Credit Where Credit Is Due

This advertisement appeared in The Age today.

Placed by the Victorian Women’s Trust and signed by Mary Crooks and Diana Batzias, the advertisement pays tribute to the work of the former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. [Read more…]

Rudd Announces Federal ALP Intervention To Clean Up Corruption In NSW Branch

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that the Federal ALP will intervene in the NSW branch of the party in order to establish rules to clean up corruption.

The 30-day intervention will produce new party rules which will exclude property developers from contesting ALP preselections. It will ensure that party members under suspicion of corrupt behaviour are suspended by the party.


At a joint press conference with the Deputy Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese, Rudd also discussed his forthcoming trip to Indonesia.

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Transcript of press conference by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

RUDD: Good morning, thank you for joining us.

This has been a busy first week for the government.

We have sworn in a new ministry, I’ve been working with the Ministers to set up Cabinet processes for the orderly consideration of a range of policy challenges which lie ahead of us.

Yesterday I spent the time on the telephone to each of the Premiers and Chief Ministers and I have spoken to all of them. [Read more…]

Where Are The Seats Rudd Needs To Win?

The “sugar hit” polls are in. It’s 52-48, perhaps 51-49. We have a contest.

Don’t we?

Labor starts with 72 seats, including the notionally independent Dobell. It needs 76 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives. It needs to hold everything it has and pick up 4 more seats to govern with an outright majority of one.

Let’s assume for the moment that the ALP can hold all its 72 seats. Yes, it’s a mighty big assumption.

Where might four more seats come from?


Labor holds 4 of the 5 seats in the Apple Isle. The only seat it doesn’t hold is Denison. Unlike the other independents who backed Julia Gillard, Andrew Wilkie is trying for another term.

Denison is based on Hobart. It has very strong Labor areas and strong Greens areas. Recent polls suggest Wilkie is polling strongly and has lifted his primary vote from 21.26% in 2010 to the mid-30s now. He could be hard to beat.

Other reports and polls have Labor on the nose in Tasmania. But Labor has won all 5 seats in Tasmania in 3 of the past 5 elections (1998, 2001 and 2007). Beyond that, you have to go back to 1974 to find a fourth occasion.


Labor is at a historically high point in Victoria. It polled 55.31% of the two-party-preferred vote in 2010. Despite losing Melbourne to the Greens, the ALP picked up La Trobe and McEwen, giving it 22 of the 37 seats, or 59.4%.

Assuming it holds those 22, it can look to Melbourne as a possibility. The Liberals are likely to direct preferences to the ALP. Unless Adam Bandt can lift his primary vote by several points above the 36.17% he secured in 2010, he is unlikely to win. [Read more…]

Reserve Bank Leaves Cash Rate Steady At 2.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia has left interest rates unchanged in its monthly decision announced today.

The cash rate remains at 2.75%. The bank last changed the rate in May.

In a statement, the Governor of the bank, Glenn Stevens, said: “The Board judged that the easier financial conditions now in place will contribute to a strengthening of growth over time, consistent with achieving the inflation target. It decided that the stance of monetary policy remained appropriate for the time being. The Board also judged that the inflation outlook, as currently assessed, may provide some scope for further easing, should that be required to support demand.”


The new Treasurer, Chris Bowen, has held a press conference to comment on the Reserve Bank’s decision.

  • Listen to Bowen – transcript below (17m)

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Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.75 per cent.

Recent information is consistent with global growth running a bit below average this year, with reasonable prospects of a pick-up next year. Commodity prices have declined further but, overall, remain at high levels by historical standards. Inflation has moderated over recent months in a number of countries. [Read more…]

The Second Rudd Ministry

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his new ministry. It includes six women in the Cabinet and five in the ministry.

The ministry was announced at a press conference in Newcastle.

Rudd will have 20 ministers in the Cabinet. It includes Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who adds Communications to his existing Infrastructure and Transport responsibilities.


The biggest promotion is Senator Jacinta Collins, the government’s new Deputy Leader in the Senate. She becomes Minister for Mental Health and Ageing.

Cabinet ministers from the Gillard government who have not resigned remain in place. They are joined Senator Kim Carr in his previous portfolio of Innovation and Industry.

Joel Fitzgibbon, the former Defence Minister who resigned under a cloud in 2009, returns to Cabinet as Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Richard Marles joins Cabinet as Minister for Trade.

In the outer ministry, Melissa Parke, member for Fremantle, becomes Minister for International Development.

Ed Husic and Senator Doug Cameron become parliamentary secretaries.

The ministry will be sworn in by the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, at 2pm today.

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The second Rudd ministry, from July 1, 2013.


1. Kevin Rudd
Prime Minister

2. Anthony Albanese
Deputy Prime Minister
Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy
Leader of the House

3. Senator Penny Wong
Minister for Finance and Deregulation
Leader of the Government in the Senate

4. Senator Jacinta Collins
Minister for Mental Health and Ageing
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Manager of Government Business in the Senate [Read more…]