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Labor’s empty promise

Much has been made of the influence of trade unions and the power of factions within the Australian Labor Party and rightly so considering some of their preselections, particularly for the Senate where position on the ticket has become a gift for union and party hacks rather than a reflection of talent.

In Western Australia we saw the disgraceful elevation of Joe Bullock, assistant secretary of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Union (SDA), above sitting Senator Louise Pratt, causing her to lose her seat.

To underline what a travesty this was, Ms Pratt outpolled Bullock in first preference below the line votes – 5,390 to 3,982.

Ms Pratt was a talented, intelligent, hard-working Senator. Joe Bullock, on the other hand, is a conservative old white guy who described the ALP as untrustworthy and full of “mad” members and admitted he had voted against Labor.

Bullock described Ms Pratt as a “poster child” for gay marriage and questioned her sexuality. He said he was needed in Parliament otherwise it would follow “every weird lefty trend that you can imagine”.

For some reason, the Catholic right leadership of the SDA feel they should have a say in marriage equality. National President, Joe de Bruyn, who Gough Whitlam described as “a Dutchman who hates dykes”, and who was the driving force behind the elevation of Bullock, said “Marriage started with Adam and Eve.”

It is an “objective” truth, he says, that same-sex couples cannot marry. “Marriage is between a man and a woman; always was, always will be. It is based on what is innate in human nature.”

Paul Conway, secretary of the left-wing Victorian meatworkers union, described the SDA as “a tame cat union.”

“Its primary interest is not its members but numbers in the ACTU and ALP, getting its people into Parliament, having an impact on issues like same-sex marriage.”

Bullock is also anti-republic. Addressing the Australian Monarchist League last year, he said the presence of a monarch protected people from “the oppression of a totalitarian regime”.

“An hereditary constitutional monarchy is particularly well suited to embodying in a living human person a focal point for all the best sentiments of patriotism, duty and public spirit,” Senator Bullock said.

Now, in Tasmania, we are seeing a similar factional power play relegating talented Labor Senator Lisa Singh to an unwinnable fourth position on the Senate ticket. Australian Manufacturing Workers Union secretary John Short leapfrogged the sitting Senator to take third spot.

Senator Singh, who is Labor’s parliamentary secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Water, spent four years in the Tasmanian State Parliament before being elected to the Senate in 2010. She has been very active in advocating many causes and was named Hobart Citizen of the Year in 2004 among other prestigious awards such as the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman in 2014, one of India’s highest civilian awards, for her exceptional and meritorious public service as a person of Indian heritage in fostering friendly relations between India and Australia..

John Short suggests he is “a reasonable candidate because I’ve got a lot of life experience.”

“I’ve done a lot in my life, brought up a family, struggled at times, and I know what it’s like to struggle, and I stand up for workers every day.”

Lisa Singh is unaligned to any faction and that, rather than lack of talent or performance, is what will cause her demise. Former Queensland senator Margaret Reynolds weighed in on the issue, saying that preselection was a weakness in Australian politics because it relied on the wheeling and dealing of powerbrokers.

Former Franklin Labor MHR Harry Quick also criticised the decision.

“Another example of the Tasmanian Labor Party looking after their mates, regardless of the talent pool available to them,’’ he said. “Having Lisa Singh as a senator has injected a degree of humanity and tolerance to a moribund Senate team, currently representing the union and party hacks who do as they are told.’’

In July this year, Bill Shorten made the following pledge to the ALP National Conference:

“Let us end the debilitating gender divide. Because if Australia can lead the way in equality for women then we will truly be the richest nation in the world.

Rich in every sense of the word.

Our goal should be nothing less than the equal participation of women in work … equal pay for women at work … and an equal voice for women across our parliament.

So let this Conference declare, by 2025 … 50 per cent of Labor’s representatives will be women.

Only in a society where men and women are treated equally, can the true potential of women and men be achieved.”

When the ALP dumps two outstanding young women with proven success in public service for two old men who have done nothing to recommend them, and who express views that are diametrically opposed to Labor policy, one can only conclude that the noble aspirations expressed by Mr Shorten are nothing more than hot air and that he does not have the power or the inclination to make them a reality.

44 comments

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  1. M-R

    No wonder I shan’t be voting Labor for the first time in a few decades.

  2. kerri

    Day by day it becomes harder and harder to justify Shorten at the top and day by day it becomes harder and harder to justify voting ALP.

  3. Adrianne Haddow

    So many deals to do, so many cronies to reward, so little to do with true representation of the people.
    Where did the real Labor Party go?
    Thank the universe for the Greens.
    Sigh…..

