Bill Shorten Addresses New Zealand Labour Party Congress

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has addressed the New Zealand Labour Party Congress in Wellington.

Shorten was introduced by Clare Curran, the member for Dunedin South and Opposition shadow minister for Civil Defence and Emergency Management, and Open Government and ICT.

Earlier, the New Zealand Opposition Leader, Davind Cunliffe, addressed the Congress.

  • Watch Shorten (21m)
  • Watch Cunliffe (37m)

Liberal Party Releases New Anti-Shorten Advertisement

The Liberal Party has released a new advertisement attacking Bill Shorten.

The ad was unveiled at the end of the Liberal Party’s Federal Council meeting in Melbourne.

The ad is titled: “Bill Shorten – No Solutions, No Plan, No Idea”.

  • Watch the ad (3m)

Anthony Albanese Denies Undermining Bill Shorten’s Leadership Of The ALP

Anthony Albanese has denied allegations that he has been undermining Bill Shorten’s leadership of the ALP.

Albanese made a personal explanation after Question Time in the House of Representatives, in response to an article by Troy Bramston in The Australian today. Later, he was interviewed by David Speers on Sky News.

Bramston’s article was titled: With friends like Albo, Bill’s in bother. In it, he claimed: “During the past few months, Albanese has been unremitting critic of Shorten to anyone who will listen. Albanese has rubbished Shorten to MPs, party figures, union leaders, staff and even journalists.”

Bramston said that “Albanese has form”, a reference to Albanese’s role as a Rudd supporter in the leadership conflicts with Julia Gillard. Bramston wrote: “‘He was up to his neck in it,’ one of Rudd’s supporters told me. Yet Albanese escaped without the stain of betrayal.” [Read more...]


ALP Will Oppose Budget Measures On Pensions, Youth Support, Family Tax Benefits And GP Co-Payment

Following Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech tonight, the ALP has announced that it will oppose a series of Budget measures in the Parliament.

Statements from shadow ministers Jenny Macklin, Catherine King, Brendan O’Connor and Julie Collins say that the ALP will oppose:

  • Increasing the pension age to 70.
  • Changes to pension indexation arrangements.
  • Forcing young people under 30 to wait 6 months before receiving income support.
  • Moving people under 25 from Newstart to the lower-paying Youth Allowance.
  • Cutting families off Family Tax Benefit B when their youngest child turns 6.
  • The $7 co-payment for visit for visits to a general practitioner.

The ALP and the Greens have a blocking majority in the Senate until June 30. Neither party will oppose the Appropriation Bills, but where separate legislation is required they will have the ability to block measures.

After July 1, the ALP, Greens and the Palmer United Party group will have the numbers to block legislation in the Senate. Alternatively, either the ALP or the Greens will be able to guarantee passage of government bills. If the ALP and Greens are opposed to legislation, the government will need the support of 6 of the 8 crossbenchers.

Statement from Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, and Disability Reform.

LABOR TO OPPOSE ABBOTT’S PENSION ATTACK

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s savage attack on Australia’s pension system and the millions of Australian pensioners who rely on it.

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s decision to increase the pension age to 70. [Read more...]


Budget Reply Speech: Bill Shorten Says Budget Is Built Upon Broken Promises And Lies

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, says the Abbott government’s first Budget will make Australia “colder, meaner and narrower”.

Delivering his Budget Reply speech in the House of Representatives tonight, Shorten said the Budget “is built upon broken promises and lies”.

Shorten

Shorten did not offer any policy prescriptions in his speech. Instead, he committed the ALP to defend Medicare from the co-payment announced in the Budget: “We will fight this wicked and punitive measure to its ultimate end.”

Shorten also said the ALP would have “no truck” with “brutal and cruel cuts to hospitals and schools”. He said the quality of education should not depend on the capacity to pay.

The Opposition Leader said “Labor will prevail” in its defence of fair pensions. He called on the Prime Minister and the Treasurer to not “harangue Australians about working till they’re 70″.

Shorten concluded his speech by goading the Prime Minister about calling an election: “If you want an election, try us. If you think we are too weak – bring it on. But remember – it is not about you or I, Prime Minister. It is about the future of our nation and the wellbeing of our people.”

  • Listen to Shorten’s speech (31m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch the speech (31m)

Official transcript of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech.

Shorten

Madam Speaker

Tonight I rise to speak on behalf of millions of Australians who feel shocked and angry.

Shocked by the brutality of this Government’s attack on their way of life.

Angry at a Prime Minister who pretended to be on their side.

This Budget divides our Parliament.

More importantly, it will divide our nation.

The Government says this Budget is just the beginning.

And it is. [Read more...]


Budget Dominates Question Time; Repair Job Or Massive Deceit?

The Federal Budget was the dominant issue during Question Time in the House of Representatives today.

The government sought to portray the Budget as an economic repair job on the mess left by the previous Labor government, whilst the Opposition maintained it was a massive deceit of the electorate.

  • Download a transcript of Question Time (PDF – also shown below)
  • Listen to Question Time (78m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

  • Watch Question Time (78m)



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...]