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Clive Palmer And Andrew Wilkie Vote Against Budget Bills

Clive Palmer and Andrew Wilkie were the only members of the House of Representatives to vote against three Appropriation Bills late today.

WilkiePalmer, the member for Fairfax in Queensland, and Wilkie, the member for Denison in Tasmania, voted against Appropriation Bill No.1, Appropriation Bill No.2 and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill No.1. The first two bills constitute a significant proportion of the Budget, including the “ordinary annual services” of the government, such as public service salaries. They used to be known as the Supply Bills.

In a bizarre media statement, Wilkie called on the Senate to block the Appropriation Bills as a means of forcing the government “back to the drawing board to prepare a fair budget”. Wilkie argued that blocking the bills would not cause a constitutional crisis because pension payments are covered by Standing Appropriations, “and Clive and I did not move to block the other Appropriation Bills”.

Wilkie said: ““If the Senate blocks the key Appropriation Bills the Government could give itself time to remedy the Budget. Interim budgets were implemented in 1984, 1987 and 1996. And even if an election was triggered then so what?” [Read more…]


Cathy McGowan (Ind – Indi) – First Speech

Cathy McGowan was first elected as the independent member for Indi at the 2013 federal election.

McGowan

She defeated the 4-term member Sophie Mirabella in what had always been a safe Liberal Party seat. [Read more…]


AEC Finalises $58 Million Of Election Funding To Candidates In Federal Election

The Australian Electoral Commission has made payments to political parties and candidates totalling $58,076,456.01, following the 2013 federal election.

Election funding is provided to parties and candidates polling at least 4% of the primary vote in House and Senate elections. Each first preference vote was worth 248.800 cents.

The payment is indexed. At the 2010 election, each vote was worth 231.191 cents and a total of $53,163,385 was paid to candidates. [Read more…]


Sophie Mirabella Concedes Defeat In Indi; Palmer Falls Behind In Fairfax

Sophie Mirabella, the Liberal member for the Victorian electorate of Indi since 2001, has conceded defeat to the independent candidate, Cathy McGowan.

MirabellaMirabella’s concession came during the swearing-in of the Abbott government in which Mirabella expected to be a Cabinet minister.

The latest counting in Indi shows McGowan leading Mirabella by 395 votes, or 50.22% of the two-party-preferred vote. There are 414 declaration votes still to count.

In a gracious statement, Mirabella said she would not seek a recount. “I unreservedly accept the decision of the democratic process,” she said.

In other counting today, Clive Palmer has lost the lead in Fairfax. He now trails by 18 votes with 1,786 votes still to count. On the trend over the past week, Palmer is most likely to lose.

In the Victorian electorate of McEwen, the sitting ALP member, Rob Mitchell, is now 312 votes ahead, with 4,344 votes left to count. He is now expected to win, given the trend in recent days. [Read more…]


Rob Oakeshott (Ind – Lyne) – Valedictory Speech

Rob Oakeshott was the independent member for Lyne for five years from 2008 until 2013.

Oakeshott

Oakeshott was previously a Nationals and an independent member of the NSW Legislative Assembly. He won Lyne at a by-election in September 2008, following the retirement of the former Nationals leader, Mark Vaile. [Read more…]


Tony Windsor Attacks Tony Abbott

Tony Windsor, the independent member for New England, has attacked Opposition Leader Tony Abbott during a motion to suspend Standing Orders in Parliament today.


Bob Katter Appears On The Circle


Wilkie: Improper For Parliament To Be Judge & Jury In Thomson Case

The independent member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, has issued a statement on Craig Thomson in which he says it would be improper for the Parliament to act as judge and jury.

Wilkie provides a clear statement of the constitutional situation set out in Section 44 of the Constitution.

A STATEMENT FROM ANDREW WILKIE REGARDING CRAIG THOMSON

Andrew WilkieI think the Craig Thomson saga stinks. But my personal view is largely irrelevant.

According to the principles of natural justice he’s innocent until proven guilty and entitled to a fair hearing. So unless the findings against him have been tested in a properly constituted court, where he has the opportunity to defend himself, we must accord him the presumption of innocence no matter how much that grates.

Moreover according to the Constitution Craig Thomson is eligible to remain in the Parliament until and unless he’s found guilty of a criminal offence punishable by a year or more imprisonment. If his circumstances or any other issue highlights shortfalls in that provision then the Parliament needs to consider seeking to change it.

In fact it could reasonably be argued Craig Thomson has the right to remain in the Parliament free of intimidation, if only by virtue of the Crimes Act 1914 Section 28 which imposes a penalty of three year’s imprisonment for interfering with political liberty.

Frankly the Parliament isn’t a court and for it to think it’s judge and jury when dealing with Craig Thomson would be entirely improper.

What the Parliament should now focus on is restoring the trust and respect of the Australian community. Yes, there is widespread and understandable concern with the controversy surrounding Craig Thomson. But there’s much more concern with all the grand political game-playing going on right now. And there’s much greater interest in the Government getting on and running the country well, and in the Opposition showing it’s a credible alternative.


A (Portentous?) Statement From Andrew Wilkie

Andrew Wilkie, the independent member for Denison, has issued the following statement about his negotiations with the government over its National Gambling Reform Bill.

Wilkie’s reference to “the uncertainty and changing circumstances in the Parliament” is intriguing.

A Statement on Poker Machine Reform

Andrew WilkieI wish to correct a media report today that I’ve extended my deadline for the Federal Government to address my concerns with the National Gambling Reform Bill 2012.

I gave the Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, a deadline of Friday April 20 to respond to my concern the Bill did not deliver on the Prime Minister’s promise that ‘we are ready to flick the switch to a best-practice mandatory pre-commitment system’ on Australia’s poker machines. I received a letter from Minister Macklin late Friday April 20 so that deadline was met.

I am now considering Minister Macklin’s response and taking advice in light of the uncertainty and changing circumstances in the Parliament. In Canberra today I’ve met with representatives from both the Government and the Opposition.

Today’s statement should be read in conjunction with Wilkie’s earlier statement on March 22:

DISCUSSIONS CONTINUE ON GOVERNMENT POKIES REFORM

The Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, continues to work with the Federal Government to try and ensure the National Gambling Reform Bill 2012 is a stepping-stone to meaningful poker machine reform.

Mr Wilkie has had numerous meetings this week with Minister Jenny Macklin in an attempt to resolve two key issues. [Read more…]


Andrew Wilkie Withdraws His Support For Gillard Government

Andrew Wilkie has withdrawn his support for the Gillard minority government.

Andrew WilkieThe independent member for Denison says the problem gambling proposals announced today by Julia Gillard are in breach of the agreement he signed with her after the 2010 election.

However, Wilkie said he will support the government’s problem gambling legislation in the House.

Wilkie said Gillard put the proposals to him last Sunday. He said he wanted to be “a man of my word” but that he didn’t want poker machine reform to “slip through our fingers”. [Read more…]