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Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Cabinet Press Conference: An Evolving Federation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference in Canberra today, following a video meeting of the National Cabinet.

In a statement that was both declarative and inspecific, Morrison said that the National Cabinet sought to find a way through the pandemic lockdowns to opening up the economy. “So, we agreed today seven out of eight states and territories, we agreed that before you know what you’re going to do, you’ve got to agree about where you want to get to. And we agreed today with the objective that was set out in the May plan to be at the end of that step three process, which we will seek to ensure is even better defined.”

Morrison also the National Cabinet had to evolve. “So, we’ve decided that this notion of 100 percent, absolute consensus on any issue is not a way that the National Cabinet can indeed work. And so what we will do is we will set out areas where we can come together, and get as many states and territories as possible to come around that agreement. Not everyone has to get on the bus for the bus to leave the station. But it is important the bus leaves the station, and we all agree on that. We all agree on that. Even when, on occasions, some might not want to get on, they know we need to keep moving forward and that is supported, and that’s what we agreed to do today. And I think that is a change in the way our Federation works.”

The National Cabinet is still grappling with the definition of a pandemic “hotspot”. The states have indicated they will not budge on their previous decisions on closing border crossings.

Watch Morrison’s press conference (46m):

Listen to Morrison’s press conference (46m):

Transcript of press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.

PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON: Good afternoon. Australia is something we can never take for granted. And I’m not talking about Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef or the Opera House or the great wilderness across our country, I’m talking about us. I’m talking about our Federation. I’m talking about who we are as a nation. And in every generation, we must continue to define who we are, how we make Australia work, what we hope to achieve, how we protect it, how we make it stronger. And our Federation, some almost 120 years later, remains a happy work in progress. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that happy, but I tell you, the goal is one that I think all Australians would share and that’s what brings a smile to our face when we think of Australia. Not just the place, as wonderful it is, but how we make Australia work. And that is the task of all of those who come and meet in this place, in our Federal Parliament, but it is also the job of all of those who come together in our state parliaments, those who form governments and seek to work together in the ways that our Federation intended. [Read more…]


The First of the Palace Letters

WhitlamDismissal.com, the companion site to AustralianPolitics, has just published another of the Palace Letters from the Whitlam government’s time in office.

A developing series, each letter will be progressively published with annotations and explanations.

The first letter from Sir Martin Charteris, the Queen’s private secretary, was sent to Sir John Kerr, the newly-appointed Governor-General of Australia, on September 2, 1974. It was in reply to Kerr’s first letter of August 15, 1974.

Charteris letter


The Great Recession: Economic Data

These documents from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and the Reserve Bank of Australia clearly show the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian economy in a range of areas.

The document was issued with the publication of economic data showing that Australia’s economic growth declined by 7% in the last quarter, officially putting Australia in recession.

Both documents can be enlarged to full screen and may also be downloaded.

2020-09-02_economic-activity-data_abs

2020-09-02_chart-pack_rba


The Great Recession: Treasurer Frydenberg’s Reaction To 7% Quarterly Decline In Growth

The recession Australia knew it was in was finally confirmed today, with the release of economic growth figures showing a 7% decline in growth over the past quarter, the largest single quarter decline since The Great Depression of the 1930s.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg held a press conference at 1pm today to lay out the economic data and the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian economy.

Watch Frydenberg’s press conference (46m):

Listen to Frydenberg’s press conference (46m):

Transcript of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s press conference on Australia’s 7% Decline in Economic Growth.

Frydenberg

Today’s National Accounts confirm the devastating blow to the Australian economy from COVID-19. Our record run of 28 consecutive years of economic growth has officially come to an end. The cause; a once in a century global pandemic. The effect; a COVID-19 induced recession.

Real GDP fell in the June quarter by 7 per cent. The largest quarterly fall on record.

Since the series began in 1959, the previous largest fall was 2 per cent in 1974.

Behind these numbers are heartbreaking stories of hardship being felt by everyday Australians as they go about their daily lives.

Be it the tourism operator in Cairns, the tradie in Melbourne, the café worker in Adelaide or the domestic flight attendant in Sydney, they are all affected by COVID-19.

Today we are reporting these devastating numbers. Australians are living them. [Read more…]


Kristy McBain (ALP – Eden-Monaro) – Maiden Speech

Kristy McBain has delivered her first speech to the House of Representatives, following her election as the ALP member for Eden-Monaro at a by-election on July 4, 2020.

