“We Have A Pope”: Argentinian Cardinal Bergoglio Will Be Pope Francis I

6.25am AEST – Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio has been elected Pope by the College of Cardinals. He will take the name Pope Francis I.

Bergoglio is 76 years old. He reportedly came second in the ballot to elect Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.


Bergoglio has been the Archbishop of Buenos Aires.

He is the first Jesuit to be Pope and the first non-European pope since the eighth century.

5.10am AEST – The conclave of Catholic cardinals has elected a new Pope. White smoke has billowed from the chimney at the Vatican.


An announcement of the identity of the Pope is expected soon.

Bells are tolling in Rome and people are rushing to St. Peter’s Square.

Adam Giles New Chief Minister In Northern Territory; Absent Terry Mills Felled In Leadership Coup

Adam Giles is to become the first indigenous leader of an Australian government after a Country-Liberal Party coup in the Northern Territory felled Chief Minister Terry Mills whilst he was overseas.

The new Deputy Chief Minister will be Dave Tollner.

Mills became Chief Minister just six months ago after defeating the ten-year-old Labor government led by Paul Henderson. His government experienced a swing against it in last month’s by-election in Henderson’s seat.


The leadership change came whilst Terry Mills was on his way to Japan. It is reported that Treasurer John Elferink was also absent. Details of the leadership change are still emerging. [Read more…]

Colin Barnett Wins Easy Re-Election To Second Term In Western Australia

The first-term Liberal-Nationals government led by Premier Colin Barnett has been comfortably re-elected with an increased majority in today’s Western Australian state election.

The ALP appears to have lost 6 seats to the Liberals: Forrestfield, Morley, Balcatta, Joondalup, Belmong, and Perth. Pilbara has gone to the Nationals leader Brendon Grylls. The Liberals have retained all of their seats. The Labor-held seats of Albany, Collie-Preston and Kimberley are not yet decided. [Read more…]

International Women’s Day 2013


  • Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s International Women’s Day Message 2013:
  • Opposition Leader Tony Abbott speaks at an IWD Breakfast:



The former Victorian Liberal leader, Denis Napthine, has been re-elected tonight and will become Premier following the resignation of Ted Baillieu.

Liberal MPs were given ten minutes notice of a party-room meeting to be held at 7pm tonight. Baillieu offered his resignation to the partyroom and Denis Napthine was elected in his place.

Napthine [Read more…]

John Forrest, Nationals Member For Mallee, Announces Retirement

John Forrest, The Nationals member for Mallee since 1993, has announced he will retire from the House of Representatives at this year’s federal election.

ForrestMallee, in north-western Victoria, is the safest Coalition electorate in the nation. Forrest won it in 2010 with 74.41% of the two-party-preferred vote. He secured 66.79% of the primary vote. The ALP polled 19.89%.

There has been a redistribution in Victoria. Mallee’s margin is now estimated to be 23.3%.

Mallee includes the towns of Mildura in the north, Warracknabeal, St Arnaud and Horsham in the south, and Swan Hill and Kerang in the east. It has been held by The Nationals, formerly the Country Party, since its creation in 1949. Forrest is only its third member in that time.

Forrest is the thirteenth member of the House of Representatives to opt for retirement at this year’s election.

It is not clear at this stage if the Liberal Party will nominate a candidate in Mallee. Three-cornered contests involving the Coalition usually only occur when a seat is vacant.

Text of statement published on John Forrest’s website:

The Nationals thank John Forrest

The Nationals Federal President, Mrs Christine Ferguson has paid tribute to John Forrest following his announcement today that he will retire from the Federal Parliament after 20 years of outstanding service at the next Federal election. [Read more…]

Reserve Bank Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

At its monthly meeting today, the Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate unaltered.

The cash rate has been 3.0 per cent since the Reserve’s December board meeting.

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 3.0 per cent.

Global growth is forecast to be a little below average for a time, but the downside risks appear to have lessened over recent months. The United States is experiencing a moderate expansion and financial strains in Europe are considerably reduced compared with the situation through much of last year. Growth in China has stabilised at a fairly robust pace. Around Asia generally, growth was dampened by the earlier slowing in China and the weakness in Europe, but again there are signs of stabilisation. Commodity prices are little changed recently, at reasonably high levels.

Sentiment in financial markets is much improved compared with the middle of last year. Risk spreads have narrowed and funding conditions for financial institutions are more favourable. Long-term interest rates faced by highly rated sovereigns, including Australia, remain at exceptionally low levels. Borrowing conditions for large corporations are very attractive. Share prices have risen substantially from their low points. However, the task of putting private and public finances on sustainable paths in several major countries is far from complete. Accordingly, as seen most recently in Europe, financial markets remain vulnerable to occasional setbacks. [Read more…]