Sunday Political Talk Shows

Video interviews from today’s editions of Meet The Press and The Bolt Report.

Bill Shorten and Bob Katter appeared on Meet The Press, whilst Tony Abbott appeared on The Bolt Report. Bruce Hawker and Peter Reith discussed the political sitation.


Reith Review of Liberal Party Election Campaign Released

The Liberal Party has released Peter Reith’s review of the 2010 federal election campaign.

Reith Review of the 2010 Federal Election coverThe report by the former Howard government minister is 33 pages long and contains 34 recommendations to the Liberal Party’s Federal Executive.

One recommendation is that “the concept of preselections by plebiscite be introduced for House of Representatives seats prior to the next federal election in all States”. Another asks “that the party positively consider, subject to practicality, conducting two trial primaries for the forthcoming Federal election”.

On the conduct of the election campaign, Reith says “Tasmania was a classic case where more should have been done and particularly on policy”. He also questions why the party won the Victorian State election in November but “did less well” in the federal election. The ALP won two extra seats (La Trobe and McEwen) in Victoria. Reith cites the party’s poor result in South Australia as evidence of the need for “policy relevance”, especially on water management. [Read more…]


Howard Confronts Crises Over Children Overboard And Governor-General

An unprecedented political crisis confronts the Federal Government on two fronts today, threatening to severely damage its political effectiveness and hasten the departure of the Prime Minister, John Howard.

HowardThe Governor-General, Peter Hollingworth, leaves today for a three-day official visit to New Zealand, leaving behind him an ongoing controversy over his handling of child sex abuse allegations in the Brisbane Anglican church diocese. There are now widespread calls for Hollingworth’s resignation. It is difficult to see how he can survive much longer, but John Howard faces an exquisite dilemma in that he probably does not want to be the first prime minister to dismiss a governor-general.

The more damaging problem for the government is the revelation by Air Marshal Angus Houston, the Acting Head of the Defence Force, to the Senate Estimates Committee that former Defence Minister Peter Reith was told on November 7 that there was uncertainty about the children overboard allegations. [Read more…]


Ex-Ministers: Jobs After Government

Following news of jobs obtained by two ex-Howard government ministers, debate has taken place recently about possible conflicts of interest and favourable treatment by government ministers about to leave Parliament.

ReithThe debate centres around the possibility or appearance of impropriety by ministers who obtain employment with business organisations or lobby groups with which they had dealings when they were members of the government.

In government, ministers are subject to a Code of Conduct which requires that they “do not by their conduct undermine public confidence in them or the government”. Amongst other things, ministers are required to resign directorships in public companies and to divest themselves of financial interests in businesses associated with their portfolio responsibilities. [Read more…]


Children Overboard: Houston On What He Told Reith; Barrie Backs Howard

Defence Department heads have spoken about the children overboard affair.

The Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Angus Houston spoke of what he reported to previous Defence Minister Peter Reith.

The Chief of the Defence Force, Admiral Chris Barrie, backed Prime Minister John Howard in his remarks. [Read more…]


Children Overboard: Howard And Reith Get Their Stories Straight

Following a newspaper report this morning that the former Defence Minister, Peter Reith, had contradicted statements by the Prime Minister, John Howard, about when they spoke to each other and what was said about allegations asylum seekers threw children overboard, both men made media appearances today to show that they are in fact in agreement.

Reith has criticised the report in The Australian, whilst the government seemed happy to both defend Reith and allow him to take the flak for Children Overboard. As always, John Howard chose his words carefully.

Howard spoke at a press conference with New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark. [Read more…]


The U.S.-Australian Alliance in an East Asian Context: Speech By Peter Reith

This is the text of an address by Peter Reith, Minister for Defence, to the ANZUS Conference at the University of Sydney.

Speech by Defence Minister Peter Reith to ANZUS conference.

ReithIt is a great pleasure to ‘bounce the ball’ for the second half of this conference – although something of an invidious task: to reconvene our discussions first-up after last night’s dinner.

Our theme, I needn’t remind you, is the alliance between our two nations in its regional context. However, it is not a question of putting our alliance into this regional context; it is a matter of appreciating the extent to which our alliance is part of that context. [Read more…]