Tony Abbott’s Address To The United Nations General Assembly

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has addressed the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York.

AbbottAbbott’s speech was a general statement of principles in which he talked of the United Nations as a body that works for the “common good”. He itemised Australia’s contribution to global issues since the organisation’s founding in 1947.

Abbott said: “Since 1947, Australia has provided more than 65,000 personnel to more than 50 multilateral peace and security operations. We are not a country accustomed to turning back once we’ve put our hand to the plough; we’ve had blue beret personnel in the Middle East since 1956 and in Cyprus since 1964. When leadership is needed, we step up, as we did in Bougainville, in Timor-Leste and in Solomon Islands. In Korea, Cambodia, Kuwait and Afghanistan; in Somalia and Sierra Leone and in other troubled places, Australians have lent a hand under the UN’s banner.” [Read more…]


Penny Wong: Light On The Hill Address

The ALP’s Senate Leader, Penny Wong, has delivered this year’s Light On The Hill Address in Bathurst.

WongWong, the ALP’s Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, told her audience that “Labor stands for fairness, growth and building the future”.

She said: “Labor’s record of opening Australia’s economy to the world has been one of the most important ways of achieving these goals – from Chifley’s support for Bretton Woods, to Whitlam’s across the board tariff cut, to Hawke and Keating’s dismantling of protectionism, to Rudd and Gillard’s pursuit of trade agreements and a place for Australia in the Asian Century. In today’s world, the forces of globalisation drive economic, technological and social change. Labor knows we won’t improve living standards by pulling down the shutters.”

However, Wong said: “Labor recognises that while globalisation brings tremendous benefits, it can also drive rapid, unpredictable and sometimes unsettling change. That is why we see a role for government in implementing policies which empower our citizens to participate in the globalised economy. Policies that will allow more Australians to prosper and benefit from economic change, rather than being discarded and left behind.” [Read more…]


Bill Shorten: Light On The Hill Address

Bill Shorten has delivered the annual ‘Light on the Hill’ Address in honour of Ben Chifley.

ShortenChifley was Labor Prime Minister from 1945 until 1949. Prior to that, he was Treasurer in the Curtin government from 1941. Amongst other things, Chifley is remembered for his ‘Light on the Hill’ speech to an ALP conference in 1949.

Shorten, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations in the Gillard government, was elected to the Melbourne electorate of Maribyrnong in 2007. He was previously National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union.

The Ben Chifley Memorial Lecture is given each year in Bathurst, Chifley’s birthplace.

Text of Bill Shorten’s ‘Light on the Hill’ Address in Bathurst.

If things are right, they will come your way.

Those words aren’t mine.

They belong to:

  • a boy who grew up sleeping on a chaff bag in a bush shack with a dirt floor;
  • a young man who started out as a cashier’s assistant in a general store;
  • a unionist who was the youngest first-class locomotive driver in New South Wales;
  • and a politician who never took his eye off the ball – or the horizon.

Of course, I’m talking about Australia’s 16th prime minister and our 19th Treasurer – Bathurst’s own Ben Chifley.

It’s worth remembering when Chifley said those words. [Read more…]


Gillard Delivers Chifley Memorial “Light on the Hill” Speech in Bathurst

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has given her first major speech since being sworn in as Prime Minister of a minority Labor government, following the resolution of the August 21 election.

She spoke in Bathurst, delivering the Chifley Memorial Light on the Hill speech. [Read more…]


Rodney Cavalier Speech: Could Chifley Win Labor Preselection Today?

In a timely speech, the former NSW Labor minister Rodney Cavalier has asked whether Ben Chifley could win Labor preselection today.

Rodney Cavalier

Speaking to the Fabian Society, Cavalier said a new political class now dominated preselections in the Labor Party. He said: “In the absence of intervention at the level of the parliamentary leadership, preselection in seats which matter falls exclusively to the inhabitants of the political class. The political class embraces union officials, ministerial and parliamentary staffs and party employees.”

Cavalier’s speech examines the nature of the modern Labor and the self-perpetuating oligarchies that control it.

Cavalier was a member of the NSW parliament from 1978-88. He was Education Minister in the Wran and Unsworth governments between 1984-88.

Speech by Rodney Cavalier to a NSW Fabian Society seminar at Gleebooks.

Could Chifley win Labor preselection today?

Could Ben Chifley win a Labor preselection today? No.

Could a railwayman from Bathurst win preselection today? No.

Could a man or woman who works during the day or night in a job that involves getting dirty and perspiring and without access to a telephone during working hours win a preselection today? No.

Could a professional devoted to his practice and his clients – that is, willing to work long hours, including night and weekends in preparation and research – could such a person win a preselection today? No.

Who can win a preselection today? [Read more…]


Electors Looking For Honesty: The Age

This is the editorial from the Melbourne Age on March 19, 1951.

It came the day after Prime Minister Robert Menzies announced a double dissolution of the federal parliament and an election on April 28.

It was just the second double dissolution in the federation’s 50-year history.

Menzies was elected in December 1949. He opted for a double dissolution after the Senate failed to pass a piece of banking legislation. Menzies advised the Governor-General, William McKell that the Senate’s referral of the bill to a committee constituted a “failure to pass”, in accordance with Section 57 of the Constitution. [Read more…]


“The Light On The Hill” – Speech by Ben Chifley

Prime Minister Ben Chifley delivered this speech to an ALP Conference in 1949.

The “light on the hill” phrase has resonated down the years as epitomising the Labor philosophy.

Text of Prime Minister Ben Chifley’s 1949 speech to the NSW ALP Conference.

Joseph Benedict Chifley, Prime Minister of Australia 1945-49I have had the privilege of leading the Labour Party for nearly four years. They have not been easy times and it has not been an easy job. It is a man-killing job and would be impossible if it were not for the help of my colleagues and members of the movement.

No Labour Minister or leader ever has an easy job. The urgency that rests behind the Labour movement, pushing it on to do things, to create new conditions, to reorganise the economy of the country, always means that the people who work within the Labour movement, people who lead, can never have an easy job. The job of the evangelist is never easy. [Read more…]