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Geoff Shaw Suspended By Victorian Parliament; Ken Smith Votes With Government To Defeat ALP Expulsion Move

Geoff Shaw, the member for Frankston in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, has been suspended until September 2, after the former Speaker, Ken Smith, voted to defeat a move by the Labor Opposition to have Shaw expelled.


Just before 8.30pm, an amendment to expel Shaw, moved by the Opposition Leader, Daniel Andrews, was voted on and tied 42-42. It was defeated on the casting vote of the Speaker, Christine Fyffe, who accidentally voted in support before correcting herself. [Read more…]

Defiant Napthine Says He Won’t Be Held To Ransom By Shaw; Says It’s Now Up To Andrews

A defiant Victorian Premier Denis Napthine has held a 7pm press conference to say that he won’t be held to ransom by Geoff Shaw.


Napthine said the ball was now in Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews’s court. “He has said he will never accept the tainted vote of Mr. Shaw,” Napthine said. “We will continue to govern.” [Read more…]

Victorian Government Proposes Reforms To Emergency Management

The Victorian Government has proposed major reforms to Emergency Management services and procedures.

The Premier, Ted Baillieu, and the Minister for Police and Emergency Services, Peter Ryan, today released a white paper and spoke at a press conference on the proposed changes.

The White Paper is shown below. [Read more…]

The Baillieu Ministry – Victoria – 2010

The Liberal-Nationals coalition won the Victorian election on November 27, 2010, defeating the ALP by 45 seats to 43 in the Legislative Assembly.

Led by Ted Baillieu, the ministry was sworn in on December 2, 2010. [Read more…]

Brumby Maintains Tied Result Most Likely; Opposition Says It’s Ready To Govern


Following counting of pre-poll votes in Bentleigh late this afternoon, the Liberal Party’s candidate, Elizabeth Miller, leads the ALP’s Rob Hudson by 423 votes.

Most observers now agree that the coalition has won 45 seats in the Legislative Assembly and is able to form a government with a one-seat majority.

It is unlikely that Brumby will concede defeat until late tomorrow after counting of pre-poll votes in other seats.


The Victorian Premier, John Brumby, maintains that the most likely outcome of the election is a tied result, 44 seats each for the ALP and coalition. [Read more…]

Baillieu Launches Liberal Party’s Victorian Election Campaign

The Victorian Liberal leader, Ted Baillieu, has delivered his policy speech for the November 27 state election.

Ted Baillieu speaks at his 2010 election campaign launch

Ted Baillieu Delivers His Policy Speech (Sky)

Baillieu devoted much of his speech to community safety, claiming that Victorians have been asked to “tolerate and accept” escalating levels of violence. He promised 1700 additional police and a program to crush hoon cars, outlaw bike gangs, and an end to suspended sentences and home detention.

Baillieu repeatedly referred to the “rancid culture” in Victoria. He said the Labor government engaged in political thuggery, threats and abuse. He attacked Brumby over government advertising and secrecy, and promised to establish an independent corruption commission. [Read more…]

Benalla By-Election A Test For National Party

Today’s by-election for the Victorian Legislative Assembly seat of Benalla will be a test for the National Party which has held the seat since its creation in 1904.

Denise AllenA win for the Labor Party would reduce its reliance on the support of the 3 Independents in the lower house.

The Bracks government currently holds 43 seats and governs with the support of independents Susan Davies (Gippsland West), Russell Savage (Mildura) and Craig Ingram (Gippsland East).

Victory in Benalla would allow the ALP to pass its legislation to trial heroin injecting rooms with the support of Susan Davies, although the Opposition-controlled Legislative Council would most likely still block the measure. [Read more…]

McNamara Announces Retirement; Perilous By-Election In Benalla

Pat McNamara, former Victorian National Party leaderThe Victorian coalition parties face a perilous by-election in Benalla in the new year following the decision of Pat McNamara to retire from Parliament.

McNamara resigned today as leader of the National Party and was replaced by Peter Ryan. Ryan was elected unanimously. The MLA for Swan Hill, Barry Steggall, is his new deputy.

The expected by-election follows last weekend’s 10% swing to the ALP which delivered the Bracks government Burwood, the seat of former Premier Jeff Kennett.

McNamara won Benalla last September in a two-candidate contest, securing 57.41% of the vote.

There are 46 polling booths in Benalla, many of them small in numbers. Last September, McNamara won all but 3 – Eildon, Jamieson and Wandiligong – and these were won only narrowly by the ALP candidate, Denise Allen.

By contrast, at the 1996 election, McNamara secured 58.86% of the primary vote against 4 other candidates, including independent Bill Hill who has announced he will contest the forthcoming by-election. Hill won 15.36% of the primary vote in 1996.

Given the strong showing for independents in other rural seats in this year’s election, the National Party has good cause to be concerned about its capacity to retain Benalla, but Labor and independent candidates will have no illusions about their prospects in this traditional conservative electorate.

McNamara To Resign As Victorian National Party Leader

Outgoing National Party leader, Pat McNamaraPolitical change arising out of the September 18 election continues in Victoria with the announcement by National Party leader, Pat McNamara, that he is to relinquish the position he has held for the past 11 years.

McNamara, describing himself as one of the “dinosaurs”, will resign the leadership next month. He is expected to be replaced by the deputy leader and member for Gippsland South, Peter Ryan. McNamara made no announcement about if or when he will resign from parliament.

McNamara was elected as the member for Benalla in 1982, the election that brought the Cain Labor government to power. He became leader of the party following the retirement of long-time leader, Peter Ross-Edwards, in 1988. Prior to the 1992 election, McNamara struck a coalition deal that saw him become Deputy Premier following the defeat of the Kirner government.

The National Party’s role in the coalition government was the first time in over 50 years that the rural party had held ministerial office. Ironically, the Liberal Party had the numbers to govern in its own right throughout its 7 years in office under Jeff Kennett.

The elevation of Peter Ryan to the National Party leadership will come at a crucial period in the party’s history. The party holds only 7 seats in the Legislative Assembly, losing 2 at the recent election, one to the Liberals (Warrnambool) and one to an independent (Gippsland East). The party is battling challenges from independent candidates around the country. The ALP now holds more rural and provincial seats than the Nationals.

Ryan was born on 30 October 1950 in Bendigo. Prior to entering Parliament in 1992, he was a partner in the law firm Warren, Graham and Murphy in Sale.