The former Victorian Liberal leader, Denis Napthine, has been re-elected tonight and will become Premier following the resignation of Ted Baillieu.

Liberal MPs were given ten minutes notice of a party-room meeting to be held at 7pm tonight. Baillieu offered his resignation to the partyroom and Denis Napthine was elected in his place.

Napthine [Read more…]

John Forrest, Nationals Member For Mallee, Announces Retirement

John Forrest, The Nationals member for Mallee since 1993, has announced he will retire from the House of Representatives at this year’s federal election.

ForrestMallee, in north-western Victoria, is the safest Coalition electorate in the nation. Forrest won it in 2010 with 74.41% of the two-party-preferred vote. He secured 66.79% of the primary vote. The ALP polled 19.89%.

There has been a redistribution in Victoria. Mallee’s margin is now estimated to be 23.3%.

Mallee includes the towns of Mildura in the north, Warracknabeal, St Arnaud and Horsham in the south, and Swan Hill and Kerang in the east. It has been held by The Nationals, formerly the Country Party, since its creation in 1949. Forrest is only its third member in that time.

Forrest is the thirteenth member of the House of Representatives to opt for retirement at this year’s election.

It is not clear at this stage if the Liberal Party will nominate a candidate in Mallee. Three-cornered contests involving the Coalition usually only occur when a seat is vacant.

Text of statement published on John Forrest’s website:

The Nationals thank John Forrest

The Nationals Federal President, Mrs Christine Ferguson has paid tribute to John Forrest following his announcement today that he will retire from the Federal Parliament after 20 years of outstanding service at the next Federal election. [Read more…]

Reserve Bank Leaves Interest Rates Unchanged

At its monthly meeting today, the Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate unaltered.

The cash rate has been 3.0 per cent since the Reserve’s December board meeting.

Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 3.0 per cent.

Global growth is forecast to be a little below average for a time, but the downside risks appear to have lessened over recent months. The United States is experiencing a moderate expansion and financial strains in Europe are considerably reduced compared with the situation through much of last year. Growth in China has stabilised at a fairly robust pace. Around Asia generally, growth was dampened by the earlier slowing in China and the weakness in Europe, but again there are signs of stabilisation. Commodity prices are little changed recently, at reasonably high levels.

Sentiment in financial markets is much improved compared with the middle of last year. Risk spreads have narrowed and funding conditions for financial institutions are more favourable. Long-term interest rates faced by highly rated sovereigns, including Australia, remain at exceptionally low levels. Borrowing conditions for large corporations are very attractive. Share prices have risen substantially from their low points. However, the task of putting private and public finances on sustainable paths in several major countries is far from complete. Accordingly, as seen most recently in Europe, financial markets remain vulnerable to occasional setbacks. [Read more…]

Anthony Albanese: Driving Productivity Through Infrastructure

The Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Anthony Albanese, has outlined the federal government’s approach to infrastructure and productivity in an address to The Sydney Institute.

Albanese [Read more…]

Gillard Offers Western Sydney Motorway Funding With Conditions

On the first full day of her week-long campaign in western Sydney, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised funding for the western Sydney motorway network, provided the state government comes up with an acceptable business plan.

Speaking beside a noisy motorway with Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Labor MPs from western Sydney, Gillard stipulated several conditions for her government’s support for WestConnex project. [Read more…]

Gillard’s Five Pledges To Western Sydney

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has delivered a speech to Labor members and supporters tonight in which she said she was determined to achieve five things for western Sydney.


Speaking at the University of Western Sydney, Gillard said the government was determined to:

  1. “put Aussie workers first”
  2. “bring high speed broadband to work places and homes”
  3. “give children a world leading education”
  4. “insure you against disability and keep improving health”
  5. “manage the pressure of modern family life”

The Prime Minister was received warmly by the crowd on the first day of her week-long visit to western Sydney. She was introduced by NSW ALP Secretary Sam Dastyari and Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare.

  • Watch Dastyari, Clare & Gillard (44m)
  • Listen to Sam Dastyari (14m)
  • Listen to Jason Clare (8m)
  • Listen to Julia Gillard (31m)





Gillard Takes Action On Gangs

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has announced $64 million joint police taskforce to tackle gang crime.

Seventy members of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and state police officers will join with staff from the Australian Crime Commission, Australian Customs and Border Protection, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Australian Taxation Office and Centrelink. [Read more…]