Sen. Matthew Canavan (Nats-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Senator Matthew Canavan has delivered his maiden speech to the Senate.


Canavan, a Nationals senator from Queensland, was elected at the 2013 federal election. His term began on July 1 and will expire on June 30, 2020. [Read more...]

Valedictory Speech: Senator Ron Boswell (Nats-Qld)

Senator Ron Boswell has given his valedictory speech, bringing to an end a 31-year political career for the Father of the Senate.


Boswell was first elected to the Senate as a Nationals member from Queensland at the federal election of March 5, 1983, the election that brought the Hawke government to power. He was re-elected in 1987, 1990, 1996, 2001 and 2007.

He served for 4 years as a Parliamentary Secretary in the Howard government and for 17 years as Leader of the Nationals in the Senate.

Boswell retires on June 30 and leaves as the Father of the Senate, the current longest-serving member. He was the first of 12 senators to give a valedictory speech in the lead-up to the June 30 changeover of Senators. Prime Minister Tony Abbott was amongst House members who watched the speech. [Read more...]

Infrastructure For The 21st Century: Warren Truss Addresses The National Press Club

The Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, has addressed the National Press Club on infrastructure.


Truss, the leader of The Nationals, is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

In his speech, Truss reiterated the government’s pre-Budget themes about an ageing population, the level of debt and the need to rein in spending.

However, he also outlined a range of infrastructure projects. Truss said: “…Balancing a Budget is not just about cutting expenditure. It is just as importantly about building the capacity of our economy to grow and expand.”

  • Listen to Truss’s speech (25m)

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  • Listen to Truss respond to questions (32m)

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Transcript of the National Press Club Address by Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure.

Infrastructure and Regional Development for the 21st Century

Thank you, Laurie. [Wilson, President of the National Press Club]

And thank you to the National Press Club for hosting me today.

When I last spoke here we were in the final days of the federal election campaign. I said at the time that federal elections are a contest of ideas. [Read more...]

Andrew Broad (Nats – Mallee) – First Speech

Andrew Broad was elected as The Nationals member for Mallee at the 2013 federal election.


Broad replaced John Forrest who represented the seat since 1993. Broad is only the fourth man, all Nationals, to represent the electorate since its creation in 1949.

Because Forrest retired, the Coalition agreement permitted the Liberals to nominate a candidate. The Nationals polled 38.76% of the primary vote to the Liberal Party’s 27.22%. After preferences, Broad won with 56.21% of the two-candidate-preferred vote. Measured against the ALP, his two-party-preferred vote was 73.66%, in keeping with Mallee’s status as one of the safest Coalition seats in the nation.

Mallee is situated in north-western Victoria. It is bordered by the Murray River in the north, the South Australian border in the west, and adjoins Wannon in the south and Murray in the east. The main population centres are Mildura in the north, Warracknabeal, St Arnaud, Horsham and Stawell in the south and Swan Hill and Kerang in the east.

This is Broad’s first speech to the House of Representatives. [Read more...]

Treasurer Joe Hockey Blocks ADM Takeover Of GrainCorp

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has blocked the takeover of GrainCorp by the American company Archer Daniels Midland.


Hockey used the power given to him alone as Treasurer to reject the foreign investment application. ADM was seeking to increase its current shareholding of 19.85% to 100%. Hockey said he would permit ADM to hold 24.9%.

Whilst many see the decision as unexpected, Hockey’s announcement heads off a political conflict with The Nationals in the coalition. In his announcement, Hockey said a “significant consideration” was that “this proposal has attracted a high level of concern from stakeholders and the broader community. I therefore judged that allowing it to proceed could risk undermining public support for the foreign investment regime and ongoing foreign investment more generally. This would not be in our national interest.”

It seems clear that the government has avoided a clash with sections of its core supporters but the decision conflicts with Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s claim that “Australia is open for business”. Free marketeers and economic rationalists in the government will be alarmed at what the decision says about the future direction of the Abbott government. [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...]

Orientation Day For New Members Of The House Of Representatives

New members of the House of Representatives have assembled in Canberra for an orientation session.

New Members

The new members – 23 Liberals, 6 Nationals, 11 ALP, 1 Independent and 1 Palmer United Party – were addressed by the outgoing Speaker of the House, Anna Burke. She reminded them of the privilege it is to be one of only 1,133 members who have been elected to the House of Representatives since Federation in 1901. For non-members, Burke’s speech provides a fascinating insight into the life of a member of parliament.

  • Listen to Burke (29m)

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The 41 42 new members of the House of Representatives represent 27% 28% of the total of 150. The outcome in the Queensland electorate of Fairfax has not yet been determined. The new members are: [Read more...]