Abbott Introduces Marshall At Launch Of South Australian Liberal Party Election Campaign

With the South Australian state election just one week away, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has introduced Liberal leader Steven Marshall at the official campaign launch in Adelaide.

Marshall

The former Howard government Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer, introduced Abbott to the crowd at the Norwood Town Hall.

The centrepiece of Marshall’s policy speech is a proposal to increase concession payments for energy and water bills. Marshall also said he would abolish the Save the River Murray Levy.

  • Listen to Alexander Downer (6m)

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  • Listen to Tony Abbott (14m)

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  • Listen to Steven Marshall (21m)

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Text of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s speech at the South Australian Liberal Party campaign launch.

Abbott

It’s lovely to be in Adelaide and it’s lovely to have such a wonderful South Australian welcome.

It’s great to be in the presence of my friend and former colleague, and mentor, Alexander Downer, who has been such a lion of this state and such a lion of our Party for so long.

It’s great to see so many of my federal colleagues here today, led by the Leader of the House of Representatives, the Honourable Christopher Pyne, and of course, somewhere in this audience is my favourite South Australian Liberal, the new member for Hindmarsh, Matt Williams. [Read more...]


Seven Former Politicians Awarded Australia Day Honours: Downer, Uren Receive AC

Tom Uren, Alexander Downer and five other former politicians have received awards in the Australia Day Honours list announced today.

UrenUren and Downer both become Companions (AC) in the General Division. It is the highest honour that can be awarded. Two other men, The Reverend Professor James Mitchell Haire AM and Professor Brian Paul Schmidt also received an AC.

Alexander Downer was Foreign Minister in the Howard government between 1996 and 2007. He was the Liberal member for Mayo in South Australia, serving in 9 parliaments between 1984 and 2008. In 1994-95, he was Liberal leader and Leader of the Opposition, a position he relinquished to John Howard in January 1995.

Tom Uren (left) was Minister for Urban and Regional Development in the Whitlam goverment between 1972 and 1975. In 1983 he became Minister for Territories and Local Government in the Hawke government. From 1984 until 1987, he was Minister for Local Government and Administrative Services. He served in 13 parliaments as the member for Reid between 1958 and 1990.

Uren is one of 12 surviving ministers from the Whitlam era. At 91, he is the second oldest of the surviving ministers. Whitlam is 96.

Four former politicians received an AM, a Member in the General Division.

John Aquilina, the Labor member for the NSW Legislative Assembly seats of Blacktown and Riverstone between 1981 and 2011, served as a minister in the Wran and Unsworth governments between 1986 and 1988. He was also a minister in the Carr government from 1995 to 2003. He became Speaker of the Legislative Assembly in 2003 and served until 2007. He retired at the 2011 election.

Robert Fordham was the Labor member for Footscray in the Victorian Legislative Assembly between 1970 and 1992. He was Deputy Premier from 1982 until 1989. He also served as Education Minister and later as Industry Minister.

Jane Lomax-Smith was the Labor member for Adelaide in the South Australian House of Assembly from 2002 until 2010. She held the Education ministry and a number of other portfolios in the Rann government. She lost her seat in the 2010 state election.

Bill Wood was a Labor member of the ACT Legislative Assembly between 1989 and 2004. He held a number of ministerial portfolios in that time. He was previously a member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly.

One former politician has become a Member (OAM) in the General Division.

Malcolm Kerr was the Liberal member for Cronulla in the NSW Legislative Assembly between 1984 and 2011.

This is the complete list of recipients of Australia Day Honours.

ORDER OF AUSTRALIA

COMPANION (AC) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION

The Honourable Alexander John Downer, SA. For eminent service to the Parliament of Australia through the advancement of international relations and foreign policy, particularly in the areas of security, trade and humanitarian aid, and to the community of South Australia.

The Reverend Professor James Mitchell Haire AM, ACT. For eminent service to the community through international leadership in ecumenical and interfaith dialogue, the promotion of religious reconciliation, inclusion and peace, and as a theologian.

Professor Brian Paul Schmidt, Sutton, NSW. For eminent service as a global science leader in the field of physics through research in the study of astronomy and astrophysics, contributions to scientific bodies and the promotion of science education.

The Honourable Tom Uren AO, Balmain, NSW. For eminent service to the community, particularly through contributions to the welfare of veterans, improved medical education in Vietnam and the preservation of sites of heritage and environmental significance. [Read more...]


Alexander Downer Awarded Order Of Australia

8.30pm – The Foreign Minister in the Howard government, Alexander Downer, has been awarded an Order of Australia in the Australia Day Honours list.

