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Bob Katter’s Bizarre Speech On Same-Sex Marriage

Bob Katter, the independent member for Kennedy, has delivered a speech on same-sex marriage to the House of Representatives.

Katter’s speech was the last for the day and came on the eve of the House voting for the legislation.

Katter, 72, was elected to the House as a National Party member in 1993. Since 2001, he has won the seat as an independent. Since 2011, he has headed an eponymous party, Katter’s Australian Party.

Prior to entering federal parliament, Katter was Queensland MLA for Flinders (1974-1992). He was Minister for Development and Community Services (1983-1989) and Minister for Mines and Energy (1989) under the Bjelke-Petersen, Ahern and Cooper National Party governments.

  • Listen to Katter’s speech (16m)
  • Watch Katter (16m)

Hansard transcript of Bob Katter’s speech to the House of Representatives on same-sex marriage.

Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (22:06): I’m glad I made a mistake and had to come down early so that I could hear the speeches, as I know now why I do not sit here and listen to speeches or question time. I have heard a conglomeration of snivelling drivel in my life, but there is not the slightest scintilla of intellectual content in any one of tonight’s speeches. [Read more…]


Women In The 45th Australian Parliament

Women make up one-third of the 45th Parliament of Australia.

There are now 75 women in both houses, representing 33.18% of the combined total of 226 members. It was 30.97% at the end of the 44th Parliament.

There are 43 women (28.66%) in the 150-member House of Representatives, and 32 (42.10%) in the 76-member Senate.

With 43 members in both chambers, the ALP has the largest number of women (45.26%) in the parliament. The Liberal Party and Nationals combined have 21 members (20%).

The Greens (10 members in both houses) and the Nick Xenophon Team (4 members in both houses) each have 50-50 male-female representation.

At the 2016 double dissolution election, 30 women were elected to the Senate. Following the resignation of the ALP’s Stephen Conroy, the Victorian casual vacancy was filled by Kimberley Kitching. Following the resignation of Family First’s Bob Day, the South Australian casual vacancy was filled by Lucy Gichuhi, who sits as an independent. [Read more…]


Treasurer Scott Morrison Delivers 2017 Federal Budget

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has delivered the Turnbull government’s second Budget, forecasting a return to surplus in four years, abandoning stalled budget cuts, guaranteeing Medicare and the PBS, incresing the Medicare levy and imposing a new levy on the commercial banks.

The Budget also includes provisions for first home buyers to salary sacrifice into their superannuation. It includes a crackdown on welfare recipients.

The Budget marks a break with the Abbott years. It abandons the “zombie” cuts stalled in the Senate whilst increasing spending in traditional Labor areas. Morrison said it was a “reset”.

  • Listen to Scott Morrison deliver the Budget (32m)
  • Watch Morrison (32m)

Budget Documents – PDF downloads

17-05-09_budget-speech


Gladys Berejiklian Becomes 45th Premier Of NSW

Gladys Berejiklian has been sworn in as the 45th Premier of New South Wales, following her unopposed election as leader of the Liberal Party.

Berejiklian

Berejiklian, 46, is the second female premier of NSW and the first female Liberal Party premier in any Australian state.

She was elected unopposed at a meeting of the Liberal party-room this morning. Her deputy is Dominic Perrottet, 33. Their unopposed election followed an agreement between the conservative and moderate wings of the NSW Liberals.

Berejiklian was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Willoughby in 2003. She was Minister for Transport from 2011 until 2015. She became deputy leader of the party in 2014 when Mike Baird replaced Barry O’Farrell as leader. She has been Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations since 2015. [Read more…]


Sussan Ley Stands Aside From Ministry; Investigation Into Gold Coast Travel Expenses

The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, has stood aside from the Turnbull ministry, pending an investigation into her travel expenses.

Ley

The Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will investigate her travel expenses in relation to visits to the Gold Coast over the past couple of years. During one visit, Ley purchased an investment property. The Health department will also conduct an investigation.

Ley will stand aside without ministerial pay, until the investigation is completed. Senator Arthur Sinodinos will act as Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Minister for Sport.

At her press conference in Albury, Ley denied any wrongdoing.  In a statement issued yesterday, she apologised for an “error of judgement”.

Ley is the first ministerial casualty of the Turnbull government since last year’s election. After replacing Tony Abbott in September 2015, Turnbull lost three ministers in his first five months as prime minister.

Statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Travel claims by the Minister for Health

Today I have asked the Secretary of my Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet for advice in relation to the Statement of Ministerial Standards relating to travel claims made by the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, the Hon Sussan Ley MP. [Read more…]


Treasurer Releases MYEFO – Mid-Year Economic And Fiscal Outlook Projects Lower Growth But Surplus In 2020-21

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, a budget update that projects lower growth but with a return to surplus still forecast in 2020-21.

Morrison

MEYEFO projects that economic growth in 2016-17 will fall from 2.5% to 2%. In 2017-18, it will be 2.75%, down from 3%. The 2018-19 and 2019-20 projections of 3% growth remain.

The government says the underlying cash deficit is expected to narrow from $36.5 billion (2.1% of GDP) in 2016-17 to $10.0 billion (0.5% of GDP) in 2019-20.

Treasurer Scott Morrison told a press conference with Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann this afternoon that in six weeks of parliamentary sittings since the election the government has legislated two-thirds of its budget repair measures.

MYEFO has confirmed that Tony Abbott’s Green Army will be abolished. The government will also save $970 milllion from cuts to family payments.

Tax receipts are down $31 billion from the May Budget forecasts.

Unemployment is predicted to remain at 5.5% through to 2017-18, falling to 5.25% thereafter.

  • Listen to Treasurer Morrison and Finance Minister Cormann at their press conference (44m)
  • Watch the press conference (45m)
16-12-19_myefo

Media release from Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann.

Today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) confirms that the Budget is projected to return to balance in 2020-21.

The underlying cash deficit is now expected to narrow from $36.5 billion or 2.1 per cent of GDP in 2016-17 (down on the $37.1 billion reported in the Budget and PEFO) down to $10.0 billion (0.5 per cent of GDP) in 2019-20. [Read more…]


At Year’s End, Reserve Bank Leaves Cash Rate At 1.5%

As 2016 ends, the Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate at 1.5%.

At its monthly board meeting, the bank made no change to the rate that has been in place since August. Movements in the cash rate are generally reflected in movements in commercial interest rates.

In a statement, the bank’s Governor, Philip Lowe, repeated points made in previous months about rising commodity prices, the effective functioning of financial markets and Australia’s transition from the mining investment boom. It says unemployment has decreased, inflation is low and the housing market has strengthened.

At the beginning of the year, the cash rate was 2.0%. The bank reduced the rate by 0.25% in May and by 0.25% in August. The rate is at an historic low point.

Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

The global economy is continuing to grow, at a lower than average pace. Labour market conditions in the advanced economies have improved over the past year. Economic conditions in China have steadied, supported by growth in infrastructure and property construction, although medium-term risks to growth remain. Inflation remains below most central banks’ targets, although headline inflation rates have increased recently. Globally, the outlook for inflation is more balanced than it has been for some time. [Read more…]