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Victorian Health Minister Jenny Mikakos Resigns

The Victorian Minister for Health, Jenny Mikakos, has resigned.

Mikakos announced her resignation in a statement posted on Twitter at 9.32am. The statement appears below.

Her resignation follows Premier Daniel Andrews’ appearance at a public hearing of the Hotel Quarantine Inquiry yesterday. Andrews said Mikakos and the Health Department were “accountable” for the decision to employ private security guards at hotels involved in the quarantining of people arriving in Melbourne from overseas.

Mikakos [Read more…]


Morrison and Hunt Announce Vaccine Deal; Andrews Attacked; Call For Improvements to Victorian Tracing and Testing

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt today announced a $1.7 billion agreement for the supply and production of more than 80 million vaccine doses.

“Australia needs some hope today,” Morrison said when announcing the agreement at a Canberra press conference.

Morrison described as “crushing news” yesterday’s announcement in Victoria of an extension to the Stage 4 lockdown and curfew. “The plan that was outlined yesterday, I hope, is a worst-case scenario,” he said. “The mental health of Victorians will be sorely tested.”

Morrison’s escalating attacks on the Victorian government, aided by his Victorian-based treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, highlight the powers of the states in management of the coronavirus and the tensions in the federal compact.

Morrison and Hunt called for improvement to Victoria’s testing and tracing procedures.

Watch Morrison’s press conference (45m):

Listen to the the press conference (45m):

Transcript of press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy.

PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON: Good morning, everyone. We’re about to be joined also by the Minister for Health, who was under different travel restrictions in order to be here today which, as usual, were approved by the relevant authorities here. I’m also joined by Professor Murphy, who you all know well. He’s here today not just in his capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Health, but he is also here as the Chair of the expert panel that has been advising the Australian government on vaccines, which is the principal reason for me being here this morning. [Read more…]


Morrison Government Says Victorian COVID-19 Measures Are Hard And Crushing News

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and senior ministers Josh Frydenberg and Greg Hunt have criticised COVID-19 measures announced today by the Victorian government as “hard and crushing news”.

Whilst generally supportive of measures to rid Victoria of the virus, the three ministers said that “the proposed roadmap will come at a further economic cost.”

In a statement, they say: “Now that we have been advised of the plan and it has been released we will also seek feedback from Victorian business and industry stakeholders to understand their concerns and seek to ensure they are addressed.” They said Victoria’s contact tracing system has to be “strengthened to the highest possible levels”. [Read more…]


Daniel Andrews Announces Slow Road Out of Lockdown for Victoria

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has announced a “roadmap” out of the current COVID-19 restrictions.

The Stage 4 restrictions introduced a month ago, and scheduled to end next weekend, will be extended for another two weeks. The curfew that came into force a month ago has been extended until the end of October, although it will now apply from 9pm until 5am.

Retail shops and hairdressers remain closed until the end of October. Childcare and schools will begin to reopen, and VCE students will sit the General Achievement Test (GAT) in October. People living alone will now be able to establish a “bubble” with one other person.

A series of steps has been set out, with dates ranging into November, each dependent on the numbers of diagnosed COVID-19 cases at each stage. Full details of the changes appear in the documents below.

Watch Daniel Andrews’ Press Conference (113m):

Listen to Andrews (113m):

Statement from Daniel Andrews, Premier of Victoria.

Today is Father’s Day.

And just like Mother’s Day earlier this year, I know there’ll be plenty of families missing each other.

Whether it’s dad or grandpa, baba, papa or cha – today is a day that is supposed to be spent together.

Normally, for us, it’d be lunch with Cath and the kids. And maybe a trip back home to see mum – and visit dad. This year, though, it’s got to be different.

I know that same sense of loss and missing those you love is being felt by every single Victorian family. [Read more…]


Sen. Mitch Fifield (Lib-Vic) – Valedictory Speeches

These are the valedictory speeches for Senator Mitch Fifield, Liberal, Victoria.

Fifield, 52, was appointed to the Senate on March 3, 2004, filling a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Richard Alston.

Fifield served as a minister in the governments of Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison, between September 2013 and May 2019. He was Minister for the Arts and Minister for Communications from 2015 until 2019.

He was Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate between 2017 and 2018, and Manager of Government Business in the Senate from 2018 to 2019.

Prior to entering parliament, Fifield worked for Treasurer Peter Costello (1996-2003) as a senior political adviser. He was also a senior policy adviser to Alan Brown, the Victorian Minister for Transcpot (1992-96).

Fifield, bruised by the leadership turmoil in the Liberal Party in 2018, will soon take up the post of Ambassador to the United Nations.

Listen to the valedictory speeches for Fifield (57m):

Watch the valedictories (57m):

Hansard transcript of valedictory speeches for Senator Mitch Fifield.

The PRESIDENT (18:33): Pursuant to order, the Senate will now move to valedictory statements.

