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Byron Shire
February 24, 2024

Australian politics transformed

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Labor MPs Anthony Albanese and Justine Elliot getting their Blues on at Tyagarah recently. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Following an election like no other, Australia looks set to change course on climate and corruption, with the Coalition’s Scott Morrison being prised from office and Anthony Albanese about to form a new Labor government with the support of Greens and teal independents.

The popular vote across the country was split approximately three ways, with the Labor Party receiving slightly less first preference votes than either the LNP or third parties (if considered as a bloc). Thanks to the magic of preferences however, the ALP will have the numbers to lead the country, probably in minority.

Mr Albanese said the incoming government would be ‘as courageous and hardworking and caring as the Australian people are themselves’.

As of this morning, the electoral commission are saying Labor has won 75 seats, just shy of the magic 76 needed to govern in majority (up from 68), with the Coalition holding 57 (down from 77). The ABC is saying the split is 72:52, with 15 seats in the ‘other’ column.

These numbers are all going to change later this morning when the boffins and their computers get back to work.

The future is female

There will be more women in the next parliament (likely an additional seven), but probably not Richmond’s Greens candidate Mandy Nolan, although she won a remarkable 20,785 votes (as of this morning’s count) on her first outing, which represents a 5% swing to the Greens locally. Read more here.

Mandy doing Mandy. Photo Jeff Dawson.

Preference flows will be crucial to the ultimate result in this three-cornered contest.

During the ABC’s election night coverage, Richmond was only mentioned briefly, with Antony Green initially calling it for Ms Nolan, before becoming flustered and saying his computer had it wrong, and not returning to further discussion of the seat for the rest of the night.

This wasn’t the only time the ABC’s election expert was thrown off his game on Saturday night, with the updated election prediction software still unable to cope with a national electorate apparently transforming from a two party system.

In an election night with more twists and turns than a multiverse drama, there was rejoicing in many places as powerful Morrison minister Peter Dutton appeared to be history at the hands of a strong Labor/Greens attack, but was then resurrected by better numbers as the night progressed, ultimately giving a speech to his electorate of Dickson with his family standing grimly by his side.

Parachuted ALP candidate Kristina Keneally was soundly rejected by voters in Western Sydney in favour of local independent Dai Le.

Marion Scrymgour retained Lingiari in the NT for Labor.

Winners and losers

While Anthony Albanese’s campaigning efforts in Tasmania yielded no seats, Western Australia (courtesy of the Mark McGowan effect, with a bit of help from disgraced former Attorney-General Christian Porter), delivered massively for the ALP.

The Labor Party comfortably won seats across WA including Swan, Pearce and Hasluck, with a spectacular 10% swing. On TV networks across the country, ALP figures visibly relaxed as the red wave from WA swept in.

Clive Palmer. File photo.

Clive Palmer’s estimated $100m fear and ‘freedom’ spend counted for little this time, with UAP leader and former Liberal and furniture salesman Craig Kelly losing his seat of Hughes in Sydney.

In Queensland, Mr Palmer failed to gain a quota to enter the Senate. UAP voters appear to have spread their preferences more widely than they did in 2019, when they delivered victory to the Coalition.

Despite the Liberals’ bloodbath on Saturday night, Coalition partner The Nationals comfortably held on to all their seats, including Barnaby Joyce in New England, Matt Canavan in the Senate, and Kevin Hogan in Page, whose majority actually increased by 3.5%, despite his electorate encompassing Lismore and some of the worst flood damage in Australia, all made worse by the ongoing climate crisis.

Green and blue and in between

The biggest story of the night was the rise of the teals and the Greens in the east coast cities, with voters concerned about climate and integrity issues terraforming the Australian political landscape by capturing former Liberal and Labor strongholds.

Liberal Treasurer and heir apparent Josh Frydenberg lost Menzies’ old seat of Kooyong to Dr Monique Ryan. In Melbourne’s Goldstein, a seat named for a pioneering suffragette, Tim Wilson lost his blue ribbon seat to former ABC foreign correspondent Zoe Daniel.

