Shorten And Albanese In Show Of Unity Following ALP Leadership Election

Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten have spoken to the media following Shorten’s election as the new leader of the ALP.

  • Listen to Albanese (12m)

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  • Listen to Shorten (18m)

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  • Download “Bill for Labor”, Shorten’s leadership campaign booklet



The shadow ministry will be elected at a Caucus meeting in Canberra tomorrow. For the first time since Kevin Rudd assumed the power to choose the executive in 2007, the power of selection will be returned to the parliamentary party.

Shorten said he will announced the shadow ministry portfolios on Friday and will hold its first meeting on Monday week.

Shorten said he was resolved to stand up for a price on carbon.

The new Opposition Leader said: “This ballot is the start of the process of developing the right policies which are then explained with persistence.”

Shorten acknowledged it had been a close election. “I don’t mind saying that I did think about what I would do if I didn’t come first.”

Queensland ALP Announces Six-Member Shadow Cabinet

Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her Shadow Cabinet following the ALP’s devastating defeat in the recent election.

The ALP was reduced to seven members in the 89-seat Legislative Assembly. This may fall to six if the party loses the South Brisbane by-election caused by the resignation of former premier Anna Bligh.

The six members all have multiple responsibilities. [Read more…]

Who Says Abbott Should Flick The Switch To Positive?

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott have one thing in common: Their lives contain the never-ending irritation of people telling them how they should do their jobs.

AbbottEven their summer break won’t be free of the buzz of gratuitous advice. As much as they must wish to swat it away, politics demands they feign nonchalance.

In their private moments, I kind of hope they rail against the indignity of it. After all, they’re the ones who entered the arena and made it into parliament. As they claw and scramble their way to the top, they must surely know that the rest of us would struggle, as the Americans say, to be elected dog catcher. “Walk in my shoes awhile, you have no idea,” they must sometimes think.

Gillard has had more than her share of advice this year but in recent weeks the political and journalistic establishment has turned its attention to Abbott. The message is a simple one: it’s time to go positive. [Read more…]

Is It Time For The Liberals To Dispose Of Abbott?

Tony Abbott is the 32nd man to have served as federal opposition leader. Only 16 of his predecessors ever made it to the prime ministership.

AbbottSome of those opposition leaders got two chances to fight an election. Only Evatt and Calwell were given three but neither succeeded.

Of 15 opposition leaders over the past 35 years, only Fraser, Hawke and Rudd won office on their first electoral outing. Kim Beazley was given two consecutive opportunities but failed at both. Hayden, Peacock, Howard, Hewson and Latham all fought one losing election and then lost the leadership before the next.

Peacock and Howard both won back the Liberal Party leadership but only the very persistent Howard (like Menzies before him) avenged his earlier defeat.

Recent omens are even worse for opposition leaders. In the past decade, three party leaders (Crean, Nelson and Turnbull) were knocked off before they fought even one election. Kim Beazley, returned for a second stint as leader, was also deposed before facing the electorate. [Read more…]

Nelson Promises Reduction In Petrol Excise In Budget Reply Speech

The Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Brendan Nelson, has proposed a 5 cents reduction in petrol excise.

Delivering his response to the Federal Budget, Nelson also committed the Opposition to oppose the increase tax on alco-pops in the Senate.

  • Listen to Nelson’s Budget Reply speech:

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Text of Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson’s Budget Reply Speech.

Mr Speaker. Australians expected a lot with the election of a new government.

Last year they listened to what the now Prime Minister and Treasurer had to say.

They heard them say they were going to be good economic managers.

They heard them say that they would do something about grocery prices.

They heard them say they would do something about the price of petrol.

They heard them say they would do something about home interest rates.

They heard a lot.

Every Australian should now ask themselves this question:

Will this budget make it easier to keep my house, fill the car with petrol, put groceries in the trolley and keep my job? [Read more…]

Nelson Announces Shadow Ministry

The Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Brendan Nelson, has announced the coalition’s new shadow ministry.

Nelson has drawn on the experience of former Howard government ministers such as Julie Bishop, Joe Hockey, Nick Minchin, Malcolm Turnbull and Andrew Robb. He has elevated new faces such as Tony Smith, Greg Hunt, Bob Baldwin, Andrew Southcott, Margaret May, Sussan Ley and Pat Farmer. [Read more…]

Coalition Shadow Ministry From December 6, 2007

The new Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Brendan Nelson, has announced the coalition’s shadow ministry.

The team comprises a mix of former Howard government ministers and new faces. [Read more…]

Brendan Nelson Elected Liberal Party Leader In Close Vote

Brendan Nelson, Leader of the OppositionBrendan Nelson has been elected leader of the Liberal Party, defeating Malcolm Turnbull by 45 votes to 42.

