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Archives for May 2016

Australian Parliament Dissolved; Governor-General’s Official Secretary Reads Proclamation

9.00am – The Australian Parliament has been dissolved.

The dissolution is a constitutional process that allows the writs for the July 2 double dissolution election to be issued. The dissolution is undertaken by the Governor-General, acting on the advice of the Prime Minister. The election writs command the Australian Electoral Commission to conduct the election and set out the various dates involved in the election process.

A brief ceremony was held in Parliament House during which the Governor-General’s Official Secretary, Mark Fraser, read the Proclamation dissolving both houses of parliament. Fraser was accompanied by the Clerk of the Senate, Rosemary Laing, and the Clerk of the House of Representatives, David Elder. [Read more…]


Government House Releases Double Dissolution Documents

Government House has released the documents related to today’s announcement of a double dissolution election on July 2.

The documents include the formal advice tendered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and Cosgrove’s written assent to the advice.

A statement from the Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, has also been released. It sets out the legal position of the legislation twice rejected by the Senate and demonstrates how Section 57 of the Constitution has been satisfied.

The documents also show the hand-written annotations of the Governor-General. [Read more…]


Federal Election Announcement And Polling Dates Since 1966

The table on this page shows the announcement dates, polling dates, and the number of campaign days for each federal election over the past 50 years.

Many elections, including the one announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, are preceded by rumours about the date but the only fair comparison of the length of an election campaign is to compare the length of time between the official announcement of the election and polling day.

Turnbull has initiated the longest official election campaign since 1984. It is 55 days (seven weeks and six days) until July 2. In 1984, Bob Hawke’s campaign was 54 days long. It was 53 days in 1972. [Read more…]


2016 Federal Election: The First ALP TV Advertisement

These videos were circulated by the ALP following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a July 2 double dissolution election.

The advertisement emphasises Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s theme of “positive policies”. [Read more…]


2016 Federal Election: The First Liberal Party TV Advertisements

These television advertisements were released by the Liberal Party within minutes of the announcement of the July 2 double dissolution election.

The advertisements were showing on free-to-air and cable television during the evening. [Read more…]


Double Disappointment Day: Greens React To Election Announcement

The Australian Greens have reacted to the July 2 double dissolution election announcement, describing it as a “double disappointment” for Australians.

The Greens says the public deserves better than it is getting from both the Coalition and the ALP.

They say: “Both the Liberals and Labor support new coal mines. They both support detaining innocent people in hellish camps offshore. They both lack the courage to clean up our democracy. They’re a double disappointment and this double dissolution election is an opportunity for voters to demand better.” [Read more…]


Shorten’s Response To July 2 Election Announcement: “We Have Positive Plans”

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has responded to the Prime Minister’s announcement of a July 2 double dissolution election.

Shorten said Australians have “a clear choice” at the election. “A choice between Labor’s positive plans for the future, and three more years of dysfunction, of dithering and of disappointment.”

Speaking in Launceston, Tasmania, Shorten empasised Labor’s “positive plans”. He said he would fight the election on schools and education, as well as health, hospitals and Medicare. “I will fight this election for real action on climate change,” he said. “I will fight this election to help create a vibrant economy, growing jobs, with reasonable conditions, and security for all.” [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull Formally Announces July 2 Double Dissolution Election

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has formally announced a double dissolution election for July 2.

Turnbull

Turnbull made the announcement in Parliament House at 2.30pm, following his visit to the Governor-General at 1.00pm to formally advise the election.

The election will be Australia’s seventh double dissolution election. The last was in 1987, also the only other time an election has been held in July. All of the 150 seats in the House of Representatives and 76 Senate positions will be up for election.

In his announcement, Turnbull emphasised his government’s policies on science, technology and innovation, as well as policies designed to stimulate employment. He said the election offered a choice, “to stay the course” for jobs and growth, or go back to Labor and “stop the transition to the new economy economy dead in its tracks”. [Read more…]


After July 2, When Will The Next Election Be Held?

The July 2 election will be held just 2 years, 9 months and 25 days since the last election on September 7, 2013.

But the 45th Parliament we elect on July 2 won’t make it to three years either. In fact, it could easily be shorter than the 44th.

The double dissolution election that the Prime Minister is expected to formally initiate tomorrow will be held on a date redolent with constitutional and electoral ramifications.

The government has had a trigger for a double dissolution election since June 2014, when the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (Abolition) Bill 2013 [No.2] was rejected by the Senate for the second time. Two more triggers were provided on April 18, 2016, when the Senate rejected the Building and Construction Commission legislation.

Why is the Election Being Held on July 2?

Turnbull did not have to wait for July. He could have held a double dissolution election in March, April or May of this year. He could have held one in October, November or December last year. [Read more…]


Caretaker Conventions During The Federal Election

With the 2016 double dissolution federal election expected to be formally called tomorrow, the Turnbull government will soon go into caretaker mode.

The caretaker period usually begins when the Parliament is dissolved. This could take place as early as Monday, but must take place by close of business on Wednesday in order to satisfy the constitutional requirements of Section 57.

The caretaker conventions are based on the idea that the executive government can no longer he held to account by the Parliament. Therefore, during the election period, the government makes no major policy decisions or appointments and doesn’t enter into contracts, agreements or arrangements that would bind a future government. Any significant decisions that have to be made require consultation with the Opposition. [Read more…]