Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.

Become a Patron!

Archives for September 2007

“Don’t Risk Rudd” – Roadside Billboard In La Trobe

According to the date-stamp, I took this picture on September 26, 2007.

I’m not certain but I’m fairly sure it’s on a road leading into Ferntree Gully in the electorate of La Trobe.

Two months after I took the picture, Rudd defeated John Howard and became Prime Minister.

La Trobe was retained by the Liberal member, Jason Wood, in 2007, although he lost it to Labor’s Laura Smyth in 2010.

Don't Risk Rudd

Howard Government Announces 2020 Clean Energy Target

The Federal Government has announced a clean energy target of 30,000 gigawatt hours each year from low emissions sources by 2020.

The announcement comes amid continuing speculation about the timing of the 2007 election.

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

National Clean Energy Target

The Australian Government will introduce a new national Clean Energy Target, requiring that 30,000 gigawatt hours each year come from low emissions sources by 2020.

Low emissions sources are those technologies that emit less than 200 kilograms of greenhouse gases per megawatt of electricity generated. This includes renewable energy, such as solar and wind, as well as fossil fuel fired electricity generation where carbon capture and storage is used.

Introduction of the CET is intended to replace existing and proposed state and territory schemes with a single national scheme. The CET is sufficient to absorb those schemes.

This will reduce costs for business, and ultimately for households. It will reduce the red tape from the current multitude of schemes, and ensure low emission technologies are developed in the lowest cost locations, without being restricted by state and territory boundaries.

The CET will drive additional investment in renewable and other low emissions electricity generation, as the Australian emissions trading scheme is introduced.

The CET will be based on the Government’s existing Mandatory Renewable Energy Target, which has already stimulated $3.5 billion of investment in renewable energy.

The Australian Government will consult with state and territory governments and industry in designing and implementing the CET. Our intention is for legislation to be introduced next year, and for the CET to come into effect no later than 1 January 2010.

The new CET is an integral part of the Australian Government’s comprehensive $3.5 billion climate change strategy, keeping Australia at the forefront of international efforts to address global warming.

Kim Beazley (ALP-Brand) – Valedictory Speech

After a 27-year parliamentary career, Kim Beazley delivered his valedictory speech to the House of Representatives on September 20, 2007.


Beazley’s political career began in 1980, when he was elected as the member for Swan, in Western Australia. He was appointed Minister for Aviation in Bob Hawke’s first government in 1983. In 1984, he became Minister for Defence. He served in a variety of portfolios throughout the entire duration of the Hawke and Keating governments, including Transport, Employment, and Finance. He was Deputy Prime Minister in the final years of the Keating government.

In 1996, Beazley became ALP leader and Leader of the Opposition. Despite securing a 4.61% swing and 50.98% of the two-party-preferred vote at the 1998 federal election, and winning 18 seats from the Howard government, Beazley failed to win office. He also lost the 2001 election and relinquished the leadership to Simon Crean. [Read more…]

Current Federal Parliamentary Party Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

House of Representatives
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party John Howard
Member for Bennelong (NSW)
Peter Costello
Member for Higgins (Vic)
National Party Mark Vaile
Member for Lyne (NSW)
Warren Truss
Member for Wide Bay (Qld)
Australian Labor Party Kevin Rudd
Member for Griffith (Qld)
Julia Gillard
Member for Lalor (Vic)

The major parties also elect leaders and deputy leaders in the Senate. These people form part of the leadership group and act as the focal point for their parties in the upper house.

For example, the current Liberal Party leader in the Senate, Nick Minchin, is referred to as the Government Leader in the Senate. Senator Chris Evans is referred to as the Opposition Leader in the Senate.

Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party Senator Nick Minchin
(South Australia)
Senator Helen Coonan
(New South Wales)
National Party Senator Ron Boswell
Senator Nigel Scullion
(Northern Territory)
Australian Labor Party Senator Chris Evans
(Western Australia)
Senator Stephen Conroy
Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett
Senator Lyn Allison
Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown
Family First Senator Steve Fielding

Footnote: Convention dictates that the official leader of the main parties will be a member of the House of Representatives. In 1968, following the death of its Prime Minister, Harold Holt, the Liberal Party chose its upper house leader, Senator John Gorton, as the new prime minister. Gorton immediately resigned his Senate seat and contested the by-election for Holt’s lower house electorate, Higgins. Thus, Australia had a prime minister for several weeks who was not a member of either house. This is allowed for in Section 64 of the Constitution.