Julie Bishop, the outgoing Education Minister, has been elected deputy leader. Sky News reports that she garnered 44 votes, Andrew Robb 25 and Christopher Pyne 18.

Bishop holds the seat of Curtin in Western Australia, the only state to withstand the swing to the ALP in Saturday’s election.

The election of Nelson and Bishop marks the first time in decades that the Liberal Party’s leaders do not include a Victorian.

  • Listen to Peter Costello Announce the Leaders:

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Nelson Appoints Turnbull Shadow Treasurer, Supports Kyoto Ratification

Nov 29 – 3.10pm – The newly-elected Leader of the Opposition, Brendan Nelson, has appointed Malcolm Turnbull Shadow Treasurer. Nelson also offered support for the ratification of the Kyoto treaty.

Giving his first press conference since defeating Turnbull 45-42 earlier today, Nelson spoke of his Labor-oriented family background and the role education played in his life.

He said he wanted to discuss the future of federal intervention in Northern Territory aboriginal communities with the incoming prime minister, Kevin Rudd. Nelson’s deputy, Julie Bishop, will be the shadow minister for Industrial Relations.

Within hours of Nelson’s elevation to the Liberal leadership, the ALP had NelsonFacts online.

  • Listen to the Press Conference held by Brendan Nelson and Julie Bishop:

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  • Listen to Malcolm Turnbull’s reaction to the Liberal leadership election:

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Howard In Davos For WEF; Comments on Habib, Beazley

The Prime Minister, John Howard, is in Davos, Switzerland, for the latest meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Speaking to journalists, Howard criticised European wheat subsidies, but was otherwise non-committal on Mamdouh Habib and the ALP leadership.

According to its website, the World Economic Forum is “an independent international organization incorporated as a Swiss not-for-profit foundation”. Its members “represent the world’s 1,000 leading companies, along with 200 smaller businesses, many from the developing world, that play a potent role in their industry or region”.

The forum aims for “a world-class corporate governance system where values are as important a basis as rules”. It argues for “entrepreneurship in the global public interest”, and believes that “economic progress without social development is not sustainable, while social development without economic progress is not feasible.”

This is the transcript of the doorstop interview given by the Prime Minister, John Howard, at the Belvedere Hotel in Davos, Switzerland.


Prime Minister, this is your first trip to the World Economic Forum, why have you come this year?


Well it’s not my first trip to the World Economic Forum, I went to the one in New York, it’s the first one I’ve come to in Davos. I think this is an appropriate time given beginning of a new term, there are a lot of major economic issues to be discussed, I’ll take the opportunity for example of expressing my concern about the decision of the European Union to resume subsidies for the export of wheat, that’s a matter of very great concern to Australia, it seems to run completely counter to all the rhetoric we’ve had about more open trade, if this is their idea about more open trade well Australia is deeply disappointed. There’s a lot of rhetoric at the moment about helping under-developed countries, nothing would help under-developed countries more than the removal of trade subsidies and trade barriers and if the nations of Europe and North America and others that have highly protected agricultural policies wanted to really help many of the developing countries then they could do more to help them in changing their trade policies than they could through official development assistance.


So will you be seeking some bilateral discussions with European Union officials?


Well I will talk to anybody I can get hold of on all manner of subjects, I’m having a lot of bilateral discussions and I’m sure the opportunity of discussing that matter will come up.


Mamdouh Habib arrived back in Australia today, will the Government be keeping a close eye on him?


Look Mr Ruddock is dealing with that, let him speak for the Government on that issue.


Do you think in general though given that the possibility of charges being pressed has now receded, if it fair enough to say that the man’s innocent?


I’m not going to express a view on that, Mr Ruddock is handling it back in Australia.


What do you think of the election of Kim Beazley as Opposition Leader?


Well it was inevitable wasn’t it? Let me congratulate Mr Beazley, like all other leaders of the opposition I won’t be taking anything for granted in dealing with the Labor Party under his leadership. His responsibility now, as mine has been in the almost 10 years that I’ve been leader of the Liberal Party, is to be accountable to the Australian people. The Australian people will want to know from him, as they do from me, what he stands for and what he intends to do. You are accountable in public life for what you believe in and what you do, not what you say.


Ten years ago you took over the Liberal Coalition in a similar position, have you got any advice for Mr Beazley?


No, I’m not giving Mr Beazley any advice. That’s a matter for him. Look, he’s been made leader, I don’t treat anybody lightly, I’ve told my party not to get complacent, we have to work very hard to retain the confidence of the Australian people, you can never take anything for granted in politics and I can assure the Australian people that I do not take them for granted, I work hard in their interests and that’s the message I send to all of my colleagues.

Thank you.

Mark Latham’s Shadow Ministry

Following Simon Crean’s resignation and Mark Latham’s defeat of Kim Beazley, the following Shadow Ministry was announced. [Read more…]