Abbott Government: Administrative Arrangements Order

The Abbott government has been sworn in today in Canberra.

Whilst the new Prime Minister announced the composition of the ministry two days ago, the Administrative Arrangements Order has just been issued. It was one of the first acts of the new government at its inaugural meeting of the Executive Council.

The Order sets out which departments and agencies will be administered by particular ministers. This is what Sir Humphrey Appleby would call “the real reshuffle”.

The Order also allocates responsibility for each piece of Commonwealth legislation to a specific minister.

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Tony Abbott Sworn In As Australia’s 28th Prime Minister

Anthony John Abbott has taken the oath of office and is now Australia’s 28th Prime Minister.

Abbott

Abbott was sworn in at a ceremony at Government House, Yarralumla, at 10.29am, by the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce. [Read more…]


2013 Federal Election Analysis: Kerry O’Brien

This is the video of ABC presenter Kerry O’Brien discussing the 2013 federal election at the Wheeler Centre on September 17.

O’Brien is the host of the ABC’s Four Corners. For many years he was the host of The 7.30 Report and Lateline. His journalistic experience dates from the Whitlam era. In the late 1970s, he was Gough Whitlam’s press secretary.

O’Brien is interviewed by Sally Warhaft.

  • Watch Kerry O’Brien (62m)

Why Is Kevin Rudd Still Prime Minister?

The federal election was held ten days ago. The Labor government was defeated. Tony Abbott has announced his new ministry. But Kevin Rudd is still prime minister.

Rudd will remain prime minister until tomorrow morning.

At that time, Abbott will be sworn in as prime minister and his ministers will take the oath of office.

Rudd-Abbott

Until that moment, Kevin Rudd remains caretaker prime minister, as he has been since the beginning of the election campaign.

This is quite normal.

  • In 2007, Kevin Rudd won the election on November 24 but was not sworn in as prime minister until December 3. John Howard remained prime minister until that date.
  • In 1996, the election was held on March 2 but John Howard did not replace Paul Keating as prime minister until March 11.
  • In 1983, the election was held on March 5 but Bob Hawke was not sworn in to replace Malcolm Fraser until March 11.
  • In 1949, the election was held on December 10 but Robert Menzies was not sworn in to replace Ben Chifley until December 19.

Excluding the immediate installation of Malcolm Fraser as prime minister, following the dismissal of Gough Whitlam, on November 11, 1975, the fastest transfer of the prime ministership in recent decades took place in 1972. Because Gough Whitlam wanted to get down to business immediately, he was sworn in as prime minister three days after the December 2 election in which he had defeated William McMahon and the Liberal-Country Party coalition. Whitlam and his deputy, Lance Barnard, served as a two-man government until December 19.

Transferring the Prime Ministership

The process followed this year by Rudd and Abbott is part of a long tradition.

On September 8, the day after the election, Rudd tendered his resignation to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.

Rudd

In resigning, Rudd surrendered his commission to the Governor-General. Bryce accepted Rudd’s resignation but asked him to remain as caretaker prime minister until the swearing-in of the new ministry.

Bryce

Rudd’s resignation will take effect the second that Abbott is sworn in. In this way, there is always a prime minister in place. [Read more…]


The First Abbott Ministry: Statistical Analysis

This page provides statistical data on the First Abbott Ministry.

The ministry was announced on September 16, 2013.

It includes 19 Cabinet ministers, 11 members of the Outer Ministry and 12 Parliamentary Secretaries. All 42 members will be sworn as Executive Councillors.

The first table shows the ministry by party, age, sex, state, parliamentary chamber and previous executive experience.

The second table lists each member of the executive and gives their birthdays, ages, electorates, states, date when first elected to parliament, portfolio and experience. [Read more…]


The First Abbott Ministry Announced

The Prime Minister-elect, Tony Abbott, has announced the composition of his first ministry.

The new executive has 30 members. The Cabinet has 19 members, the Outer Ministry 11, and there are 12 Parliamentary Secretaries.

Announcing the ministry at a press conference in Canberra, Abbott said: “This is the team to provide strong and stable government. It builds on a strong, cohesive and united opposition.”

Abbott

Stability and calm were Abbott’s themes during the announcement. He said he wanted a ministry that would “methodically and calmly implement our commitments and respond intelligently to the events of the day”. [Read more…]


ALP Back In Lead In McEwen; McGowan And Palmer Leads Narrow

The ALP’s sitting member in the Victorian electorate of McEwen, Rob Mitchell, is back in the lead as counting continues in the rural seat north of Melbourne.

Counting over the weekend reversed Mitchell’s position. On Thursday night, the ALP was trailing by 396 votes. This narrowed to 153 on Friday night. Yesterday, the ALP was ahead by 97 votes. The Australian Electoral Commission reports that 9,197 envelopes containing absent, provisional, pre-poll and postal votes remain to be counted. Over half of these are pre-poll votes. Postal votes can still be accepted for the next couple of days.

In the Victorian country electorate of Indi, the independent candidate, Cathy McGowan, remains ahead of the sitting Liberal member, Sophie Mirabella, but the her lead is dwindling. McGowan was ahead by 1,100 votes on Thursday. This declined to 895 on Friday. She is now in front by 515 votes with 3,511 votes on hand that haven’t yet been counted.

In the rural Sunshine Coast electorate of Fairfax, Clive Palmer remains 502 votes ahead of the Liberal National Party candidate, Ted O’Brien. Like McGowan in Indi, Palmer was leading by 1,132 on Thursday. This slipped to 718 on Friday. Palmer continues to win only 37% of postal votes. There are 7,491 votes still uncounted.

Counting will continue over the coming days. The count is slowed because of the need to verify the eligibility of each elector who has cast a provisional, absentee or postal vote.

Attention will turn this week to the composition of the new Abbott government. The Prime Minister-elect is expected to announce his ministry today with a swearing-in to take place on Tuesday or Wednesday. Kevin Rudd remains caretaker prime minister until the new ministry is sworn.