs based on a Japanese design etc.

    There was no research done just an announcement. The Coalition is now starting to look into what the replacement subs should be. The Japanese subs are in the news as are getting the Germans involved. But Labor did nothing for 6 years and now we are years behind where we should be.

  35. Wally

    @Kaye Lee that act by the Victorian LNP would have to be the most blatant misuse of power by any government in recent times but the LNP drones (voters) still support them and blame Labor for the associated costs????

  36. Kaye Lee

    With the current government, “most blatant misuse of power” has a lot of contenders. It is no doubt deliberate to have us spinning in so many directions that it is hard to combat the abuses of power.

  37. Kaye Lee

    “The Coalition is now starting to look into what the replacement subs should be.”

    God you talk crap Neil. The government was unequivocally advised by the defence department that the subs should be built in Australia.

    “High-level departmental advice to the government reveals its overwhelming preference was for Adelaide-based, government-owned ship builder ASC to do the bulk of the work.”


    That advice was given to Abbott in December 2013. That would tend to indicate that they had been working on it before the election.

    Abbott no doubt ignored this advice in exchange for a free trade agreement with Japan.

  38. The AIM Network

    Yes, Kaye Lee, he talks crap. Total crap.

    I don’t know about you (or anybody else), but we’re rather sick and tired of him.

  39. Neil of Sydney

    That advice was given to Abbott in December 2013. That would tend to indicate that they had been working on it before the election.

    No. There was only general advice that there should be 12 subs built in Australia. I am obviously having trouble conveying what i am trying to say.

    But what subs should we build? Small, medium, big subs. Upgraded Collins Class. Perhaps a German sub like the Type 212. Or perhaps another Swedish design or a Japanese sub like Soryu class.

    Labor did no work on what the replacement submarine should be only that whatever it is it should be built in Adelaide.

  40. The AIM Network

    Labor did no work on what the replacement submarine should be

    Do some research, idiot.

  41. Kaye Lee

    You want MPs to do the research on what subs should be built????? You don’t think they should take the advice of Defence???? You want Sophie Mirabella to make the decision with all of her expertise in submarines????

    You truly are a fool.

  42. Lee

    “You want MPs to do the research on what subs should be built????? You don’t think they should take the advice of Defence???? You want Sophie Mirabella to make the decision with all of her expertise in submarines????”

    Please don’t give Abbott ideas.

  43. Kaye Lee

    Psssst…Lee….too late. Abbott is ignoring defence, he did give Sophie the job, and Robb has decided who gets the subs.

  44. Lee

    I know Sophie got the job with ASC but I would hope she isn’t choosing the subs. Mind you, nothing much surprises me any more.

  45. Bilal

    Do not feed the trolls please. They try to divert discussion from the main issue into some dead end which they think suits the Tea Party. The Dear Leader is about to get the chop from his ever loyal colleagues as he sinks in the polls under his own short sightedness. Hopefully they will not be able to recover before the election as only a Tea Party in disarray will allow a Shorten led victory.

  46. Andreas Bimba

    If Abbott approves the proposal for the $20 billion Collins class replacement submarines to be constructed in Japan, then I think the Australian people would be justified in lynching the SOB.

    This is too big an error and in addition if it’s all for the Japan Australia FTA which is a crock of shyt and another nail in the coffin of Australia’s remaining manufacturing and associated services industry, then the decision is doubly treasonous.

    Local construction would offer the lowest through life costs for the RAN, maximise local job opportunities, this is the RAN’s preferred option, enhance industrial capability and spin off business creation, enhance defence support capability and minimise the net economic cost to the nation due to retained taxation and economic activity.

  47. Neil of Sydney

    You want MPs to do the research on what subs should be built????? You don’t think they should take the advice of Defence???? You want Sophie Mirabella to make the decision with all of her expertise in submarines????

    And what advice did defence give other than they should be built in Australia?

