Stuart Robert Attacks Gillard Over National Security Strategy

The Opposition Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Technology and Personnel, Stuart Robert, has attacked the Prime Minister’s statement on national security.

Robert

Julia Gillard released the National Security Strategy statement earlier today.

Robert cited budget cuts in Defence and said the government’s actions did not match its rhetoric.

  • Listen to Stuart Robert’s media conference (12m)

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Obama Nominates Chuck Hagel To Be Defence Secretary

President Barack Obama has nominated former Republican senator Chuck Hagel to be Secretary of Defence.

Hagel, 66, was a Republican senator from Nebraska from 1997 until 2009. An initial supporter of the war in Iraq, Hagel became a critic of the Bush administration. He was spoken of as a potential vice-presidential running mate for Obama in 2008.

Obama also nominated John O. Brennan to be Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He is currently Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, and Assistant to the President.

Both nominations require Senate approval.

Text of President Obama’s remarks in nominating Hagel and Brennan.

THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, everybody. Please have a seat. As President and Commander-in-Chief, my most solemn obligation is the security of the American people. Over the past four years, we’ve met that responsibility by ending the war in Iraq, and beginning a transition in Afghanistan; by decimating the al Qaeda core and taking out Osama bin Laden; by disrupting terrorist plots and saving countless American lives.

Among an outstanding national security team, I am especially grateful to Leon Panetta, who has led the CIA and our military with incredible skill. Leon, after nearly five decades of service, you have more than earned the right to return to civilian life. I’ll have much more to say about Leon’s distinguished service in the days ahead. Today, I simply want to convey both to you and to Sylvia the eternal gratitude of the entire nation. Thank you so much, Leon. [Read more...]


Today’s Political Activity

  • Queensland Premier Anna Bligh held a series of press conferences today to provide information about Cyclone Yasi. This one was at 2pm. (16m)

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  • Bligh held another press conference at 4.30pm with Commissioner Ian Stewart. (9m)

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  • Leader of the House Anthony Albanese brief the media on arrangements for next week’s return of Federal Parliament. (14m)

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  • In light of the government’s agreement with Andrew Wilkie, Families Minister Jenny Macklin released legal advice provided to the government on its powers to deal with problem gambling. (8m)

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  • Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten spoke about flood insurance. (5m)

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  • Prime Minister Julia Gillard addressed CEDA on her vision for Australia. (25m) – Transcript of Gillard’s speech is here.

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  • Stephen Smith and Jason Clare made a series of announcements about Defence procurement. (36m) – Transcript of Smith and Clare is here.

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Rudd Offers Condolences On Death Of Australian Soldier

Kevin Rudd has offered his condolences following the death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan.

Click the Play button to listen to Rudd:

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This is the transcript of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s press conference:

PRIME MINISTER:

I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of an Australian soldier in Afghanistan. This brave soldier, wearing the uniform of Australia died the field of duty wearing his nation’s uniform and wearing it with pride.

On behalf of the Government, I extend my condolences to his family and to his friends and to his loved ones. Our prayers and those of the entire nation are with his family and his friends and his loved ones on this most tragic of days. [Read more...]


Eighth Australian Soldier Killed In Afghanistan

An Australian soldier has been killed in a rocket attack in Oruzgan Province in Afghanistan. He is the eighth Australian casualty in Afghanistan since 2001.

The announcement was made in Canberra by the Chief of the Defence Foce, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston.

Click the Play button to listen to ACM Houston’s press conference.

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This is the text of a media release from the Defence Department:

An Australian soldier in Afghanistan has been killed in a rocket attack whilst conducting operations in Oruzgan Province.

Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal (ACM) Angus Houston, said the soldier was killed early yesterday evening, Australian time. [Read more...]