  4. Kaye Lee

    Such deals emphasise the importance of voting below the line in Senate elections. Sadly, most people will not take the time to do so and one can hardly blame them with the ridiculous number of candidates and the system as it stands where you cannot direct preferences above the line and below the line you must fill in numbers up to a kazillion.

  5. Richard Kopf

    Usually I appreciate Kaye Lee’s articles. I believe she has hit the mark about the Bullock episode but she needs to do more with the issue of Lisa Singh and John Short. I may be wrong but I believe Tasmania is the only State that allows the rank and file, a vote for Senate candidates. John Short made a great effort in contacting Labor members and outlining his case for election. The other candidates put much less effort into their campaigns. Senators Anne Urquhart and Helen Polley were almost as silent, as they are in Parliament. Lisa Singh did send out circulars to members. Tasmania is faced with many problems and I for one, watch closely, the performance of our senators. I believed that Urquhart and Polley should be placed 3rd and 4th.
    In electing candidates for the Senate, the members have a substantial 75% of the vote, the State Conference delegates, 25% and the unions, 25%. Not completely democratic, but not a factional power play either.
    There is a need to improve the overall performance of Labor’s “moribund Senate team”, as quoted by Harry Quick, I believe that John Short should be given the chance to do this but Lisa Singh should be the one of the three others, to remain.

  6. eli nes

    spot on kaye the picture of jesuit old boys fits both parties the rabbott little billy pyne hockey and surprise surprise bullock. When we add the lower order catholic and private school boys and girls there is almost no pollies left who can be trusted to give un-indoctrinated responses and opinions
    The evidence of the jesuit brotherhood is in joe bullock’s i love abbott attitude, his anti-pratt speech and shorten’s ‘he is exactly the type of person to represent the labor party’ a view unchanged by bullock’s Santamaria induced speech. Even the low catholic albanese is in joe’s corner shows canberra is not secular but catholic and catholics cannot question their faith in god deliberately made women inferior. Labor makes some effort beyond the rabbott’s ‘exceptional’ but shorten has his girls under a tight rein. Despite shorten their is great talent in the men and women of labor when compared to lnp. They will get my vote over the lib and the loony greens. Although I would certainly vote for windsor or oakeschott.

  7. Kaye Lee

    Richard,

    In the case of Short, I believe it is an example of candidate quality taking a back seat to internal candidate support. It appears that if only the rank and file voted, Singh would have been preselected third instead of fourth, meaning that Singh was effectively demoted by union delegate and state conference voters against the will of the rank and file.

    Why Polley retains number 2 spot is beyond me.

    “In mid-2014 Polley came under scrutiny after spending tens of thousands of dollars in expenses on charter flights between Hobart and Launceston. This came about six months after even more serious news that Polley’s office had been investigated over bullying and harassment claims with a number of negative findings and with three staff members taking successful action. Senator Polley also came under scrutiny over the grand Tasmanian political tradition of employing family members in political offices.”

    Senator admits spending $23,000 on 35-minute plane flights within Tasmania

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-05-19/senator-defends-2432c000-plane-flights-between-launceston-and/5461772

    Comcare inquiry into workplace bullying claims in Tasmanian Senator Helen Polley’s office

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-11/workplace-bullying-probe-in-tasmanian-senator27s-office/5149744

    Senator’s staff win claims of harassment

    http://www.theleader.com.au/story/1965347/senators-staff-win-claims-of-harassment/

    Senator Polley’s daughter and niece work at her office.

    http://www.thecourier.com.au/story/1972677/tasmanian-senator-helen-polley-chaired-bullying-inquiry/

  8. totaram

    eli nes: please justify “loony greens”, and don’t give me a link to something in the Murdoch press.

  9. Kaye Lee

    The cases of Pratt and Singh are similar in that both are talented women who resonate with young voters. In my mind, there is lost potential in attracting the young vote. Young people are less venal and self-serving. They are the ones who look to the future while still retaining some altruism. But young people are rarely members of political parties or unions. Why Labor would ignore them in favour of middle-aged union reps is a mystery to me unless it is due to factional rewards.

