Morrison Confirms 31 Dead From Asylum Boat Sinking

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed the deaths of 31 asylum seekers from a capsized boat off the West Java coast on Friday.

There are 22 survivors from the boat.

Morrison

Morrison spoke today at his second weekly press briefing on asylum issues. He was accompanied by the Vice Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin. Later, Shadow Immigration Minister Tony Burke responded to Morrison. [Read more…]


Albanese And Shorten Debate ALP Leadership In Melbourne

ALP leadership contenders Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten have debated one another and taken questions from an audience at the Melbourne Trades Hall today.

The 90-minute encounter is the latest in a series of debates the two men have engaged in. They will meet again on the ABC’s Q & A program on Monday.

  • Listen to the debate (97m)

Debate

Debate

Debate


At America’s Cup 30th Anniversary, Bob Hawke Tells A Joke

Today is the 30th anniversary of Australia’s victory over the United States in the America’s Cup yacht race.

Bob Hawke had been prime minister for six months when Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, defeated Liberty, skippered by Dennis Conner. Australia II was designed by Ben Lexcen with a revolutionary and controversial ‘winged keel’. Representing the Royal Perth Yacht Club, Australia II was funded by businessman Alan Bond.

Australia II’s victory was the first time in 132 years that the Americans had been defeated.

Even though few Australians knew much about the race, it captured the public imagination at the time. On the day of victory, Bob Hawke appeared on morning television wearing a specially made jacket. His appearance is remembered for his declaration: “Any boss who sacks anyone for not turning up today is a bum.”

  • Watch Hawke’s 1983 America’s Cup appearance:

At an event to celebrate the 30th anniversary today, Bob Hawke appeared with Bertrand and Bond and told a joke that he said captures the “irreverence” of Australians:

  • Watch Bob Hawke’s 2013 joke:

Positioning Labor For The Future: Bill Shorten’s Leadership Pitch

Bill Shorten has delivered one of his most detailed speeches outlining his approach to the Labor leadership.

Speaking to a forum in Melbourne arranged by the Labor think-tank Per Capita, Shorten spoke at length about party reform, new approaches to policy and the importance of rebuilding trust with the community.

Shorten

Text of Bill Shorten’s speech to the Per Capita forum in Melbourne.

Josh, thanks for that kind introduction.

I’ve spoken a good deal in recent months of the battle of ideas, concerning the future of our nation.

Of the fair go for the disabled, and the protection of those persecuted, particularly in the workplace and particularly women. Of the right of the older Australians to a roof, to companionship, and the feeling of being valued and useful in your neighbourhoods and communities, and not being discarded because of your age.

Now I believe Per Capita strongly and decently fights alongside Labor in the battle for ideas about the future of our nation.

They like me, like Labor, know that the great and powerful ideas, which define our nation, define our future, are most often very simple. [Read more…]


Palmer United Party Wins Senate Seat In Tasmania

Jacqui Lambie of the Palmer United Party (PUP) has won a Senate seat in Tasmania, following the full distribution of preferences by the Australian Electoral Commission.

LambieIt is the first confirmed Senate seat for Clive Palmer’s party. Glenn Lazarus seems certain to be elected to the Senate from Queensland and Zhenya Wang is still in the running in Western Australia. Clive Palmer is 39 votes ahead in the Queensland House of Representatives electorate of Fairfax. A recount in Fairfax is underway this week.

The election of two, and possibly three, PUP senators ensures that Clive Palmer is one of the big winners in the 2013 election. When the new senators take their seats next July, a crossbench of seven or eight minor party members and independents will hold the balance of power.

Lambie, a former Army corporal, won the final Tasmanian position by 15,000 votes, ahead of the Liberal Party’s Sally Chandler and the Sex Party’s Robbie Swan. PUP polled 22,184 primary votes, or 6.58%. As in other states, a complex web of preference deals ensured Lambie’s election. [Read more…]


Julia Gillard To Write Memoirs For Random House

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard is to write her memoirs for Random House publishers.

The book will appear will be published in October next year.

Random House has posted this interview with Gillard, as part of their publicity for the book.

  • Watch Gillard interviewed by Gabrielle Coyne (3m)

Albanese And Shorten Meet In ALP Leadership Debate

The two contenders for the ALP leadership have met in a televised debate tonight.

Debate

Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten took questions from an audience of ALP members in Sydney. Each man made opening and closing statements. The debate was moderated by former Keating government minister Michael Lee.

  • Listen to the debate (62m)

Whilst Albanese demonstrated his strong parliamentary style, Shorten emphasised new areas of policy for the ALP to pursue. [Read more…]