Brian Loughnane: Liberal Party’s 2013 Federal Election Analysis

Brian Loughnane, the Federal Director of the Liberal Party, has addressed the National Press Club on the outcome of the 2013 Federal Election.


Loughnane told the Press Club that Labor’s change to Kevin Rudd in the lead-up to the election failed. The campaign was important in determining the final result. He said Labor’s basic problem now is “a collapse of its core support” which saw its primary vote fall 10% over the last two elections. [Read more…]

Bob Carr Resigns From The Senate, Abandons Promise To Beat Strom Thurmond

Senator Bob Carr, Foreign Minister in the Gillard and Rudd governments, has announced his resignation from Parliament.


Carr’s resignation will take effect tomorrow. It allows the NSW Parliament to appoint his replacement before the Senate sits again on November 12. The defeated member for Robertson, Deb O’Neill, is likely to be appointed as his replacement. The defeated member for Eden-Monaro, Mike Kelly, has also expressed interest in the position. [Read more…]

Government Increases Debt Limit, Announces Commission Of Audit

The Abbott government has increased the debt limit from $300 billion to $500 billion and announced a Commission of Audit.

At a press conference in Canberra today, Treasurer Joe Hockey said that Commonwealth Government Securities on issue would reach $379 billion by 2015-16 and that peak debt will now exceed $400 billion.

He said advice from the Australian Office of Financial Management is that “it is prudent to maintain a buffer of $40-60 billion”. The government will legislate to increase the Commonwealth Government debt limit to $500 billion. [Read more…]

Bill Shorten’s ALP Shadow Ministry – Full List

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced the shadow ministry, following the ALP’s defeat in the 2013 federal election.

The reshuffle is extensive by comparison with the former Rudd and Gillard ministries and appears to reflect Shorten’s desire for a team he described as “energetic and diverse”. At a press conference today, Shorten said the executive demonstrated “generational change” with more members from “gen-X”. [Read more…]

Derryn Hinch Fined $100,000 For Contempt Of Court

Derryn Hinch, a former Melbourne radio broadcaster, has been fined $100,000 for contempt of court.

Hinch was sentenced in the Supreme Court of Victoria by Justice Stephen Kaye. The contempt related to comments Hinch made on his website about the Jill Meagher murder case.


In the decision, Justice Kaye referred to Hinch’s previous convictions for contempt of court: “You have a number of previous convictions for contempt of court, and for associated offences, which are relevant to the determination of your disposition in this case. In particular, you have three previous convictions for breaches of s4 of the Judicial Proceedings Reports Act 1958, namely, for publishing material that was likely to lead to the identification of a victim of a sexual offence. In addition, in 1986, you were convicted by this Court of two charges of contempt of court. The charges in that case concerned three radio broadcasts relating to charges of sexual offences committed by a priest. In those broadcasts, you referred to the priest’s previous convictions, and you accused him of committing further offences while he was on bail.” [Read more…]

“Such A Bastard”: Nicola Roxon Condemns Rudd In Button Memorial Lecture

Nicola Roxon, Health Minister throughout the first Rudd government and Attorney-General during the Gillard government, has condemned Kevin Rudd, whilst delivering the John Button Memorial Lecture, in Melbourne.

Roxon called on Rudd to leave the Parliament, “otherwise the action of any Labor leader will always be tested through the prism of popularity compared to him”.

The now retired member for Gellibrand said the removal of Rudd in 2010 was the right thing to do but was handled “very poorly”. She described Rudd’s government as one of “dysfunctional decision-making” with a “lack of strategy”. [Read more…]

Orientation Day For New Members Of The House Of Representatives

New members of the House of Representatives have assembled in Canberra for an orientation session.

New Members

The new members – 23 Liberals, 6 Nationals, 11 ALP, 1 Independent and 1 Palmer United Party – were addressed by the outgoing Speaker of the House, Anna Burke. She reminded them of the privilege it is to be one of only 1,133 members who have been elected to the House of Representatives since Federation in 1901. For non-members, Burke’s speech provides a fascinating insight into the life of a member of parliament. [Read more…]