Hockey Presents Credentials To Obama; Abbott Meets Kissinger

The former Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has presented his credentials to President Barack Obama as the new Australian Ambassador to the United States, whilst his former leader, Tony Abbott, has met with Dr. Henry Kissinger in New York.

Within ten minutes of each other this morning, Hockey and Abbott both posted pictures of their meetings on Twitter.

Hockey

Hockey, 50, replaces the former Labor leader Kim Beazley, who held the post for 7 years. Hockey was the Liberal member for North Sydney from 1996 until his resignation last October. He was Treasurer from 2013 but was dropped by Malcolm Turnbull last September in the aftermath of the toppling of Tony Abbott.

Abbott

Kissinger, 92, was Secretary of State under Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford between 1973-77. Abbott, 58, has been the Liberal member for Warringah since 1994. He was prime minister between 2013-15.


Tony Abbott To Stand Again In Warringah

The former prime minister, Tony Abbott, has announced that he will renominate for preselection in his safe NSW seat of Warringah.

After four months of speculation about whether he will stay in parliament, Abbott has made it clear that he still holds hope of a recall to the Liberal Party leadership.

In a statement released tonight, Abbott said he had been “heartened by the support and encouragement I’ve received to continue to serve the country as a member of parliament”. [Read more…]


White Paper On Developing Northern Australia Released

A White Paper on developing Northern Australia has been released by the federal government.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss and Trade Minister Andrew Robb released the report.

In its introduction, the ministers say:

Northern Australia can grasp its full potential and become an economic powerhouse within our great country.

Our north’s future will come from its people, its ingenuity, its diversity, and its proximity to Asia. Covering 40 per cent of Australia’s land mass, our north has the resources, the connections across the Tropics, and the land, skills and institutions that the Indo-Pacific region needs; a region that has the savings and the markets to drive northern prosperity.

This White Paper is an essential part of our plan to build a strong, prosperous economy and a safe, secure Australia. We can take advantage of our strengths and our natural advantages.

We will fix the roads and telecommunications, build the dams and deliver the certainty that landholders and water users need.

We will drive down the costs of operating in the north for business; making it a more attractive place to invest and work. By making the right regulations and infrastructure investments, we can encourage jobs and tackle the costs of living far from major cities.

Governments alone cannot develop Northern Australia, they can only set the right environment for businesses to profitably invest and communities to flourish. The north will only truly achieve its potential with the participation of all the people who live there, including Indigenous Australians.

…We want this White Paper to be the foundation on which successive Commonwealth governments can continue this important work over coming decades.

The White Paper is shown below. It can be expanded and downloaded.

15-06-18_white-paper-on-developing-northern-australia


In Aftermath Of Leadership Ballot, A Message From The Prime Minister

A month after the failed attempt to spill the Liberal Party leadership, Tony Abbott has released “a message from the Prime Minister”.

The statement came on the 18-month anniversary of the coalition’s 2013 federal election victory.

Abbott repeats his standard lines about stopping the boats and repealing the carbon and mining taxes. “And we’ve listened to you,” he says, citing the withdrawal of the Medicare co-payment and a pay rise for the defence forces.

The spill motion on February 9 was defeated by 61 votes to 39. The size of the affirmative vote is widely seen as highlighting the danger Abbott’s leadership is in. After the vote, Abbott said: “Good government starts today.”

This is the statement: [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Remarks At G20 Leaders’ Retreat

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has welcomed world leaders to the G20 meeting in Brisbane.

AbbottSpeaking in the former Legislative Council chamber of the Queensland Parliament, Abbott said: “This room symbolises the limitations on our power.”

Abbott emphasised the importance of economic reform. He told the gathering his government had repealed the carbon tax, stopped the “illegal boats”, started building roads and getting the Budget under control. [Read more…]


Abbott, Pragmatic Nationalist, Proposes Modest Reform Of Federation

Describing himself as a “pragmatic nationalist”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he believes it is worth another try to “harmonise” the revenue and spending responsibilities of the States and the Commonwealth.

ParkesAbbott spoke at the Sir Henry Parkes Commemorative Dinner in Tenterfield, NSW. On October 24 1889, Parkes, a five-time premier of NSW, delivered his famous Tenterfield Oration, a call for the colonies to federate.

Abbott said: “Now I remain a pragmatic nationalist – but the states exist, they have wide powers under the constitution and they can’t be abolished; so – rather than pursue giving the Commonwealth more authority over the states, as I proposed in my 2009 book, Battlelines – better harmonising revenue and spending responsibilities is well worth another try.”

Abbott said he used to think that “the states should become subordinate legislatures to the Commonwealth”, but he now doubted that “any such constitutional change could succeed”. He said: “…in any event, it’s a good principle to propose the smallest change that will actually tackle the problem – that’s why resolving the mismatch between what the states are supposed to deliver and what they can actually afford to pay for is worth another go.” [Read more…]


Widodo Inauguration: Abbott Stresses Jakarta Focus In Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flown to Indonesia to attend the inauguration of its new President, Joko Widodo.

In his weekly video message, Abbott repeated his earlier remarks that “our foreign policy needs a ‘Jakarta’ focus rather than a ‘Geneva’ one”.

He said one million Australians visit Indonesia each year. “It has the world’s largest Muslim population, it is the world’s third largest democracy and, along with India, it’s the emerging democratic superpower of Asia.” [Read more…]