McBain

McBain’s maiden speech is the first to be delivered in the House since the imposition of COVID-19 rules. Family members were permitted in the public gallery, but not the usual group of supporters and friends. At the end of her speech, colleagues did not hug her or shake her hand. A few bumped elbows. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese said the ALP gave her “a giant virtual hug”.

McBain, 37, is the former mayor of Bega Valley Shire. In her speech, she described herself as not of “the political class”.

At the by-election held to replace her predecessor, Mike Kelly, McBain polled 35.89% of the primary vote, a fall of 3.28%, in a field of 14 candidates. The Liberal Party candidate, Fiona Kotvojs, polled 38.33% of the primary vote, an increase of 1.32%. The Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party polled 5.34%. After preferences were distributed, McBain polled 50.39%, to 49.15% for the Liberals, a swing against the ALP of 0.46%.

Watch McBain’s first speech (29m):
[Read more…]


Anthony Albanese Address to the National Press Club

The Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese, spoke at the National Press Club in Canberra today, attacking the Morrison government over its handling of aged care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Albanese criticised the government over its handling of aged care deaths in Victoria during the coronavirus crisis. He deplored the government’s hostile attitude to superannuation, especially for young people.

Albanese’s appearance came during a parliamentary sitting week in which some members contributed via video link.

Watch Albanese’s Address to the National Press Club (59m):

Listen to Albanese’s Address to the National Press Club (59m):

Official transcript of speech to the National Press Club by Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese. [Read more…]


Historic Parliamentary Sitting As Members Given Remote Access Because Of COVID-19

A historic meeting of the Australian Parliament began today, with members of both houses now able to participate remotely in proceedings, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The House of Representatives met at 10.00am and formalised the arrangements.

Members are able to participate from their electorate offices via the parliament’s video system. They cannot vote remotely.

The government and opposition agreed on the format of remote access in recent weeks. Negotiations were handled by the Leader of the House, Christian Porter, and the Manager of Opposition Business, Tony Burke.

Statements from House Speaker, Tony Smith, and the Senate President, Scott Ryan, appear below.

Watch the opening proceedings in the House of Representatives (24m):
[Read more…]


1990 Federal Election Interviews Just Posted

I’ve just posted a new video of interviews with the political leaders during the 1990 federal election.

Six days before the election, Richard Carleton interviewed Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer Paul Keating, followed by Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock and Shadow Treasurer John Hewson.

In the light of subsequent events, the interviews are interesting because it isn’t often that the two most important members of the ministry or shadow ministry appear together in this format.

In this case, Hawke would win the election but be overthrown by Keating in December 1991. The defeated Peacock stood down and Hewson became leader, before going on to lose the 1993 election against Keating. Hawke left parliament in 1992, Peacock in 1994.

Note: Major additions to AustralianPolitics.com will be made over coming months. A systematic program of digitising old videotapes is underway, with the aim of ensuring that my entire collection of thousands of items is digitised before it’s too late.

The work on this website now takes place only because of support from Patreon subscribers. Please consider subscribing to keep the website alive. Patrons can contribute as little as $1/month. Small donations are the lifeblood.

One-off donations through PayPal can also be made.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison Press Conference Following National Cabinet Meeting

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has held a press conference, following the latest meeting of the National Cabinet.

Watch Scott Morrison’s press conference (48m):

Listen to Morrison’s press conference (48m):


Joe Biden: Acceptance Speech for Democratic Party Presidential Nomination

Joe Biden has delivered his acceptance speech following his official nomination by the Democratic Party as its candidate for President at the 2020 election.

The party’s nominating convention was due to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but the coronavirus pandemic forced its abandonment. Biden’s speech was delivered by video during a two-hour televised broadcast.

Watch Biden’s speech (25m)

Listen to Biden’s speech (25m)

Transcript of Joe Biden’s speech accepting the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party.

Good evening.

Ella Baker, a giant of the civil rights movement, left us with this wisdom: Give people light and they will find a way.

Give people light. Those are words for our time.

The current president has cloaked America in darkness for much too long. Too much anger. Too much fear. Too much division.

Here and now, I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. I will be an ally of the light not of the darkness. [Read more…]