Greg Combet Says Julia Gillard Offered To Stand Aside For Him

Greg Combet, a senior minister in the previous Labor government, says then Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered to stand aside to allow him to assume the leadership.

Combet appeared in an interview broadcast on the ABC’s 7.30 program tonight. Combet’s memoirs, The Fights of My Life, will be released next week and launched by Gillard.

Combet says that he approached Gillard in mid-June last year and was of the view that a ballot for the leadership should be held. He said Gillard offered to stand aside if he put his name forward. He says he declined because he thought the momentum for Rudd’s return was well-developed and that it would be a difficult political manoeuvre to “pull off”. Facing a personal health problem, Combet said he decided not to nominate. [Read more...]


ALP Releases 2013 Election Campaign Review

The ALP has released a review of the party’s losing 2013 federal election campaign.

The 25-page review was conducted by Brisbane City Councillor Milton Dick and Victorian Labor MP Jane Garrett.

The report confirms that the ALP’s internal research in May 2013 “indicated possible swings against us of 18 per cent in many seats which would have seen us hold just 40 seats, not the 55 we retained”. Following the return of Rudd, the party’s two-party-preferred vote “crept from the mid-40s to the high 40s, breaking even at the start of July, although sustaining this vote proved hard”.

The reports says that the change of leadership from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd profoundly impacted the campaign strategy and infrastructure. “We know the single biggest reason voters turned away from Labor was internal Party disunity,” they say. Half of the campaign team in Campaign Headquarters left after Gillard was deposed and some sitting members chose not to run. “The infrastructure of the campaign had to be rebuilt in a matter of weeks.”

The review recommends early selection of candidates in marginal seats and the training and establishment of field operations. It calls for a new candidate selection panel to work with local communities to assist with identifying new candidates. [Read more...]


Julia Gillard Discusses Education On Al Jazeera

The former Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has given an interview to Al Jazeera about education and aspects of her time in office.

Gillard is currently Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, an international organisation focused on supporting countries’ efforts to educate children from early primary school through secondary school.

After deposing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on June 24, 2010, Gillard was prime minister for three years until Rudd regained the leadership on June 27, 2013.

  • Watch Gillard (25m)

Victory For James Ashby As Federal Court Overturns Peter Slipper Harassment Decision

The Full Bench of the Federal Court has overturned the 2012 decision by Justice Rares in the Peter Slipper sexual harassment case.

In upholding the appeal by James Ashby, the full bench, consisting of Justices John Mansfield and John Gilmour, said:

“We are satisfied that the evidence before the primary judge did not warrant the adverse finding said to constitute an abuse of the court’s process on the two bases found and did not warrant the rejection by his Honour of the sworn and unchallenged evidence of each of [James] Ashby and [Michael] Harmer.”

Ashby was awarded costs. This represents a severe financial imposition on Slipper.

The court rejected an appeal by solicitor Michael Harmer, who was criticised by Justice Rares over his conduct of the case, but also said:

“Nonetheless, we have concluded that the adverse findings in relation to his conduct, with their flow on affect upon Ashby, ought not to have been made.”

The decision means that Slipper is now likely to face trial on the sexual harassment claims. The abuse of process decision of Justice Rares has been overturned. [Read more...]


Rudd Redux: Victory And Defeat

The Parliamentary Library has issued a research paper on Kevin Rudd’s return to the prime ministership and the 2013 federal election.

Written by Brenton Holmes of the Politics and Public Administration section of the library, the 28-page paper examines the circumstances of Rudd’s return to the Labor leadership on June 26, 2013. It traces Rudd’s actions until he called the election on August 4.

APH

The paper deals selectively with events during the election campaign. A more detailed account will be published in a forthcoming research paper, Federal election 2013: issues, dynamics, outcomes. [Read more...]