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…]


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…]


Mining Tax Abolished As Government Deals With Palmer

2.20pm – The federal government has struck a deal with Clive Palmer and the Senate has voted 36-33 to abolish the mining tax.

The agreement will see the Income Support Bonus continue until the end of 2016. The Schoolkids Bonus will also continue until the end of 2016 but will be means-tested and eligibility will cut out for family incomes above $100,000. The Low Income Super Contribution will continue in its existing form until June 30, 2017. The agreement will also see a slower increase in compulsory superannuation, with an increase to 10% from July 2021 and then by increments until it reaches 12% in 2025.

It is believed the agreement was struck late this morning and signed off by Prime Minister Tony Abbott around midday. When the Senate met at 12.30, the government moved to bring on an immediate vote on the legislation.

The Opposition attempted to have the legislation referred to a Senate Committee but this was defeated. The ALP concentrated on the superannuation changes in their arguments against the final passage of the repeal legislation.

The amended bills were passed 36-33 by the Senate at 2.20pm, with the support of the PUP senators Lazarus, Lambie and Wang, and Senators Muir, Leyonhjelm and Day. Independent Senator Nick Xenophon voted against, whilst DLP Senator John Madigan did not vote.

The bills were returned to the House of Representatives which also passed the amendments at 6.27pm.

Watch the full Senate debate. It began just after 12.30pm and ended at 2.20pm.

Announcing to the House of Representatives that the Senate had voted to repeal the mining tax, Treasurer Joe Hockey said it was “testament to a failed government”. He said it showed how “irrelevant” the modern Labor Party is. “They were dealt out – the modern Labor Party is irrelevant,” Hockey said.

The agreement says the 3 PUP senators will support the legislation, as will the Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir. Two other senators will be required to secure passage and this is likely to come from Senators Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm and John Madigan. [Read more…]


Greens React To Repeal Of Carbon Tax

Following today’s repeal of the carbon tax, the Greens have reacted angrily to the decision.

This page provides a selection of audio and video items featuring the Greens leader, Senator Christine Milne, and her deputy, Adam Bandt. [Read more…]


As Defeat Looms, Christine Milne Speaks Against Repeal Of Carbon Tax

With the repeal of the Gillard government’s carbon tax and emissions trading scheme looming over the next couple of days, the Greens leader, Senator Christine Milne, has described the move as “intergenerational theft”.

Milne

In a speech to the Senate tonight, Milne said parties were taking place around the parliament but the Liberals had misread the temperature: “Enjoy your celebrations: this is the last stand of the vanquished.” [Read more…]


Carbon Tax Repeal Bill Defeated In Senate As Palmer Squabbles With Government Over Amendments

The Senate has rejected an Abbott government bill to repeal the carbon tax.

Parry

A combination of ALP, Greens and Palmer United Party senators, supported by Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir, voted 37-35 to defeat the bill that would have abolished the carbon tax.

The bill failed due to a breakdown in negotiations between the government and the Palmer United Party. Palmer wanted the legislation to mandate that power savings be passed on to consumers. In the end, the amendment moved by Palmer was judged to be a tax that the Senate had no power to introduce. [Read more…]


Julie Bishop Treads Carefully In Reaction To Jailing Of Australian Journalist Peter Greste

The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, says the Australian government is shocked by the 7-year jail sentence imposed on the Australian journalist, Peter Greste, in Egypt today.

Bishop

Greste is one of three of Qatar-based Al Jazeera journalists who have been held in prison in Egypt for over six months. They were charged with endangering national security, aiding terrorists, doctoring footage, operating without a licence, and “spreading false news”. They were specifically charged with aiding the Muslim Brotherhood, a blacklisted organisation.

Greste and a colleague were each sentenced to 7 years. A third colleague was sentence to 10 years.

Bishop said the Australian government has been pressuring the Egyptian government for months on the Greste case. She said she wanted to explore options with the Egyptian government and to work with neighbouring countries that may be able to exert influence. [Read more…]


Christine Milne Delivers Greens Response To Federal Budget; Pledges To Oppose Key Measures

The Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has delivered her party’s response to this week’s federal Budget.

Speaking in the Senate, Milne committed the Greens to opposing key measures in the Budget, including changes to unemployment benefits for young people and university fees.

Milne said the Budget was written for “big-business, big miners, big polluters, big banks, who are all completely let off the hook”. She described the Budget’s spending cuts as “brutal”.

Milne said: “The Greens will stand with university students, school kids, families, pensioners, carers or the sick. We will stand with environmental campaigners, children not yet born, our precious threatened species, the places we love, and our magnificent rivers and groundwater storages. We will stand with you, against the Abbott Government. We will stand with you to kick this mob out.”

  • Listen to Milne’s speech (27m)

    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 Milne (27m)

Official transcript of Senator Christine Milne’s Budget Reply speech, delivered to the Senate.

In my 25 years in politics I have seen governments and budgets come and go. Governments like that of Tasmanian liberal premier Robin Gray who cooked the books and governments like that of John Howard who engaged in gross populism. Remember his rivers of gold, manna from heaven tax cuts as he squandered the benefits of the last mining boom and his previous decision to freeze the fuel excise to win an election.

I have seen governments ignore the challenges ahead, refuse to even mention climate change or the environment just as this Abbott government is doing and play instead to comfort zones promising that if they continue to do what they had always done everything will be ok, in spite of Einstein’s great observation that you can’t solve problems with the same mentality that created them and frankly that is our problem in this parliament. [Read more…]


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…]


MYEFO: Greens Say Focus Should Be On How To Raise Revenue, Call For End To Panic On Debt

The Australian Greens have reacted to the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) by calling for an end to the panic about debt in favour of a new focus on how to raise revenue to fund services and jobs.

Milne

“Now is not the time to be talking about spending restraint because of a panic on debt,” said Greens leader Senator Christine Milne.

“The old parties wasted the resources boom,” Milne said. “A serious look at raising revenue is necessary to address subdued unemployment, an ageing workforce and increased demand for services.”

  • Listen to Milne (12m)

    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.

Text of media release from the Australian Greens.

End panic on debt and let’s talk about revenue and jobs – Greens

Responding to the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has warned against deep budget cuts and says the focus should now be on how we can raise revenue to spend on public services and the infrastructure of the future. [Read more…]