Neville Wran, Balmain Boy And Labor Great, Former Premier Of NSW, Dies, 87

Neville Wran, the Labor Premier of New South Wales from 1976 until 1986, and the man who provided a template for modern Labor leadership, has died from complications arising from dementia. He was was 87.

WranIn the aftermath of the Whitlam Dismissal and a decade of Coalition rule in NSW, Wran was the Labor leader who returned his party to government with a majority of one seat.

Wran won three more elections in 1978, 1981 and 1984 and retired undefeated in 1986 when he memorably announced his departure to the NSW State ALP Conference.

With the slogan, “Wran’s Our Man”, Wran led the ALP to a landslide victory in 1978 that saw the party poll an unprecedented 57.8% of the primary vote and the Opposition Leader, Peter Coleman, lose his seat. The “Wranslide” was repeated in 1981 when the ALP won its biggest majority ever, reducing the Liberal Party to 14 seats with the Opposition Leader, Bruce McDonald, losing his seat. There was a swing away from Wran at the 1984 election but he still won a large victory. [Read more...]


Turnbull Announces Efficiency Study Of ABC And SBS

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced an efficiency study of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

The terms of the reference for the study are shown below. They specifically exclude all matters relating to the broadcasters’ charters, editorial policies, advertising and program quality.

The study will be conducted by the Department of Communications, assisted by Peter Lewis, the former Chief Financial Officer of Seven West Media Limited. The study is required to be completed by April, prior to the May Budget.

A brief statement from the Managing Director of the ABC, Mark Scott, says: “The ABC has constantly reviewed its operations to deliver the best and most efficient return to Australian audiences. We have been in consultation with the Minister and will work with the Department and Mr Lewis on this new study.”

  • Watch Turnbull interviewed on SBS (4m)

Statement from Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications.

ABC and SBS Efficiency Study

The Department of Communications will conduct a study of the efficiency of the operations of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Special Broadcasting Service. Mr Peter Lewis, formerly Chief Financial Officer of Seven West Media Limited, will assist the Department in this work. [Read more...]


Turnbull Says Strategic Review Into NBN Shows Delays And Cost Blowouts

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, says a review of the National Broadband Network shows it is two years behind schedule, has passed with fibre just 2% of its target, and will cost $29 billion more than the Labor government promised.

Turnbull released the Strategic Review into the NBN in a Ministerial Statement to the House of Representatives today.

Turnbull

The cost of the NBN had increased from $44 billion to $73 billion, according to Turnbull.

He said the review showed that households would pay up to 80% more for broadband each month with an with an average broadband plan costing $138 per month.

Turnbull said a cost-benefit analysis of the NBN would be completed in coming months.

Turnbull said the coalition’s goal of completing the NBN in the next six years can still be achieved. However, he said the government will not be able to meet its commitment to deliver nationwide access to 25 megabits per second by 2016.

Following his ministerial statement, spoke to the media, accompanied by his parliamentary secretary, Paul Fletcher.

  • Download the NBN Co Strategic Review (PDF)
  • Listen to Turnbull’s press conference with Paul Fletcher (23m)

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  • Watch Turnbull’s NBN video (2m)

Statement from Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications.

Today I released the Strategic Review into the NBN.

What it found is the NBN is in a much worse state than Australians have been told. [Read more...]


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...]


Turnbull Issues ‘Statement Of Expectations’ For The NBN

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has issued a statement of expectations for the National Broadband Network.

Speaking at a press conference today, Turnbull also confirmed that he had requested the resignations of the NBN Board. He said this should not be taken as a personal criticism of the board but as a means of giving the government maximum flexibility when considering its options.

Turnbull said he had order NBN Co to continue rolling out fibre under existing contracts while a strategic review is undertaken. [Read more...]


Malcolm Turnbull: “It Has Never Been Easier To Get Away With Telling Lies”

The Shadow Communications Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has again lamented the “game of politics” and decried the dumbing down of political debate.

Speaking at the Woodford Folk Festival on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Turnbull said “it has never been easier to get away with the glib one-liner”.

Turnbull said “broadcasters, or politicians or writers…who think that they are respecting ‘struggle street’, the battlers, …by dumbing things down into one-line soundbites are not respecting them, they are treating them with contempt.

“Because it is our job, above all in politics, to tackle the big issues, and to explain them and have the honesty to say to people, ‘there are no easy solutions here’. If the answer to global warming was obvious and simple, we’d have it licked by now.”

Turnbull said politicians need to deal in “facts, not spin”. He said the current situation “has never been worse”.


Murdoch And Turnbull Tweet About Guns

Rupert Murdoch’s tweet earlier today and Malcolm Turnbull’s reply tonight need little explanation.

Although you do have to wonder how many other shadow ministers would engage like this. Or ministers.

Tweets