Teal candidate Sophie Scamps comfortably took Pittwater, on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, formerly held by Bronwyn Bishop, and Zali Steggall increased her dominance in Tony Abbott’s former stronghold Warringah. Dave Sharma will be spending more time with his stockbroker after losing Malcolm Turnbull’s old seat of Wentworth to Allegra Spender.

In Victoria, in the place where kitchen table politics began, independent Helen Haines returned to Sophie Mirabella’s former seat of Indi with an increased majority, and over in South Australia, teal candidate Jo Dyer’s preferences got Labor over the line in Boothby.

Greens leader Adam Bandt. Photo Tree Faerie.

In what has been described as a ‘greenslide’, the Greens’ Federal Leader Adam Bandt is likely to be joined in the House of Representatives by two or more Greens members from flood-ravaged parts of Brisbane, as well as new Greens senators.

Solid additions to the Greens team so far include Elizabeth Watson-Brown from Ryan and Max Chandler-Mather from Griffith, with more likely to follow as counting continues. Mr Bandt said, ‘People have delivered a mandate for action on climate and inequality.’

More miracles

Speaking in Sydney, Scott Morrison was gracious in defeat, conceding earlier than he strictly had to, and handing the reins of government over in time for the fast-approaching Quad meeting in Japan. He said he would be remaining in politics but stepping down as leader.

Too many flags are never enough. Photo Facebook.

The former PM also managed to cause more offence on the way out, waxing lyrical about people in khaki uniforms and his own staff while forgetting nurses, teachers, and others who don’t wear high-vis.

Mr Morrison said he still believed in miracles, which turned out not to be a reference to Mr Albanese’s win, but to his wife and daughters standing beside him.

Anthony Albanese’s victory speech was big on heart and short on polish, putting the Uluru Statement front and centre, as he did in his recent speech to the National Press Club. He seems determined not to fall into the same trap as his hero Bob Hawke by neglecting Australia’s First Nations People.

He also spoke about strength in compassion, helping the less fortunate, and finally getting serious about aged care and child care, while looking to new opportunities as a united country.

‘Together we can end the climate wars,’ said Mr Albanese. ‘Together we can take advantage of the opportunity for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower. Together we can work in common interests with business and unions to drive productivity, lift wages and profits.

‘I want an economy that works for people, not the other way around,’ he said.

Anthony Albanese is being sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister this morning.

Pauline Hanson. (File image).

Upper house

In the Senate, Pauline Hanson appears to be in some trouble, with potential new faces including a second Queensland Green, Penny Allman-Payne, and Bernard Bradley from Legalise Cannabis Australia, who outpolled both former premier Campbell Newman and Clive Palmer.

Independent climate activist and former rugby player David Pocock upset the traditional red-blue split in the ACT by becoming the favourite to take the Liberal spot as counting continues.

Despite repeated claims that they would not negotiate on the policies they took to the election, Anthony Albanese’s government is going to have to deal with the largest and most green-tinged cross-bench in Australia’s history.

Barnaby Joyce and his colleagues will no longer be able to dictate Australia’s climate policy. Photo Tree Faerie.

Most of the newcomers have much higher ambitions than the ALP when it comes to climate, and the National Party will no longer have the power to be a drag on this process.

Although Mr Albanese is no friend of the Greens, particularly after some bruising encounters in his own seat of Grayndler, his previous experience managing legislation in the minority Gillard Government should stand him in good stead to work with the cross-bench. He will be joined in this by the equally experienced Tony Burke, along with Penny Wong in the Senate.

One thing the ALP leadership and most of the new members of parliament agree on is the urgent need to act on corruption at a federal level, including retrospectively.

Several ministers in the former Morrison government now face a nervous wait for the promised formation of a federal ICAC with teeth, due later this year.

