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Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of the first day of the 2017 sittings of the 45th Parliament. Following the retirement of Senator Stephen Conroy on September 30, 2016, the ALP elected Senator Don Farrell as its deputy leader in the Senate. [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull: Address To The National Press Club

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra. Like yesterday’s appearance by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, the speech marked the official start of the 2017 political year.

Turnbull

Listen to Turnbull’s speech (30m)

Listen to Turnbull take questions (34m)

Watch Turnbull’s entire appearance (65m)

Official transcript of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Address to the National Press Club.

Last week we celebrated Australia Day and around the country 16,000 people from 150 nations chose to become one of us.

Like us holders of the highest office in a democracy – citizen.

Partners in the most successful multicultural society in the world. A beacon of harmony in the midst of diversity, founded on a deep tradition of mutual respect in a world of rising intolerance.

Enterprising, optimistic and resilient. Compassionate and egalitarian. [Read more…]


Turnbull Ministry: Revised Statistical Analysis

This page provides statistical data on the revised Second Turnbull Ministry.

The 42-member executive includes 22 Cabinet ministers, 8 members of the Outer Ministry and 12 Assistant Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries.

Ministerial changes were announced on January 18, 2017, with the relevant swearings-in taking place on January 24. Following the resignation of Sussan Ley, Greg Hunt was moved into the Health portfolio, whilst Senator Arthur Sinodinos took over Hunt’s portfolio of Industry, Innovation and Science. The Cabinet Secretary’s position reverted to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, with the Cabinet then reduced by one to 22 members.

Ken Wyatt was promoted to Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health. He became the first indigenous minister in an Australian federal government.

Michael Sukkar, the Liberal member for Deakin since 2013, became Assistant Minister to the Treasurer and the youngest (35) member of the executive.

The first table shows the ministry by party, age, sex, state and parliamentary chamber.

The second table lists each member of the executive and gives their birthdays, ages, electorates, states, date when first elected to parliament, and portfolio. The lists are ordered by age. [Read more…]


Greg Hunt New Health Minister; Ken Wyatt First Indigenous Minister; Turnbull Minimises Changes Following Ley’s Resignation

Greg Hunt will become the new Health minister and Arthur Sinodinos takes over Industry, Innovation and Science, in ministerial changes announced today by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Turnbull

Turnbull has reduced the Cabinet in size from 23 members to 22. Senator Sinodinos’ previous role as Cabinet Secretary has reverted to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

Ken Wyatt, the Liberal member for Hasluck since 2010, becomes Australia’s first indigenous minister at the federal level, taking over Aged Care and Indigenous Health.

Michael Sukkar, the Liberal member for Deakin since 2013, becomes a parliamentary secretary and takes on the role of Assistant Minister to the Treasurer.

The changes were caused by the resignation last week of Sussan Ley.

The full ministry is listed below.

Media statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Ministerial Arrangements

Today I am announcing changes to the Ministry that I will be recommending to His Excellency the Governor General.

I am pleased to announce that Greg Hunt will become the Minister for Health and Minister for Sport. [Read more…]


Turnbull Meets With Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe have held a press briefing, following their talks in Sydney.

Abe

The two leaders spoke of their commitment to free trade and open markets. Turnbull said that both countries are committed to the Trans Pacific Partnership because “protectionism is not a ladder to get us out of the low growth trap, rather a shovel to dig us deeper into it”.

Abe said: “To ensure free and open international order based on the rule of law, our bilateral cooperation and trilateral cooperation with the United States is of course important.”

  • Listen to the Turnbull-Abe press briefing (21m)
  • Watch the press briefing (21m)

Transcript of remarks by PM Turnbull and PM Abe, in Sydney.

TURNBULL: Welcome, Prime Minister, it is wonderful to be hosting you and your party here in Sydney.

We’ve already had a very good constructive discussion this morning as we walked around beautiful South Head. [Read more…]


Sussan Ley Resigns From Ministry; Turnbull Announces Reforms To Politicians’ Entitlements

The Health Minister, Sussan Ley, has resigned from the Turnbull ministry.

Ley announced her resignation after a week of adverse political reaction to publicity about her travel expenses and visits to the Gold Coast. On one visit, Ley purchased an investment property.

Investigations by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Finance are still underway but it is reported that the prime minister believed Ley’s position had become untenable. He announced her resignation at a press conference called to announce reforms to MPs’ entitlements.

Ley released the text of her resignation letter to Turnbull (see below). She maintained that she had done nothing wrong and was not in breach of the ministerial code of conduct. She said she was resigning because the “ongoing media coverage of politicians’ entitlements has been a diversion from the important agenda we all wish to advance at the start of this vital year for our nation and our region”.

Turnbull announced that the government would establish an independent expenses authority to monitor and adjudicate all claims by politicians. He said the government would continue to implement all the recommendations of the Conde and Tune review of the parliamentary entitlements system.

Sussan Ley’s resignation letter.

Ley

Transcript of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s press conference announcing reforms to MPs’ entitlements.

TURNBULL: Good afternoon.

Today I have received notice from the Honourable Sussan Ley, of her intention to resign as the Minister Health, Ageing and Sport. I want to thank her for her service to the Government as a Minister and as a member of the Executive over many years.

