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…]


Speaker Bronwyn Bishop Reports Kevin Rudd’s Resignation To The House

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, today reported to the House that she had received the resignation of Kevin Rudd as member for Griffith.

Bishop

Rudd’s resignation was received on November 22. Under Section 37 of the Constitution, a member may resign in writing to the Speaker.

Parliamentary practice and convention requires that the Speaker inform the House of resignations and other matters relating to the operation of the chamber.

Rudd’s departure brings a formal end to a parliamentary career that began in 1998 and included two periods as Prime Minister.

Under Section 33 of the Constitution, the Speaker is empowered to issue a writ for the by-election to fill the vacancy in Griffith. In practice, the government will decide when it wishes to hold the by-election.

The by-election is most likely to be held in early February, prior to the first sitting of the House for 2014. A period of 33 days must elapse following the issue of the writ before the poll can take place.

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Rudd Formally Resigns As Member For Griffith

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop, has confirmed that she has received a letter of resignation from Kevin Rudd.

The former prime minister’s resignation as the Labor member for Griffith in Queensland brings to an end a 15-year parliamentary career.

Rudd was first elected on October 3, 1998. He served in five full parliaments, winning re-election in 2001, 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013. He was twice prime minister, defeating John Howard in 2007, then losing the leadership to Julia Gillard in 2010, before replacing her in June this year and then losing the 2013 election. He relinquished the ALP leadership on election night. [Read more…]


A Week After Announcing His Retirement, Kevin Rudd Still Hasn’t Resigned

A week after announcing his resignation from the House of Representatives, former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has not yet submitted his resignation to the Speaker.

RuddUnder Section 37 of the Constitution, a member resigns “by writing addressed to the Speaker”. As of close of business on Wednesday night (November 20), the Speaker had made no announcement to the House of Rudd’s resignation as the member for Griffith.

Rudd’s biographical details also remain on the Parliament House website.

Rudd has not appeared in the House chamber since announcing his resignation last week. He has not voted in any of the divisions called since then.

Given that a minimum 33 days notice is required for a by-election, it is now not possible for a by-election this year. The end of January is now the likely earliest date for the by-election. [Read more…]


Keating: Rudd Preserved Labor As A Fighting Force

Paul Keating has paid tribute to Kevin Rudd for preserving the ALP as a “fighting force” and praised the former prime minister’s policies during the global financial crisis as “an instance of international exceptionalism”.

KeatingKeating, prime minister from 1991 until 1996, said Rudd had given “profound service” to the Labor Party. Without Rudd’s “energy and leadership”, the party may not have been able to defeat John Howard, Keating said.

On Rudd’s toppling of Julia Gillard, Keating said: “Without traversing the hills and hollows along the policy trail in office, he returned to the prime ministership to re-base the party’s electoral standing and its parliamentary numbers, preserving it as a fighting force.”

Keating’s fulsome statement contains one factual error. Not all of Rudd’s front bench members were returned at the election. Whilst all members of the Cabinet held their seats, the Assistant Treasurer, David Bradbury, was defeated in Lindsay, and the Minister for Sport, Senator Don Farrell, failed to be re-elected in South Australia.

Statement from Paul Keating.

Remarks by PJ Keating

I should like to acknowledge the profound service which Kevin Rudd has given the Labor Party.

Notwithstanding the 11 years which the Howard government had had in office, without the energy and leadership provided by Kevin Rudd, Labor may not have been able to have turned the opportunity into victory.

As a consequence, Labor had another six years in government. An important six years. Added to the 13 years of Labor between 1983 and 1996, this has meant in the 30 years since 1983, Labor has had 19 of them in office.

Kevin Rudd opened his period of office with his now famous ‘apology’ and not long thereafter, saved Australia from the fate of every other industrial economy – a deep and prolonged recession. If his government had been elected for no other reason but to have achieved this, it would have achieved much: an instance of international exceptionalism.

And without traversing the hills and hollows along the policy trail in office, he returned to the prime ministership to re-base the party’s electoral standing and its parliamentary numbers, preserving it as a fighting force.

And I know, notwithstanding the defeat at the last election, Kevin Rudd is comforted by the fact that all of his front bench members were returned to make the continuing case for Labor.

Kevin Rudd has much to be proud of. The Labor Party stands in his debt.

Sydney
14 November 2013


Kevin Rudd Resigns From Parliament

Kevin Rudd has announced to the House of Representatives that he is resigning his seat of Griffith immediately.

Rudd

Rudd made a 15-minute statement to the House just after 8pm tonight. Towards the end of his sometimes tearful speech, he urged parliamentarians “to be gentle with each other”. He concluded with one more iteration of “got to zip”.

Fulsome tributes were then paid by Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Remarks were also made by Joe Hockey, Anthony Albanese, Christopher Pyne, Chris Bowen, Malcolm Turnbull, Tanya Plibersek and Bronwyn Bishop. [Read more…]