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Howard In Davos For WEF; Comments on Habib, Beazley

The Prime Minister, John Howard, is in Davos, Switzerland, for the latest meeting of the World Economic Forum.

Speaking to journalists, Howard criticised European wheat subsidies, but was otherwise non-committal on Mamdouh Habib and the ALP leadership.

According to its website, the World Economic Forum is “an independent international organization incorporated as a Swiss not-for-profit foundation”. Its members “represent the world’s 1,000 leading companies, along with 200 smaller businesses, many from the developing world, that play a potent role in their industry or region”. [Read more…]


Habib To Be Released From Guantanamo Bay Without Charge After Three Years

Mamdouh Habib is to be released from Guantanamo Bay prison, according to the Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock.

Mr Habib was arrested in Pakistan in October 2001, accused of aiding the al-Qaeda terrorist network. He was moved to Guantanamo Bay in May 2002, where he has been held since without charge. [Read more…]


John Gorton, Australian, Former Liberal Prime Minister, Dies, 90

John Grey Gorton, Australia’s nineteenth Prime Minister from 1968-71, has died, at age 90.

GortonRenowned as a ‘larrikin’, Gorton became the first prime minister to assume the nation’s leadership from the Senate. A centralist who alienated coalition State Premiers, Gorton’s private life was often in the headlines, but he will be remembered for his economic nationalism, support of Australia’s fledgling film industry, and for the spectacular manner of his departure from the prime ministership.

A World War II pilot, Gorton’s face was disfigured in combat. His ‘craggy’ features later became part of his appeal. Gorton came to public prominence during the ‘VIP Planes Affair’ when he tabled travel records in the Senate and rescued the government from a lingering crisis.

He became prime minister in January 1968, after Harold Holt disappeared in the Portsea surf. The Country Party leader, John McEwen, vetoed the election of William McMahon as prime minister, paving the way for Gorton to defeat the establishment candidate, Paul Hasluck. He moved to the House of Representatives as the new member for Holt’s electorate of Higgins, now held by Peter Costello. [Read more…]


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…]


A Statistical Analysis Of Question Time

The tabling of a government report into the supposed throwing overboard of children from the Tampa was the dominant issue in Question Time in the House of Representatives this afternoon.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, tabled the report which argued that the government had been misled about the incidient which featured prominently in last year’s election campaign.

The first Questions Without Notice for the 40th Parliament followed the official opening of the Parliament the day before. [Read more…]


Longest Currently Serving Members Of Federal Parliament

Longest Currently Serving Members of the Australian Parliament
– as at May 2001
No. Name Division, State Party First Elected Period in Office
1
Ruddock, Hon. Philip Maxwell Berowra, NSW LP 1973 28 years
2
Cadman, Alan Glyndwr Mitchell, NSW LP 1974 27 years
3
Howard, Hon. John Winston Bennelong, NSW LP 1974 27 years
4
Sullivan, Kathryn Jean Martin Moncrieff, Qld LP 1984 (Senator 1974-84) 27 years
5
Harradine, Senator Brian Tas Ind 1975 26 years
7
Jull, Hon. David Francis Fadden, Qld LP 1975, def. 1983, 1984 23 years
8
Watson, Senator John Odin Wentworth Tas LP 1978 23 years
9
McLeay, Hon. Leo Boyce Watson, NSW ALP 1979 22 years
10
Chapman, Senator Hedley Grant Pearson SA LP 1987 (MHR 1975-83) 21 years

 


250,000 Walk For Reconciliation Week

A quarter of a million Australians today walked across Sydney Harbour bridge as part of the fifth annual National Reconciliaton Week.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Dubbed Corroboree 2000, the event saw three federal government ministers, Philip Ruddock, Senator John Herron and Joe Hockey, join the marchers.

Prime Minister John Howard did not attend. Earlier, a Cabinet decision banning other ministers from attending was leaked.

Treasurer Peter Costello declined to join the march after news of the ban leaked out. [Read more…]