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Archives for July 2013

Credit Where Credit Is Due

This advertisement appeared in The Age today.

Placed by the Victorian Women’s Trust and signed by Mary Crooks and Diana Batzias, the advertisement pays tribute to the work of the former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard. [Read more…]

Rudd Announces Federal ALP Intervention To Clean Up Corruption In NSW Branch

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced that the Federal ALP will intervene in the NSW branch of the party in order to establish rules to clean up corruption.

The 30-day intervention will produce new party rules which will exclude property developers from contesting ALP preselections. It will ensure that party members under suspicion of corrupt behaviour are suspended by the party. [Read more…]

Where Are The Seats Rudd Needs To Win?

The “sugar hit” polls are in. It’s 52-48, perhaps 51-49. We have a contest.

Don’t we?

Labor starts with 72 seats, including the notionally independent Dobell. It needs 76 seats in the 150-seat House of Representatives. It needs to hold everything it has and pick up 4 more seats to govern with an outright majority of one.

Let’s assume for the moment that the ALP can hold all its 72 seats. Yes, it’s a mighty big assumption.

Where might four more seats come from?


Labor holds 4 of the 5 seats in the Apple Isle. The only seat it doesn’t hold is Denison. Unlike the other independents who backed Julia Gillard, Andrew Wilkie is trying for another term.

Denison is based on Hobart. It has very strong Labor areas and strong Greens areas. Recent polls suggest Wilkie is polling strongly and has lifted his primary vote from 21.26% in 2010 to the mid-30s now. He could be hard to beat.

Other reports and polls have Labor on the nose in Tasmania. But Labor has won all 5 seats in Tasmania in 3 of the past 5 elections (1998, 2001 and 2007). Beyond that, you have to go back to 1974 to find a fourth occasion.


Labor is at a historically high point in Victoria. It polled 55.31% of the two-party-preferred vote in 2010. Despite losing Melbourne to the Greens, the ALP picked up La Trobe and McEwen, giving it 22 of the 37 seats, or 59.4%.

Assuming it holds those 22, it can look to Melbourne as a possibility. The Liberals are likely to direct preferences to the ALP. Unless Adam Bandt can lift his primary vote by several points above the 36.17% he secured in 2010, he is unlikely to win. [Read more…]

Reserve Bank Leaves Cash Rate Steady At 2.75%

The Reserve Bank of Australia has left interest rates unchanged in its monthly decision announced today.

The cash rate remains at 2.75%. The bank last changed the rate in May.

In a statement, the Governor of the bank, Glenn Stevens, said: “The Board judged that the easier financial conditions now in place will contribute to a strengthening of growth over time, consistent with achieving the inflation target. It decided that the stance of monetary policy remained appropriate for the time being. The Board also judged that the inflation outlook, as currently assessed, may provide some scope for further easing, should that be required to support demand.” [Read more…]

The Nationals – 2013 Federal Constitution

This is the Federal Constitution of The Nationals.

This version of the party’s Constitution was published in June 2013.

The PDF below can be resized and downloaded.


The Second Rudd Ministry

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has announced his new ministry. It includes six women in the Cabinet and five in the ministry.

The ministry was announced at a press conference in Newcastle.

Rudd will have 20 ministers in the Cabinet. It includes Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese who adds Communications to his existing Infrastructure and Transport responsibilities.


The biggest promotion is Senator Jacinta Collins, the government’s new Deputy Leader in the Senate. She becomes Minister for Mental Health and Ageing. [Read more…] Turns 18 is 18 years old. I can’t place the birthday precisely, except that it was somewhere during the mid-year school holidays in 1995. July 1 seems a suitably mid-point date to mark the occasion.

18My first ever web page was a set of teaching notes on the Watergate scandal. They formed the basis of what is now a separate website,

Within weeks of the page appearing, I began receiving emails from American students, teachers, librarians and others seeking information and asking questions. Many just wanted to debate Watergate. They were nicer times online than now.

Sometime during those holidays, I also posted Australian politics material. I think another set of teaching notes on the Whitlam Dismissal might have been the first Australian content. Thereafter the site began to take shape around the structure of the Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) Politics course.

The website was hosted on my NetSpace internet account. Its very clunky URL was

One of my first memories of experiencing the power of the internet was the March 1996 federal election. Online newspapers were just starting around then and not much content appeared online. I started posting a daily election update, a very simple account of what was being reported in the news, supplemented by occasional audio items and election literature. Traffic began appearing almost immediately.

One night during the campaign, a work commitment kept me from posting an update. An Australian living in Sweden emailed me to say he was relying on me for news about the election. Others also contacted me and I began to realise there was an audience out there. It was small but growing. It continues to grow to this day. The internet revolution is still in its early stages. [Read more…]