Doug Everingham Condolences: House Remembers Whitlam Minister

The House of Representatives today offered condolences following the death of Doug Everingham, the former Labor member for Capricornia and Health minister in the Whitlam governments.

Everingham died on August 24, 2017, aged 94. He represented the Queensland electorate from 1967 to 1975 and from 1977 until 1984. He was one of the original Whitlam ministers and held the Health portfolio throughout the Whitlam period.

Everingham

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten paid tribute to the former doctor during a condolence motion prior to Question Time. Both acknowledged Everingham’s commitment to health issues, especially mental health, and his work in establishing Medibank, the original universal health insurance scheme.

They acknowledged Everingham’s interest in linguistics, including his devotion to Esperanto and spelling reform.

Everingham’s death leaves just three of the original Whitlam ministers still living and five overall.

Everingham was first elected at a by-election in 1967. There are now just 16 members of the 26th Parliament still living.

The death of Doug Everingham means there are now 28 House members from the Menzies era (1949-72) still living. The oldest of these is Henry Pearce, who is also a former member for Capricornia. Pearce, a Liberal, will turn 100 on September 17, 2017. He held Capricornia from 1949 until he was defeated by the ALP’s George Gray in 1961. Gray’s death in 1967 precipitated the by-election won by Everingham.

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Hansard transcript of condolence debate for Doug Everingham.

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (14:01): I move:

That the House record its deep regret at the death, on 24 August 2017, of the Honourable Douglas Nixon Everingham, a former Minister and Member of this House for the Division of Capricornia from 1967 to 1975 and 1977 to 1984, place on record its appreciation of his long and meritorious public service, and tender its profound sympathy to his family in their bereavement. [Read more…]


Turnbull Addresses LNP Conference In Brisbane

In the aftermath of the federal election, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has addressed the Liberal National Party annual convention in Brisbane today.

Turnbull

The LNP lost two seats in the July election but still holds 21 of Queensland’s 30 seats in the House of Representatives. One of the seats it lost, Herbert, may be subject to challenge in the Court of Disputed Returns.

Turnbull thanked LNP candidates and praised Michelle Landry for winning re-election in Capricornia, the first time in 60 years that the Coalition has won the seat at two consecutive elections.

Turnbull reiterated his intention to secure the passage of the Building and Construction Commission legislation, to “restore law and order” to the construction industry.

He called upon the ALP to support the government’s omnibus bill to cut government spending.

Much of the speech was taken up with itemising infrastructure projects planned or underway in Queensland. [Read more…]


2016 Primary Vote Winners, Preference Vote Losers

There were 16 seats in the 2016 federal election where the primary vote leaders were defeated after the full distribution of preferences.

The ALP benefited in 15 seats and the Nick Xenophon Team in one. In 14 seats, (7 held by the ALP and 7 by the Coalition), the coalition candidate led on primary votes but the seat was won by the ALP after preferences. In one seat, the Liberal lead was overtaken by the Xenophon candidate. In another, the ALP overcame a Greens lead.

The 16 seats were spread across the states: Queensland (4), Victoria (3), South Australia (3), New South Wales (2), Western Australia (2) and Tasmania (2).

Overall, 48 (32%) of the 150 House of Representatives electorates were decided on primary votes, whilst 102 (68%) required preference distribution to obtain a winner.

It is worth noting that 86 of the 102 electorates were won after preferences by the candidates who led the primary vote count. Even with preferences, a primary vote lead is difficult to overcome. [Read more…]


ALP Claims Hindmarsh, Now Holds 68 Seats; LNP Takes Lead In Herbert, Last Undecided Seat

10.50pm – The ALP today claimed victory in the South Australian electorate of Hindmarsh, bringing its total to 68 seats.

In the only remaining undecided seat, the LNP took the lead for the first time in the Queensland electorate of Herbert, ahead of the ALP by just 34 votes.

GeorganasOpposition Leader Bill Shorten was in Adelaide to claim victory in Hindmarsh with Steve Georganas (pictured), who returns to parliament as the member for the seat he represented between 2004 and 2013. At the close of counting today, the ALP’s lead was 588 votes, or 50.31%. There are 5,514 votes still to count but there is no doubt that Georganas will win. There are only 791 postal votes remaining and 2,663 absentee votes. The ALP is securing 56.06% of the latter.

In Herbert, the ALP’s lead was finally overtaken by the LNP today and finished at 34 votes. The sitting member, Ewen Jones, now seems certain to be returned for his third term. There are now just 3,197 votes left to count: 1,089 postal, 863 declaration pre-poll, 969 provisional and 276 absent. The LNP is easily winning postals and declaration pre-poll votes, whilst the ALP is just ahead on absents with 51.53%.