Senator FIFIELD (Victoria) (18:33): Colleagues and friends, doesn’t it go by in the blink of an eye? It was a little over 15 years ago that I rose to speak for the first time in this great chamber. I did so as the 487th senator to serve in this place since Federation. This struck me at the time as being a pretty small number, but since I arrived 120 senators have left this place. I cite these figures to highlight that, while ours may be a select group, our custodianship is transitory. To be chosen by your party peers to be their flag-bearer, to be endorsed by the voters, to be afforded a platform and resources to pursue the national interest, there are few greater privileges. Today, for me, represents the culmination of a decade and a half in the Senate, and the drawing of stumps on a parliamentary and a ministerial career. But today also represents for me the conclusion of 31 years in full-time professional politics and 23 years working in this building. [Read more…]


Sen. Raff Ciccone (ALP-Vic) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech to the Senate by Senator Raff Ciccone, ALP, Victoria.

Listen to Ciccone (28m):

Watch Ciccone (35m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Raff Ciccone, ALP, Victorian.

The PRESIDENT (17:26): Order! Pursuant to order, I now call Senator Ciccone to make his first speech. I ask honourable senators that the usual courtesies be extended to him.

Senator CICCONE (Victoria—Deputy Opposition Whip in the Senate) (17:27): As I stand in this chamber to make my first speech, I wish to pay my respects to First Nations people and to their elders past, present and emerging. I want to acknowledge Senators Dodson, McCarthy and Lambie, as well as colleagues in the other place, Linda Burney and Ken Wyatt, for their ongoing leadership on justice for First Nations people. I also pay tribute to the great elder, artist and social justice advocate from my home state of Victoria, William Barak. Barak was a highly respected man and leader, and one of the forerunners of reconciliation. [Read more…]


Daniel Andrews Claims Victory As Labor Wins Landslide Re-Election In Victoria

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has claimed victory in the state election that as delivered a landslide win to the Labor Party.

The ALP appears to have won up to 8 seats from the coalition and looks likely to hold 55 seats in the 88-seat Legislative Assembly, a victory equal to the Bracks majority in 2006.

Andrews’ 2014 victory gave the ALP 47 seats, an absolute majority of six. It now looks set to govern with a majority of 22.

The government’s two-party-preferred vote is like to be around 57%, exceeding the 54.39% vote achieved by Bracks in 2006.

This is the speech Andrews delivered to supporters in Melbourne.

Watch Andrews (13m):

Listen to Andrews (13m)


Ged Kearney (ALP-Batman) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech of Ged Kearney to the House of Representatives.

Kearney

The new ALP member for Batman was elected at a by-election on March 17, 2018. The by-election was caused by the resignation of David Feeney, due to his inability to provide evidence that he had renounced his dual citizenship with the United Kingdom.

Kearney, 54, was the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) between 2010 and February 2018. She is a former nurse and a former official of the Australian Nursing Federation. [Read more…]


Victorian Speaker Telmo Languiller Resigns Over Expenses Scandal

Telmo Languiller, the Speaker of the Victorian Legislative Assembly, has resigned, in the wake of a scandal over his parliamentary expenses claims.

Languiller

The resignation took place following revelations that Languiller, 59, claimed around $40,000 of expenses for a “second residence” in Queenscliff, an allowance normally only available to MPs who live 80 kilometres from the Melbourne Post Office.

Languiller lives in Footscray, just outside his Tarneit electorate. Tarneit is based around Laverton North, Tarneit and Williams Landing. It is 12 kilometres from Melbourne.

Languiller has represented Tarneit for the ALP since 2014, having previously represented Sunshine (1999-2002) and Derrimut (2002-2014).

In August 2015, Bronwyn Bishop, the then Speaker of the House of Representatives, resigned over an expenses controversy involving the use of a helicopter to travel from Melbourne to Geelong.

Statement by Victorian Legislative Assembly Speaker Telmo Languiller.

Statement From The Member For Tarneit

During the last 48 hours I have had the opportunity to talk with family, colleagues and friends.

As I have already stated in the press and in the Parliament, I accept that my actions do not meet the very high standards that the community expects of its elected representatives.

No matter what difficult personal circumstances I may have been going through, I have to recognise it is an error of judgement and I accept that I should pay the price for that error of judgement.

I understand that offering to repay the allowance is not enough.

For this reason today I contacted the Premier to inform him that I would be resigning as the Speaker of the Parliament.

I regret that this issue, if not addressed, could damage the position of Speaker and the Labor Party that I love.

The Premier has provided me with much support over the last two years as I faced very difficult family challenges and I thank him for that.

I thank all of my colleagues for the support they have given me, and members from all sides of politics.

Once again I reiterate my regret at the actions I have taken and I hope that as a backbencher in the Andrews Labor Government I can rebuild trust by serving my electorate of Tarneit and my community.


Sen. Kimberley Kitching (ALP-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Senator Kimberley Kitching has delivered her maiden speech to the Senate.

Kitching

Kitching, an ALP senator from Victoria, filled a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Stephen Conroy. The preferred candidate of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Kitching’s preselection was controversial inside the Victorian ALP.

A former lawyer and union official, Kitching is 46. Her term expires on June 30, 2022. [Read more…]