    What replacement submarine do we build in Australia? Upgraded Collins class? A new design? A german design? A Japanese design? What do we build in Adelaide? Labor did no work on what we should actually build.

  48. David

    Abbott is puckerood on the subs and it all his own narcissist, look at me doing. So much did he want to be glorified in the eyes of Abe and his dwindling ranks of red neck fools, he has obviously promised Japan, as part of the deal for getting Abe’s signature on the FTA, the subs would be the full monty.
    He refuses to allow the complete details of the FTA to be released. We are spoon fed non controversial items such as ‘some’ Japanese cars,would be cheaper, high tariffs on our beef exports have been immediately cut by around one fifth – with further cuts to come – while a range of Australian agricultural exports will enter Japan duty free, including prawns, lobsters, asparagus, cherries, grapes, macadamia nuts and almonds. Duty free quotas on cheese are now in place too. Hardly earth shattering BUT not even a tremble about subs. it took a row in the Senate, followed by a Senate enquiry to force the Govt to declare they are suddenly calling for worldwide tenders…
    Love to have been a fly on the wall of Abe’s office when Robb made the call to explain, a necessary decoy had to be announced to make it look what would happen, wouldn’t. As in…http://www.tendersonline.com.au/TenderDetails.aspx?uid=cctol100065
    Oh Mr Abbott what a web of deceit you do weave. However you can’t keep bluffing, the time will come an announcement will have to be made and meanwhile somewhere in a securely locked vault is a piece of paper with Abbott’s and Abe’s signatures ratifying a subs deal. Gold if the Opposition, Greens or an Independent somehow get a copy…pure Gold.

  49. Neil of Sydney

    You don’t think they should take the advice of Defence????

    Believe it or not the Defence Minister has the authority to reject advice from Defence and order whatever he wants. Apparently ministers get lots of advice. I guess they get a list of best options with one preferred over the others. I think this applies for any ministry. But the Minister has the right to reject advice.

    Brendon Nelson did just that. Nelson ordered the Super Hornets against the advice of everybody. I remember Tim Dunlop doing a post on that topic abusing Nelson. But Nelson got it right.


    THE HOWARD Government’s controversial decision to go against the advice of Australia’s air force chiefs and buy 24 Super Hornet fighter jets is likely to be investigated by the Commonwealth Auditor-General.

  50. Wally

    @Neil of Sydney “Believe it or not the Defence Minister has the authority to reject advice from Defence and order whatever he wants” And that is probably what will happen and more Australian jobs will be lost. Just like the LNP policy has forced the closure of the local car manufacturers.

  51. Neil of Sydney

    Just like the LNP policy has forced the closure of the local car manufacturers.

    Gee that annoys me. Over 20% of cars were made in Australia in 2007. After 6 years of Rudd/Gillard only 10% of cars were made in Australia in 2013.

    It was Rudd/Gillard who destroyed our auto manufacturers. Ford left under Labor and that was the end of our industry.

  52. Mark Needham

    Do not mention the war.
    Do not mention burke.
    Quietly does it, Hey!
    Mark Needham

  53. David

    Yesterday upon
    the site
    I saw a troll who wasn’t there.
    He wasn’t there again today,
    I wish that troll would go away.

  54. Lee

    “It was Rudd/Gillard who destroyed our auto manufacturers. Ford left under Labor and that was the end of our industry.”

    Holden and Toyota announced their closures during Abbott’s reign of terror. Did Rudd and Gillard force Australian consumers to buy cars that weren’t manufactured locally? The Holden Caprices weren’t good enough for Abbott, who replaced them with BMWs. Even after Julia Gillard retired from politics she supported Australian made by buying a new Holden.

  55. Neil of Sydney

    Holden and Toyota announced their closures during Abbott’s reign of terror

    Holden and Toyota left because Ford left. Once Ford left under Labor it was all over. In fact it was all over years ago. Local car sales crashed under Labor.

