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...]

“A Plan For Australian Jobs” – Gillard Launches Industry And Innovation Statement

The federal government has announced a $1 billion plan to promote jobs and productivity.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, appeared today at the Boeing factory in Melbourne with the Minister for Industry and Innovation, Greg Combet, to launch the plan.


The plan provides for measures to assist Australian companies to win more local work, increase exports and win new business overseas, and support the growth of small to medium Australian businesses.

Statement from Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

The Plan at a glance

Australians expect and deserve well-paid jobs that support their families and look after our communities.

That is why the Australian Government is investing $1 billion to keep Australian jobs safe.

We are introducing changes to help Australian companies that are doing it tough.

As well as giving a boost to companies with high-growth potential.

We want to see local Australian companies get a fair go. That’s why we are also making changes to encourage new businesses in new industries to create new opportunities and new jobs.

We want to make sure that our kids and our kids’ kids have high-skilled, well-paying jobs now and in the future. Our focus is squarely on jobs and growth.

Our economy thrives when we have a strong workforce and profitable innovative businesses.

A Plan for Australian Jobs is a roadmap for creating jobs and lifting productivity.

It is a plan to put Australian businesses and industries on a firmer footing so they are able to take up opportunities to compete globally.

The Australian Government acted quickly to keep the economy strong during the Global Financial Crisis.

While the rest of the world is still recovering, Australia’s economy has continued to grow.

But we can’t stand still. We need to create the jobs of the future.

The strong Australian dollar and an increase in global competitors are hurting many Australian businesses and threatening jobs.

And the world is changing. Economies in Asia, such as China, are growing quickly. Their citizens want high-quality goods and services, which Australian companies can provide.

Innovation is central to the success of our industries and our capacity to respond to the needs of markets in Australia and overseas.

Our vision is for Australia’s innovation system to be ranked in the top 10 globally. This is an ambitious goal, but we have the right framework to achieve it. [Read more...]

Kevin Rudd Interview On Sky News Australian Agenda

As speculation about the Labor leadership grows, Kevin Rudd has given an extensive interview to Sky News.


The interview with Paul Kelly and Peter van Onselen caps off a week in which Rudd significantly lifted his media profile.

Rudd categorically denies that he will challenge Julia Gillard and dismisses the idea of being drafted to the position.

He says: “A couple of weeks ago I said everyone should take a cold shower. Last Friday I said they should have an ice bath. It’s time this debate was put into cryogenic storage. Frankly, it ‘aint happening.”

  • Listen to Rudd’s interview (37m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch an extract (2m)

‘Enemy Of The State’ – Senator Nick Xenophon Deported From Malaysia

Senator Nick Xenophon has been detained on his arrival in Malaysia and is to be deported.

The independent senator from South Australia has been called an “enemy of the state” for his pro-democracy statements and activities.

Xenophon was part of a cross-party delegation that was scheduled to discuss electoral systems with Malaysia’s main opposition party.

The delegation includes Liberal MP Mal Washer, Nationals Senator John Williams and ALP MP Steve Georganas.

Xenophon was detained at an airport by Malaysian officials.

  • Channel 7’s coverage of the incident:

  • Channel 10’s coverage: