Greens And Sports Party Prevail In WA Senate Count; Next Stop Court Of Disputed Returns

The Greens and Sports Party candidates have prevailed in the recount of the Western Australian Senate election but their success may be shortlived as a legal challenge to the result looms.

The official recount concluded today after the Australian Electoral Commission computer conducted a full distribution of preferences. The Australian Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich, was elected to the fifth position, whilst Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was re-elected to the final position.

Ludlam

Dropulich and Ludlam missed out in the first count. A 14-vote margin in one of the distributions led to the ALP’s Louise Pratt being re-elected and the Palmer United Party picking up a seat. The recount has overturned that result. [Read more…]


Bishop Says AusAID Abolition Heralds Alignment Of Foreign, Trade And Development Policies

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, says the integration of AusAID with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade marks “a significant milestone for Australia’s international engagement.

BishopUnder the Abbott government’s new administrative arrangements, AusAID is abolished as of today and responsibility for foreign aid returns to the department.

AusAID was established in 1974 by the Whitlam government as the Australian Development Assistance Agency. It underwent a number of name changes until the Keating government settled on AusAID in 1995.

In a statement today, Bishop said: “DFAT is now responsible for development policy and the delivery of Australia’s aid program. The outcome of this major change will be the alignment of Australia’s foreign, trade and development policies and programs in a coherent, effective and efficient way.”

Statement from Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

A new era in diplomacy

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the integration of AusAID with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on 1 November marked a significant milestone for Australia’s international engagement. [Read more…]


Shorten Says ALP Will Support Carbon Tax Abolition Provided ETS Remains

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced that the ALP will support legislation to abolish the fixed carbon price but will move amendments to retain the emissions trading scheme.

Shorten said the ALP will oppose the legislation outright if its amendments are rejected. [Read more…]


Morrison Says The Boats Are Stopping

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, claims the government’s policies are stopping the boats.

Speaking at his weekly briefing for Operation Sovereign Borders, Morrison said no boats had arrived this week.

He said: “I’m pleased to report that illegal boat arrivals are significantly below trends and expectations… Now while the Government is pleased with the significant decline in illegal boat arrivals we are not taking anything for granted. Nor are we making any claims about prospective activity remaining at these low levels. I can say though is that the consistent application across all our spheres of activity under Operation Sovereign Borders is now shifting the balance strongly in our favour, against the people smugglers… For the first time in five years, we are now getting the upper hand over the people smugglers and we do not intend to yield this ever again.” [Read more…]


Fairfax Poll Declared; Palmer Praises Democracy

The declaration of the poll in the Queensland electorate of Fairfax has taken place.

Fairfax is the final seat in the House of Representatives to be decided in the 2013 federal election. The Australian Electoral Commission has now returned all the writs for House elections. [Read more…]


2013 Primary Vote Winners, Preference Vote Losers

There were 15 seats in the 2013 federal election where the primary vote leaders were defeated after the full distribution of preferences.

In 12 seats, all held by the ALP, the coalition candidate led on primary votes but the seat was won by the ALP after preferences. In 3 seats, coalition leads were overtaken by independent or third-party candidates.

The 15 seats were concentrated in Victoria (7), Queensland (5) and New South Wales (3).

Overall, 53 (35.3%) of the 150 House of Representatives electorates were decided on primary votes, whilst 97 (64.7%) required preference distribution to obtain a winner.

It is worth noting that 82 of the 97 electorates were won after preferences by the candidates who led the primary vote count. Even with preferences, a primary vote lead is difficult to overcome. [Read more…]


Rupert Murdoch’s Lowy Lecture

The chairman of News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, has delivered the Lowy Lecture in Sydney tonight.

Murdoch argued that “Australia is on the cusp of becoming something rare and valuable in this new world: an egalitarian meritocracy, with more than a touch of libertarianism”.

Murdoch

Murdoch said that Australian values, immigration and disruption were the key to the nation’s future. He said: “Australia must be the economy that thrives on disruption. Primarily we will do this through the key drivers of prosperity: trade, technology and free markets.” [Read more…]