  10. keerti

    Personally I’m passed being interested in labour’s internal shenanigans. Their willingness to put factionalism before democratic process in their own party has gone on for much to long. They do not provide a real alternative to the liberal/national capitalist rape of australia, it’s values and environment. Shorten does not appear to understand that winning an election requires the ability to inspire and lead not only the party, but also the voters. The only place I see leadership and inspiration comes from The Greens senators who are vocal about issues. Senator Hanson-Young posts daily on facebook, mostly relating to asylum seeker issues. Scot Ludlim after the collaboration of labour and the coaltion to steal our communication information has given out plenty of information on how to neuter this unwarrented intrusion into our affairs. This is true leadership. Not the arrogant abut variety.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Larissa Waters is also very good as is Labor’s Deb O’Neill

  12. Trish Corry

    Whilst I agree with the argument of this article and I personally disagree with the replacement of two successful and inspiring women with two men with views I do not agree are progressive views; more light could be shed on this argument, to determine if this is in fact an ’empty promise by Labor’ as suggested.

    This could be done by analysing if affirmative action has been applied by Labor to the nomination and selection of the latest round of candidates for the up-coming election. Two cases, does not represent what may be happening with redressing gender imbalance in a pool of 150 candidates for the lower house and 31 candidates in the senate.

  13. Terry2

    I emailed Senator Singh to thank her for her principled stand on offshore detention (Q&A 12 October). She replied and and noted that her term in the Senate does not expire until 2017.

    I would like to think that she will stand as an Independent next time around.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Trish,

    This is not primarily about gender imbalance. For me, it has far more to do with ignoring talent and proven performance to reward factional allegiance. The fact that they are women who are already doing a very good job should be an added bonus in the fight for gender equality but these two women have very much earned their preselection. The quality of those who have been put in front of them shows that Labor is in serious trouble.

  15. Florence nee Fedup

    Standing as Independent is always an option. I would be surprised if really good, well known candidates would not poll well. Maybe that is the way fro some of these women to go. Then I wonder how many Labor voters would vote for them????

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  17. Kaye Lee

    Just for your own edification, there are 40 Senators whose term will expire on June 30 2017 – 18 Coalition, 15 Labor, 6 Greens, 1 Democratic Labor Party. Senate tickets for most states and parties for the 2016 election are not yet available.

    NSW
    Concetta Fierravanti-Wells Liberal
    Jenny McAllister Labor
    Bill Heffernan Liberal
    Sam Dastyari Labor
    Fiona Nash National
    Lee Rhiannon Greens
    VIC
    Kim Carr Labor
    Michael Ronaldson Liberal
    Richard Di Natale Greens
    Stephen Conroy Labor
    Bridget McKenzie National
    John Madigan DLP
    QLD
    George Brandis LNP
    Joe Ludwig Labor (retiring)
    Barry O’Sullivan LNP
    Jan McLucas Labor (retiring)
    Larissa Waters Greens
    Joanna Lindgren LNP
    WA
    Mathias Cormann Liberal
    Sue Lines Labor
    Chris Back Liberal
    Glenn Sterle Labor
    Dean Smith Liberal
    Rachel Siewert Greens
    SA
    Alex Gallacher Labor
    Anne Ruston. Liberal
    Anne McEwen Labor
    Sean Edwards Liberal
    Robert Simms. Greens
    David Fawcett Liberal
    TAS
    Helen Polley Labor
    Eric Abetz Liberal
    Nick McKim Greens
    Anne Urquhart Labor
    Stephen Parry Liberal
    Lisa Singh Labor
    ACT
    Kate Gallagher Labor
    Zed Seselja Liberal
    NT
    Nigel Scullion CLP
    Nova Peris Labor

  18. corvus boreus

    totaram,
    It is just a sledge-tag that eli nes (try spelling it backwards) has picked up somewhere along the line (possibly absorbed by osmosis through exposure to Newscorp), and now routinely employs without any contextual justification.

  19. jimhaz

    Any chance that they do this mainly for the donations from unions for electioneering?

    Follow the money usually works.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Seems to be some branch stacking in some places which makes accusations of companies paying union dues for workers without their knowledge even more dubious.

    One interesting donation….. Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (Queensland) gave Bob Katter $100,000. Add that to his son-in-law being one of our biggest gun importers. Like Leyonjhelm and his tobacco money. When do these things become a conflict of interest?

  21. mmc1949mmc1949

    It’s almost as though Labor is actively working to lose at the next election.

    As for following the money …. just how did Adani get approval for the mine? The risk to water alone should have been enough to throw it out long ago.

  22. Wun Farlung

    Terry 2 @1:09
    I think you are on to something.
    All the people that are mentioned in the article could and should stand as Independent

  23. Adrianne Haddow

    Approval for the Adani mine forged with Gina R flying concerned LNP personalities to India for Adani daughter’s wedding, a $250,000 (declared) donation to the coalition, who knows what they got undeclared. This deal was done prior to the Lib election victory.

