Advance Australia: Bill Shorten’s Speech Opening The ALP’s 47th National Conference

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has opened the ALP’s 47th National Conference in Melbourne with a speech based around the theme of Advance Australia.

Shorten committed a future Labor government to reintroducing an Emissions Trading Scheme. He said: “A Shorten Labor Government will build an Emissions Trading Scheme for Australia. And we will not be intimidated by the ignorant, ridiculous scare campaigns that will come. We will win this fight.

“Let me say this to our opponents, in words of one syllable: An E.T.S. is not a tax.

“And if Mr Abbott wants to make the next election a contest about who has the best policy solution for climate change … I’ve got a three-word-slogan for him: Bring. It. On.

Text of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s speech opening the ALP’s 47th National Conference in Melbourne.

Friends, delegates, true believers, fellow Australians:

This conference comes at a pivotal time in our national life, and a restless moment in our national mood.

The tests facing Australia are great.

The consequences of failure are grave.

And never has the contrast between us and our opponents been more clear.

Be it jobs, health, education or energy …

Never has the choice between a Labor party planning for the future, and a Liberal party stuck in the past been more stark. [Read more…]


In Shadow Of Greek Crisis, Reserve Bank Leaves Cash Rate At 2%

In the shadow of the Greek debt crisis, the Reserve Bank has left interest rates unchanged, following today’s monthly board meeting.

The cash rate will stay at 2%. The rate was last changed in May when it was cut by 25 basis points.

Greece defaulted on a debt repayment last week. A referendum last Sunday voted 60% against further austerity measures imposed on Greece by the European Union.

In its decision, the RBA noted that: “The Australian dollar has declined noticeably against a rising US dollar over the past year, though less so against a basket of currencies. Further depreciation seems both likely and necessary, particularly given the significant declines in key commodity prices.”

Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent.

The global economy is expanding at a moderate pace, but some key commodity prices are much lower than a year ago. This trend appears largely to reflect increased supply, including from Australia. Australia’s terms of trade are falling nonetheless. [Read more…]


No Change In Interest Rates; Cash Rate Stays At 2.0%

The Reserve Bank of Australia has left interest rates unchanged at its monthly meeting today.

Last month’s historic low cash rate of 2.0% stays in force for the time being.

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank.

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


Reserve Bank Cuts Cash Rate To Historic Low Of 2%

The Reserve Bank has cut interest rates for the second time this year. The cash rate will fall 0.25% to 2.0%.

In its announcement today, the Reserve says: “The Board judged that the inflation outlook provided the opportunity for monetary policy to be eased further, so as to reinforce recent encouraging trends in household demand.”

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

At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 2.0 per cent, effective 6 May 2015.

The global economy is expanding at a moderate pace, but commodity prices have declined over the past year, in some cases sharply. These trends appear largely to reflect increased supply, including from Australia. Australia’s terms of trade are falling nonetheless. [Read more…]


Quiz: Australian Prime Ministers At War

Australian Prime Ministers (2)

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Question 1
Who was Prime Minister at the outbreak of World War 1?
A
Alfred Deakin
B
Andrew Fisher
C
Joseph Cook
D
William Morris Hughes
Question 1 Explanation: 
Joseph Cook was Liberal Prime Minister at the outbreak of World War 1. Australia was in the middle of an election campaign when war was declared. Cook was defeated by the ALP's Andrew Fisher who is now remembered for promising that Australia would fight to its "last man and its last shilling".
Question 2
Who was Prime Minister at the outbreak of World War 2?
A
Joseph Lyons
B
Earle Page
C
Robert Menzies
D
Arthur Fadden
Question 2 Explanation: 
Robert Menzies was prime minister at the outbreak of World War 2 in September 1939. Menzies assumed the position earlier in the year following the death of Joe Lyons and a brief period under Earle Page.

Menzies governed for just over 2 years before being forced to resign. He was replaced by Arthur Fadden, who held office for 40 days until he was voted out by the House of Representatives and John Curtin formed a Labor government.
Question 3
Who was Prime Minister at the outbreak of the Korean War?
A
Ben Chifley
B
Robert Menzies
C
Harold Holt
D
John Gorton
Question 3 Explanation: 
Menzies was prime minister when the Korean War began in 1950. It was just six months since Menzies had defeated the Labor government led by Ben Chifley.

17,000 Australian troops fought in the war, under the command of the United Nations. The war ended with an armistice in 1953.
Question 4
Who was Prime Minister at the oubreak of the Vietnam War?
A
Robert Menzies
B
Harold Holt
C
John Gorton
D
William McMahon
Question 4 Explanation: 
Robert Menzies was prime minister when the Vietnam war began in 1955. He was still prime minister in 1965 when Australia committed troops to the war and introduced conscription.
Question 5
Who was Prime Minister at the out break of the Gulf War, also known as Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm?
A
Malcolm Fraser
B
Bob Hawke
C
Paul Keating
D
John Howard
Question 5 Explanation: 
Bob Hawke was prime minister when the Gulf War began on August 2, 1990.
Operation Desert Storm ended on February 28, 1991, when Coalition forces led by the United States ended Iraq's annexation of Kuwait.
Question 6
Who was PM at the outbreak of the US war in Afghanistan, following the September 11 (9/11) attacks?
A
Paul Keating
B
John Howard
C
Kevin Rudd
D
Julia Gillard
Question 6 Explanation: 
John Howard was prime minister at the outbreak of the US attacks and invasion of Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US.

Australian forces joined the conflict during Operation Slipper in late 2001. The war was extended in 2003 when NATO forces joined. Combat operations formally ended in December 2014.
Question 7
Who was Prime Minister at the outbreak of the Iraq War, the conflict that toppled Saddam Hussein?
A
Bob Hawke
B
Paul Keating
C
John Howard
D
Kevin Rudd
Question 7 Explanation: 
John Howard was prime minister on March 20, 2003 when the Iraq War began.

The "shock and awe" invasion of Iraq by a Coalition of forces, including Australia, was led by the United States and overthrew the government of Saddam Hussein. American occupation of Iraq ended in 2011.
Question 8
Who was Prime Minister when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in World War 2?
A
Robert Menzies
B
Arthur Fadden
C
John Curtin
D
Ben Chifley
Question 8 Explanation: 
John Curtin was prime minister on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour and precipitated the entry of the United States into the war.

Curtin had been prime minister for exactly two months when the attack took place.
Question 9
Who was prime minister when the Berlin Wall fell?
A
Malcolm Fraser
B
Bob Hawke
C
Paul Keating
D
John Howard
Question 9 Explanation: 
Bob Hawke was prime minister when the Berlin Wall fell in November 1989.
Question 10
Who was prime minister when the Soviet Union disintegrated?
A
Malcolm Fraser
B
Bob Hawke
C
Paul Keating
D
John Howard
Question 10 Explanation: 
The Soviet Union was dissolved on December 26, 1991. Paul Keating had been prime minister for six days, having defeated Bob Hawke in a leadership challenge on December 19.
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