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...]


Julia Gillard’s Interview With CNN’s Christiane Amanpour

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard has given an interview to Christiane Amanpour on CNN.

CNN

Gillard spoke about sexism, mysogyny and attitudes to women in public life. She said she was most proud of her government’s work in education and said the heads of government agreement with China was her greatest foreign policy achievement.

The former Labor leader also discussed the Indonesian spying allegations but refused to comment on intelligence activities during her time in office.

Gillard left parliament at the September election, following her overthrow by Kevin Rudd on June 26. Rudd’s formal resignation from parliament was announced today.

The CNN appearance is Gillard’s first formal interview since being overthrown, albeit as soft as her Sydney and Melbourne appearances with Anne Summers and the Victorian Womens’ Trust.

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[Read more...]


Credit Julia: Gillard And Windsor Speak At Victorian Women’s Trust Tribute

Julia Gillard and Tony Windsor have spoken at a Victorian Women’s Trust event honouring the former prime minister in Melbourne.

The event was called Credit Where Credit Is Due, with the social media hashtag #CreditJulia.

Gillard

The former prime minister and the former independent member who provided crucial support to the minority government from 2010 until 2013 spoke to a large crowd at the Melbourne Town Hall. The event was compered by Mary Crooks.

Tony Windsor praised Gillard’s temperament and her calmness during her time as prime minister. He said there was no doubt that he and Rob Oakeshott made the right decision in backing her minority government. He repeated one of his favoured lines that “the world is run by those who show up”.

Following Windsor’s speech, singer Bronwyn Calcutt gave a musical version of Gillard’s 2012 misogyny speech” in 2012.

The former Victorian Attorney-General, Rob Hulls, spoke fulsomely of Gillard who in turn paid tribute to his role in promoting women to judicial posts.

Gillard’s speech outlined decisions of the Labor government to improve conditions for women. She spoke of the government’s policies on education and other decisions including the establishment of the Royal Commission into child sexual abuse. She vigorously defended the carbon pricing mechanism her government legislated and conceded she erred in accepting the language of the “carbon tax”.

Gillard’s voice broke as she concluded her speech. She received a standing ovation.

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Windsor

Misogyny song

Gillard


Hard Days And Nights: The Final 147 Days Of The Gillard Government

The Parliamentary Library has today published a research paper examining the final 147 days of the Gillard government.

The paper is written by Brenton Holmes, from the Politics and Public Administration Section of the Library.

The paper draws heavily from contemporaneous newspaper reports and the writings of journalists and other commentators. It contains 240 footnotes, many with web links. It includes chronologies of the Gillard government and tables of opinion poll results durings its term of office.

The paper is provided here in accordance with its Creative Commons licence.

Click the arrow in the viewer below for an enlarged view.




George Wright: ALP’s 2013 Federal Election Analysis

The ALP National Secretary, George Wright, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2013 federal election.

Wright said the party’s polling had showed it was likely to lose more than 40 seats and be reduced to 30 seats under Julia Gillard. He said the ALP “cauterised” its losses by returning to Kevin Rudd. “He did make a difference,” Wright said. In the end, the ALP lost 17 seats and will have 55 members in the new House.

Wright

Disunity and division crippled the ALP’s election chances, Wright maintained. He said issues such as the carbon tax, aslyum seekers and debt were lesser order issues than Labor’s conduct in office.

Wright maintained that the party is in good shape to make an electoral comeback under Bill Shorten. He quoted one commentator who said the party had pulled off “a Dunkirk” by losing but keeping an army intact to fight another day. Wright drew a comparison with the Whitlam opposition after the 1975 Dismissal election and argued the ALP could be back in government sooner than people think. [Read more...]


Brian Loughnane: Liberal Party’s 2013 Federal Election Analysis

Brian Loughnane, the Federal Director of the Liberal Party, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2013 Federal Election.

Loughnane

Loughnane told the Press Club that Labor’s change to Kevin Rudd in the lead-up to the election failed. The campaign was important in determining the final result. He said Labor’s basic problem now is “a collapse of its core support” which saw its primary vote fall 10% over the last two elections.

Loughnane said swings to the Liberal Party in the 17 seats it won from Labor was over 6%, compated to the national swing of 3.6%, “confirming the strength of our candidates against popular well entrenched Labor incumbents”.

Many of the senior Labor figures are “more skilled at politics than governing”, Loughnane said. He argued Gillard’s strength was “tactical” and her priority was “survival today, rather than building a track record of achievement and ultimately a case for re-election”.

Loughnane argued Labor’s strategic weakness was shown in its agreement with the Greens following the 2010 election. “It meant that the Labor Government was unnecessarily compromised from the start.”

Reform of the Senate voting system was now appropriate, Loughnane said. “The distortion surrounding deals on preferences between some micro parties produced results which did not reflect the will of the people.”

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Official text of Brian Loughnane’s Address to the National Press Club.

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen:

I thank the National Press Club for the opportunity to discuss one of the most important and complex election campaigns in the history of our country.

On Saturday 7th September the Coalition won a decisive majority, the Labor Party recorded its lowest primary vote in over 100 years and the Greens had their worst Senate vote in three elections.

The Coalition’s success was driven by the support of the Australian people for our Plan to build a strong prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia. It was the result of strong leadership by Tony Abbott, supported by his colleagues, and a clear strategy which was implemented with discipline and professionalism over two terms of Parliament. [Read more...]