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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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Howard Grilled At Lively Press Conference; Tense Mood In Question Time

The Prime Minister, John Howard, has this afternoon been interrogated about the two crises besetting his government: the allegations and revelations about the “children overboard” story, and the allegations confronting the Governor-General.

For more than 30 minutes, Howard took a series of often aggressive questions from the Canberra press gallery. He refused to say he would seek the resignations of members of his staff, and defended the actions of his foreign policy advisor, Miles Jordana.

Last night, it was revealed that prior to last year’s election Mr. Jordana was in receipt of advice from the Defence Department that there were doubts about allegations of children thrown overboard from a refugee vessel. [Read more…]


Howard Discusses How The Liberal Party Chooses A Speaker

The Prime Minister, John Howard, in an interview on radio 5DN in Adelaide with Jermey Cordeaux, has spoken of the manner in which a new Speaker of the House of Representatives will be chosen.

HowardHoward argued that the Speaker’s position was the one job that was decided by the party-room. He claimed that he was satisfied with being able to choose the ministry, the Senate leadership and the party Whips, but that he had only one vote in the party-room for the Speaker’s position.

It is clear from Howard’s remarks that the incumbent Speaker, Neil Andrew, will not be renominated for the job when Parliament resumes next February.

The dumped minister, Bronwyn Bishop, has ruled herself out of contention. A name frequently touted now is that of Bruce Baird, the member for Cook in NSW. David Hawker, the member for Wannon in Victoria, the seat formerly held by Malcolm Fraser, has also put his name forward. [Read more…]


New Speaker Must Get Order In The House: The Australian Editorial

A scathing editorial in The Australian today calls for the appointment of a new Speaker to replace the incumbent, Neil Andrew.

AndrewThe editorial says “Mr Howard should resist pressure to return Mr. Andrew to the chair in which he did not distinguish himself”.

The newspaper claims that Mr. Andrew has been inconsistent in his rulings, despite the fact that he was willing to stand up to government ministers, as shown when he expelled Tony Abbott in the previous parliament.

Of Parliament, the paper says it is time to restore “some public faith in this tarnished institution” and ridicules the idea reported in some newspapers today that dumped minister Bronwyn Bishop may get the Speaker’s job: “If Bronwyn Bishop, still stinging at her ejection from the ministry, is the best hope for an impartial Speaker, we’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel.” [Read more…]


Speaker Neil Andrew Proposes Reforms To Parliament

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Neil Andrew, has proposed a number of reforms to parliamentary debate.

Andrew, who has been Speaker since November 1998, was interviewed by Laurie Oakes on Channel 9’s Sunday program.

Transcript of Neil Andrew interview with Laurie Oakes.

AndrewIntroduction

This coming Wednesday is the centenary of the opening of the first federal parliament, a major moment in Australian history that will be re-enacted at Melbourne’s Royal Exhibition buildings. The first Speaker of the House of Representatives was South Australian MP Frederick Holder who represented the seat of Wakefield. By coincidence, the current speaker Neil Andrew is also a South Australian, also from the seat of Wakefield. [Read more…]


Isaacs By-Election To Be Held On August 12

The voters of the Melbourne electorate of Isaacs will go to the polls on Saturday 12 August to elect a replacement for the former Labor member, Greg Wilton.

AndrewThe date was announced by the House of Representatives Speaker, Neil Andrew, before Question Time commenced today.

The ALP holds the seat with a margin of over 6%. Recent speculation suggests that the Liberal Party will not field a candidate in the election.

The Speaker of the House is given responsibility under Section 33 of the Constitution to issue writs to fill vacancies in the lower house.

This will be the first by-election held during this Parliament.

The timetable for the by-election is:

  • Fri 30 June – Issue of Writ
  • Fri 11 July – Close of Rolls
  • Thu 13 July – Close of Nominations
  • Sat 12 August – Polling Day
  • Sun 08 October – Return of Writ on or before this date