Government And Opposition Reflect On Five Years Of Rudd/Gillard

Asylum seeker policy and a two decades old scandal at the Australian Workers’ Union dominate political debate on the fifth anniversary of the election of the Rudd government.

At a media conference today, Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan, talked up the government’s achievements. The Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and his immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, concentrated on asylum seekers and described the government as incompetent and untrustworthy.

  • Listen to Wayne Swan (9m)

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  • Listen to Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison (19m)

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Wilson Tuckey TV Advertisement

Wilson Tuckey, the Liberal member for O’Connor in Western Australia, has produced a television advertisement for the 2010 election.

Tuckey, 75, was first elected to the House of Representatives in 1980.


Clare O’Neil: Howard’s Terrifying Lack Of Reflection

by Clare O’Neil

In March, John Howard visited Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where I am a Master of Public Policy student.

Howard began his visit with a formal address on Australia/China relations. About 250 Harvard students and staff assembled in the school’s famous John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum to listen.

O'NeilHoward reflected on his term as a period of deepening integration between Australia and China, evidenced by growing trade between the two countries. He framed the relationship in pragmatic terms, which drew a contrast to the familial bonds he described between Australia and the US. [Read more...]


“Partially Treated Sewage Sandwich” From Julie Bishop

Julie Bishop, Deputy Leader of the Liberal PartyThe Federal Opposition’s Julie Bishop has given an extraordinary press conference in which she attempted to justify the coalition’s decision not to to oppose the government’s legislation abolishing WorkChoices.

  • Listen to Julie Bishop’s press conference:

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As the Sydney Morning Herald’s Annabel Crabb put it on February 20:

The Opposition’s Julie Bishop was on something quite different yesterday. Some sort of calmative, perhaps.

Ms Bishop has been vocal for months on the need to fight to the death for Australian Workplace Agreements.

And yesterday, for 30 minutes in the Senate courtyard, before a vast throng of fascinated reporters, with a fixed smile on her face, she consumed what for the benefit of family readers we will call a partially treated sewage sandwich. She was cool, charming and professional. She at no point lost her cool. And for much of the time, she made no sense whatsoever.

This is unsurprising, given that Ms Bishop was trying to explain how agreeing to abolish the agreements was pretty much the same as insisting on keeping them, if you thought about it.


Rudd Government Faces First Question Time

The Rudd Government has faced its first Question Time in the new Parliament.

The Opposition Leader’s first question was about petrol and food prices. It required a Dorothy Dixer from the government’s backbench for the stolen generations apology to be raised.

Julia Gillard delivered the most assured and polished performance, emphasising the government’s mandate on industrial relations when asked about the legislation introduced today to dismantle the Howard government’s WorkChoices. [Read more...]