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...]


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.

2002

  • John Howard (Liberal PM)

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  • Simon Crean (ALP Opposition Leader)

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2007

  • John Howard (Liberal PM)

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  • Kevin Rudd (ALP Opposition Leader)

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2008

  • Julia Gillard (ALP Deputy Prime Minister)

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  • Malcolm Turnbull (Liberal Opposition Leader)

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2010

  • Julia Gillard (ALP Prime Minister) and Julie Bishop (Liberal Deputy Leader)

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2011

  • Julia Gillard (ALP Prime Minister)

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  • Tony Abbott (Liberal Opposition Leader)

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This is the text of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s address to the 2011 AFL Grand Final Breakfast in Melbourne.

It’s great to be making my maiden appearance at this great national institution, the North Melbourne Grand Final Breakfast.

Ladies and gentlemen, the supreme virtue of Australian Rules is that it’s the one football code that wasn’t invented in England.

My one and only game was a defiant assertion of our national identity: I was playing for Oxford University Australians against Cambridge University Australians.

Unfortunately, no one had told me that a ball kicked out was thrown in by the umpire and not by a player, so I instinctively grabbed the ball and tried to form a line out.

It was at this point that I realised a “balls-up” was not just another way of restarting play – or what happens when politicians try to address the problems of the nation.

My Aussie Rules education continued during last year’s election campaign with Jobe Watson teaching me to handball, badly, at Windy Hill and Harry Taylor giving me marking practice at Skilled Stadium. It was an expensive lesson: we made a $36 million commitment to rebuild the place because Frank Costa drives a hard bargain.

Right now, there seem to be a few parallels between the AFL and politics.

In recent days we have seen someone called Swan labelled the best at his craft in the whole world. Well sorry, Wayne. Dane Swan is the world’s greatest and he thoroughly deserved the Brownlow medal.

I understand that Collingwood has a succession plan that involves Mick Malthouse relinquishing power to Nathan Buckley. It’s just like John Howard planned to hand over to Peter Costello. Lucky there’s an Eddie McGuire to make the deal stick.

Geelong has done magnificently, even after sending their best player to Queensland. It’s a bit like the Australian government after Kevin Rudd was put on the transfer list.

There’s a lot of talk at the moment about everything being too negative and too aggressive with all the focus being on bringing the other side down and I reckon that means Cameron Ling would make a great opposition leader.

Ladies and gentlemen, I want to pay tribute today to two historic clubs and to everyone who’s helped two great sides to get to this year’s Grand Final.

It might not make much sense for our clubs and our pubs but, for politicians on Grand Final day, there is no escaping mandatory pre-commitment. Mine is to the Cats: and by 10 points.

Finally, I should acknowledge that there will soon be an AFL team in western Sydney – a place where Aussie Rules supporters were once as rare as Liberal voters.

I do hope that this new club might further initiate me into the sacred rites of the AFL provided I’m permitted a bit of political evangelism on the side.

Thank you so much, ladies and gentlemen.


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...]


Remember Who Dug The Well: Crean Welcomes Hu

This is the text of the address of welcome to the President of China, Hu Jintao, by the Leader of the Opposition, Simon Crean.

The speech was delivered to a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Text of Simon Crean’s speech of welcome to China’s President Hu Jintao.

CreanMr President.

I’ve already had the opportunity to welcome you to Australia.

I now welcome you to our national Parliament.

Your historic presence in this Parliament – so soon after your inauguration as President of the People’s Republic of China – testifies to the importance and continuity of the China-Australia relationship. [Read more...]


President Bush Addresses Australian Parliament; Greens Ejected

United States President George W. Bush has addressed the Australian Parliament during his visit to Canberra.

The speech was punctuated by interjections from Greens senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle.

  • Listen to President Bush’s Address:

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  • Listen to Opposition Leader Simon Crean’s Speech of Welcome to Bush

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  • Text and Audio of Prime Minister John Howard’s Speech of Welcome to Bush

Transcript of President Bush’s address to the Australian Parliament.

Governor General Michael Jeffery, Prime Minister John Howard, Speaker of the House, Leader of the Senate, Leader of the Opposition Simon Crean, distinguished members of the House and the Senate, Premiers, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, ladies and gentlemen: Laura and I are honored to be in the Commonwealth of Australia. I want to thank the Prime Minister for his invitation. I want to thank the Members and Senators for convening this session of the Parliament. And I want to thank the people of Australia for a gracious welcome. [Read more...]


Simon Crean: Address To National Congress Of The RSL

Opposition Leader Simon Crean has addressed the National Congress of the Returned and Services League.

The National Congress met at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Text of Simon Crean’s Address to the National Congress of the RSL.

CreanHer Excellency, the Governor, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson.

The Minister for Defence, Senator Hill.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dana Vale. [Read more...]