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Archives for April 2016

Victorian Budget Delivered: Big Surplus, Capital Works, Transport Projects

The Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, has delivered the State Budget for 2016-17.

The Budget has a surplus of $2.9 billion, with surpluses averaging $2.1 billion a year over the forward estimates. Net debt is forecast to gall from 5.9% of GSP this year to 4.8% by June 2020.

The Budget includes capital funding – “the most..ever” – for new and upgraded schools, and for road and rail projects. There is up to $12.4 billion in new capital investment, and an average of $7.4 billion a year t0 2020.

The Budget allocates $572 million for action on family violence. [Read more…]


ALP Releases Climate Change Policy

The ALP has released its climate change policy for the 2016 federal election.

The policy includes a commitment to 50% of electricity coming from renewable energy by 2030.

The Climate Change Action Plan includes a commitment to an emissions trading scheme but without a fixed price. The policy says: “Labor’s plan does not include a carbon tax or a fixed price on pollution.”

The policy booklets are shown below.

Email statement to supporters by Bill Shorten.

Shorten

Today I launched Labor’s plan to tackle the devastating consequences of climate change.

The cost of refusing to take real action on climate change will be shocking for Australia and our economy. It will hurt the economy, mean more pollution and less investment. The Labor Party I lead will not stand by and let that happen. [Read more…]


Bronwyn Bishop Defeated In Liberal Party Mackellar Preselection; Jason Falinski Ends 29-Year Parliamentary Career

After 29 years in Parliament, Bronwyn Bishop has lost her preselection to Jason Falinski, following a Liberal Party ballot in her Mackellar electorate tonight.

FalinskiBishop faced three opponents, Jason Falinski, Walter Villatora and Bill Calcraft. Falinski was seen as the candidate of the moderate wing who control the NSW Division of the Liberal Party, whilst Villatora has connections to the right-wing and Tony Abbott.

There were three ballots. The first ballot results were: Bishop 37, Falinski 40, Villatora 12 and Calcraft 2. Falinski defeated Bishop 51-39. It appears that the hard right votes for Villatora ended up with Falinski, not Bishop. [Read more…]


Duncan McGauchie Wins Liberal Party Preselection For Murray

Duncan McGauchie has won Liberal Party preselection for the Victorian rural electorate of Murray.

McGauchieHe will be seeking to replace Sharman Stone, the retiring Liberal member who has held the seat since 1996.

McGauchie is a “policy and communications expert” who has worked as an adviser to former Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu.

He is currently employed by Newgate Australia, which describes itself as “working at the interface of business, politics, markets and media”, with a “proven methodology..based around objective research, which guides strategy and campaign development and implementation”.

His Newgate profile says his areas of expertise “include issues management, government relations, public policy and regulatory communications, stakeholder engagement and corporate communications”.

McGauchie is also a member of the advisory board of the Broadmeadows Schools Network.

Murray is a northern Victorian electorate, bordering the Murray River, that includes towns such as Boort, Shepparton, Cobram, Echua. Kyabram, Mooroopna, Murchison, Nathalia, Rushworth, Violet Town, Wedderburna dn Yarrawonga. It borders Mallee to the east, Wannon, Bendigo and McEwen to the south, and Indi to the east. [Read more…]


Julian Leeser Wins Liberal Preselection For Berowra; Succeeds Philip Ruddock

Julian Leeser has won Liberal Party preselection for Berowra and will succeed the long-serving Philip Ruddock at this year’s election.

LeeserLeeser easily won the contest against three other candidates, winning the votes of 97 of the 114 preselectors. Robert Armitage won 10 votes, John Bathgate 4 and Nick McGowan 3.

Leeser is currently Director of Government Policy and Strategy at the Australian Catholic University, a position he took up in 2012. Prior to that, he was Executive Director of the Menzies Research Centre (2006-12). He worked as an advisor to Philip Ruddock when he was Attorney-General in the Howard government (2004-06). He also worked as an advisor to Workplace Relations Minister Tony Abbott in 2001, before spending two years as a solicitor with Mallesons Stephen Jaques (2002-04). He was an Associate to High Court Justice Ian Callinan in 2000.

Leeser was a Councillor with the Woollahra Municipal Council (1995-99). He came to public notice during the 1999 Republic referendum when he was a member of the Prime Minister’s “No Case” committee. [Read more…]


Bob Baldwin, Liberal Member For Paterson, Announces Retirement

Bob Baldwin, the Liberal member for Paterson, has announced that he will retire at this year’s election.

BaldwinBaldwin, 60, won Paterson in 2013 with 59.78% of the two-party-preferred vote. He secured 53.86% of the primary vote. However, under the recent NSW redistribution, Paterson is now notionally a Labor seat, with a margin of 0.4%. Baldwin’s announcement is not altogether unexpected.

The abolition of neighbouring Charlton, held by the ALP’s Pat Conroy, led to Jill Hall retiring from Shortland, allowing Conroy to transfer there and thereby allowing Joel Fitzgibbon to remain in Hunter, which now absorbs much of the old Charlton.

The ALP has preselected Meryl Swanson to contest Paterson.

Baldwin first won the NSW electorate in 1996 but lost it at the 1998 federal election, before regaining it in 2001. The seat takes in Neath, Kurri Kurri and Williamtown in the south, and along the Hunter River and Port Stephens in the north. It includes Maitland, Nelson Bay and Raymond Terrace. [Read more…]


Parliament Prorogued; New Session Starts On Monday

The Australian Parliament was prorogued at 5pm today.

The prorogation was authorised by the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, on March 21, on the advice of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The prorogation takes place under Section 5 of the Constitution. The prorogation documents are shown below.

A new session of Parliament will now start on Monday, April 18, at 9.30am. It will be opened by the Governor-General.

The prorogation means that the Notice Paper in each house has been wiped clean. All business listed on the Notice Paper has been terminated, although the Senate’s Standing Orders allow for the work of committees to continue.

The Parliament has been prorogued one minute before dissolution at each election since 1993, a practice that had not been followed since the 1920s. The last prorogation for a reason other than an election was in 1977, when it was used to enable the Queen to open Parliament.

The Turnbull government has released a programme of business for the Senate to consider from Monday. It includes the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 [No.2], the Building and Construction Industry (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 [No.2] and the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014 [No.3]. The draft programme is shown below. [Read more…]


Three New Political Parties Registered With Electoral Commission

Three new political parties have been registered this week with the Australian Electoral Commission.

The new parties, with website links, are:

In addition, the Shooters and Fishers Party has been renamed as the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party. [Read more…]


High Court To Hear Challenge To Senate Voting Reforms On May 2

The High Court will hear the constitutional challenge to the Senate voting reforms on May 2.

The Chief Justice, Robert French, fixed the hearing date during a directions hearing today.

The challenge has been brought by South Australian Family First Senator Bob Day. His barrister is Peter King, the former Liberal MP who was defeated by Malcolm Turnbull in a 2004 preselection battle in Wentworth.

During the 22-minute hearing, it was agreed that an affidavit by Malcolm Mackerras, the election expert and psephologist, would not be used in the hearing.

The May 2 hearing is the day before the Federal Budget is delivered. It is nine days before the May 11 deadline for the calling of a double dissolution election.

The transcript of today’s hearing appears below. [Read more…]


Written Submissions Lodged For High Court Challenge To Senate Voting Reforms

These are the written submissions lodged with the High Court by Senator Bob Day and the Commonwealth, as part of the hearing of a challenge to the Senate voting reforms.

Day, a Family First senator, has brought the challenge. The matter is listed at 10.00am today for the Court to make directions as to referral to a Full Court. [Read more…]