Northcliffe residents remain cautious as out-of-control fire continues to burn

Residents of the Northcliffe area have been urged to remain cautious as changing weather conditions threaten to stoke a massive bushfire that continues to burn out-of-control.
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The Department of Fire and Emergency Services has a issued a bushfire “watch and act” for people in the area, with a possible threat to homes and lives.

For the most up-to-date WA fire alerts, visit the DFES website or follow DFES on Twitter.

Windy Harbour residents who are at their houses have been warned not to leave their homes and those who have relocated have been told not to return until further instructions are given.

About 184 firefighters continue to tackle the blaze which has been burning since January 30, consuming an area of 88,000 hectares, with a perimeter of 390 kilometres.

Two houses and five sheds have been lost to the fire, believed to have been sparked by lightning.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast for Manjimup predicts light winds becoming south to south-westerly, moving at about 15-20 km/h in the middle of the day, then tending south to south-easterly in the late evening.

The bushfire “watch and act” remains in place for people in an area:

·South of Yeagarup Road, Ritter Road, Barker Road, Crowea Road, Lane Poole Road, Deeside Coast Road, South Western Highway and Bevan Road.

·West of Thompson Road and west of South Western Highway from Beardmore Road to Broke Inlet Road.

·North of Beardmore Road, Broke Inlet Road, Chesapeake Road, Windy Harbour Road.

·East of the coast line.

More fires, more warnings

A bushfire “advice” has been issued for people in the southern part of Lower Hotham in the shires of Boddington, Collie and Williams.

In the Perth region, the same warning applies to people in parts of Wattleup, Hammond Park, Helena National Park, the southern part of The Spectacles and parts of Orelia.

A bushfire “advice” has also been issued for part of Karratha. Follow WAtoday on Twitter

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Head CSG investigator Lee Shearer’s mining ties queried after AGL toxic chemical find

Anti-CSG protesters in Gloucester last October. Photo: Dean Sewell/Oculi Anti-CSG protesters in Gloucester last October. Photo: Dean Sewell/Oculi
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Anti-CSG protesters in Gloucester last October. Photo: Dean Sewell/Oculi

Anti-CSG protesters in Gloucester last October. Photo: Dean Sewell/Oculi

The choice of a former mining industry consultant to head a government investigation into AGL’s discovery of toxic chemicals at its coal-seam gas operations raises doubts about the probe’s impartiality, a local opposition group says.

Lee Shearer, an ex-NSW policewoman from the Newcastle region, is overseeing the Department of Resources and Energy’s probe of the AGL’s coal-seam gas operations near Gloucester. The company was ordered to suspend its pilot project last month after revealing it had detected banned BTEX chemicals in its flowback water after fracking.

Energy Minister Anthony Roberts praised Ms Shearer, now in charge of his department’s compliance and enforcement unit. “As former senior NSW police officer, Lee Shearer is just a remarkable individual, so we take compliance very seriously,” Mr Roberts told a delegation to Sydney last week from the anti-CSG group, Groundswell Gloucester.

The residents group, though, said Ms Shearer’s past role as a consultant to the mining industry, including “managing crisis situations” fanned worries about her independence.

On her own page on the LinkedIn website, Ms Shearer details her expertise in assisting companies “in dealing with community sensitive issues such as land acquisition” and  “managing volatile community response”. “Lee is acutely aware of protecting the brand of the client whilst managing difficult situations,” the entry states.

“We call on [Energy Minister Roberts] to suspend the AGL Gloucester gas field licence until a thorough investigation of the entire wholly inadequate approval is undertaken by a totally independent investigator,” said Julie Lyford, a former Gloucester mayor and spokeswoman for Groundswell Gloucester.

“No one is questioning the integrity or the highly experienced qualifications of Ms Shearer,” Ms Lyford said.  “We are questioning the ability of the minister to show full impartiality and employ, again from the public purse, a suitably qualified investigator with no links to the mining or coal-seam gas industry.”

Mr Roberts suspended AGL’s operations on January 28 pending the results of a probe into the source of chemicals in the BTEX group – benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylenes – found in flowback water. Benzene is a known carcinogen.

The chemicals can occur naturally in coal and gas deposits, and AGL said it did not use them in its fracking.

