Abbott And Shorten Address Parliament On Shooting Down Of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made a statement to the House of Representatives on the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

The Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, and the Deputy Leader of the Greens, Adam Bandt, also spoke.

“This looks less like an accident than a crime,” Abbott said. “And if so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

It now appears that 28 Australians were amongst the 298 people killed in the attack. Many of the passengers were due to attend an international conference on AIDS in Melbourne.

  • Watch Abbott, Shorten & Bandt (14m – transcripts below)
  • Listen to Abbott (4m)

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  • Listen to Shorten (7m)

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  • Listen to Bandt (2m)

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Statement released by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

The thoughts and prayers of all Australians today are with the families and loved ones of the Australians that have tragically been killed on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

Our hearts go out to the families of all the dead.

At least 27 Australians citizens have lost their lives on flight MH17. Nine resided in Queensland, nine in Victoria, seven in Western Australia, one in the ACT and one in New South Wales. [Read more...]


Greens React To Repeal Of Carbon Tax

Following today’s repeal of the carbon tax, the Greens have reacted angrily to the decision.

This page provides a selection of audio and video items featuring the Greens leader, Senator Christine Milne, and her deputy, Adam Bandt. [Read more...]


Gloria’s Adult Sex Line, Tony Abbott’s Wink, And Politics At Its Most Trivial

Political “news” was dominated today by extensive discussion of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s wink during a talkback call on ABC Radio 774 in Melbourne.

Abbott was interviewed by Jon Faine and then took calls from listeners who mainly complained about last week’s Budget. The interview was also shown on television.

When “Gloria from Warburton”, a 67-year-old pensioner, told Abbott she worked for an adult sex line to make ends meet, the prime minister winked at Faine. “Gloria” attacked Abbott and was told by Faine to “be nice”.

Online media and social media extensively canvassed the meaning of Abbott’s wink and whether it was further evidence of his “problem with women”, his “arrogance” and general contempt for average voters.

Later, Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said Abbott was a “creep”. She tweeted: “Gloria tells her story of poverty and illness and the PM responds with a wink and a smirk. What a grub.”

The incident will probably come to epitomise the government’s clumsy handling of its Budget sales job. It comes days after the Nielsen poll showed the ALP leading the Coalition by 56% to 44% of the two-party-preferred vote. A Newspoll showed public opinion at 55-45. Both polls indicate the Budget is the most poorly received since 1993.

  • Listen to Abbott’s full interview with Faine (29m)

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  • Listen to Abbott’s exchange with “Gloria” (2m)

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  • Listen to Hanson-Young’s remarks during a media conference with Adam Bandt (11m)

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  • Watch the wink (2m)

Premiers Rebel Over Federal Budget Cuts; Demand COAG Meeting Before July 1

The States have rebelled over Federal Government Budget cuts, claiming that the impact will be felt on July 1, and demanding Prime Minister Tony Abbott convene a COAG meeting before then.

Newman

The State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers met in Sydney today at a meeting called by the Queensland LNP Premier, Campbell Newman. The Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, was the only leader not to attend.

Newman said the meeting “firmly and unequivocally rejected” the Budget cuts. The political leaders demanded an urgent meeting of the Council of Australia Governments before July 1. Newman said: “Contrary to what the PM said today, there are immediate impacts to frontline services.”

He said the $180 million cut to hospitals would be felt immediately with about 1200 sub-acute beds being cut in hospitals. “There was a national partnership on preventative health – we all received letters saying that is terminated.” [Read more...]


ALP And Greens Condemn Government Over Audit Commission Report

The ALP and the Greens have both condemned the government, following today’s release of the National Commission of Audit’s report.

Shorten

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, and the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, have held a press conference in Sydney. Shorten described the Audit report as “a blueprint of Tony Abbott’s broken promise for his Budget”. He said it was a plan to put up taxes and cut services. [Read more...]