Speaker Sets July 28 As Date For Five By-Elections; Opposition Outraged

The Speaker, Tony Smith, advised the House of Representatives this afternoon that he had set July 28 as the date for the five by-elections caused by recent resignations relating to dual citizenship.

Smith

Smith told the House that because of new regulations to refine the nomination process and because of imminent schools holidays, July 28 was the “optimal” date for the by-elections in Longman, Braddon, Mayo, Fremantle and Perth.

The ALP opposition accused the Speaker of inordinate delay and said the by-elections coincided with the ALP National Conference in Adelaide.

  • Listen to Speaker’s statement to the House (21m)
  • Watch the House proceedings (21m)

Hansard transcript of House of Representatives proceedings relating to the calling of five by-elections on July 28.

The SPEAKER (15:12): If members could cease interjecting, could I please have the attention of the House on this important matter: I’d like to read a fairly lengthy statement, and then I’ll be tabling some documents. Earlier in the week, I advised the House I would provide an update on possible dates for by-elections in the seats of Braddon, Fremantle, Longman, Mayo and Perth. This update follows further consultation with the Australian Electoral Commissioner and party leaders. Under the Constitution, it is my responsibility alone to issue a writ for a by-election when a vacancy occurs, and generally it has not been the practice to provide an explanation for the exercise of this responsibility. I have varied from the usual practice because of the quite unusual—quite unique—circumstances surrounding these by-elections. [Read more…]


Tim Hammond (ALP-Perth) – Maiden Speech

Tim Hammond, the new ALP member for Perth, has delivered his maiden speech to the House of Representatives.

Hammond

Hammond, 40, a barrister, began his legal career with Slater and Gordon. He has specialised in asbestos litigation and acted for indigenous victims of road trauma.

Hammond was promoted directly into the ALP’s shadow ministry as Shadow Assistant Minister for Digital Economy and Startups, Innovation, and Resources and Western Australia. [Read more…]


2016 Primary Vote Winners, Preference Vote Losers

There were 16 seats in the 2016 federal election where the primary vote leaders were defeated after the full distribution of preferences.

The ALP benefited in 15 seats and the Nick Xenophon Team in one. In 14 seats, (7 held by the ALP and 7 by the Coalition), the coalition candidate led on primary votes but the seat was won by the ALP after preferences. In one seat, the Liberal lead was overtaken by the Xenophon candidate. In another, the ALP overcame a Greens lead.

The 16 seats were spread across the states: Queensland (4), Victoria (3), South Australia (3), New South Wales (2), Western Australia (2) and Tasmania (2).

Overall, 48 (32%) of the 150 House of Representatives electorates were decided on primary votes, whilst 102 (68%) required preference distribution to obtain a winner.

It is worth noting that 86 of the 102 electorates were won after preferences by the candidates who led the primary vote count. Even with preferences, a primary vote lead is difficult to overcome. [Read more…]


Stephen Smith Announces His Retirement From Parliament

The Minister for Defence, Stephen Smith, has become the latest minister to announce his retirement.

Smith made his announcement at the end of Question Time today. He will continue as Foreign Minister until the election but will not contest his Western Australian electorate of Perth.

Smith

He has been the member for Perth since 1993 and has served in seven parliaments. [Read more…]