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!


John Fahey, Former NSW Premier and Howard Finance Minister, Dies, 75

John Fahey, the former Liberal Premier of NSW, and Finance Minister in the Howard government, has died, aged 75.

FaheyFahey was first elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1984 as the member for Camden. He transferred to Southern Highlands in 1988 and was a minister in the Greiner government following the 1988 election.

He became Premier on June 24, 1992, following the forced resignation of Nick Greiner, in the aftermath of an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Coruption.

As premier, Fahey is best remembered for the role he played in securing the 2000 Sydney Olympics for NSW.

Fahey’s Liberal-Nationals coalition was defeated in the 1995 election and Bob Carr became Labor premier. Fahey transferred to the federal division of Macarthur at the 1996 federal election and became Minister for Finance in the Howard government, a position he held until he retired at the 2001 election.

His career after politics is notable for his role as president of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He also served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University. [Read more…]


Hard Quiz: Scomo and Big Mac

One of the questions on tonight’s edition of “Hard Quiz” evoked memories of a different time and the original “Big Mac”.

Hard Quiz

A question on the theme of branding asked what Scott Morrison wanted to call Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, in the light of the success of his own branding as ScoMo.

The answer was “Big Mac”. It clearly didn’t take off. Last week, there was media speculation that McCormack’s leadership of The Nationals may not survive the year. David Littleproud could be deputy prime minister by Christmas. We shall see.

"But the Big Mac some of us remember is Frank McManus, the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) senator from Victoria from 1956 until 1962, and again from 1965 until 1974.

Born in 1905, McManus had a career as a teacher and Education Department official, before becoming Secretary of the Victorian branch of the ALP in 1950. An anti-communist “grouper”, McManus split with the ALP and joined the group that would become the DLP. In the aftermath of the 1955 split, he won election to the Senate at the December election, taking office in July 1956.

McManus was Deputy Leader of the DLP from 1956 until 1973, finally succeeding Vince Gair, a former Labor premier of Queensland, as leader in October 1973. The double dissolution election of May 1974 saw all five DLP senators lose their seats. With the exception of the late John Madigan, who won a Senate seat at the 2010 election, before quitting and setting up his own party, the DLP has never been represented in the Commonwealth parliament since 1974.

This is one of the DLP ads from the 1974 election touting Frank McManus as “Big Mac”.


Kristy McBain (ALP – Eden-Monaro) – Maiden Speech

Kristy McBain has delivered her first speech to the House of Representatives, following her election as the ALP member for Eden-Monaro at a by-election on July 4, 2020.

McBain

McBain’s maiden speech is the first to be delivered in the House since the imposition of COVID-19 rules. Family members were permitted in the public gallery, but not the usual group of supporters and friends. At the end of her speech, colleagues did not hug her or shake her hand. A few bumped elbows. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the ALP gave her “a giant virtual hug”.

McBain, 37, is the former mayor of Bega Valley Shire. In her speech, she described herself as not of “the political class”.

At the by-election held to replace her predecessor, Mike Kelly, McBain polled 35.89% of the primary vote, a fall of 3.28%, in a field of 14 candidates. The Liberal Party candidate, Fiona Kotvojs, polled 38.33% of the primary vote, an increase of 1.32%. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party polled 5.34%. After preferences were distributed, McBain polled 50.39%, to 49.15% for the Liberals, a swing against the ALP of 0.46%.

Watch McBain’s first speech (29m):
[Read more…]


Anthony Albanese Address to the National Press Club

The Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, spoke at the National Press Club in Canberra today, attacking the Morrison government over its handling of aged care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albanese criticised the government over its handling of aged care deaths in Victoria during the coronavirus crisis. He deplored the government’s hostile attitude to superannuation, especially for young people.

Albanese’s appearance came during a parliamentary sitting week in which some members contributed via video link.

Watch Albanese’s Address to the National Press Club (59m):

Listen to Albanese’s Address to the National Press Club (59m):

Official transcript of speech to the National Press Club by Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese. [Read more…]


Graham Freudenberg Tribute – Anthony Albanese

This is the tribute to Graham Freudenberg, delivered to the House of Representatives by the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese.

Freudenberg was an ALP speechwriter and party historian. He began working for the ALP in the 1960s, first for Arthur Calwell and then for Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke. He also wrote for NSW Premiers Neville Wran, Barrie Unsworth and Bob Carr.

Freudenberg died on July 26, 2019, aged 85.

Albanese’s speech opened the adjournment debate in the House on September 10.

Listen to Albanese’s speech (5m):

Watch Albanese (5m):

Hansard transcript of Anthony Albanese’s speech to the House of Representatives paying tribute to Graham Freudenberg.

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Leader of the Opposition) (19:28): Graham Freudenberg climbed inside the soul of the Australian Labor Party in search of the words that lay there. He came back to us with an entire language. When Freudy said the Labor Party was built on speeches, the identity of the master builder was never a mystery to the rest of us. He spoke to us in so many voices, but in each of them he spoke with clarity and power. He moved us, he persuaded us, and in a world where words barely outlast the moment in which they are spoken, he made us remember. [Read more…]


Elizabeth Coker (ALP-Corangamite) – Maiden Speech

The new ALP member for Corangamite, Elizabeth (Libby) Coker, has delivered her first speech to the House of Representatives.

