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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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Senator Mehmet Tillem (ALP-Vic) – Valedictory Speech

Senator Mehmet Tillem served just ten months in the upper house.

Tillem

Tillem, a Labor senator from Victoria, was appointed on August 21, 2013 to fill a casual vacancy created by the resignation of David Feeney, who was preselected for the safe seat of Batman in the House of Representatives. [Read more…]


ALP Releases 2013 Election Campaign Review

The ALP has released a review of the party’s losing 2013 federal election campaign.

The 25-page review was conducted by Brisbane City Councillor Milton Dick and Victorian Labor MP Jane Garrett.

The report confirms that the ALP’s internal research in May 2013 “indicated possible swings against us of 18 per cent in many seats which would have seen us hold just 40 seats, not the 55 we retained”. Following the return of Rudd, the party’s two-party-preferred vote “crept from the mid-40s to the high 40s, breaking even at the start of July, although sustaining this vote proved hard”.

The reports says that the change of leadership from Julia Gillard to Kevin Rudd profoundly impacted the campaign strategy and infrastructure. “We know the single biggest reason voters turned away from Labor was internal Party disunity,” they say. Half of the campaign team in Campaign Headquarters left after Gillard was deposed and some sitting members chose not to run. “The infrastructure of the campaign had to be rebuilt in a matter of weeks.”

The review recommends early selection of candidates in marginal seats and the training and establishment of field operations. It calls for a new candidate selection panel to work with local communities to assist with identifying new candidates. [Read more…]


(Not A) Valedictory Speech: Senator John Hogg (ALP-Qld)

The President of the Senate, Senator John Hogg, has delivered his valedictory speech, bringing to an end his 18-year parliamentary career.

Senator Hogg was first elected as a Labor member from Queensland at the 1996 federal election. He was re-elected in 2001 and 2007.

He was Deputy President of the Senate from 2002 and President from 2008. [Read more…]


Valedictory Speech – Senator Mark Bishop (ALP-WA)

Senator Mark Bishop has given his valedictory speech in the Senate chamber, bringing to an end an 18-year political career.

Bishop

In his speech, Bishop supported the supremacy of the House of Representatives over the Senate. He said: “I hold to the view that the party or parties that control a majority on the floor of the House should govern in both places. The same principle should have applied for the last six years and the same principle should apply again when we again occupy the Treasury benches.” [Read more…]


Government’s Values Are Not The Nation’s Values: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen At National Press Club

The Abbott government’s values are not the nation’s values, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has told the National Press Club.

Bowen

Delivering the traditional response from the Opposition to the Federal Budget, Bowen said the “swingeing” cuts “take us to an Australia so much less than what we could do”. [Read more…]


You’ll Pay For Abbott’s Lies: New ALP Budget Advertisement

This is a television advertisement released today by the ALP, attacking last week’s federal Budget.

  • Watch the advertisement (30s)

Daniel Andrews Promises Victorian Royal Commission Into Family Violence

The Victorian Leader of the Opposition, Daniel Andrews, has promised to establish a Royal Commission into Family Violence, if the ALP is returned to government at this year’s election.

AndrewsSpeaking at the ALP’s State Conference today, Andrews said the Royal Commission would be required to report by the end of 2015 and nothing would be off limits.

“The Family Violence Royal Commission will examine our system from the ground up. It will investigate criminal law, corrections and the courts. It will look at support services, the health system, alcohol and drug treatment. It will look at refuges, housing and education. And, of course, it will look at the resources and tools available to our hard-working police officers.”

Andrews said “a Victorian Labor Government will implement its recommendations”. [Read more…]


ALP Will Oppose Budget Measures On Pensions, Youth Support, Family Tax Benefits And GP Co-Payment

Following Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech tonight, the ALP has announced that it will oppose a series of Budget measures in the Parliament.

Statements from shadow ministers Jenny Macklin, Catherine King, Brendan O’Connor and Julie Collins say that the ALP will oppose:

  • Increasing the pension age to 70.
  • Changes to pension indexation arrangements.
  • Forcing young people under 30 to wait 6 months before receiving income support.
  • Moving people under 25 from Newstart to the lower-paying Youth Allowance.
  • Cutting families off Family Tax Benefit B when their youngest child turns 6.
  • The $7 co-payment for visits to a general practitioner.

The ALP and the Greens have a blocking majority in the Senate until June 30. Neither party will oppose the Appropriation Bills, but where separate legislation is required they will have the ability to block measures.

After July 1, the ALP, Greens and the Palmer United Party group will have the numbers to block legislation in the Senate. Alternatively, either the ALP or the Greens will be able to guarantee passage of government bills. If the ALP and Greens are opposed to legislation, the government will need the support of 6 of the 8 crossbenchers.

Statement from Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, and Disability Reform.

LABOR TO OPPOSE ABBOTT’S PENSION ATTACK

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s savage attack on Australia’s pension system and the millions of Australian pensioners who rely on it.

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s decision to increase the pension age to 70. [Read more…]


Budget Reply Speech: Bill Shorten Says Budget Is Built Upon Broken Promises And Lies

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, says the Abbott government’s first Budget will make Australia “colder, meaner and narrower”.

Delivering his Budget Reply speech in the House of Representatives tonight, Shorten said the Budget “is built upon broken promises and lies”.

Shorten

Shorten did not offer any policy prescriptions in his speech. Instead, he committed the ALP to defend Medicare from the co-payment announced in the Budget: “We will fight this wicked and punitive measure to its ultimate end.” [Read more…]


Wayne Swan Attacks Abbott Government As Partisan And Vindictive; Claims Undermining Of Institutions And Conventions Of Government

The former Treasurer, Wayne Swan, has attacked the Abbott government, accusing it of excessive partisanship and vindictiveness, and of being a government intent on attacking key institutions and undermining important conventions of government.

SwanSwan’s attack came in a speech to the Chifley Ideas Circle, in Melbourne.

Swan attacked the partisanship of the Abbott government. He claimed this began on election night last year when Tony Abbott gloated about the ALP’s primary vote. Swan said he thought: “If he can shrink to this occasion, he can shrink to anything.”

The sacking of the Treasury Secretary, Martin Parkinson, was part of a process of undermining the independence of the Public Service, Swan said. He said the attacks on public servants had “a clear political purpose” to threaten current and future public servants. It was part of an assertion by conservatives of their “right to be the permanent government of Australia”. [Read more…]