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ALP Caucus Elects Expanded Shadow Ministry Of 32; Carr Survives

The ALP Caucus has met and elected the Shadow Ministry, following the federal election.

After a split in the Left faction, Senator Kim Carr has survived a proposed demotion and will remain in an expanded shadow ministry of 32.

The factional composition of the shadow ministry is Right 16, Left 15, with one unaligned. There are 19 males and 13 females.

The NSW Right has dumped Sharon Bird and promoted Ed Husic.

In Victoria, the Right has replaced David Feeney with Clare O’Neil, who has just been elected to her second term as member for Hotham.

Following a number of mis-steps in the election campaign, Feeney, the former shadow minister for Defence, is the biggest loser in the Caucus election. [Read more…]


Cormann Says Shorten Is An Economic Girlie Man

The Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, today described Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as an “economic girlie man”.

Cormann

Interviewed on the Sky News Agenda program, Cormann was asked about comments by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a budget surplus was more likely under a Labor government “than this current mob”. [Read more…]


Gillard Offers Western Sydney Motorway Funding With Conditions

On the first full day of her week-long campaign in western Sydney, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised funding for the western Sydney motorway network, provided the state government comes up with an acceptable business plan.

Speaking beside a noisy motorway with Infrastructure Minister Anthony Albanese and Labor MPs from western Sydney, Gillard stipulated several conditions for her government’s support for WestConnex project. [Read more…]


Giving Substance To The Words

There are thirty-two new members of the 43rd Parliament, elected on August 21st. Three of them are returning after a voluntary or enforced absence. As a group, they constitute one-fifth of the House of Representatives, a significant turnover and renewal of the lower house. Many of them will be there for years to come.

Maiden SpeechesOver the past month, I have made a point of watching the maiden, or first, speeches of these members. On the whole, it is difficult not to be impressed by these fledgling parliamentarians.

There has been much comment on the moving speech from the Western Australian Liberal, Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House, but others also delivered considered and thoughtful speeches.

Take Andrew Leigh, the member for Fraser in the ACT. His reputation as an economist and thinker preceded his election. In his speech, he spoke of the importance of education for the nation’s future, of “optimistic experimentation” and of rebuilding “a sense of trust between citizens and politicians”. Leigh’s book, “Disconnected”, has just been published. [Read more…]


Ed Husic (ALP-Chifley) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech of Ed Husic, the ALP member for the New South Wales electorate of Chifley, in the House of Representatives.

Created in 1969, the Chifley electorate is in western Sydney and has only ever been held by Labor members. Husic succeeds Roger Price, who held it from 1984 until 2010.

Husic suffered a 7.34% swing against him in the 2010 federal election, reducing Chifley’s two-party-preferred margin to 62.34%. Nevertheless, the ALP won the seat on primaries with 51.58%.

Husic, 40, has a background as an adviser to the Minister for Communications, Arts and Tourism (1994-96) and Chief of Staff to a NSW State government minister (2005-06). He worked for the Communications, Electrical and Plumbing Union (1996-99) and was the union’s National President (2006-10).

He is the first Muslim member of the Australian Parliament. [Read more…]