Election Funding Payments: 2013 Federal Election

This table shows the election funding payments made to political parties and candidates following the 2013 federal election.

A candidate or Senate group needs four per cent of the primary vote to be eligible for election funding. The amount is calculated by multiplying the number of votes obtained by the current funding rate.

The funding rate for the 2013 election was 248.000 cents per House of Representatives and Senate vote.

Just over $58 million was distributed to parties and candidates. [Read more…]


Scathing UNHCR Report On Conditions On Nauru

The United Nations Refugee Agency has produced a scathing report on conditions at the Regional Processing Centre on Nauru.

The report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said “the current policies, conditions and operational approaches” on Nauru “do not comply with international standards”. [Read more…]


Pyne Abandons Gonski School Funding Agreements; New Arrangements After 2014

The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, has confirmed that the government will honour school funding commitments of the previous government for 2014 but will implement a new funding model after that.

Pyne

Pyne was quizzed about the government’s abandonment of its commitment to the previous Labor government’s school funding agreements at a press conference today. [Read more…]


Governor-General Quentin Bryce Calls For A Republic And Same-Sex Marriage

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has called for an Australian republic and same-sex marriage in the last of her Boyer Lectures, delivered just four months before she retires from the Vice-Regal role.

Bryce

Bryce’s remarks came at the end of a speech titled “Advance Australia Fair”. She concluded by imagining a nation of care and equality, “where people are free to love and marry whom they choose and where, perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation’s first head of state”. [Read more…]


Abbott Announces Panel To Examine Democratisation Of NSW Liberals

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced the formation of an Expert Panel to consider reform of the NSW Liberal Party.

The announcement came during Abbott’s address to the NSW Liberal Party State Council in Sydney today.

“I love this party,” Abbott told the gathering. He said the Expert Panel would examine preselection reform and democratisation of the party.

The reform process will be led by former prime minister John Howard. He will be assisted by one of his former ministers, David Kemp, the former president of the NSW division, Chris McDiven, and the longtime member for Berowra, Philip Ruddock.

Concern over the preselection process and factionalism within the NSW division has grown in recent years. The party’s failure to win more seats in NSW cost it government in 2010. The candidacy of Jaymes Diaz cost the party the seat of Greenway at this year’s election.

Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Address to the NSW Liberal Party State Council in Sydney.

Well, what a fantastic day to be together as part of our extended Liberal family. It is an extraordinary honour to be with you this morning. It is an extraordinary honour to be with you this morning as your Prime Minister.

I am under no illusions, I know that the only reason that we have a new Government in Canberra, the only reason that I am Prime Minister is because I am the product of this great Party. [Read more…]


Abbott Establishes Indigenous Advisory Council

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced the composition of his Indigenous Advisory Council.

The Council will be chaired by Warren Mundine, the former ALP president who has now left the party.

The Council’s membership includes indigenous representatives, the heads of Westpac, Rio Tinto and Carey Mining, and the former Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Department, Peter Shergold.

Statement issued by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott.

I am pleased to announce the membership of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council.

I want a new engagement with Aboriginal people to be one of the hallmarks of my Government and the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council is an important part of that.

The Council will be chaired by Mr Warren Mundine. Joining him will be a mix of leaders with a broad range of skills and experience, including in business and the public sector. [Read more…]


This Day, 50 Years Ago: The Assassination Of President John F. Kennedy

President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated on this day 50 years ago.

Like today, November 22 in 1963 was also a Friday. The murder of the 35th US President took place at 3.30am Saturday, AEST. Most Australians heard the news when they awoke on Saturday morning.

JFK

I was a young boy in Grade 2, living in rural Australia. Television had not yet arrived in country areas and I’m sure this is the main reason I have next to no memory of the assassination. I do recall seeing newspaper reports of Kennedy’s death and a sense of confusion when Lee Harvey Oswald was shot by Jack Ruby. My child’s mind could barely make sense of the names and the events. I have an indistinct recollection of talking about it with my mother. I have no memory of the event being discussed at school. [Read more…]