Friday, 14th March 2014

COAST TO COAST

Barring something unexpected, the last remaining Labor state governments will fall tomorrow. This will leave only the ACT with a Labor government.

In Tasmania, the latest Newspoll gives the Liberal Party 53% of the primary vote, meaning it could easily win 15 out of 25 seats. 

In South Australia, the 12-year Labor government is behind 46-54% and while it still holds out hope of victory, the signs aren't good.

"It's a sobering reality for the incumbent Labor governments in South Australia and Tasmania that they face elections this weekend with the highest unemployment rates in the country and the longest periods in office," says Barrie Cassidy.

He points out that since 2011, the six states have had collectively 11 premiers. There may soon be two more, but they needn't be too overwhelmed when they front up to their first COAG – besides Barnett, the others are also relative novices.

The degree to which nation-wide Liberal premiers might help Abbott build cooperation for his agenda remains unknown. But it can't hurt.

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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South Australia election: Labor on verge of losing last mainland state

"The last remaining Labor state government on mainland Australia is facing the prospect of defeat when voters take to the polling booths for the South Australian election on Saturday. Statewide polling results have consistently put the government of 12 years behind the Liberal party at 46% to 54%."

Arrests loom over Manus Island killing, police says

"Manus Island police say they are poised to charge several men with the murder of Reza Barati, the asylum seeker killed in a violent confrontation at the island's immigration detention centre. Yet despite concerns about continuing tensions in the centre, at least some of the suspects in Mr Barati's death are believed to still be working at the facility."

AlsoScott Morrison says Cronulla backing him as he aims for greater things (Guardian)

Royal commission into corruption at unions to begin hearings next month

"The royal commission on union corruption will be formally launched on Friday and will begin calling witnesses and holding hearings in the next month. Five of the nation's most powerful unions, all with close ties to the Labor Party, can expect to be among the first witnesses called when the commission sits for the first time on April 9."

Adding to the pile of disposable state premiers

"When Steven Marshall and Will Hodgman turn up at the next COAG meeting as appears likely, they will have no reason to feel intimidated by the collective years of experience in the room... Since 2011, the six states have had collectively 11 premiers. After Western Australia's Colin Barnett, Tasmania's Lara Giddings is the country's longest-serving current premier, and she's been there for just over three years."

Australian arts community responds to George Brandis’s Biennale threat

"The idea that no arts organisation would be able to say no to any sponsor is clearly nonsense. An arts event starts with the artist, and if they’re refusing to come because of some connection to something the artists deeply disapprove of, the organisation has to have the freedom to make the choice [to sever its connections] without the risk of being penalised."

EarlierGeorge Brandis threatens Sydney Biennale over Transfield ‘blackballing’