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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.


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How The Turnbull Government Lost Control Of The House

The absence of nine members of the Coalition caused the Turnbull government to lose control of the House of Representatives for nearly two hours last night.

House

When a procedural motion to adjourn the House was put at 5.00pm, the ALP surprisingly voted No and called for a division, which it won by 69 votes to 67. The ALP then took control of the proceedings of the House and initiated a debate on a Senate resolution calling for a royal commission into the banking system.

Over the next 45 minutes, the government lost two more divisions and did not regain control of the House until 6.50pm, after coalition MPs were brought back into the chamber.

It was the first time since 1962 that a majority government has lost votes in the House of Representatives. Like the Turnbull government, the then Menzies government also governed with a one-seat majority. [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 the first day of the 45th Parliament, August 30, 2016. The Liberal, Nationals and ALP positions are unchanged from those that applied immediately prior to the July 2 double dissolution election. Senate parties with more than one senator have been included for the first time. [Read more…]


Bill Shorten Address To The National Press Club

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has delivered his first major speech since the election, addressing the National Press Club, in Canberra.

Shorten

Shorten maintained his attack on the Turnbull government, reiterated his commitment to defending Medicare, and outlined some Budget measures for the government to consider. [Read more…]


MPs Who Won Their Seats On First Preferences In The 2016 Federal Election

Just under a third of the seats in the House of Representatives were decided on first preference (primary) votes at the 2016 Federal Election.

By definition, these seats are the most secure for the various parties, since preference distribution cannot change the result. The winner has already secured an absolute majority of at least 50%+1 over every other candidate.

Of the 150 electorates, 48 (32%) were won on the primary vote. There were 53 such seats (35%) at the 2013 election. In 2004, 89 seats (59%) were decided on first preferences.

The Liberal Party was most successful, winning 27 of the 48 seats (56%), including 12 in NSW. The Liberal wins covered 4 states.

The Nationals won 5 seats (10%), including 3 in NSW, giving the coalition 32, or 67% of the total.

The ALP won 16 (33%) of the seats, including 10 in NSW. It won 6 seats in Victoria, but failed to win any more in other states or territories.

Seats Won On Primary Votes – 2016 Federal Election
Party NSW Vic Qld WA Total
Liberal Party
12
8
4
3
27
The Nationals
3
2
5
Australian Labor Party
10
6
16
TOTAL
25
16
4
3
48

 
NSW was the only state to have a majority of seats (25 of 47, or 53%) won on primary votes. In Victoria, 16 seats out of 37 (43%) were won on first preferences. Western Australia recorded 19% and Queensland 13%.

The two smallest states, South Australia and Tasmania, had no seats decided on primaries. The four seats in the two territories all went to preferences. [Read more…]


Shorten On Census: A Failure To Take Responsibility And A Failure Of Leadership

The Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, says the census has been a shambles and is a failure of responsibility and leadership on the part of the Turnbull government.

Shorten

Speaking in Melbourne, Shorten said the census has been one of the “biggest shambles” of government in many years. “Turnbull is already talking about blaming someone else,” he said. The government’s “failure to take responsibility is a failure of leadership”.

Shorten called for an independent Senate inquiry. “The only thing you can be sure of is that the heads that won’t roll are the ones sitting at the Cabinet table,” he said. [Read more…]


Shorten Says Incompetent Turnbull Government Is Undermining Faith In Australian Institutions

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, said the Turnbull is incompetent and is undermining Australians’ faith in institutions.

Shorten

Shorten was speaking in Queanbeyan, in the seat of Eden-Monaro, won for the ALP by Mike Kelly at last month’s election. He said he couldn’t believe that the government couldn’t even run a census. It had taken 100 years to build confidence in the census but just one Tuesday night for Turnbull to undermine it. [Read more…]


ALP Shadow Ministry 2016 – Statistical Analysis

This page provides statistical data on the 2016 Shorten shadow ministry.

The 32-member ministry was elected/endorsed by the ALP Caucus on July 22. Portfolio allocations were announced today. The ministry comprises 22 members in the shadow Cabinet and 10 members in the shadow outer ministry. There are 16 shadow parliamentary secretaries who act as assistants to the ministry. These positions were chosen by Shorten.

The first table shows the ministry by age, sex, state, parliamentary chamber and faction.

The second table lists each member of the executive and gives their birthdays, ages, electorates, states, portfolio, faction and when they were first elected to parliament. A handful of members have also served in state parliaments and this is shown in the table.

I have shown only the main Left and Right factional affiliations, disregarding the mainly state-based sub-groupings.

The second table lists members of the three groups in order of age. [Read more…]


Shorten Announces ALP Shadow Ministry Portfolio Allocations

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced his allocation of portfolios for the ALP’s Shadow Ministry.

The 48-member executive includes 22 members in the Shadow Cabinet, 10 in the Shadow Outer Ministry and 16 Shadow Assistant Ministers (Parliamentary Secretaries). The total Caucus numbers are not yet final but are likely to be around 95 members. About half of the Caucus will be members of the shadow executive.

A number of positions in the Shadow Cabinet have changed hands, although Chris Bowen remains Shadow Treasurer. The biggest winner of the reshuffle is the second-term MP Jim Chalmers, who has been made Shadow Minister for Finance and moves into the Shadow Cabinet.

In other changes, deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has been moved into the high-profile domestic portfolio of Education. The party’s Senate leader, Penny Wong, takes Foreign Affairs.

Senator Kim Carr, for whom the shadow ministry has been expanded from 30 to 32, retains the portfolio of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research.

Another significant change sees Michelle Rowland take over Communications, whilst Defence goes to Richard Marles and Senator Stephen Conroy takes on Special Minister of State and Sport. The relatively unknown Queenslander, Shayne Neumann, becomes Shadow Minister for Immigration and Border Protection. [Read more…]


Bill Shorten Re-Elected Unopposed As Federal ALP Leader

Bill Shorten has been re-elected unopposed as leader of the ALP.

ShortenThe announcement was made tonight by Chris Hayes, the member for Fowler and Returning Officer for the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party.

As required by the party’s rules, the leadership of the ALP fell vacant following the party’s defeat in the federal election. Nominations were opened at last Friday’s (8/7/16) Caucus meeting and closed at 6pm today. Shorten was the only nomination.

The Caucus will meet again next Friday, July 22, to elect the deputy leader (currently Tanya Plibersek, the Senate leaders (currently Penny Wong and Stephen Conroy) and the shadow ministry. [Read more…]


ALP Claims Hindmarsh, Now Holds 68 Seats; LNP Takes Lead In Herbert, Last Undecided Seat

10.50pm – The ALP today claimed victory in the South Australian electorate of Hindmarsh, bringing its total to 68 seats.

In the only remaining undecided seat, the LNP took the lead for the first time in the Queensland electorate of Herbert, ahead of the ALP by just 34 votes.

GeorganasOpposition Leader Bill Shorten was in Adelaide to claim victory in Hindmarsh with Steve Georganas (pictured), who returns to parliament as the member for the seat he represented between 2004 and 2013. At the close of counting today, the ALP’s lead was 588 votes, or 50.31%. There are 5,514 votes still to count but there is no doubt that Georganas will win. There are only 791 postal votes remaining and 2,663 absentee votes. The ALP is securing 56.06% of the latter.

In Herbert, the ALP’s lead was finally overtaken by the LNP today and finished at 34 votes. The sitting member, Ewen Jones, now seems certain to be returned for his third term. There are now just 3,197 votes left to count: 1,089 postal, 863 declaration pre-poll, 969 provisional and 276 absent. The LNP is easily winning postals and declaration pre-poll votes, whilst the ALP is just ahead on absents with 51.53%.

If the Coalition wins Herbert, the final tally for the 45th Parliament will be: Coalition 77, ALP 68, Others 5. This is a Coalition majority of four over all other groups and a majority of three on the floor of the House, after a Speaker has been provided. In addition, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has secured agreements with three crossbenchers – Bob Katter, Cathy McGowan and Andrew Wilkie – for support on Supply and Confidence. [Read more…]