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…]


Turnbull Introduces Same-Sex Marriage Plebiscite Bill

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has introduced the same-sex marriage plebiscite bill into the House of Representatives.

Turnbull

The plebiscite is set down for February 11, 2017. The result will be based on a majority of electors nationwide.

This is the proposed format of the ballot paper:

Ballot

In his speech to the House, Turnbull accused the ALP of adopting a morally superior attitude in opposing the plebiscite. He said the nation was able to conduct a civil debate, free of reckless behaviour, ahead of the plebiscite. He said the government had a mandate from the electorate to conduct the plebiscite. [Read more…]


Shorten And Bandt Introduce Bills To Legalise Same-Sex Marriage

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has introduced a private member’s bill into the House of Representatives to legaliste same-sex marriage.

The Greens member, Adam Bandt, also introduced a bill to achieve the same change.

Each man made a brief speech to introduce the bill. The debate was then adjourned. Video, audio and text of the speeches appears below. [Read more…]


High Court To Hear Challenge To Senate Voting Reforms On May 2

The High Court will hear the constitutional challenge to the Senate voting reforms on May 2.

The Chief Justice, Robert French, fixed the hearing date during a directions hearing today.

The challenge has been brought by South Australian Family First Senator Bob Day. His barrister is Peter King, the former Liberal MP who was defeated by Malcolm Turnbull in a 2004 preselection battle in Wentworth.

During the 22-minute hearing, it was agreed that an affidavit by Malcolm Mackerras, the election expert and psephologist, would not be used in the hearing.

The May 2 hearing is the day before the Federal Budget is delivered. It is nine days before the May 11 deadline for the calling of a double dissolution election.

The transcript of today’s hearing appears below. [Read more…]


Revised Parliamentary Sitting Times Released

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has released a revised schedule of parliamentary sitting dates.

The schedule now includes the sitting that will begin on April 18 after the parliament is prorogued on April 15.

It shows the House sitting for just the first two days, April 18 and 19. The Senate is shown as sitting for 4 days that week, with 3 days the following week, and both houses sitting for two weeks from May 2. The Budget will be delivered on May 3.

It is unclear what the Senate will do once it meets on April 18. At some stage, it seems certain that an adjournment motion will be moved. The amount of time to be given over to debating the government’s industrial relations bills is unclear. Rejection of the Australian Building and Construction Commission bill would be used by the government to procure a double dissolution. Any attempt to curtail debate would be used to bolster its case for a Section 57 double dissolution on the basis that the Senate has failed to pass the bills. [Read more…]


Turnbull Recalls Parliament On April 18 And Moves Budget To May 3; Threatens Double Dissolution On July 2 If Bills Not Passed

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has dramatically seized the political initiative in his confrontation with the Senate by advising the Governor-General to recall Parliament on April 18 and threatening a double dissolution election on July 2 if industrial legislation is not passed.

Turnbull made his announcement at a 10.30am press conference. He said he had advised the Governor-General under Section 5 of the Constitution to recall Parliament. This overrides a motion passed by the Senate on Friday that prevented a recall before May 10.

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Parliament will prorogued on April 15 and then summoned again for a new session on April 18. Prorogation clears the Notice Paper. [Read more…]


Senate Voting Reforms Passed By Both Houses

The House of Representatives has given its approval to the final version of the bill to reform the Senate’s voting system.

After an all-night debate that finally concluded at 2.30pm on Friday afternoon, the Senate voted to approve the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016. The bill abolishes group voting tickets and introduces optional preferential voting above and below the line.

The House of Representatives remained on stand-by to confirm amendments passed by the Senate. It met at 3.07pm.

  • Watch the House proceedings (26m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings.

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (15:07): I move:

That the amendments be agreed to. [Read more…]