    Two high courts challenges, one by the indigenous owners of the land overpowered by the Adani wealth and one conservation challenge, the results of both ignored by our forward thinking non-environment minister.

    13 major financial institutions backed away from the financing, now I guess Australian taxpayers will pay for the privilege of the Adani company despoiling the wetlands, polluting the reef and wrecking the lives of those Australian who derive their living from the reef.

    By the time this clueless government has finished its reign of terror and vandalism, there’ll be nothing left.

  24. i have a nugget of pure green

    both of the Neo-Liberal Parties (LNP & ALP) are deceitful, conniving and working against our interests, the difference to which is merely a matter of scale.

    Vote independent or Green.

  25. Aortic

    Big business unions whatever. Until we have public funding of elections and remove the influence they have on all politicians it will go on. Harry Truman said nobody gives you money and expects nothing in return in politics. If we can afford millions for school ” chaplains” we can afford publicly funded elections. Take the wind out of the lobbyists sail,too hopefully. Jesus I just saw some pigs flying past the window, mind you it is daylight saving in nsw.

  26. paul walter

    Thanks, Kaye Lee. I am so angered at the leadership, if you can call it that, of both Labor and the Greens just at this time. I would hang Shorten and Di Natale or put them up against a wall and shoot them, if I could. That’s how I feel about them.

    Labor moves to the right, the Greens compound it by doing the same. Cretins.

  27. corvus boreus

    paul walter,
    Expressing a desire to murder elected parliamentary representatives; not a particularly good look.
    Perhaps you could specify the policy decisions made by those two people that have raised your ire to such an extent, rather than merely expressing frustrated homicidal inclinations towards them.

  28. paul walter

    Hint, corvus: read the thread starter.

  29. eli nes

    totaram – the loony tag comes from the loony left of the ‘labour’ party.
    My big sister was lucky enough to walk to the beautiful lake pedder 55 years ago. She and her friends were fervent loony left of the labor party 30 years before the poms even thought of the concept.
    Despite disasters like
    1) ‘in an act of political lunacy and environmental vandalism, the Greens voted with the opposition in the Senate to kill the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme'(combet).my sis and her fierce friends are absolutely essential to Australian politics and all credit to bob brown.
    2) Milne sealed the debt deal with a man she described “Greens leader Christine Milne says she won’t negotiate with Tony Abbott because he “tells you one thing, then does the other” then she gives him and the coalition the right to unlimited borrowing with no transparency just quietly storing, perhaps, hundreds of billions even the crow would caw at that lunacy.
    When we add the loose cannon of rhiannon, combined with the.the rantings of the hyphen, the gleaming greens with a shark-like frenzy at the news corp blood of gillard in the fervent hope to replace labor in the eyes of labour. But the loony latte set are not workers but are smarmy pompous crows who, perhaps ignorant of the process,uses one of the fundamentals of nature, osmosis. If labor could move water from the roots to the leaves of the party we would not have had the rabbott and even now if little billy got real about SINKING ROBB turnball would be struggling.
    In the end, the greens are opportunists under the boys but are, in the main, individual loony leftists in ideology.

  30. paul walter

    Now McCarthyism rears its ugly head? Elines, are you a walking symptom of the ignorance and closed mindedness that will eventually kill this country?

    Theproblem with Labor and now the Greens is that they have moved too close to unquestioning acceptance of corporatist ideology and neoliberalism.

  31. paul walter

    Kaye Lee, Sen. Polley is the definitive example of all that has gone wrong with Labor. She is typical closet DLP right-faction moronic, as useless as mammaries on an example of a male Bovine quadruped.

  32. Jexpat

    The current ALP “leadership” is not only out of touch, but also tin eared, tone deaf, mealy mouthed and widely (and correctly) perceived to stand for nothing.

    That’s why they will lose the next election.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Watching Labor going after Turnbull for his investments made me despair. I had hoped we could move on from such time wasting and actually concentrate on policy.

  34. corvus boreus

    elines,
    There is validity to the criticisms of both the voting down of Rudd’s CPRS (in the hope of more stringent targets), and the voting to raise the debt ceiling (possibly jitters from watching US governmental functions shut down over ‘Obamacare’).
    The rest of your post is murky generalised sledging

    For clarification regarding your claims directed towards me, I work full-time/long-term in a physically demanding profession, understand very well the processes of osmosis (the passing of solvent particle through semi-permiable membranes), both general concept and as pertaining to biology, and I shun frothy latté crap masquerading as coffee.
    As for being me being ‘smarmy and pompous’, you are, of course, free to think and say so. I will not return the discourtesy of publicly proclaiming the conclusions I have come to regarding your qualities of intellect and character.

