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Michaelia is hoping we have short memories

Michaelia Cash must have been hoping that everyone would keep looking at Barnaby when she chose to stick her head up today to spruik her take on the latest labour force survey but, thankfully, some journalists have memories that stretch back further than last week.

QUESTION: Senator Cash, is your office being investigated by the AFP over the media tip off of the AWU raid.


QUESTION: If your office isn’t being investigated why did you claim public interest immunity in Senate committee hearings?

MINISTER CASH: Because as an AFP investigation the AFP itself claimed public interest immunity.

QUESTION: But if your office isn’t being investigated wouldn’t releasing those internal communications demonstrate that you had, and your office had, no role in coordinating the media tip offs about the raids?

MINISTER CASH: Again, I have complied at all times with the law and the procedures of the Senate. We are here though to talk about jobs growth. Would you like to ask a question on jobs growth? Would anyone like to ask a question about jobs growth?

QUESTION: On Mark Lee’s attempt to get a job in your office, why was it inappropriate for him to no longer take that role?

MINISTER CASH: I answered these questions last year. Again, would anyone like to talk about jobs growth?

Well Michaelia, I’ll oblige.

Over the past year, trend employment increased by 394,900 persons while the labour force increased by 376,900 persons.  A reasonable result.  However….

Even though full-time employment increased by 8,800 persons between December 2017 and January 2018, and part-time employment increased by 14,200 persons, the trend estimate of monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased by 1.2 million hours.

Whilst trend employment increased by 3.3 per cent over the past year, monthly hours worked only increased by 2.7 per cent.

In August 2013, the last month Labor was in power, there were 712,400 people unemployed. As of the end of last month, that figure has grown by another 7,800.  When we talk in big numbers that doesn’t sound like a lot unless you are one of the many thousands of families affected.

To show how confusing these figures are, the largest increase in trend employment last month was in New South Wales (up 7,600 persons), but NSW also suffered the largest decrease in seasonally adjusted estimates (down 21,200 persons).

Politicians have no consistency in which figures they quote.  They cherry pick the ones that sound best which, as you can see, vary greatly.

Michaelia chose to single out the wonderful result in Tasmania.

ABS figures show that Tasmania’s trend unemployment estimates remained relatively steady over the last month, dropping from 5.8% in December to 5.7% in January, while seasonally adjusted estimates showed a spectacular result, with December’s estimate of 6.1% unemployment dropping to 5.3% in January.

Pick a number, any number.

So, having discussed jobs growth, why the hell is your department not under investigation when your own staffer admitted to having alerted the press?

Is this another case of “he is no longer my staffer so I did nothing wrong?”


  1. Rossleigh

    If I can summarise, “I’m not here to answer your questions, I’m here to answer the questions that I have answers to. I mean, answers that I like. If you can throw me a Dorothy Dixer, I’ll answer it, but otherwise you are just one of those on the other side who throws me questions like ‘Why did I lie so many times?’ … Well, obviously because you wouldn’t have liked the truth!”

  2. Kaye Lee

    These people give me a headache.

  3. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    While I am enjoying the spectacle of Bananas becoming purpler and purpler, I would love to see those blood vessels in Michaelia’s neck explode, as she tries to stifle the scream building, as her incarceration creeeeeeps closer.

  4. Frank Smith

    Ah Yes! The statements from all these Ministers are scripted by “Media Advisers” from the Vicki Campion School of Misinformation. Michealia employs the best of them – Dutton is much less subtle and just brings out his Blackshirts (less the Chief Blackshirt who still draws an obscene salary because he seems to be sidelined as a result of being in a similar situation to “poor old Baaaarnaby”).

  5. KenR

    Typical AFP investigations go in but nothing comes out. Just another politicised federal agency.

  6. Kaye Lee

    Frank, the deputy dawg at Border Force resigned for the same reason.

    “Australian Border Force assistant commissioner quits over relationship claims”

    A high-ranking member of the Australian Border Force has resigned while facing an investigation into allegations he had an inappropriate relationship with a female staff member.

