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

8.30pmIn 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.

Bob Stensholt, ALP Member for BurwoodWith 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.