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Archives for September 2003

John Faulkner: Balancing Government Effectiveness With Oversight And Scrutiny

Senator John Faulkner has delivered a wide-ranging speech on Senate reform to The Sydney Institute.

Faulkner, the ALP Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, said the Senate had evolved into an effective house of review but the task now was to ensure that governments can carry out their electoral promises whilst maintaining oversight and scrutiny.

Transcript of Senator John Faulkner’s Address to the Sydney Institute on Senate Reform.

FaulknerLadies and Gentlemen, in June this year the Prime Minister announced his Government’s intention to reform the “deadlock provisions of the Constitution in section 57.”[1]

For Mr Howard constitutional reform is a newfound interest. For Labor, constitutional reform is a long held conviction, reforms not solely about the moment, reforms not solely about advantaging the Government in power. Unlike John Howard and the Liberal Party, Labor has been committed to restricting the powers of the Senate since Federation. [Read more…]

Costello Announces $7.5 Billion Budget Surplus

The Treasurer, Peter Costello, has announced a budget surplus for the last financial year of $7.5 billion, higher than the expected $3.9 billion.

The increase is mainly due to increased company tax receipts.

The budget surplus gives the government a bonus election war chest and follows yesterday’s ministerial reshuffle ahead of the scheduled election in 2004.

At his press conference, Costello also commented on Tony Abbott, Jeff Kennett and Michael Kroger. [Read more…]

Slim Dusty Honoured At State Funeral

Slim Dusty, the Australian Country and Western singer who died last week, has been honoured at a State Funeral in Sydney.

Slim DustySlim Dusty was 76 when he died of kidney cancer. To many he epitomised the essence of what it is to be an Australian. Of his many hit records, undoubtedly the best known was “A Pub With No Beer”.

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition attended the funeral, hearing tributes from Dusty’s children.

Other speakers at the funeral included the businessman Dick Smith and the president of the Australian Conservation Foundation, Peter Garrett, who paid tribute to Slim Dusty’s commitment to the environment and indigenous relations. [Read more…]

Labor’s 2001 Capitulation Should Be Forgiven, But Not Forgotten: Tanner

The ALP’s Shadow Minister for Communications, Lindsay Tanner, has called for Labor to revive “idealism” and “to restore definition to Labor’s identity.”

Delivering the Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture, named in honour of the former ALP leader who held Tanner’s electorate of Melbourne between 1940-72, Tanner said: “Labor’s capitulation to the tactics of group vilification and racial discrimination in 2001 may be forgiven, but should not be forgotten. We can’t fight that battle again, but we can learn from this terrible episode. We must never again allow ourselves to be forced to jettison our fundamental values in pursuit of political survival.”

This is the text of Lindsay Tanner’s Arthur Calwell Memorial Lecture.

Lindsay Tanner, Shadow Minister for CommunicationsTonight we honour the memory of a man of courage and compassion, a great Labor leader, Arthur Calwell. Few Australian political leaders have influenced the shape of our modern society more. Few have received less credit from history for such a major contribution.

The Australia that Arthur Calwell knew when he entered Parliament was a profoundly different place from the one we know now. In those days being anything but Anglo-Irish was a matter for curiosity and suspicion. Arthur Calwell had the heart and imagination to see the part Australia could play in relieving the suffering of millions of European refugees. He had a vision for a stronger and more vibrant nation. He imagined a bigger and better country, and played a vital role in bringing it into being. [Read more…]

Governor-General’s Salary And Pension

This is a Research Note from the Parliamentary Library explaining the salary and pension payable to Governors-General.

It was published in September 2003.


Keating: Conservative Story Is Simply Not Big Enough For Australia

Former Prime Minister Paul Keating has made another intervention in contemporary politics that is likely to induce apoplexy amongst conservatives.

In this speech he excoriates the role played by Australia’s conservatives. Keating says: “Their failure is not simply one of crabbiness or rancour; it’s a failure of imagination, a failure to read our historical coordinates correctly but usefully to move to a bigger construct, a bigger picture as to who we are and what we can be. That’s the real job of political leadership.

“Their timidity not only diminishes their own horizon, it is a drag on the rest of us. The country always has to make its progress despite them. They never help. They have always to be dragged along and they will only accept a new norm when someone else has struggled to put it into place.”

Transcript of the extemporaneous address delivered in Melbourne by Paul Keating at the launch of The History Wars by Stuart McIntyre.

Paul Keating, Prime Minister of Australia 1991-96The writing of The History Wars is very important. The book will sit on the shelves of libraries as a sort of code stone to help people understand the motivations of players in today’s contemporary debate. It sheds light on the political battle which is carried on in the pubs and on the footpaths about who we are and what has become of us. For the protagonists and antagonists in academe are now surrogates in a broader political battle about Australia’s future. [Read more…]

Costello Jousts With Journalists Over National Accounts, Iraq, Tuckey, Ethanol And Hanson

This is Treasurer Peter Costello’s press conference, in Canberra, today.

Costello took questions on the June quarter National Accounts figures released today.

He also answered questions on Iraq, Wilson Tuckey, ethanol and the jailing of Pauline Hanson. [Read more…]

Simon Crean: Address To National Congress Of The RSL

Opposition Leader Simon Crean has addressed the National Congress of the Returned and Services League.

The National Congress met at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Text of Simon Crean’s Address to the National Congress of the RSL.

CreanHer Excellency, the Governor, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson.

The Minister for Defence, Senator Hill.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dana Vale. [Read more…]

Howard Lauds “Rich Historical Relationship” With United States

Prime Minister John Howard has praised Australia’s historical association with the United States as a “rich historical relationship” that is more than just a legalistic alliance.

Howard spoke to an Australian American Association luncheon in Melbourne.

Referring to Australia’s military commitment to the American operation in Iraq, Howard said: “The decision we took then was in the Government’s very strong judgement right and nothing that has occurred since has in any way qualified or altered my view.”

Transcript of John Howard’s Address to the Australian American Association at the Park Hyatt, Melbourne.

Thank you very much Geoffrey for that very kind introduction. The Ambassador of the United States Tom Schieffer, Tony McAdam, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, other very distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. [Read more…]