Turnbull Announces Efficiency Study Of ABC And SBS

The Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, has announced an efficiency study of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

The terms of the reference for the study are shown below. They specifically exclude all matters relating to the broadcasters’ charters, editorial policies, advertising and program quality.

The study will be conducted by the Department of Communications, assisted by Peter Lewis, the former Chief Financial Officer of Seven West Media Limited. The study is required to be completed by April, prior to the May Budget.

A brief statement from the Managing Director of the ABC, Mark Scott, says: “The ABC has constantly reviewed its operations to deliver the best and most efficient return to Australian audiences. We have been in consultation with the Minister and will work with the Department and Mr Lewis on this new study.”

  • Watch Turnbull interviewed on SBS (4m)

Statement from Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications.

ABC and SBS Efficiency Study

The Department of Communications will conduct a study of the efficiency of the operations of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation and the Special Broadcasting Service. Mr Peter Lewis, formerly Chief Financial Officer of Seven West Media Limited, will assist the Department in this work. [Read more…]

A Brief History of the Rann Government (Updated)

The Labor Government in South Australia has been in office since 2002. It has been led by Premier Mike Rann throughout.

The government was formed following the elections of February 9, 2002. That election returned a hung Parliament with 23 ALP, 20 Liberal, 1 National and 3 Independent members in the 47-seat House of Assembly.

Following the opening of Parliament on March 5, 2002, the then Liberal Premier, Rob Kerin, moved a motion of confidence in his Liberal government which had been in office since 1993. After a 45 minute debate, the motion was defeated by 23 votes to 22. There was one abstention (Dr. Bob Such, Independent member for Fisher). The newly-elected Speaker, Peter Lewis, the Independent member for Hammond, was not required to vote, but he had previously indicated that he would support the ALP.

In accordance with the principles of the Westminster system and parliamentary democracy, Kerin then surrendered his commission to the Governor, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, recommending that she call upon Mike Rann and commission him to form a government.

Rann formed a minority government with the support of Peter Lewis, an independent who had formerly been a Liberal member. Lewis was made Speaker.

At the end of 2002, following months of uncertainty arising from the erratic behaviour of Lewis, Rann appointed the independent member for Mount Gambier, Rory McEwen, to a new cabinet position as Minister for Trade and Regional Development. McEwen was a former member of the Liberal Party who won his seat as an independent after failing to win Liberal preselection.

In 2004, Rann appointed the only National Party member of the House of Assembly, Karlene Maywald, to his ministry. Maywald, the member for the conservative rural electorate of Chaffey, was given a portfolio with responsibility for water management. Like McEwen, Maywald had supported Kerin in the confidence vote in 2002.

Following the 2006 election, the government was returned with 28 seats to the Liberals 15, Independents 3 and one National. The agreement with McEwen and Maywald was honoured and they remained in the Cabinet.

The Rann government suffered a massive swing against it at the 2010 election. It lost 7.8% of its primary vote, winning just 37.5%. There was a two-party-preferred swing of 8.4% against the ALP, reducing it to just 48.4%. Despite this, the ALP won 26 seats, a net loss of 2.

In the election, Maywald’s seat was won by the Nationals. McEwen had retired and his seat was won by another independent.

Rann’s success in the election was attributed to a successful campaign of “sandbagging” marginal seats.

Independent Peter Lewis To Support Minority Labor Government In South Australia

Peter Lewis, the independent member for Hammond in the South Australian House of Assembly, has announced that he will give his support to the Labor Party, following last Saturday’s election. The decision ensures that Mike Rann will become Premier of a minority Labor government.

RannFor the first time in the nation’s history, there will now be coast to coast Labor governments in every state and territory. Only the Federal government is controlled by the coalition parties.

Whilst counting in Hartley, Stuart and Norwood is not yet completed, it appears that the ALP will have 23 seats in the 47-seat House. With the support of Lewis, the ALP will have an absolute majority of 24. They could yet garner the support of another independent, Bob Such. [Read more…]

Minority Government In South Australia

The South Australian Liberal government of John Olsen lost its majority in the lower house yesterday after one of its backbenchers, the member for Hammond, Peter Lewis, was expelled from the parliamentary party.

OlsenThe Liberal Party now holds only 23 of the 47 seats in the House of Assembly. It will be dependent on the support of the National Party member for Chaffey, Karlene Maywald, or the independent member for Gordon, Rory McEwen. The ALP has 21 seats.

Lewis was expelled after calling for the replacement of John Olsen with his predecessor, Dean Brown. [Read more…]