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Wednesday, 20 September

23:51

Recent Polling On The Same-Sex Marriage Postal Survey Dr Kevin Bonham

The national ABS postal "survey" on whether the law should be changed to allow same-sex marriage in Australia is now in its second week.  A number of pieces of polling have been published or alluded to since my last general polling update, but what do they really tell us about the outcome and how reliable are they?  At this stage there is still much that we do not know.  It is too early to be certain Yes has it in the bag, but the widespread narrative that support for Yes is crashing rapidly and that this is another Trump or Brexit coming is so far not that well supported by the evidence.

Public Polling: Ipsos

Firstly, the public polling.  Last week saw an Ipsos poll which buoyed some worried Yes supporters with a 70-26 Yes response, one of the highest Yes votes ever recorded in a poll in Australia.  Indeed, as far as I'm aware, this score has only been exceeded in a few commissioned polls and one Morgan-SMS (a suspect polling method) which did not use an undecided option.  The Ipsos also found a 70% Yes response among the 65% of voters who rated themselves as certain to vote, and found a gender gap with 72% of women and 59% of men saying they were certain to vote.

However, I am treating these Ipsos figures with a lot of caution.  Firstly we know that Ipsos greatly overestimates the Green vote compared to other pollsters and compared to election results, and Green voters very strongly support same-sex marriage.  Although that's probably only worth a point or two on the headline figure for same-sex marriage, it could be a concern if whatever causes Ipsos to over-poll the Green vote also might cause them to over-poll the left end of the Liberal base.  Some evidence for the latter concern might be suspected in the perpetually strong results for Malcolm Turnbull in Ipsos compared to other polls.

The second issue is whether Ipsos, as the only national pollster still using exclusively live-interview phone polling, is affected by "social desirability bias".  When talking to another person on the phone, voters may be more reluctant to say they oppose same-sex marriage, since they may be concerned about offending the interviewer.  When clicking boxes on a computer survey, or pressing numbers on a robo-poll, these issues don't arise.  Some overseas studies (mainly American) have found live phone polling more prone to desirability bias than other polling methods, while some haven't, and some have even challenged whether it's a thing in polls at all, but I don't recommend assuming that it isn't.  A spectacular difference that may have been down to this was that between the phone polls and the online polls in the Brexit vote.  The phone polls had large leads for Yes until ve...

19:50

The Future of Work in Tasmania "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Im really excited to be on a panel at the University of Tasmania in a few weeks on The Future of Work in Tasmania! Its a free event, and there are refreshments! Come along! You can learn more, and register, on the UTAS website.

15:30

Vacancies falter "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Resources recovery

August 2017 was a softer month for job vacancies on the Department of Employment's index.

The trend is now +6.4 per cent higher than a year earlier, and +23.8 per cent below the October 2013. low. 


Despite the weaker month, Queensland and Western Australia still experienced double digit growth from a year earlier, with a decent lift in Victoria. 


The annual figure was down in Tasmania, but that's as likely related to a surge in employment uptake based on other indicators.

The wrap

It's good to see that vacancies in Western Australia are now well off the lows of 2016, at about 12 per cent higher.

But nationally, this was a softer result. 

Perhaps this is an early indicator that the economy is set to underwhelm in 2018.

Westpac's Bill Evans, always worth following closely, sees no rate hikes in 2018 on this basis. 

...

11:26

Wind on kunanyi/Mt Wellington and MWCCs proposed cable car: Letter to the Editor ... "GroovUs Feed Anews"

CERTU, the technical agency of the French ministry for energy, ecology and sustainable planning and development, published a report on Aerial cableways as urban transport systems in 2011. This report states that, Poor weather, and in particular high winds, are the main causes for service interruptions Mercury: Electors poll likely on Hobart skyscrapers EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

11:26

Wind on kunanyi/Mt Wellington and MWCCs proposed cable car ... "GroovUs Feed Anews"

CERTU, the technical agency of the French ministry for energy, ecology and sustainable planning and development, published a report on Aerial cableways as urban transport systems in 2011. This report states that, Poor weather, and in particular high winds, are the main causes for service interruptions Mercury: Electors poll likely on Hobart skyscrapers EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ...

06:15

How (Not) to Run a Modern Society on Renewable Energy ... "GroovUs Feed Anews"

