Victorian Speaker Telmo Languiller Resigns Over Expenses Scandal

Telmo Languiller, the Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, has resigned, in the wake of a scandal over his parliamentary expenses claims.

Languiller

The resignation took place following revelations that Languiller, 59, claimed around $40,000 of expenses for a “second residence” in Queenscliff, an allowance normally only available to MPs who live 80 kilometres from the Melbourne Post Office.

Languiller lives in Footscray, just outside his Tarneit electorate. Tarneit is based around Laverton North, Tarneit and Williams Landing. It is 12 kilometres from Melbourne.

Languiller has represented Tarneit for the ALP since 2014, having previously represented Sunshine (1999-2002) and Derrimut (2002-2014).

In August 2015, Bronwyn Bishop, the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, resigned over an expenses controversy involving the use of a helicopter to travel from Melbourne to Geelong.

Statement by Victorian Legislative Assembly Speaker Telmo Languiller.

Statement From The Member For Tarneit

During the last 48 hours I have had the opportunity to talk with family, colleagues and friends.

As I have already stated in the press and in the Parliament, I accept that my actions do not meet the very high standards that the community expects of its elected representatives.

No matter what difficult personal circumstances I may have been going through, I have to recognise it is an error of judgement and I accept that I should pay the price for that error of judgement.

I understand that offering to repay the allowance is not enough.

For this reason today I contacted the Premier to inform him that I would be resigning as the Speaker of the Parliament.

I regret that this issue, if not addressed, could damage the position of Speaker and the Labor Party that I love.

The Premier has provided me with much support over the last two years as I faced very difficult family challenges and I thank him for that.

I thank all of my colleagues for the support they have given me, and members from all sides of politics.

Once again I reiterate my regret at the actions I have taken and I hope that as a backbencher in the Andrews Labor Government I can rebuild trust by serving my electorate of Tarneit and my community.


Sen. Kimberley Kitching (ALP-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Senator Kimberley Kitching has delivered her maiden speech to the Senate.

Kitching

Kitching, an ALP senator from Victoria, filled a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Stephen Conroy. The preferred candidate of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Kitching’s preselection was controversial inside the Victorian ALP.

A former lawyer and union official, Kitching is 46. Her term expires on June 30, 2022. [Read more…]


Stephen Conroy Announces Resignation From Senate In Undelivered Speech

Senator Stephen Conroy, the ALP’s deputy leader in the upper house, has announced his resignation in an undelivered speech to the Senate that was tabled last night.

Conroy

Conroy, 53, rose in the Senate at 8.53pm, at the end of the second-reading debate on the government’s Omnibus Bill of expenditure cuts. He made a brief comment and tabled a speech.

The Senate then went on to debate crossbench amendments to the legislation. The third reading of the bill took place at 11.35pm and the Senate adjourned at 11.38pm. Conroy’s resignation only came to light this morning, although the Hansard transcript would have gone online in the early hours. [Read more…]


Final Two-Party Figures: Coalition Won 2016 Election With 50.36%; Swing To Labor Of 3.13%

Final figures published by the Australian Electoral Commission show that the Coalition won the 2016 federal election with 50.36% of the two-party-preferred vote.

The Liberal-Nationals coalition polled 50.36% of the national two-party-preferred vote. The ALP received 49.64%. There was a 3.13% swing to the ALP nationally, a near reversal of the 3.61% swing to the Coalition in the 2013 election.

Every state and territory recorded a swing against the Coalition. The largest swing was 7.41% in the Northern Territory. The smallest was 1.22% in the Australian Capital Territory. [Read more…]


So When Will The Next Election Be Held?

The Parliamentary Library has published a research paper setting out Federal, State and Local election dates over the next few years.

According to the paper, the earliest possible date for a joint House of Representatives and half-Senate election is August 4, 2018. The last possible date for such an election is May 18, 2019. Assuming no unforeseen events, the next federal election is almost certain to fall between these dates.

The last possible date for a double dissolution is May 4, 2019. A double dissolution of the parliament cannot be called later than February 27, 2019.

The paper shows that there will only be two state or territory elections over the next eighteen months: in the ACT on October 15, 2016 and in Western Australia on March 11, 2017. [Read more…]


Senator Jane Hume (Lib-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Senator Jane Hume has delivered the first maiden speech in the upper house, following this year’s double dissolution election.

Hume

Hume was elected as Liberal Party senator in Victoria. She won back a position the party lost in 2013.

Previously, Hume was a senior policy adviser at AustralianSuper. She has also been on the board of directors at Federation Square and the Royal Children’s Hospital. [Read more…]


2016 Senate Votes: A Higher But Fragmented Vote For Minor And Micro Parties

Aside from the Coalition, ALP and Greens, 47 parties contested the Senate at July’s double dissolution election.

Just 8 of the 47 parties polled above 1% nationally. Five of these 8 parties elected senators: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (4 senators), Nick Xenophon Team (3), Liberal Democrats (1), Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (1) and Family First (1). The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the Christian Democrats and the Animal Justice Party did not elect any of their candidates.

There were 39 parties that nominated candidates in at least one state or territory but failed to poll above 0.74%. Fourteen failed to even reach 0.1% nationally and did only marginally better in individual states. Another 25 polled between 0.14%-0.74%.

The Jacqui Lambie Network was the only party in the latter group that managed to elect a senator. Lambie polled just 0.50% nationally, but she only ran candidates in three states and polled a full quota in her own right in Tasmania. With 8.30% of the vote, Lambie won a place in the first group of senators who will receive six-year terms.

The election of Derryn Hinch in Victoria is somewhat comparable to Lambie. His party only polled 1.93% nationally, and less than 1% in all states except Victoria, where Hinch secured election off a primary base of 6.05%.

The combined Coalition-ALP-Greens vote was 73.62%, down 2.85% from the 2013 result. This delivered 65 of the 76 Senate positions (85.5%) to these three groups.

The remaining 26.38% of the vote was split between 47 parties. These parties won the remaining 11 seats (14.4%).

Independent and ungrouped candidates below-the-line received just 0.18% of the vote.

The figures in the table below are consistent with the previous election. In 2013, there were 46 parties that polled less than 1% each.

The overall proportion of the vote flowing to the Coalition, ALP and Greens fell once again at the 2016 election. It fuels the argument that voters are disillusioned with the major parties and looking for alternatives. However, the figures indicate that this is a simplistic analysis.

Voters have failed to coalesce around more than a handful of minor and micro parties. Outside the top 11 groups, the votes for other parties are derisory. The so-called fragmentation of support for the major political groups is more than matched by a fragmented voter rebellion.

Group voting tickets were abolished for this election. Without them, all but a handful of parties were incapable of winning seats. Those elected more closely represent the parties with the highest primary votes. The Family First party in South Australia elected Bob Day from the lowest primary vote of 2.87%. [Read more…]