Cormann Says Shorten Is An Economic Girlie Man

The Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, today described Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as an “economic girlie man”.

Cormann

Interviewed on the Sky News Agenda program, Cormann was asked about comments by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a budget surplus was more likely under a Labor government “than this current mob”.

Cormann said: “He’s dreaming. I mean the Labor Party has not delivered a surplus in Australia for 25 years. The problem that the Labor Party has today is that Bill Shorten is an economic girlie man. He doesn’t have what it takes to repair the Budget mess that they have left behind.”

Husic

ALP Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Shadow Treasurer, Ed Husic, also appeared on the program. He said Cormann should stop the “juvenile name-calling” and deal with the Budget. “The Terminator should become the Deodoriser and get the stink out of his budget,” Husic said.

Cormann’s remarks set off a Saturday media flurry. Allegations of sexism were aired on social media.

Cormann’s Belgian accent is often compared to that of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s film character The Terminator.

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Transcript of Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann’s interview with David Lipson on Sky News Agenda.

DAVID LIPSON: G’day, welcome to the program, I am David Lipson. It is six months since the Budget was handed down and there are still more than $28 billion in savings being held up in the Senate. And though the House of Representatives returns next week, the crucial Senate has only three sitting weeks left before the summer break. The Government insists it hasn’t given up the fight but each day that passes equates to savings lost. And Labor which along with the cross bench is blocking the savings even claimed this week, rather flippantly; it could deliver a surplus sooner than the Coalition. Here is Bill Shorten with David Speers earlier this week: [Read more…]


Shorten Gives ALP Support To Iraq Commitment; Greens Opposed

The ALP has given support to the Abbott government’s commitment of fighter aircraft to the strikes against ISIL in Iraq, whilst the Greens have opposed the decision.

Shorten

The government announced today that Australia will provide up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in the international coalition supporting Iraq. [Read more…]


Julie Bishop And Bill Shorten Speak At AFL Grand Final Breakfast

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten have joked their way through brief speeches to the AFL Grand Final Breakfast in Melbourne.

Bishop

Bishop joked that the last time she was in Melbourne she had been given a warm welcome by students at Melbourne University. She said Cabinet had considered who should attend the breakfast: “Tony Abbott thought it was the ARL, and Malcolm Turnbull thought it was the URL. So we decided to choose between the women… oh… um, look, moving right along…” She then took a swipe at Shorten, likening him to a football selector choosing ALP leaders. [Read more…]


Truss And Shorten Address Parliament On Shooting Of Melbourne Teenager

The Acting Prime Minister, Warren Truss, and the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, have addressed Parliament on the shooting of a Melbourne teenager last night.

The 18-year-old, Numan Haider, was shot dead outside the Endeavour Hills police station. He had used a knife to attack an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victoria Police officer.

Media reports today say that Haider was also carrying a bigger knife and an Islamic State flag. The reports say police suspect Haider intended to behead a police officer and post the images online.

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Hansard transcript of statements by Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Mr TRUSS: Madam Speaker, it is appropriate that I should make a statement to the House regarding the incident at Endeavour Hills police station yesterday. At approximately 7.45 pm last night, one Australian Federal Police officer and one Victorian police officer were subject to an unprovoked attack from an 18-year-old man armed with a knife. The two officers were wounded in the attack; one received multiple wounds and was seriously injured. During the conflict, one officer fired upon the attacker and killed him. [Read more…]


Shorten Maintains Support For Abbott Government On Iraq; Also Outlines Conditions

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has reiterated the ALP’s support for the Abbott government’s “humanitarian” mission in Iraq, whilst setting out conditions for continuing support.

Shorten

Shorten responded in the House of Representatives to a Statement on National Security by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

He said: “Labor fully supports Australia’s contribution to the international humanitarian mission to Iraq. We do not offer this lightly. Sending Australians into harm’s way is the most serious of decisions. Our support for the government on this issue is not a matter of jingoism or nationalism; it is a calculation of conscience and national interest.” [Read more…]


Islamic State Beheadings Plot Alleged Following Terrorist Raid Arrests In Sydney And Brisbane

Federal Police raids this morning have resulted in a 22-year old man, Omarjan Azari, appearing in a Sydney court charged with planning a terrorist act designed to “shock, horrify and terrify”.

