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Sen. Janet Rice (Greens-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Janet Rice, the Australian Greens senator from Victoria, has delivered her first speech to the Senate.

Rice

Senator Rice was elected at last year’s election. Her term began on July 1 and will end on June 30, 2020. [Read more…]


Christine Milne Delivers Greens Response To Federal Budget; Pledges To Oppose Key Measures

The Leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has delivered her party’s response to this week’s federal Budget.

Speaking in the Senate, Milne committed the Greens to opposing key measures in the Budget, including changes to unemployment benefits for young people and university fees.

Milne said the Budget was written for “big-business, big miners, big polluters, big banks, who are all completely let off the hook”. She described the Budget’s spending cuts as “brutal”. [Read more…]


MYEFO: Greens Say Focus Should Be On How To Raise Revenue, Call For End To Panic On Debt

The Australian Greens have reacted to the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) by calling for an end to the panic about debt in favour of a new focus on how to raise revenue to fund services and jobs.

Milne

“Now is not the time to be talking about spending restraint because of a panic on debt,” said Greens leader Senator Christine Milne.

“The old parties wasted the resources boom,” Milne said. “A serious look at raising revenue is necessary to address subdued unemployment, an ageing workforce and increased demand for services.”

  • Listen to Milne (12m)

Text of media release from the Australian Greens.

End panic on debt and let’s talk about revenue and jobs – Greens

Responding to the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, Australian Greens Leader Christine Milne has warned against deep budget cuts and says the focus should now be on how we can raise revenue to spend on public services and the infrastructure of the future. [Read more…]


The Greens On Abbott: 100 Days, 40 Failures; Secretive, Cruel And Chaotic

The Abbott government’s first 100 days have been characterised by failure, secrecy, cruelty and chaos, according to the Australian Greens.

Milne

In a media release today, Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said “the Abbott government’s true agenda was hidden behind cheap rhetoric”.

Milne said “the Abbott government has tried to claim a so-called mandate to take Australia back to the last century”. She said “the Australian people didn’t sign up to this and the Greens will stand against it”. [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…]


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 October 14, 2013. They take account of the change of government following the September 7 election and leadership ballots in all parties as a result of the election. [Read more…]


Electoral Commissioner Orders Senate Recount In Western Australia

The Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, has ordered a recount of Senate votes in Western Australia.

The Commissioner has instructed the Australian Electoral Officer for Western Australia to conduct a full recount of all above the line ballots and all informal ballots. This represents over 96% of all votes casts. It excludes ballots where electors voted below the line.

The decision follows a request by two defeated candidates, Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and the Australian Sports Party’s Wayne Dropulich. At issue is a 14-vote margin that resulted in a preference flow that defeated Ludlam and Dropulich and elected the ALP’s Louise Pratt and the Palmer United Party’s Zhenya Wang. [Read more…]


Electoral Commission Refuses Request For Senate Recount In W.A. – Greens To Appeal

The Australian Electoral Commission has denied requests from the Greens and the Sports Party for a recount of the Senate ballot in Western Australia.

The count was finalised yesterday, resulting in the defeat of Greens Senator Scott Ludlam and the elimination of Sports Party candidate Wayne Dropulich. Both candidates requested a partial recount.

The AEC said neither request for a recount identified “any specific issues” that would “have warranted the conduct of a recount”. It appears that neither candidate has been able to find any irregularities in the count and their appeal is simply based on the fact that the result was close.

In a statement tonight, the defeated Greens senator, Scott Ludlam, said he would appeal the decision. Under Section 278(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act, the appeal has to be lodged with the Electoral Commissioner, Ed Killesteyn, before the declaration of the poll. The declaration is scheduled for 11.30am tomorrow, W.A. time.

Ludlam said: “As none of the elected senators will be required to take their seats in the Senate before 1 July 2014, there is time to ensure the result is correct.”

The AEC’s Western Australian State Manager, Peter Kramer, explained the decision to deny a recount on ABC radio tonight.

Media release from the Australian Electoral Commission.

