Berejiklian Announces Reshuffled NSW Ministry; Stokes To Education, Hazzard Into Health

Gladys Berejiklian has announced her reshuffled ministry, following her elevation to NSW Premier last week.

Berejiklian

Two senior ministers have been dumped from the new ministry. Brad Hazzard will replace Jillian Skinner as Health Minister. Skinner announced her retirement from parliament late last week. Rob Stokes becomes Education Minister, following the dumping of Adrian Piccoli.

Roads minister Duncan Gay has also been dumped. He will be replaced by Melinda Pavey, one of three new women in the ministry. The other new women are Sarah Mitchell and Tanya Davies. The Nationals minister Leslie Williams has lost her position.

Matt Kean joins the ministry in the Innovation and Better Regulation portfolio.

As expected, the new Treasurer will be Dominic Perrottet, the former Finance minister.

Mark Speakman becomes Attorney-General, swapping places with Gabrielle Upton, who takes Speakman’s old portfolio of Environment.

Don Harwin, the current President of the Legislative Council, will become the government leader in the Legislative Council. The new President will be John Akaka, who has been moved out of the ministry.

Berejiklian announced the ministry at a press conference in Queanbeyan with her National Party deputy John Barilaro. The outdoor appearance was punctuated by interjections from protesters objecting to local council amalgamations. [Read more…]


Gladys Berejiklian Becomes 45th Premier Of NSW

Gladys Berejiklian has been sworn in as the 45th Premier of New South Wales, following her unopposed election as leader of the Liberal Party.

Berejiklian

Berejiklian, 46, is the second female premier of NSW and the first female Liberal Party premier in any Australian state.

She was elected unopposed at a meeting of the Liberal party-room this morning. Her deputy is Dominic Perrottet, 33. Their unopposed election followed an agreement between the conservative and moderate wings of the NSW Liberals.

Berejiklian was elected to the Legislative Assembly as the member for Willoughby in 2003. She was Minister for Transport from 2011 until 2015. She became deputy leader of the party in 2014 when Mike Baird replaced Barry O’Farrell as leader. She has been Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations since 2015. [Read more…]


Mike Baird Announces Resignation As NSW Premier

Mike Baird, the Liberal Premier of New South Wales, has announced that he is retiring.

Baird

Baird has been Premier since April 17, 2014, when he replaced Barry O’Farrell, who fell victim to an Independent Commission Against Corruption inquiry.

Baird took the coalition government to its second successive victory at the election on March 28, 2015.

Recent controversies, especially the proposed banning of dog racing, have impacted on the government’s popularity. It lost a by-election in Orange to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers party last year.

Gladys Berejiklian is Baird’s most likely replacement. She is currently deputy leader, Treasurer and Minister for Industrial Relations.

The next premier will be the seventh in twelve years. Labor’s Bob Carr was the last premier to serve a full term. He retired in 2005.

At a press conference in Sydney, a tearful Baird said: “My father and my mother and my sister are going through a very serious health challenge…at times I have been in pain.”

He went on to say: “I didn’t want to become a career politician. I wanted to go as hard as I could for as long as I could and then step aside.” He denied he was cutting and running, citing his three years as Treasurer and three as Premier. He said he made the decision to resign in the last couple of weeks.


Final Two-Party Figures: Coalition Won 2016 Election With 50.36%; Swing To Labor Of 3.13%

Final figures published by the Australian Electoral Commission show that the Coalition won the 2016 federal election with 50.36% of the two-party-preferred vote.

The Liberal-Nationals coalition polled 50.36% of the national two-party-preferred vote. The ALP received 49.64%. There was a 3.13% swing to the ALP nationally, a near reversal of the 3.61% swing to the Coalition in the 2013 election.

Every state and territory recorded a swing against the Coalition. The largest swing was 7.41% in the Northern Territory. The smallest was 1.22% in the Australian Capital Territory. [Read more…]


So When Will The Next Election Be Held?

The Parliamentary Library has published a research paper setting out Federal, State and Local election dates over the next few years.

According to the paper, the earliest possible date for a joint House of Representatives and half-Senate election is August 4, 2018. The last possible date for such an election is May 18, 2019. Assuming no unforeseen events, the next federal election is almost certain to fall between these dates.

The last possible date for a double dissolution is May 4, 2019. A double dissolution of the parliament cannot be called later than February 27, 2019.

The paper shows that there will only be two state or territory elections over the next eighteen months: in the ACT on October 15, 2016 and in Western Australia on March 11, 2017. [Read more…]


2016 Senate Votes: A Higher But Fragmented Vote For Minor And Micro Parties

Aside from the Coalition, ALP and Greens, 47 parties contested the Senate at July’s double dissolution election.

Just 8 of the 47 parties polled above 1% nationally. Five of these 8 parties elected senators: Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (4 senators), Nick Xenophon Team (3), Liberal Democrats (1), Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party (1) and Family First (1). The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, the Christian Democrats and the Animal Justice Party did not elect any of their candidates.

There were 39 parties that nominated candidates in at least one state or territory but failed to poll above 0.74%. Fourteen failed to even reach 0.1% nationally and did only marginally better in individual states. Another 25 polled between 0.14%-0.74%.

The Jacqui Lambie Network was the only party in the latter group that managed to elect a senator. Lambie polled just 0.50% nationally, but she only ran candidates in three states and polled a full quota in her own right in Tasmania. With 8.30% of the vote, Lambie won a place in the first group of senators who will receive six-year terms.

The election of Derryn Hinch in Victoria is somewhat comparable to Lambie. His party only polled 1.93% nationally, and less than 1% in all states except Victoria, where Hinch secured election off a primary base of 6.05%.

The combined Coalition-ALP-Greens vote was 73.62%, down 2.85% from the 2013 result. This delivered 65 of the 76 Senate positions (85.5%) to these three groups.

The remaining 26.38% of the vote was split between 47 parties. These parties won the remaining 11 seats (14.4%).

Independent and ungrouped candidates below-the-line received just 0.18% of the vote.

The figures in the table below are consistent with the previous election. In 2013, there were 46 parties that polled less than 1% each.

The overall proportion of the vote flowing to the Coalition, ALP and Greens fell once again at the 2016 election. It fuels the argument that voters are disillusioned with the major parties and looking for alternatives. However, the figures indicate that this is a simplistic analysis.

Voters have failed to coalesce around more than a handful of minor and micro parties. Outside the top 11 groups, the votes for other parties are derisory. The so-called fragmentation of support for the major political groups is more than matched by a fragmented voter rebellion.

Group voting tickets were abolished for this election. Without them, all but a handful of parties were incapable of winning seats. Those elected more closely represent the parties with the highest primary votes. The Family First party in South Australia elected Bob Day from the lowest primary vote of 2.87%. [Read more…]


The New Senate: The Defeated, The Retired, The New And The Returning

There will be 14 new faces in the new Senate when it meets for the first time on August 30.

This represents 18.42% of the Senate’s 76 members. Each state has 12 senators, whilst the territories have 2 each, who serve terms concurrent with the House of Representatives. The double dissolution meant that all 76 positions were up for election on July 2.

The fourteen new senators include two (Louise Pratt and Don Farrell) who were Labor senators defeated in 2013.

Ten of the fourteen departed senators were defeated in the election, whilst four retired. [Read more…]