Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a September 7 federal election.

A few minutes after seeing the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, at Government House, Yarralumla, the ALP sent an email to its members and supporters with the first official announcement of the date.

ALP email sent to members and supporters at 3.25pm today:


[Read more…]

Rudd To Call September 7 Election Today, Reports Say

2.30pm – Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is flying from Brisbane to Canberra this afternoon and is expected to announce a September 7 election in the next few hours.

The last election was held on August 21, 2010. The Parliament first met on September 28, 2010 and will expire on September 27, after which an election must be held by November 30. [Read more…]

Rudd Announces Asylum Deal With Nauru

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced an asylum seeker arrangement with Nauru, similar to the PNG arrangement announced last month.

Speaking at a signing ceremony and press conference in Brisbane with the President of Nauru, Baron Waqa, and the Immigration Minister, Tony Burke, Rudd said the arrangement would allow for asylum seekers to be settled in Nauru.


Australia will provide $29.9 million in aid to Nauru in 2013–14. [Read more…]

Government Releases Updated Economic Outlook; Deficit Up, Growth Slows, $17bn Of Budget Cuts

The Rudd government has released an updated economic outlook statement that shows this year’s budget deficit blowing out to $30.1 billion.

Treasurer Chris Bowen and Finance Minister Senator Penny Wong have announced $17 billion of budget cuts aimed at producing a surplus of $4 billion in 2016-17. [Read more…]

Young Australian Of The Year Urges Students To Enrol To Vote

The Australian Electoral Commission has released a new video advertisement urging young Australians to enrol to vote.

The advertisement features Akram Azimi, the 2013 Young Australian of the Year.


Full Text Of The Asylum Seekers Agreement With Papua New Guinea

The federal government has released the text of the agreement with Papua New Guinea announced yesterday.


This Arrangement outlines further practical measures Australia and Papua New Guinea will pursue together to combat people smuggling. It builds on the mutually agreed principles governing cooperation set out in the Joint Partnership Declaration signed in Port Moresby in May 2013, notes that Australia and Papua New Guinea have a common interest in addressing regional and global challenges, in collaboration with the wider region, including other countries in the South Pacific. The cooperation outlined in this Arrangement underlines the strategic importance and enduring nature of the bilateral relationship, and the commitment of both governments to ensure that the relationship remains relevant to contemporary challenges. [Read more…]

Alternative Universes And The PNG Solution

Alternative universes abounded last night.

But sometimes the media worlds available via a remote control are more alike than they are willing to pretend.

There was the ABC. Within an hour of Kevin Rudd’s announcement of the PNG solution, its screen was filled with refugee advocates castigating the decision. They were joined by frothing right-wingers in an unholy unity ticket of condemnation.

Online, in the ever-so-slightly-nutty world of Twitter, there was talk of White Australia, racism and Labor’s shame. Dire warnings of malaria and rape coalesced with suddenly-expert analyses of the state of civil society in PNG.

Some lamented the shape-shifting Rudd and yearned for The Great Gillard.

There was Sky News, sadly these days a paradise for ever-more vacuous right-wing talk show hosts and those cable-friendly Laborites who make you worry that you might be on the same side.

As on the ABC, the resident Liberals and standalone right-wingers were especially lathered and frenzied. Last night they were born-again campaigners for the down-trodden. They accepted the solution but despaired of its implementation.

I felt somewhat alone. In my foolishness, I thought I might just have witnessed a political masterstroke. Commentators online suggested otherwise. I should be more ashamed, they seemed to say. [Read more…]