Can You Help?

This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


Become a Patron!


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…]


ALP And Greens Condemn Government Over Audit Commission Report

The ALP and the Greens have both condemned the government, following today’s release of the National Commission of Audit’s report.

Shorten

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, and the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen, have held a press conference in Sydney. Shorten described the Audit report as “a blueprint of Tony Abbott’s broken promise for his Budget”. He said it was a plan to put up taxes and cut services. [Read more…]


Direct Action: Greg Hunt Releases Emissions Reduction Fund White Paper

The Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, has released the federal government’s Emissions Reduction Fund White Paper.

Hunt

A White Paper is an official statement of government policy.

The White Paper sets out the government’s “direct action” policy and what Hunt says is a “cost effective, practical and simple approach to reduce our national emissions without a multi-billion dollar carbon tax”.

The Emissions Reduction Fund is the “centrepiece” of the government’s “efforts to tackle climate change”. Hunt says the government remains committed to the abolition of the carbon tax and a 5% reduction in emissions by 2020. [Read more…]


Government Tightens Rules On Parliamentarians’ Expenses Claims

The federal government has strengthened the rules governing parliamentarians’ expenses.

The Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson, has announced that from January 1, 2014 MPs whose travel claims need adjustment will pay a 25% penalty on top of the adjustment. Mandatory training will be provided to parliamentarians and their staff if more than one claim needs adjustment within a financial year.

The government has tightened rules on travel entitlements for members’ families. It has also stipulated that overseas travel may not be taken first class. Members’ names may also be tabled in parliament if they do no “substantially comply” within a reasonable time with requests for further information.

The government will also ban MPs from employing relatives in their electorate offices. Those who currently do so have until January 1 to make alternative arrangements.

The changes have been announced just days before the new parliament meets for the first time. They follow several weeks of revelations about claims by MPs. Prime Minister Tony Abbott has repaid over $1,700 in travel and accommodation expenses he claimed for attending the weddings of Sophie Mirabella and Peter Slipper in 2006.

Adam Bandt, acting leader of the Australian Greens, said the government was only acting under pressure and its changes were the “bare minimum”. He called for an Integrity Commissioner and a parliamentary “entitlements adviser”.

Statement from the Special Minister of State, Senator Michael Ronaldson.

STRENGTHENING THE RULES GOVERNING PARLIAMENTARIANS’ BUSINESS EXPENSES

Direct contact between citizens and their elected representatives is an important part of our democracy.

The system of funding the work costs of members and senators in carrying out their responsibilities is complicated by the fact that there is no set job description for the role of a parliamentarian. As independent assessments show, a parliamentarian’s day is routinely long, busy and varied. [Read more…]


Abbott And Hunt Release Carbon Tax Repeal Legislation

The Abbott government has released an exposure draft of its carbon tax repeal legislation.

The legislation will be open for consultation until November 4, ahead of the return of Parliament on November 12.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Environment Minister Greg Hunt made the announcement at a press conference in Canberra today. They reaffirmed their commitment to introducing the repeal legislation as the first item of business in the new Parliament. [Read more…]


Christine Milne And Adam Bandt Re-Elected To Lead Greens

Senator Christine Milne has been re-elected unopposed as leader of the Australian Greens in the federal parliament.

At a party-room meeting this morning, the first since the federal election, Adam Bandt was also returned unopposed as deputy leader of the party.

Milne

On current figures, not yet finalised, the Greens polled 1,108,612 votes in the House of Representatives, or 8.63% of the primary vote, a loss of 3.13% from 2010. [Read more…]


Searching For The Nation’s Soul: Greens Launch Campaign For Federal Election

The Australian Greens have launched their campaign for the federal election at a rally in Canberra today.

The party’s leader, Senator Christine Milne, was introduced by the deputy leader and member for Melbourne, Adam Bandt.

Milne

Milne told the gathering: “There are moments in history when people are so troubled that they search for their nation’s soul… One such moment is now. At this election, we as a people have to choose between the best in us and the worst in us.” [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of June 27, 2013. On June 26, 2013, Kevin Rudd defeated Julia Gillard for the ALP leadership. Anthony Albanese replaced Wayne Swan as deputy leader. Senator Penny Wong replaced Senator Stephen Conroy as Senate leader and Senator Jacinta Collins became deputy leader. [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

These tables are correct as of February 4, 2013. On February 2, Senator Chris Evans announced his retirement from politics. The ALP Caucus elected Senator Stephen Conroy as his replacement on February 4. Senator Penny Wong became the deputy leader.

House of Representatives
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Australian Labor Party Julia Gillard
Member for Lalor (Vic)
Wayne Swan
Member for Lilley (Qld)
Liberal Party Tony Abbott
Member for Warringah (NSW)
Julie Bishop
Member for Curtin (WA)
National Party Warren Truss
Member for Wide Bay (Qld)
Senator Nigel Scullion
Northern Territory
Australian Greens Adam Bandt
Member for Melbourne (Vic)



The major parties also elect leaders and deputy leaders in the Senate. These people form part of the leadership group and act as the focal point for their parties in the upper house.

For example, the current ALP leader in the Senate, Chris Evans, is referred to as the Government Leader in the Senate. Senator Eric Abetz is referred to as the Opposition Leader in the Senate.

Senate
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Australian Labor Party Senator Stephen Conroy
(Victoria)
Senator Penny Wong
(South Australia)
Liberal Party Senator Eric Abetz
(Tasmania)
Senator George Brandis
(Queensland)
National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce
(Queensland)
Senator Fiona Nash
(New South Wales)
Australian Greens Senator Christine Milne
(Tasmania)



Jenny Macklin: I Could Live On The Dole

This is a video clip showing Families Minister Jenny Macklin saying that she could live on the $35 a day Newstart allowance.

Macklin’s office released a transcript of her media conference which depicted the question and answer as inaudible. [Read more…]