A spokesman for Mr Roberts said Ms Shearer had not worked as a consultant since joining the department in June last year.

“The DRE investigation will be thorough, robust and transparent,” the spokesman said, with the final report to be made public.

“Ms Shearer brings a wealth of investigative experience,” the spokesman said, including serving in the police force for 23 years. “To suggest otherwise is false and misleading.”

Opposition Leader Luke Foley, who has called for a moratorium on coal-seam gas in NSW, said the public may not have the “full confidence in the inquiry and the findings”.

“You have to question if someone who has worked as a consultant in the mining industry is best placed to lead an investigation into AGL’s CSG activities in Gloucester,” Mr Foley said. “This inquiry needs to get to the bottom of what has occurred in Gloucester and the public needs to have confidence in the process.”

Greens mining spokesman Jeremy Buckingham said it was vital for any investigator to be completely independent and have the expertise necessary.

“Despite the Chief Scientist’s [Mary O’Kane’s] report and commitments to ‘world’s best practice’, the government continues to make decisions that undermine trust and facilitate the coal-seam gas industry,” Mr Buckingham said, adding it was time for coal-seam gas to be banned in the state.

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Time running out for transfer of British pensions

April 2’s deadline is looming for expats wanting to make their UK public service pension transfer under optimum conditions. Former British public sector workers will have to act immediately if they want to have their UK pension benefit transferred to an Australian super fund and receive favourable tax treatment.
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From April 6, members of public sector pension schemes including those covering former National Health Service workers, teachers, police and fire fighters, will no longer be able to be transfer the money to an Australian super fund.

That is a big deal for former pubic sector workers – whether they’re expats living in Australia or Australians who have done a stint working in the United Kingdom – because the money drawn from an Australian super fund is tax-free after the age of 60. Otherwise, the British scheme pays the money into the member’s bank account. This income is then assessable for Australian income tax and, as it is paid in pounds,subject to exchange rate changes.

The deadline to lodge an application with the UK fund is April 6. But with the way that Easter falls this year, April 2 is the real deadline. The first step is to obtain a quotation from their UK scheme, says Simon Harvey, a director of BDH Sterling, which provides cross-border financial advice. The turn-around time for the quote varies from scheme to scheme, Harvey says.

The NHS, for example, takes about four weeks while the teachers’ pension is a little quicker, he says. After the quotation is received, the scheme member must return the signed transfer request to their UK scheme’s administrator by April 2.

“People would have to move by the end of this week to have a chance of making the deadline,” Harvey says.

Those who do not transfer will keep their benefits but they will be restricted in the way the money is accessed. They are entitled to a portion of the money as a lump sum, with the remainder taken as income for life.

There is also another drawback of leaving the money in the UK scheme. Typically, if a member dies the spouse receives a half pension with that ceasing on their death. With Australian super, the death benefit consists of the entire balance and the insurance benefit.

Private sector-defined benefit pensions will still be transferable to Australian super funds beyond April However, the new rules require a scheme member to take financial advice from a UK-regulated company even if they live in Australia, if the transfer value is more than £30,000. Those living in Australia have limited access to such advice.

BDH Sterling is licensed in Australia and the UK and can give advice on whether a transfer is needed and make arrangements to have the money moved to a super fund.

The British government has said that it will allow transfers in some limited circumstances beyond April 6, but these limited circumstances, have not, so far, been stated.

 @jcollett_money

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Mitchell Duke leaves Central Coast Mariners for Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan’s J-League

One of Australia’s best attacking prospects, Mitchell Duke, has finally completed his overseas move to Japanese club Shimizu S-Pulse.
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Duke will leave on Tuesday to link up with the club that Mariners teammate Eddy Bosnar and Sydney FC striker Alex Brosque once called home and only needs to pass a medical upon arrival to seal his J-League move.

The 24-year old has split his time between the central striker’s role and right-midfield since making the step up from the Mariners youth team in 2012, scoring 13 goals in 66 matches.

He only signed a two-year contract extension in July 2014, meaning the Mariners were able to command a significant six-figure fee.

“I came through the youth stages of the Mariners for two years and was rewarded with a first team contract, so my time at the Mariners has been unbelievable,” Duke said on Monday. “I’ve signed a pre-agreement deal and I’ll be going over to Japan on Tuesday to complete a medical so once the medical clears up I’ll be signing a full contract.