    The Holden Caprices weren’t good enough for Abbott,

    I think you will find the PM of Australia has no say in which bomb proof cars we purchase.

  56. Lee

    “Local car sales crashed under Labor.”

    How was Labor responsible for Australian car buyers choosing to buy cars made overseas?

  57. Michael Taylor

    Holden and Toyota left because Ford left.


  58. Neil of Sydney


    Yep. After Ford left under Rudd it made it even harder for Holden and Toyota to stay. Holden went to the new Coalition govt and asked for double the amount of money promised because without Ford the equation changed. Hockey said no, what was promised was all they were going to get.

    But the facts are the auto manufacturers were always going to leave. Everybody found it hard to accept the inevitable. It is just too expensive to make cars in Australia.

    How was Labor responsible for Australian car buyers choosing to buy cars made overseas?

    The millions of taxpayers dollars the auto manufacturers were given were for what purpose? Labor gave the money with no performance requirements and both workers and management just paid themselves higher wages. They did not make cars Aussies wanted to buy.

  59. Andreas Bimba

    The Australian car manufacturing industry always needed a tariff wall to survive behind. Toyota’s modern Altona car manufacturing plant had a manufacturing cost about 10% higher than the Toyota Thailand plant due to higher wage costs, taxes and regulatory costs. With a moderate 15% tariff or an equivalent regular government subsidy the Toyota Altona plant would be competitive with imports.

    The reduction in tariffs became critically low during the term of Prime Minister John Howard when the Thailand FTA was signed and the tariff for non FTA countries was cut to an irrelevant 5%. All of Australia’s car manufacturers had plants in Thailand and this is a critical point. John Howard had tipped the economic balance to 100% imports being more profitable for the remaining three manufacturers. Even then Holden and Toyota still would have preferred to continue manufacturing locally and still had expansion plans in mid 2013 if the Australian Government had committed to a continuation of the regular subsidy. The Productivity Commission however recommended that the subsidy cease post 2020 and Abbott and Hockey apparantly agreed with this policy and in fact displayed open hostility towards the idea of a continuation of local manufacturing, as per the IPA’s recommendations.

    All governments subsequent to John Howard continued the neo-liberal policies of more and more FTA’s but had as an alternative provided a regular subsidy and the Abbott government was the first to decide to remove this.

  60. Neil of Sydney

    Andreas Bimba

    It does not happen often but i tend to agree with what you say.

    My only exception is that i think auto workers were way overpaid. Management as well. They were paid money way above people in this country doing similar jobs.

  61. Andreas Bimba

    The mining investment boom also coincided with the election victory of the Abbott government and the Australian dollar was at record high levels as a result. The euro and the yen at the same time were at record low levels due to the greater economic contraction experienced by Europe and Japan arising from the GFC as well as deliberate currency manipulation, so exchange rates certainly added to the pressure faced by the local car manufacturers. Exchange rates are much better now.

    If the ALP had won the last election I believe they would have provided sufficient industry support for the introduction of replacement models that both Holden and Toyota would have retained and indeed expanded their local manufacturing operations and Australia would have benefited from the retention of a broader economic and tax paying base.

  62. Andreas Bimba

    Automotive assembly plant labour in modern highly automated plants in Australia makes up only about 10% of the vehicle build cost. Cutting wage costs to the lowest in East Asia is not reasonable for developed countries like Australia. The low cost East Asian manufacturers are also able to apply automation as well as Australia has been able to, so a moderate tariff, or an equivalent subsidy appears to be unavoidable.

    The industry and its employees paid much more tax than the subsidy received, unlike our mining industry.

    Wage rates in comparison to actual work done are generally significantly lower in manufacturing than the mining industry.

  63. Neil of Sydney

    Cutting wage costs to the lowest in East Asia is not reasonable for developed countries like Australia.

