Kristina Keneally Announces Resignation From Parliament

The former NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, has announced her resignation from the NSW Parliament.

Kristina KeneallyKeneally who served as Premier for the final 16 months of the Labor government’s 15-year term, will vacate the seat of Heffron, necessitating a by-election.

Keneally is to take up a position as CEO of Basketball Australia.

American-born, Keneally was elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly in 2003. She served as Disability Services minister and Planning Minister before being installed as Labor leader and Premier on December 3, 2009. She replaced Nathan Rees who had in turn replaced Morris Iemma.

Keneally led the NSW ALP to its biggest defeat ever. The party was reduced to 20 seats in the 93-member lower house.

Text of a statement from Basketball Australia.

Kristina Keneally named BA CEO

Former NSW Premier Kristina Keneally has been named CEO of Basketball Australia.

Basketball Australia today announced former New South Wales Premier Kristina Keneally will be appointed as the organisation’s new Chief Executive Officer, effective 3 August 2012. [Read more...]

Senator Mary Jo Fisher To Resign

Mary Jo FisherLiberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher has announced that she will resign from the Senate on August 10.

Fisher cited her depressive illness and her recent trial as reasons for her retirement.

Fisher was appointed to the Senate in 2007, replacing Amanda Vanstone. She was elected to a full term in 2010.

The South Australian parliament will appoint a replacement for Fisher.

Under Section 15 of the Constitution, the parliament is obliged to appoint a person nominated by the Liberal Party.

Text of statement released by Senator Mary Jo Fisher.

I am today announcing my intention to resign my position as a Senator representing the people of SA, effective 10 August 2012.

I do so on medical advice and after experiencing a further panic attack, similar but less severe than the one which caused such grief 18 months ago.

It has become undeniable that for me, the road to full recovery from my depressive illness has been hampered by my trying to get better, at the same time as continuing to serve in public office. My faltering recovery was exacerbated by repeated pressures from dogged, calculated and deliberate attempts by the police prosecution service to do everything possible to increase the length, complexity, cost and emotional turmoil both of my recent and extended trial, and the subsequent and continuing post-trial cost processes.

I thank my long-suffering family, friends and Parliamentary colleagues for their support through this persistently tough period. I am particularly thankful to my senatorial staff, each one of whom has stayed with me through exceptionally testing times. Without all of this support, the ordeal would be impossible.

It’s been a privilege to represent South Australians for the past 5 years as a Liberal Senator. In the main, I have enjoyed it and hope that I have made a difference for the better.

Kim Williams Announces News Limited Media Plans

This is the video beamed to News Limited employees around the nation at 2pm this afternoon.

Gillard-Swan Open Letter To G20 Leaders

This is the text of an open letter from Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Treasurer Wayne Swan to G20 leaders.

The G20 met at the Los Cabos resort in Mexico. Various reports suggest the letter was not well received by other leaders.

The G20 is the “Group of Twenty Finance Minister and Central Bank Governors” from 19 countries plus the European Union. The countries are: United States, Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom, China, Indonesia, Japan and South Korea.

Dear colleagues,

The G20 Los Cabos Summit comes at a challenging time. Risks in Europe have intensified significantly in recent weeks.

Increasing concerns over Greece and the stability of the Spanish banking sector are adversely affecting global financial markets and moving us quickly into crisis management mode. [Read more...]

Julian Assange Appeals Against Extradition

Julian Assange has lodged an application in the Supreme Court of the UK to set aside the judgment validating an arrest warrant that enabled his extradition to Sweden.

Kathy Jackson’s Speech To The HR Nicholls Society

Kathy Jackson, national secretary of the Health Services Union, has addressed the H.R. Nicholls Society in Melbourne.

Jackson has been criticised by other unionists for her decision to speak to the organisation generally regarded as anti-union and once described by Prime Minister Bob Hawke as a group of “political troglodytes and economic lunatics”.

Transcript of Kathy Jackson’s speech to the H.R. Nicholls Society.

Kathy JacksonI have been attacked for agreeing to speak to you tonight because you are seen as the enemies of trade unionism.

I speak in my personal capacity tonight, not as an official of the HSU.

I happen to think that dialogue is important. Including with those with whom I disagree on matters that are important to me.

I am sure that there are very great differences that will be remain between how I see the world and how some of you see it.

I think it better that we have a dialogue about those differences rather than to simply call each other names.

I am sure that, at the end of the day, much of what separates us comes down to matters of deep philosophical outlook, not to mention fundamental differences about matters of economics and how the greatest good can be achieved in society. [Read more...]

Tony Abbott: The Coalition’s Plan For Stronger Communities

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, has delivered his fifth Landmark speech.

Tony AbbottAddressing the Pratt Foundation in Melbourne, Abbott’s speech on “stronger communities” committed an incoming Liberal National government to “renew reconciliation by adopting more imaginative ways to include Aboriginal people in the mainstream economy.”

Abbott also said a coalition government will “restructure an element of the Council of Australian Governments to deliver more seamless law enforcement given that criminals don’t respect state or national borders.”

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Transcript of Tony Abbott’s Landmark Speech to the Pratt Foundation.


John Howard was onto something when he said that he wanted Australians to feel more “relaxed and comfortable” about our country. People naturally seek the reassurance that their job is safe, their doctor is available, their children go to a good school, their neighbourhood is friendly, and their country is secure.

As a Liberal, the former prime minister readily appreciated that the more people can personally participate in the things that matter to them, the more likely they are to have a well developed sense of belonging to strong and cohesive communities.

As John Howard saw it, a big part of his mission was to end the confused sense of self that afflicted Australia at the end of the Keating era, exacerbated by the then prime minister’s insistence that we couldn’t be a real country unless we changed our symbols and repudiated much of our history.

These days, there’s an even deeper sense of public unease about where we’re headed, only the uncertainty is more economic than cultural. The Rudd/Gillard government is less than five years old yet its incompetence and untrustworthiness has engendered a profound sense of disappointment even amongst people who normally vote Labor. [Read more...]