At last the fateful day is looming – the interminable campaign for the five by elections no-one wanted (except, of course, the media) is finally coming to a climax. Or, in the case of at least two of them, an anti-climax.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten yesterday visited businesses in Murwillumbah to hear about recovery efforts a year on from the devastating floods which impacted heavily on Tweed, Byron and Lismore shires.
So far so good. To the surprise of many – including, one suspects, Bill Shorten himself – the Batman by-election is done and dusted and it appeared that the confected furore over the great dividend imputation refund had little, if anything, to do with it.
You would have missed it, if you were relying on mainstream media, but Labor leader Bill Shorten did actually mention clean energy and climate policies in his scene-setting speech for 2018, which may well turn out to be an election year.
After Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's disastrous refusal of a sausage sandwich during his recent visit to flood-ravaged Lismore, the question on everyone's lips yesterday was: Will Bill Shorten eat his snag?
For most of the time, it hadn’t been a bad week for Malcolm Turnbull. For starters, it was a non-sitting week, which meant that he didn’t have to spend much public time with the bumblers, urgers and saboteurs sitting around him on the government benches.
Opposition leader Bill Shorten took to Cudgen Headland yesterday to promise a new federal learn-to-swim plan for children… and there was not a pair of budgie smugglers in sight.
Mungo: The grim reality of the polling only confirms that it is time, time and half, perhaps even double time for Bill Shorten to decide just what he is to do about Dyson Heydon’s Royal Commission into the unions and in particular his own involvement.
Richmond Labor MP Justine Elliot describes former prime minister Tony Abbott's replacement, ‘Malcolm Turnbull, as 'just another out-of-touch, arrogant leader with a chaotic, dysfunctional and divided government.'
Once again our creative prime minister has devised a bold and imaginative solution. Now it just remains to discover a credible problem to go with it. Tony Abbott’s latest wedge, to shut down the protection of the environment from its friends.
Ron Bay, Suffolk Park. Poor old Bill Shorten and his party conference. In typical politician’s style he wants to win. Any race, anywhere, anytime.
Mungo: It is a ritual as regular of the arrival of the first cold snap of winter, and usually about as welcome. At every ALP National Conference the commentators announce portentously that there will be a make or break issue.
Paul Power, chief executive officer, Refugee Council of Australia (RCOA). Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and shadow immigration minister Richard Marles are pandering to the politics of fear by supporting the forced turnbacks of asylum seeker boats.
Jane Salmon, Killara NSW. Dear Bill Shorten: I have articulate, capable and caring friends on Manus who are authentic refugees. They would be an asset to any nation. Please improve and reframe the debate to be more compassionate. The politics of selfishness is destroying Australia morally.
For at least the last 35 years, it has been an iron rule of prime ministers: never set up a royal commission unless you are certain that you will get the findings you want.
Our prime minister deals in absolutes. Coal is good for humanity – not some coal or some parts of humanity. No suggestion that coal can have its disadvantages, adverse consequences, to sully its benefits.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has slipped in the latest trust rankings - but he's ahead of political rival Bill Shorten.