April 17, 2019 – Table of contents
The ghost of Twitter past has visited George Christensen
Kelly Burke reported, “Besieged Liberal backbencher George Christensen has been visited by the ghost of Twitter past, as he battles the mounting controversy over his travel expenses. The Queensland MP is facing allegations he charged taxpayers more than $3,000 for connecting flights to the Philippines to pursue a romantic interest. Christensen tries to cover Twitter tracks over criticism of colleagues’ travel perks.
Mr Christensen will likely be found to have operated within the rules. As the process for Barnaby Joyce revealed last year after his own questionable travel claims, the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority relies on the justification provided by the MP or senator for the expense. Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion cleared over travel expenses.
Misogyny changing minds in New England
Bill Shorten clears up superannuation policy as he campaigns in Cowan
Henry Belot reported, “Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has admitted he should have been clearer about Labor’s superannuation policy, arguing he misheard or misunderstood the question.” Bill Shorten ‘misheard’ superannuation question on election campaign trail, Labor forced to clarify policy.
Jonathan Lea was back pressing Mr Shorten for the cost to the economy of the proposed emissions trading scheme and the offsets.
Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen also confirmed the Labor changes to superannuation tax concessions would return $30 billion to the budget.
Scott Morrison picks some carrots as he campaigns in Tasmania
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hit the marginal Labor seats of Bass and Braddon in Tasmania today. He’s confirmed $100 million of funding for stage three of the irrigation scheme. Labor has also agreed to the funding.
Things turned humourous in the carrot patch as Scott Morrison appeared to imitating John Cleese’s famous ministry of silly walks sketch and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack cracked a crowbar joke.
IPA plan to sell the ABC
It’s not a new policy idea from them, but the Institute of Public Affairs has used the election to voice it’s support for the federal government to privatise the ABC. David Crowe reported, “Coalition candidates are being urged to endorse a conservative manifesto that includes selling the ABC, slashing the company tax rate and pulling out of the Paris Agreement on climate change.” Coalition MPs urged to sell the ABC and support a flat tax in IPA call.
Many Liberal Party members are also IPA members, including Communications Minister Mitch Fifield.
While Senator Mitch Fifield confirmed in senate estimates last year that he was an IPA member, he said he did not support the privatisation policy.
Government ministers back-pedalled in June 2018 on a Liberal Party federal conference vote to privatise the ABC.
On a LNP margin of 1.7 per cent, ABC election analyst Antony Green writes of the electorate, “Dickson is one of the newer Queensland seats, first contested at the 1993 election. It is named after Sir James Dickson, a leading advocate of Federation, Premier of Queensland 1898-99, and Minister for Defence in Barton’s first Federal Ministry.” Dickson.
ABC Brisbane did a news blitz of Dickson yesterday and revealed some of the voters who will decide the electorate’s future member. The emotions range from confusion, apathy, determination, pro-Dutton, anti-Dutton and the concerns of the youth.
Some of the people working to end Peter Dutton’s eighteen-year rein are refugee advocates, volunteers, Labor and GetUp!
Labor candidate Ali France says the electorate needs a grassroots member.
Incumbent Peter Dutton says he’s put the turmoil of his challenge to Malcolm Turnbull behind him and will serve out his term if returned as member.
False accusations in Dickson
ABC Brisbane spent time in the seat of Dickson yesterday for radio and television reports. During the live radio interview, incumbent Peter Dutton apologised again to Labor’s Ali France for accusing her of using her disability as an excuse for not moving into the electorate.
Mr Dutton was asked to respond to a racism accusation made by Greens Senator Larissa Waters on ABC Q&A the previous night. He declared it as a “publicity stunt” and questioned why the national broadcaster would allow such an “unsubstantiated claim” to be aired unchallenged.
However, in his response Mr Dutton suddenly diverted into a false claim of his own that Ms France was “ashamed to be an Australian”. Ms France responded saying she has never said she was ashamed to be an Australian and that she competed twice for the country and won three gold medals.