Julia Banks (Lib-Chisholm) Turns Independent

The member for the Victorian electorate of Chisholm, Julia Banks, has announced that she is resigning from the Liberal Party to sit as an independent in the House of Representatives, plunging the Morrison government further into minority status.

Banks had previously announced that she would not contest Chisholm again as a Liberal. She has suggested she might run in Chisholm, or elsewhere, as an independent.

Banks won Chisholm at the 2016 federal election. It was the only seat the Liberal Party captured from the Labor Party. The ALP’s Anna Burke had held the seat since 1998.

A redistribution means the redrawn Chisholm will be based around the suburbs of Box Hill, Blackburn, Mount Waverley and Glen Waverley. It has a notional Liberal majority of 3.4%. Last Saturday’s Victorian state election saw the seats of Box Hill and Mount Waverley lost by the Liberal Party to the ALP with swings of 7.5% and 6.0% respectively. The Blackburn-based electorate of Forest Hill, whilst retained by the Liberal Party, registered a 3.0% swing to the ALP.

Bank’s announcement in the House came at the beginning of the day’s proceedings. It coincided with a press conference by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The coalition government now holds just 74 of the 150 seats in the House, having already lost former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth to Dr Kerryn Phelps, also an independent. There are now seven crossbenchers in the House. The ALP has 69 seats.

  • Listen to Banks’ statement (5m)
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Hansard transcript of statement by Julia Banks, former Liberal member for Chisholm.

Ms BANKS (Chisholm) (12:01): Mr Speaker, on indulgence, may I make a personal statement?

The SPEAKER: Yes, the member for Chisholm may proceed.

Ms BANKS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Following the leadership coup in August, I announced my decision that I will not recontest the seat of Chisholm at the next election as a member of the Liberal Party. I’ve always put the people before the party. After being a Labor held seat for 18 years, the people of Chisholm elected me as I promised them that I would be their representative under the leadership of the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former deputy leader and foreign minister Julie Bishop—both visionary, inspiring leaders of sensible, centrist, liberal values with integrity and intellect, and with significant support from my local community, and across Australia, as leaders of our nation. [Read more…]


Dr Kerryn Phelps (Ind-Wentworth) – First Speech To The House Of Representatives

Dr Kerryn Phelps has given her first speech to the House of Representatives, after being sworn in this morning.

Phelps

Dr Phelps, 60, is the independent member for Wentworth. She replaces the former prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, who resigned on August 31 after he was overthrown by the Liberal Party. Phelps won the October 20 by-election, securing a two-candidate vote of 51.22%, off a primary vote of 29.19%. The Liberal Party primary vote declined by 19.18% to 43.08%. The two-party-preferred vote was 60.75% to the Liberals and 39.25% to the ALP, a swing of 7.0%.

Phelps is the first woman to represent Wentworth since Federation in 1901. For its entire history, the seat had been represented by the non-Labor parties in their various incarnations.

The first woman to be elected President of the Australian Medical Association, Phelps has operated a medical practice in the Wentworth electorate for the last twenty years. Elected to the Sydney City Council, on the Clover Moore ticket, in 2017, she served for a year as Deputy Lord Mayor.

Phelps has been a prominent campaigner for the cause of same-sex marriage and gender equality. She supported the Yes case in the 2017 plebiscite.

  • Listen to Phelps’ speech (27m)
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  • Watch Phelps’ swearing-in (6m)
  • ?

    Hansard transcript of the first speech by Dr Kerryn Phelps, independent member for Wentworth.

    Mr CHESTER (Gippsland—Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister for Defence Personnel, Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC and Deputy Leader of the House) (15:12): by leave—I move:

    That so much of the standing orders be suspended as would prevent the Member for Wentworth making a statement immediately and that the Member speak without limitation of time.

    Question agreed to.

    The SPEAKER: Before I call the honourable member for Wentworth, I remind the House that this is the honourable member’s first speech. I ask the House to extend to her the usual courtesies. [Read more…]


Sen. David Smith (ALP-ACT) – Maiden Speech

Senator David Smith has delivered his maiden speech to the Senate.

Smith

Smith, 48, is a Labor senator, representing the Australian Capital Territory. He was elected in a special recount of votes from the 2016 election, following the disqualification of Katy Gallagher for dual citizenship under Section 44 of the Constitution. He was declared elected by the High Court on May 23, 2018 and sworn in on June 18.

Prior to his election, Smith was the ACT Director of Professionals Australia. He previously worked as an advisor in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, an industrial relations manager for the Australian Federal Police Association and a policy advisor in the ACT Chief Minister’s Department.

Smith’s term expires with the next dissolution of the House of Representatives. Katy Gallagher was this week endorsed by the Left faction to contest an August preselection against Smith, a former convenor of the Right faction.