“The J-League is a well-respected league all around the world, all you have to do is take a look at.”

Coach Phil Moss said he was disappointed to lose such an important player but said it would give another youngster a chance to prove themselves.

“Mitchell Duke is the next Mariners player to come off the club’s production line and now gets his chance overseas,” he said. “The timing is never great when you lose a key player mid-season but it gives other players the opportunity to step up and of course, we have Fabio Ferreira ready to go this week.

“It’s a great opportunity for ‘Dukey’ to take his career to the next level and he goes with our blessing.”

Duke trialled at English Premier League club West Ham in 2013 and has long been linked with a move abroad after winning his first Socceroos’ call-up in the same year.

He joins an ever-growing list of Mariners’ players to move to big clubs abroad, including Mustafa Amini (Borussia Dortmund), Oliver Bozanic (FC Luzern), Mathew Ryan (Club Brugge), Trent Sainsbury (PEC Zwolle), Tom Rogic (Celtic), Alex Wilkinson (Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors) and Mile Jedinak (Crystal Palace).This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Jetstar pilot strike averted as pay deal nears settlement

Shares in Qantas fell 5¢ to $2.44 on Monday amid a further increase in oil prices. In December, almost 95 per cent of Jetstar pilots voted against a proposed four-year deal that had included an 18-month pay freeze. Photo: Rob Homer
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Jetstar is on the brink of a breakthrough with its pilots over a new enterprise agreement, which will clear the way for its parent, Qantas, to achieve its goal of imposing a company-wide pay freeze for 18 months.

The finalisation of an in-principle agreement with unions for Jetstar’s Australian-based pilots also removes the threat of strike action over the busy Easter holidays.

The Australian Federation of Air Pilots had requested the right last month for a ballot of its pilot members at Jetstar on whether to take protected industrial action.

However, AFAP executive director Simon Lutton said the union had withdrawn the ballot, which had been set to close on Tuesday, as an act of good faith after the two sides reached a more acceptable four-year agreement.

The union and management will spend the next few days drafting the final terms of the in-principle agreement, which Jetstar pilots will vote on over the coming weeks. The AFAP will recommend they accept the in-principle agreement.

“It has been a pretty difficult negotiation environment over the past year or two,” Mr Lutton said. “[But] by the end of the week we will expect that there will be a fully drafted proposal which will be released to pilots that they can vote on.”

The union represents about 40 per cent of the 1000 Australian-based Jetstar pilots.

Once the 18-month wage freeze ends, Jetstar pilots will receive pay increases of 3 per cent a year under the terms of an agreement which expires in 2019. The proposed deal includes provisions that allow pilots to opt for changes to work practices, such as making themselves more available to the airline during peak periods of demand, in exchange for an additional hourly payment.

The Jetstar pilots represent one of the last remaining parts of the airline group’s unionised workforce to agree to an 18-month wage freeze as part of management’s plans to strip out $2 billion in costs over three years and axe 5000 jobs.

Last week, about 70 per cent of the 2600 Qantas staff represented by the Transport Workers Union voted in favour of accepting a new deal that includes an 18-month wage freeze. That agreement covered baggage handlers, catering staff, cleaners and ramp workers.

The prospect of Jetstar pilots settling on a new deal will take the total number of Qantas Group staff to have accepted a wage freeze to about 8000. They include short-haul pilots and licensed aircraft engineers.

In December, almost 95 per cent of Jetstar pilots voted against a proposed four-year deal that had included an 18-month pay freeze. The size of the no vote prompted the AFAP to apply to Fair Work for the ballot after more than two years of “fruitless negotiations”.

However, the Australian and International Pilots Association, which represents about 35 per cent of Jetstar pilots, did not apply for a ballot of its members.

The two pilot unions have been meeting Jetstar executives over the past few weeks to nut out the in-principle agreement.

A Jetstar spokesman said the in-principle agreement balanced the needs of pilots and the business, and was “achieved within the parameters of the group wages policy, including an 18-month pay freeze”.

Shares in Qantas were weaker early on Monday amid a further increase in oil prices but by the afternoon had reversed the trend to close flat at $2.49. The price of benchmark Brent crude rose more than 9 per cent last week.

