Can You Help?

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.


Become a Patron!


Julia Banks (Lib-Chisholm) Turns Independent

The member for the Victorian electorate of Chisholm, Julia Banks, has announced that she is resigning from the Liberal Party to sit as an independent in the House of Representatives, plunging the Morrison government further into minority status.

Banks had previously announced that she would not contest Chisholm again as a Liberal. She has suggested she might run in Chisholm, or elsewhere, as an independent.

Banks won Chisholm at the 2016 federal election. It was the only seat the Liberal Party captured from the Labor Party. The ALP’s Anna Burke had held the seat since 1998.

A redistribution means the redrawn Chisholm will be based around the suburbs of Box Hill, Blackburn, Mount Waverley and Glen Waverley. It has a notional Liberal majority of 3.4%. Last Saturday’s Victorian state election saw the seats of Box Hill and Mount Waverley lost by the Liberal Party to the ALP with swings of 7.5% and 6.0% respectively. The Blackburn-based electorate of Forest Hill, whilst retained by the Liberal Party, registered a 3.0% swing to the ALP.

Bank’s announcement in the House came at the beginning of the day’s proceedings. It coincided with a press conference by Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The coalition government now holds just 74 of the 150 seats in the House, having already lost former PM Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth to Dr Kerryn Phelps, also an independent. There are now seven crossbenchers in the House. The ALP has 69 seats.

  • Listen to Banks’ statement (5m)
  • Watch Bank’s statement (5m)

Hansard transcript of statement by Julia Banks, former Liberal member for Chisholm.

Ms BANKS (Chisholm) (12:01): Mr Speaker, on indulgence, may I make a personal statement?

The SPEAKER: Yes, the member for Chisholm may proceed.

Ms BANKS: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Following the leadership coup in August, I announced my decision that I will not recontest the seat of Chisholm at the next election as a member of the Liberal Party. I’ve always put the people before the party. After being a Labor held seat for 18 years, the people of Chisholm elected me as I promised them that I would be their representative under the leadership of the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and former deputy leader and foreign minister Julie Bishop—both visionary, inspiring leaders of sensible, centrist, liberal values with integrity and intellect, and with significant support from my local community, and across Australia, as leaders of our nation. [Read more…]


Fact Checking Mr. Windsor: Only One Majority Parliament In The First 20 Years Of Federation?

In an election pitch for his return as an independent member in the NSW electorate of New England, Tony Windsor last night told viewers of the ABC’s QandA that country voters needed to use their clout “more strategically”.

Windsor

In putting his argument for having more independent members in minority parliaments, Windsor claimed that “in the first 20 years of Federation there was only one majority parliament”. [Read more…]


Geoff Brock Accepts Ministry From Jay Weatherill And Delivers Minority Government To Labor In South Australia

South Australia will have a minority Labor government with the support of independent member Geoff Brock, who has accepted a Cabinet post as Minister for Regional Development.

Brock-Weatherill

Brock, the member for Frome, announced his decision this morning at a joint press conference with Premier Jay Weatherill. It comes after yesterday’s announcement that the other independent member, Bob Such, is to take two months sick leave from the new parliament. [Read more…]


Rob Oakeshott (Ind – Lyne) – Valedictory Speech

Rob Oakeshott was the independent member for Lyne for five years from 2008 until 2013.

Oakeshott

Oakeshott was previously a Nationals and an independent member of the NSW Legislative Assembly. He won Lyne at a by-election in September 2008, following the retirement of the former Nationals leader, Mark Vaile. [Read more…]


A Scenario For Tony Abbott And A Motion Of No-Confidence

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s intention to give notice of a no-confidence motion when Parliament returns this week has always been a potentially messy business.

A brief explanation: the government controls the Notice Paper in the House of Representatives. This is the document which outlines the order and timing of debate, including the order of legislation.

Whilst there are set times when the Opposition can bring on debate on particular issues (such as in regular Matters of Public Importance), if it wants to move a specific motion it needs to first move a motion for the Suspension of Standing Orders.

Abbott

Abbott attempted to do this during Question Time on March 21, whilst the government was preoccupied with the leadership spill that wasn’t. He sought to suspend standing orders in order to move: “That this House declares no confidence in the Prime Minister.”

The motion was carried by 73 votes to 71 but was defeated because a suspension of standing orders requires an absolute majority of 76 votes.

Abbott then announced that he would give notice of a no-confidence motion when the House resumes tomorrow. He didn’t say whether it would be no-confidence in the government or the prime minister. The difference is technically significant but may not necessarily be crucial to the outcome of any vote. [Read more…]


Senator Christine Milne’s Address To The National Press Club

The leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has addressed the National Press Club and announced that the party’s agreement with the Gillard minority government is at end end.

Milne [Read more…]


Greens End Agreement With Gillard Government

The leader of the Australian Greens, Senator Christine Milne, has ended the party’s agreement with the Gillard minority government.

Speaking at the National Press Club today, Milne said the ALP had walked away from the agreement and “into the arms of the big miners”. [Read more…]


Rob Oakeshott Responds To Gerard Henderson On Minority Government

Rob Oakeshott has shot back at Sydney Morning Herald columnist Gerard Henderson over his comments on minority government.

OakeshottThe member for Lyne, one of the rural independents whose support is crucial to the survival of Julia Gillard’s minority Labor government, was responding to yesterday’s column by Henderson which argued that “the Australian body politic is clearly afflicted by the minority obsession”.

Henderson claimed: “For more than two years, a number of poor political decisions and misjudged statements can be directly attributed to the minority obsession’s prevalence. Most recently, some of the assessments of the Federal Court in Ashby v Commonwealth of Australia.”

In his response, Oakeshott said “the dreamers for majority” had failed to adjust to the “new normal” of multi-party democracy. Oakeshott defended his decision to support a minority Labor government, even when “the ALP has gone missing on some key items agreed to”.

He wrote: “Better education and health polices, a market-based emissions trading scheme being implemented, a rate of return and equity being delivered through a national broadband strategy, progress on bi-partisan recognition of Australia’s 40,000-year-old history in our Constitution, and the starting elements of tax reform, are all positive reasons why I did what I did, and why I stand by it.”

This article appeared on the website of the member for Lyne, Rob Oakeshott.

A FOOLISH SUMMATION OF MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY

Mr Gerard Henderson yesterday continued his convenient and ongoing obsession with minority government, and his attacks on colleague Tony Windsor and I in particular (Minority rule makes fools of both sides of the house). The executive director of the conservative Australian current affairs forum has never spoken to me, or to my knowledge to Mr Windsor, so his “insight” into the events leading up to the incumbent government securing a working majority is exposed and needs correcting. [Read more…]


Andrew Wilkie Withdraws His Support For Gillard Government

Andrew Wilkie has withdrawn his support for the Gillard minority government.

Andrew WilkieThe independent member for Denison says the problem gambling proposals announced today by Julia Gillard are in breach of the agreement he signed with her after the 2010 election.

However, Wilkie said he will support the government’s problem gambling legislation in the House.

Wilkie said Gillard put the proposals to him last Sunday. He said he wanted to be “a man of my word” but that he didn’t want poker machine reform to “slip through our fingers”. [Read more…]


Victorious Gillard Says Democracy Works

A beaming Julia Gillard, flanked by her grinning deputy, Wayne Swan, has expressed her desire to get on with the job now that the rural independents have supported her leadership of a minority Labor government.

Julia Gillard

Gillard and Swan appeared before the media at 4.40pm, one hour after the independents announced their decision. [Read more…]