Barnaby Joyce Elected Nationals Leader; Nash New Deputy

Barnaby Joyce has been elected unopposed as leader of The Nationals and will become Deputy Prime Minister in the next few days.

Joyce assumed the leadership at a partyroom meeting at 8pm tonight. It followed the announcement earlier today by Warren Truss that he was retiring.

NSW Senator Fiona Nash was elected deputy leader. There were 7 candidates for the position out of a partyroom of 21 members. No vote tallies were released and the ballot papers have been destroyed.

Joyce

Joyce and Nash will take office when Truss officially steps down. This is likely to be early next week, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce a reshuffle over the weekend. [Read more…]


Excluding Citizens Of “Unsound Mind” From Voting

The Estimates Committee of the Senate today discussed the issue of excluding people of “unsound mind” from voting.

Questioning of Australian Electoral Commission officials was led by Victorian Greens Senator Janet Rice.

Section 93.8 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act says that enrolment will be denied to “a person who by reason of being of unsound minds, is incapable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting“. [Read more…]


Daniel Andrews Offers To Settle Nauru Refugees In Victoria

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has offered to settle and house the families who were brought to Australia but now face return to Nauru.

In a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today, Andrews said: “I write to inform you that Victoria will accept full responsibility for all of these children and their families including the provision of housing, health, education and welfare services.”

Andrews said the circumstances were “clearly exceptional” and “a political argument is of no benefit” to the families concerned. [Read more…]


Glossary: White Paper

A White Paper is a statement of government policy on a specific issue.

A white paper will usually be presented to Parliament (tabled in Parliament) as a prelude to the introduction of legislation. The relevant minister will usually make a statement to parliament about the contents of the white paper.

White Papers often result from a consultation and discussion process following the presentation of a discussion green paper or options paper. [Read more…]


High Court Rejects Refugee Challenge To Offshore Processing And Resettlement

The High Court has rejected an attempt to strike down Australia’s policy of offshore processing, detention and resettlement.

In essence, the High Court has found that the asylum seeker arrangements with Nauru are legal. Asylum-seekers now face deportation to Nauru and Papua New Guinea.

The court found that the Bangladeshi woman who brought the case had standing but rejected her substantive argument. [Read more…]


No Change To Interest Rates; Reserve Bank Leaves Cash Rate At 2%

The Reserve Bank of Australia has left interest rates on hold with its decision today to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2%.

The cash rate has now remained unchanged since May 2015.

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor, Reserve Bank of Australia.

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent. [Read more…]


Hockey Presents Credentials To Obama; Abbott Meets Kissinger

The former Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has presented his credentials to President Barack Obama as the new Australian Ambassador to the United States, whilst his former leader, Tony Abbott, has met with Dr. Henry Kissinger in New York.

Within ten minutes of each other this morning, Hockey and Abbott both posted pictures of their meetings on Twitter.

Hockey

Hockey, 50, replaces the former Labor leader Kim Beazley, who held the post for 7 years. Hockey was the Liberal member for North Sydney from 1996 until his resignation last October. He was Treasurer from 2013 but was dropped by Malcolm Turnbull last September in the aftermath of the toppling of Tony Abbott.

Abbott

Kissinger, 92, was Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1973-77. Abbott, 58, has been the Liberal member for Warringah since 1994. He was prime minister between 2013-15.