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Nationals Mark Vaile Quits Party Leadership

The outgoing Deputy Prime Minister and leader of The Nationals, Mark Vaile, has announced that he is stepping down.

Mark Vaile, Nationals Member for LyneVaile said it was time for generational change in the party. He said he would continue to represent his NSW electorate of Lyne.

Vaile’s departure means that the top three names in the Howard government have now effectively departed the political scene.

Vaile has represented the northern NSW electorate of Lyne since 1993.

He was appointed Minister for Transport and Regional Development in the Howard government in 1997. In 1998, he became Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry. In July 1999, he became deputy leader of The Nationals when John Anderson became leader.

Vaile became Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister after Anderson retired in July 2005. He switched portfolios with Warren Truss in 2006 and became Minister for Transport and Regional Services.

  • Listen to Mark Vaile’s Press Conference (21m)

Current Federal Parliamentary Party 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.

House of Representatives
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party John Howard
Member for Bennelong (NSW)
Peter Costello
Member for Higgins (Vic)
National Party Mark Vaile
Member for Lyne (NSW)
Warren Truss
Member for Wide Bay (Qld)
Australian Labor Party Kevin Rudd
Member for Griffith (Qld)
Julia Gillard
Member for Lalor (Vic)


The major parties also elect leaders and deputy leaders in the Senate. These people form part of the leadership group and act as the focal point for their parties in the upper house.

For example, the current Liberal Party leader in the Senate, Nick Minchin, is referred to as the Government Leader in the Senate. Senator Chris Evans is referred to as the Opposition Leader in the Senate.

Senate
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party Senator Nick Minchin
(South Australia)
Senator Helen Coonan
(New South Wales)
National Party Senator Ron Boswell
(Queensland)
Senator Nigel Scullion
(Northern Territory)
Australian Labor Party Senator Chris Evans
(Western Australia)
Senator Stephen Conroy
(Victoria)
Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett
(Queensland)
Senator Lyn Allison
(Victoria)
Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown
(Tasmania)
Family First Senator Steve Fielding
(Victoria)


Footnote: Convention dictates that the official leader of the main parties will be a member of the House of Representatives. In 1968, following the death of its Prime Minister, Harold Holt, the Liberal Party chose its upper house leader, Senator John Gorton, as the new prime minister. Gorton immediately resigned his Senate seat and contested the by-election for Holt’s lower house electorate, Higgins. Thus, Australia had a prime minister for several weeks who was not a member of either house. This is allowed for in Section 64 of the Constitution.


Agreement Reached On Australia-USA Free Trade Agreement

The Australian Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile, and the United States Trade Representative, Robert Zoellick, have concluded a Free Trade Agreement, following months of negotiations.

The agreement requires ratification by the US Senate, by no means a foregone conclusion, especially in an election year. Parliamentary agreement is not required in Australia. [Read more…]


Advancing The National Interest: Foreign Policy White Paper

This is the Howard government’s updated White Paper on Australia’s foreign and trade policy.

Titled Advancing the National Interest, the paper was released by the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, and the Minister for Trade, Mark Vaile. [Read more…]


A Statistical Analysis Of Question Time

The tabling of a government report into the supposed throwing overboard of children from the Tampa was the dominant issue in Question Time in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, tabled the report which argued that the government had been misled about the incidient which featured prominently in last year’s election campaign.

The first Questions Without Notice for the 40th Parliament followed the official opening of the Parliament the day before. [Read more…]


Anderson And Vaile Elected National Party Leaders

John Anderson8.40am – John Anderson has been elected leader of the National Party at a party room meeting held in Canberra.

His deputy will be Mark Vaile.

Anderson defeated Ian Causley, member for Page, in a two-way ballot. Causley is a former NSW State Minister.

Anderson is the member for Gwydir in New South Wales. He was first elected to the Federal Parliament in 1989 to replace National Party stalwart, Ralph Hunt.

Mark Vaile has been the member for the New South Wales electorate of Lyne since 1993.