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…]


Latham Announces New Shadow Ministry

The new Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, has appointed Simon Crean as Shadow Treasurer, created a new portfolio of Homeland Security and installed Stephen Smith as spokesman on Immigration.

Mark Latham, Leader of the OppositionAnnouncing his shadow ministry, Latham emphasised the need for the “protection of the physical security of all Australians”. He has appointed Robert McClelland, reportedly the final deciding vote in last Tuesday’s leadership election, to the Homeland Security portfolio, a name derived from a similar post created by President George W. Bush in the United States. [Read more…]