    Maybe not. But the workers did nothing to help out. Toyota wanted to change the Christmas shut down time from 3 weeks to 10 days. But the Unions were against this


    They were overpaid bludgers who did nothing to help save their jobs. Toyota wanted a 10 day Christmas shut down which is normal. But the Unions wanted a 3 week shut down.

    Wages should have been cut to the levels paid by the component manufacturers who supply parts to the auto industry and they would have survived.

    Well good bye Toyota.

  64. David

    Troll Neil stated again, “I think you will find the PM of Australia has no say in which bomb proof cars we purchase.”

    I say Troll you don’t know shite from clay…from the Daily Telegraph, read and try to have it instilled into the cavity where a brain should sit.

    This article refers to the PM’s Office making decisions. it is inconceivable on a purchase of such magnitude, $6.2 million, the PM would not have final say in ‘his’ office what car he will sit his arse in. Given his fantasies about all things war, weapons, terrorists he would ultimately say yay or nay on this purchase……..

    PM snubs Holden to buy $6.2m fleet of BMWs that can withstand terror attacks

    Samantha Maiden state political editor
    The Daily Telegraph
    August 31, 2014 12:00AM


  65. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of Toyota….

    “To now have to break the news… to the many people who have supported our production for many years is most regretful for Toyota and for me personally, simply heartbreaking,” the Tokyo-based Mr Toyoda told a media conference.

    Mr Yasuda added in a statement: “This is devastating news for all of our employees who have dedicated their lives to the company during the past 50 years.”

    He blamed the “unfavourable Australian dollar”, high costs of manufacturing and low economies of scale.

    Mr Yasuda also cited increased competitiveness due to current and future free trade agreements as factors that have made it “not viable” to continue making cars.


  66. Andreas Bimba

    I worked for Toyota’s manufacturing operations for seven years and the line workers were not ‘bludgers’. The line moves relentlessly and the number of workers is cut to the bone while quality must be perfect.

    We as a nation are discarding our best and most productive workers and most highly automated factories on the false neo-liberal assumption that they are leaners when after some digging (as our lazy mass media rarely tell the whole story) the real leaners are our major banks, our super fund managers, our property speculators, our mining/resources industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all those industries that don’t face import competition.

  67. Wally

    @Neil of Sydney one of the biggest problems affecting the local auto industry was the reduction in real wages caused by the LNP policies during the Howard era. It doesn’t take much to realise that if you reduce income people buy less and ultimately people can no longer afford to buy the products they manufacture. When this point is reached capitalism screws itself.

    Howard had no issues cutting the wages of workers while taking away the rights of shareholders to stop executives of public companies giving themselves salary increases whenever they liked. What a sham it is when executives dictate to the owners (shareholders) of a company how much they will be paid. I don’t know if that is best described as extortion or theft and at the same time the LNP attacked unions claiming they were corrupt?????

    How are Australian cars too expensive? People don’t blink paying $50 for a ute built in Thailand but they say a Falcon is too expensive selling under $40k. Government departments not buying locally built cars had a huge impact on the local auto industry, typically councils, police, fire brigade, Telstra, power companies and government department all bought locally built cars and the public (mainly families) snapped up the second hand fleet vehicles. The resale values of local cars remained high because of demand and everyone was happy.

    Cost cutting (perceived because it cost more in the long run) and policy changes meant more imported cars were purchased and market preference for SUV’s ensued so the impact on local manufacturers was two fold. Have a look at the price of second hand 10yo euro cars, they are worth nothing because they are too expensive to repair/maintain so any savings on fuel is spent twice over in repairs and depreciation. The increased cost will impact most on buyers of second hand cars, typically the poorest people in our society.

    But of course as Joe said “poor people don’t drive cars”.

    Yea Nell the LNP have done real well haven’t they. For themselves and those who already have too much money.

