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

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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...]


Wayne Swan’s Speech To The AWU National Conference

The Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has addressed the Australian Workers’ Union National Conference in Brisbane.

Swan’s speech follows Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s appearance last night.

Swan’s speech returned to his familiar theme of Labor values, warned of Tea Party tendencies in the Liberal Party, reiterated the government’s commitment to jobs, and emphasised the importance of the government’s re-election in September.

Swan

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Transcript of Wayne Swan’s speech to the AWU National Conference.

The Choice of 2013

Thanks Paul for that introduction. I think brothers and sisters of the AWU would join me in saying that your re-election – unopposed as it was – speaks volumes about the respect and appreciation you’ve earned in this room and around the country. There’d certainly be no argument here that the national conversation has benefited hugely from your growing contribution over the past few years. Together with Bill Ludwig – a giant of our movement – you’ve helped the AWU stand tall and unmoved as the first line of defence for so many hardworking Australians and their right to decent pay and fair conditions. And to Bill, mate frankly I reckon you could’ve knocked out another quarter of a century leading the mighty Queensland branch. But I do understand the need for fresh blood and I know you leave it in Ben’s very capable hands. We’re better every day for your stewardship of this great union – our union.

As the PM said last night, I’m just back from G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Moscow over the weekend. These meetings always reaffirm my optimism about the future of our nation. A lot of finance ministers around the table would give their right arm for the resilience of the Australian economy. Yes, we face challenges and we saw some of those tough challenges in the video last night. The higher dollar being one. But we approach these from a position of strength that few developed economies have. Every time I sit in these meetings I think about people like you. I think of the Labor values that go to the core of our party and movement. Jobs first, fair days’ pay for a fair days work – high skill high wage careers. Always putting growth and jobs first, and making sure we’re prepared for the challenges of the future by dealing with dangerous climate change and investing in infrastructure and education. We’re stronger today because we applied these values during the global financial crisis, we saved hundreds of thousands of jobs and small businesses, and in doing that we were opposed every step of the way by Mr Abbott and his Tea-Party style negative tactics. Had Mr Abbott and his slash and burn Tea-Partyers been in charge during the financial crisis, Australia would have gone into recession. [Read more...]


Senator Christine Milne’s Address To The National Press Club

The leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has addressed the National Press Club and announced that the party’s agreement with the Gillard minority government is at end end.

Milne

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Text of Senator Christine Milne’s Address to the National Press Club.

Australian Democracy at the Crossroads: The mining industry and the quarry past versus the people and the innovative future.

Parliamentary colleagues, distinguished guests and friends.

Australian democracy is at the crossroads. Our future as a nation, our sense of who we are and what we want for our society and local community is now being determined by mining billionaires in boardrooms for themselves and their overseas shareholders, and what they want, is being delivered through our state and federal parliaments.

The mining industry has become so powerful that the lines between business and politics have become blurred to the detriment of people and the well being of our society. [Read more...]