Senator Helen Kroger (Lib-Vic) – Valedictory Speech

Senator Helen Kroger was a one-term senator who was elected in 2007 and was the only Coalition senator to be defeated at the 2013 federal election.

Kroger

Kroger was one of the final three senators to give valedictory speeches on June 25, 2014. The others were ALP Senators Mark Furner and Don Farrell. Following their speeches, nine other senators paid tributes to their departing colleagues. [Read more…]


Another Season Of Valedictory Speeches As Twelve Senators Depart

Twelve senators are about to leave the Federal Parliament as the July 1 changeover approaches.

The departing senators will give valedictory speeches in the Senate over the next two weeks. The first will be given tomorrow by the Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, who has been in the Senate since 1983.

The Senate has 76 members. Each of the six states has 12 senators, whilst the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have 2 senators each. Senators serve fixed 6-year terms which commence on July 1. Except in the case of a double dissolution, Senate elections are staggered, with half the state-based senators facing the electorate at each House of Representatives election. Territory senators serve terms that are concurrent with the House.

On July 1, the State senators elected on September 7, 2013 will take their places. These 36 senators will serve terms that end on June 30, 2020.

Twenty-four senators were re-elected last year. Of the 12 who were replaced, 7 were defeated (6 ALP and 1 Liberal) and 5 retired (2 ALP, 2 Liberal and 1 Nationals).

The ALP lost one member in each state and will have only 25 senators from July 1. The party lost 3 members to the Palmer United Party (PUP), and one each to the Liberal Democrats (LDP), the Greens and Family First (FF). [Read more…]


Palmer Wins By 7 Votes, Triggering Recount; Final Senate Results Now On Way

Clive Palmer has won the Queensland electorate of Fairfax by 7 votes, triggering an automatic recount.

PalmerThe Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has completed a full distribution of preferences in Fairfax. Palmer has 42,337 votes and his Liberal National (LNP) opponent, Ted O’Brien, has 42,330. An automatic recount will now take place because the margin of victory is less than 100 votes.

Palmer’s victory comes off a primary vote of 26.49%. O’Brien polled 41.37% (down 8.08%), the ALP 18.21% (down 9.10%), the Greens 8.32% (down 9.68%) and Family First 1.67% (down 3.57%). Fairfax is a traditionally Coalition electorate. It was held since 1990 by Alex Somlyay, who retired at this election.

Fairfax is the only House of Representatives seat still undecided. However, counting in the safe Labor electorate of Wills, once held by Bob Hawke, has seen the Greens overtake the Liberals for second place after preferences. The AEC has yet to publish the preference distribution figures. Wills joins Batman and Melbourne as seats in which the Greens are Labor’s main competition. [Read more…]


Peter Costello: The Colt From Kooyong?

Peter Costello has canvassed a return to federal politics with his old friend Michael Kroger, according to ABC 7.30’s Heather Ewart.

Peter CostelloIn a report broadcast tonight, Ewart claims Costello and Kroger discussed a return via the electorate of Kooyong, currently held by the promising newcomer Josh Frydenberg. Ewart says they also discussed the possibility of persuading other Liberal members to stand aside in favour of Costello.

Ewart says the discussions are common knowledge amongst Victorian Liberals and have contributed to factional infighting. She says Costello has not spoken with Kroger since word spread and that some Liberals believe Costello was behind the successful move to relegate Kroger’s ex-wife Senator Helen Kroger to the difficult third position on the next Senate ticket. [Read more…]


Kennett Savages Senator Helen Kroger Over Green Preferences

Former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett has savaged Liberal Senator Helen Kroger over her criticism of the party’s practice of preferencing the Greens ahead of Labor.

Kennett’s attack comes just one month before the state election. The preference debate within the Liberal Party has been gathering momentum since the August 21 federal election where Liberal preferences in Melbourne delivered the seat to the Greens.

Some Liberals argue that the party should negotiate preference agreements with the Greens on the basis that Labor is the party’s real enemy. Others claim that the Liberals should not be assisting the Greens to win seats because Green policies are fundamentally hostile to Liberal Party philosophy. [Read more…]


Liberals Reject Kroger In Burwood

Liberal PartyThe Liberal Party has chosen Lana McLean as its candidate for the Burwood by-election on December 11, rejecting the public front-runner, Helen Kroger.

It is reported today that McLean performed better at the preselection convention last night than Kroger. Liberal Party preselection conventions are made up of 60% branch delegates (local party members in Burwood) and 40% Victoria-wide delegates.

McLean’s victory is a blow to the Liberal establishment which supported Kroger. McLean was the Liberal candidate for Melbourne in the September 18 election, where she polled 36.24% of the two-party-preferred vote, a swing of 2.15% over the 1996 result.

Jeff Kennett won Burwood on September 18 with 56.79% of the two-party vote. This represented a swing of 1.79% to the ALP.

A victory for the ALP would help it maintain its tenuous grip on government, but Burwood has always been a Liberal seat and will be hard for the new government to win.

Nominations for the by-election close on Monday 22 November.


Kennett Set To Quit Parliament: By-Election Battle Looms

Shot himself in the foot?Former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, is set to quit parliament.

The Australian reports today that Kennett has decided not to stay in Parliament since his defeat last week.

The resignation could come as early as today, ensuring that Kennett will not sit in the new Parliament when it meets for the first time next Wednesday.

The Liberal Party holds Kennett’s seat of Burwood with a margin of 6.79% and the new Labor government will be keen to consolidate its precarious hold on government with a by-election victory. Expect a big-name, high-profile candidate to be preselected.

Meanwhile, Kennett and his supporters, including party president Joy Howley, have already annointed Helen Kroger, the ex-wife of former Victorian party president, Michael Kroger, as the Liberal Party’s candidate for Burwood.

In a deliciously mischievous move, the attempt to propel Ms. Kroger into Burwood seems designed to pre-empt moves by the Kroger-Costello faction to find their own candidate. Ms. Kroger apparently remains close to Costello.