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Archives for December 2005

1975 Cabinet Papers Released

The National Archives of Australia has tonight released Cabinet documents from 1975.

The documents cover the period of the Second Whitlam Government until its dismissal on November 11, 1975, and the First and Second Fraser Governments from November 11 and December 22. [Read more…]


IR Changes to Improve Work-Family Balance: Howard’s New Year Message

Economic reform “must, and will, continue in 2006”, according to the Prime Minister, John Howard, in his New Year’s Message.

HowardHoward said that “stable and happy family life is crucial to Australia’s future”. He said that “more flexibility under the new workplace arrangements will enable Australians an even greater capacity to balance work and family life”.

In a further sign of his determination to remain Prime Minister through to the next election, Howard reiterated his government’s record in economic management, claiming that the “reform process was maintained to the full in 2005”. [Read more…]


Howard And Beazley Pay Tribute To Packer

Kerry Packer was a “great Australian”, the Prime Minister, John Howard, said today.

PackerHoward wasted no time in holding a media conference at Kirribilli House, Sydney, this morning, just hours after Channel 9 broke the news that the station’s owner, Kerry Francis Bullmore Packer, had died, aged 68.

Packer was a loyal friend, the Prime Minister said.

Howard said the cliches “great Australian” and “larger than life character” were appropriate descriptions of Packer. He paid tribute to the media proprietor’s business acumen, citing Packer’s sale of the Nine network to Alan Bond in the 1980s. Packer subsequently bought Nine back at a fraction of the price. Bond went broke. Packer famously said “an Alan Bond only comes along once in life”. [Read more…]


Governor-General Visits Troops In Iraq, Afghanistan And Persian Gulf

The Governor-General, Michael Jeffery, has spent the Christmas period visiting Australian troops in the Middle East.

He joined troops of the Al Muthanna Task Group for Christmas lunch in southern Iraq, as well as visiting the Special Forces Task Group in Afghanistan, the AP-3 Orion crews, and HMAS Parramatta in the northern Persian Gulf.

The Australian forces are part of Operation Catalyst, described by the Department of Defence as “Australia’s contribution to the safety, reconstruction and rebuilding of Iraq”. [Read more…]


Howard Statement On Tsunami Anniversary

It is one year since the Indian Ocean tsunami devastated areas of the sub-continent and South Asia.

Around a quarter of a million people lost their lives in one of the most deadly natural disasters of recent times.

This is the text of a media statement from the Prime Minister, John Howard.

FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF THE INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI

I invite all Australians to join me today in marking the first anniversary of the terrible events of Boxing Day last year, when the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami caused loss of life and property on an almost unimaginable scale. [Read more…]


Howard And Beazley Carefully Craft Their Christmas Messages

The Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have delivered Christmas messages to the people of Australia.

HowardJohn Howard’s Christmas message adhered strictly to the political messages he has crafted over nearly 10 years in office, emphasising the generosity of Australia’s overseas aid response and lauding the work of non-government welfare agencies.

The Liberal leader also referred to the significance of Jesus Christ and family life. An intriguing insight into Howard’s political approach can be seen in his departure from the prepared speech distributed by his office. In the televised version he simply refers to “the birth of a man”, whereas the prepared text says “the birth of Jesus Christ”. Whilst keen to support religious values, Howard rarely does so in an overt manner. [Read more…]


Victorian Local Government Association State Budget Submission

The Victorian Local Government Association has made a submission to the state government in advance of next year’s budget.

Budget submissions, state and federal, are examples of regular lobbying activity by pressure groups.

This is the text of the VLGA’s covering letter to Treasurer John Brumby, accompanying the submission to the Treasurer on the 2006-07 Budget priorities.

Dear John,

The Victorian Local Governance Association is pleased to provide a submission on the priorities for the 2006 – 07 State Budget.

Our submission focuses clearly on the need for the 2006 -07 Budget to be a Transport Budget which significantly commits to services and infrastructure spending to underpin the Metropolitan Transport Plan and commitments in both Growing Victoria Together and he Melbourne 2030 strategy.

Equally important is the need for a commitment to the development of a Provincial Transport Framework to identify local and state-wide priorities. We also draw your attention o significant infrastructure issues for provincial local government’s in terms of bridge capitalisation and maintenance.

We would be delighted to meet with you in the New Year to discuss further.

Yours sincerely,
Andrew Rowe
Chief Executive


Truss Announces Australia-North Pole Air Services Agreement

An air services agreement has been reached between Australia and the North Pole that will allow Santa Claus to fly through Australian airspace on Christmas Eve, according to the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, Warren Truss.

Truss“Rigorous safety checks of Santa’s sleigh and reindeer” have been carried out and the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) has provided “dispensation allowing the sleigh to fly lower than 1,000 feet over built-up areas.” [Read more…]


Liberal Party Touts It Achievements In 2005

The Liberal Party has circulated a document outlining what it claims are its 32 key achievements in 2005.

LiberalTitled “Making Australia Stronger”, the document has been emailed to subscribers to the Liberal Party’s Current Political Note.

The document claims low interest rates as the government’s number one achievement. The Budget surplus and the Future Fund take second and third places.

This is the text of “Making Australia Stronger: Key Howard Government Achievements In 2005”, a document distributed by the Liberal Party. [Read more…]


Costello Denies Misleading Parliament; Treasury Releases Executive Minute On IR

The Treasurer, Peter Costello, has denied that he misled Parliament over Treasury advice on the industrial relations changes.

Peter CostelloThe Treasury Executive Minute of October 6, 2005 was revealed by The Australian newspaper this morning. It appears to confirm arguments that lower-paid workers will be negatively impacted by the WorkChoices laws. It also appears to conflict with statements Costello made to Parliament in early November.

The Treasury minute was obtained under the Freedom of Information law. [Read more…]