Kevin Rudd: Haven’t Changed A Bit

Always hang on to those old campaign posters.

Kevin Rudd

Paul Keating Speech At Launch Of ‘The China Choice’

Former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating has delivered a speech in which he criticises United States policy towards China.

Paul Keating

The China ChoiceKeating said the United States could not expect to win a war against China on the Asian mainland. “I have long held the view that the future of Asian stability cannot be cast by a non-Asian power – especially by the application of US military force.”

“The failure of US wars in Korea, Vietnam and – outside Asia – in Iraq and Afghanistan, should lead the US to believe that war on the Asian mainland is unwinnable.”

Keating said the United States had missed its chance to shape a new world order around China and the other major developing countries.

Keating was speaking at The Lowy Institute at the launch of The China Choice, a new book by Hugh White, who argues that the US should aim to share power with China and give up its leadership role in Asia.

Keating also criticised President Barack Obama’s Australian announcement last November in which he launched a “pivot” to Asia accompanied by the rotation of US marine forces through Darwin.

  • Listen to Keating’s speech (27m)

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  • Download a copy of Keating’s speech (PDF)

Paul Keating’s Lowy Institute speech launching Hugh White’s The China Choice:

Hugh White does me an honour in asking me to launch his book The China Choice.

I believe the reason he asked me was not that he wanted a former Prime Minister to launch his book, but at least one who regarded his subject as central to Australia’s security and prosperity, indeed, central to one of the major, perhaps the major issue in international affairs.

As you would expect, Hugh has written The China Choice with great clarity and command of the issues and with his usual nuanced treatment of important threads of argument.

He has always been able to get to the nub of an issue with a great economy of words. The style is discursive, even conversational, but the poignancy and economy of words serve to hammer home the points. To rivet them. [Read more...]

Tony Abbott Speech On Free Speech

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has addressed the Institute of Public Affairs on freedom of speech.

Tony Abbott

Abbott committed a future Coalition government to repeal Section 18(c) of the Racial Discrimination Act, the section that Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching in a case brought by nine indigenous people. [Read more...]

Leaders Launch Northern Territory Election Campaign

The campaign for the Northern Territory election on August 25 was officially launched today.

The three week campaign sees the 11-year-old Labor government struggling to survive. First elected in August 2001 under Clare Martin’s leadership, the government has been led by Chief Minister Paul Henderson since November 2007.

At the 2008 election, Labor won 13 of the 25 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Since then, resignations and defections have reduced it to minority status, relying now on the support of the independent Gerry Wood.

Chief Minister Paul Henderson spoke to the media today:

  • Listen to Henderson (20m)

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Paul Henderson

Country-Liberal Opposition Leader Terry Mills also spoke to the media:

  • Listen to Mills (25m)

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Terry Mills

Curiosity Lands On Mars

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory erupted in triumph this afternoon as the rover Curiosity touched down on Mars.

The Washington Post reports the landing took place within a 9-by-3-mile ellipse selected for touchdown. “It landed at exactly 1.31 a.m., as planned months ago. The rover is most likely in a dune field now, but will set out for nearby Mount Sharp in the weeks ahead.”

The rover was launched from Cape Canaveral on November 26, 2011. It has travelled 354 million miles since its launch.

Curiosity began transmitting data immediately after touchdown.

Top End Politician Attacked Whilst Holding Anti-Violence Media Conference

A Northern Territory Country-Liberal politician, John Elferink, has been attacked whilst conducting a media interview about violence.

The Northern Territory News reported:

CLP politician John Elferink was kicked while holding a press conference about violence.

And in a show of being tough on crime Mr Elferink says he has asked police to press charges against the man who allegedly kicked him from behind and another man who helped the offender flee.

“I’d just done a piece to camera and Terry (Mills, Opposition Leader) was getting set to talk when a fellow walked up behind me and kicked me in the back of the leg,” he said.

“I turned and grabbed him by the collar to hold him until I could hand him over to police custody.”

Mr Elferink said a passing police car could not take him because they were going to a brawl in Parap and then some men tried to free the man from his grip.

“We fell over and I thought before it gets out of hand I will let this fellow go.

“Why should the few who democracy the many be subject to anything but open hostility? Let them surround themselves with an army of policemen. Let them fear the electorate. They certainly don’t represent me. They sure as hell don’t represent you. When was Civil war not the outcome for taking away the right of the individual to not represent themselves as equals? Its why we have had civilization after civilization backed up by armies. because the Few Govern the many irrespective of their consent.”

“I’ve asked for charges to be laid for the man who kicked and the man who held me.

“I wish the police good luck in apprehending him.”

The incident happened near the Top End Hotel, at the corner of Mitchell and Daly streets about 2.30pm.

The Northern Territory election takes place on August 25.

Abbott Releases Foreign Investment Discussion Paper

The Coalition has released a discussion paper on foreign investment in agricultural land and agribusiness.

Abbott, Truss & Hockey

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said “the Coalition unambiguously welcomes and supports foreign investment”. However, “there is scope to improve Australia’s foreign investment regime when it comes to investment in agricultural land and agricultural business”.

The paper was released by Abbott, Nationals leader Warren Truss and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey in Sydney today.

The paper is titled: “Foreign Investment In Australian Agricultural Land And Agribusiness”. Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey has been put in charge of managing a “Discussion Paper process”. Submissions to the process are open until October 31, 2012.

Abbott, Truss and Hockey discussed foreign investment at a press conference this morning:

Media release from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott on the Foreign Investment Discussion Paper.

The Coalition unambiguously welcomes and supports foreign investment.

Foreign investment has been and will continue to be instrumental to the economic development and growth of Australia.

We support a foreign investment regime that strengthens our economy, promotes growth, and fosters confidence that foreign investment is in our national interest. [Read more...]