The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, has addressed the Victorian division of the Liberal Party in Melbourne.
- Listen to Kooyong MP Josh Frydenberg introduce Abbott (7m)
- Listen to Tony Abbott’s speech (26m)
Peter Slipper has released copies of Cabcharge vouchers which he says show that the allegations against him are a “complete fabrication”.
In recent days it has become clear that Slipper will be unable to return to the Speaker’s chair. Independents Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Andrew Wilkie appear to be opposed to his return and there are signs today that the government’s resolve to back Slipper is weakening.
Statement by Peter Slipper:
Please find attached cab charge dockets that I have this afternoon received from the Department of Finance and Deregulation.
These documents have all been completed by me and are clearly in my handwriting as I said they were.
The so called criminal allegation is a complete fabrication, just as the other claims are not accurate.
I repeat that I reject allegations that have been made against me.
I will make a further Statement on this matter in due course.
There was a bizarre interview with Gillard government minister Bill Shorten on the Sky News Agenda program today.
Shorten repeatedly claimed to support whatever Gillard had said, even though he didn’t know what she said.
Shorten appears to have moved away from whole-hearted support for Speaker Peter Slipper’s decision to stand aside pending resolution of travel expenses claims against him. However, Prime Minister Gillard has remained steadfast in defending Slipper’s decision to step down pending resolution of the criminal allegations but not the civil claim of sexual harassment.
Shorten appeared on Agenda at 4pm today.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has delivered ANZAC Day speeches at Gallipoli.
Minister Warren Snowdon spoke at ceremonies at Villers-Brettoneux in France.
- Listen to Gillard’s speech at the Dawn Service at Gallipoli (6m)
- Listen to Gillard’s speech at Lone Pine, Gallipoli (6m)
- Listen to Snowdon’s speech at Villers-Brettoneux (9m)
Inflation increased by a negligible 0.1 per cent in the first quarter of 2012.
In the year to March, there was a 1.6 percent increase in prices. The underlying inflation rate was 2.1 per cent.
The low Consumer Price Index figure has surprised some commentators. The Reserve Bank is now being widely tipped to lower interest rates next week.
- Listen to Wayne Swan’s press conference on the CPI figures:
Statement from the Treasurer, Wayne Swan.
Consumer Price Index – March Quarter 2012
Today’s inflation data show a moderation in both headline and underlying inflation through the year to March, with underlying inflation remaining well contained at the lower end of the Reserve Bank’s target band after falling to its lowest level in well over a decade.
Today’s figures are another reminder of Australia’s strong economic fundamentals – solid growth, low unemployment, strong public finances, a huge pipeline of investment, plus contained inflation – which put the Australian economy in a league of its own. [Read more...]