    News Corp reports ABF assistant commissioner Peter Docwra, who was head of the Capability Division, had been on leave before he decided to quit.

    Assistant commissioner Docwra’s resignation comes as the head of the ABF, Roman Quaedvlieg, remains on paid leave while an investigation looks into allegations he helped a junior staff member with whom he had a relationship get a job at Sydney airport.


    Note, they both went on “leave”.

  7. Kaye Lee

    I must admit, I am a bit confused about Michaelia. In late December she lost a legal bid to avoid handing over documents relating to the police raids on the Australian Workers’ Union.

    On January 15, Lawyers Weekly reported that “The date has come for the production of key subpoenas and documents relating to an AFP raid conducted on the offices of the Australian Workers’ Union last year.

    Last Thursday, 11 January, was the date a Federal Court order stipulated that key subpoena documents relating to the investigation which led to the raid be handed over to the AWU.

    The matter is due to return to court for an interlocutory hearing next week.”


    Yet here we are a month later, and we’ve heard nothing?

    Is this like the Brandis diary thing where, despite many millions wasted on court cases and appeals, all of which said hand over your diary, he just ignored them and then left to take up a better offer. So those tens of millions were all for nothing?

  8. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    I suspect Michaelia is hoping her outcome will be the same as Brandis’. She might be disappointed however coz she’s not the Attorney-General, who oversees all parliamentary legal matters.

  9. Aortic

    It is said George has gone to his pommy sinecure to try and figure out what the fuck metadata is.

  10. Matters Not

    Give Michaelia a break. Hour by hour she lives with the very real fear that Bill Heffernan will resurrect from his political obscurity and loudly declare Michaelia, like Julie Bishop, is deliberately barren.

    But maybe not. He’s already used that ..

  11. Kaye Lee

    Who cares about metadata when you have palatial digs, domestic and office staff and plenty of diplomatic underlings, a basically unlimited entertainment budget, and the ballet, opera, symphony and theatre that he so craved. He can talk Oxford with them as they enjoy the best imported wines and food the High Commissioner can offer.

  12. Cool Pete

    Well, they say that when you’re dead, you don’t know you’re dead, and Michaelia is stupid, she doesn’t know that she’s stupid and she thinks everyone else is as dumb as she is.

  13. John Santuccione

    Michaelia and Barnaby and Bishop would be the three most toxic politicians in Canberra.

  14. Glenn Barry

    Aortic, metadata resides in the same place that you store the suppository of wisdom

  15. Terry2

    Thank goodness for AIMN and the perception and memories of contributors. I agree, Kaye, these people give me a headache too and guess where it is all being spawned : in the offices of well paid media advisers !!

  16. Kaye Lee

    An update from January 25…..

    The union lost its bid this week to see evidence around the tip off that sparked the raids, as part of its Federal Court case into the validity of the ROC’s investigation.

    Two more staff members have left employment minister Michaelia Cash’s office, bringing the total since October to four.

    In the last month chief of staff Ben Davies and media adviser Andrew Hudgson have both left the minister’s office.


    The head of the Registered Organisations Commission, the group that planned this ridiculous raid on the AWU, described the role of the ROC.

    “Because many Australians entrust their money to registered organisations, it’s probably only fair that they know how their organisations are being run,” Mr Bielecki said.

    Well we entrust a lot more to the government. Isn’t it only fair that we know how it is being run?

  17. Terry2

    John Santuccione

    Not to mention Peter Dutton !

