Dastyari Resigns From ALP Frontbench

Senator Sam Dastyari has resigned from the ALP frontbench.

Dastyari

  • Listen to Dastyari’s resignation statement (3m):

The resignation comes a day after an embarrassing press conference over Dastyari’s solicitation of a payment of an electorate office bill from Top Education Institute, a Chinese-connected company and ALP donor.

Dastyari was Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs and Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate. [Read more…]


Dastyari Apologises, Regrets Actions: Unimpressive Media Conference

Labor Senator Sam Dastyari today regretted and apologised for his actions in seeking payment of an electorate office bill from a foreign company.

Dastyari

Dastyari, 33, sought payment of $1,670.82 of an electorate office travel expenses bill from the Chinese company Top Education Institute. He declared the payment on his pecuniary interest register. [Read more…]


Dastyari Statement On Top Education Payments; Bernardi On The Attack

The issue of foreign political donations is back in the news with the revelation that NSW ALP Senator Sam Dastyari sought and received payment of expenses by a Chinese company.

Dastyari

In a statement to the Senate today, Dastyari confirmed information on his register of pecuniary interests. He said a bill of $1,670.82 for electorate staff travel was paid by Top Education Pty Ltd.

Dastyari said he should have paid the money himself. He said he had donated a similar amount to charity. [Read more…]


Coalition-Labor Deal On Rotation Of Members Confirmed By Senate

The Senate has voted to confirm the agreement between the Coalition and the ALP on the rotation of senators following the double dissolution election.

As has occurred on each of the previous six occasions when double dissolutions have been held (1914, 1951, 1974, 1975, 1983 and 1987), the first six senators elected in each state have received six-year terms, whilst the second group of six will serve for three years. The rotation is required under Section 13 of the Constitution.

The major parties rejected the recount method whereby the Senate votes are recounted as if it was a half-Senate election. This method would have meant that the Liberal and Labor Parties each lose one long-term senator (Scott Ryan and Deborah O’Neill) in favour of minor parties (Derryn Hinch and Lee Rhiannon). [Read more…]


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…]


Shorten Announces ALP Shadow Ministry Portfolio Allocations

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced his allocation of portfolios for the ALP’s Shadow Ministry.

The 48-member executive includes 22 members in the Shadow Cabinet, 10 in the Shadow Outer Ministry and 16 Shadow Assistant Ministers (Parliamentary Secretaries). The total Caucus numbers are not yet final but are likely to be around 95 members. About half of the Caucus will be members of the shadow executive.

A number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet have changed hands, although Chris Bowen remains Shadow Treasurer. The biggest winner of the reshuffle is the second-term MP Jim Chalmers, who has been made Shadow Minister for Finance and moves into the Shadow Cabinet.

In other changes, deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has been moved into the high-profile domestic portfolio of Education. The party’s Senate leader, Penny Wong, takes Foreign Affairs.

Senator Kim Carr, for whom the shadow ministry has been expanded from 30 to 32, retains the portfolio of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Another significant change sees Michelle Rowland take over Communications, whilst Defence goes to Richard Marles and Senator Stephen Conroy takes on Special Minister of State and Sport. The relatively unknown Queenslander, Shayne Neumann, becomes Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. [Read more…]


ALP Caucus Elects Expanded Shadow Ministry Of 32; Carr Survives

The ALP Caucus has met and elected the Shadow Ministry, following the federal election.

After a split in the Left faction, Senator Kim Carr has survived a proposed demotion and will remain in an expanded shadow ministry of 32.

The factional composition of the shadow ministry is Right 16, Left 15, with one unaligned. There are 19 males and 13 females.

The NSW Right has dumped Sharon Bird and promoted Ed Husic.

In Victoria, the Right has replaced David Feeney with Clare O’Neil, who has just been elected to her second term as member for Hotham.

Following a number of mis-steps in the election campaign, Feeney, the former shadow minister for Defence, is the biggest loser in the Caucus election. [Read more…]