Stott Despoja, Former Democrats Leader, Appointed Ambassador For Women And Girls

The Abbott government has appointed the former leader of the Australian Democrats, Natasha Stott Despoja, as the next Ambassador for Women and Girls.

Stott Despoja

In announcing the appointment, the Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, said “gender empowerment is a priority for the Australian Government’s overseas development program”. She said it was the government’s wish “to be at the forefront of efforts to promote the empowerment of women and girls, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region”. [Read more…]


Voluntary Student Unions Bill: Speech By Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja

This is the speech by Australian Democrats Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja on the voluntary student unions bill.

Speech by Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja on the voluntary student unions bill.

Senator STOTT DESPOJA (South Australia) (3.21pm)—As the only person from the Democrats who will get onto the speakers list today, I rise on behalf of the Australian Democrats to make it very clear that we strongly oppose this legislation and the process that we have observed today in this place. Today is Freaky Friday in the Senate. On Freaky Friday we have talked for an hour or so on the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development involving Mongolia and spent 3½ hours on a non-controversial, bipartisan supported bill involving the establishment of Carnegie Mellon and a change to the ESOS Act. That is 3½ hours of valuable, taxpayer-funded Senate time. Earlier this week, 2½ hours was good enough for antiterrorism, which is arguably the most significant piece of legislation in this parliament’s history, let alone in the last almost decade of this coalition government. [Read more…]


Democrats Support Breast-Feeding In Senate

Following the controversy in the Victorian Parliament over Labor MP Kirstie Marshall breast-feeding her baby in the chamber, the Australian Democrats have proposed changes to the Standing Orders in the Senate.

This is the text of a media release by Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, Australian Democrats spokesperson for Work and Family.

Standing Orders may allow breastfeeding in the Senate

Senator Stott DespojaBreastfeeding will be allowed in the Australian Senate if a Procedure Committee recommendation, initiated by the Australian Democrats, is adopted by the Senate when it returns this month.

The Procedure Committee considered this change after Senator Natasha Stott Despoja gave notice of a motion to change the Standing Orders.

Senator Stott Despoja’s motion was lodged on March 19 and the proposal to change Standing Order 175 subsequently referred to the President on March 24. [Read more…]


The Ten Motions That Sank Stott Despoja

According the website crikey.com.au, these are the 10 motions that were passed by the Australian Democrats party-room.

The motions were opposed by the leader of the party, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, who resigned the leadership shortly afterwards. [Read more…]


Laurie Oakes Reveals Kernot-Evans Affair; Crean Demands Explanation

Laurie Oakes has revealed that Cheryl Kernot and Gareth Evans had an affair in the 1990s, around the time that Kernot gave up the leadership of the Australian Democrats and defected to the ALP.

Kernot was an Australian Democrats senator from 1990, until her resignation and defection in 1997. She was the party’s leader from 1993, until her defection. She went on to win the Queensland seat of Dickson in 1998 but was defeated in 2001.

Gareth Evans was a Labor senator from Victoria from 1978 until 1996. He was a minister in the Hawke and Keating governments between 1983 and 1996, holding a number of portfolios, notably Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1988 until 1996. He moved to the House seat of Holt in 1996, when the ALP went into opposition, and became deputy leader of the ALP.

Oakes reported the Kernot-Evans affair in his weekly column in The Bulletin. The media immediately went into an orgy of hand-wringing about the ethics of publishing details of private lives, although, as the ABC’s Barrie Cassidy pointed out, they still managed to meet their deadlines.

In London, the Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, kicked the story along by demanding that Evans and Kernot explain themselves.

In Europe, John Howard refused to comment on the Kernot-Evans affair. [Read more…]


Stott Despoja Comments On Leaked Letter From Lees

Arriving at Parliament House, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, leader of the Australian Democrats, commented on the leaked letter from Senator Meg Lees. [Read more…]


Democrats Call For Increase In Foreign Aid

The Australian Democrats have called on the Howard government to increase foreign aid funding in next week’s Budget.

The party’s leader, Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja, said it was of concern that “while the Government had deep pockets for defence in the upcoming Budget, it was a different story concerning overseas aid”.

Text of a media statement by the leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja.

Stott-DespojaThe Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, today called for the Federal Government to increase its commitment to overseas aid in next week’s Budget.

Senator Stott Despoja said it was of concern that while the Government had deep pockets for defence in the upcoming Budget, it was a different story concerning overseas aid. [Read more…]