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 April 2014

ALP Senator John Faulkner To Retire At Next Election

Senator John Faulkner, a former minister in the Keating, Rudd and Gillard Labor governments, is to retire at the next federal election.

FaulknerFaulkner, long regarded as the ALP’s historian, confidant of leaders and conscience of the party, announced today that he will not nominate for Senate preselection.

The next election is most likely to be held in late 2016. Faulkner’s term expires on June 30, 2017.

Faulkner was first appointed to the Senate in 1989, following the retirement of Arthur Gietzelt. He was elected to successive terms in 1993, 1998, 2004 and 2010.

He held a variety of portfolios in the Keating government between 1993 and 1996, including Veterans’ Affairs, Defence Science and Personnel, Sport and Territories, and Environment. He was Special Minister of State and Cabinet Secretary in the Rudd government from 2007 until 2009, and Minister for Defence from 2009 until 2010. [Read more…]

Kevin Andrews: Civil Society, Social Welfare And The Economy

The Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, has set out a philosophical framework for the Abbott government’s policies on social welfare and the economy.

Andrews delivered the speech to an Aon Breakfast Forum. Aon is one of the world’s largest insurance brokers.

Transcript of speech by Kevin Andrews, Minister for Social Services, to the Aon Breakfast Forum.

AndrewsI’ll begin by expressing my gratitude to Aon Australia, Deloitte Consulting and Macquarie for organising this event under the auspices of your Not-for-Profit Forum.

Thanks to Bill Marynissen of Macquarie for MC’ing this morning’s event.

And a thank you also to the NFP Forum members.

Your dedication to Australia’s not-for-profit sector is both noteworthy and praiseworthy. [Read more…]

ALP To Launch Online Labor Herald News Service; Mainstream Media Filtering Criticised

The ALP is to launch a daily email news service in response to what it says is filtering by the mainstream media.

In an email to ALP members and supporters, the party’s National Secretary, George Wright, said the service would be called “Labor Herald”: “You’ve told us that you can see the Labor message isn’t making it through the mainstream media and we have to produce our own news service.”

Wright said the ALP will spend around $95,000 a year to find someone – “hopefully a news journalist with experience online” – to produce a free daily bulletin for anyone who signs up. He describes the venture as “a bit like Labor’s own Crikey”.

The bulletin will contain “handy facts, interesting articles and video”, said Wright. “It will be no nonsense and it won’t be filtered through the mainstream media.”

The ALP is asking for 350 “foundation subscribers” to donate $22.60 a month to fund the venture. [Read more…]

Infrastructure For The 21st Century: Warren Truss Addresses The National Press Club

The Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, has addressed the National Press Club on infrastructure.


Truss, the leader of The Nationals, is also the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development.

In his speech, Truss reiterated the government’s pre-Budget themes about an ageing population, the level of debt and the need to rein in spending. [Read more…]

W.A. Senate Election Result Now Finalised; Liberal 3, ALP 1, Greens 1, PUP 1

The result of the re-run of the Western Australian Senate election is now final, with the Liberal Party winning three seats and the ALP winning just one.

One position was taken by Zhenya Wang of the Palmer United Party, taking its Senate numbers to three.

The Greens Senator Scott Ludlam was re-elected.

Western Australia joins South Australia in electing only one senator out of six available positions. This is the first time one of the major parties has failed to win two positions since proportional voting was introduced at the 1949 elections. [Read more…]

In Speech To The Sydney Institute, Abbott Signals Temporary Pain In Nation-Building Budget

In a pre-Budget speech to The Sydney Institute, Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reiterated his commitment to keeping the Coalition’s election promises, whilst signalling “temporary pain” in next month’s Budget.


Abbott described the annual financial statement as a “nation-building budget”. He said: “The budget pain will be temporary but the economic improvement will be permanent… This will not be a budget for the rich or the poor, it will be a budget for the country.” [Read more…]

Clive Palmer To Sue Campbell Newman Over Vote-Buying Claim

The leader of the Palmer United Party, Clive Palmer, says he will sue the Queensland Premier, Campbell Newman, over comments he made that Palmer was buying votes.


It was announced yesterday that three indigenous representatives of the Northern Territory Legislative Assembly – Alison Anderson, Larisa Lee and Francis Xavier Kurrupuwuy – would join Palmer’s party. The three members resigned from the Country Liberal Party government a few weeks ago and now sit as independents. Anderson is also a former member of the ALP. [Read more…]

Still No Sign Of Missing Flight MH370; Abbott And Houston Suggest 8 Months For Ongoing Search

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and search co-ordinator Angus Houston say there is still no sign of the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370.


At a press conference in Canberra, Abbott and Houston said the search would now enter a new underwater phase using sonar technology. They said a thorough search of the sea bed could take up to 8 months and possibly longer, depending on weather conditions. [Read more…]

Debt Levy Another Example Of Government’s Twisted Priorities, Says Shorten

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has attacked the proposed debt levy as another example of the Abbott government’s twisted priorities.


The debt levy was floated in weekend newspapers as a possible feature of the government’s first Budget to be delivered on May 13. It is suggested the levy will be imposed on high income earners and would be used to balance budget cuts more likely to hit those on lower incomes. [Read more…]

Bishop And Ronaldson Speak At Gallipoli And Villers-Brettonneux ANZAC Services

The Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, and the Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson, have delivered speeches at ANZAC Day services overseas.


Ronaldson, who is also the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Centenary of ANZAC, spoke at the Gallipoli Dawn Service and the Lone Pine Service, in Turkey.

Bishop spoke at the Dawn Service at Villers-Brettonneux, in France. [Read more…]