Joan Child, First Female Member Of House, First Female Speaker, Dies, 91

Joan Child, the first female Labor member of the House of Representatives, and the first female Speaker, has died. She was 91.

Child was elected to the Melbourne electorate of Henty, centred around Oakleigh, in 1974. She had unsuccessfully contested the electorate in 1972.

She was defeated at the 1975 election and again in 1977. She returned to the House in 1980, securing re-election to Henty in 1983, 1984 and 1987.

Child became the first woman Speaker of the House of Representatives in February 1986. She relinquished the position in August 1989, ahead of her retirement at the 1990 election.

The electorate of Henty was abolished in 1990. Parts of the old Henty are now in Chisholm, currently held by the second female Speaker, Anna Burke. Other areas are in Hotham and Higgins.

Shown below is an election leaflet Joan Child used in her unsuccessful 1972 campaign for Henty, and her 1974 and 1980 how-to-vote cards:

Child [Read more...]


Zed Seselja Topples Gary Humphries For ACT Liberal Senate Preselection

Senator Gary Humphries has lost preselection for the Liberal Party’s ACT Senate ticket to Zed Seselja.

SeseljaIn a preselection ballot today, Seselja defeated Humphries by 114 votes to 84.

Seselja’s win is a victory for the conservative wing of the Liberal Party. Humphries has always been regarded as a small-l Liberal.

Humphries, 54, has been an Australian Capital Territory Senator since 2003. Previously, he was Chief Minister of the ACT (2000-01). Elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 1989, he held various portfolios in Liberal governments, including Attorney-General (1995-2000) and Treasurer (1999-2001).

Seselja, 35, was elected to the ACT Legislative Assembly in 2004. He served as Leader of the Opposition from 2007 until earlier this month.

Territory senators serve concurrent terms with the House of Representatives. Assuming the September 14 election proceeds as announced, Seselja will enter the Senate at that time. New Senators elected from the states will not take their seats until July 1, 2014.



Gareth Evans Maintains The Rage

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Sir John Kerr was the worst of Australia’s Governors-General and his legacy was to delay the emergence of an Australian republic, former Labor minister Gareth Evans will tell a seminar today.

Professor Evans will say that Sir John, who dismissed Gough Whitlam from the prime ministership, had a “catastrophic” tenure.

It was not marked by dignity, competence or effectiveness. He showed “far less dispassionate non-partisanship than any politician incumbent of the office [of Governor General].”

Professor Evans, Chancellor of the Australian National University, will open the seminar on “Values and Visions of Australia’s Governors-General,” at ANU. [Read more...]


Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens Appears Before House Economics Committee

Glenn Stevens, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, has appeared before the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.

Stevens told the committee that economic growth “was probably about trend in 2012 as a whole” but “our sense is that the economy has entered 2013 at a pace a little below that”.

Stevens said that “the economy will be adjusting to the peak if the mining boom and some other areas of demand will have room to grow more quicly than they have in recent years”. He said the threat of extreme financial instability in the euro area “has abated” and the United States has avoided the worse of the “fiscal cliff”. He said the slowdown in China has come to an end.

Text of opening statement by Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Steven to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics.

In the six months since the August hearing, economic and financial conditions abroad have generally improved. We can see three key sets of developments.

First, the threat perceived in the middle of last year of extreme financial instability arising in the euro area – and, in the eyes of some, possible disintegration of the euro – has abated. This followed various important steps taken by European policymakers. Interest rates faced by some of the key sovereigns which were under acute pressure have declined markedly, and funding conditions for many European banks have improved to the point where some of the central bank funding that had been supplied has been repaid. These countries, and Europe generally, still face immense challenges and it is, as usual, important to stress that sentiment remains vulnerable to setbacks. But a truly disastrous outcome was, once again, avoided. [Read more...]


Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings At The National Press Club

Tasmania’s Labor Premier, Lara Giddings, has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra.

Giddings spoke at length about the state of Tasmania’s economy. She defended her state’s share of the proceeds of the Goods and Services Tax, praised the National Broadband Network and talked of Tasmania’s place in the Asian Century.

Gidding

  • Listen to Giddings’s speech (30m)

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  • Listen to Giddings respond to questions (27m)

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Transcript of speech to the National Press Club by Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings.

INTRODUCTION

Thank you to the National Press Club for inviting me to speak to you today.

If you were in Tasmania this summer you would have seen some of the world’s biggest cruise ships tied up in one of the most beautiful harbours on the planet.

You would have seen thousands of tourists and locals queuing to get into one of the world’s best museums at MONA. [Read more...]