  • Listen to Smith’s speech (22m)
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Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator David Smith.

The PRESIDENT (17:03): Order! Before I call Senator Smith, I remind honourable senators that this is his first speech and, therefore, I ask that the usual courtesies be extended to him. [Read more…]


Sen. Amanda Stoker (LNP-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Senator Amanda Stoker has delivered her maiden speech to the Senate.

Stoker

Stoker, 35, is a member of the Queensland Liberal National Party. She will sit with the Liberal Party in Canberra. Stoker was appointed on March 21, 2018, to fill a casual vacancy created by the resignation of Senator George Brandis, the government’s former Senate leader. Brandis is now the Australian High Commissioner to London.

The 99th woman elected to the Senate, Stoker is a barrister who specialised in commercial and administrative law. She became a solicitor in 2006 and practiced at Minter Ellison in Sydney. A former associate of retired High Court Justice Ian Callinan, she commenced at the bar in 2011.

In her preselection for the casual vacancy, Stoker defeated former Senator Joanna Lindgren, who served for one year between 2015 and 2016.

  • Listen to Stoker’s speech (25m)
  • Watch Stoker’s speech (29m)

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Amanda Stoker.

The PRESIDENT (17:02): I ask senators to remember the traditional courtesies for a first speech and to observe them.

Senator STOKER (Queensland) (17:02): Australians don’t trust politicians. It’s a universal truth. In fact, Australians are losing faith across the four sectors of the economy—government, media, corporate and non-government organisations. But for my new role as senator for Queensland it is concerning—most concerning—that people’s trust in Australia’s institution of government, which has delivered peace and stability in this country for more than 100 years, is among the lowest globally. [Read more…]


Speaker Sets July 28 As Date For Five By-Elections; Opposition Outraged

The Speaker, Tony Smith, advised the House of Representatives this afternoon that he had set July 28 as the date for the five by-elections caused by recent resignations relating to dual citizenship.

Smith

Smith told the House that because of new regulations to refine the nomination process and because of imminent schools holidays, July 28 was the “optimal” date for the by-elections in Longman, Braddon, Mayo, Fremantle and Perth.

The ALP opposition accused the Speaker of inordinate delay and said the by-elections coincided with the ALP National Conference in Adelaide.

  • Listen to Speaker’s statement to the House (21m)
  • Watch the House proceedings (21m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings relating to the calling of five by-elections on July 28.

The SPEAKER (15:12): If members could cease interjecting, could I please have the attention of the House on this important matter: I’d like to read a fairly lengthy statement, and then I’ll be tabling some documents. Earlier in the week, I advised the House I would provide an update on possible dates for by-elections in the seats of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth. This update follows further consultation with the Australian Electoral Commissioner and party leaders. Under the Constitution, it is my responsibility alone to issue a writ for a by-election when a vacancy occurs, and generally it has not been the practice to provide an explanation for the exercise of this responsibility. I have varied from the usual practice because of the quite unusual—quite unique—circumstances surrounding these by-elections. [Read more…]


Turnbull And Shorten Pay Moving Tribute To Sir John Carrick

Moving tribute was paid to the late Senator Sir John Carrick in the House of Representatives today. The former Fraser government minister died on May 18, aged 99.

CarrickCarrick, shown here in 1971, was a NSW Liberal senator from 1971 until 1987. He became Minister for Education on November 12, 1975, following the dismissal of the Whitlam government. In 1979, he became Minister for National Development and Energy, holding the portfolio until the government’s defeat in 1983. He was Leader of the Government in the Senate from 1978 until 1983.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull spoke of Carrick’s wartime experiences, including three years as a prisoner-of-war in Changi. He spoke of Carrick’s service as General Secretary of the NSW division of the Liberal Party and his time as a minister in the Fraser government. Turnbull’s voice broke as he told how Carrick died in his family’s arms, just as Changi prisoners ensured that none of their number died alone.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said some regarded Carrick as “the soul of the Liberal Party”, which “he took from a fledgling amateur operation to a national political force”. Shorten said that “giants of our movement across the generations knew and admired John Carrick not just as a worthy foe and an opponent of great civility and courtesy but also as a person of substance, someone always prepared to argue sincerely held differences in principle, philosophy and the convictions that underpinned policy”. [Read more…]


Ged Kearney (ALP-Batman) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech of Ged Kearney to the House of Representatives.

Kearney

The new ALP member for Batman was elected at a by-election on March 17, 2018. The by-election was caused by the resignation of David Feeney, due to his inability to provide evidence that he had renounced his dual citizenship with the United Kingdom.

Kearney, 54, was the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) between 2010 and February 2018. She is a former nurse and a former official of the Australian Nursing Federation. [Read more…]