Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


Become a Patron!


Morrison National Cabinet Meeting Briefing: Bringing Australians Home

This is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conference following today’s meeting of the National Cabinet.

As with previous National Cabinet meetings, the States and Territories have reserved the right to detemine their own timetables for allowing more overseas Australians to return home.

A statement issued by Morrison is obliquely critical of the Victorian government: “Seven of Australia’s eight states and territories are successfully suppressing COVID-19, enabling most Australians in those jurisdictions to live and work in a COVID-safe economy.”

Watch Morrison’s press conference (30m – transcript below):

Listen to Morrison (30m):

Statement issued by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on National Cabinet decisions.

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, recent progress following the Victorian outbreak, easing restrictions (including international border measures), helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment and getting the economy moving again.

National Cabinet continues to work together to address issues and find solutions to the health and economic consequences of COVID-19. Australia has done well on both the health and economic fronts compared to most countries around the world. [Read more…]


Statement on National Cabinet Discussions

The National Cabinet met today via videolink.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison released this statement on National Cabinet discussions and decisions.

Later, Morrison held a press conference to outline the National Cabinet discussions.

Transcript of statement released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victorian outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment, border restrictions and getting the economy moving again.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, provided an update on the measures underway, the latest data and medical advice in relation to COVID-19.

There have been more than 26,000 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 737 people have died. [Read more…]


Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Cabinet Press Conference: An Evolving Federation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference in Canberra today, following a video meeting of the National Cabinet.

In a statement that was both declarative and inspecific, Morrison said that the National Cabinet sought to find a way through the pandemic lockdowns to opening up the economy. “So, we agreed today seven out of eight states and territories, we agreed that before you know what you’re going to do, you’ve got to agree about where you want to get to. And we agreed today with the objective that was set out in the May plan to be at the end of that step three process, which we will seek to ensure is even better defined.”

Morrison also the National Cabinet had to evolve. “So, we’ve decided that this notion of 100 percent, absolute consensus on any issue is not a way that the National Cabinet can indeed work. And so what we will do is we will set out areas where we can come together, and get as many states and territories as possible to come around that agreement. Not everyone has to get on the bus for the bus to leave the station. But it is important the bus leaves the station, and we all agree on that. We all agree on that. Even when, on occasions, some might not want to get on, they know we need to keep moving forward and that is supported, and that’s what we agreed to do today. And I think that is a change in the way our Federation works.”

The National Cabinet is still grappling with the definition of a pandemic “hotspot”. The states have indicated they will not budge on their previous decisions on closing border crossings.

Watch Morrison’s press conference (46m):

Listen to Morrison’s press conference (46m):

Transcript of press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.

PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON: Good afternoon. Australia is something we can never take for granted. And I’m not talking about Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef or the Opera House or the great wilderness across our country, I’m talking about us. I’m talking about our Federation. I’m talking about who we are as a nation. And in every generation, we must continue to define who we are, how we make Australia work, what we hope to achieve, how we protect it, how we make it stronger. And our Federation, some almost 120 years later, remains a happy work in progress. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that happy, but I tell you, the goal is one that I think all Australians would share and that’s what brings a smile to our face when we think of Australia. Not just the place, as wonderful it is, but how we make Australia work. And that is the task of all of those who come and meet in this place, in our Federal Parliament, but it is also the job of all of those who come together in our state parliaments, those who form governments and seek to work together in the ways that our Federation intended. [Read more…]


Prime Minister Scott Morrison Press Conference Following National Cabinet Meeting

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has held a press conference, following the latest meeting of the National Cabinet.

Watch Scott Morrison’s press conference (48m):

Listen to Morrison’s press conference (48m):


Wyatt Promises Indigenous Recognition Referendum Within Three Years

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, has announced that the Morrison government will hold a referendum within three years to entrench Indigenous Recognition in the constitution.

Wyatt
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, speaks at the National Press Club

Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra today, Wyatt stressed that the government would only proceed if it was certain that a referendum would succeed. “It will take time, it will need to be measured,” he said.

“We need to design the right model to progress to a point at which the majority of Australians, the majority of states and territories and indigenous Australians support the model so that it is successful.”

Wyatt said he would work across the political spectrum to develop the model. He said the ALP’s Indigenous spokeswoman, Linda Burney, would be “integral” to the process.

