Senate Voting Reforms Passed By Both Houses

The House of Representatives has given its approval to the final version of the bill to reform the Senate’s voting system.

After an all-night debate that finally concluded at 2.30pm on Friday afternoon, the Senate voted to approve the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment Bill 2016. The bill abolishes group voting tickets and introduces optional preferential voting above and below the line.

The House of Representatives remained on stand-by to confirm amendments passed by the Senate. It met at 3.07pm.

  • Watch the House proceedings (26m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings.

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Prime Minister) (15:07): I move:

That the amendments be agreed to. [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of February 11, 2016. They take account of the replacement of Warren Truss as leader of The Nationals with Barnaby Joyce. [Read more…]


Barnaby Joyce Elected Nationals Leader; Nash New Deputy

Barnaby Joyce has been elected unopposed as leader of The Nationals and will become Deputy Prime Minister in the next few days.

Joyce assumed the leadership at a partyroom meeting at 8pm tonight. It followed the announcement earlier today by Warren Truss that he was retiring.

NSW Senator Fiona Nash was elected deputy leader. There were 7 candidates for the position out of a partyroom of 21 members. No vote tallies were released and the ballot papers have been destroyed.

Joyce

Joyce and Nash will take office when Truss officially steps down. This is likely to be early next week, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce a reshuffle over the weekend. [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of September 21, 2015. They take account of the change of prime minister on September 15 and consequent changes. [Read more…]


Labor MPs And Malcolm Turnbull Pay Tribute To Neville Wran

Members of Parliament have paid tribute to Neville Wran, the former Premier of New South Wales, who died last month.

Following yesterday’s condolence motion in the House of Representatives, 8 Labor MPs and the Liberal Party’s Malcolm Turnbull spoke about Wran in the Federation Chamber.

  • Watch Malcolm Turnbull (20m – transcript below)

Hansard transcript of remarks by Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal member for Wentworth, in the Federation Chamber.

Mr TURNBULL (Wentworth—Minister for Communications) (10:28): Neville Wran was my best friend. I certainly never had a better friend than Neville. I was in business with him for over a decade and we spent pretty much every working day together for well over a decade. He always used to say that he knew me before I knew him because he was a university friend of my mother’s. He would regularly assert that he knew me when I was still en ventre ma mere, a legal term he was very fond of. I got to know him when we were two adults, although I was only barely an adult, when I was a young journalist in the press gallery in New South Wales starting in 1975 when Neville was the opposition leader. He was clearly the coming man. He had an urbanity, a wit and eloquence that had no parallel on either side of the house. [Read more…]


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…]