One Nation Wins Another Seat In NSW; Coalition Loses One More, Leyonhjelm Returns; Crossbench Grows To 20

The Senate results for New South Wales were finalised and announced this morning.

The Coalition retained 5 of its 6 senators, the ALP 4, the Greens 1 and Liberal Democrats 1. The final place was taken by One Nation.

The final composition of the Senate is now:

  • Coalition 30 (-3)
  • ALP 26 (+1)
  • Greens 9 (-1)
  • One Nation 4 (+4)
  • Nick Xenophon Team 3 (+2)
  • Liberal Democrats 1 (-)
  • Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party 1 (+1)
  • Family First 1 (-)
  • Jacqui Lambie Network 1 (-)
  • TOTAL = 76

The Coalition polled 35.85% of the primary vote and secured the re-election of its 5 senators – Marise Payne, Arthur Sinodinos, Fiona Nash (Nats), Connie Fierravanti-Wells and John Williams (Nats).

The Coalition has failed to replace Bill Heffernan, who retired at the election. Hollie Hughes, who at one stage threatened the Fierravanti-Wells’ position, has not been elected.

The ALP polled 31.28%, enough to return its 4 incumbent senators: Sam Dastyari, Jenny McAllister, Deborah O’Neill and Doug Cameron.

The Greens polled 7.41%, re-electing Lee Rhiannon to a second term.

Pauline Hanson’s One Nation polled 4.10% of the vote and elected Brian Burston. His election means that One Nation will have 4 senators in the new parliament.

The Liberal Democrats secured the re-election of David Leyonhjelm, off a primary vote of 3.09%. [Read more…]

Defence White Paper Released By Turnbull Government

The Turnbull government has released a Defence White Paper.

The White Paper was launched at a ceremony at the Australian Defence Academy, attended by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne.

The paper commits the government to increasing Defence spending from $32.4 billion to $58.7 billion in 2025.

The White Paper is shown below.

Defence White Paper Downloads

At A Glance

Statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Senator Marise Payne.

The 2016 White Paper is a comprehensive and responsible long-term plan to ensure Australia’s national security.

It is the culmination of detailed analysis of our strategic environment, our defence priorities and objectives, and the capabilities required to achieve these outcomes. [Read more…]

First Turnbull Ministry – Revised

This is the revised Turnbull ministry, released today.

If follows the resignation of Jamie Briggs and the standing aside of Mal Brough.

Brough’s duties as Minister for Defence Materiel and Science have been assumed by the Defence Minister, Senator Marise Payne. The Finance Minister, Senator Mathias Cormann, has taken over as Special Minister of State.

Brigg’s duties as Minister for Cities and the Built Environment have been taken on the Environment Minister, Greg Hunt. [Read more…]

First Turnbull Ministry Announced; More Women Into Cabinet, Abbott Supporters Axed

Malcolm Turnbull has announced the composition of his ministry, five days after being sworn in as prime minister.

As expected, Joe Hockey has been replaced as Treasurer by Scott Morrison. Hockey is expected to be appointed Ambassador to the United States, replacing former Labor leader Kim Beazley in the new year.

Five women will be in the Cabinet, an increase of three. Senator Maris Payne becomes Defence Minister, whilst Senator Michaelia Cash will be the Minister for Women. They will be joined by Kelly O’Dwyer as Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Small Business.

Turnbull has sacked a number of Abbott supporters. The most prominent casualties are Defence Minister Kevin Andrews and the Senate leader and Workplace Relations Minister Eric Abetz.

Small Business Minister Bruce Billson has been left out of the ministry, as has Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane. The Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson, has also been dropped.

This is the official list of ministers released by the Prime Minister’s office:


The Death Of Margaret Whitlam

Margaret Whitlam died, aged 92, on March 17, 2012.

Parliamentary tributes were delivered on March 19. A memorial service was held on March 23.

Margaret Whitlam Memorial Service


Mar 19-20 – House of Representatives & Senate Condolence Motion Speeches

    • Julia Gillard (ALP)
    • Tony Abbott (Lib)
    • Tanya Plibersek (ALP>
    • Julie Bishop (Lib)
    • Kevin Rudd (ALP)
    • Watch Kevin Rudd
    • Malcolm Turnbull (Lib)
    • Senator John Faulker (ALP)
    • Watch John Faulkner
    • Senator Marise Payne (Lib)
    • Senator Bob Brown (Greens)
    • Josh Frydenberg (Lib)
    • Natasha Griggs (CLP)
    • Mar 23: Tony Whitlam’s eulogy for his mother
    • Mar 23 Catherine Dovey’s eulogy for her mother

Howard Under Pressure As Polls Show Slipping Support

Prime Minister John Howard has conceded that his government has experienced the worst weeks of its 5 years in office.

Sunday TelegraphSunday MailIn the wake of the massive coalition defeats in the Western Australian and Queensland elections over the past two weeks, the media is today full of a spate of new opinion polls which show that Howard and his deputy, John Anderson, are both in danger of losing their seats.

A poll published in the Sunday Telegraph shows support for Anderson in his NSW rural seat of Gwydir at 29%, down from the 46.1% the National Party leader polled in 1998.

The poll has the ALP on 33% (up 7%) and One Nation on 27% (up 6%). The poll suggests that the ALP would win the seat on preferences. Anderson won the seat on preferences in 1998, securing 63.58% of the two-party-preferred vote. The ALP last held Gwydir between 1937-49.

Anderson faces a strong threat from One Nation, but may also be opposed by the independent State MP, Tony Windsor. Anderson has committed himself to placing One Nation last on his how-to-vote cards, a move that is certain to invite retaliation from the Hanson forces.

There is no doubt that Anderson is in grave danger, as are other National Party members, including Arts Minister, Peter McGauran, in the Victorian electorate of Gippsland, and Larry Anthony, the Minister for Family Services, in the NSW electorate of Richmond. [Read more…]