Anniversaries Galore In The First Week Of December

The first week of December is a big week for political anniversaries.

Today, for example, is the anniversary of the swearing-in of the Rudd Labor government in 2007. Channel 10 News reported it this way:

Looking back at Rudd: [Read more…]

Fairfax Donates Historic Photographs To National Library

Historic photographs of Australia’s early federal history have been donated to the National Library and will soon be made available online.

The Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean, announced today that the donation by Fairfax Media is to be supported by $425,000 of funding to the National Library of Australia to enbale the storage, cataloguing and digitisation of the collection.

The collection consists of 12,000 glass-plate negatives, the majority of which cover events from 1900 to 1930, including the departure of troops for World War I and the opening of the first parliament.

Text of media release from Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean.

Historic photo collection about to go digital

Twelve thousand photographs of key events in Australia’s early history—the entirety of Fairfax Media’s collection of historic glass-plate negatives have been donated to the National Library of Australia and will soon be available online.

Chair of the National Library of Australia Ryan Stokes today accepted the donation at a ceremony at Fairfax Media head office in Sydney.

Arts Minister Simon Crean said the extraordinary collection tells the Australian story through photographs. [Read more…]

Gillard And Abbott Appear On Sunday Talk Shows

With the Parliament adjourned for the year, following a week of invective over the AWU slush fund affair, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott both made appearance on the Sunday morning political talk shows.

The Prime Minister appeared on Channel 10’s Meet The Press, whilst Tony Abbott appeared on Bolt.

George Brandis Press Conference On Gillard AWU Allegations

The year’s final parliamentary sitting week was dominated by claims that Prime Minister Julia Gillard had something to explain about the AWU and her time at Slater and Gordon in the 1990s.

As the Opposition came under criticism for unsubstantiated claims that Gillard had committed a criminal act, Senator George Brandis, the Opposition’s shadow Attorney-General, held a press conference to recapitulate the coalition’s case.

George Brandis

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Transcript of press conference held by Senator George Brandis.

BRANDIS: Good morning ladies and gentlemen. There has been some debate this morning in the media about the claim made by the Opposition that Julia Gillard broke the law in relation to the establishment and operation of the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association. In order to get to the bottom of this affair, the Opposition, as you know, yesterday called for the establishment of a judicial inquiry. I think the terms of reference that we proposed for that judicial inquiry were released by the Opposition Leader’s office yesterday but for ease of reference for you I will give you give you a copy of them as well as a small bundle of documents I want to take you to.

Now, Parliament is a political forum and debates between journalists and politicians about the law are seldom very illuminating but let me explain to you the basis upon which or the principal basis upon which the Opposition says Julia Gillard broke the law. We say that she broke the law because the Australian Workers Union Workplace Reform Association was established as a sham to facilitate a fraud and by her participation in its establishment, Julia Gillard was a party to that crime. Now, it is against the law of every Australian State, including the law of Western Australia, to provide a materially false statement when a person is under a statutory obligation to provide information to an authority. That is the effect of section 170 of the Western Australian Criminal Code in the terms in which it was drawn at the time of these events in 1992. [Read more…]

Cameron And Miliband Respond To Leveson

UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Opposition Leader Ed Miliband have spoken in the House of Commons in response to the Leveson inquiry report.

Cameron accepted the principles of the Leveson report but rejected the need for a statute, whereas Milband called for Leveson’s proposals to be accepted “in their entirety”.

David Cameron


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Ed Miliband

Transcript of Prime Minister David Cameron’s statement to the House of Commons.

David Cameron

With permission, Mr Speaker, I would like to make a statement on today’s report from Lord Justice Leveson.

As we consider this report, we should consider the victims. We should remember how the parents of Millie Dowler, at their most vulnerable moment, had their daughter’s phone hacked and were followed and photographed.

How Christopher Jefferies’ reputation was destroyed by false accusations. And how the mother of Madeleine McCann, Kate McCann, had her private diary printed without her permission and how she and her husband were falsely accused of keeping their daughter’s body in their freezer.

These victims – and many other innocent people who have never sought the limelight – have suffered in a way that we can barely begin to imagine.

That is why last Summer I asked Lord Justice Leveson to lead an independent inquiry.

It had the power to see any document and summon any witness under oath, to be examined by a barrister, in public.

It has been, as Lord Justice Leveson says, “the most public and the most concentrated look at the press that this country has seen”.

And I would like to thank Lord Justice Leveson and his entire team for the work they have undertaken.

Mr Speaker, Lord Justice Leveson makes findings and recommendations in three areas: on the relationship between the press and the police; on the relationship between the press and politicians; and on the relationship between the press and the public.

Let me take each in turn.

First, the press and the police. [Read more…]

Leveson Report On UK Media Released

Lord Justice Leveson’s report into the “culture, practices and ethics of the press” has been released in London.



Leveson read a prepared statement about his report and said he would take no questions nor make any future public statements. “The ball is now back in the politicians’ court,” he said. “They must now decide who guards the guardians”.

Extracts from Lord Leveson’s statement.

For over 40 years, as a barrister and judge I have watched the press in action. I know how vital the press is – all of it – as guardian of the interests of the public, as a critical witness of events, as a standard bearer for those who have no one else to speak up to them. Nothing has changed that view. The press operating freely is one of the true safeguards of our democracy. As a result it holds a privileged and powerful place in our society.

But this power and influence carries with it responsibility to the public interest in whose name it exercises these privileges. Unfortunately as the evidence has shown beyond doubt, on too many occasions those responsible along with the editors code of conduct – which the press wrote and promoted – have simply been ignored. This had damaged the public interest, caused real hardship and on occasion wreaked havoc on the lives of innocent people. What the press do and say is no ordinary exercise of free speech; it operates very differently to blogs on the internet and other social media such as Twitter. Its impact is uniquely powerful.

A free press in a democracy holds power to account but, with a few honourable exceptions, the UK press has not performed that vital role in the case of its own power. None of this however is to conclude that press freedom in Britain, hard won over 300 years ago, should be jeopardised. On the contrary – it should not. I remain firmly believe that press, all of it, serves the public very well well most of the time. The are truly countless examples of great journalism, great investigations and great campaigns. Not that it is necessary for the press to be pursuing serious stories for it to be acting in the public interest. Some its most important functions are to inform, educate and entertain, and when doing so to be irreverent, unruly and opinionated. But none of that means that the press is beyond challenge. I know of no organised profession, industry or trade in which the serious failings of the few are overlooked because of the good done by the many. In any other case the press would be the first to expose such practices.

Albie Doubleyou: Cricket Commentator Reviews The Season

This is the final Clarke & Dawe segment from the ABC’s 7.30.

The program announced that Clarke & Dawe would be back on ABC1 in 2013 but did not say whether they would be appearing on 7.30.