Mobilising The Green Army

The Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has announced further details of the government’s Green Army, one of its key environmental election promises.

Hunt released a Draft Statement of Requirements which sets out the key design features of the Green Army. The scheme is due to commence in July this year.

The government has invited feedback on the draft requirements, ahead of inviting applications from service providers.

Text of media release from Greg Hunt, Minister for the Environment.

Taking the next step to mobilise the Green Army

The Coalition Government has today moved closer to the launch of the Green Army with the release of the Draft Statement of Requirements, setting out the key design features of the programme as well as the proposed delivery arrangements. [Read more…]


GreenPeace Activist Colin Russell Arrives Home After Russian Detention

Colin Russell, the Greenpeace activist detained in Russia since September, has arrived home in Hobart.

Russell

Russell was one of the Arctic 30 who were arrested during a protest against oil drilling by the Russian energy company Gazprom. [Read more…]


Full Text Of COAG Communique

This is the full text of the Council of Australian Governments Communique issued after today’s meeting of first ministers in Canberra.

COAG press conference

Full text of the COAG Communique released following today’s meeting of federal, state and territory first ministers.

Council of Australian Governments Meeting – Communiqué

Canberra, 7 December 2012

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 34th meeting in Canberra today, 20 years to the day since its first meeting in Perth in 1992. The Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) participated in today’s meeting. The Leaders welcomed Northern Territory Chief Minister, the Hon Terry Mills MLA and President of ALGA, Felicity-ann Lewis to their first COAG meeting.

COAG also reiterated its commitment to focus its attention on policy reforms of national significance, and to keep its agenda as streamlined as possible.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

COAG reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by signing an intergovernmental agreement for its first stage. The agreement provides the foundation for all governments to work together to develop and implement the initial phase of the NDIS. The lessons learned in implementing the first stage will inform governments about proceeding to a full scheme by:

  • setting out shared roles and responsibilities for working collaboratively on the policy for a full scheme;
  • establishing the new Standing Council on Disability Reform, with representation from all jurisdictions, which – from 1 January 2013 – will be responsible for making decisions and formulating advice on matters arising from the launch and related to the transition to a full scheme; and
  • setting in place arrangements for the review and evaluation of the first stage which will inform the transition to a full scheme.

COAG noted the historic agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments to establish the full NDIS in New South Wales by 1 July 2018. The Commonwealth noted that it looks forward to concluding agreements on the same terms with all other governments.

In addition, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory signed bilateral agreements with the Commonwealth which confirm the operational and funding details for the roll-out of the NDIS in each launch site. From this time, under the launch arrangements, people with a disability, their families and carers will start to benefit from a fairer, more sustainable and equitable approach to supporting people with disability. Discussions on further launch sites are continuing. [Read more…]


Abbott: The Coalition’s Plan For A Cleaner Environment

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has delivered what the Liberal Party describes as a “landmark speech” on the environment.

Tony AbbottAddressing the Australian Industry Group in Brisbane, Abbott said the Coalition “supports sensible measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions..but will never accept the proposition that you could save the environment by killing the economy.”

Abbott said: “Today, I’m stating what the Coalition will stand for as well as what the Coalition has stood against. We support direct action that will reduce emissions, not just make them more expensive. We support the creation of a Green Army marching to the rescue of Australia’s degraded waterways, wetlands, and native vegetation.” [Read more…]


Martin Ferguson Attacks Greens Over Forests Policy

The ALP’s spokesman on foresty issues, Martin Ferguson, has launched an attack on the Greens, accusing them of placing at risk the economic security and jobs of their constituents.

Martin FergusonIn a speech to the National Association of Forest Industries, Ferguson distanced the ALP from the Greens on forestry issues and called on them to “wear” the decisions of “democratically elected governments”.

Ferguson claimed that “for the last two years international clients of the forest industry have been subject to a lobbying and email campaign calling for a global boycott of Tasmanian products.” He said “the Greens have also undermined the Tasmanian forest industry with UK parliamentarians, potentially jeopardising UK visitor numbers to Tasmania and placing at risk the almost $50 million spent by British tourists in Tasmania each year.”

Lauding the $1 billion contributed to the Tasmanian economy each year by forestry, Ferguson said that Tasmania’s timber industry “is conducted to the highest standards in accordance with the Australian Forestry Standard, the development of which was initiated by the Commonwealth government and based on internationally agreed criteria”. [Read more…]


Prime Minister-elect Bob Hawke’s Election Night Press Conference

Before Bob Hawke made a triumphant appearance in the National Tally Room on election night – March 5, 1983 – he first held a sober press conference in which he made clear how he intended to govern.

Decades later, Hawke’s first remarks as Prime Minister-elect are instructive. He made it clear that he did not intend to repeat Gough Whitlam’s two-man government of December 1972. Reassurance, calm and steadiness are the hallmarks of his comments. Hawke’s determination to prove that Labor could govern responsibly was never more clear than in this press conference. [Read more…]


Video Scenes From 1983 Federal Election Night

On election night, March 5, 1983, it soon became clear that Bob Hawke’s ALP had defeated Malcolm Fraser’s Liberal-National Coalition.

However, some Liberals, including Andrew Peacock and Ian MacPhee, were reluctant to give up hope that the government might hang on.

This video shows some scenes from the election counting. The media panel includes David Butler, Jim Waley, Max Walsh and George Negus. It features Andrew Peacock, Ian MacPhee and the incoming Treasurer, Paul Keating. [Read more…]