Question Time Ended As Government Wins Technical Victory On Suspension Motion

2.50pm – Prime Minister Julia Gillard has ended Question Time, following an attempt by the Opposition to move a no-confidence motion in her.

The motion to suspend Standing Orders was carried 73-71 but failed because it needed to reach an absolute majority of 76 votes.

The House of Representatives has now moved on to routine business as Labor members left the chamber to prepare for the 4.30pm leadership ballot.

Sky News is reporting the Gillard camp claims it still has 58 certain votes to defeat Rudd.

Backbencher Graham Perrett (Moreton, Queensland) has said he will support Gillard. Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles says he will support Rudd.

There are some suggestions from Sky’s Peter van Onselen that Kevin Rudd may not nominate. Rudd has maintained since his defeat in February last year that he will not challenge.

Sky’s Kieren Gilbert read a text he said was from the Gillard camp: “Simon Crean is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Rudd enterprises.”

Simon Crean Calls For Leadership Spill, Supports Rudd

1.20pm – The Minister for Regional Australia, Simon Crean, has asked Prime Minister Julia Gillard to call a leadership ballot.

Crean says he has asked Gillard to call a spill. He says if she refuses the Caucus should petition her for a ballot.

Crean says Kevin Rudd should run. Crean says he will support Rudd. [Read more…]

Fairfax Donates Historic Photographs To National Library

Historic photographs of Australia’s early federal history have been donated to the National Library and will soon be made available online.

The Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean, announced today that the donation by Fairfax Media is to be supported by $425,000 of funding to the National Library of Australia to enbale the storage, cataloguing and digitisation of the collection.

The collection consists of 12,000 glass-plate negatives, the majority of which cover events from 1900 to 1930, including the departure of troops for World War I and the opening of the first parliament.

Text of media release from Minister for the Arts, Simon Crean.

Historic photo collection about to go digital

Twelve thousand photographs of key events in Australia’s early history—the entirety of Fairfax Media’s collection of historic glass-plate negatives have been donated to the National Library of Australia and will soon be available online.

Chair of the National Library of Australia Ryan Stokes today accepted the donation at a ceremony at Fairfax Media head office in Sydney.

Arts Minister Simon Crean said the extraordinary collection tells the Australian story through photographs. [Read more…]

Rudd Resigns From Gillard Ministry; Late Night Move In Washington

In a late-night move in Washington DC, Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has resigned from the Gillard government.


Rudd called journalists to a Washington hotel at 1.30am local time (5.30pm in Australia) to announce his decision to resign.

Rudd said his job as Foreign Minister “requires the full support of the leader – I clearly do not have that… the only honourable course is to resign”. [Read more…]

AFL Grand Final: Political Speeches

One of the traditions of the Australian Football League Grand Final is the North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast.

It is customary for the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader to address the breakfast each year. On occasion, events conspire against their attendance and their deputies stand in.

Here’s a selection from the past decade. [Read more…]

UN, USA, Asia: Three Pillars Of Labor’s Foreign Policy, Says Smith

The incoming Minister for Foreign Affairs, Stephen Smith, has outlined the three pillars underpinning Federal Labor’s foreign policy approach.

In a statement issued today, Smith said those pillars were:

  • Our membership of the United Nations;
  • Our Alliance with the United States; and
  • Our policy of comprehensive engagement with Asia.

Smith said: “Federal Labor has consistently emphasised the need to focus our foreign policy and diplomatic efforts on Australia’s national interests within our own Asia-Pacific region. [Read more…]

Costello And Crean Debate Economy At National Press Club

The Treasurer and Shadow Treasurer have debated each other on the economy at the National Press Club.

Treasurer Peter Costello has held the position since March 1996 and has delivered nine Budgets.

Shadow Treasurer Simon Crean held a variety of portfolios in the Hawke and Keating governments. He was Leader of the Opposition from 2001 until 2003. [Read more…]