I will make a further announcement about ministerial arrangements next week. In the meantime, the Cabinet Secretary, Senator Sinodinos, will continue to act as Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport. [Read more…]


Sussan Ley Stands Aside From Ministry; Investigation Into Gold Coast Travel Expenses

The Minister for Health, Sussan Ley, has stood aside from the Turnbull ministry, pending an investigation into her travel expenses.

Ley

The Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will investigate her travel expenses in relation to visits to the Gold Coast over the past couple of years. During one visit, Ley purchased an investment property. The Health department will also conduct an investigation.

Ley will stand aside without ministerial pay, until the investigation is completed. Senator Arthur Sinodinos will act as Minister for Health and Aged Care, and Minister for Sport.

At her press conference in Albury, Ley denied any wrongdoing.  In a statement issued yesterday, she apologised for an “error of judgement”.

Ley is the first ministerial casualty of the Turnbull government since last year’s election. After replacing Tony Abbott in September 2015, Turnbull lost three ministers in his first five months as prime minister.

Statement from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Travel claims by the Minister for Health

Today I have asked the Secretary of my Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet for advice in relation to the Statement of Ministerial Standards relating to travel claims made by the Minister for Health, Aged Care and Sport, the Hon Sussan Ley MP. [Read more…]


Treasurer Releases MYEFO – Mid-Year Economic And Fiscal Outlook Projects Lower Growth But Surplus In 2020-21

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, a budget update that projects lower growth but with a return to surplus still forecast in 2020-21.

Morrison

MEYEFO projects that economic growth in 2016-17 will fall from 2.5% to 2%. In 2017-18, it will be 2.75%, down from 3%. The 2018-19 and 2019-20 projections of 3% growth remain.

The government says the underlying cash deficit is expected to narrow from $36.5 billion (2.1% of GDP) in 2016-17 to $10.0 billion (0.5% of GDP) in 2019-20.

Treasurer Scott Morrison told a press conference with Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann this afternoon that in six weeks of parliamentary sittings since the election the government has legislated two-thirds of its budget repair measures.

MYEFO has confirmed that Tony Abbott’s Green Army will be abolished. The government will also save $970 milllion from cuts to family payments.

Tax receipts are down $31 billion from the May Budget forecasts.

Unemployment is predicted to remain at 5.5% through to 2017-18, falling to 5.25% thereafter.

  • Listen to Treasurer Morrison and Finance Minister Cormann at their press conference (44m)
  • Watch the press conference (45m)
16-12-19_myefo

Media release from Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann.

Today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) confirms that the Budget is projected to return to balance in 2020-21.

The underlying cash deficit is now expected to narrow from $36.5 billion or 2.1 per cent of GDP in 2016-17 (down on the $37.1 billion reported in the Budget and PEFO) down to $10.0 billion (0.5 per cent of GDP) in 2019-20. [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull Becomes Australia’s 22nd Longest-Serving Prime Minister

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today becomes the nation’s 22nd longest-serving prime minister.

Turnbull has now served in the position for 1 year, 2 months and 25 days, overtaking Joseph Cook, who took the original Liberal Party to its first-ever election victory in 1913. Like Turnbull in 2016, Cook only secured a one-seat majority. Cook was gone within 15 months.

Turnbull has now broken free of the pack of prime ministers who governed briefly, in three cases as stop-gaps following the death of the incumbent. On June 10, 2017, he will move into 21st position when he overtakes William McMahon, the Liberal PM who lost to Gough Whitlam in 1972 and took the coalition out of government for the first time in 23 years.

December 10 Elections

Today is also the anniversary of three federal elections, in 1949, 1955 and 1977. The first of these saw Robert Menzies begin his record-breaking 16-year term as prime minister. In 1955, he won the fourth of seven consecutive victories, in the aftermath of the disastrous split in the ALP. In 1977, Malcolm Fraser secured his second massive victory against the ALP, in an election that ended Gough Whitlam’s political career.

With three outings, December 10 is the single most popular day for federal elections in Australian political history. Two elections have been held on each of August 21, December 13 and December 16. With a total of 12 elections (26.7%), December is the single most popular month for elections.

The last December election was in 1984, when Bob Hawke won the second of his four victories for the ALP. Hawke turned 87 yesterday.


Susan Kiefel Appointed First Woman Chief Justice Of High Court; James Edelman Fills Vacancy

The Turnbull government has appointed Justice Susan Kiefel as the Chief Justice of the High Court.

KiefelKiefel was first appointed to the High Court in 2007 by the Howard government. She is the longest-serving member of the court and will become the 13th Chief Justice, the first woman Chief Justice and the fourth Chief Justice from Queensland. She will replace Chief Justice Robert French, who was appointed by the Rudd government in 2008.

Kiefel’s appointment means that all three arms – parliament, executive and judicial – of the Australian political system will now have been led by a woman.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General Senator George Brandis also announced that James Edelman will fill the vacant position on the court. Edelman, has been a judge of the Federal Court since 2015, after serving as a Justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court since 2011. He is a former Professor of Law at Oxford University.

Edelman is 42. He turns 43 on January 9. When he is sworn in on January 30, he will become the fourth youngest Justice of the Court, just behind Sir Owen Dixon, who was 42 years, 9 months and 7 days old when he was appointed in 1929. [Read more…]