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  1. If you think you can transform government by voting, I have a war and a pandemic to sell you, chuck in a food shortage and recession for good measure. Moving the trough to the left should not give you hope, and there will be no change. The agenda will keep marching on.

    • I think you will be proven wrong…there is more integrity in Albo’s little finger than than in the complete previous government. I look forward to big changes….

          • No, democracy is not good, that was determined over 2000 years ago. So we invented Republics, which degrade into Democracies, which always end in Despotism.

            Never said I thought apartheid was good, what was before apartheid was better than what South Africa has now. Apartheid was imposed by the English after they invaded. Remember the Second Boer War with the Concentration Camps starving the Wives and Children of the Boer farmers to death. Winston Churchhill was an officer there and helped carry it out.

  2. Is this a joke is it?
    ” … Anthony Albanese is about to form a new Labor government with the support of Greens and teal independents.”
    “Is this a joke is it? We are not talking about cosmetic change, we are talking real transformational change beyond what the article talks about.
    What needs to happen in change is like a volcano explosion of change with sky rockets. Thsre seems to be kids stuff here.
    On ABC Insiders on Sunday, did you see new Independent Zoe Daniel who was once a journalist for the ABC Zoe is a real independent with an independent mind and real intelligence.
    She said to Insiders David Speers “I am not about to become a member of the Labor Party.” That is a statement that she wants a gap, a separation between her and the Albanese government. The independents want change and they are to be a real Third Force with the Greens. They are ready for battle and they want a cut and they are armed with cutlasses. They are serious.
    Then this morning on ABC radio. I mention the ABC because the ABC could become a tool for the indepemants as the ABC has been ripped apart from its funding by the Morrison government and the ABC wants that funding restored by the new Albanese Labor government. The ABC has a stake in the election when they are trying to stand apart, while the ABC is wounded. The ABC wants real funding restoration so it can employ good journalists again like Emma Albarici and others.
    On the ABC radio this morning the leader of the Greens Adam Bandt said he had rung Anthony Albanese and congratulated him and after the new PM comes back fron Japan Adam wants a real honest-to-goodness talk.
    That talk from the tone will be about Climate Change and Labor’s Climate Change policy. Does that sound like support?
    It sounds like a warning for Labor to compromise to make a deal. It sounds like Adam Bandt will lean forwards with the support of the indepenants to lean on Labor for MORE change than what Labor is prepared to change
    This conglomerate of Greens and Independents is a Third Force. May the Force be with you.

    • The ABC is not short of money to fund proper journalists; what nonsense.

      If the existing ones were not so greedy, more could be employed with that budget.

      Sadly, the outcome of this is that ABC journalists are unable to comprehend life for working people on blue collar wages, so they don’t really pressure labor to fix our welfare and low award wages systems, leaving ever-increasing numbers of Australians homeless and/or facing future homelessness – and labor has sailed into power with no promise to do so

      • How did this become an attack on the ABC? Is it they reported factually instead of scummo’s constant lies, spin and deceit?
        Whinging about ABC funding is typical LNP sour grapes and sounds suspiciously like Sky News and Gerard Henderson’s self-proclaimed IPA think tank. Especially considering nearly 1 $ Billion dollars was cut by Abbott, Turnbull & Morrison whilst giving Murdoch more than $1.2 Billion over the same period for nothing but easy questions and constantly favourable coverage! ABC has been consistently shown to be the only quality and impartial media organisation in the country.

        I have no idea of the salaries of ABC journalists, but am sure they’re not in parity with their counterparts on commercial stations that don’t serve all of Australia, don’t win anywhere near the same number and frequency of journalism excellence awards, don’t have anywhere near the same quality of investigative journalists, and apart from the Newcastle Herald haven’t produced any reports or stories that have lead to the creation of a Royal Commission unlike the dozen or more from the ABC.

        I’ve not seen any evidence of ABC journalists unable to comprehend life for working people on blue collar wages, particularly with their diversity charter, and am bemused how you can make such a claim when labor has only been in power 3 days, but if you had bothered to read their publicly available policies they aim to address all your listed problems, unlike the sorry-arsed LNP spin merchants, so wrong again.

