Culleton Ineligible To Nominate For Senate, High Court Rules; Recount Likely To Elect Peter Georgiou

The High Court has ruled that Rodney Culleton was ineligible to be nominated for last year’s Senate election.

Culleton’s position as a senator is now vacant and the High Court has ruled that a recount of votes should take place. This is most likely to result in the election of Peter Georgiou, Culleton’s brother-in-law and the number two candidate on the Western Australian One Nation ticket last year.

The decision by Justices Kiefel, Bell, Gageler, Keane and Nettle was unanimous. Justice Nettle offered reasons which varied in some respects with his colleagues (see decision below).

Sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, the court held that at the time of the election Culleton was convicted and subject to be sentenced for an offence punishable by imprisonment for one year or longer. Under Section 44(ii) of the Constitution, this renders Culleton ineligible to be chosen as a senator.

The court rejected arguments that the subsequent annulment of the conviction made him eligible to stand. The decision says: “It is evident from the terms of s 44(ii) that the framers of the Constitution were concerned to ensure that not only should a person who has already been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of one year or longer be disqualified from being chosen or from sitting as a Senator; so too should a person who is able to be so sentenced. The circumstance sought to be guarded against was that such a person might not be able to sit and should for that reason not be able to be chosen.” [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull: Address To The National Press Club

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra. Like yesterday’s appearance by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, the speech marked the official start of the 2017 political year.

Turnbull

  • Listen to Turnbull’s speech (30m)
  • Listen to Turnbull take questions (34m)
  • Watch Turnbull’s entire appearance (65m)

Official transcript of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s Address to the National Press Club.

Last week we celebrated Australia Day and around the country 16,000 people from 150 nations chose to become one of us.

Like us holders of the highest office in a democracy – citizen.

Partners in the most successful multicultural society in the world. A beacon of harmony in the midst of diversity, founded on a deep tradition of mutual respect in a world of rising intolerance.

Enterprising, optimistic and resilient. Compassionate and egalitarian. [Read more…]


Bill Shorten: National Press Club Address

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra, marking the start of the Australian political year.

Shorten

The Labor leader delivered a populist speech that drew heavily on current themes arising from the election of President Donald Trump. Shorten talked of the alienation of voters from the political class and promised to “put people first, politics last”.

  • Listen to Shorten’s speech (35m – transcript below)
  • Listen to Shorten take questions (31m)
  • Watch Shorten’s entire appearance (67m)

Official transcript of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Address to the National Press Club.

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, I pay my respects to elders past and present.

And a big welcome back everyone, hope you enjoyed the break.

This week marks the beginning of the political contest for 2017. [Read more…]


Susan Kiefel Sworn In As 13th Chief Justice Of The High Court Of Australia

Susan Kiefel has been sworn in as Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia.

Kiefel

Kiefel was sworn in at 10am in a ceremony at the High Court in Canberra. The Attorney-General, Senator George Brandis, dressed in wig and gown, addressed the court following the ceremony.

Kiefel, 63, is the 13th Chief Justice of the court since it was established in 1903. She succeeds Robert French, who served from 2008.

Under of the Section 72 of the Constitutution, Kiefel must retire by January 17, 2024, when she turns 70. [Read more…]


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…]


President Donald Trump’s Inaugural Address

Following his swearing-in as the 45th President at noon on January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump delivered his inaugural address.

The full text as prepared is shown below.

  • Watch President Trump’s Inaugural Address (18m)
  • Listen to Trump’s speech (18m)

Prepared text of President Donald Trump’s inaugural address.

Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans, and people of the world: Thank you.

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and to restore its promise for all of our people.

Together, we will determine the course of America and the world for years to come.

We will face challenges. We will confront hardships. But we will get the job done.

Every four years, we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power, and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. [Read more…]