Bob Brown Resigns; Christine Milne New Greens Leader

Senator Bob Brown has resigned as leader of the Australian Greens.

Brown’s surprise decision was announced at a party meeting in Canberra. Senator Christine Milne was immediately elected as the new leader.

Later in the day, Melbourne MP Adam Bandt was elected deputy leader.

Brown said he would leave the Senate later in the year when the Tasmanian Greens division has finalised pre-selections. [Read more...]


Rick Santorum Withdraws From Republican Presidential Contest

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum has announced his withdrawal from the Republican Party’s presidential nomination race. The announcement was made in Gettysburg, in Santorum’s home state of Pennsylvania, where he served as a senator for 12 years until his defeat in 2006.

Santorum made no mention of Mitt Romney and did not endorse him. His decision finally confirms that Romney will run against President Barack Obama in November’s general election.

  • Listen to Santorum’s withdrawal speech

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“We Could Be Great” – Business Council Plan For Australia’s Prosperity

Tony ShepherdThe President of the Business Council of Australia, Tony Shepherd, has delivered a speech calling for more imaginative leadership and offering “a plan to lock in Australia’s prosperity”.

Shepherd said Australians “are beginning to lack confidence in the future and in our economy”. Many Australians are “doing it tough”. He suggested “the feeling of optimism and clarity that characterised Australia through my childhood” was on on the wane.

“But Australians are waiting for the call, the vision for the future and the plan that’s going to help us get there.”

Shepherd offered a wide-ranging plan covering infrastructure, taxation, population and immigration, and engagement with Asia.

The BCA represents around 100 of Australia’s largest companies. Shepherd gave the speech to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Sydney. [Read more...]


State Treasurers Not Impressed After Meeting With Swan

Liberal State Treasurers were in Canberra today to meet with Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan, ahead of the Council of Australian Governments meeting.

State Treasurers Mike Baird (NSW), Kim Wells (Vic), Christian Porter (WA) and Tim Nicholls (Qld) commented on their meeting with Swan.

  • Listen to the Treasurers before their meeting:

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  • And after their meeting:

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  • And Treasurer Wayne Swan’s perspective:

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ACTU Distances Itself From Health Services Union

The Australian Council of Trade Unions is about to suspend the Health Services Union.

Kearney, Lawrence - ACTU

Officials of the Australian Council of Trade Unions officials said today the organisation had “zero tolerance” for corruption or the “misuse of members’ funds”. Ged Kearney and Jeff Lawrence said the ACTU was considering suspension of the Health Services Union.

  • Listen to Kearney and Lawrence:

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Gillard Pressed On Craig Thomson

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has again responded to questions about Craig Thomson, as allegations surrounding the Health Services Union continue to be levelled.

Julia Gillard

  • Listen to Julia Gillard’s media conference in the Chifley electorate:

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Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture 2012: Chris Bowen

This is the text of the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture delivered by the Minister for Immigration, Chris Bowen.

Chris BowenThank you and it’s a pleasure to join you tonight to give the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture.

I’d like to acknowledge the Wurundjeri peoples of the Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the land on which we meet today and pay my respects to the elders – past and present – and thank them for their stewardship of our land over the millennia.

I would also like to acknowledge Dr Mary Elizabeth Calwell, Arthur’s daughter, who is here with us tonight. I know Mary Elizabeth herself has an abiding interest in both the past and future of the Labor Party, including her father’s legacy.

I would also like to thank my friend Maria Vamvakinou for the invitation to be here. Maria is a first class Member of Parliament. She makes unfailingly thoughtful contributions in our Caucus and in Parliament. She is a fearless advocate for her community and, in my area of responsibility, a passionate believer in multiculturalism. Best of all, I count her as a trusty counsel and a firm friend. [Read more...]