Sen. Joe Bullock (ALP-WA) – Maiden Speech

Senator Joe Bullock was elected at the re-run Senate election in Western Australia on April 5, 2014.

Bullock

The original Senate election of September 7, 2013 was declared void by the High Court, after the Australian Electoral Commission lost around 1400 ballot papers during a recount.

Having replaced Senator Louise Pratt in the first position on the ALP ticket, Bullock was the only successful ALP candidate. The ALP also failed to win a second seat in South Australia.

Bullock, 58, an official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, was a controversial choice for preselection, especially after the publication of a tape of an address he made to the Dawson Society. [Read more...]


Sen. Chris Ketter (ALP-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Senator Chris Ketter was elected as a Labor member from Queensland at the 2013 federal election.

Ketter

Ketter, 53, was previously an official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. He began work with the SDA as a researcher in the early 1980s. [Read more...]


Clive Palmer Apologises To China’s Ambassador For Q&A Outburst

Clive Palmer has apologised to China over his remarks on the ABC program Q&A last week.

Palmer wrote to Mr. Ma Zhaoxu, China’s Ambassador to Australia, to say he regretted “any hurt or anguish” his comments “may have caused any party”.

In his appearance on Q&A, Palmer called the Chinese “mongrels” and “bastards”. He said the “communists” were trying to take over Australia’s ports and steal Australia’s resources. [Read more...]


40th Anniversary Of The 1974 Joint Sitting Of Parliament

Today is the 40th anniversary of the Joint Sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate, held during the term of the Whitlam Labor government.

The Joint Sitting, the first and only ever held, took place over two days, August 6 and 7, 1974.

Gough Whitlam described the sitting as “a last resort to enable the democratic will of the Australian people to prevail over blind obstruction”.

Joint Sitting

The proceedings took place in what is now Old Parliament House. They were chaired by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Jim Cope. The Liberal Opposition Leader was Bill Snedden. The Governor-General was the just-appointed Sir John Kerr.

The only member of either house who attended the Joint Sitting and is still serving is Philip Ruddock. Now the member for Berowra, in 1974 he was the 31-year-old Liberal member for Parramatta and still in his first year as a member of the House.

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The Six Bills

Six bills were submitted to the Joint Sitting, all of which had been first passed by the House of Representatives in 1973, following the election of the Whitlam government. [Read more...]


Shorten Says Brandis Has Been Humiliated By Cabinet Over 18C Repeal

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, says the Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis has been humiliated by the Abbott government’s backdown on the repeal of Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Shorten

The backdown was announced this afternoon, together with a batch of new anti-terrorism measures.

In a television interview just last night, Brandis defended the proposed repeal of Section 18C.

Shorten spoke at a press conference with the ALP’s shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus.

  • Listen to Shorten and Dreyfus (10m)

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