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Archives for May 2014

Truss: Search Fails To Find Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370

The Deputy Prime Minister, Warren Truss, has announced that the Australian co-ordinated search for Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 in the southern Indian Ocean has failed to find the plane.

Truss

Speaking in the House of Representatives, Truss said the next phase of the search would begin in August and focus on an area that could be as big as 800 kilometres in length by 70 kilometres wide. The search would take approximately 12 months. [Read more…]


Martin Hamilton-Smith, Former South Australian Liberal Leader, Defects And Becomes Minister In Weatherill Labor Government

The former leader of the South Australian Liberal Party, Martin Hamilton-Smith, has defected and will become a minister in the Labor minority government led by Jay Weatherill, securing its position in the hung Parliament.

Defection

The decision was announced at a surprise press conference in Adelaide this morning. Hamilton-Smith will become Minister for Investment, Trade, Defence Industries and Veterans Affairs. He has guaranteed to support the government on Supply and confidence motions. He will sit on the crossbenches and contest his electorate of Waite as in independent Liberal in 2018. [Read more…]


Scott Morrison Releases Robert Cornall Report Into Manus Island And Death Of Reza Berati

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, has released the report by Robert Cornall into last February’s riot on Manus Island and the death of Reza Berati.

Morrison

The report says a Papua New Guinean man who worked for the Salvation Army led the beating that killed the Iranian asylum-seeker Reza Berati. A “brutal beating by several assailants” led to Berati’s death from a severe brain injury. [Read more…]


Busting The Budget: Greens MP Condones Blocking Of Appropriation Bills By Senate

A NSW Greens MP, David Shoebridge, has advocated a parliamentary process that could see the Senate block the government’s Appropriation Bills, a tactic not employed since the constitutional crisis of 1975 that resulted in the dismissal of the Whitlam government.

ShoebridgeShoebridge today released a paper titled: “Busting The Budget – How to Stop the Abbott Budget”. The former barrister, who has been a member of the NSW Legislative Council since 2010, says the Senate could demand amendments to the Budget, as allowed under Section 53 of the Constitution.

Referring to Section 53, Shoebridge says: “In other words, the Senate can demand the Supply Bill be amended by refusing to pass it unless amendments are made. It can provide those amendments to the House of Representatives and force the Abbott government to either accept the amendments or see the budget voted down.”

Shoebridge says most functions of government would be able to continue, even if the Senate refused to pass the two Appropriation Bills. He says public servants are contracted to the Commonwealth and would receive the “necessary wages payments in due course”. He says: “The effect would be to delay the payment of public servants for the period of any impasse in the Senate.”

Shoebridge says the Senate can “choose the grounds on which to fight the budget” by refusing to agree to cuts to local government, social welfare, education, health and the environment. He says this will “force the Abbott government to either agree to these fair amendments or see its entire budget defeated with the consequential shut down of much of the government”.

What is Appropriation?

Governments cannot spend money without the approval of Parliament. Section 83 of the Constitution says that “no money shall be drawn from the Treasury of the Commonwealth except under appropriation made by law”. [Read more…]


Gloria’s Adult Sex Line, Tony Abbott’s Wink, And Politics At Its Most Trivial

Political “news” was dominated today by extensive discussion of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s wink during a talkback call on ABC Radio 774 in Melbourne.

Abbott was interviewed by Jon Faine and then took calls from listeners who mainly complained about last week’s Budget. The interview was also shown on television.

When “Gloria from Warburton”, a 67-year-old pensioner, told Abbott she worked for an adult sex line to make ends meet, the prime minister winked at Faine. “Gloria” attacked Abbott and was told by Faine to “be nice”. [Read more…]


Government’s Values Are Not The Nation’s Values: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen At National Press Club

The Abbott government’s values are not the nation’s values, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has told the National Press Club.

Bowen

Delivering the traditional response from the Opposition to the Federal Budget, Bowen said the “swingeing” cuts “take us to an Australia so much less than what we could do”. [Read more…]


Treasurer Joe Hockey Responds To ACOSS Concerns About Federal Budget

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has appeared at a forum held by the Australian Council of Social Service and taken questions about the impact of the Budget on welfare recipients.

The forum was hosted by ACOSS CEO Cassandra Goldie. It was one of a series of appearances by the Treasurer in the aftermath of last week’s Budget.

Hockey

Hockey repeated his remarks from a 2012 speech about The End of the Age of Entitlement that an expansion of the welfare system has resulted in extending welfare “higher and higher up the pay scale”. [Read more…]


You’ll Pay For Abbott’s Lies: New ALP Budget Advertisement

This is a television advertisement released today by the ALP, attacking last week’s federal Budget.

  • Watch the advertisement (30s)

Premiers Rebel Over Federal Budget Cuts; Demand COAG Meeting Before July 1

The States have rebelled over Federal Government Budget cuts, claiming that the impact will be felt on July 1, and demanding Prime Minister Tony Abbott convene a COAG meeting before then.

Newman

The State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers met in Sydney today at a meeting called by the Queensland LNP Premier, Campbell Newman. The Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, was the only leader not to attend. [Read more…]


Julia Gillard Discusses Education On Al Jazeera

The former Labor Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has given an interview to Al Jazeera about education and aspects of her time in office.

Gillard is currently Chair of the Global Partnership for Education, an international organisation focused on supporting countries’ efforts to educate children from early primary school through secondary school.

After deposing Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on June 24, 2010, Gillard was prime minister for three years until Rudd regained the leadership on June 27, 2013.

  • Watch Gillard (25m)