Tasmanian Senate Results Finalised; ALP, Liberals, Greens And Lambie Take All 12 Seats

The Tasmanian Senate election results have been finalised and announced by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The ALP has won 5 seats, returning all of its sitting senators, including Lisa Singh. The Liberals have won 4 seats, but Richard Colbeck has been defeated. The two Greens senators have been re-elected, as has Jacqui Lambie.

Despite being relegated to the sixth position on the ALP ticket, Singh secured a large number of below-the-line votes and was re-elected, displacing John Short, the Tasmanian secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, who held the fifth position.

Richard Colbeck also received a significant number of below-the-line votes but insufficient to get him across the line. Colbeck was Minister for Tourism and International Education in the Turnbull government. He supported Turnbull against Abbott in last year’s leadership contest. His relegation to the fifth position on the Liberal ticket was widely seen as orchestrated by Senator Eric Abetz.

Colbeck’s position will be taken by Jonathon Duniam, 33, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman. [Read more…]


GetUp! Lauds Its Election Campaign; Liberals Disagree

The activist group GetUp! has congratulated itself on its election campaign and taken credit for campaigns that removed conservative Liberals from parliament.

GetUp! has posted a YouTube video applauding its campaign work, especially its use of phone banks to contact voters in marginal seats and its distribution of how-to-vote cards on polling day.

The Liberal Party has attacked GetUp!, claiming it poured a million dollars into the campaign against Andrew Nikolic in Bass, Tasmania. Nikolic was defeated by a swing of just over 10% in the Launceston-based electorate. Nikolic, a former army officer, was one of former prime minister Tony Abbott’s staunchest supporters in the last parliament. The Liberal Party’s Senate leader, Eric Abetz, has attributed Nikolic’s defeat to the campaign by GetUp!. [Read more…]


First Turnbull Ministry Announced; More Women Into Cabinet, Abbott Supporters Axed

Malcolm Turnbull has announced the composition of his ministry, five days after being sworn in as prime minister.

As expected, Joe Hockey has been replaced as Treasurer by Scott Morrison. Hockey is expected to be appointed Ambassador to the United States, replacing former Labor leader Kim Beazley in the new year.

Five women will be in the Cabinet, an increase of three. Senator Maris Payne becomes Defence Minister, whilst Senator Michaelia Cash will be the Minister for Women. They will be joined by Kelly O’Dwyer as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business.

Turnbull has sacked a number of Abbott supporters. The most prominent casualties are Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and the Senate leader and Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has been left out of the ministry, as has Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane. The Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson, has also been dropped.

This is the official list of ministers released by the Prime Minister’s office:

15-09-20_first-turnbull-ministry


ALP And Greens Back Palmer Motion For Select Committee Inquiry Into Queensland Government

The Senate has voted to establish a Select Committee to inquire into aspects of Queensland government administration.

The motion was moved by Palmer United Party senators and supported by the ALP and Greens. It was carried by 30 votes to 27.

The 5-member Select Committee on Certain Aspects of Queensland Government Administration will comprise 2 ALP, 1 Green, 1 PUP and 1 Coalition members. The PUP Senate leader, Glenn Lazarus, will chair the committee.

The Committee is required to report by March 27, 2015, around the time the Queensland state election is due.

The Committee is charged with inquiring into Commonwealth funds allocated to Queensland since March 26, 2012, when the LNP government led by Premier Campbell Newman took office. It will investigate judicial independence and the separation of powers, environmental law, the administration of prisons and detention without trial. The Committee will also examine Commonwealth oversight of coal seam gas projects in Queensland. [Read more…]


Harry Evans, Former Clerk And Champion Of The Senate, Dies, 68

Harry Evans, the former Clerk of the Senate and one of that chamber’s most ardent proponents and defenders, has died. He was 68.

EvansEvans began his career in the Parliamentary Library. He became Usher of the Black Rod and then Assistant Clerk and Deputy Clerk.

He served as Clerk from February 17, 1988 until his retirement on December 4, 2009, a record 21 years. Clerks are now restricted to 10-year terms.

Evans established the Procedure Office to handle advice to minor parties and independents in the Senate. He was a fierce advocate for the rights and independence of the Senate, and a proponent of greater accountability of the executive government.

Statement by Senator Eric Abetz, Leader of the Government in the Senate.

Harry Evans 1946-2014

I was very sad to hear the news of the death of Harry Evans, who was Clerk of the Senate from February 1988 to December 2009, a record 21 years. [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…]


Jacqui Lambie Asks Her First Question As A Senator; Wants Billions And Special Economic Zone For Tasmania

Senator Jacqui Lambie was the first of the new crossbench members to ask a question during Senate Question Time today.

Lambie

Lambie, a Palmer United Party senator from Tasmania, asked the Leader of the Government, Senator Eric Abetz about jobs and the Tasmanian economy. She said she wanted to see $5 billion made available to Tasmania over 4 years and called for a “special economic zone” to be established. [Read more…]