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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…]


Pat Conaghan (Nats-Cowper) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the House of Representatives by Pat Conaghan, the Nationals member for Cowper.

Listen to Conaghan (24m):

Watch Conaghan (26m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech to the House of Representatives by Pan Conaghan, Nationals member for Cowper.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Mr Andrews): Before I call the honourable member for Cowper, may I remind the House that this is the honourable member’s first address and that the usual courtesies should be extended to him.

Mr CONAGHAN (Cowper) (11:54): On the foreshore of Port Macquarie town green, adjacent to Lady Nelson Wharf, sits an oversized bronze statue of Australia’s first Prime Minister, Sir Edmund Barton. The figure sits staring out over the Hasting River with a backdrop of the Banda Banda mountain range. Observers might be forgiven for thinking that the statue was contemplating what might have been but for the selfless actions of one man, Francis Clark. [Read more…]


Sen. Susan McDonald (Nats-Qld) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Senator Susan McDonald (Nationals-Queensland).

Listen to McDonald (23m):

Watch McDonald (29m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Susan McDonald (Nationals-Queensland).

The PRESIDENT (16:59): Pursuant to order, we’ll now move to first speeches. I call upon Senator McDonald to make her first speech and ask honourable senators that the usual courtesies be extended to her.

Senator MCDONALD (Queensland) (16:59): It is with much pride that I stand before you to make my first speech in the Senate. It is an incredible privilege to be elected by Queenslanders to be their voice in the Australian parliament in the Senate, the house that makes the ultimate determination on the passage of legislation. I take my seat in this chamber not because of any quota and not because of any faction. I do not believe in identity politics, because that leaves behind people who do not share that same identity. [Read more…]


Scott Morrison Announces Third Term Coalition Ministry

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced his new ministry, following the coalition’s re-election on May 18.

Morrison

The major positions in the government are unchanged, with Josh Frydenberg remaining Treasurer and Mathias Cormann holding Finance. Marise Payne stays as Foreign Minister, whilst Linda Reynolds retains Defence. Peter Dutton remains Minister for Home Affairs, Greg Hunt stays in Health, Simon Birmingham in Trade and Dan Tehan in Education.

Melissa Price has been dropped from the Cabinet after a poor performance in Environment. She will now be Minister for Defence Industry. Sussan Ley returns to the Cabinet in the Environment portfolio.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos has been appointed Ambassador to the United States. He will take up the position when Joe Hockey’s term expires early next year. Sinodinos’ departure from the Senate may allow the Liberal Party to re-appoint Senator Jim Molan, who lost his seat at the election.

Senator Mitch Fifield will leave the Communications portfolio and will be replaced by Paul Fletcher. Fifield will also leave the Senate to take up the post of Ambassador to the United Nations. His Senate casual vacancy could go to Sarah Henderson, who lost her seat of Corangamite at the election. [Read more…]


Preferential Voting In Federal Elections Is One Hundred Years Old Today

Today is the one-hundredth anniversary of the Corangamite by-election, the first time preferential voting was used in the House of Representatives.

Coincidentally, yesterday was the 99th anniversary of the eighth federal election in 1919, and the first to use preferential voting in place of first-past-the-post.

As with many by-elections, including the seven that have been held in 2018, the by-election following the declaration of peace is an interesting study of politics and personality. The three main candidates went on to experience varied political careers.

Based around Colac, Camperdown, Ararat and Warrnambool, the Victorian electorate of Corangamite had been mostly conservative since 1901. The by-election was occasioned by the death of its inaugural member, Chester Manifold (shown below), who twice held the seat, from 1901-03 as a Protectionist and from 1913-18 as a Liberal and Nationalist. [Read more…]


The First Morrison Ministry – Statistical Analysis

This page provides statistical data on the first Morrison Ministry, as announced on August 26, 2018, by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.

The 42-member executive includes 23 Cabinet ministers, 7 members of the Outer Ministry, and 12 Assistant Ministers/Parliamentary Secretaries. These numbers have not changed from the final Turnbull ministry. The Liberal Party has 33 members (79%) of the executive, whilst the Nationals have 9 members (21%).

There is movement in state representation. Whereas NSW had 13 members under Turnbull, it will now have 9, whilst Victoria has 10.

Many members of the Turnbull ministry retain their positions under Morrison. Just one cabinet minister, Michael Keenan, has been demoted from cabinet to the outer ministry.

Following the retirement of Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, Morrison has promoted two women straight into Cabinet from parliamentary secretary positions. Melissa Price takes the Environment portfolio, which has been split from Energy, whilst Karen Andrews becomes Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. The total number of women in the ministry has increased from ten to eleven and the Cabinet from five to six. Women comprise 26% of the executive, up from 24%.

Angus Taylor is also promoted from the outer ministry to take up the Cabinet post of Energy. Paul Fletcher moves into Cabinet as the Minister for Families and Social Services.

The Foreign Minister will be Senator Marise Payne, who moves from Defence. Christopher Pyne moves up to Defence, whilst retaining his post as Leader of the House. [Read more…]


No, William McWilliams Wasn’t The Last Country Party Member From Tasmania

The man shown here is Llewellyn Atkinson. He was the Country Party member for Wilmot (Tas) from 1921 until 1928.

He’s been dead since 1945 and now not even Nationals leader Michael McCormack knows that he was the last Country Party member from Tasmania.

Atkinson
Llewellyn Atkinson; Photo credit: Psephos

Yesterday, Tasmanian Senator Steve Martin joined The Nationals. Elected in a recount of Jacqui Lambie Network votes a few months back, Martin briefly sat as an independent before signing up to the former Country Party.

Martin was welcomed into the party room yesterday as the first-ever Country Party/Nationals senator from Tasmania.

According to an ABC report, McCormack told the media: “The last National Party member in parliament (from Tasmania) was William McWilliams, a former Country Party leader all the way back in 1927.”

Umm, no. McWilliams left the Country Party in 1922 and only returned to Parliament in 1928 as an independent.

The misinformation was dutifully repeated by Guardian Australia and The Australian.

The Land also repeated the fake history and then made it worse by suggesting that McWilliams had been the Country Party’s “inaugural leader in 1903”, at least fifteen years before the party was formed.

In a variation on the theme, The Conversation told us there had been no Country Party representation in Tasmania “since the early 1920s, when William McWilliams was briefly leader of the Country Party”.

Again, no. There were two lower house Country Party members – in Braddon and Wilmot – between 1921 and 1928. [Read more…]