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Archives for June 1999

Tim Fischer To Retire On July 20

The Deputy Prime Minister, Tim Fischer, announced his retirement from the Federal Government on July 20.

Tim FischerSpeaking to the House of Representatives just after 3pm, the National Party Leader announced that he was quitting as Deputy Prime Minister, Leader of the National Party and Minister for Trade.

He cited personal reasons for his decision. Mr. Fischer’s young son, Harrison, is autistic and it is believed that Mr. Fischer wishes to spend more time with his wife and child.

Mr. Fischer said that he would remain in Parliament as the member for Farrer and said he would devote some time to touring the country and thanking people for his time in politics.

Deputy Leader, John Anderson, the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, is likely to succeed Mr. Fischer as Leader of the National Party. Mark Vaile, the Minister for Argiculture, Fisheries and Forestry, is likely to be the new Deputy Leader. [Read more…]

Howard’s Commitments to Meg Lees on the GST

This is the letter from the Prime Minister, John Howard, to the Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Meg Lees.

The letter sets out the agreement reached between the government and the Democrats to secure passage of the Goods and Services Tax legislation through the Senate.

Senator Lees
Leader of Australian Democrats
Suite SG 112
Parliament House

Dear Senator

I refer to our discussions this morning regarding the Government’s tax package and the Government’s commitment to the outcomes reached.


The Government will write to the Commissioner of Taxation to seek a ruling on the definition of education services that are to be GST free. [Read more…]

Andrew Bartlett Statement Opposing the GST Package

This is the text of a statement by the Queensland Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett, setting out his reasons for opposing the revised taxation package.

Senator Andrew BartlettI wish to indicate to my party and to the people of my electorate of Queensland that I am unable to vote for the revised taxation package that was announced by the Prime Minister just over two weeks ago. Whilst there are still some details of the legislation to be finalised, unless there are fundamental changes made to the package announced by the Prime Minister, I will not be able to support it.

My inability to support this package is not based on any philosophical objection to a GST. I have always willingly supported the platform the Democrats took to the last election and the position and recommendations that the party put forward in its Senate Committee reports on the tax legislation.

My personal concern is simply that, overall, the proposed changes will still make our tax system more regressive than it currently is, despite the very significant improvements to the original package which have been made so far by the Democrats. [Read more…]

Clinton Announces The End Of The War In Kosovo

This is the full text of President Clinton’s Address to the Nation about the end of NATO bombing in Yugoslavia.

Text of President Bill Clinton’s Address to the Nation.

My fellow Americans, tonight, for the first time in 79 days, the skies over Yugoslavia are silent. The Serb army and police are withdrawing from Kosovo. The 1 million men, women and children driven from their land are preparing to return home. The demands of an outraged and united international community have been met.

I can report to the American people that we have achieved a victory for a safer world, for our democratic values, and for a stronger America. [Read more…]