  68. Wally

    @Andreas Bimba the government has no idea of the expertise industry will lose due to closing of the car manufacturers and the impact it will have on other industries. When I lived in Melbourne 25 years ago I was employed as a robotics engineer and the number of small companies that supplied parts to Ford, Holden and Toyota is hard for anyone outside the industry to fathom. The expertise in automation gained from projects for the auto industry allowed cost effective automation to be implemented by other industries.

    Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey do not have a bloody clue what they have done. Money should have been invested to help the car makers build the types of vehicles locally that buyers want . I think the market still wants medium size rear wheel drive cars but the main market for this type of car is second hand. What will happen when the used Fords and Holden’s disappear? Ever tried towing a caravan with a front drive car? Its not pretty and 4×4’s are too expensive to buy and run compared to a sedan.

  69. Rais

    Kerri the Spelling Nazi – Some reading for you to enjoy. See the entry in Wikipedia on Muphry’s Law, from which I copied the following: Muphry’s law is an adage that states: “If you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written.” The name is a deliberate misspelling of Murphy’s law.
    The law, as set out by Bangsund, states that:
    (a) if you write anything criticizing editing or proofreading, there will be a fault of some kind in what you have written;
    (b) if an author thanks you in a book for your editing or proofreading, there will be mistakes in the book;
    (c) the stronger the sentiment expressed in (a) and (b), the greater the fault;
    (d) any book devoted to editing or style will be internally inconsistent.

  70. Andreas Bimba

    Thanks Wally for your comments on the Australian automotive industry.

    Abbott and Hockey are just simple folk following instructions from wiser heads like John Howard, Peter Reith, the Productivity Commission, the IPA, the Minerals Council and any number of neo-liberal bureaucrats and economists. These ‘experts’ are so indoctrinated by the failed economic ideology of neo-liberalism that they will always keep stumbling along this path regardless of the evidence of irreparable damage.

    The electorate must learn to stop voting for neo-liberal politicians but unfortunately the ALP are much the same. Shorten could announce a decision to retain and reinvigorate the Australian automotive manufacturing industry and the manufacturing industry in general and I think this could be a real vote winner and when the electorate see unemployment falling more and more will vote for them.

    The much vaunted mining boom is now in deep trouble due to record low commodity prices, stagnating Chinese demand and the global need to cut current CO2 emissions by 6% p.a. Much capital has been misallocated and royalties and tax revenues are likely to fall way under expectations. We as a nation would have been much better off with a more self sufficient and balanced economy that retained a substantial manufacturing and associated services industry.

    Renewable energy and the sustainable economy could provide large numbers of manufacturing jobs but with a totally trade exposed neo-liberal economy nearly all of these items will ultimately now be imported from East Asia and Germany.

    The Conservatives are beyond help and no one in the ALP yet has the courage to abandon neo-liberalism. The Greens and the minor progressive parties offer the most rational policies but the electorate does not see this yet. Accordingly the Australian economy is likely to continue to get worse in the short to medium term.

  71. Wally

    @Andreas Bimba I read in the past 24hrs that New Zealand will soon provide 90% of its electricity from renewable sources. Abbott and Co are trying to lower the previous governments targets that are very small by comparison. I don’t think Labor are in a position to offer the car industry anything or to make a deal, while they are in opposition it is very hard to negotiate what might be. It is really the government (if you can call Abbott and his bunch of tossers that) that needs to listen to the public and do what they were elected to do – to do what is in the best interests of the majority of Australians not what is best for Twiggy Forest and Gina.

    “The much vaunted mining boom is now in deep trouble due to record low commodity prices, stagnating Chinese demand”

    Chinese are much smarter in business than we give them credit for and we need to play them at their own game by limiting supply and forcing prices up. This strategy might cause some short term pain but it is the only way we will manage to push prices up to a level that makes it worthwhile selling off our natural resources. Once our natural resources have been depleted the mining boom will definitely be over and the LNP’s reluctance to invest in renewable energy is fear of losing export trade and upsetting the mining moguls. What they don’t realise is that by opening more mines and increasing supply they are actually driving the price down.

