Talking 110 Years of the Australian Constitution

I’ve just done a radio spot with Tim Shaw on Sydney’s 2UE, discussing the Australian Constitution which is 110 years old this weekend.

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Donald Horne: An Australian Compact?

This is the text of a booklet produced by Donald Horne for the NSW Centenary Of Federation Committee.

The booklet is subtitled: What are the core values that all Australians might respect?

It includes chapters the rule of law, representative democracy, equality under the law, a Commonwealth devoted to the well-being of its people, the need to respect and care for the land we share, and to value the unique status of the Indigenous people. [Read more…]


Stott Despoja Calls For Constitutional and Political Reforms

The Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, has called for a range of constitutional and political reforms.

Stott Despoja’s call came in her speech to the Senate’s Centenary of Federation sitting in Melbourne.

Text of speech by the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja, to the Senate’s Centenary of Federation Sitting in Melbourne.

Stott DespojaOn behalf of the Australian Democrats I acknowledge the traditional owners of this land, the Wurundjeri people.

I thank the previous speakers for their contributions.

The Australian Democrats congratulate the oldest party in the parliament, the Australian Labor Party on the centenary of their caucus. [Read more…]


The Establishment of the Federal Labor Caucus

The Australian Labor Party Federal Caucus is 100 years old today.

At the first federal elections held on March 28 and 29, 1901, fourteen members of the Labor Party were elected to the House of Representatives and eight to the Senate. Another two members of the House joined the Labor Party before the parliament met for the first time on May 9, 1901.

According to the official minutes, “a preliminary meeting of member of the Federal Parliament favourable to the formation of a Commonwealth Labour Party was held at Parliament House on Tuesday the 7th May 1901.”

This meeting fixed the following day as the first official meeting of the Labour Caucus. [Read more…]


Kim Beazley On Labor Values

In the course of a Centenary of Federation interview with the ABC’s Kerry O’Brien, Opposition Leader Kim Beazley has discussed Labor values.

Beazley commented on the 100-year history of the ALP and what the party stands for today.

Today is the anniversary of the opening of the first Commonwealth parliament in Melbourne’s Exhibition Building.

Transcript of Kim Beazley interview with 7.30 Report host Kerry O’Brien.

Kim Beazley, Leader of the OppositionKERRY O’BRIEN: To address some of those observations in Fran Kelly’s story, I spoke late today with Labor leader Kim Beazley in Melbourne.

Kim Beazley, Labor has travelled a long way in 100 years, a long way from its sometimes radical working-class roots, hasn’t it?

KIM BEAZLEY: Yeah, we’ve changed.

I would argue that though some of the policies have altered quite dramatically over the years, the fundamental egalitarian values remain.

They always remain relevant.

They just have different meaning at different points in our history. [Read more…]


Australian Parliament’s Centenary Celebrated; Howard Praises Curtin & Menzies; Beazley Calls For Republic

The celebration of the centenary of Australia’s national Parliament has been held in Melbourne.

Roberts

The 7500 guests at the Exhibition Building heard speeches from the President of the Senate, Margaret Reynolds, who claimed the arrival of women in Parliament as the greatest change in Australia’s political climate over the past 100 years. [Read more…]


Kim Beazley’s Speech to the Centenary of Federation Joint Sitting of Parliament

The Leader of the Opposition, Kim Beazley, has addressed the Commemorative Meeting of the Australian Parliament in the Exhibition Building, in Melbourne.

A joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament met one hundred years to the day since the first Commonwealth Parliament met in 1901.

Text of speech by Kim Beazley, Leader of the Federal Opposition, to the Commemorative Meeting of the Australian Parliament.

BeazleyI would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we stand, the Wurundjeri people, and pay respect to their elders and any other elders here today.

Sir William and Lady Deane, Prime Minister and Mrs Howard, parliamentary colleagues, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

On the first of January in Sydney, we celebrated the birth of our nation.

Today in Melbourne, we celebrate the birth of our nation’s democracy. [Read more…]