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Archives for March 2004

Latham Announces Baby Care Payment Policy

This is the text of a statement released by the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, the Deputy Opposition Leader, Jenny Macklin, and the Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, Wayne Swan.

ALP policy statement on baby care payment.

Easing the Pressure on Families

There is no more important job than that fulfilled by families.

Families are the building blocks of our suburbs and communities. They provide each of us with a sense of support and fulfil the important task of nurturing our next generation. [Read more…]

Sir Rupert Hamer, Former Victorian Premier, Genuine Liberal, Dies, 87

Sir Rupert Hamer, Premier of Victoria from 1972 until 1981, died at his home in Melbourne on March 23, 2004.

HamerA major condolence debate took place in the Victorian Legislative Assembly this week.

Extraordinarily, only one member of the House of Representatives, Petro Georgiou, the member for Kooyong, rose to pay tribute to one of the great Liberal figures of the past half-century.

In the Senate, an Australian Democrat, Lyn Allison, moved a condolence motion that was passed without debate.

It is difficult to imagine the Howard government adopting such a stance if the deceased Premier had been a right-winger of the ilk of Henry Bolte. This theme was explored by Alan Ramsey of the Sydney Morning Herald. [Read more…]

Greens Say Schieffer Should Butt Out

This is the text of a statement from the Australian Greens Senator, Bob Brown.

It follows statements on the American alliance from the Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, and responses from the US Ambassador to Australia, Tom Schieffer. [Read more…]

Latham Should Reconsider Iraq Stand: Howard

John Howard has maintained his pressure on Mark Latham over the Labor leader’s proposal to withdraw Australian troops from Iraq by Christmas if the ALP wins this year’s election.

It “sends the wrong message” to the Iraqi people, said Howard, in response to a question about whether Latham was “playing into the hand of terrorists”. [Read more…]

Federalism: Canberra And South Australia Act On Murray River

The Federal and South Australian governments have announced a package of measures aimed at reducing salinity, improving water quality and protecting biodiversity in the Murray Darling region.

The measures, worth $12.1 million, were announced by the Liberal Party Prime Minister, John Howard, and the Labor Party Premier of South Australia, Mike Rann. [Read more…]

Abbott: Abortion Is The Easy Way Out And A Measure Of Our Moral Health

The Minister for Health, Tony Abbott, says Australia’s abortion rate is a measure of society’s moral health.

Addressing the Adelaide University Democratic Club, Abbott said that “even those who think that abortion is a woman’s right should be troubled by the fact that 100,000 Australian women choose to destroy their unborn babies every year. What does it say about the state of our relationships and our values that so many women (and their husbands, lovers and families) feel incapable of coping with a pregnancy or a child?” [Read more…]

Madrid Bombings Prompt Meeting Of Counter Terrorism Committee

In the aftermath of the bombings in Madrid, the Prime Minister, John Howard, has announced that he will convene a meeting of the National Counter Terrorism Committee to examine the security of Australia’s transport facilities.

The Madrid bombings targeted the city’s metropolitan railway service and claimed around 200 lives. [Read more…]

Federal Government Re-Announces School Funding Plans

The Federal Government has announced a funding package for schools worth $31.3 billion over the next four years, but most of the money was allocated in last year’s budget.

Independent schools received a 47% increase in funding, whilst state schools got 27%. For the first time, independent schools will receive more federal money than state schools – $7.6 billion, compared with $7.2 billion.

Catholic schools will receive $12.6 billion.

The measures will only add about $100 million a year to the budget, compared to the budget announcements. [Read more…]

Abbott Announces Medicare Plus Deal With Senate Independents

The Health Minister, Tony Abbott, has secured passage of his MedicarePlus package through the Senate, following a deal with four senators.

The deal with Senators Brian Harradine, Len Harris (One Nation), Shayne Murphy (ex-ALP) and Meg Lees (ex-Democrats) gives the government the 4 additional votes it needs to pass the legislation 39-37.

Amongst other measures, the deal involves a reduction in the level of the annual threshold for concession card holders. It also provides for incentives for bulk-billing doctors in non-metropolian areas and Tasmania. Harradine and Murphy both represent Tasmania. [Read more…]

The Proposed Iraqi Constitution

This is the proposed Iraqi constitution as published by the Coalition Provisional Authority.



[Read more…]