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Archives for August 2000

Mark Latham On Kerry Packer

The following speech was delivered by Mark Latham, ALP Member for Werriwa, during “Statements by Members” in the House of Representatives Main Committee on Thursday 31 August, 2000.

The speech is printed as it appeared in Hansard.

Mark Latham speech in the House of Representatives, August 31, 2000.

LathamMr LATHAM (Werriwa) (9.46 a.m.) — I wish to reflect on the news that Australia’s richest man, Kerry Packer, lost $34 million last month on a gambling spree in Las Vegas. I am sure that most Australians will feel uneasy about this sort of extravagance. Notions of public morality and justice are under threat when it is possible for one person to accumulate such extraordinary wealth and then use it in such an extraordinary way. [Read more…]


Pressure In Brighton

I could not resist taking this picture in Landcox Street, East Brighton, of a placard that is displayed in a number of front gardens.

But it was the graffiti addition that particularly attracted my attention.

Brighton [Read more…]


George W. Bush Commits To Free Trade With Latin America

This is the text of excerpts from a speech delivered by George W. Bush at Florida International University in Miami.

The remarks point to the importance of trading blocs in the global economy and their strategic defence implications.

Speech by George W. Bush at Florida International University, Miami.

Should I become president, I will look south, not as an afterthought, but as a fundamental commitment of my presidency. Just as we ended the great divide between East and West, so today we can overcome the North-South divide. [Read more…]


Malcolm Fraser: The Past We Need To Understand

This is the full text of the Fifth Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, presented by Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia.

Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture, by Malcolm Fraser.

I acknowledge the Larrakia people who are the traditional owners of the land on which this University stands. I thank the representative of the Larrakia people, Mr Bill Risk for the welcome that has been expressed.

I also acknowledge the representatives of the Gurindji people, particularly those who have travelled a considerable distance to be here for this afternoon’s launch of the spectacular banner project which tonight forms the backdrop to this lecture which honours the memory of the great Gurindji elder, Vincent Lingiari.

I also take the opportunity to thank the Centre for Indigenous Natural and Cultural Resource Management and the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation for the invitation to deliver this 5th Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture and I acknowledge the continuing support of the Northern Territory University for this valuable historical lecture series. [Read more…]


Fraser Attacks Howard Over Reconciliation

Former Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser has attacked the Howard Government’s policies on Aboriginal Reconciliation.

Delivering the Vincent Lingiari Memorial Lecture in Darwin, Fraser called for a bill of rights and said the Australian government had failed in its duty of care to the Aborigines involved in the stolen generation case thrown out by the Federal Court earlier this month. [Read more…]


Petrol Price Rises Begin To Bite As Political Issue

Petrol prices are becoming a worrying political issue for the federal government, following a series of increases in recent weeks.

As unleaded petrol steadily climbs to the politically potent and symbolic one dollar mark, the pressure on the Howard government will grow.

The main reason for petrol price increases is the Middle East cartel, the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, which has been limiting oil production during this year. This has increased the price of a barrel of oil from $42 to $54 (Australian dollars). [Read more…]


Kennett For Canberra Stories Just A Media Beat-Up

The lack of quality Sunday newspapers in Australia oftens means that the public is subjected to quite loopy “reporting” on the day of Rest. So it is today with reports of a possible move by Jeff Kennett to contest pre-selection for the federal electorate of Menzies.

Herald-SunMenzies is held by the conservative Liberal Kevin Andrews, the man responsible for the private members bill that overturned the Northern Territory’s voluntary euthanasia legislation in 1997. Andrews is supported by John Howard.

It is reported that there are two other Liberals possibly in the running for Menzies. One is Louise Staley, a Kennett supporter, whilst the other is Greg Hunt, son of longtime Liberal leader of the Victorian upper house and Kennett critic, Alan Hunt. Were Jeff Kennett to enter this contest, a Herald-Sun source is quoted as saying it would unleash a “shitfight” in the party. [Read more…]


Bracks, Mr 77%, Courts Melbourne Business

The Age reports today on the extent of links between the Bracks Labor government and Melbourne’s business community, claiming that Bracks privately briefed corporate leaders on government decisions before they were publicly announced.

The article also details the members of the government’s Round Table and outlines the operations of “Progressive Business”, an organisation set up by the ALP which charges corporate clients $715 per year for invitation-only briefing sessions with cabinet ministers and federal opposition shadow ministers. Individuals are charged $275 annually. The paper says membership of the organisation now numbers around 200.

Earlier this week, opinion polls showed that Bracks is the most popular political leader in the country at present, his 77% approval rating surpassing the polling levels attained by Bob Hawke at his peak. [Read more…]


Carmen Lawrence: Renewing Democracy – Can Women Make a Difference?

The former Western Australian Premier and Federal Health Minister, Dr. Carmen Lawrence, has called for wide-ranging political reforms in a speech to the Sydney Institute.

LawrenceLawrence, the Labor member for Fremantle, calls for a number of parliamentary reforms, including the establishment of an all-party Business committee to determine the business of the parliament. She proposes giving parliamentary committees the power to initiate legislation, especially if their recommendations have been ignored by the government.

The speech also refers to the increasing influence of money in Australian politics. She says: “We run the risk of becoming a “corporate democracy” in which the number of shares you have purchased in the party of your choice determines your effective voting power. While there has been extensive debate about big money in politics in the U.S., there appears to be a conspiracy of silence on the issues among Australian politicians. Public funding of elections was supposed to reduce the parties’ reliance on private corporate and union donations: all that has happened is a blowout in both public (doubled since 1993) and private funding as parties engage in an increasingly expensive bidding war at elections.” [Read more…]


Al Gore Accepts Democratic Party Nomination For President

Vice-President Al Gore has officially accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for President in this year’s election and addressed the party’s National Convention in Los Angeles.

GoreIn his speech, Gore said:

“I’m happy that the stock market has boomed and so many businesses and new enterprises have done well. This country is richer and stronger. But my focus is on working families – people trying to make house payments and car payments, working overtime to save for college and do right by their kids… Whether you’re in a suburb, or an inner-city… Whether you raise crops or drive hogs and cattle on a farm, drive a big rig on the Interstate, or drive e-commerce on the Internet… Whether you’re starting out to raise your own family, or getting ready to retire after a lifetime of hard work. [Read more…]