How The Turnbull Government Lost Control Of The House

The absence of nine members of the Coalition caused the Turnbull government to lose control of the House of Representatives for nearly two hours last night.

House

When a procedural motion to adjourn the House was put at 5.00pm, the ALP surprisingly voted No and called for a division, which it won by 69 votes to 67. The ALP then took control of the proceedings of the House and initiated a debate on a Senate resolution calling for a royal commission into the banking system.

Over the next 45 minutes, the government lost two more divisions and did not regain control of the House until 6.50pm, after coalition MPs were brought back into the chamber.

It was the first time since 1962 that a majority government has lost votes in the House of Representatives. Like the Turnbull government, the then Menzies government also governed with a one-seat majority. [Read more…]


Shorten Announces ALP Shadow Ministry Portfolio Allocations

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced his allocation of portfolios for the ALP’s Shadow Ministry.

The 48-member executive includes 22 members in the Shadow Cabinet, 10 in the Shadow Outer Ministry and 16 Shadow Assistant Ministers (Parliamentary Secretaries). The total Caucus numbers are not yet final but are likely to be around 95 members. About half of the Caucus will be members of the shadow executive.

A number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet have changed hands, although Chris Bowen remains Shadow Treasurer. The biggest winner of the reshuffle is the second-term MP Jim Chalmers, who has been made Shadow Minister for Finance and moves into the Shadow Cabinet.

In other changes, deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has been moved into the high-profile domestic portfolio of Education. The party’s Senate leader, Penny Wong, takes Foreign Affairs.

Senator Kim Carr, for whom the shadow ministry has been expanded from 30 to 32, retains the portfolio of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Another significant change sees Michelle Rowland take over Communications, whilst Defence goes to Richard Marles and Senator Stephen Conroy takes on Special Minister of State and Sport. The relatively unknown Queenslander, Shayne Neumann, becomes Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. [Read more…]


ALP Caucus Elects Expanded Shadow Ministry Of 32; Carr Survives

The ALP Caucus has met and elected the Shadow Ministry, following the federal election.

After a split in the Left faction, Senator Kim Carr has survived a proposed demotion and will remain in an expanded shadow ministry of 32.

The factional composition of the shadow ministry is Right 16, Left 15, with one unaligned. There are 19 males and 13 females.

The NSW Right has dumped Sharon Bird and promoted Ed Husic.

In Victoria, the Right has replaced David Feeney with Clare O’Neil, who has just been elected to her second term as member for Hotham.

Following a number of mis-steps in the election campaign, Feeney, the former shadow minister for Defence, is the biggest loser in the Caucus election. [Read more…]


Clare O’Neil (ALP – Hotham) – First Speech

Clare O’Neil was first elected as the ALP member for Hotham at the 2013 federal election.

O'Neil

Hotham is an electorate in south-east suburban Melbourne. It stretches from Oakleigh in the north to Dingley Village in the south. The main suburbs include Bentleigh East, Dingley Village, Heatherton, Moorabbin, Springvale South and parts of Clayton, Clayton South, Cheltenham, Keysborough, Murrumbeena, Noble Park, Oakleigh, Oakleigh South and Springvale. [Read more…]


Clare O’Neil: Howard’s Terrifying Lack Of Reflection

by Clare O’Neil

In March, John Howard visited Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where I am a Master of Public Policy student.

Howard began his visit with a formal address on Australia/China relations. About 250 Harvard students and staff assembled in the school’s famous John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum to listen.

O'NeilHoward reflected on his term as a period of deepening integration between Australia and China, evidenced by growing trade between the two countries. He framed the relationship in pragmatic terms, which drew a contrast to the familial bonds he described between Australia and the US. [Read more…]