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Wyatt Promises Indigenous Recognition Referendum Within Three Years

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, has announced that the Morrison government will hold a referendum within three years to entrench Indigenous Recognition in the constitution.

Wyatt
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, speaks at the National Press Club

Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra today, Wyatt stressed that the government would only proceed if it was certain that a referendum would succeed. “It will take time, it will need to be measured,” he said.

“We need to design the right model to progress to a point at which the majority of Australians, the majority of states and territories and indigenous Australians support the model so that it is successful.”

Wyatt said he would work across the political spectrum to develop the model. He said the ALP’s Indigenous spokeswoman, Linda Burney, would be “integral” to the process.

The minister said he was committed to bringing an indigenous voice to parliament, but that this may not be part of the constitutional reform. [Read more…]


Linda Burney (ALP-Barton) – Maiden Speech

Linda Burney, the first indigenous woman to be elected to the House of Representatives, delivered her maiden speech today.

Burney

Burney, 59, is the ALP member for Barton (NSW). She was previously a member of the NSW Parliament, a minister in the last Labor government, and deputy leader of the Opposition between 2011 and 2016. [Read more…]


New Members Of The House Of Representatives

When the new House of Representatives meets for the first time on August 30, it will have 39 new members, 26% of the chamber’s 150 members.

The ALP will have 23 new members, the Coalition 15 and the Nick Xenophon Team 1. There are 25 males and 14 females.

The ALP will have 23 new faces, exactly one-third of its 69 MPs. This includes 16 members in seats the ALP won from the Coalition and includes two returning members, Mike Kelly in Eden-Monaro and Steve Georganas in Hindmarsh. The other 7 new members have replaced retiring sitting members.

The Liberal Party will have 11 new members (19.7%), including Julia Banks, the member for Chisholm, who represents the only seat the Coalition took from the ALP in the election. Ted O’Brien regained the seat of Fairfax from the Palmer United Party. Nine other Liberals replace retiring members. [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…]


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…]


Barry O’Farrell Resigns After Handwritten Thank-You Note For Wine Is Tendered At ICAC

The Liberal Premier of New South Wales, Barry O’Farrell has resigned, after a handwritten thank-you note for a 1959 bottle of Grange was tendered at ICAC.

The thank-you note was handed to ICAC this morning by Nick Di Girolamo, the chief executive of Australian Water Holdings. Yesterday, O’Farrell denied receiving the gift or phoning Di Girolamo to thank him.

O'Farrell

Thank-you note

O’Farrell described his behaviour as a “massive failure of memory”. [Read more…]