The minister said he was committed to bringing an indigenous voice to parliament, but that this may not be part of the constitutional reform. [Read more…]


Morrison, Albanese And Hurley Speak Following G-G Swearing-In

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese have spoken at ceremonies following the swearing in of the new Governor-General, David Hurley.

All three men spoke of the role and value of the Governor-General’s position.

Hurley was sworn in at a Senate ceremony at 10.30am today. His first constitutional duty will take place tomorrow when he opens the 46th Parliament.

Watch the speeches (28m):

Listen to the speeches (28m):


David Hurley Sworn In As 27th Governor-General Of Australia

Retired General David Hurley has been sworn in as Australia’s 27th Governor-General.

Hurley
David Hurley takes the oath of office as Governor-General

The ceremony to install Hurley in place of Sir Peter Cosgrove took place in the Senate chamber at Parliament House.

Hurley, 65, was the 38th Governor of New South Wales from 2014 to 2019.

Listen to the swearing-in ceremony (16m):

Watch the swearing-in ceremony (16m):


Election Officially Over As Writs Returned By AEC

The 2019 Federal Election is officially over, following today’s return of the writs by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The AEC returned the writ for the House of Representatives elections to the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove. Writs for state senators were returned to state governors. The Senate territory writs were also returned to the Governor-General.

The writ is an official command from the Governor-General to the AEC to conduct elections. Section 12 of the Constitution specifically outlines the requirements for Senate writs.

Now that the election is over, Section 5 empowers the Governor-General to summon parliament. This must occur within thirty days of the return of the writs. The government has already indicated the Parliament will meet on July 2. The Governor-General issued a proclamation to this effect on June 19.

Media release from the AEC announcing the return of the election writs.

Writs Returned


Governor-General Summons 46th Parliament For July 2 Meeting

The Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, has issued a proclamation summoning the 46th Parliament to convene on July 2.

The proclamation was issued on the advice of the prime minister, Scott Morrison, in accordance with the Governor-General’s power under Section 5 of the Constitution.

The first day of the new parliament will be largely ceremonial. All 151 members of the House of Representatives will be sworn in, as will the 40 senators elected on May 18. The other 36 senators, elected in 2016, remain in office until the next election and do not need to be sworn in.

Proclamation issued by the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove.

Proclamation


Senate Refers Nash And Xenophon To High Court; Hinch And Gallagher Safe; Hanson Audit Motion Defeated

The Senate today voted to refer Senators Fiona Nash and Nick Xenophon to the High Court. The court, sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, will rule on their eligibility to nominate at the 2016 election.

The government leader, Senator George Brandis, moved that Senator Nash be referred, in order to determine whether she was a British dual citizen in breach of Section 44(i) of the Constitution.

Senator Xenophon moved to refer himself to the High Court. He delivered a statement explaining that he was born in Australia to Greek and Cypriot parents. He said that “out of an abundance of caution” he had renounced any rights to Greek or Cypriot citizenship but had been advised that he might hold British “overseas citizenship” on account of his father having been a British subject before he migrated to Australia.

The Senate heard a statement from Senator Derryn Hinch (DHJP-Vic). Hinch explained the circumstances in which he was eligible to receive a United States government pension. The government and the ALP have agreed that Hinch’s circumstances do not warrant a referral to the High Court.

The Senate also heard a statement from Senator Katy Gallagher (ALP-ACT). She explained the circumstances which gave rise to the possibility of her holding Ecuadorian and British citizenship. No attempt was made to refer Gallagher to the court.

Senator Pauline Hanson (One Nation-Qld) moved to establish an audit of all members of parliament to clarify their eligibility. The government and the ALP both opposed the motion and it was defeated by 43 votes to 13.

The High Court will hear the dual citizenship cases next month. In addition to Nash and Xenophon, it will hear the cases concerning Scott Ludlam, Larissa Waters, Matthew Canavan, Malcolm Roberts and Barnaby Joyce.

Watch the Senate proceedings (39m)

Listen to the Senate proceedings (39m)

Hansard transcript of Senate proceedings to refer members to the High Court.

Senator BRANDIS (Queensland—Attorney-General, Vice-President of the Executive Council and Leader of the Government in the Senate) (10:07): by leave—I move:

That pursuant to section 376 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918, the Senate refers to the Court of Disputed Returns the following questions— [Read more…]