Abbott On The Liberal Party’s 70th Anniversary

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used his weekly video message to remember the 70th anniversary of the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party was founded in 1944, following conferences in Canberra and Albury that were convened by Robert Menzies. Menzies was a former leader of the United Australia Party (UAP). He had been effectively deposed from the party’s leadership in 1941. The UAP collapsed in the aftermath of its landslide defeat in the 1943 election.

Menzies brought together a range of community groups and political organisations that were opposed to the ALP and the government of John Curtin. The party was defeated in the 1946 federal election but was victorious in 1949. Menzies went on to serve a record term of 16 years as prime minister, retiring undefeated in January 1966.

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s video message.

This week marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the Liberal Party. [Read more...]


Bob Such, South Australian Independent Liberal, Dies, 70

Bob Such, the former Liberal-turned-independent member of the South Australian Parliament, has died, at the age of 70.

Bob Such

Such held the seat of Fisher in the House of Assembly for 25 years. First elected in 1989, he served as a minister in the Liberal government led by Premier Dean Brown. He was moved to the backbench after Brown was deposed by John Olsen in 1996. In 2000, Such quit the Liberal Party and was re-elected as an independent in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Following this year’s state election, Such and Geoff Brock held the balance of power after Jay Weatherill’s Labor government was returned with 23 seats to the Liberal Party’s 22. A few days after the election, Such was diagnosed with a brain tumour. [Read more...]


Kailash Satyarthi And Malala Yousafzay Awarded 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

The 2014 Nobel Peace Prize has been won by Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzay.

The 60-year-old Indian male and the 17-year-old Pakistani female received the prize for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee said it was important for an Indian and a Pakistani, a Hindu and a Muslim, to join in a common struggle for education and against extremism.

Yousafzay becomes the youngest person ever to win a Nobel Prize. She supplants the Australian-born British physicist, William Lawrence Bragg, who won the Physics prize in 1915 at the age of 25, sharing it with his father, Sir William Henry Bragg.

Nobel

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COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation

The Council of Australian Governments met in Canberra and discussed a range of issues, including terrorism, reform of the Federation and the taxation system.

COAG

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held a joint press conference following the meeting. He was accompanied by Premiers Baird, Napthine, Newman, Barnett, Weatherill and Hodgman, as well as the Territory Chief Ministers Gallagher and Giles. Felicity-Ann Lewis represented Local Government.

The State have agreed to introduce legislation to support federal laws covering the arrest, monitoring, investigation and prosecution of domestic extremists and returning foreign fighters.

COAG also agreed that the Federation and Tax Reform White Papers need to progress together. [Read more...]


Public Pessimism, Political Complacency: Restoring Trust, Reforming Labor – John Faulkner Speech

Senator John Faulkner has renewed his call for the ALP to reform itself, arguing that party reform is vital to tackling the public perception that politics has become a values-free competition for office and the spoils it can deliver.

FaulknerFaulkner tonight delivered the inaugural address of The Light on the Hill Society, sponsored by the Revesby Workers’ Club.

The ALP’s former Senate leader and minister in the Keating and Rudd governments, said: “The stench of corruption which has come to characterise the NSW Labor Party must be eliminated. Failing to act is not an option.”

He called for the banning of “the practice of factions, affiliates or interest groups binding parliamentarians in Caucus votes or ballots”, arguing that factional binding allowed “a group with 51% of a subfaction, which then makes up 51% of a faction, which in turn has 51% of the Caucus numbers, to force the entire Caucus to their position”.

Faulkner also called for reforms to political donation laws.

Faulkner called for major reform to the ALP’s internal operations and its association with trade unions, saying: “Labor’s model of delegated democracy was cutting edge – in 1891.” He said the cutting edge structures of the 19th century now work to prevent democracy and open debate in the ALP. Party conferences, state and national, should have a component of directly elected delegates. Faulkner also called for union members to be given a direct say, rather than have their opinions “filtered through layers of delegation”.

Trade union representation should be reduced over time to 20%, Faulkner said. The membership of the party should directly elect 60% of delegates to state conferences, with the other 20% coming from electorate councils.

Motions for party reform moved by Faulkner were defeated at the last NSW conference of the ALP.

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Transcript of Senator John Faulkner’s Address to The Light on the Hill Society.

Public Pessimism, Political Complacency: Restoring Trust, Reforming Labor

I have always believed that politics is worthwhile.

This is not, nowadays, a popular view.

Important issues are, we are told, ‘above politics’— because politics, by implication and expectation, are the province of the low road. [Read more...]