Barack Obama Highlights Climate Change In Speech At University Of Queensland

Ahead of the G20 meeting, President Barack Obama has placed climate change at the centre of a speech to students at the University of Queensland.

Obama

Obama told the gathering that no region had more at stake than the Asia-Pacific. He said climate change was causing more wildfires, flooding, extreme storms and rising seas. “The incredible natural glory of the Great Barrier Reef is threatened,” he said.

Obama pledges $3 billion to the Green Climate Fund to assist developing countries. “Let them leap frog some of the dirty industries that powered our development, go straight to a clean-energy economy that allows them to grow, create jobs and at the same time reduce their carbon pollution,” he said. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Remarks At G20 Leaders’ Retreat

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has welcomed world leaders to the G20 meeting in Brisbane.

AbbottSpeaking in the former Legislative Council chamber of the Queensland Parliament, Abbott said: “This room symbolises the limitations on our power.”

Abbott emphasised the importance of economic reform. He told the gathering his government had repealed the carbon tax, stopped the “illegal boats”, started building roads and getting the Budget under control.

Abbott said the deregulation of universities was an issue he wished to lay before his “colleague leaders”. He said his government had found it difficult “to inject more price signals into our health system” via a $7 co-payment.

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Transcript of remarks by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to the G20 Leaders’ Retreat at Parliament House, Brisbane.

Remarks at G20 Leaders’ Retreat, Brisbane

Thank you, everyone. It’s a real honour to have so many of you here in the beautiful city of Brisbane for this first ever G20 leaders’ retreat. [Read more…]


Abbott, Pragmatic Nationalist, Proposes Modest Reform Of Federation

Describing himself as a “pragmatic nationalist”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he believes it is worth another try to “harmonise” the revenue and spending responsibilities of the States and the Commonwealth.

ParkesAbbott spoke at the Sir Henry Parkes Commemorative Dinner in Tenterfield, NSW. On October 24 1889, Parkes, a five-time premier of NSW, delivered his famous Tenterfield Oration, a call for the colonies to federate.

Abbott said: “Now I remain a pragmatic nationalist – but the states exist, they have wide powers under the constitution and they can’t be abolished; so – rather than pursue giving the Commonwealth more authority over the states, as I proposed in my 2009 book, Battlelines – better harmonising revenue and spending responsibilities is well worth another try.”

Abbott said he used to think that “the states should become subordinate legislatures to the Commonwealth”, but he now doubted that “any such constitutional change could succeed”. He said: “…in any event, it’s a good principle to propose the smallest change that will actually tackle the problem – that’s why resolving the mismatch between what the states are supposed to deliver and what they can actually afford to pay for is worth another go.” [Read more…]


Widodo Inauguration: Abbott Stresses Jakarta Focus In Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flown to Indonesia to attend the inauguration of its new President, Joko Widodo.

In his weekly video message, Abbott repeated his earlier remarks that “our foreign policy needs a ‘Jakarta’ focus rather than a ‘Geneva’ one”.

He said one million Australians visit Indonesia each year. “It has the world’s largest Muslim population, it is the world’s third largest democracy and, along with India, it’s the emerging democratic superpower of Asia.”

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s weekly video message.

Today I am going to Indonesia for the Inauguration of its new President – Joko Widodo.

The transition to a new administration highlights Indonesia’s successful move to a popularly elected democracy. [Read more…]


Cormann Says Shorten Is An Economic Girlie Man

The Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, today described Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as an “economic girlie man”.

Cormann

Interviewed on the Sky News Agenda program, Cormann was asked about comments by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a budget surplus was more likely under a Labor government “than this current mob”.

Cormann said: “He’s dreaming. I mean the Labor Party has not delivered a surplus in Australia for 25 years. The problem that the Labor Party has today is that Bill Shorten is an economic girlie man. He doesn’t have what it takes to repair the Budget mess that they have left behind.”

Husic

ALP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Treasurer, Ed Husic, also appeared on the program. He said Cormann should stop the “juvenile name-calling” and deal with the Budget. “The Terminator should become the Deodoriser and get the stink out of his budget,” Husic said.

Cormann’s remarks set off a Saturday media flurry. Allegations of sexism were aired on social media.

Cormann’s Belgian accent is often compared to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film character The Terminator.

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Transcript of Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann’s interview with David Lipson on Sky News Agenda.

DAVID LIPSON: G’day, welcome to the program, I am David Lipson. It is six months since the Budget was handed down and there are still more than $28 billion in savings being held up in the Senate. And though the House of Representatives returns next week, the crucial Senate has only three sitting weeks left before the summer break. The Government insists it hasn’t given up the fight but each day that passes equates to savings lost. And Labor which along with the cross bench is blocking the savings even claimed this week, rather flippantly; it could deliver a surplus sooner than the Coalition. Here is Bill Shorten with David Speers earlier this week: [Read more…]