Former Speaker Harry Jenkins To Retire At Next Election

Harry Jenkins, the Labor member for Scullin and former Speaker of the House of Representatives, has announced that he will retire from parliament at the next election.

Harry Jenkins

Jenkins has represented Scullin since 1986 and is currently the longest-serving Labor member. He succeeded his father, Dr. Harry Jenkins, in the electorate which has been represented by the Jenkins family since 1969.

Following the election of the Rudd government, Jenkins served as Speaker of the House from February 2008 until November 24, 2011. His resignation allowed the government to install Peter Slipper as Speaker and increase its majority on the floor of the House.

Scullin is in Melbourne’s north-east suburbs. It covers the suburbs of Bundoora, Diamond Creek, Plenty, Thomastown, Lalor, Epping, Mill Park, South Morang, Watsonia North and Yarrambat.

At the 2010 election, Jenkins retained Scullin with a 1.40% swing towards the ALP, 62.12% of the primary vote and 70.85% of the two-party-preferred vote.

Jenkins is the third ALP member of the House to announce retirement, joining Sharon Grierson, the member for Newcastle, and Steve Gibbons, the member for Bendigo.

Newspaper reports suggest that Slater and Gordon lawyer Andrew Giles will be endorsed by the Victorian Left faction as the new candidate for Scullin.

Jenkins gave this interview to Leigh Sales on the ABC’s 7.30.


Dealing With Craig Thomson: An Impressive MPI Debate

An impressive Matter of Public Importance debate took place in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

The MPI was devoted to the issue of how the House should treat Craig Thomson, the member for Dobell, in the light of allegations against him and his statement to the House yesterday.

Debate revolved around the nature of a censure and the arguments for and against suspending Thomson from the service of the House. [Read more…]


Drama In The House As Speaker Jenkins Threatens To Resign

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Harry Jenkins, came close to resigning today.

The possibilities that could have flowed from his resignation are intriguing to consider.

Abbott moves a motion of confidence in Speaker Jenkins

 

What happened?

In the course of a raucous and disputatious Question Time, Jenkins warned and then named Liberal member Bob Baldwin for “continuing to interject after having been warned by the Chair”. “Naming” by the Speaker is the precursor to a motion to suspend the member from the service of the House.

The government’s Leader of the House, Anthony Albanese, accordingly rose and moved the motion to suspend Baldwin for 24 hours. [Read more…]


Lindsay Tanner Announces His Retirement

A history-making day in Australian politics has produced another unexpected turn of events with Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner announcing that he will retire from politics at the forthcoming election.

The announcement came at the end of new Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s first Question Time in the House of Representatives.

Tanner said he had approached former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd a couple of weeks ago and indicated he would not contest the election. He said the decision “is driven entirely and absolutely by matters of personal circumstances”.

Tanner was elected as the member for Melbourne at the 1993 election. He has served in six parliaments.

Hansard transcript of Lindsay Tanner’s statement to the House of Representatives.

Mr TANNER (Minister for Finance and Deregulation) (3:15 PM) —On indulgence, I rise to advise the House that I will not be contesting the forthcoming federal election. I just wish to outline some of the reasoning behind my decision. A couple of weeks ago I spoke with the then Prime Minister indicating that it was my intention not contest the coming election. He asked me to delay consideration of this decision, indeed to reconsider. He indicated that he wanted me to stay on as a minister even if I did choose to step down. I concurred with his request and we agreed that we would revisit the matter at the end of the parliamentary sitting period. In fact, we had an appointment scheduled for 9.30 this morning to consider this matter. As you all know, by one of those strange quirks of fate that tend to occur in politics, other matters intervened. So I found myself doing what I expected to do—namely, confirming my intention not to recontest the election—slightly later in the day to a different Prime Minister, the incoming Prime Minister. I am now formally advising the House of my decision. I have indicated to the incoming Prime Minister that I am equally happy to continue serving in my current ministerial position until the election or to step aside without demur should she choose to ask me to do so. [Read more…]


Black Saturday Bushfires: Moving Speeches In Parliament For Victims

The House of Representatives was the scene today of a moving condolence motion for victims of the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria.

The Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, was not in attendance, having stayed in Melbourne, but his deputy, Julia Gillard, visibly affected, gave a magnificent speech to a silent chamber. She was followed by the Opposition Leader, Malcolm Turnbull, who delivered an equally impressive and moving speech. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Delivers His First Budget As Treasurer In The Hawke Government

The Hawke Labor government was elected on March 5, 1983. Its first Budget was delivered five months later on August 23 by the new Treasurer, Paul Keating.

KeatingAlthough Keating was only 39 years old, he was serving his 14th year in Parliament. It was his seventh term as a federal member. This was the first of 9 Budgets he delivered before becoming prime minister in 1991.

Parliament was not telecast in 1983. Keating’s Budget speech was delivered in Old Parliament House and was only heard by people who tuned to the ABC’s second and third radio networks, known today as Local Radio.

The speech was more detailed than the generalised and political summary that takes place now. It took Keating 73 minutes to deliver his speech, compared to the allotted 30 minutes today.

The Opposition Leader at this time was Andrew Peacock, who had been in Parliament since 1966. Peacock succeeded Malcolm Fraser as leader of the Liberal Party after the election defeat in March. The Speaker of the House was Dr. Harry Jenkins, the Labor member for Scullin. His son, also called Harry, succeeded him in Scullin in 1986 and also became Speaker between 2008 and 2011.

  • Listen to Keating’s Budget Speech (73m)
  • Listen to an extract of Keating’s Budget lockup briefing to journalists (3m)

Hansard transcript of Treasurer Paul Keating’s first Budget speech to the House of Representatives on August 23, 1983.

Mr KEATING (Treasurer)(8.00) —I move:

That the Bill be now read a second time.

In doing so, I present the Budget for 1983-84. [Read more…]