  35. Terry2

    I agree, Kaye, and hope that Labor drop this ridiculous pursuit of Turnbull based on his personal wealth.

    Anybody observing Question Time in recent days would note the lift in standards since the demise of Abbott : Turnbull actually endeavours to answer questions, a novel and welcome strategy.

    But policy has to be the distinguishing factor between the major parties from now on.

  36. eli nes

    hahaha dear crow, with the explanation of osmosis and ‘validity’ let me add patronising to smarmy, in my interpretation of your post.
    As for me, I am, as you hint, not of the degree set, not of a demanding ‘profession’? (teacher at the university perhaps?).
    Although why does my perceived ‘dumbness’ qualify me as a ‘news corp’ reader?
    Are there no valuable items of news and opinion in these papers?
    Is the project always inane?
    Is there drivel in the drum?
    The ABC is to me definitely NOT pro-labor
    For so many Australians,the news is 7 or 9, the opinion is sunrise, today, jones, hadley and bolt, with the only daily paper available being news corp where eli nes makes regular contributions showing my antipathy to the rabbott, pyne and especially robb and bemoaning the loss of the beaconsfield character.
    Until gillard I read the weekend Australian reaching the front page with:
    “How ‘ard is it to say sorry”
    I am fiercely anti the conservative blue and white singlet workers who were conned into believing ‘We know the economics and all you lefties do is spend’ by fraser’s spin doctors, a belief that Labor seems unwilling to debate on the ‘news corp’ arena of sunrise and today. A belief that will give turnball and his vulture scheme mentality mates another 3 years.
    However this is the only place where I can read some support for labor and having lived through the bland marching on the spot reign of pig-iron bob through the incredible high of ‘its time’ any pro labor words are important
    So those offended, please accept my apology for being unable to express my feelings clearly.
    Paul wow ‘kill Aust’ ‘mcarthyism’ all I want is these private school, free university educated hypocrites, out from control of the dispatch boxes. With this as a goal, I feel labor values, under shorten’s leadership, unelectable and the agenda of the greens disingenuous.
    As light relief, I find christopher pyne ridiculous as ‘a fixer’ and laughable as the minister for ‘innovation’ but secretly, I am hopeful that science has a chance to bloom under turnball.

  37. Richard Kopf

    Kaye, I agree that Polley is the one who should be 4th, You also may have noticed that my percentages add up to 125%, I think the 25% of representation is shared between State Conference and the Unions.

  38. Richard Kopf

    Kaye, You said ” in the case of Short, I believe it is an example of candidate quality taking a back seat to internal candidate support. It appears that if only the rank and file voted, Singh would have been preselected third instead of fourth, meaning that Singh was effectively demoted by union delegate and state conference voters against the will of the rank and file.”
    A wild assumption. I am not involved with Unions or factions but am convinced that Short is the best candidate. Tasmania has Eric Abetz, wrong party, wrong attitude, but he makes himself heard. Senators should work for their money, not behave like retirees on a pension fund.

  39. Kaye Lee

    Richard

    “A wild assumption”

    Figures obtained by The Examiner from a Labor insider show Senator Singh placed third in rank and file with 110 primary votes behind Senator Polley’s 123 and Senator Urquhart’s 221.

    Although Mr Short received only 74 primary votes in rank and file, the state conference tally gave him 31 votes to Senator Singh’s 16.

    The outcome left Senator Singh and Mr Short tied with a 14 per cent total count.

    According to the figures, it was the distribution of Senator Urquhart’s vote that pushed Senator Singh to the unwinnable fourth ticket position.

    The cut-up shows a windfall for Mr Short, providing him with 184 rank and file votes against Senator Singh’s 36.

    A further 104 conference votes were added to Mr Short’s total, with only two distributed to the Labor parliamentary secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Water.

    http://www.examiner.com.au/story/3175262/labor-deal-pushes-singh-out/?cs=95

    More detail here

    http://kevinbonham.blogspot.com.au/2015/06/singh-dumped-to-fourth-on-senate-ticket.html

  40. Zvyozdochka (@Zvyozdochka)

    Apart from obvious right-ward shift from these people landing in parliament, the biggest effect these sorts of preselection errors have is on the volunteers. We heard story after story of the WA ALP being unable to mobilize people after the Pratt/Bullock debarcle.

