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.

Giles

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.

The turmoil in the Country-Liberal Party government comes on the heels of last week’s upheaval when Giles launched a leadership challenge in the aftermath of the sacking of Tollner as Health Minister.

It is reported that today’s events occurred after the “bush coalition” of Alison Anderson, Bess Price, Francis Xavier and Larissa Lee shifted their support to Giles.

There are 16 members of the Country-Liberal Party in the Legislative Assembly. It is reported that Mills was rolled by a vote of 11-5.

Giles made a brief appearance this evening to speak to the media. He made a short statement but did not take questions. He confirmed that he and Tollner would be the new leaders of the government and that the new Cabinet will be sworn in tomorrow afternoon.

Mills is the second conservative leader to be removed in a week. Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu was replaced last Wednesday. Both were first-term leaders of newly-elected governments. Mills was elected on August 25 last year.

The Giles coup is the third time a first-term leader has been removed by their party since 2010. The first was Kevin Rudd.

  • Listen to Adam Giles speak to the media (3m)

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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.

Barnett

The Liberal Party appears likely to have 32 seats, the Nationals 8 and the ALP 19. Four seats remain in doubt so this may change.

The Liberal Party’s primary vote has increased 8.8% to 47.1%. The Nationals are up 1% to 5.9%. The ALP primary vote fell 2.4% to 33.4%, not quite as bad as the 32% predicted in yesterday’s Newspoll.

The Greens vote is down 3.6% to 8.3%. They appear set to lose all their seats in the upper house.

Measured by the two-party-preferred vote, it is a significant defeat for the ALP. The coalition parties have approximately 57.5% of the two-party vote to the ALP’s 42.5%. There has been a swing of 6.3% against the ALP.

McGowan

  • Listen to ALP Opposition Leader Mark McGowan concede defeat (15m)

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  • Listen to Coalition Premier Colin Barnett claim victory (6m)

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International Women’s Day 2013

IWD

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

 


BAILLIEU RESIGNS – DENIS NAPTHINE NEW VICTORIAN PREMIER

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

Baillieu spoke to the media just before 8pm. He offered no reason for his resignation other than the need for new leadership. He said he would remain in parliament.

Baillieu

Napthine’s media conference ended abruptly with the ringing of the division bells in the Legislative Assembly. He spoke emotionally of his regard for Baillieu but seemed otherwise unprepared for his elevation to the premiership.

Napthine

The political drama follows several days of upheaval over the publication of tape recorded conversations involving Baillieu’s Chief of Staff, Tony Nutt, a former Liberal candidate, Tristan Weston, and the Liberal Party State Director, Damien Mantach.

Earlier today, the Liberal member for Frankston, Geoff Shaw, resigned from the Liberal Party to sit as an independent. He cited lack of confidence in the government’s leadership as his reason. His resignation reduced the government’s two-seat majority to one. Some reports suggest Shaw may have delivered an ultimatum to the Liberal Party.

Napthine was leader of the Liberal Party following its surprise defeat in the 1999 election. He was replaced by Robert Doyle just months before the 2002 election. Doyle was replaced by Ted Baillieu in 2006. Baillieu led the Liberals to defeat in the 2006 election before narrowly winning the 2010 election.

Ted Baillieu saw the Governor, Alex Chernov, at approximately 9.50pm tonight and tendered his resignation. Denis Napthine was sworn in at 10.20pm. He is Victoria’s 47th Premier since 1855.

Baillieu has held a press conference confirming his resignation.

  • Listen to Baillieu’s press conference (6m)

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  • Listen to Napthine’s press conference

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  • Listen to Napthine sworn in and first remarks as Premier (1m)

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Statement from Geoff Shaw, Liberal MP for Frankston.

Released from his electorate office at 6.23pm.

This morning I advised the Premier of Victoria of my resignation from the Parliamentary Liberal Party, effective immediately. [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...]