Tony Abbott’s Address To The National Press Club

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra, a day after Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the September 14 election date.

Abbott reprised the now familiar themes from his speeches over the past couple of years.

He committed a Coalition government to abolishing the School Kids Bonus. [Read more…]


Craig Thomson Arrested; Faces 149 Fraud Charges

The suspended ALP member for the NSW seat of Dobell, Craig Thomson, has been arrested and will be charged with 149 fraud offences against the Health Services Union.

Text of press release from NSW Police.

Man arrested in NSW following fraud investigation by Victoria Police

Thursday, 31 January 2013 01:21:58 PM

A man wanted in Victoria on fraud offences has been arrested on the NSW Central Coast by officers from State Crime Command’s Fraud and Cybercrime Squad.

An arrest warrant had been issued for the 48-year-old man by Victorian authorities following investigations into allegations of fraud committed against the Health Services Union.

About 1pm today (Thursday 31 January 2013), detectives attached to Strike Force Carnarvon arrested the man at an address in Tuggerah.

He was taken to Wyong Police Station where he is expected to be charged by virtue of the arrest warrant with a fraud offence.

It is expected he will go before Wyong Local Court where a further 149 fraud charges are to be laid.

It is anticipated that Victorian detectives will apply for the man’s extradition to Victoria.


Why Has Gillard Picked September 14?

Four weeks ago, I published a post speculating on when the election might be held.

You can read the post here. In it, I speculated on the possibility that Gillard could announce the election date sometime around Australia Day.

In essence, I felt that the election date options were fairly limited. I never thought there was any possibility of an early election in the first half of the year. November was a bridge too far. Assuming an election in August, September or October, it seemed to me there were only a couple of real possibilities. [Read more…]


Gillard Uses National Press Club Speech To Announce September 14 Election

This is the full text and audio of Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s speech to the National Press Club in which she announced a federal election on September 14.

The speech was a major event to start the political year. Almost no-one predicted that she would announce a September election with such a long lead-time. [Read more…]


GILLARD ANNOUNCES SEPTEMBER 14 FEDERAL ELECTION

Australia’s federal election will be held on September 14, 2013.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has just announced the date during an address to the National Press Club in Canberra.

Gillard delivered what she called a “stocktake” of Australia’s position before outlining her version of the key issues for 2013. She said it was a case of “governing first, electioneering second” and then announced the date.

The election timetable means that Parliament will sit for the last time on June 27.



Robert McClelland Announces Retirement As Member For Barton

The former Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, has announced he will retire from parliament at this year’s election.

McClellandMcClelland is the Labor member for Barton in Sydney. He has held the seat since 1996.

His two-party-preferred margin at the 2010 election was 6.86%, following a swing of 8.08% against the ALP. The ALP primary vote was 48.48%.

McClelland was Attorney-General in the Rudd government from its election in 2007 and under Gillard until December 2011 when he was demoted to Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Emergency Management.

He was sacked from the ministry last March, following his public support for Kevin Rudd’s failed leadership challenge.

There was media speculation today that the former NSW Premier, Morris Iemma, may be interested in ALP preselection for Barton.

McClelland is the fifth Labor member of the House of Representatives to announce his retirement. The others are Steve Gibbons (Bendigo-Vic), Sharon Grierson (Newcastle-NSW), Harry Jenkins (Scullin-Vic) and Kirsten Livermore (Capricornia-Qld).

Four Liberal MPs are also retiring. They are Joanna Gash (Gilmore-NSW), Judi Moylan (Pearce-WA), Alby Schultz (Hume-NSW) and Mal Washer (Moore-WA).

Two Queensland LNP members are retiring. They are Paul Neville (Hinkler) and Alex Somlyay (Fairfax).

Statement from Robert McClelland, Member for Barton.

I have today advised the General Secretary of the NSW Branch of the Australian Labor Party that I have decided not to seek preselection as the ALP’s candidate for the seat of Barton in the next Federal election. After almost 17 years in Federal Parliament my decision has not been taken lightly and follows discussion over the Christmas recess with my family and friends.

I take this opportunity to express my appreciation to the constituents of Barton. I owe them a deep sense of gratitude for their support over the past 17 years. It has been a tremendous honour and privilege to represent them in the Parliament of Australia.

The electorate of Barton is a remarkable area with a long established sense of community that has been supplmented by the drive and energy of people who have come from all corners of the globe to make our great country their home. I comment the work of local community organisations and the representatives at all levels of Government with whom I have had the privilege of working to make our area a shining example of a harmonious and vibrant community.

I would also like to thank my family, staff, friends and supporters for their constancy over the past 17 years. They have provided the foundation and support for all that I have been able to achieve as the federal Member for Barton and as a Minister of the Crown.

I wish my successor all the very best in the important and tremendously satisfying role that lays ahead for him or her and I look forward to continuing to make a contribution to the Australian community in the next stage of my professional career.


“Our Plan” – Tony Abbott Releases Coalition Policy Document

The Liberal Party has released a 50-page policy document for this year’s federal election.

The booklet is titled: “Our Plan – Real Solutions for all Australians – The direction, values and policy priorities of the next Coalition government.” [Read more…]