Greens End Agreement With Gillard Government

The leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has ended the party’s agreement with the Gillard minority government.

Speaking at the National Press Club today, Milne said the ALP had walked away from the agreement and “into the arms of the big miners”.


Milne said: “The Labor government is making it clear to all that it no longer has the courage or the will to work with the Greens on a shared agenda in the national interest.”

The Greens will continue to support the government on confidence motions and budget Supply, ensuring that the parliamentary status quo will remain through until the election.

Milne’s announcement is a clear sign of differentiation as the 7-month election campaign grinds on. The announcement has also been greeted approvingly by senior figures in the ALP.

  • Sep 1, 2010: Greens Signs Agreement To Support Gillard
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Extract of Senator Christine Milne’s speech to the National Press Club.

What has become manifestly clear is that Labor by its actions has walked away from its agreement with the Greens and into the arms of the big miners.

Let’s call a spade a spade.

By choosing the big miners, the Labor government is making it clear to all that it no longer has the courage or the will to work with the Greens on a shared agenda in the national interest.

By choosing the big miners, the Labor government is no longer honouring our agreement to work together to promote transparent and accountable government and the public interest or to address climate change.

Labor has effectively ended its agreement with the Greens. So be it. But, we will not allow Labor’s failure to uphold the spirit of our agreement to advance the interest of Tony Abbott.

We will not walk away from the undertakings we gave to the government in the Agreement and the people of Australia to deliver confidence and supply until the Parliament rises. We will see this parliament through to its full term.

The Greens will not add to the instability that Labor creates for itself every day. We are moving beyond the agreement as the key debates and outcomes left in this 43rd parliament fall outside it. We will continue to vigorously pursue the rapid transition to a clean green and clever country, reforms to the mining tax, a $50 a week increase to Newstart, increased funding to public schools through the Gonski reforms, implementation of the NDIS, and protection of Australia’s precious environment.

In Barton, Tony Abbott Promises Home-Grown Policy With A Strong Australian Accent

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, was campaigning in the NSW electorate of Barton this morning.

Barton is held for Labor by the former Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, with a margin of 6.86%. McClelland has announced that he will not contest the seat at this year’s election. There has been speculation that he may cause a by-election by resigning to take up a judicial post from the NSW government.


Tony Abbott was in Barton campaigning with the Liberal candidate, Nick Varvaris. He repeated his standard promise of getting rid of the carbon tax and took questions on Treasurer Wayne Swan’s allegation that the Liberal Party is assuming Tea Party characteristics.

Abbott said: “One thing that we never do in the Coalition is import political techniques and political personnel from other countries. We just don’t believe in imported politics. We believe in a strong, home-grown policy, we believe in strong local candidates and that’s what you’ll always see from the Coalition under my leadership. We will speak with a strong Australian accent. Always have and always will.”

The remark has been interpreted in some quarters as a dig at John McTernan, the Scottish-born UK political operative who now works as Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s Director of Communications.

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Transcript of Tony Abbott’s doorstop in the Barton electorate.

ABBOTT: It’s great to be here in Ramsgate in the electorate of Barton. It’s an honour to be here with Nick Varvaris, our candidate who is the Mayor of Kogarah. Nick is doing an excellent job. He’s campaigning hard on the ground. The message to the people of Barton and to the people of Australia is that the Coalition is ready. We are ready. The Prime Minister has named September the 14th but you just never know when the election will be and whenever it is, the Coalition is ready; grassroots candidates like Nick Varvaris are ready.

Just talking to people here in the Ramsgate shopping centre this morning, people here – as around Australia – are concerned about their cost of living. A lot of people are still very angry about the carbon tax. The carbon tax was something that the Prime Minister promised wouldn’t happen before the last election, now it has happened. It is impacting on small business costs, it is impacting on everyone’s bills. It is impacting on the pressure that so many Australians feel on their daily life. [Read more…]

Julia Gillard’s Speech To The Australian Workers’ Union National Conference

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has addressed the National Conference of the Australian Workers’ Union in Brisbane.

The AWU is an important component of Gillard’s power base. The support of Bill Shorten, the former National Secretary of the AWU, and Paul Howes, the current National Secretary, was crucial to Gillard’s overthrow of Kevin Rudd. Treasurer Wayne Swan is supported by the AWU and its National President, Bill Ludwig. The AWU is an important component of the right-wing faction of the ALP.


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Text of Julia Gillard’s speech to the AWU National Conference.

Thank you very much. Thank you to Paul for that very kind introduction.

Paul, a man of so few words that you really value it when he breaks his silence.

Paul, accused perhaps in the past of being a faceless man, but no one’s ever accused him of being a voiceless man.

That is a good thing, that is a good thing for the members of the Australian the Workers Union because what that means is that Paul raises a passionate voice to put your causes, your concerns at the centre of the national debate so I congratulate him on his leadership of this great union. [Read more…]

Julie Owens Rebukes Media Over Coverage Of Opinion Polls And Leadership

Frustration over opinion polls and leadership speculation was on display today at the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research.

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, was obviously irritated by media questions about the Nielsen poll released today. Almost speechless, Plibersek allowed the Labor member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, to take over and deliver a rebuke to the gathered media about medical research and children’s health.

Owens holds Parramatta with a margin of 4.37%. She suffered a 5.49% swing against her at the 2010 election. She has held the seat since 2004.

Gillard: I Don’t Comment On Polls

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has doggedly refused to comment on poor opinion poll figures published today.

The Neilsen poll in Fairfax newspapers The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald shows the ALP primary vote on 30% and the Coalition leading the ALP by 56% to 44% on the two-party-preferred vote.

The Coalition’s primary vote in the Nielsen poll is 47%. Tony Abbott’s approval rating is 42%, compared to Julia Gillard’s 40%.


The Essential poll published today has the Coalition leading the ALP by 54% to 46%. It has the ALP’s primary vote at 35%.

On the weekend, News Limited Sunday papers published a Galaxy poll of women voters showing the Coalition leading the ALP 53% to 47%.

The polls coincide with renewed speculation about Gillard’s leadership and a possible return of Kevin Rudd. The speculation also centres on the future of Treasurer Wayne Swan who is now increasingly seen as a weak link.

Speaking at Primo Smallgoods in Brisbane today, Gillard said she wanted to focus on jobs and yesterday’s Industry and Innovation statement.

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey also commented on the poll figures at a media conference in the ALP’s marginal NSW seat of Dobell. Hockey’s comments are interesting for the way in which he positions his attacks against Kevin Rudd as well as the government in general. [Read more…]