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Archives for June 2014

McClure Social Welfare Reform Report Calls For Simplified Payments System

The Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews, has released a review of the social welfare system which calls for simplified system of four basic payment types.

The report, by Patrick McClure, calls for: a tiered Working Age Payment; a Disability Support Pension; an Age Pension; and a Child Payment.

Statement from the Minister for Social Services, Kevin Andrews.

Interim Report Proposes a Simplified Welfare System

Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews says an interim review of Australia’s welfare system has put forward a simplified payments structure with four basic payment types, among other potential reforms. [Read more…]


Liberal Party Releases New Anti-Shorten Advertisement

The Liberal Party has released a new advertisement attacking Bill Shorten.

The ad was unveiled at the end of the Liberal Party’s Federal Council meeting in Melbourne.

The ad is titled: “Bill Shorten – No Solutions, No Plan, No Idea”.

  • Watch the ad (3m)

Tony Fitzgerald Warns Of Abuse Of Power In Queensland

Tony Fitzgerald, the man who led the inquiry into corruption in Queensland’s Bjelke-Petersen government in the 1980s, has issued a statement warning against the abuse of power and describing Queensland today as “effectively a single-party State”.

FitzgeraldFitzgerald, a former judge of the Federal Court of Australia, said the first term of Campbell Newman’s government has seen attacks on the judiciary and judicial independence, emasculation of the anti-corruption commission, and interference with the electoral system.

The Liberal National Party government has “confirmed the critical importance of adequate checks and balances”, Fitzgerald says.

The Fitzgerald Inquiry of the 1980s contributed to the resignation of Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen, the jailing of Police Commissioner Terry Lewis, and the resignation and jailing of several Cabinet ministers.

Text of statement issued by Tony Fitzgerald.

Statement from Tony Fitzgerald

Queensland is extremely vulnerable to the misuse and abuse of power. There are almost no constitututional limits on the power of the State’s single house of parliament. Unless there is an effective parliamentary opposition to advocate alternative policies, criticise government errors, denounce excesses of power and reflect, inform and influence public opinion, the checks and balances needed for democracy are entirely missing. [Read more…]


Tony Abbott’s Speech To The Liberal Party Federal Council: “We Are The Party Of Menzies, Fraser And Howard”

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has addressed the Liberal Party’s Federal Council meeting in Melbourne.

Abbott

In its 70th anniversary year, Abbott described the Liberal Party as “the party of Menzies and Fraser and Howard”, a rare reference to Fraser, who no longer belongs to the party and is a persistent critic of its drift to the political right. [Read more…]


The Result Of Clive Palmer’s Al Gore Stunt: Carbon Tax Abolished, ETS Dead

The cynicism of today’s stunt by Clive Palmer became clear late tonight as the Palmer United Party leader confirmed that his senators will vote for the abolition of the carbon tax and the emissions trading scheme.

Palmer

Earlier today, Palmer called for the establishment of an emissions trade scheme (ETS) that would only come into force once China, the United States, the European Union, Japan and Korea had also taken action to establish similar schemes. International action of this order is all but impossible to imagine. [Read more…]


Greg Hunt Says Carbon Tax Set To Be Abolished But Government Will Negotiate With Palmer

The Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, says the carbon tax is now set to be abolished but the government is willing to negotiate with Clive Palmer over savings guarantees for consumers.

Hunt

Hunt held a press conference at 6.45pm tonight, an hour after Clive Palmer announced that the Palmer United Party (PUP) would support the immediate abolition of the carbon tax.

However, in response to Palmer’s call for a zero-rated emissions trading scheme, Hunt reiterated the coalition’s position. He said: “An ETS is not our policy but we haven’t seen the amendments yet. It has not been and is not our policy.” [Read more…]


Senator Don Farrell (ALP-SA) – Valedictory Speech

Don Farrell was elected as a Labor senator from South Australia at the 2007 federal election.

Farrell

Farrell served just one term. He was one of six ALP senators to be defeated at the 2013 federal election. His term expired on June 30, 2014. His place was taken by Bob Day of the Family First party.

Farrell had originally been preselected to the number one position on the ALP Senate ticket for the election, but he relinquished it to Penny Wong, out of deference to her status as a senior minister. However, the ALP only polled 22.66% of the primary vote and won just one seat. [Read more…]


Senator Mark Furner (ALP-Qld) – Valedictory Speech

Mark Furner was elected to the Senate as a Labor member from Queensland at the 2007 federal election.

Furner

Furner served just one six-year term and was one of six ALP senators defeated at the 2013 federal election. His term finished on June 30, 2014. He was replaced by Glenn Lazarus from the Palmer United Party. [Read more…]


With Al Gore On Hand, Clive Palmer Says PUP Will Vote To Abolish Carbon Tax But Supports An ETS

With former US Vice-President Al Gore standing next to him, Clive Palmer has announced that the Palmer United Party senators will vote with the government in the Senate to abolish the carbon tax.

Palmer

Palmer says PUP will move an amendment to require companies to pass on to consumers savings from the abolition of the carbon tax. [Read more…]


Senator Helen Kroger (Lib-Vic) – Valedictory Speech

Senator Helen Kroger was a one-term senator who was elected in 2007 and was the only Coalition senator to be defeated at the 2013 federal election.

Kroger

Kroger was one of the final three senators to give valedictory speeches on June 25, 2014. The others were ALP Senators Mark Furner and Don Farrell. Following their speeches, nine other senators paid tributes to their departing colleagues. [Read more…]