Abbott Government’s First Year Anniversary

Today is the first anniversary of the election the Liberal-Nationals Coalition government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.


At the elections on September 7, 2013, the coalition parties defeated Kevin Rudd’s ALP government, winning 90 seats out of 150 (60%) in the House of Representatives. From a primary vote of 45.55%, the Coalition polled 53.49% of the two-party-preferred vote.

One year on, the government has fulfilled two of its key election promises: abolition of the carbon tax and abolition of the mining tax. The government’s promise to “stop the boats” is generally considered to have been fulfilled, although criticism of the off-shore processing regime is still apparent. The government points to infrastructure spending to claim it is also fulfilling Abbott’s promise to “build the roads of the 21st century“. [Read more...]

Geoff Shaw Survives Expulsion Attempt With His Own Vote

The Liberal-turned-independent member for Frankston in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Geoff Shaw, has used his own vote to survive an attempt by Premier Denis Napthine to have him expelled from the Parliament.


Shaw issued an apology to the Assembly on September 2 but Napthine gave notice of a motion of expulsion after Shaw described the proceedings as “a political farce”.

Today, Napthine moved the motion to expel Shaw. Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews led all the ALP members out of the chamber and six government members spoke on the motion before a vote was taken. With the Speaker not able to vote, the result was tied and Shaw cast his vote against the motion. [Read more...]

DLP Senator John Madigan Quits Party; Alleges Cancer Of Political Intrigue; Will Sit As Independent

Senator John Madigan has announced his resignation from the Democratic Labour Party, alleging a “cancer of political intrigue” and declaring he will sit as an independent for the remainder of his term.


Madigan told the Senate this morning that his former office manager had been in contact with the Liberal Party about forthcoming preselections. Madigan told the Senate: “That person systematically ran a campaign of disinformation and disharmony in my office.”

Later, Madigan tabled a series of emails between his former office manager, Rachel Carling-Jenkins, and Liberal Party officials.

Madigan claimed “confidential information was leaked and lies were told”. He said attempts by him to undertake “normal communication” with party members were thwarted. The “cancer of political intrigue clearly has infected the Victorian State Executive of the DLP”, Madigan said. [Read more...]

75 Years Ago Tonight: Robert Menzies Declares That Australia Is At War

Seventy-five years ago, on September 3, 1939, Prime Minister Robert Menzies broadcast to the nation the news that Australia was at war.

Menzies was 44 years old. He had been prime minister since April 26, 1939, taking over the leadership of the United Australia Party after the death of Joe Lyons.

Menzies would be forced from office in 1941 and the ALP’s John Curtin would carry the war effort whilst Menzies set about forming the Liberal Party. He returned to the prime ministership at the 1949 election. Winning another six elections, Menzies retired undefeated in January 1966, having served as PM for over 18 years.

  • Listen to Menzies’s announcement of war:

Edited transcript of Menzies’s announcement on September 3, 1939.

Fellow Australians,

It is my melancholy duty to inform you officially that in consequence of a persistence by Germany in her invasion of Poland, Great Britain has declared war upon her and that, as a result, Australia is also at war. [Read more...]

Sen. Jacqui Lambie (PUP-Tas) – Maiden Speech

Jacqui Lambie, the Tasmanian Palmer United Party senator, has given her maiden speech to the Senate.


Lambie, 43, was elected at the 2013 federal election. PUP polled 6.58% of the primary vote and she was elected on preferences. Her term began on July 1, 2014 and will expire on June 30, 2020.

Lambie spent ten years in the Australian Army, rising to the rank of Corporal. Following injuries she suffered in a field exercise, she engaged in a long-running dispute with the Department of Veterans Affairs.

In her maiden speech, she called for a judicial inquiry into the Defence Force and the Department of Veterans Affairs. She alleged a “cover-up of appallingly high levels of abuse”. She spoke angrily and at length of the treatment of Marcus Saltmarsh, a soldier who was exonerated by a military court following the accidental shooting and death of another solider in East Timor in 2000. [Read more...]