  18. Kyran

    If only for a Cashless parliament. That would be something to Re Joyce.
    From Alice Workman’s twitter, yesterday.
    “During her press conference today (which she gave the media 9 minutes notice of) employment minister Michaelia Cash refused to answer questions about her office tipping off the media about police raids on union offices.”
    It’s pertinent because Ms Workman, the one who outed De Garis and is one of the one’s pursuing the FOI’s, was only given a few minutes notice that Cash was going to stick her head over the parapet. Cash avoiding questions? Nah, nothing to see here.
    Or there’s Cash’s ‘little mate’, who has implicated her in either gross incompetence or gross dishonesty, getting reference in the AFR (who were reporting on a Senate committee).
    “The building industry watchdog has confirmed it spent an extraordinary $436,000 in legal fees to defend former director Nigel Hadgkiss in the case that led to his resignation and that saw him admitting to a serious breach of the Fair Work Act.”
    Cash abusing the system? Nah, nothing to see here. I’m waiting for her to reclaim the money from the CPSU because it was their job to defend him!
    Meanwhile, over on the Mandarin, there is reporting of an alternative approach to ‘public interest immunity’.

    “The erstwhile Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg has no compunction about commenting publicly on an investigation by the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, even one where he is the subject.”

    “The ACLEI itself, on the other hand, has refused to even confirm or deny the existence of any documents related to the reported investigation into allegations of nepotism related to a romantic partner’s appointment, in response to a freedom-of-information request from a different newspaper.”

    “In a public nudge to whoever is holding up the final verdict, Quaedvlieg told the newspaper his “expectation was that the inquiry would only take several weeks” and that he had been “consistently” complaining about the length of time it had taken and that his “concern” had grown with each passing month.
    He told the same journalist last July that he was confident of “an early exoneration” and defended himself publicly, denying he had “acted inappropriately” — at the same time as saying it was “important for the process to be allowed to run its course without further public speculation, which only detracts from the propriety and conduct of the process” and asking for his family’s privacy to be respected.
    The new article suggests the investigation is actually finished and the hold-up is somewhere in cabinet-level discussions.”


    Hmmmm. The investigation is finished and held up in ‘cabinet level discussions’. Hey, Dutton. Can you call Pezzullo? Now you have declared yourself as arbiter of all things moral AND legal, you can help him sort it out. You may wish to explain how the 2IC is the appropriate one to oversee the inquiry into his boss. Not suggesting that Pezzullo is overly ambitious, or given to manipulating the truth, or given to sidestepping those nasty laws (when he chooses to even acknowledge their existence). Nah, nothing to see here.
    Thank you Ms Lee and commenters. Take care

  19. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Scott Morrison, Christian Porter and Alan Tudge are three more very toxic Liberal blights on the Australian political landscape.

  20. pamelac65

    Hey Clever People
    These employment stats bamboozle me totally. I have no great head for stats. That said can anyone explain these increases in jobs. Where is an accompanying balance with decreases in jobs?
    If 20 people working in a place lose their employment but then 10 of these people pick up a newly created job, where is the statistic showing that while there were ten new jobs created, that simultaneously 20 jobs were removed from the market? Am i making sense?
    The reports don’t bear out my experience of seeing young people searching searching for work and only being offered part time casual without a living wage. I see young people working like day labourers.

  21. James

    I see Cash as the Hilary Clinton of Australia and we should imprison her, and as for the AFP all I can say is you’ve lost any credibility you ever had, untrustworthy disgusting parasites worthy of nothing but contempt every single one of them

  22. helvityni

    Was it Alan Jones who wanted to put Julia Gillard in a hessian bag, and throw her into the sea…? I know more suitable candidates, I leave it you to name your candidates …

  23. diannaart

    Naaaah, the biggest pustule in the toxic swill of the LNP has to be Peter Dutton – he scares me more than any of the rest.

  24. paul walter

    Abetz, Dutton, Morrison, Joyce, Cash, Porter, Turnbull, Abbott.. the list seems endless. How can Australians continue to vote for inhumane creeps like these with a clear conscience?

    As for Kaye Lee’s earlier comments, what pathological specimens some the advisers and public servants working with them are. as with some of the toadies in the press and media.

    Re James, I think the press rep Sarah Huckerbie is a better comparison as to Cash, both are more big mouthed, ignorant, arrogant, overt bigots than mere politicians.

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