Bush Announces Withdrawal Of 20,000 Troops From Iraq; No Timeline For Remainder

President George W. Bush has announced that 20,000 US combat troops will be withdrawn from Iraq, commencing this month.

BushDelivering a televised address from the White House, Bush made no mention of when the remaining American forces would be withdrawn.

The occupation force will still be larger than it was before the troop “surge” earlier this year.

Bush said that the role of the US troops would shift from patrolling Iraqi neighborhoods to providing support for Iraqi troops. The American force would turn its attention to hunting down Al Qaeda terrorists, he said. [Read more…]

Democrats Say Bush Failed To Provide Plans For Future Of Iraq

President Bush “failed to provide either a plan to successfully end the war or a convincing rationale to continue it”, according to Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed.

Delivering the Democratic Party response to Bush’s address, Reed said “an endless and unlimited military presence in Iraq is not an option”. [Read more…]

I’ll Retire During Next Term: Howard

John Howard bluffs his Party yet againJohn Howard has pledged to retire at some time during his fifth term as Prime Minister, assuming he is re-elected later this year.

Speaking on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, Howard said:

“If the Australian people are good enough and kind enough to re-elect me again, there are a lot of things I want to do, and I would want to approach those things with enormous energy. But I would expect well into my term, and after those things have been implemented and battered down, I would probably, certainly form the view well into my term, that it makes sense for me to retire, and in those circumstances, I would expect, although it would be a matter for the Party to determine if Peter would take over.

“…I’ve thought this through, and what I’m saying to the Australian people is I want to be re-elected, there are a lot of things I want to do for them. But well into my term, I would come to the conclusion that it would be in the best interests of everybody if I retired, and in those circumstances, I would expect Peter to take over, but that would be a matter for the Party. Now, that is the honest truth, and I think most of your viewers believe it would be the case.”

Questioned on whether this means the Australian people will be asked to vote for not one but two prime ministers, Howard said:

“They’ll be voting for a team, and I think that’s good. I think actually this election if it’s a contest between teams as well as a contest between Howard and Rudd is a good thing … I’m asking people to vote for somebody who levels with them. I don’t think Steve Bracks and Peter Beattie levelled with their respective publics. I mean, what changed their circumstances between their elections and when they retired? I mean, the glib thing is to say to people you’re going to serve three years even though you know in your heart that may not be the case. Well, I am not going to embrace the glib option. That was the approach taken by others, it’s not the approach that I am going to take.”

Howard’s announcement will alter the dynamics of the forthcoming election campaign. The ALP can be expected to argue against the value of electing a prime minister who will not see out his 3-year term, whilst capitalising on the negative perceptions the polls indicate the electorate has about Peter Costello.

The campaign in Howard’s Sydney electorate of Bennelong will also be affected by today’s announcement. In his ABC interview, Howard left open the possibility of remaining in the Parliament as a backbencher following his retirement as prime minister.

Howard Survives Party-Room Meeting Without Challenge

The leadership of the Prime Minister, John Howard, has survived a parliamentary Liberal Party meeting in Canberra today.

Following a day of crisis yesterday, it now appears certain that Howard will take the coalition to its fifth consecutive election under his stewardship.

The Treasurer, Peter Costello, has broken his silence on the issue today, claiming his position has not altered since last year and that he was not privy to the meetings and discussions within the Liberal Party over the past week. [Read more…]

Future Election Dates

    The next House of Representatives election is most likely to be held around October-December 2007. This would be three years since the last election on October 9, 2004.

    The House does not have a fixed term and could be dissolved at any time before this date.

    The term of the House is defined in Section 28 of the Constitution as expiring three years from the first meeting of the House. Following the 2004 election, the House sat for the first time on November 16, 2004. This means that the next dissolution of the House of Representatives must take place by Thursday November 15, 2007.

    If the maximum times permitted under the Constitution and the Electoral Act are exploited, the latest possible date for an election is Saturday January 19, 2008. In practice, an election would not be called in January because it would necessitate campaigning over the Christmas-New Year holiday period. No election has ever been held in January. The latest practical date, therefore, is Saturday December 15, 2007. [Read more…]

Howard And Rudd Speak At Luncheon For Canadian Prime Minister Harper

Following the APEC Forum, a parliamentary luncheon was held for the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Prime Minister John Howard and Opposition Leader Kevin Rudd both spoke at the luncheon.

Howard also announced an agreement had been reached with Canada on climate change and energy. [Read more…]