Peter Slipper Stands Aside As Speaker

Following newspaper reports yesterday of alleged misuse of CabCharge dockets and a sexual harassment claim, Peter Slipper has stood aside as Speaker of the House of Representatives.

 

With Slipper in the Speaker’s chair, the Gillard government has been able to govern with a majority of 76-73 on the floor of the House. If Slipper has not resumed his position when Parliament meets again on May 8, the government will have 75-73 in any vote, with Anna Burke in the chair and Slipper not voting. This assumes that the crossbenchers (Wilkie, Bandt, Windsor and Oakeshott) stick with the government. [Read more...]


Abbott Calls On Gillard To Require Slipper To Step Aside As Speaker

The Prime Minister should require the Speaker to stand aside, according to the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott.

Abbott today issued a statement following publication of lurid allegations concerning Speaker Peter Slipper.

James Ashby, one of Slipper’s staff-members, has alleged, in documents filed in the Federal Court, that Slipper sexually harassed him.

Describing the situation as a “tawdry state of affairs”, Abbott said that Julia Gillard should require Slipper “to stand aside until these matters are concluded before the courts”.

Abbott said Slipper was entitled to the presumption of innocence but “these allegations unquestionably have the potential to damage the reputation of the office of Speaker and the standing of the Parliament”.

Text of a statement from Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.

STATEMENT ON PETER SLIPPER MP

The Speaker is the presiding officer of the House of Representatives and is responsible for the orderly conduct of the House and the maintenance of standards of behaviour and integrity.

It is a very senior position within our Parliament and an office that should command respect.

It is important for our Parliament that the Speaker have the respect of colleagues and the trust of the community. [Read more...]


Rorts Allegations & Sexual Harassment Claim Against Slipper

Allegations of sexual harassment and misuse of Cabcharge vouchers have been levelled at House of Representatives Speaker Peter Slipper by a former employee, James Ashby.

The allegations have appeared in today’s editions of New Limited newspapers around the country.

Daily Telegraph front page - April 21, 2012Herald Sun front page - April 21, 2012
Courier-Mail front page - April 21, 2012Advertiser front page - April 21, 2012

This is how the Daily Telegraph reported an extract of the sexual harassment claim lodged in the Federal Court against Peter Slipper.

Wednesday January 4 2012: James Ashby and Peter Slipper were in Slipper’s flat after work. Slipper asks applicant: "Can you massage my neck". Ashby says words to the effect of "yeah righto" as "he did not know what other response to give as he was brand new to him job and he was being asked by his employer’.

Thursday, January 5: Ashby was getting ready for work, when Slipper says: "You’re a strange one". The following conversation then took place in words to the effect of: Slipper: "You’re a weird because you shower with the door shut".

Ashby: "What’s weird about that?"

[Read more...]


Gillard Announces $3.7 Billion Aged Care Policy

The Gillard Labor government today announced a suite of aged-care policies worth $3.7 billion over five years.

The package aims to facilitate more support and care at home for older Australians, better access to residential care, recognition for carers and more support for those with dementia.

The policy was announced by the Prime Minister and the Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler.

  • Listen to Gillard and Butler announce the package – transcript below

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  • Listen to Aged-Care spokespeople comment on the package

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Text of media release from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

More choice, easier access and better care for older Australians

Under landmark changes to the aged care system, more people will get to keep their home, and more people will get to stay in their home as they receive aged care.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and the Minister for Ageing, Mark Butler, today announced a 10 year plan to reshape aged care, beginning 1 July 2012.

The Gillard Labor Government will deliver the $3.7 billion Living Longer Living Better plan to deliver more choice, easier access and better care for older Australians and their families. [Read more...]


Abbott: The Coalition’s Plan For A Cleaner Environment

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has delivered what the Liberal Party describes as a “landmark speech” on the environment.

Tony AbbottAddressing the Australian Industry Group in Brisbane, Abbott said the Coalition “supports sensible measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions..but will never accept the proposition that you could save the environment by killing the economy.”

Abbott said: “Today, I’m stating what the Coalition will stand for as well as what the Coalition has stood against. We support direct action that will reduce emissions, not just make them more expensive. We support the creation of a Green Army marching to the rescue of Australia’s degraded waterways, wetlands, and native vegetation.” [Read more...]


Gillard Commits To Budget Surplus, Pressures Reserve Bank

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has reaffirmed her government’s intention to produce a budget surplus and claimed the Reserve Bank has scope for further interest rate cuts.

Gillard’s comments were made in a speech in Perth to a business lunch hosted by the Western Australian Chamber of Commerce and the Western Australian Chamber of Minerals and Energy.

A transcript will be published on this page when it becomes available.

  • Listen to Gillard’s speech:

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Queensland ALP Announces Six-Member Shadow Cabinet

Queensland Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced her Shadow Cabinet following the ALP’s devastating defeat in the recent election.

The ALP was reduced to seven members in the 89-seat Legislative Assembly. This may fall to six if the party loses the South Brisbane by-election caused by the resignation of former premier Anna Bligh.

The six members all have multiple responsibilities. [Read more...]