Meanwhile, Jetstar Hong Kong and airlines such as Cathay Pacific opposed to the budget airline gaining approval to launch flights will make closing submissions to transport officials in Hong Kong on Saturday.

The budget airline, part owned by Qantas, will again make the argument to the Hong Kong Air Transport Licensing Authority that its principal place of business is the Chinese territory.

Jetstar Hong Kong had aimed to begin flights in mid-2013. However, delays to it gaining regulatory approval have resulted in it selling six of its nine-strong A320 fleet.

Authorities have not given a time frame for when they will make a decision on Jetstar Hong Kong’s right to fly.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Police investigate after children approached – Coffs Harbour

Police are investigating after two boys were approached by a man in Coffs Harbour yesterday.
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About 5.30pm (Sunday 8 February 2015), two boys, aged 10 years, were standing with pushbikes outside a school on Robin Street when a van approached them.

Police have been told a man in the van spoke to the boys from the vehicle, asking them to come over to him.

The boys rode their bikes towards Moreton Bay Drive, and police were alerted of the incident.

Officers attached to Coffs/Clarence Local Area Command have commenced investigations and would like to speak to a man who may be able to assist them with their inquiries.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, in his late 40s, of slim build, with short hair and a grey long beard. The man was seen wearing a Hawaiian shirt.

The van in the incident is described as an older-model Toyota van, with yellow registration plates, with no side-windows and a faded sticker on one of the sides of the van. Balloons and other children’s toys were seen through the back windows.

Police are urging anyone with information in relation to this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page:https://nsw.crimestoppers南京夜网.au/Information you provide will be treated in the strictest of confidence. We remind people they should not report crime information via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Meanwhile, the incident has again prompted police to encourage parents to discuss the ‘Safe People, Safe Places’ messages with their children, including;

– Make sure your parents or another adult you know knows where you are at all times.

– Always walk straight home or to the place you are walking to. Walk near busier roads and streets, or use paths where there are lots of other people.

– Know where safe places are – a shop, service station, police station, library or school. If you are ever frightened, you should go to one of these places and ask them to call the police.

– Learn about safe adults you can look for and talk to if you need help – police officers, teachers at school, adults you know and trust.

– Don’t talk to people you don’t know and never get into a car with someone you don’t know. If a car stops on the side of the road and you don’t know the person inside, do not stop.

– If you are scared and can use a phone, call 000 and tell them you are scared.

– If someone tries to grab you, yell out, ‘Go away, I don’t know you’. This lets other people know you have been approached by someone you don’t know.

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Residents urged to consolidate super accounts

FIGURES: Whyalla residents with multiple superannuation accounts could be paying thousands in unnecessary fees every year and are being urged to consolidate their accounts.Whyalla residents with multiple superannuation accounts could be paying thousands in unnecessary fees every year.
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The Australian Tax Office is urging Whyalla residents to combine their superannuation into one account to reduce the amount they pay in fees each year.

New figures released by the ATO reveal 47.3 per cent of workers in and around Whyalla have more than one superannuation account, meaning thousands of dollars are wasted every year.

ATO assistant commissioner of superannuation John Shepherd said consolidating your super had never been easier and with the work year back in full swing, now was the perfect time for Whyalla residents to make a fresh start with their finances.

“It is not uncommon for people to open a new super account when they start a new job instead of taking their super fund with them when they change jobs,” Mr Shepherd said.

“People might also have super accounts which they have lost track of, for example, they may not have updated their contact details with their funds when they moved house.”

Residents are being encouraged to use the updated myGov online portal to check their super accounts and consolidate multiple accounts.

“We have simplified the process since our online services were first launched and it’s now easier than ever to consolidate your super,” he said.

“If you’ve tried to combine your accounts before and found it difficult to do, give it another go.”

According to the latest figures by the Australian Taxation Office, 45 per cent of working Australians have more than one super account.

Australian Prudential and Regulation Authority figures show the median figure for fees and charges paid by Australians for a low cost superannuation account is $532 per year.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Creek ‘smells toxic’ after fire

Does this creek look clear to you?: Fisherman Aaron Horne still had concerns about South Creek when he checked out the waterway in Dunheved on Saturday. Picture: Helen NezdropaSOUTH Creek fishers remain unconvinced about the state of the waterway despite assurances it has returned to normal, three weeks after being contaminated by run-off from a factory fire.
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Last Thursday, South Creek Bass Club member Aaron Horne posted a video on the club’s Facebook page of a Dunheved drain with a small continual flow, claiming it “looks and smells toxic.”