For people who may be perplexed by the current energy debate (and who isnt?) here is a nice educational article that goes back to basics and explains what is in store for us as we try to transform society to run on dilute energy forms The Conversation: How better data would improve the electricity market The Australian Electricity Regulator is investigating whether wholesale electricity generators in New South Wales are bidding in good faith in the electricity market. Good faith means price changes are the result of real problems, such as weather or machinery failure, rather than market manipulation. The reason the regulator doesnt already know the answer to this question is that the market is opaque the data are not easily workable for analysis. In our ongoing research into the electricity market we have run into the same problem. Weve only been able to make headway by applying big data tools. Although not bidding in good faith isnt illegal in the Australian electricity market, it is reminiscent of fradulent bidding in United States Treasury bond markets in the 1990s. We can learn from how this scandal was dealt with brokerage firms were required to provide data that could be clearly monitored. This increased transparency and led to lower costs EARLIER on Tasmanian Times ... A pumped hydro bonanza for Tasmania ... ? Most of it wont happen. Heres why Its a state election year, and what better than to announce a brave new, multi billion pumped-hydro phantasmagorical bonanza for the state. Fifteen dams, two new Basslinks, Tasmania the national hero. The sort of grand vision that can get governments elected Examiner: Media leak to be investigated by Tasmanian Parliaments Privileges Committee Mercury: MLC Ivan Dean delays motion to refer leaks to Parliamentary Privileges Committee

00:46

"You're an absolute disgrace" Coalition and One Nation senators "IndyWatch Feed Politics.au"


Independent Senator for Tasmania Jacqui Lambie on the floor of the Australian Senate, 14 September 2017.

Senate Hansard,  12 September 2017:
Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (13:56): The government wants One Nation support for this package so badly that it has agreed to invite a razor gang into the books of the ABC. And it wants Nick Xenophon's support for the package so badly that it has agreed not to embarrass him into being forced to vote in support of One Nation's proposal. But make no mistake, voting for this bill means voting for One Nation's deal. I know that, One Nation knows that and you can bet your last dollar that Nick Xenophon and his team know that, too. As for what the details are, we still don't know. The government won't tell us and they won't tell us. All we know is that it commits the government to review the ABC and ask if it is reducing the profitability of its commercial rivals. Guess what? The job of the ABC isn't to make money for its commercial rivals. Its job is to guarantee all Australians have access to news, programming and information that affects their lives, no matter where they live or how wealthy they are. The deal the government has made isn't designed to improve the ABC; it is designed to defund it. It's a deal to set up a rigged kangaroo court that is de...

Tuesday, 19 September

19:01

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12:51

Wilderness man Les Southwell dead at 88 "GroovUs Feed Anews"

Les Southwell, left, with Dave Noble of Sydney discuss wilderness photography in the Labyrinth near Lake St Clair, Tasmania, 2008. Photo courtesy John Robens.

Les Southwell, left, with Dave Noble of Sydney discuss wilderness photography in the Labyrinth near Lake St Clair, Tasmania, 2008. Photo courtesy John Robens.

Jenny Weber

Les Southwell, a towering figure of last century wilderness travel and photography in Tasmania and Victoria, has been found dead in the Victorian alps. He had been separated from companions and was sitting outside his tent near snowy Mt Bogong when he died, aged 88.

Les Southwell, a Melbourne engineer, was one of the most remarkable wilderness walkers in Tasmania in the high age of wild country adventure last century. He first came to Tasmania in the early 1960s and, via the original Lake Pedder, walked to Federation Peak, the most remote mountain in Australia. Consequently, in scores more trips, he bush-bashed into other remote places including Pokana Cirque, Lake Curley, the Denison Range and Gordon Splits, former Greens leader Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

Les was a vigorous advocate for saving the Franklin and Gordon rivers from damming.

Les Southwells 1983 book The Mountains of Paradise: the Wilderness of South-west Tasmania is a classic of Australian wilderness photography. His depictions of Lake Pedder National Park are now national treasures. Until the end, Les was a crusty advocate for restoring Lake Pedder, Mr Brown said.

Victorian environmentalist Karen Alexander OA said that Les had a very long dedication to conservation, from the Lake Pedder campaign to Fraser Island, the subject of his first book, and the Franklin.

He saw the value of photography to convey the good message about wild places, like Peter Dombrovskis and Olegas Truchanas who also died in the wild. Les kept the campaign for Tasmanias South-west wilderness alive in Melbourne after the loss of Lake Pedder, paving the way for saving the Franklin. As a civil engineer, Les had argued strongly for alternative solutions to the flooding of Lake Pedder, Ms Alexander said.

Half a century ago Les observed that for Tasmanian politicians the idea of the wilderness experience seemed incomprehensible and they often seemed hostile to the very notion, Bob Brown said.

Nowadays wilderness is arguably Tasmanias greatest tourism drawcard, thanks to advoca...

10:45

Renowned Wilderness Man, Les Southwell, Dies Aged 88. Media Releases - Bob Brown Foundation

Les Southwell, a towering figure of last century wilderness travel and photography in Tasmania and Victoria, has been found dead in the Victorian alps. He had been separated from companions and was sitting outside his tent near snowy Mt Bogong when he died, aged 88.

BBF_Photography_People_LesSouthwellDaveNoble_LabyrinthLakeStClairTAS_2008_01.jpg 
Les Southwell, left, with Dave Noble of Sydney discuss wilderness photography in the Labyrinth near Lake St Clair, Tasmania, 2008. Photo courtesy John Robens.

 

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