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Archives for June 2002

The ‘Death’ Of David Feeney

It says something about the alertness of the newspaper’s classified advertising staff that this ‘death’ notice appears in today’s edition of The Age:

FEENEY, David

Beloved friend of Bill. Life tragically shortened after a brief battle with M.A.

Your stacks of friends will mourn your passing. Those left will never forget.

        “Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand”.

Love Delia and Reg.

[Read more…]


Howard Claims Better Record In Question Time Than Keating, Hawke Or Fraser

More questions have been asked during Questions Without Notice during the six years and three months of the Howard Government than during the prime ministerships of Paul Keating, Bob Hawke or Malcolm Fraser, indicating a greater commitment to accountability and parliamentary democracy, according to John Howard.

John Howard, Prime MinisterThe Prime Minister was responding to a question from the Liberal member for Casey, Tony Smith, during Question Time in the House of Representatives.

Howard gave figures which show that proportionally his government’s ministers have responded to more questions without notice than the governments of Paul Keating (1991-96), Bob Hawke (1983-91) and Malcolm Fraser (1975-83).

This is mainly because Question Time has been extended under Howard to allow for a minimum number of questions each sitting day. Question Time often lasts for up to 90 minutes, whereas for decades it was restricted to 60 minutes. [Read more…]


Arse-Licking Hypocrisy

As Federal Parliament begins to wind down for the winter recess, we are again being treated to an outbreak of hypocrisy and cant from the Minister for Workplace Relations, Tony Abbott, on behalf of the government.

Mark Latham, MHR for WerriwaAbbott has likened Labor MHR Mark Latham’s comments on political hatred to the causes of the Middle East conflict.

Abbott also attacked Latham’s criticism of John Howard’s visit to the United States as an exercise in arse-licking, describing these comments as vile and vulgar. [Read more…]


Meg Lees Under Attack By Democrats; Senate Numbers At Stake

Senator Meg LeesThe former leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Meg Lees, is embroiled in a bitter dispute over the leadership of Natasha Stott Despoja that threatens to split the party and hand the Howard Government the chance of passing its contentious privatisation of Telstra legislation.

At a meeting of the Australian Democrats’ National Management Committee on June 5, a motion was carried requesting Lees attend a meeting of the National Executive on June 22-23 to “address issues of her comments on the sale of Telstra and perceptions of disunity in the Party”. Another motion described “perceptions of disunity and unreliability” in relation to comments Lees made about Telstra. [Read more…]


Downer Responds To Bush’s Statement On The Middle East

Alexander Downer has commented on President Bush’s statement on the Middle East.

In response to a question in the House of Representatives from Liberal backbencher Petro Georgiou, Downer said: “The government welcomes the statement made by President Bush.”

  • Listen to Downer (4m)

Hansard transcript of question to Alexander Downer about the Middle East.

Mr GEORGIOU (2:03 PM) —My question is addressed to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Following President Bush’s statement overnight on the Middle East, would the minister update the House on Australia’s approach to the conflict there? [Read more…]


Stott Despoja Comments On Leaked Letter From Lees

Arriving at Parliament House, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, leader of the Australian Democrats, commented on the leaked letter from Senator Meg Lees. [Read more…]


President George W. Bush Calls For New Palestinian Leadership

This is the text of remarks by President George W. Bush in which he called for a “new and different Palestinian leadership, so that a Palestinian state can be born”.

Bush and RumsfeldFor too long, the citizens of the Middle East have lived in the midst of death and fear. The hatred of a few holds the hopes of many hostage. The forces of extremism and terror are attempting to kill progress and peace by killing the innocent. And this casts a dark shadow over an entire region. For the sake of all humanity, things must change in the Middle East. [Read more…]


Democrats’ National Management Committee Minutes

These are the minutes of a meeting of the National Management Committee of the Australian Democrats, held on June 5, that requested Senator Meg Lees to appear before the Committee to discuss her public statements on the privatisation of Telstra.

The minutes were first published on crikey.com.au. [Read more…]


Democrats Demand Loyalty From Lees

This is the letter sent to Senator Meg Lees from the Acting President of the Australian Democrats, Liz Oss-Emer, on June 10, demanding that Lees explain her public statements on the sale of Telstra and asking that she “commit to fully supporting the elected leadership of the Party”.

The letter was first published on crikey.com.au. [Read more…]


Meg Lees’ Letter To Democrats National President

This is the text of a letter from Senator Meg Lees, former leader of the Australian Democrats, to the National President of the party, Liz Oss-Emer.

It is in response to a demand that she appear before the National Executive. The letter was first published on crikey.com.au.

Ms Liz Oss-Emer
National President
Australian Democrats

Dear Liz

First, let me formally congratulate you on your election as National President and I wish you well. There is much to be done because National Executive is critical to the development and expansion of our party.

In response to your letter of the 10th June 2002, thank you for inviting me to attend National Executive. However, I cannot as I have several long-standing engagements. I therefore accept your invitation to respond in writing and ask that you table the material I have provided for all members of National Executive. [Read more…]