There were twenty-seven new members of the House elected at the May 18 federal election. Coker is the last to deliver her maiden speech. She is the last of nine new ALP members.

A former teacher and journalist, Coker was a councillor on the Surf Coast Shire Council, having been elected in 2008 and serving as mayor in 2009-10 and 2012-13.

Coker unsuccessfully contested Corangamite at the 2016 election. At this year’s election, she defeated the Liberal Party’s Sarah Henderson, who held the seat for two terms from 2013. Henderson is about to be appointed to fill a casual Senate vacancy.

Coker secured a 1.04% swing, winning Corangamite with 51.07% of the two-party-preferred vote. She polled 35.47% of the primary vote, an increase of 1.41%. The Liberal Party polled 42.33% of the primary vote, a decrease of 1.34%.

Corangamite, a Federation seat established in 1901, is in the south-west of Victoria. It extends from the suburbs of Geelong, through Queenscliff and Colac, and through the towns along the Great Ocean Road.

Listen to Coker’s speech (31m):

Watch Coker (31m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Libby Coker, ALP member for Corangamite.

The SPEAKER (17:18): Before I call the honourable member for Corangamite, I remind the House that this is the honourable member’s first speech. I ask the House to extend to her the usual courtesies. [Read more…]


Dr Anne Webster (Nats-Mallee) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the House of Representatives by Dr Anne Webster, the Nationals member for Mallee, Victoria.

Webster succeeded Andrew Broad, who held the seat from 2013 to 2019.

Listen to Webster (23m):

Watch Webster (26m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Dr Anne Webster, Nationals member for Mallee.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Rob Mitchell): Before I call the honourable member for Mallee, I remind the House that this is the honourable member’s first speech. I ask the House and the galleries to extend to her the usual courtesies.

Dr WEBSTER (Mallee) (12:31): Firstly, I would like to acknowledge the Ngunawal and Ngambri people on whose land we meet on today and the 11 traditional owner groups across Mallee. I pay my respects to their elders, past, present and emerging. [Read more…]


David Smith (ALP-Bean) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the House of Representatives by David Smith, the ALP member for Bean, Australian Capital Territory.

As a result of a redistribution, Bean was a new, and third, seat for the ACT at the May 19, 2019 elections. Smith was previously an ACT senator. He filled a casual vacancy in 2018, replacing Katy Gallagher, who had been disqualified under Section 44 of the Constitution. Gallagher returned to her previous Senate position at the 2019 elections.

Listen to Smith (29m):

Watch Smith (32m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by David Smith, ALP member for Bean.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Ms Bird): I congratulate the member on his contribution. Before I call the honourable member for Bean, I remind the House that this is the honourable member’s first speech and I ask the House to extend to him the normal courtesies.

Mr DAVID SMITH (Bean) (11:32): Let me begin by acknowledging that we meet on the most beautiful land of the Ngunawal and Ngambri people; a land I grew up on and know intimately. I pay my respects to the wise and caring elders past, present and emerging. In my time here, I will work tirelessly to ensure that this House does not simply acknowledge Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians but that it actively empowers their communities, including my own here in the nation’s capital. [Read more…]


Dr Daniel Mulino (ALP-Fraser) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Dr Daniel Mulino, the ALP member for Fraser, Victoria.

The electorate of Fraser was a new seat, contested for the first time at the May 18, 2019 elections.

Listen to Mulino (23m)

Watch Mulino (26m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Dr Daniel Mulino, ALP member for Fraser.

Dr MULINO (Fraser) (11:06): Thank you, Deputy Speaker. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and I pay my respects to their elders past, present and emerging. I add my wish to those who have spoken before me that the 46th Parliament can achieve overdue meaningful constitutional recognition for this nation’s Indigenous peoples. [Read more…]


Sen. Nita Green (ALP-Qld) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Senator Nita Green, ALP, Queensland.

Listen to Green (23m):

Watch Green (27m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Nita Green, ALP, Queensland.

The PRESIDENT (17:33): Order! Before I call Senator Green, I remind honourable senators that this is her first speech; therefore, I ask that the usual courtesies be extended to her.

Senator GREEN (Queensland) (17:33): The town of Yarrabah is a short drive from my home in Cairns. It is home to the Gunggandji people, a community of artists, activists, teachers and leaders. It is the place where elders, including Aunty Ruth and Uncle Alf, started to organise a campaign that built toward the 1967 referendum. They understood that the necessary ingredients for change were present in the Australian community and that they could, if they persisted, achieve reform and amend the constitution. In acknowledging the traditional owners of the land we meet on today and the traditional owners of the land I live on in Far North Queensland, I want to pay tribute to Yarrabah, its elders and the activists who refused to take no for an answer. They are ready to lead again and deliver a voice to parliament. I extend to them my support and solidarity. [Read more…]