It was filmed near the site of the January 17 fire.

“I just clearly want you to understand: Dunheved Circuit, drainage system, pipe, creek — flowing with liquid that doesn’t appear to be water,” he says in the video.

“And this is three weeks after a fish kill that councils are saying was nothing, from a fire related to this Dunheved Circuit.”

A Penrith Council spokesman said results revealed the creek was back to its normal condition.

“There are no further concerns for downstream users,” he said.

But Mr Horne doubts it.

“All I want is for Penrith Council to acknowledge there’s a problem,” the Riverstone resident told the Star.

“If they don’t, this is going to happen again. This is visual toxic waste that smells. Fish are still dying. Along the banks are decomposed, rotting fish.”

Mr Horne was seriously ill with Ross River fever-like symptoms and down to 57 kilograms after a similar fire contaminated the creek a year ago.

“Everyone thought I was going to die, including me,” he said.

“If Penrith Council doesn’t think contamination of the creek affects people’s health, I’ve got the medical records to prove otherwise.”

The council was contacted regarding Mr Horne’s video but didn’t respond before deadline.

Mr Horne says he has been “blown away” by the community response backing his claims.

“I can’t understand why the council doesn’t think it’s a serious problem.

“I’ve had university students who tested the creek contact me to say the council is wrong. The toxins are still there. There’s no way it’s all been flushed out.

“Instead of only testing at Eighth Avenue and St Marys Road, council should also be testing at Richmond Road and the boat ramp at Windsor.”

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) didn’t answer the Star’s questions, referring us back to Penrith Council’s previous comments reported last week.

Mr Horne made this desperate plea to the authorities: “Own up; take responsibility and fix the problem.”

Fellow club member Dale Ward believes there’s still blackwater in the creek.

“All we want is the creek to be fixed so we can fish there again,” he said.

Any concerns, contact the EPA on 131 555.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

How much time does Tony Abbott have left as PM? Lessons from past leadership challenges

Live: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from ParliamentAnalysis: Abbott’s demise is inevitable
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On Monday morning – before most people had even had their first coffee for the week – Tony Abbott survived an attempt on his leadership.

Chief government whip Philip Ruddock described the 61 to 39 vote as a “clear” result.

But the consensus in Canberra is that Abbott is now living on borrowed time. If things do not dramatically improve this year, he will not get the opportunity to lead the Liberal Party to the next election, due in 2016.

History also shows us that leadership is often decided in multiple bouts.

Hawke v Hayden 

Back in the early 1980s, challenger Bob Hawke did not have immediate success when he went up against incumbent Labor leader Bill Hayden.

On July 16 1982, Hawke had an unsuccessful crack, with Hayden defeating him 42 votes to 37. But throw in Hawke’s unfailing public popularity and a dud by-election result and by early February 1983, Hayden had resigned. Hawke was then elected unopposed.

Time to unseat leader = six months 

Keating v Hawke 

Bob Hawke and Paul Keating had an agreement that Hawke would hand over the prime ministership after the 1990 election … and then they didn’t. And so, in June 1991, an angry Keating challenged the sitting prime minister.

He lost 44 votes to Hawke’s 66 and vowed it would be his only attempt. But on the back of poor polling and Hawke’s weak response to John Hewson’s “Fightback!” policy, on December 20, he had another crack (politicians and promises, huh?). This time, Keating won the prime ministership, 56 votes to 51.

Time between challenges = six months 

Abbott v Turnbull (the early years) 

In late 2009, the Liberal Party were unhappy campers. Amid an ETS-sized policy rift, Kevin Andrews seemingly came out of nowhere to challenge leader Malcolm Turnbull.

On November 25, Turnbull defeated Andrews, but only by a narrow margin – 48 votes to 35. His position was seriously weakened.

The next week, Abbott challenged Turnbull, running on an anti-ETS platform. Joe Hockey also put his cap in the ring.

