Greg Combet Says Julia Gillard Offered To Stand Aside For Him

Greg Combet, a senior minister in the previous Labor government, says then Prime Minister Julia Gillard offered to stand aside to allow him to assume the leadership.

Combet appeared in an interview broadcast on the ABC’s 7.30 program tonight. Combet’s memoirs, The Fights of My Life, will be released next week and launched by Gillard.

Combet says that he approached Gillard in mid-June last year and was of the view that a ballot for the leadership should be held. He said Gillard offered to stand aside if he put his name forward. He says he declined because he thought the momentum for Rudd’s return was well-developed and that it would be a difficult political manoeuvre to “pull off”. Facing a personal health problem, Combet said he decided not to nominate. [Read more...]


ALP Releases 2013 Election Campaign Review

The ALP has released a review of the party’s losing 2013 federal election campaign.

The 25-page review was conducted by Brisbane City Councillor Milton Dick and Victorian Labor MP Jane Garrett.

The report confirms that the ALP’s internal research in May 2013 “indicated possible swings against us of 18 per cent in many seats which would have seen us hold just 40 seats, not the 55 we retained”. Following the return of Rudd, the party’s two-party-preferred vote “crept from the mid-40s to the high 40s, breaking even at the start of July, although sustaining this vote proved hard”.

The reports says that the change of leadership from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd profoundly impacted the campaign strategy and infrastructure. “We know the single biggest reason voters turned away from Labor was internal Party disunity,” they say. Half of the campaign team in Campaign Headquarters left after Gillard was deposed and some sitting members chose not to run. “The infrastructure of the campaign had to be rebuilt in a matter of weeks.”

The review recommends early selection of candidates in marginal seats and the training and establishment of field operations. It calls for a new candidate selection panel to work with local communities to assist with identifying new candidates. [Read more...]


Kevin Rudd Appears At Home Insulation Royal Commission: Argument Over Cabinet Secrecy

The former Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has appeared at the Royal Commission into his government’s home insulation scheme.

Rudd took the stand just after 5pm. The Commission adjourned at about 6.15pm without any substantive testimony from Rudd.

Instead, the Royal Commissioner, Ian Hanger QC, and lawyers debated whether Cabinet confidentiality applied to Rudd’s testimony. A heavily redacted version of a 31-page statement by Rudd was tendered to the hearing. Cabinet documents relevant to the inquiry have been released by the Cabinet Office with limits on their use. In the normal course of events, Cabinet documents remain secret for at least 20 years.

Rudd’s counsel, Bret Walker SC, argued that the redacted version did not properly represent Rudd’s testimony. He said the government was sponsoring the allegations but wouldn’t release the documents which establish Rudd’s case in defence.

The Royal Commission is investigating the Rudd government’s planning and implementation of the home insulation scheme, including the deaths of four young men who died whilst installing insulation.

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Rudd Redux: Victory And Defeat

The Parliamentary Library has issued a research paper on Kevin Rudd’s return to the prime ministership and the 2013 federal election.

Written by Brenton Holmes of the Politics and Public Administration section of the library, the 28-page paper examines the circumstances of Rudd’s return to the Labor leadership on June 26, 2013. It traces Rudd’s actions until he called the election on August 4.

APH

The paper deals selectively with events during the election campaign. A more detailed account will be published in a forthcoming research paper, Federal election 2013: issues, dynamics, outcomes. [Read more...]


Griffith By-Election Set For February 8

The Griffith by-election will be held on February 8, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, has announced.

The by-election has been caused by the resignation of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd who had held the seat since 1998.

Under Section 33 of the Constitution, the Speaker is responsible for the issue of writs for vacancies. The writ will be issued today, with the rolls closing next Monday. Nominations close on January 16.

The by-election will be held the weekend before Parliament resumes for 2014.

The ALP holds the seat with a margin of 3.01%. There was a 5.45% swing against Rudd at last year’s federal election. In 2010, there was a 3.86% swing against Rudd. When Rudd led the ALP into government in 2007 he received 62.32% of the two-party-preferred vote in Griffith. [Read more...]