Standing Orders And Other Orders Of The Senate

This is the latest edition of the Senate’s Standing Orders, correct to November 11, 2015.

The PDF below may be resized and downloaded. [Read more…]


Interest Rates Still On Hold As Reserve Bank Maintains 2% Cash Rate

The Reserve Bank’s cash rate remains unchanged at 2%, following today’s meeting of the bank’s board.

The rate was last changed in May 2015, when it was cut by 0.25% to 2%.

In a statement on behalf of the Board, the bank’s Governor, Glenn Stevens, noted that “other major central banks are continuing to ease policy”. He said: “In Australian, the available information suggest that moderate expansion in the economy continues.”

“Low interest rates are acting to support borrowing and spending,” Stevens said.

Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.0 per cent.

The global economy is expanding at a moderate pace, with some further softening in conditions in China and east Asia of late, but stronger US growth. Key commodity prices are much lower than a year ago, in part reflecting increased supply, including from Australia. Australia’s terms of trade are falling. [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of September 21, 2015. They take account of the change of prime minister on September 15 and consequent changes. [Read more…]


First Turnbull Ministry Announced; More Women Into Cabinet, Abbott Supporters Axed

Malcolm Turnbull has announced the composition of his ministry, five days after being sworn in as prime minister.

As expected, Joe Hockey has been replaced as Treasurer by Scott Morrison. Hockey is expected to be appointed Ambassador to the United States, replacing former Labor leader Kim Beazley in the new year.

Five women will be in the Cabinet, an increase of three. Senator Maris Payne becomes Defence Minister, whilst Senator Michaelia Cash will be the Minister for Women. They will be joined by Kelly O’Dwyer as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business.

Turnbull has sacked a number of Abbott supporters. The most prominent casualties are Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and the Senate leader and Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has been left out of the ministry, as has Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane. The Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson, has also been dropped.

This is the official list of ministers released by the Prime Minister’s office:



ALP National Constitution – 2015

This is the official text of the Australian Labor Party’s National Constitution 2015.

The Constitution was decided on at the party’s 47th National Conference held in Melbourne in July 2015.

The embedded PDF file shown below may be expanded and downloaded.



ALP National Platform – 2015

This is the full text of the Australian Labor Party’s 2015 National Platform.

The Platform was decided on at the party’s 47th National Conference in Melbourne between July 24-26, 2015.

The embedded PDF may be expanded and downloaded.



Advance Australia: Bill Shorten’s Speech Opening The ALP’s 47th National Conference

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has opened the ALP’s 47th National Conference in Melbourne with a speech based around the theme of Advance Australia.

Shorten committed a future Labor government to reintroducing an Emissions Trading Scheme. He said: “A Shorten Labor Government will build an Emissions Trading Scheme for Australia. And we will not be intimidated by the ignorant, ridiculous scare campaigns that will come. We will win this fight.

“Let me say this to our opponents, in words of one syllable: An E.T.S. is not a tax.

“And if Mr Abbott wants to make the next election a contest about who has the best policy solution for climate change … I’ve got a three-word-slogan for him: Bring. It. On.

Text of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s speech opening the ALP’s 47th National Conference in Melbourne.

Friends, delegates, true believers, fellow Australians:

This conference comes at a pivotal time in our national life, and a restless moment in our national mood.

The tests facing Australia are great.

The consequences of failure are grave.

And never has the contrast between us and our opponents been more clear.

Be it jobs, health, education or energy …

Never has the choice between a Labor party planning for the future, and a Liberal party stuck in the past been more stark. [Read more…]