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Archives for January 2002

DFAT Organisational Chart – 2002

This is the organisational chart of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

It is correct as of January 31, 2002. [Read more…]

John Howard’s New York Press Conference

This is the transcript of the press conference given by the Prime Minister, John Howard, at the Pierre Hotel, New York.


I thought I’d say a couple of things about my meeting with the Chairman of the Interim Council in Afghanistan – Mr Karzai. We had a good meeting. We discussed the challenges that faced Afghanistan. He expressed his thanks for the $40 million of government assistance. He said that Afghanistan continued to need a lot of assistance in a lot of areas, in particular many technical areas and we discussed some of them and arising out of that I’ve offered government technical advice via the Treasury and the Reserve Bank, particularly the latter, to help Afghanistan in relation to strengthening and rebuilding her central banking system. Australia has quite a lot of expertise in that area and he was very pleased to accept that offer. [Read more…]

Wayne Swan: Connecting With The Missing Middle – Reforming The Parliament And The ALP

Wayne Swan, the ALP’s Shadow Minister for Families and Community Services, has made a major speech analysing the outcome of the 2001 Federal Election and proposing a series of constitutional, parliamentary and electoral reforms, as well as reforms to the ALP.

SwanSwan delivered the speech to the Fabian Society. It is titled: Connecting With The Missing Middle: Reforming The Parliament And The ALP. The full speech appears below.

Swan, the member for Lilley, advocates radical reforms to the ALP’s structure and organisation, in the wake of the party’s third successive election defeat last November. Swan has also proposed a number of parliamentary reforms to revitalise the political process. [Read more…]

State Of The Union Address 2002 – President George W Bush

This is the prepared text of the State of the Union address, released by the White House prior to President Bush’s presentation to a nationally televised joint session of Congress.

  • Listen to Bush’s speech (49m)
  • Watch Bush’s speech (48m)

Official text of President George W. Bush’s State of the Union Address.

BushMr. Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

As we gather tonight, our Nation is at war, our economy is in recession, and the civilized world faces unprecedented dangers. Yet the state of our Union has never been stronger.

We last met in an hour of shock and suffering. In four short months, our Nation has comforted the victims, begun to rebuild New York and the Pentagon, rallied a great coalition, captured, arrested, and rid the world of thousands of terrorists, destroyed Afghanistan’s terrorist training camps, saved a people from starvation, and freed a country from brutal oppression. [Read more…]

Crean Calls For Release Of Women And Children From Detention Centres

The Federal Opposition Leader, Simon Crean, has broken a months-long silence from the ALP by calling for the release of women and children from detention centres around the country.

CreanDelivering a speech at an Australia Day citizenship ceremony in Brisbane today, in which he praised multiculturalism, Crean claimed that “we should all be able to agree on at least one thing: that it is just plain wrong to hold innocent children behind razor wire. Children should be out in the community where they can live more normal lives, get an education, and be protected from some of the horrors too many of them have witnessed.”

Crean put forward a 5-point plan of rebuilding Afghanistan, cracking down on people smuggling, protecting the nation’s borders by establishing a coast guard, expediting the processing of refugee applications, and getting the balance right between border protection and compassion.

  • Listen to Crean (15s)

Prepared text of Simon Crean’s speech.

Mr Chairman, Lord Mayor, my fellow parliamentary colleagues and my new fellow citizens.

It’s a great pleasure to speak at your Australia Day citizenship ceremony here today. [Read more…]

Beattie Taskforce Meets Over Insurance Crisis

This is the text of a statement from the Queensland Premier, Peter Beattie, released today.

Peter Beattie, Premier of QueenslandA task force addressing spiralling insurance premiums will consider the options of a voluntary insurance pool or group insurance policy, Premier and Acting Treasurer Peter Beattie said today.

Mr Beattie will today attend the start of the first Public Liability Insurance Task Force meeting, which will work to relieve the insurance difficulties of community groups, events organisers and sporting associations.

He said the group would consider strategies such as an insurance pool or group policy for non-government organisations, and a national approach to the insurance crisis.

“Sky-rocketing premiums fuelled by the HIH collapse and the September 11 terrorist attacks have pushed many voluntary groups, events organisers, small businesses and sporting associations to the wall,” Mr Beattie said.

“The Government has already agreed to underwrite the insurance costs of the State’s 1300 Parents and Citizens associations, and now we are considering what can be done to assist other groups.

Mr Beattie said the task force’s terms of reference include to:

  • Examine the viability of establishing a voluntary insurance pool or group insurance policy for not-for-profit community organisations
  • Liaise with other States and Territories and the Commonwealth on the possibility of a national approach
  • Work with the insurance industry and the legal profession to develop training packages for insurers, small businesses, events organisers and sporting associations on appropriate types of cover and risk management practices
  • Consider the issues surrounding limitation of common law damages and factors affecting common law injury costs

Insurance industry representatives will address today’s meeting.

Mr Beattie and Treasurer Terry Mackenroth have asked the task force to report to them by the end of February.

“We have written to the Opposition inviting them make a submission to the task force,” Mr Beattie said.

The task force includes membership from the Local Government Association of Queensland, State Government Departments, Queensland Events Corporation and the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.

Cabinet agreed in December 2001 to extend the Queensland Government Insurance Fund to cover 1300 P&Cs.

A Brief History of the N.S.W. Carr Labor Government

The New South Wales Labor Government, led by Premier Bob Carr, was first elected in 1995.

NSW Premier Bob CarrAt that election, it narrowly defeated the coalition government of John Fahey. Fahey had succeeded Nick Greiner who resigned after an adverse finding, subsequently overturned, by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.

Greiner had won an overwhelming victory against Labor in 1988, but was forced to rely on the support of Independents after the 1992 election.

During Fahey’s period as Premier, NSW secured the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. [Read more…]

Ari On The Road: Corruption And Questionable Electoral Practices

by Ari Sharp

Today Ari reports from the Online Cafe in Eilat, Israel, the ‘Surfers Paradise of the Middle East’.

SharpIt is strange that in a country where politics in very often a matter of life and death that the smaller, more domestic issues often dominate the electoral discourse.

In the last week of campaigning, the story of terror, occupation, violence and peace has run a distant third to two other stories.

The first one revolves around serious allegations of corruption and bribery in the Likud (conservative, led by PM Ariel Sharon) primary elections held in November. Already the scandal has claimed one scalp, with now-former minister Nomi Blumenthal being sacked during the week after she exercised her right to silence in police investigations in the matter. [Read more…]

2002 Dawns In New York City; Bloomberg Assumes Mayoralty; Recovery Work Continues At World Trade Centre; What Now For Giuliani?

As the body of another New York City firefighter was recovered from the ruins of the World Trade Centre, outgoing Mayor Rudolph Giuliani has sworn in his successor, Michael Bloomberg, as the city greeted New Year 2002 to the strains of God Bless America and New York, New York.

New York Mayor Michael BloombergWhat the New York Times has described as a “lamentable year”, 2001 and the horror it wrought on the citizens of the United States’ largest city, was finally over.

Bloomberg, the beneficiary of a personally financed $65 million campaign and an electorate that really wanted Giuliani to stay, will be Mayor for the next four years, a third term dominance of the Republican Party in one of the nation’s most Democratic regions. [Read more…]