    In the end they were scratching for volunteers on polling day and probably didn’t staff quite a few booths.

  41. ace Jones

    Labor once was a fair dinkum political alternative to the Liberals’ oppressive ways, sadly this now is only a memory.
    Labor now stands for securing whatever is demmed good for a party of free-loading parasites, uninterested in doing what is in the best interests of the country and the people.
    Shorten is a mere mug in politics, a laughing stock. Without hope of ever coming within a bull’s roar of being an serious opposition.
    Labor is being led by mugs, the worst of them self-centred union mugs.

  42. corvus boreus

    eli nes,
    Smarmy (obsequious) yet patronising? Oh dichotomous me.

    You accuse me of ignorance of the processes of osmosis, then of being patronising when I demonstrate knowledge of it’s meaning. You accuse me of being patronising for acknowledging the validity of your criticisms of some apects of the conduct of the Greens. Sounds like projection to me.
    Same applies to the idea that I am some kind of professional academic. My only tertiary qualifications are trade level, and, no disrespect to the professors intended, university teacher is not what springs to my mind when I hear the term “physically demanding profession”. I usually sweat copiously (and quite often bleed) in my job, which sometimes involves things like scaling trees and dangling off cliffs.

    You ask why I implied (speculatively) that you might have absorbed some derogative terminology through Newscorp exposure? That would be because ‘loony greens’ is a currently favoured pejorative of the Murdoch opinionists. You have since clarified by related your long associative history with this term, and my mind goes fondly back to Bill Oddie fronting the ‘Leftist Loony Party’ in the Goodies election episode.
    Regarding the validity of Newscorp as information; it is another informational resource, but, given their evident bias and consistent record of false report (last year’s IPCC ‘expose’ by the Australian is a classic example), should be processed with even more scepticism than is usually applied to news sources.

    Lastly, regarding Labor, my parents were both very active in the Labor party, but resigned in disillusionment/disgust during the emergence of the Griffith/Terrigal factions, when the influence of folk like Graham Richardson started to dominate proceedings.
    The ALP still have a hell of lot of scouring and bleaching to do before I view them as anything more than a sloppy second.

    Ps, For the sake of some semblance of civility in any future discourse between us, I would ask you to refrain from referring to me using terms like ‘smarmy’ (which is straight up insulting), and to try to get my pseudonym right.

  43. Richard Kopf

    Kaye, you said, “that when the ALP dumps two outstanding young women with proven success in public service for two old men who have done nothing to recommend them, and who express views that are diametrically opposed to Labor policy, one can only conclude that the noble aspirations expressed by Mr Shorten are nothing more than hot air and that he does not have the power or the inclination to make them a reality”. This is not the case in Tasmania.

    Adam Clarke, who was at the ballot and whose comments you referred to via Kevin Bonham, said, “It is a centralised, closed shop process that produced the WA senate ticket with Joe Bullock at the top. That was a factional deal. Had the membership been given a vote in WA I am confident Louise Pratt would have won the first spot.
    Ultimately the outcome of the Tasmanian Senate ballot was determined by rank-and-file party members.”

    Your use of the Examiner as a reliable source of information is questionable.

    Kaye, simply Google John Short and you will see that John is not an old man that has done nothing to commend him but has been active in improving life for his members and Tasmanians generally.. Clearly you have an agenda here. All Labor’s Tasmanian senators are women but when they appear in the press,it seems to me to be negative for Labor Tasmania. This could be press bias, of course. You mentioned Polley and the flights to Hobart, yes I agree, not a good look. The only time I recall Urquhart hitting the press was In a recent release saying, “Blindly throwing money at Bass Strait as Senator Lambie has suggested, is not the solution. We need to improve the system and we need to increase demand so that at end of the day we’ve got something that isn’t reliant on an endless stream of taxpayers’ money.”

    Lambie said that that how we deal with Bass Strait is a disgrace. It absolutely is. Bass Strait should be funded as a highway and we should get a share of the National Road funding. Not a handout. Our Senators should all support that proposition, despite the source.

  44. Richard Kopf

    Sorry Kaye,
    While concentrating on other things I missed your comment about Labor going after Turnbull for his investments.
    Labor was concentrating on policy. Tax evasion by the wealthy. That was the issue and Legislation to wind back Labor-era laws that require the publication of basic tax information of corporate entities with at least $100m in annual turnover has now been passed. Thanks Malcolm!

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