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Archives for July 2013

Full Text Of The Asylum Seekers Agreement With Papua New Guinea

The federal government has released the text of the agreement with Papua New Guinea announced yesterday.

REGIONAL RESETTLEMENT ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN AUSTRALIA AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA

This Arrangement outlines further practical measures Australia and Papua New Guinea will pursue together to combat people smuggling. It builds on the mutually agreed principles governing cooperation set out in the Joint Partnership Declaration signed in Port Moresby in May 2013, notes that Australia and Papua New Guinea have a common interest in addressing regional and global challenges, in collaboration with the wider region, including other countries in the South Pacific. The cooperation outlined in this Arrangement underlines the strategic importance and enduring nature of the bilateral relationship, and the commitment of both governments to ensure that the relationship remains relevant to contemporary challenges. [Read more…]


Alternative Universes And The PNG Solution

Alternative universes abounded last night.

But sometimes the media worlds available via a remote control are more alike than they are willing to pretend.

There was the ABC. Within an hour of Kevin Rudd’s announcement of the PNG solution, its screen was filled with refugee advocates castigating the decision. They were joined by frothing right-wingers in an unholy unity ticket of condemnation.

Online, in the ever-so-slightly-nutty world of Twitter, there was talk of White Australia, racism and Labor’s shame. Dire warnings of malaria and rape coalesced with suddenly-expert analyses of the state of civil society in PNG.

Some lamented the shape-shifting Rudd and yearned for The Great Gillard.

There was Sky News, sadly these days a paradise for ever-more vacuous right-wing talk show hosts and those cable-friendly Laborites who make you worry that you might be on the same side.

As on the ABC, the resident Liberals and standalone right-wingers were especially lathered and frenzied. Last night they were born-again campaigners for the down-trodden. They accepted the solution but despaired of its implementation.

I felt somewhat alone. In my foolishness, I thought I might just have witnessed a political masterstroke. Commentators online suggested otherwise. I should be more ashamed, they seemed to say. [Read more…]


Rudd’s Boat People Policy: All Asylum Seekers To Be Sent To PNG

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister Peter O’Neill have announced an agreement that will ensure asylum seekers who arrive by boat will be sent to Manus Island and refused settlement in Australia.

The two prime ministers signed the Regional Settlement Arrangement in Brisbane this afternoon. Speaking at a press conference, Kevin Rudd said: “As of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.”

Rudd

Rudd said the plan was aimed at destroying the business model of the people smugglers. “Be in no doubt. If people are paying thousands and thousands of dollars to a people smuggler they are buying a ticket to a country other than Australia.”

From today, asylum seekers who arrive by boat will undergo medical checks and then be sent to Manus Island. If found to be genuine asylum seekers, they will be resettled in PNG.

There is no cap on the number of people who will be sent to Manus Island. The agreement will be reviewed in 12 months.

In return for PNG’s co-operation, Australia has undertaken to provide funding for education and health projects.

The Australian Greens condemned the plan and said it was “a day of shame” for Australia.

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, gave tentative support to the plan but cast doubt on Labor’s ability to implement it. He said: “I welcome it but it won’t work under Mr. Rudd.”

The PNG solution is likely to neutralise the issue of asylum seekers in the forthcoming elections. Speculation continues to mount that Rudd will call an election for August 31.

Kevin Rudd has also released an “Address to the Nation” on the asylum seekers issue.

Text of statement from Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

AUSTRALIA AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA REGIONAL SETTLEMENT ARRANGEMENT

As of today asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia.

Under the new arrangement signed with Papua New Guinea today – the Regional Settlement Arrangement – unauthorised arrivals will be sent to Papua New Guinea for assessment and if found to be a refugee will be settled there. [Read more…]


Liberal Party Launches Television Advertisements

The Liberal Party has released two television advertisements today.

One advertisement is titled “Rudd’s Record”, whilst the other features the “Real Solutions” plan Tony Abbott has been promoting since last year. [Read more…]


Enrol To Vote

The Australian Electoral Commission is urging people to go online and enrol to vote.

Online enrolment requires evidence of a person’s identity. A driver’s licence or Australian passport number can be used. Someone who is enrolled to vote can also confirm an individual’s identity.

CLICK HERE to ENROL TO VOTE at the AUSTRALIAN ELECTORAL COMMISSION website.

[Read more…]


Kevin Rudd’s National Press Club Address: The Australian Economy In Transition

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd addressed the National Press Club in Canberra today.

Rudd’s speech centred on depicting the Australian economy as strong and its difficulties as small by comparison with the rest of the world.

He reiterated his previous statements that the China boom is over and emphasised the economy’s transition to a new investment phase. He argued that ongoing productivity improvement is vital and attacked the negativity of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. [Read more…]


Classic Interview: Lisa Clutterham, Lalor ALP Preselection Candidate

The ALP preselection for Lalor, brought about by the retirement of former Prime Minister Julia Gillard, took a comical turn today with a radio appearance by candidate Lisa Clutterham.

Clutterham, a 29-year-old junior diplomat who has never lived in Melbourne and only joined the ALP last month, was interviewed by Jon Faine on ABC774.

Clutterham conceded she had no connections with Melbourne. She said her partner had visited relatives in Werribee. [Read more…]


Rudd Announces Historic Reform To ALP Leadership Election; Party Members To Have 50% Say

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced a proposal to give ALP members a 50% say in the election of the federal parliamentary leader.

The Caucus will have the remaining 50% say. A leadership election can be triggered by the leader’s resignation, a federal election loss or a 75% vote of no confidence by the Caucus.

Rudd said: “The proposal guarantees to the electorate that the prime minister they elect is the prime minister they get.”

At a press conference this evening, Rudd said the full ministry had decided on the proposal today. It will be submitted to the Caucus on July 22 for approval. A special meeting of the ALP National Conference is possible if the proposal is rejected. [Read more…]


ALP Launches Kevin Rudd Television Advertisement

This is the advertisement the ALP is running on Australian television tonight.

The party’s YouTube channel titles the ad as “Raising the standards”.


The Rudd Ministry: Age, Sex, State And Factional Breakdown

This page provides statistical data on the second Rudd ministry.

The new Cabinet, outer Ministry and Parliamentary Secretaries were sworn in on July 1, 2013. There are 30 ministers, comprising 20 members in Cabinet and 10 members in the outer ministry. There are 12 parliamentary secretaries who act as assistants to the ministry. All 42 members are sworn as Executive Councillors.

The first table shows the ministry by age, sex, state, parliamentary chamber and faction.

The second table lists each member of the executive and gives their birthdays, ages, electorates, states, portfolio and faction. It also shows when they were first elected to parliament and when they first joined the executive. A handful of members have also served in state parliaments and this is shown in the table.

I have shown only the main Left and Right factional affiliations, disregarding the mainly state-based sub-groupings.

With the exception of the party leaders, who are shown first, the second table lists members of the executive in order of age. [Read more…]