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Government And ALP Agree On Senate Terms; First Elected To Get 6 Years

It was reported today that the government and the ALP have agreed on the allocation of terms for the new Senate.

The reports say the Coalition and the ALP have agreed that the first six elected in each state will get 6-year terms, whilst the last six will get three-year terms. This is the procedure that has been adopted following previous double dissolutions.

The ALP and the Coalition easily have the numbers to impose this decision on the Senate. Its effect is to give six-year terms to a majority of senators from the Coalition (16 of 28), ALP (13 of 24) and Nick Xenophon Team (2 of 3).

Pauline Hanson and Jacqui Lambie will also get six-year terms. Both polled a Senate quota in their own right.

Only three of the Greens’ nine senators will receive six-year terms. Each of them – Richard Di Natale (Vic), Scott Ludlam (WA) and Peter Whish-Wilson (Tas) – represents a state where the Greens won two places. The other six senators, one in each state, will all face the electorate before June 2019. This means it is all but impossible for the Greens to increase their overall numbers at the next election. Instead, they will face the danger of losing incumbents. [Read more…]


Tasmanian Senate Results Finalised; ALP, Liberals, Greens And Lambie Take All 12 Seats

The Tasmanian Senate election results have been finalised and announced by the Australian Electoral Commission.

The ALP has won 5 seats, returning all of its sitting senators, including Lisa Singh. The Liberals have won 4 seats, but Richard Colbeck has been defeated. The two Greens senators have been re-elected, as has Jacqui Lambie.

Despite being relegated to the sixth position on the ALP ticket, Singh secured a large number of below-the-line votes and was re-elected, displacing John Short, the Tasmanian secretary of the Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union, who held the fifth position.

Richard Colbeck also received a significant number of below-the-line votes but insufficient to get him across the line. Colbeck was Minister for Tourism and International Education in the Turnbull government. He supported Turnbull against Abbott in last year’s leadership contest. His relegation to the fifth position on the Liberal ticket was widely seen as orchestrated by Senator Eric Abetz.

Colbeck’s position will be taken by Jonathon Duniam, 33, the former Deputy Chief of Staff to Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman. [Read more…]


COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation

The Council of Australian Governments met in Canberra and discussed a range of issues, including terrorism, reform of the Federation and the taxation system.

COAG

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held a joint press conference following the meeting. He was accompanied by Premiers Baird, Napthine, Newman, Barnett, Weatherill and Hodgman, as well as the Territory Chief Ministers Gallagher and Giles. Felicity-Ann Lewis represented Local Government. [Read more…]


Sen. Jacqui Lambie (PUP-Tas) – Maiden Speech

Jacqui Lambie, the Tasmanian Palmer United Party senator, has given her maiden speech to the Senate.

Lambie

Lambie, 43, was elected at the 2013 federal election. PUP polled 6.58% of the primary vote and she was elected on preferences. Her term began on July 1, 2014 and will expire on June 30, 2020. [Read more…]


Tasmanian Liberal Senator Stephen Parry Elected President Of The Senate

Senator Stephen Parry has been elected President of the Senate.

Parry, a Liberal senator from Tasmania, replaces ALP Senator John Hogg, who held the post since 2008 and retired on June 30.

A former policeman, funeral director and embalmer, Parry was first elected to the Senate at the 2004 federal election.

Parry defeated Greens Senator Scott Ludlam by 63 votes to 10 in a ballot this morning. There were 2 informal votes and Senator Catryna Bilyk was marked as absent. [Read more…]


Premiers Rebel Over Federal Budget Cuts; Demand COAG Meeting Before July 1

The States have rebelled over Federal Government Budget cuts, claiming that the impact will be felt on July 1, and demanding Prime Minister Tony Abbott convene a COAG meeting before then.

Newman

The State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers met in Sydney today at a meeting called by the Queensland LNP Premier, Campbell Newman. The Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, was the only leader not to attend. [Read more…]


Brian Harradine, Long-Serving Independent Senator Expelled By ALP, Dies, 79

Brian Harradine, an influential independent senator from Tasmania, who was expelled by the ALP in 1975 following a long and bitter dispute in the aftermath of the 1950s Labor Split, has died at the age of 79.

Harradine was elected as an independent senator from Tasmania at the 1975 double dissolution election following the dismissal of the Whitlam Government. He was re-elected five times (1980, 1983, 1987, 1993 and 1999) and served for 30 years. He chose not to contest the 2004 election and left the Senate on June 30, 2005.

At various times, Harradine’s vote was a crucial balance of power factor in the Senate, especially between 1996 and 1999 when he was instrumental in supporting the Wik legislation and voting to privatise Telstra. He voted against the Howard government’s GST legislation in 1999.

A socially conservative Catholic, Harradine was an organiser with the Federated Clerks Union in the 1950s. He was Secretary of the Tasmanian Trades and Labour Council and a member of the Australian Council of Trade Unions executive from 1964 until 1976. He founded the Tasmanian division of the Shop Distributive and Allied Employees Association in 1967. [Read more…]