Kelly O’Dwyer (Lib-Higgins) – Maiden Speech

This is the first speech to the House of Representatives of Kelly O’Dwyer, the Liberal member for Higgins.

She was elected at a by-election on December 5, 2009, following the retirement of Peter Costello.

Higgins is south-eastern suburban electorate in Melbourne. It stretches from South Yarra and Toorak in the north-west to Hughesdale and Murrumbeena in the south-east. It includes Armadale, Malvern, Kooyong and parts of Glen Iris.

Created in 1949, Higgins has been represented by Harold Holt (1949-67) who was Treasurer and then Prime Minister. Upon his death, he was succeeded by John Gorton (1968-75), who was also prime minister. Peter Costello (1990-2009) was Treasurer in the Howard government.

O’Dwyer, a lawyer, was adviser to Costello before entering parliament. She also worked as an executive of the National Australia bank. [Read more…]

Costello To Quit Politics; Will Not Seek Or Accept Liberal Leadership

The Treasurer in the defeated coalition government, Peter Costello, has announced that he “will not seek and will not accept” the leadership or deputy leadership of the Liberal Party.

Peter and Tanya CostelloSpeaking at a press conference in Melbourne, Costello said: “I will continue to serve my constituents and in serving my constituents I hope that I will have a role to play perhaps mentoring some of the newer MPs.” Significantly, he did not commit to serving the full three years of the term he was elected to yesterday.

Costello said he “will be looking to build a career post-politics in the commercial world”.

Costello has been deputy leader of the Liberal Party since May 23, 1994. He was been Treasurer since the Howard government was elected in 1996. His decision to vacate the field will likely lead to a contest between outgoing ministers such as Malcolm Turnbull, Brendan Nelson, Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Julie Bishop. [Read more…]

Costello To Quit Politics; Won’t Seek Leadership

Nov 25 – 12.45pm – The outgoing Treasurer, Peter Costello, has announced that he will not seek the leadership of the Liberal Party following its defeat at yesterday’s election.

Costello said he would serve out his three-year term as the member for Higgins and would leave politics at the next election.

Adapting the words of former United States President Lyndon Johnson, Costello said: “I will not seek and I will not accept the leadership of the Liberal Party.”

Can Turnbull Snatch The Prize?

Nov 25 – 1.00pm – Political attention will now focus on whether the member for Wentworth, Malcolm Turnbull, can secure the leadership of the Federal Liberal Party.

Turnbull won a second term in the House of Representatives at yesterday’s election, withstanding a concerted attempt to unseat him. He nearly won the seat on primary votes.

Other likely contenders for the leadership are Brendan Nelson and Joe Hockey. Alexander Downer will also be called on to make his intentions clear. Julie Bishop could be a contender but is more likely to seek the deputy’s position.

Nightmare For Liberal Party Worsens, Or Does It?

Nov 25 – 1.15pm – Whilst some will see Peter Costello’s departure as a worsening nightmare for the Liberal Party, following its defeat in yesterday’s election, the decision also represents an opportunity to move to a new generation of leadership untainted by the Howard-Costello years.

Conversely, the decision by Costello robs his party of a strong parliamentary performer with experience in government.

For Kevin Rudd, the development represents a stunning defeat of his two major opponents in the coalition government.

Costello Hints At Benefits Of Deputies Taking On The Top Job

The Treasurer, Peter Costello, says that the elevation of a deputy leader to the leader’s position allows a government to regenerate and pursue new policy directions.

Peter Costello, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party and Member for HigginsLaunching a biography by Tom Frame of former Prime Minister Harold Holt, Costello said “when Holt became Prime Minister the Government had the opportunity to reconsider options that had previously been considered and rejected.”

After 10 years as deputy, Holt became Liberal Party leader and Prime Minister in January 1966, following the retirement of Sir Robert Menzies who had held the office for 16 years. He disappeared in the surf at Portsea on December 19, 1967. [Read more…]

Peter Costello Higgins Election Leaflets – 1998 Federal Election

This is an election leaflet and a card issued by Peter Costello during the 1998 federal election.

Costello was first elected in 1990 to the safe Melbourne electorate of Higgins. He was standing for a fourth term, this time as Treasurer in the Howard government, a position he had held since March 1996.

The election is best known for the government’s tax reform package, including the introduction of a 10% Goods and Services Tax. Following the election, Costello would go on to oversee the implementation of the GST in 2000. [Read more…]

Keep The Bastards Honest: Australian Democrats Leaflet (1996)

This is a leaflet distributed by the Australian Democrats in the electorate of Higgins in the 1996 federal election.

The leaflet shows the party’s signature slogan: “Keep the Bastards Honest.”

The party’s leader, Senator Cheryl Kernot would go on to defect to the ALP about eighteen months after this election. She subsequently became the Labor member for Dickson in the House of Representatives (1998-2001). [Read more…]

Ballot Paper: Higgins 1990

This is an example of a ballot paper from the 1990 federal election.

The ballot paper is from the Victorian electorate of Higgins. A safe Liberal seat, Higgins had been represented by Roger Shipton since 1975. Earlier it was held by two Liberals who became prime minister: Harold Holt (1949-67) and John Gorton (1968-75).

Costello won the election with 56.3% of the primary vote and 61.8% of the two-party-preferred vote. [Read more…]