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Archives for 2013

Clive Palmer Releases Memorandum Of Understanding With Motoring Enthusiast Party

Clive Palmer has released the text of a Memorandum of Understanding his party has with Senator-elect Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party.

The document, dated October 6, says “each of the parties intends to work together and where it is practicably to vote together in the Senate”. The parties express “a desire to cooperate and assist each other as may be appropriate”.

The agreement permits each party to vote in Parliament in accordance with their policies, principles and conscience.

The document lists four points numbered 1, 2, 4 and 5. It itemises three statements as A, B and D. [Read more…]

Health Minister Peter Dutton Won’t Comment On Medicare Levy Speculation

The Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, has refused to comment on speculation that the Commission of Audit will recommend a Medicare co-payment for bulk-billed patients.

Dutton“We won’t be commenting on speculation around what the Commission of Audit may or may not recommend,” Dutton said.

Media speculation this week has suggested consideration of a $5 upfront co-payment for bulk-billed GP patients. The speculation suggests savings of around $700 million a year can be made by introducing the co-payment.

The idea is said to apply to families after they have made 12 visits to a GP in any year. Pensioners and health card holders would be exempt.

The Leader of the Opposition in the Senate, Penny Wong, described the proposal as a tax on health care and said the Abbott government is not the government voters thought they were getting. [Read more…]

General Peter Cosgrove Reportedly Abbott’s Choice For Next Governor-General

Retired General Peter Cosgrove is to be Australia’s next Governor-General, according to a report in today’s edition of The Australian.

CosgroveCosgrove has been rumoured to be the choice of Prime Minister Tony Abbott for some time. Whilst the newspaper says Abbott refused to comment on its report, the news comes as no real surprise.

The newspaper says the appointment will be announced at the end of January.

The current Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has held the position since September 5, 2008 and will retire in March. Her 5-year appointment was extended by six months by former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, due to the proximity of the federal election.

Cosgrove will be Australia’s 26th Governor-General since 1901. The last Governor-General with a military background was Bryce’s predecessor, Major-General Michael Jeffery. [Read more…]

The Queen’s 2013 Christmas Message

Queen Elizabeth II has delivered her annual Christmas message to the Commonwealth.


The theme of the 87-year-old monarch’s televised address was “reflection”. It focussed on the birth of her great-grandson and heir, Prince George, the 60th anniversary of her coronation in 1953, and looked ahead to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow next year. [Read more…]

Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Christmas Message

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released this Christmas video message.

Text of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Christmas message.

Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year.

It’s a time to reflect, to count our blessings and to give thanks for all the good things we enjoy. [Read more…]

Hockey Appoints Dumped Liberal MP To Foreign Investment Review Board

In a late Friday, pre-Christmas, announcement, Treasurer Joe Hockey has appointed a deselected Liberal MP, Patrick Secker, to the Foreign Investment Review Board.

SeckerThe appointment is part-time for five years.

In his announcement, Hockey said: “Mr Secker has extensive experience in agriculture and agribusiness over a number of decades. His appointment to the Foreign Investment Review Board fulfils a commitment by the Government to expand this area of the Board’s expertise.”

Secker was the Liberal member for Barker in South Australia for 15 years from 1998. He left the Parliament at this year’s election, having lost preselection to Mount Gambier lawyer Tony Pasin in March 2012. In a plebiscite of 282 party members, Secker won just 78 votes to Pasin’s 164, with a third candidate polling 40 votes. [Read more…]

2013 And The Years Of Three Prime Ministers

This morning on ABC News Breakfast, a former newspaper editor told viewers that in 2013 Australia had three prime ministers “for only the second time in history”.

In the interests of accuracy, and because this is not the first time I’ve heard someone get it wrong this year, here are the figures.

The Years of Three Prime Ministers

There have been 5 years in the history of the Australian federation when three prime ministers were separately sworn into the position. They are: 1904, 1939, 1941, 1945 and 2013.

The Years of Three Prime Ministers
Year First PM Second PM Third PM
Alfred Deakin
defeated in House
John “Chris” Watson
defeated in House
George Reid
Free Trade
Joseph Lyons
United Australia Party
Earle Page
Country Party
relinquished to new leader
Robert Menzies
United Australia Party
Robert Menzies
United Australia Party
resigned leadership
Arthur Fadden
Country Party
defeated in House
John Curtin
John Curtin
Frank Forde
relinquished to new leader
Ben Chifley
Julia Gillard
deposed by party
Kevin Rudd
defeated at general election
Tony Abbott
Liberal Party


1904 – The System Works

The prime ministerial changes of 1904 are notable because it was the first time government changed hands as a result of legislative difficulties in the House of Representatives. Parliamentary manoeuvres were central to each change of government, as was the role of the Governor-General in refusing requests for a dissolution of the House. [Read more…]

Weatherill: Government Response To Holden Closure Pathetic

The South Australian Labor Premier, Jay Weatherill, says the federal government’s response to the Holden closure is pathetic.


Speaking at a press conference today, Weatherill said the package announced today by Prime Minister Tony Abbott was “manifestly inadequate. [Read more…]

High Court Throws Out NSW Election Donation Laws; Victory For Unions And Corporations

The High Court has upheld a challenge to New South Wales’s election donation laws.

The challenge was brought by Unions NSW to the changes legislated by the O’Farrell government in 2012.

The effect of the challenge is to invalidate the changes and make it legal for unions and corporations to donate to political parties. Money spent on election advertising by unions affiliated to the ALP will now not be included in the ALP’s expenditure limits. [Read more…]

Abbott Offers $100 Million Employment Fund For Car Workers

In the aftermath of the announced departures of Ford and Holden, Prime Minister Tony Abbott today announced a $100 million employment fund for Victoria and South Australia.


Details of the assistance package won’t be decided until the second half of 2014 but Abbott said the money would be spent on “economically responsible” projects.

The federal government will provide $60 million whilst Victoria and South Australia will each contribute $12 million. Holden will be asked to provide $20 million. [Read more…]