Australian Electoral Commission statement: WA Senate recount requests declined

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has released its decisions today on the WA Senate recount requests submitted by the Australian Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich and the Greens (WA) candidate, Scott Ludlam.

The AEC received the two requests prior to the formal declaration originally scheduled for 3.00pm (WST) on Wednesday 2 October 2013.

The requests for a recount did not identify any specific issues, which would have warranted the conduct of a recount and as a result the requests have been denied.

Mr Dropulich and Senator Ludlam have the option of appealing the decision to the AEC Electoral Commissioner under Section 278(2) of the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 before the declaration of the poll.

The formal declaration of the poll for the WA Senate election has been rescheduled for 11.30am on Friday, 4 October 2013 at Level 13, 200 St Georges Tce Perth. All candidates, media and the public are invited to attend.

Media release from the Australian Greens.

Greens will appeal Electoral Commission decision

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam will appeal the Australian Electoral Commission’s decision this afternoon not to recount Senate votes despite a difference between the respective parties at last count of just 14 votes.

“There have been Senate vote recounts both in this state and other jurisdictions when the margin has been far greater, and in more than one occasion those re-counts have led to a different result,” Senator Ludlam said.

“In such a marginal decision, with such important consequences for two Senate seats, only a recount can ensure that the votes receive the scrutiny needed to exclude human error.

“As none of the elected senators will be required to take their seats in the Senate before 1 July 2014, there is time to ensure the result is correct.”


The New Senate Numbers And The Abbott Government

As counting of the 2013 federal election winds down, the Senate election result is now clear.

There is a small chance of change in Western Australia where the Greens have asked for a recount following Scott Ludlam’s defeat.

Because of the fixed terms of the Senate, it will be another nine months before the complexion of the Senate changes. Current senators remain in place until June 30, 2014.

The current numbers are:

The Current Senate – until June 30, 2014
Party/Group No.
Coalition
34
A.L.P.
31
Greens
9
D.L.P. (Madigan)
1
Independent (Xenophon)
1
TOTAL
76

In this configuration, the Greens hold the balance of power. The Greens-ALP combination has a blocking majority. It ensures that Abbott government legislation to repeal the carbon pricing arrangements and the mining tax will most likely be rejected by the Senate.

This will be the state of the parties in the Senate after July 1, 2014:

The New Senate – from July 1, 2014
Party/Group No.
Coalition
33
A.L.P.
26
Greens
9
Palmer United Party
3
D.L.P. (Madigan)
1
Liberal Democrats (Leyonhjelm)
1
Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party (Muir)
1
Family First (Day)
1
Independent (Xenophon)
1
TOTAL
76

 

In this configuration, the ALP-Greens combination becomes less important and power shifts to a collection of minor groups and independents. [Read more…]


Greens Seek Recount After Scott Ludlam Loses Western Australian Senate Seat

The Greens have asked for a recount after its one-term Western Australian Senator Scott Ludlam lost his seat today.

LudlamPredictions since election night have held that Ludlam and the Australian Sports Party candidate, Wayne Dropulich, would win the final two seats in WA. However, when the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) computer distributed preferences today, the ALP’s Senator Louise Pratt and the Palmer United Party’s (PUP) Zhenya Wang emerged victorious.

Ludlam’s defeat was caused by a 14 vote difference between Australian Christians and Shooters and Fishers candidates that ensured preferences flowed to the ALP and PUP ahead of the Greens and Sports Party.

Clive Palmer’s party will now have 3 senators after next July. Palmer has won the House of Representatives seat of Fairfax by 7 votes but a recount will begin tomorrow. PUP won 709,076 primary votes – 5.49% – nationally in the House. In the Senate, it won 658,892 votes, or 4.91%. By any measure, this is the most successful performance by a new party since the Australian Democrats won two Senate seats in 1977.

The final result in Western Australia sees the re-election of the Liberal Party’s two senators, David Johnston and Michaelia Cash. However, the Liberals have lost one seat by failing to replace retiring Senator Alan Eggleston.

Aside from incumbent Senator Louise Pratt, the ALP has also elected Joe Bullock. Pratt’s narrow victory reflects the low ALP vote of just 26.59%. [Read more…]