Rupert Murdoch Eulogises His Mother At Memorial Service In Melbourne

Rupert Murdoch has eulogised his mother at her memorial service in Melbourne’s St. Paul’s Cathedral.

Dame Elisabeth Murdoch died on December 5, aged 103.

Murdoch

In a service that referred frequently to the actual and metaphorical import of Dame Elisabeth’s love of flowers and gardening, her 81 year old son described his mother as “an exquisite garden that is a life lived always in full bloom”. [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...]


Bless You, Too, Annabel, But You Got The Address Wrong!

Annabel Crabb, Bless HerAnnabel Crabb from the Sydney Morning Herald has paid australianpolitics.com a compliment in an article in today’s paper titled Loose lips an occupational hazard for ambitious MPs.

In the context of Peter Costello’s dinner conversations with journalists, Crabb unashamedly recycles the 1987 story of the Jeff Kennett-Andrew Peacock car-phone conversation, referring to the transcript and audio of the conversation on this site.

She says: “The excellent australianpolitics.com website, bless it, has a full transcript of that memorable conversation, if you’re over 18.”

Unfortunately, the address given in the article omits an underscore which would have produced a “page not found” message. The page has been duly replicated to ensure an unbroken internet experience.


Coalition Outpolls Labor In Australia Day Honours

The annual list of Australia Day honours has been released.

Politically, the Liberal and National Parties have done well in this year’s honours.

The former Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, and the former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, have been made ACs, Companions of the Order of Australia, the highest category.

Lynton Crosby, the former federal director of the Liberal Party, was made an AO. Crosby has been in the news in recent days for his role in advising the British Conservative Party leader, Michael Howard. Howard has announced an immigration policy which includes a crackdown on asylum seekers. [Read more...]


A.L.P. Wins Burwood By-Election With 10% Swing

Bob Stensholt, ALP Member for Burwood8.30pm – In one last final nail in the coffin of the Kennett era, the Labor Party’s Bob Stensholt has won the former Premier’s seat of Burwood in today’s by-election.

With counting proceeding, the ALP appears to have secured around 55% of the two-party-preferred vote, and has won 10 of the 13 booths in the electorate.

Jeff Kennett held the seat for the Liberals continuously since its formation in 1976. Following his defeat in the September 18 State election, Kennett resigned from the seat on the day the new Parliament was opened.

The result is an important boost to the ALP, giving it 43 seats to 42 for the Opposition. Whilst the government still needs to rely on the support of at least 2 of the 3 independents, the extra seat will make management of the Legislative Assembly slightly easier, as well as giving the government the absolute majority of 45 votes that it needs to pass constitutional change.

The result partly illustrates the “honeymoon” period being experienced by the Premier, Steve Bracks, but is also a disaster for new Liberal leader, Denis Napthine.

The Liberal candidate, Lana McLean, was dogged by controversy throughout the campaign. After winning preselection against the party machine’s preferred candidate, Helen Kroger, Mrs. McLean was accused in Parliament of making a false statutory declaration in a dispute with a neighbour over a driveway. It was revealed she had also lobbied the then Planning Minister, Rob Maclellan. Later, there were revelations about a dispute with the Commonwealth Bank and reports that she had been ejected from an underage sporting event for using the “f word”, presumably “fuck”, to an umpire.

The Labor candidate, Bob Stensholt, a Monash University academic, was also under attack for spelling mistakes in his election literature: “tought” for “taught”, “elecion” for “election”, etc. He was also accused of hiding his time spent training for the priesthood in the 1970s.


Victorian Parliament Opened; Andrianopoulos New Speaker; Kennett Resigns

The Victorian Parliament opened today with the election of the Labor member for Mill Park, Alex Andrianopoulos, as Speaker.

Contrary to speculation, the National Party did not field a candidate for the position. With the provision of a Speaker, and the support of the 3 independents, the minority Labor government has a 44-43 margin in the lower house. An absolute majority of 45 votes is needed for constitutional changes.

The new Speaker, Mr. Andrianopoulos, has been a member of parliament for 14 years. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly seat of St. Albans in 1985. Following the abolition of the seat in the 1991 redistribution, he won the seat of Mill Park. The new Speaker was born in Tripolis in 1955, migrating to Australia in 1965.

Former Premier, Jeff Kennett, has resigned from Parliament. His resignation letter was read to the Legislative assembly chamber by the Speaker shortly after 5pm today. Earlier, Kennett had written to his Burwood constituents advising them of his intention to resign from Parliament. He said he wants to spend more time with his family. Few observers are surprised that the former Premier does not want to face the new Labor government across the Assembly chamber. A by-election in Burwood will be held before Christmas.

The new Victorian parliament was officially opened by the Governor, Sir James Gobbo, this afternoon. The Bracks government faced its first Question Time at 10.25pm today.


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...]