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East Timor Troop Numbers To Be Cut

Australia is to reduce the number of troops in East Timor to 650 by early 2009. The announcement was made today by the Minister for Defence, Joel Fitzgibbon. [Read more…]


Rudd Sends More Peacekeepers To East Timor

More Australian peacekeeping personnel will be sent to East Timor, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced today.

The decision follows the assassination attempt on the East Timorese President Jose Ramos-Horta.

Speaking at a press conference in Canberra, Rudd emphasised the significance of an attack on the democratic process in one of Australia’s near neighbours.

  • Listen to Kevin Rudd’s press conference (21m)

Alexander Downer: Earle Page Politics Speech

The Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, has delivered a speech on Australian foreign policy and politics at the University of New England in Armidale.

Downer gave the Earle Page College’s Annual Politics Dinner speech. [Read more…]


Paul Foley: Ambassador To East Timor

Paul Foley, a career diplomat with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has been appointed Australia’s first Ambassador to East Timor.

The appointment was announced today by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.

Text of media release by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer.

FoleyI have today announced the appointment of Paul Foley as Australian Ambassador to East Timor.

East Timor’s independence ceremonies on 20 May 2002 were a moving celebration of East Timor’s entry into the community of nations. I was delighted to be present with the Prime Minister and a broad delegation of Australians to witness the birth of a nation. [Read more…]


Howard Introduces Temporary Tax Levy To Pay For East Timor Commitment

The Howard government is to introduce a temporary tax levy to pay for Australia’s military commitment to East Timor.

In a statement to the House of Representatives today, Howard said the levy will only apply for 2000-01. It will be applied as an addition to the Medicare levy for taxpayers earning above $50,000 per annum.

The levy will be 0.5% for taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $100,000. It will be 1% for taxpayers earning above $100,000. [Read more…]


Government Increases Medicare Levy To Pay For Increased Commitment To Timor

The Federal Government today announced an increase in the Medicare levy for people earning in excess of $50,000 to pay for an increased Australian commitment to East Timor.

The levy, to be known as the “Defence – East Timor levy”, will apply for the financial year 2000-01 only. Taxpayers earning between $50,000 and $100,000 will pay an additional 0.5% levy. Taxpayers earning over $100,000 will pay an extra 1%.

Speaking to Parliament today, Prime Minister Howard said that the commitment to East Timor would cost around $1.1 billion dollars in 2000-01. He said that combined with changes to the GST legislation negotiated with the Democrats earlier this year, the budget in the next financial year would record an underlying cash deficit of approximately $500 million. The increased levy is designed to prevent the budget going into deficit.

The Prime Minister also announced the formation of two additional infantry batallions for the Australian Army.


John Howard’s Speech to the NSW State Convention of the Liberal Party

This is the text of Prime Minister John Howard’s speech to the NSW Convention of the Liberal Party.

Text of John Howard’s speech to the NSW Convention of the Liberal Party.

John HowardThank you very much Michael for those very warm words of introduction. To Shane Stone the Federal President, Kerry Chikarovski, the Leader of the New South Wales Opposition, to my many ministerial and parliamentary colleagues and most importantly of all my fellow members of the New South Wales Division of the Liberal Party.

Not surprisingly I would like to share with you this morning some thoughts on the past year and also some ideas about the year ahead at a national political level. But I would like to start my remarks this morning by addressing an issue that is very important to the future strength and survival of the New South Wales Division.

I want to congratulate the Executive of the party here in New South Wales for the decision it took last night to establish a committee of management to run the affairs of this party in the months ahead. [Read more…]