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Archives for August 2014

Abbott Announces Assistance For Military Airlift To Kurds; No Request Yet For Further Action

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that Australia will join an airlift of military equipment to the Kurds in northern Iraq.

PM Tony Abbott and CDF Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin at their joint press conference today

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Chief of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, Abbott said the government had agreed to a request from the Obama Administration. The US, UK, Canada, France and Italy will also be involved in the airlift.

Abbott said “no specific request” has been received from the Obama Administration for “stepped up military activity”. He said that “just because we would prefer to stand aside from these conflicts doesn’t mean that these conflicts will stand aside from us”. Any request would be considered according to a range of criteria, including whether there is an achievable overall objective and a clear role for Australian forces. [Read more…]


Rebuilding Australia: Warren Truss Addresses Nationals Federal Council

The Leader of The Nationals, Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss, has addressed the party’s Federal Council meeting in Canberra today.

Abbott-Truss

Truss said The Nationals had made the “strongest contribution to the election of a Coalition Government in some three decades”, with a party room that now numbered 21. [Read more…]


Sen. Janet Rice (Greens-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Janet Rice, the Australian Greens senator from Victoria, has delivered her first speech to the Senate.

Rice

Senator Rice was elected at last year’s election. Her term began on July 1 and will end on June 30, 2020. [Read more…]


Terrorism Threats: ASIO Director-General David Irvine Addresses National Press Club

The Director-General of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, David Irvine, has addressed the National Press Club on the threats posed by espionage and terrorism.

Irvine

Irvine maintained that the threats to Australia are real, but manageable with vigilance and updated intelligence capabilities. He defended the need for a security service, “governed by law with appropriate safeguards”, and argued against any revamping of the existing regime of checks and balances on ASIO. [Read more…]


Paul Keating Launches Cabinet Diaries By Gareth Evans With Another Swipe At Bob Hawke

Paul Keating has renewed his attack on Bob Hawke during a speech at the launch of the Cabinet diaries of Gareth Evans.

Keating

Whilst Evans says in his book that Hawke was out of action for about a month in 1984 over his daughter’s drug addiction problems, Keating claimed that Hawke was “asleep” for about five years until 1989. Keating said Hawke failed to “nourish” the government with ideas and leadership.

Keating said Hawke failed to take a lead on Aboriginal land rights in this time: “Bob always cried for Aborigines but he wouldn’t do anything for them.” [Read more…]


Sen. Joe Bullock (ALP-WA) – Maiden Speech

Senator Joe Bullock was elected at the re-run Senate election in Western Australia on April 5, 2014.

Bullock

The original Senate election of September 7, 2013 was declared void by the High Court after the Australian Electoral Commission lost around 1400 ballot papers during a recount.

Having replaced Senator Louise Pratt in the first position on the ALP ticket, Bullock was the only successful ALP candidate. The ALP also failed to win a second seat in South Australia.

Bullock, 58, an official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association, was a controversial choice for preselection, especially after the publication of a tape of an address he made to the Dawson Society. [Read more…]


Sen. Chris Ketter (ALP-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Senator Chris Ketter was elected as a Labor member from Queensland at the 2013 federal election.

Ketter

Ketter, 53, was previously an official of the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association. He began work with the SDA as a researcher in the early 1980s. [Read more…]


Clive Palmer Apologises To China’s Ambassador For Q&A Outburst

Clive Palmer has apologised to China over his remarks on the ABC program Q&A last week.

Palmer wrote to Mr. Ma Zhaoxu, China’s Ambassador to Australia, to say he regretted “any hurt or anguish” his comments “may have caused any party”.

In his appearance on Q&A, Palmer called the Chinese “mongrels” and “bastards”. He said the “communists” were trying to take over Australia’s ports and steal Australia’s resources. [Read more…]


The Good Fight: Wayne Swan Launches Memoirs Of The Rudd-Gillard Years

The Good Fight, the memoirs of Wayne Swan, Treasurer in the Rudd and Gillard governments, has been launched in Canberra.

Swan

The ALP’s deputy leader and Gillard supporter, Tanya Plibersek, spoke at the launch.

In his speech, Swan concentrated on the work he undertook during the global financial crisis in 2008-09. He said it was now possible to contemplate the Abbott administration as a one-term government. [Read more…]


Christopher Pyne Addresses National Press Club On Higher Education Changes

The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, has delivered an Address to the National Press Club on his higher education reforms.

  • Listen to Pyne’s speech (29m)
  • Listen to Pyne take questions (26m)
  • Watch Pyne (56m)

Transcript of Education Minister Christopher Pyne’s Address to the National Press Club.

Introduction

In the Federal Budget in May, the Government announced a package of changes to Australia’s higher education system. These changes will spread opportunity for students and ensure Australia will not be left behind by cut-throat international competition and disruptive technologies in higher education. [Read more…]