If the Coalition wins Herbert, the final tally for the 45th Parliament will be: Coalition 77, ALP 68, Others 5. This is a Coalition majority of four over all other groups and a majority of three on the floor of the House, after a Speaker has been provided. In addition, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has secured agreements with three crossbenchers – Bob Katter, Cathy McGowan and Andrew Wilkie – for support on Supply and Confidence. [Read more…]


Turnbull Seems Set For Floor Majority Of Three In 45th Parliament

11.50pm – The two remaining undecided seats in the 2016 federal election are no closer to finalisation, following another day’s counting. However, the government is now likely to have a majority of three in the new House.

The ALP’s lead in Hindmarsh remains unchanged at 582 votes. There are 6,125 votes still to count: 2,644 absents, 1,599 provisionals, 1,130 declaration pre-poll, and 752 postals. There is no change to the expectation that Steve Georganas will regain the seat he previously held for the ALP.

In Herbert, the ALP’s lead narrowed again, from 178 votes to 66. There are 6,016 votes left to count: 2,696 postal, 1,747 declaration pre-poll, 1,002 provisional and 571 absent. The ALP is only besting the LNP on absent votes and there is now an expectation that this seat is about to move decisively to the LNP.

If the ALP wins Hindmarsh and the Coalition wins Herbert, the final tally for the 45th Parliament will be: Coalition 77, ALP 68, Others 5. This is a Coalition majority of four over all other groups and a majority of three on the floor of the House, after a Speaker has been provided. [Read more…]


Coalition Secures Absolute Majority Of 76; Labor Claims Cowan; Just Two Seats Still Undecided

11.45pm – As election counting entered its second week today, the ALP claimed victory in Cowan, whilst the LNP drew further ahead in Capricornia and Flynn, securing an absolute majority of 76 seats for the Turnbull government.

The ALP still leads in Hindmarsh and Herbert, the two remaining undecided seats in the House of Representatives.

In Cowan, the ALP’s Anne Aly claimed victory and will become the first female Muslim to be elected to the House. A batch of votes that had been wrongly counted for the Liberals delivered several hundred votes to Aly. Her 946 vote lead, combined with preference flows means that Cowan can now be taken out of the doubtful list. There are 6,942 votes still to count. The ALP now has a confirmed 67 seats.

The ALP’s lead in Hindmarsh remains at 583 votes. This seat will probably come out of the doubtful list in the next day or two, since the ALP lead seems firm. There are 5,307 votes still to count. The Liberals’ 53.81% advantage in postals is offset by the ALP’s 56.06% advantage in absentees.

In the Queensland seats of Capricornia and Flynn, the LNP extended its leads. Both seats have now been removed from the doubtful list.

In Capricornia, the LNP lifted its weekend lead of 148 votes to 691. There are 3,475 votes to count and it is clear that the LNP will retain the seat. A traditionally Labor electorate, Capricornia was lost by the ALP in 1975 and 1996. In both cases, it was regained at the following election. Michelle Landry becomes the first non-Labor member for Capricornia to win consecutive elections since Henry Pearce, who held it between 1949 and 1961. Pearce is now 98 years old and is one of only two surviving members from the 1949 parliament. [Read more…]


As Turnbull Claims Election Victory, Coalition Seems On Track For 76 Seats

11.55pm – Eight days after the Federal Election, Malcolm Turnbull today claimed victory, following a concession by Bill Shorten.

In weekend counting, the LNP’s position has strengthened in two seats, as has the ALP’s. If the current leads hold, the Coalition will end up holding 76 seats, the ALP 69, and Others 5.

There now seems to be general agreement that the ALP is likely to take the electorates of Hindmarsh and Cowan, with the possibility of securing Herbert.

In Hindmarsh, the ALP leads by 348, with 7,766 declaration votes still to count. In Cowan, the ALP leads by 487, with 8,476 to count. Whilst narrow, these leads have firmed and the ALP is almost certain to retain both seats.

In the Queensland seats of Capricornia and Flynn, the LNP seems well-placed to hold both. In Capricornia, the LNP took the lead on Saturday and is now ahead by 148 votes, with 7,186 declaration votes still to count. The LNP is winning 58.57% of postals and 50.38% of absentees. In Flynn, the LNP also took the lead on Saturday and is now ahead by 391 votes, with 5,783 votes to count. The LNP is winning 63.54% of postals but the ALP is winning 54.64% of absentees. [Read more…]