    A new forestry venture started about 4-5 years ago in Victoria, a NZ company started containerising full logs for export to China. Loading 40 foot long logs into containers isn’t easy but they developed a method that worked well. For a couple of years they struggled to keep up with supply and opened 3 extra loading sites close to where the timber was harvested. What they didn’t know was the Chinese were stock piling the containers until they had no room to store any more. At that stage they stopped ordering more logs and naturally the supplier enquired what was happening, the Chinese explained they didn’t need anymore in the foreseeable future but they would take more if the price dropped considerably. They were willing to pay close to what it was costing to buy, load and deliver the logs but not 1 cent more.

    The NZ company closed all but 1 of the loading sites to keep a core of their staff employed as well as exporting a limited volume they stockpiled loaded containers until demand increased. As a result the price increased and I believe they are running at close to full capacity from the one site. I doubt they will ever reopen the other sites or open any new sites having learnt the hard way how Chinese do business. If you look closely at the entire arrangement it is a lose, lose for Australia. A NZ company is making a profit exporting Australian pine logs to China with minimal local labour content, so they have effectively cut our timber mills out of the picture and we wonder why unemployment is high.

    If you recall back 2 years or so ago when the iron ore contract price was to be renegotiated the Chinese had stockpile a huge amount of ore so they could screw the suppliers. And of course Fortescue pushed prices lower by under cutting the big miners, I wonder what Twiggy Forests head would be worth on a stick? (as per Wolfe Creek) It wouldn’t stop his jaw from flapping though.

  72. Rod Wise, Armidale

    I wouldn’t write Abbott off too soon, folks. He has a couple of high-value cards up his sleeve. The most significant is the possibility of an early election, whether a double dissolution or one for the House of Reps alone. If the prospect of an end-2016 poll is thought likely to concentrate the minds of an edgy Coalition back bench, you can only image the fright (and the consequent closing of ranks) if it is brought forward to November 2015. In fact, I believe this is a more likely scenario than Abbott passively seeping blood for another twelve months. So watch this space for the next so-called Islamic “terror” alert. And also the report of the trade union royal commission … Bill Shorten should be preparing a piping hot shower to clean all the dirt off him that seems inevitable from that orchestrated little witch hunt.
    By the way, what is the best option for a return to a fairer, more humane, open-minded Australia? In my opinion, it is certainly not one of “worst is best”, characterised by hoping for a continuation of the dominance of the Abbott-Santamaria gang of Hockey, Brandis, et al, in the vain hope that it will so turn off the great mass of the population that their fate (and all they stand for) will be consigned to history. An utter delusion! l believe that If we are ever going to get Australia back on an even keel, where the word “reform” actually means reform and not a cart blanche to effect further erosions of standards of living, there has to be a revival of the “wet” end of the Coalition. We must see employers and business people motivated again by more socially responsible outlooks than crude, greedy, bottom-line economics. And this comes from a traditional Labor voter who remembers his Gramsci.

  73. Andreas Bimba

    Imagine if our democracy disappeared and the big four banks, the big mining companies along with a few property developers had to form our next government. What would it look like?

    It would be a bunch of technocrats and media spin experts that follow the same agenda of the current coalition government as the same puppet masters would be pulling the strings. The puppet masters would also realise that they needed a B team to give the illusion of electoral choice.

  74. Wally

    @Andreas Bimba “Imagine if our democracy disappeared and the big four banks, the big mining companies along with a few property developers had to form our next government.” You forgot to include the newspaper empire owned by Murdoch. I thought they were all party to forming the current LNP, someone is pulling the strings Abbott isn’t smart enough to be as stupid as he is and always come out on top.

  75. Pingback: Abbott in trouble again as Leadership speculation re-surfaces | THE VIEW FROM MY GARDEN

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