Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture 2012: Chris Bowen

This is the text of the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture delivered by the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen.

Chris BowenThank you and it’s a pleasure to join you tonight to give the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture.

I’d like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to the elders – past and present – and thank them for their stewardship of our land over the millennia.

I would also like to acknowledge Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell, Arthur’s daughter, who is here with us tonight. I know Mary Elizabeth herself has an abiding interest in both the past and future of the Labor Party, including her father’s legacy.

I would also like to thank my friend Maria Vamvakinou for the invitation to be here. Maria is a first class Member of Parliament. She makes unfailingly thoughtful contributions in our Caucus and in Parliament. She is a fearless advocate for her community and, in my area of responsibility, a passionate believer in multiculturalism. Best of all, I count her as a trusty counsel and a firm friend. [Read more...]


Craig Thomson: Fair Work Australia Investigation

The Fair Work Australia investigation of Craig Thomson and the Health Services Union dominated political news today.

Craig Thomson

  • Craig Thomson speaks to the media prior to the release of the Fair Work Australia report

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  • Download the Australian Government Solicitor’s advice to Fair Work Australia (PDF)
  • Download Fair Work Australia’s media release (PDF)
  • Download Statement by Craig Thomson (PDF)
  • Tony Abbott comments on the Fair Work Australia report

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Reserve Bank Leaves Cash Rate Unchanged

The Reserve Bank has left interest rates unchanged at its monthly meeting today.

Statement by RBA Governor Glenn Stevens: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 4.25 per cent.

Recent information is consistent with the expectation that the world economy will grow at a below-trend pace this year, but does not suggest that a deep downturn is occurring. Several countries in Europe will record very weak outcomes, but the US economy is continuing a moderate expansion. Growth in China has moderated, as was intended, and is likely to remain at a more measured and sustainable pace in the future. Conditions around other parts of Asia softened in 2011, partly due to natural disasters, but are not showing signs of further deterioration. Some moderation in inflation has allowed policymakers in the region to ease monetary policies somewhat. Commodity prices declined for a few months last year and are noticeably off their peaks, but have been relatively stable for a while now, at quite high levels. Australia’s terms of trade have peaked, though they remain high. [Read more...]


Auditor-General Releases Report On Australia Network Tender Process

The Australian National Audio Office has released its report on the Australia Network Tender process.

The report is scathing in its assessment of the Gillard government’s tender and cabinet processes.


Lionel Bowen, Whitlam Minister, Deputy PM To Hawke, Dies At 89

Lionel Bowen, a minister in the Whitlam government and Deputy Prime Minister under Bob Hawke, has died, aged 89.

Bowen was Deputy Prime Minister for the first three terms of the Hawke government from 1983 to 1990. He was Minister for Trade in 1983-84 and Attorney-General from 1984-90.

Lionel Bowen at the first meeting of the Hawke Cabinet in 1983

Bowen was one of the original Whitlam government ministers, serving as Postmaster-General between 1972-74. He was Special Minister of State and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister between 1973-75. [Read more...]


Julia Gillard Meets With Campbell Newman

Prime Minister Gillard has met with Queensland Premier Campbell Newman for the first time since last weekend’s election.

The advent of the Liberal National government in Queensland means that Gillard now faces non-Labor premiers in the four largest states: NSW, Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia.

Gillard also maintained her criticism of Tony Abbott over his plan to consider a scheme to assist families to employ nannies.

This is how Channel 10 reported the meeting:


Senator Judith Adams Dies

The Liberal Party’s Western Australian Senator Judith Adams has died, aged 68.

Senator Judith AdamsSenator Adams reportedly died as a result of breast cancer.

She was in her second term in the Senate, having been first elected in the 2004 federal election. Her term commenced on July 1, 2005.

A former nurse and farmer, Senator Adams was Deputy Opposition Whip and had been Temporary Chair of Committees since July last year.

According to her personal website, “Judith was born in Picton, New Zealand and after completing her secondary education trained as a general nurse, a midwife and gained a Diploma in Operating Theatre Nursing.

“In 1963 Judith joined the NZ Territorial Army as a Nursing Sister, obtaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant and in 1967 was appointed to the NZ Surgical Team in Vietnam as a civilian nurse auspiced under the Columbo Plan. [Read more...]