Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day Address

This is the text and audio of former Prime Minister Paul Keating’s Remembrance Day Address at the Australian War Memorial.

Keating

The Address was delivered on the 20th anniversary of Keating’s speech at the Funeral Service of the Unknown Soldier. [Read more…]


Mick Keelty Discusses Investigation Into Missing WA Senate Ballot Papers

Mick Keelty, the former Commissioner of the Federal Police, has held a media conference to discuss his investigation into the missing Western Australian Senate ballot papers.

Keelty [Read more…]


Clive Palmer Arrives In Canberra, Jousts With Media

The newly-elected member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, arrived in Canberra today, ahead of tomorrow’s first sitting of the 44th Parliament.

Juvenile questions meet contemptuous responses.

Palmer [Read more…]


Credit Julia: Gillard And Windsor Speak At Victorian Women’s Trust Tribute

Julia Gillard and Tony Windsor have spoken at a Victorian Women’s Trust event honouring the former prime minister in Melbourne.

The event was called Credit Where Credit Is Due, with the social media hashtag #CreditJulia.

Gillard

The former prime minister and the former independent member who provided crucial support to the minority government from 2010 until 2013 spoke to a large crowd at the Melbourne Town Hall. The event was compered by Mary Crooks. [Read more…]


Indonesia Refuses To Accept Turned Back Boat; Asylum Seekers Taken To Christmas Island

The Australian government has confirmed that Indonesia has refused to accept a boat Australian authorities attempted to turn back just south of Java.

According to a statement from Operation Sovereign Borders, Indonesia is “reviewing the request put forward by Australia”.

The boat was rescued 43 nautical miles south of the coast of Java, within the Indonesian search and rescue zone. A request was made to transfer the passengers to Indonesia. The statement says: “On two recent occasions, Indonesia has agreed to these requests and facilitated an on water transfer.”

The vessel’s passengers have now been taken to Christmas Island and will eventually be taken to Nauru or Manus Island.

The Opposition says the government’s asylum policies are in disarray and it is in retreat from its “turn back the boats” policy. The government statement says the number of “illegal arrivals” is down 75% since Operation Sovereign Borders began.

13-11-09_osb-statement



Government Tightens Rules On Parliamentarians’ Expenses Claims

The federal government has strengthened the rules governing parliamentarians’ expenses.

The Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson, has announced that from January 1, 2014 MPs whose travel claims need adjustment will pay a 25% penalty on top of the adjustment. Mandatory training will be provided to parliamentarians and their staff if more than one claim needs adjustment within a financial year.

The government has tightened rules on travel entitlements for members’ families. It has also stipulated that overseas travel may not be taken first class. Members’ names may also be tabled in parliament if they do no “substantially comply” within a reasonable time with requests for further information.

The government will also ban MPs from employing relatives in their electorate offices. Those who currently do so have until January 1 to make alternative arrangements.

The changes have been announced just days before the new parliament meets for the first time. They follow several weeks of revelations about claims by MPs. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repaid over $1,700 in travel and accommodation expenses he claimed for attending the weddings of Sophie Mirabella and Peter Slipper in 2006.

Adam Bandt, acting leader of the Australian Greens, said the government was only acting under pressure and its changes were the “bare minimum”. He called for an Integrity Commissioner and a parliamentary “entitlements adviser”.

Statement from the Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson.

STRENGTHENING THE RULES GOVERNING PARLIAMENTARIANS’ BUSINESS EXPENSES

Direct contact between citizens and their elected representatives is an important part of our democracy.

The system of funding the work costs of members and senators in carrying out their responsibilities is complicated by the fact that there is no set job description for the role of a parliamentarian. As independent assessments show, a parliamentarian’s day is routinely long, busy and varied. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott Address To W.A. Liberal Party State Council

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has addressed the Western Australian Liberal Party State Council in Perth.

It was Abbott’s first official speech to the Liberal Party in W.A. since his election victory in September. Jokingly conceding he wasn’t a Western Australian, Abbott said he was there as Prime Minister of Western Australia. [Read more…]