COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation

The Council of Australian Governments met in Canberra and discussed a range of issues, including terrorism, reform of the Federation and the taxation system.

COAG

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held a joint press conference following the meeting. He was accompanied by Premiers Baird, Napthine, Newman, Barnett, Weatherill and Hodgman, as well as the Territory Chief Ministers Gallagher and Giles. Felicity-Ann Lewis represented Local Government.

The State have agreed to introduce legislation to support federal laws covering the arrest, monitoring, investigation and prosecution of domestic extremists and returning foreign fighters.

COAG also agreed that the Federation and Tax Reform White Papers need to progress together. [Read more…]


Liberal Election Advertising Begins In Victoria

With the Victorian state election due in two months tomorrow, the Liberal Party has begun television advertising.

This advertisement, titled Fixing Labor’s Mess, features Premier Denis Napthine. It airs tonight.

The Victorian election is on November 29.

  • Watch the Liberal ad (30s)

Geoff Shaw Survives Expulsion Attempt With His Own Vote

The Liberal-turned-independent member for Frankston in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Geoff Shaw, has used his own vote to survive an attempt by Premier Denis Napthine to have him expelled from the Parliament.

Shaw

Shaw issued an apology to the Assembly on September 2 but Napthine gave notice of a motion of expulsion after Shaw described the proceedings as “a political farce”.

Today, Napthine moved the motion to expel Shaw. Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews led all the ALP members out of the chamber and six government members spoke on the motion before a vote was taken. With the Speaker not able to vote, the result was tied and Shaw cast his vote against the motion. [Read more…]


Geoff Shaw Apologises To The Victorian Parliament; Expulsion Averted

Geoff Shaw, the Liberal-turned-independent member for Frankston in the Victorian Parliament has made a public apology in the Legislative Assembly today.

Shaw

Shaw returned to Parliament following his suspension last June. He also repaid several thousand dollars in car expenses that were the source of allegations he had rorted his entitlements. The suspension motion also demanded that he apologise to the Parliament. [Read more…]


Sen. Janet Rice (Greens-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Janet Rice, the Australian Greens senator from Victoria, has delivered her first speech to the Senate.

Rice

Senator Rice was elected at last year’s election. Her term began on July 1 and will end on June 30, 2020.

Rice is the tenth member of the Greens Senate team. She won her seat at the expense of the ALP in Victoria.

  • Listen to Rice (27m)

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Hansard transcript of Senator Janet Rice’s maiden speech.

The PRESIDENT (16:59): Order! Before I call Senator Rice to give her first speech, I remind honourable senators of the custom of allowing the speech to be given without interruption. [Read more…]


Daniel Andrews Denies Dirty Tricks Over Ted Baillieu Tape Recording

The Victorian ALP Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews, has denied involvement in a dirty tricks incident concerning a tape recorder lost by a newspaper journalist.

Andrews spoke in an interview today with the 3AW morning host, Neil Mitchell.

The recorder contained an off-the-record interview the former Premier, Ted Baillieu, gave to Farrah Tomazin of The Age. The interview came to light several weeks ago. Baillieu criticised a range of conservative Liberal Party figures in the interview. The interview was circulated inside the Liberal Party by unknown Liberals who are believed to be hostile to Baillieu. [Read more…]


Whooping Cough: ALP Releases Election Advertisement On Vaccination Cuts

The Victorian ALP has released an election advertisement highlighting cuts to vaccination funding by the Napthine and Abbott governments.

The advertisement uses the slogan: “Under the Liberals you’re on your own.”

  • Watch the advertisement (22s)

Geoff Shaw Suspended By Victorian Parliament; Ken Smith Votes With Government To Defeat ALP Expulsion Move

Geoff Shaw, the member for Frankston in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, has been suspended until September 2, after the former Speaker, Ken Smith, voted to defeat a move by the Labor Opposition to have Shaw expelled.

Napthine

Just before 8.30pm, an amendment to expel Shaw, moved by the Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, was voted on and tied 42-42. It was defeated on the casting vote of the Speaker, Christine Fyffe, who accidentally voted in support before correcting herself.

Napthine’s original motion was then carried on the voices. The Speaker then named Geoff Shaw, as required by the motion, and the member for Frankston was suspended.

The support of Shaw’s arch-enemy, Ken Smith, has ensured that the government has some breathing space over the next few months. In the lead-up to today’s debate, Smith had said he would support the ALP’s move to expel Shaw.

Shaw has until September 2 to repay around $6000 for improper use of his parliamentary vehicle and fuel card. He is also required to apologise to the House. Failure to do so could result in his expulsion in September. [Read more…]


Denis Napthine Moves To Suspend Geoff Shaw Until September 2

The Victorian Premier, Denis Napthine, has given notice of a motion he intends to move tomorrow that would result in the suspension of Geoff Shaw until September 2.

Napthine

The motion seeks to have the Speaker “name” Shaw. It suspends him without pay for 11 sitting days. It requires Shaw to repay $6838.44 for improper use of his parliamentary vehicle and parliamentary entitlements. It instructs him to apologise to the Legislative Assembly and to the people of Victoria.

The motion provides for Shaw to be expelled if he does not comply with its requirements.

Napthine gave notice of the motion after the Legislative Assembly today passed three Appropriation Bills that constituted the government’s Budget. He also held a press conference to explain the government’s intentions.

Earlier, at the start of Question Time, the government refused leave for Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews to move a motion to bring on an immediate consideration of the Privileges Committee report on Shaw. The ALP wants Shaw expelled. Andrews described Napthine’s move as a “wet lettuce”.

Attention will now turn to the former Speaker, the Liberal member for Bass, Ken Smith, who has indicated he will support Labor’s move to expel Shaw. [Read more…]


Daniel Andrews Commits To Passing Victorian Budget; Calls On Napthine To Consult Governor

The Victorian Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews, said tonight he wants Premier Denis Napthine to join him in calling on the Victorian Governor to seek a solution to the political crisis besetting the government. He says the ALP will pass the Budget but did not commit himself to a position on moving a motion of no-confidence.

Andrews

Andrews said that tomorrow morning he will refer claims by Napthine that Geoff Shaw demanded a particular judicial appointment to the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).

Andrews said he wanted to meet with Napthine at 11am tomorrow morning and proposed that the two of them call upon the Governor, Alex Chernov, to seek his advice on how to resolve the crisis.

Andrews said: “I will meet with Napthine at 11am and make clear to him that Labor will pass his Budget. I will also make it clear that the most appropriate thing for us to do is for both of us to visit the Governor and see how this constitutional crisis might be resolved.”

Andrews call upon Napthine to put the interests of the people above his own political interests. He said: “It’s become each and every day, more and more obvious that this isn’t the government the people voted for three years ago… We are not getting the leadership we desperately need.”

The coming days “are not a time for political gamesmanship”, Andrews said. He said he didn’t fear the verdict of the people of Victoria. “My obligation is to give them a choice.”

This is “undoubtedly a constitutional crisis”, Andrews said. “This is a shambolic and chaotic government…We should put the people first and seek the Governor’s advice.”

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