      • What Nat said + emergency information broadcasts & election coverage to add two.
        But could do without their inane & constant vox pops, which appear to be a feature copied from commercial stations in lieu of journalism & news & it’s even penetrated their live sports broadcasts.

    • I think the reluctance to make deal with the greens in the lower house is the result from last time where the greens left the labor party in a no win situation resulting in a decade of coalition government. Like this election in Richmond spent some much effort attacking labor but not attacking the NATs.
      Well done Justin and I’m sure we’re sleeping better now with a government led by Albo.

  3. I believe the media and the people are missing the biggest story in this whole election! The Liberal Party has gone from 44 seats to 21, it has lost over 50% of its seats. It is now only one seat in front of the QLD LNP on 20 seats, with the Nationals on 10 seats. Labor at latest count has 73 seats and will get the 76 required to form Govt. This Liberal party defeat, is the worst defeat inflicted on a Federal political party in Australian history and testament to the carnage Morrisons religious fundamentalist faction has rout on the Australian political landscape!
    This Morrison Liberal party faction had almost the entire bias Australian media backing it 24/7 and it is also a testament to those parts of the bias Australian media also being totally rejected by the Australian people!
    Congratulation to Justine Elliot and to Labor leader Anthony Albanese!

  4. Congratulations to all the parliamentarians that hopefully be bipartisan and unity for all.
    Hopefully, Labor will enhance the views of the; Greens, and Independent elected members as they have identified the flaws of the previous government in; Federal ICAC to be independent of government, the identity of women and the value of what women give to our society, especially the need to protect women’s rights, and the big emphasis is now on Climate and how we as a nation prepare to enhance other continents of the importance to seek a Global outcome to reducing Fossil Fuel Emissions.

    My greatest desire is to incorporate to the constitution at the next Federal Election ‘Human Rights’. This will include a voice to the rightful owners as First Nation People; Freedom of Religious beliefs, but not to sabotage the belief of other people and especially the separation of Church and State; and in conclusion, the respect of, the universality encompassed in the words of Article One of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. “They are not a monopoly any privileged class of people. They are universal in nature, without consideration, and without exception. They are inherit in all individuals irrespective of their caste, creed, religion, sex, and nationality.”

    • Your confusing Equality and Equity. These are two different things.
      “Freedom of Religious beliefs” is already in the constitution, as is separation of religion and government. There is quite alot in there not even including the implied right the High Court has ruled on. I agree though, it would nice if the govts would follow it eg Vax mandated are a big no no (civil conscription amendment)
      Remember, for a right to be a right and not a privilege it has to apply to everyone equally, so giving special rights to Aboriginals is a no no, as is giving women special rights..
      Singling out church is a no no, need to keep mosque and temple out too.
      Vilifying White/European/British people is a no no, and especially vilifying Men.
      Are you sure you don’t just want privileges for your chosen groups? That’s what most people are promoting without realising it.
      I too agree there needs to be change.

      • Written like it’s from a privileged white male who really hasn’t experienced discrimination and now feels challenged.
        From another privileged white male not feeling challenged
        except by inequity currently seen in society.

        • I use to live in Asia dude. I’ve dealt with racial discrimination and racial slurs being directed at me, especially when they don’t think you understand their language.

          I also have to deal with ‘White Privilege’ being thrown at me and my people. I notice you are calling the teals who are also members of my tribe, your favorite racial slur as well. Got a problem with Zuckerberg and Musk too? cause I bet you do goy. I see you Rod.

        • It’s not all about you or your religion. Stop shifting the goalposts, you’ll just have to cope with the fact that strong, intelligent, successful women have won seats on Parliament.

          • It wouldn’t matter if you put in actually turnips, the same agendas would continue. You are all Straw-manning me because you have no argument. Your ad hominems aren’t a rebuttle to my points. Go read them again and have a think.


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