Sen. Janet Rice (Greens-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Janet Rice, the Australian Greens senator from Victoria, has delivered her first speech to the Senate.

Rice

Senator Rice was elected at last year’s election. Her term began on July 1 and will end on June 30, 2020.

Rice is the tenth member of the Greens Senate team. She won her seat at the expense of the ALP in Victoria.

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Hansard transcript of Senator Janet Rice’s maiden speech.

The PRESIDENT (16:59): Order! Before I call Senator Rice to give her first speech, I remind honourable senators of the custom of allowing the speech to be given without interruption. [Read more...]


Terrorism Threats: ASIO Director-General David Irvine Addresses National Press Club

The Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, David Irvine, has addressed the National Press Club on the threats posed by espionage and terrorism.

Irvine

Irvine maintained that the threats to Australia are real, but manageable with vigilance and updated intelligence capabilities. He defended the need for a security service, “governed by law with appropriate safeguards”, and argued against any revamping of the existing regime of checks and balances on ASIO.

He said 15 Australians are believed to have died fighting in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Around 100 people are believed to be involved in supporting terrorist activity in Australia.

Irvine stressed “that the tiny number of violent extremists, who nevertheless can make a rather big bang, does not represent the Islamic communities of Australia… We’re talking about a few hundred aberrant souls in the community of half a million Muslims and it is grossly unfair to blame Australian Muslims who see themselves as a committed component of Australia’s multicultural society.” [Read more...]


Paul Keating Launches Cabinet Diaries By Gareth Evans With Another Swipe At Bob Hawke

Paul Keating has renewed his attack on Bob Hawke during a speech at the launch of the Cabinet diaries of Gareth Evans.

Keating

Whilst Evans says in his book that Hawke was out of action for about a month in 1984 over his daughter’s drug addiction problems, Keating claimed that Hawke was “asleep” for about five years until 1989. Keating said Hawke failed to “nourish” the government with ideas and leadership.

Keating said Hawke failed to take a lead on Aboriginal land rights in this time: “Bob always cried for Aborigines but he wouldn’t do anything for them.” [Read more...]


Sen. Joe Bullock (ALP-WA) – Maiden Speech

Senator Joe Bullock was elected at the re-run Senate election in Western Australia on April 5, 2014.

Bullock

The original Senate election of September 7, 2013 was declared void by the High Court, after the Australian Electoral Commission lost around 1400 ballot papers during a recount.

Having replaced Senator Louise Pratt in the first position on the ALP ticket, Bullock was the only successful ALP candidate. The ALP also failed to win a second seat in South Australia.

Bullock, 58, an official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, was a controversial choice for preselection, especially after the publication of a tape of an address he made to the Dawson Society. [Read more...]


Sen. Chris Ketter (ALP-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Senator Chris Ketter was elected as a Labor member from Queensland at the 2013 federal election.

Ketter

Ketter, 53, was previously an official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. He began work with the SDA as a researcher in the early 1980s. [Read more...]