View from The Hill

View from The Hill

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Barnaby Joyce pointed out sharply that the government’s survival in 2016 had been due to the Nationals’ good performance. Perry Duffin/AAP

The Nationals will be battling to protect territory and clout amid Coalition angst

A northern New South Wales bookmaker has got it about right on the New England byelection. “Barnaby will be a shorter price than Winx,” he told a National. “And the only one who could beat Barnaby is Winx…
Any appearance in the Queensland campaign by Malcolm Turnbull can be expected to be minimal. Joel Carrett/AAP

Federal Coalition will be watching the Queensland election anxiously

People distinguish between levels of government when casting their votes. Nevertheless, a state result can reverberate federally, whether it is sending a protest or for other reasons. We only have to remember…
Scott Morrison on Tuesday said reform was harder now than in the 1990s. Lukas Coch/AAP

Morrison finds his productivity report is useful for Labor too

Just as the government hopes it is making progress on the energy conundrum, it finds itself struggling on another front of deep public disgruntlement – the NBN. The rollout of what’s generally considered…
Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg surrounded by members of the government’s Energy Security Board. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Household savings figures in Turnbull’s energy policy look rubbery

The big questions about Malcolm Turnbull’s energy policy will be, for consumers, what it would mean for their bills and, for business, how confident it can be that the approach would hold if Bill Shorten…
Tony Abbott was being his old pre-prime-ministerial self on Monday, with a full-on speech to a climate sceptics group in London. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Government’s energy plan still under wraps while Abbott shouts his from afar

Speaking in a light and bright FM radio interview on Tuesday, Malcolm Turnbull said that in politics, “just being chilled, calm is very important. A little bit of zen goes a long way.” He was answering…
Nick Xenophon is a tough dealmaker who demands concessions in return for his crucial numbers. AAP/David Mariuz

Nick Xenophon set to go back to where he came from

Nick Xenophon, the master of the stunt, is about to indulge in one more before he leaves the Senate for a run at ruling the South Australian roost from its crossbench. After his shock announcement that…
A video has been released with Tony Abbott’s daughter Frances promoting the Yes case. AAP/Australian Marriage Equality

Yes case’s SMS campaign was not invasive

Like millions of others, I received an SMS at the weekend from the “Yes” campaign for the marriage ballot. It said: The Marriage Equality Survey forms have arrived! Help make history and vote YES for a…
Tony Abbott has reportedly threatened to cross the floor if there is any attempt to legislate a clean energy target. Mick Tsikas/AAP

Abbott’s disruption is raising the question: where will it end?

Even in today’s often bizarre political environment, Tuesday night’s encounter between Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin and Alan Jones on Sky News was surreal. Credlin, Abbott’s former chief-of-staff, now works…
John Howard wants the government to lay out protections on religious freedoms and rights ahead of the same-sex marriage vote. Lukas Coch/AAP

Turnbull would need to prevent ‘protections’ fight delaying legislation after a Yes vote

In the same-sex marriage battle, Malcolm Turnbull finds himself fighting two former Liberal prime ministers, while somewhat uncomfortably aligned with an aspiring Labor one. Just as in the republic referendum…