Governor-General’s Proclamation Summoning Parliament

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has issued a proclamation summoning the Parliament to meet on November 12.

The proclamation is issued under Section 5 of the Constitution, which empowers the Governor-General to “appoint such times for holding the sessions of the Parliament as he thinks fit”.

As in all such matters, the proclamation is issued on the advice of the Prime Minister. It is the government that has decided when Parliament is to meet, not the Governor-General. [Read more…]


W.A. Senate Result Declared

The result of the Western Australian Senate count has been officially declared, in Perth today.

Peter Kramer, the Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia, declared the result which saw 3 Liberals, 1 Labor, 1 Greens and 1 Sports Party candidates elected. He then took questions about the conduct of the ballot. [Read more…]


Car Industry Report Predicts Economic Devastation If Government Assistance Ends

The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries has released a report on the car industry.

The report, prepared by the Allen Consulting Group, is titled: The strategic role of the Australian Automotive Manufacturing Industry.

The report argues that Australia’s GDP would be $7.3 billion smaller (in today’s dollars) by 2018 without autmotive manufacturing. It says billions in foreign direct investment would cease and the economies of Adelaide and Melbourne “would be devastated” if government assistance to the industry ceased. The report says employment would fall by around 1.5%.

The car industry receives around $500 million in government funding each year. The report says: “For this investment, the Australian economy is $21.5 billion larger.”

The report comes as the Abbott government faces a decision about the continuation of government assistance to the car industry. Politically, the timing of the decision is awkward because of the South Australian election next March and the Victorian election at the end of 2014.

The government’s decision will also be a test of its economic decision-making and its commitment to market principles.

Extract from “The strategic role of the Australian Automotive Manufacturing Industry”, p55. [Read more…]


Greens And Sports Party Prevail In WA Senate Count; Next Stop Court Of Disputed Returns

The Greens and Sports Party candidates have prevailed in the recount of the Western Australian Senate election but their success may be shortlived as a legal challenge to the result looms.

The official recount concluded today after the Australian Electoral Commission computer conducted a full distribution of preferences. The Australian Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich, was elected to the fifth position, whilst Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was re-elected to the final position.

Ludlam

Dropulich and Ludlam missed out in the first count. A 14-vote margin in one of the distributions led to the ALP’s Louise Pratt being re-elected and the Palmer United Party picking up a seat. The recount has overturned that result. [Read more…]


Bishop Says AusAID Abolition Heralds Alignment Of Foreign, Trade And Development Policies

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Julie Bishop, says the integration of AusAID with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade marks “a significant milestone for Australia’s international engagement.

BishopUnder the Abbott government’s new administrative arrangements, AusAID is abolished as of today and responsibility for foreign aid returns to the department.

AusAID was established in 1974 by the Whitlam government as the Australian Development Assistance Agency. It underwent a number of name changes until the Keating government settled on AusAID in 1995.

In a statement today, Bishop said: “DFAT is now responsible for development policy and the delivery of Australia’s aid program. The outcome of this major change will be the alignment of Australia’s foreign, trade and development policies and programs in a coherent, effective and efficient way.”

Statement from Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs.

A new era in diplomacy

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the integration of AusAID with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) on 1 November marked a significant milestone for Australia’s international engagement. [Read more…]


Shorten Says ALP Will Support Carbon Tax Abolition Provided ETS Remains

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced that the ALP will support legislation to abolish the fixed carbon price but will move amendments to retain the emissions trading scheme.

Shorten said the ALP will oppose the legislation outright if its amendments are rejected. [Read more…]


Morrison Says The Boats Are Stopping

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, claims the government’s policies are stopping the boats.

Speaking at his weekly briefing for Operation Sovereign Borders, Morrison said no boats had arrived this week.

He said: “I’m pleased to report that illegal boat arrivals are significantly below trends and expectations… Now while the Government is pleased with the significant decline in illegal boat arrivals we are not taking anything for granted. Nor are we making any claims about prospective activity remaining at these low levels. I can say though is that the consistent application across all our spheres of activity under Operation Sovereign Borders is now shifting the balance strongly in our favour, against the people smugglers… For the first time in five years, we are now getting the upper hand over the people smugglers and we do not intend to yield this ever again.” [Read more…]