Hockey was knocked out first, and then Abbott squeaked through to beat Turnbull 42 votes to 41. It was only by one vote, but it was more than enough.

Time between challenges = six days 

Rudd v Gillard 

The unseating of Kevin Rudd in mid-2010 was lightning fast. Not many people saw it coming (Rudd included).

But when Rudd came back for his old job, there were several attempts and a lot of drawn-out heartache.

On February 27, 2012, after dramatically resigning as foreign minister from overseas, he challenged Julia Gillard for the leadership and lost, 31 votes to 71.

Rudd pledged he wouldn’t challenge Gillard again. But, speculation about the leadership did not go away.

In March 2013, Simon Crean famously tried to blow up the leadership tensions by calling for a spill. But it fizzled in the end as Rudd didn’t challenge (and so Gillard was re-elected unopposed).

But it was a different story come the next spill on June 26 (the federal election was that much closer) – and Rudd won 57 votes to 45.

Time between challenges = 16 months 

What all this shows is that leadership issues do not get “resolved” in a single vote.

They can buy leaders time. And that time ranges from anything between a week to more than a year.

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This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

How Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and Penny Wong photobombed the Liberal leadership saga

Deputy Opposition Leader Tanya Plibersek, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Senator Penny Wong walk past the Liberal partyroom meeting at Parliament House in Canberra on Monday 9 February 2015. Photo: Alex EllinghausenThe Pulse: Stephanie Peatling blogs live from ParliamentMark Kenny: Tony Abbott’s removal not a case of if, but whenMichael Gordon: Tony Abbott’s demise is inevitableWhat Tony Abbott promised his angry troops
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It was a moment as choreographed as Swan Lake, as brassy as a Salvation Army marching band.

Only minutes after the Liberal Party’s leadership spill ballot on Monday morning, Labor’s three most senior figures were photographed strutting past the media pack waiting outside the Liberal’s party room.

Coffees in hand and beaming, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, deputy Tanya Plibersek and Senate leader Penny Wong were an image of unity and good cheer. (Labor’s deputy Senate leader Stephen Conroy was there too but evaded the photographers’ gaze.)

One could forget it was a mere 18 months ago that they were at the heart of their own leadership storm, as Labor tossed aside Julia Gillard for Kevin Rudd mark 2.

Former Labor powerbroker Graham Richardson hailed the result – a 61-39 defeat for the spill motion – on television as the “perfect result for Labor”. It was hard to find anyone in Parliament House who disagreed with him.

The result Labor most feared – a return to Malcolm Turnbull as leader – did not come to pass. Yet.

Instead, Tony Abbott stays on as a wounded Prime Minister after nearly 40 per cent of his colleagues effectively declared no confidence in him and the latest Newspoll showed him to be the most unpopular leader since Paul Keating two decades ago.

He also, at least for now, retains Joe Hockey as Treasurer, Peta Credlin as his chief of staff, and controversial changes to health and education as official policy.

Labor’s satisfaction at the result was tempered only by the suspicion that Mr Abbott might still not last the week.

“Tony Abbott promised he would run a stable and united government. This is his biggest broken promise yet,” Mr Shorten said.

“The Liberal government is in paralysis – and Australian families and the Australian economy are paying the price for chaos.

“The Prime Minister and his ministers should be protecting the living standards and jobs of all Australians but they’re only interested in their own jobs.”

Installing Mr Turnbull as prime minister would make life far tougher for Mr Shorten. A bounce in the polls for the government would inevitably follow. Suddenly he would be face-to-face with a popular opponent. Cringe-worthy zingers and crude oppositionism would no longer cut it.

Underperforming ministers could be axed, unpopular policies could be thrown overboard and the government could make a fresh start on relations with the Senate crossbench.

Independent senator Jacqui Lambie on Monday called for Mr Turnbull to be made prime minister.

“He is a gentleman, he is a statesman, he looks the part, he plays the part and I think it’s about time he had his turn,” she said.

Enigmatic as ever, Nick Xenophon said he favoured Peter Costello in any leadership challenge.

“I have not had a problem with the PM per se but I have had a problem with his policies,” he said.

“They could put my best mates in cabinet, it wouldn’t convince me to vote differently on a number of key aspects of policy which I think are not good policy and fundamental broken promises.”

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