DownerDowner served as Foreign Minister from 1996 until the Coalition was defeated in 2007. He served briefly as Liberal leader and Leader of the Opposition in 1994-5. His OAM is for eminent service to the Parliament of Australia through the advancement of international relations and foreign policy.

Details of the 571 recipients of Australia Day honours will be announced at midnight but SBS Radio has revealed some details of the awards.

Downer’s OAM comes at a time when his name is being mentioned as a possible replacement for South Australian Liberal leader Isobel Redmond.

According to the SBS broadcast, other recipients of awards include AFL coach David Parkin and television presenter Clive James.

Maggie Lynch has received an award for her services to multicultural education.

Juliana Nkrumah has been honoured for her work with refugee women.

The widow of Eddie Mabo, Ernestine Bonita Mabo, has been awarded an Order of Australia for distinguished service on behalf of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Dr Bruce Walker has received an award for significant service to the Indigenous communities of remote Australia and to the sport of cricket.

  • Listen to the SBS broadcast revealing details of the Honours (9m)

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Video: Sunday Political Talk Shows

Video of Meet The Press and The Bolt Report.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and independent Tony Windsor appeared on Meet The Press. Liberal Dennis Jensen appeared on The Bolt Report, Grace Collier discussed industrial relations, whilst John Della Bosca and Alexander Downer discussed the political week.


UN, USA, Asia: Three Pillars Of Labor’s Foreign Policy, Says Smith

The incoming Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, has outlined the three pillars underpinning Federal Labor’s foreign policy approach.

In a statement issued today, Smith said those pillars were:

  • Our membership of the United Nations;
  • Our Alliance with the United States; and
  • Our policy of comprehensive engagement with Asia.

Smith said: “Federal Labor has consistently emphasised the need to focus our foreign policy and diplomatic efforts on Australia’s national interests within our own Asia-Pacific region. [Read more...]


Costello To Quit Politics; Won’t Seek Leadership

Nov 25 – 12.45pm – The outgoing Treasurer, Peter Costello, has announced that he will not seek the leadership of the Liberal Party following its defeat at yesterday’s election.

Costello said he would serve out his three-year term as the member for Higgins and would leave politics at the next election.

Adapting the words of former United States President Lyndon Johnson, Costello said: “I will not seek and I will not accept the leadership of the Liberal Party.”

Can Turnbull Snatch The Prize?

Nov 25 – 1.00pm – Political attention will now focus on whether the member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, can secure the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party.

Turnbull won a second term in the House of Representatives at yesterday’s election, withstanding a concerted attempt to unseat him. He nearly won the seat on primary votes.

Other likely contenders for the leadership are Brendan Nelson and Joe Hockey. Alexander Downer will also be called on to make his intentions clear. Julie Bishop could be a contender but is more likely to seek the deputy’s position.

Nightmare For Liberal Party Worsens, Or Does It?

Nov 25 – 1.15pm – Whilst some will see Peter Costello’s departure as a worsening nightmare for the Liberal Party, following its defeat in yesterday’s election, the decision also represents an opportunity to move to a new generation of leadership untainted by the Howard-Costello years.

Conversely, the decision by Costello robs his party of a strong parliamentary performer with experience in government.

For Kevin Rudd, the development represents a stunning defeat of his two major opponents in the coalition government.

  • Listen to Peter Costello’s Announcement:

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  • FULL REPORT WITH AUDIO

November 24: Howard Announces Federal Election

12.00pm

Australia is to go to the polls for a federal election on November 24. The announcement of the date has just been made in Canberra by the Prime Minister, John Howard.

  • Listen to Howard’s Election Announcement Press Conference:

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Addressing a press conference in Canberra, Howard said “this country does not need new leadership, it does not need old leadership, it needs the right leadership”.

He said Australia was enjoying a “remarkable level of prosperity” and committed his government to full employment and confirmed the Peter Costello would remain Treasurer and Alexander Downer Foreign Minister in a re-elected coalition government.

Howard talked of a “balanced approach” to climate change in the future.

He said he remained a “passionate believer” in “one Australia” and that the things that unite Australians are greater than the things that divide them.

The Prime Minister talked of the importance of “balance” and warned against a clean sweep of Labor governments in the Federal, State and Territory spheres. He warned against union influence in the ALP.

Howard said he looked forward to meeting with Australians over the coming six weeks.

The Parliament will be prorogued on Monday and dissolved on Wednesday. This means that people wishing to enrol to vote must do so by 8pm tomorrow night.

Howard said the government offered the most experience and a smooth transition to Peter Costello during the next term. There was “openness, clarity and predictability” on the coalition side and “instability” on the Labor side.