Azari is accused of conspiring with Mohammad Baryalei, the man described as a “top terrorist recruiter” in Australia. The arrest is one of about 15 resulting from raids across western Sydney and Brisbane. The raids, involving 800 police and described as the largest in Australian history, took place as a result of information gleaned from an intercepted telephone conversation in recent days.

Media reports say the arrests related to a plot to capture and behead a random member of the public. Reports say the plan involved filming the beheading as a propaganda tool for the Islamic State movement (also known as ISIL or IS) in Iraq. The basis and veracity of these claims is uncertain. The Australian Federal Police have been guarded in their comments on the raids. Prime Minister Tony Abbott said: “This is not just suspicion, this is intent.”

Political leaders were quick to respond to the raids during the day.

Newman

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman held a press conference with Police Commissioner Ian Stewart. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten commented on the raids, as did the ALP’s Immigration spokesman, Richard Marles, and Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young. [Read more…]


ALP Supports Military Commitment To Iraq, Greens Opposed

The Labor Opposition has given its support to the government’s commitment of RAAF aircraft and military personnel to the fight against ISIL in Iraq, whilst the Greens have opposed it.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described ISIL as a “barbaric organisation” and said: “Labor supports today’s announcement of the deployment of an Australian military force – including RAAF assets and personnel – to the United Arab Emirates.”

Shorten said the ALP didn’t do so lightly: “But we support the Government’s decision that Australia has a role to play in eradicating this evil and we are reassured that our support is being provided at the request of, and in full coordination with, the Iraqi Government.”

Milne

In Hobart, Greens leader Senator Christine Milne criticised the commitment, describing it as open-ended and lacking a plan for engagement.

Milne said there was no indication of the duration of the mission or the criteria for its success: “How long? How many people? What measure of success? Nobody knows.” [Read more…]


Terror Alert Raised To High; Abbott Says No Imminent Threats But People With Intent And Capability Are Here

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that the government has raised the terrorism alert level from ‘medium’ to ‘high’.

Abbott

Abbott said there are no imminent threats but that “there are people with the intent and capability to mount attacks here in Australia”.

Speaking at a press conference with the Director-General of the Australian Security and Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), David Irvine, and the Acting Commissioner of the Australian Federal Policy (AFP), Andrew Colvin, Abbott said members of the public should not notice anything in their daily lives but that security would be stepped up at government buildings, defence facilities and major public events. [Read more…]


Jingoistic, Xenophobic, Protectionist: Bill Shorten’s March To The Fringe In Speech To Submarine Workers

Disregarding the ALP’s role in developing a modern and open trading economy, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has taken the low road of jingoism and protection in a speech to submarine workers in Adelaide.

Shorten

Shorten spoke to workers in Adelaide, following reports that the National Security Committee of Cabinet is set to replace the Collins class submarine fleet with a new “off-the-shelf” Japanese vessel. He accused the government of lying to workers.

Rather than simply support local submarine building, Shorten told a rally of Australian Manufacturing Workers Union (AMWU) members at the gates of the Australian Submarine Corporation: “Under Labor, we will build ships and submarines in Australia because we love this country.” [Read more…]


Abbott Government’s First Year Anniversary

Today is the first anniversary of the election the Liberal-Nationals Coalition government led by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Abbott

At the elections on September 7, 2013, the coalition parties defeated Kevin Rudd’s ALP government, winning 90 seats out of 150 (60%) in the House of Representatives. From a primary vote of 45.55%, the Coalition polled 53.49% of the two-party-preferred vote.

One year on, the government has fulfilled two of its key election promises: abolition of the carbon tax and abolition of the mining tax. The government’s promise to “stop the boats” is generally considered to have been fulfilled, although criticism of the off-shore processing regime is still apparent. The government points to infrastructure spending to claim it is also fulfilling Abbott’s promise to “build the roads of the 21st century“. [Read more…]