Sen. Lucy Gichuhi (SA-Ind) – Maiden Speech

This is Senator Lucy Gichuhi’s first speech to the Senate.

Gichuhi

Gichuhi, 54, was declared elected as a South Australian senator on April 19, 2017. She replaced Senator Bob Day, who resigned in 2016 but whose election was also declared invalid under Section 44 of the Constitution. Gichuhi had been the number two candidate on the Family First ticket at the 2017 election. She was elected following a court-ordered countback of votes. She has chosen to sit as an independent.

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Hansard transcript of Senator Lucy Gichuhi’s maiden speech.

The PRESIDENT (17:15): Pursuant to order, I now call Senator Gichuhi to make her first speech and ask that honourable senators extend the usual courtesies for a first speech. Senator, can I apologise for the delay in commencement, but at least we have everyone in the chamber for you.

Senator GICHUHI (South Australia) (17:16): Today, I, Lucy Muringo Gichuhi, happily stand before you as the first black African-born senator in the history of Australia. I am deeply honoured to be given the privilege of serving the people of Australia as a senator. To all Australians, I say thank you. It is with this sentiment that I honour those who came before me, faithfully leading Australia to build the outstanding nation we see today. [Read more…]


2016 House Of Representatives Primary Votes: State-By-State Breakdown

Despite a declining vote, the Coalition and the ALP maintained their dominance of the House of Representatives in the July 2 double dissolution.

The Coalition (Liberal, Liberal National, Nationals, Country Liberals) and ALP polled 76.77% of the nationwide primary vote, down 2.16% from 78.93% in 2013. They secured 145 (96.7%) of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Big Two + Greens

The Greens polled 10.23% of the primary vote, up 1.58% from their 2013 tally of 8.65%. Adam Bandt consolidated his hold on Melbourne but the party failed to win any more lower house seats.

The Coalition, ALP and Greens combined polled 87% of first preference (primary) votes nationally, marginally down from 87.58% in 2013. They won 146 (97.3%) of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives.

The Greens maintained their influence with the lion’s share of preferences. These preferences were vital to the ALP holding 8 of its seats and winning another 7 from the Liberal Party.

A Big Field of Micro Parties With Micro Votes

There were 42 parties that contested at least one seat each. They polled a total of 10.17%. Only the Nick Xenophon Team (Mayo) and Katter’s Australian Party (Kennedy) won seats.

The majority of micro parties (32 of 42) contested 10 or fewer seats. Twenty-four of these contested 5 or fewer seats. Whilst 10 parties ran more than 10 candidates each, they all nominated candidates for fewer than half the seats in the House. Family First ran in 65 seats, the Christian Democratic Party in 55 and the Animal Justice Party in 41.

The votes for micro parties were derisory, with 38 of the 42 failing to make it to 1% nationally. Moreover, 27 polled less than 0.1% nationally. The other 11 polled no higher than 0.7%. [Read more…]


Cathy McGowan: I Voted With Government 90% Of The Time But Opposed Devastating Cuts

Cathy McGowan, the independent member for Indi, has released a television advertisement in which she “sets the record straight” on her voting record in parliament.

McGowan says she voted with the government 90% of the time but opposed “devastating cuts” to higher education, social services and youth allowance. She describes herself as local, effective and “fiercely independent”.

McGowan

With the election just over a week away, it is intriguing that McGowan feels the need to point out her voting record in parliament. It indicates possible criticism in the electorate, or uneasiness over who she would support in the event of a hung parliament. There could be a sense that she is too close to the ALP and/or Greens. [Read more…]


Clive Palmer And Andrew Wilkie Vote Against Budget Bills

Clive Palmer and Andrew Wilkie were the only members of the House of Representatives to vote against three Appropriation Bills late today.

WilkiePalmer, the member for Fairfax in Queensland, and Wilkie, the member for Denison in Tasmania, voted against Appropriation Bill No.1, Appropriation Bill No.2 and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill No.1. The first two bills constitute a significant proportion of the Budget, including the “ordinary annual services” of the government, such as public service salaries. They used to be known as the Supply Bills.

In a bizarre media statement, Wilkie called on the Senate to block the Appropriation Bills as a means of forcing the government “back to the drawing board to prepare a fair budget”. Wilkie argued that blocking the bills would not cause a constitutional crisis because pension payments are covered by Standing Appropriations, “and Clive and I did not move to block the other Appropriation Bills”.

Wilkie said: ““If the Senate blocks the key Appropriation Bills the Government could give itself time to remedy the Budget. Interim budgets were implemented in 1984, 1987 and 1996. And even if an election was triggered then so what?” [Read more…]


Cathy McGowan (Ind – Indi) – First Speech

Cathy McGowan was first elected as the independent member for Indi at the 2013 federal election.

McGowan

She defeated the 4-term member Sophie Mirabella in what had always been a safe Liberal Party seat. [Read more…]


AEC Finalises $58 Million Of Election Funding To Candidates In Federal Election

The Australian Electoral Commission has made payments to political parties and candidates totalling $58,076,456.01, following the 2013 federal election.

Election funding is provided to parties and candidates polling at least 4% of the primary vote in House and Senate elections. Each first preference vote was worth 248.800 cents.

The payment is indexed. At the 2010 election, each vote was worth 231.191 cents and a total of $53,163,385 was paid to candidates. [Read more…]


Sophie Mirabella Concedes Defeat In Indi; Palmer Falls Behind In Fairfax

Sophie Mirabella, the Liberal member for the Victorian electorate of Indi since 2001, has conceded defeat to the independent candidate, Cathy McGowan.

MirabellaMirabella’s concession came during the swearing-in of the Abbott government in which Mirabella expected to be a Cabinet minister.

The latest counting in Indi shows McGowan leading Mirabella by 395 votes, or 50.22% of the two-party-preferred vote. There are 414 declaration votes still to count.

In a gracious statement, Mirabella said she would not seek a recount. “I unreservedly accept the decision of the democratic process,” she said.

In other counting today, Clive Palmer has lost the lead in Fairfax. He now trails by 18 votes with 1,786 votes still to count. On the trend over the past week, Palmer is most likely to lose.

In the Victorian electorate of McEwen, the sitting ALP member, Rob Mitchell, is now 312 votes ahead, with 4,344 votes left to count. He is now expected to win, given the trend in recent days. [Read more…]