Sen. Kristina Keneally (ALP-NSW) – Maiden Speech

Senator Kristina Keneally (ALP-NSW) has delivered her first speech to the Senate, watched by a large contingent of Labor members, including Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Keneally

Keneally, 49, has filled the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Sam Dastyari. She was formally chosen by a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament on February 14, 2018. She is the 98th woman elected to the Senate since 1901.

Keneally was the ALP member for Heffron in the NSW Legislative Assembly between 2003 and 2012. She was Premier of NSW between December 2009 and March 2011, leading the ALP to defeat after sixteen years in office. Keneally has worked as a commentator on Sky News for the past three years. She was the ALP candidate in the Bennelong by-election last December.

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Kristina Keneally (ALP-NSW)

Senator KENEALLY (New South Wales) (17:07): Thank you, Mr President. In the year before this chamber opened, 1987, just after I graduated from high school, I took a job on an assembly line at Johns-Manville, a fibreglass manufacturer who had two factories in my hometown of Waterville, Ohio. The work was tedious and hot. But the hourly rate was good, compared to other jobs, and it helped me save for my up-front university fees. I worked eight-hour shifts, sometimes 12 hours, on a crew of four. We wore these heavy canvas jumpsuits. When slivers of fibreglass got caught between the canvas collar and the back of our necks, or in the space between the cuff and the inside of the wrist, the itching would drive us crazy. [Read more…]


Sen. Kristina Keneally (ALP-NSW) Sworn In

ALP Senator Kristina Keneally has been sworn into office in a brief ceremony in the Senate chamber at 9.30 this morning.

Keneally, 49, fills the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Sam Dastyari on January 25. She is the 98th female member of the Senate since Federation.

  • Watch Keneally’s swearing-in (7m)

Keneally, American by birth, was a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly from 2003 until 2012, representing the electorate of Heffron. She was premier of NSW between December 2009 and March 2011, the third of three leaders who followed Bob Carr’s ten-year term that ended in 2005. She led the ALP to a massive defeat in the 2011 election, suffering a two-party swing of 16.48% and the loss of 32 seats.

After a period as a political commentator on Sky News, Keneally ran as the ALP candidate in the Bennelong by-election in December 2017, following the resignation of the Liberal member, John Alexander, due to UK dual citizenship. Alexander successfully re-contested the seat and Keneally garnered a two-party swing of 4.84%, slightly less than the average by-election swing against governments.

Keneally was pre-selected by the ALP and nominated for the Senate vacancy by a joint sitting of the NSW Parliament on February 14, in accordance with the casual vacancy provisions of Section 15 of the Constitution.


Sen. Jim Molan (Lib-NSW) – Maiden Speech

The Liberal Senator Jim Molan delivered his first speech to the Senate on February 14, 2018.

Molan

Molan acknowledged the unique circumstances of his election. From seventh place on the coalition’s NSW Senate ticket, he found himself taking his place in the chamber eighteen months after the 2016 federal election.

Senator Fiona Nash (Nat) was disqualified by the High Court on October 27, 2017, due to her dual citizenship. The court ordered a special recount of the ballot which resulted in the election of Hollie Hughes (Lib). Hughes was then disqualified because she had taken a job with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in 2017, a time held by the High Court to still be part of the election period. Molan was then elected. She was disqualified under Section 44 of the Constitution for holding an office of profit under the crown. [Read more…]


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…]


Sen. Andrew Bartlett (Greens-Qld) – Maiden Speech

The Queensland Greens Senator Andrew Bartlett has delivered his maiden speech to the upper house.

Bartlett

Bartlett was chosen to represent Queensland in the Senate on November 10, 2017. His election followed the resignation of Larissa Waters on July 18, 2017. On October 27, 2017, the High Court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, ruled that Waters was ineligible to be elected under Section 44 of the Constitution, due to her Canadian dual citizenship. A special recount was ordered and Bartlett was declared elected. He had been the number two candidate on the Greens ticket at the 2016 election.

Bartlett, 53, previously served as an Australian Democrats senator from Queensland between 1997 and 2008. He was leader of the party for two years from 2002 until 2004.

  • Listen to Bartlett’s speech (21m)
  • Watch Bartlett’s speech (22m)

Hansard transcript of Senator Andrew Bartlett’s maiden speech.

The PRESIDENT (17:00): Pursuant to order, I now call Senator Bartlett to make his first speech and ask honourable senators that the usual courtesies be extended to him.

Senator BARTLETT (Queensland) (17:00): I’d like to begin by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land that this parliament is meeting on, the Ngunawal and Ngambri people, and also the traditional Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander owners of the lands and waters across my home state of Queensland. I pay respects to their elders past, present and emerging. I recognise that sovereignty was never ceded and that there is still so much unfinished business that our country needs to address before we have truth, reconciliation and justice for the first peoples of this land. [Read more…]


Sen. Rex Patrick (NXT-SA) – Maiden Speech

Senator Rex Patrick has delivered his maiden speech to the Senate.

Patrick

Patrick, 50, was appointed to the Senate on …. to fill a casual vacancy left by the resignation of his party’s leader, Nick Xenophon.

  • Listen to Patrick’s speech (22m)
  • Watch Patrick’s speech (24m)

Hansard transcript of Senator Rex Patrick’s maiden speech.

The PRESIDENT (17:04): Pursuant to order, I now call Senator Patrick to make his first speech, and I ask honourable senators that the usual courtesies be extended to him.

Senator PATRICK (South Australia) (17:04): Over a quarter of a century ago, on 4 November 1992, an honourable member in the House of Representatives described the Senate as unrepresentative swill. I note with a touch of irony that the honourable member, someone who I admire greatly for his positive contributions to our nation, was at that time part owner in a piggery. His comments about the Senate nonetheless displayed a broader and cursory misconception in the community about the crucial role of the Senate in our parliamentary system and, while widely and repeatedly reported, the ‘swill’ comments have seldom been challenged. In this, my first speech, I hope I can counter those misconceptions, make some observations on what I think the Senate does well and what the Senate could do better, and, above all, why this matters in a practical sense for all Australians. [Read more…]


Government Announces Banking Royal Commission Following Request From Big Four

The federal government has announced a royal commission into the banks and the financial sector, reversing its previous opposition to such a move.

The announcement came at a press conference at 9.00am this morning, following a Cabinet meeting. The decision was preceded by a request from the major banks for a royal commission. In a letter to the government, the chairmen and chief executives of CBA, NAB, ANZ and Westpac said:

“In light of the latest wave of speculation about a parliamentary commission of inquiry into the banking and finance sector, we believe it is now imperative for the Australian Government to act decisively to deliver certainty to Australian’s financial services sector, our customers and the community.”

Recent days have seen increasing calls for a royal commission, especially from elements in the National Party. The House of Representatives resumes sitting next week. With two members down and facing by-elections, the government risked embarrassment in the chamber.

  • Listen to Turnbull and Morrison (33m)
  • Watch Turnbull’s press conference (33m)

The Letter from the Banks

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