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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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My Story: Julia Gillard’s Book Launched By Quentin Bryce

Australia’s first female Governor-General today launched the memoirs of the nation’s first female prime minister.

Gillard

Julia Gillard was prime minister for 3 years and 3 days from June 23, 2010. Her 504-page book of memoirs, My Story, was published this week.

In her speech, Quentin Bryce, appointed Governor-General by Gillard’s predecessor Kevin Rudd in 2008, emphasised the example Gillard set for girls and women. [Read more…]


Dame Quentin Bryce, 25th Governor-General Of Australia, Farewelled In Canberra

Two hours after the announcement that she had been made a Dame, Australia’s 25th Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, was farewelled at a reception at Parliament House tonight.

Bryce

Bryce’s official portrait, painted by artist Ralph Heimans, was unveiled during the farewell.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott spoke in glowing terms of Bryce’s service and approach to the position of Governor-General. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Bryce’s son-in-law, also addressed the gathering. [Read more…]


Arise Dame Quentin And Sir Peter: Abbott Reintroduces Knights And Dames For “Pre-Eminent Australians”

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has announced that Knights and Dames will be reintroduced for “pre-eminent” Australians.

Abbott

The outgoing Governor-General will become Dame Quentin Bryce, whilst the new Governor-General will be Sir Peter Cosgrove. [Read more…]


Governor-General Quentin Bryce Calls For A Republic And Same-Sex Marriage

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has called for an Australian republic and same-sex marriage in the last of her Boyer Lectures, delivered just four months before she retires from the Vice-Regal role.

Bryce

Bryce’s remarks came at the end of a speech titled “Advance Australia Fair”. She concluded by imagining a nation of care and equality, “where people are free to love and marry whom they choose and where, perhaps, my friends, one day, one young girl or boy may even grow up to be our nation’s first head of state”. [Read more…]


Governor-General Quentin Bryce Opens 44th Parliament

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has officially opened the 44th Parliament.

Bryce

After a day of ceremonies, including the swearing-in of the new House of Representatives, Bryce summoned members to the Senate and delivered the traditional government-written speech outlining the government’s program for the new Parliament.

The government will be “active” but not “big”, Bryce said. She outlined Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plan to “repeal the carbon tax, abolish the mining tax, cut the waste and build the roads of the 21st century”.

Bryce’s 30-minute speech was followed by a 19-gun salute by military cannons outside Parliament House.

Earlier, the House of Representatives elected Bronwyn Bishop as its new Speaker, replacing Anna Burke, the last of three speakers in the 43rd Parliament.

The Parliament gets down to business tomorrow when it is expected that the bills to repeal the carbon tax will be introduced in the morning. Abbott and new Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will face off in Question Time at 2pm.

Today’s speech was Quentin Bryce’s last opening of Parliament. She retires in March next year.

Transcript of Governor-General Quentin Bryce’s Address at the Opening of the First Session of the Forty-Fourth Commonwealth Parliament.

Bryce

Introduction

Honourable Senators and Members of the Parliament of Australia.

Today, at the opening of the 44th Commonwealth Parliament, we celebrate the enduring health of our democracy.

One hundred and twelve years after the first Federal election, nearly 14 million Australians have cast their votes in another free and fair election.

For only the fourth time in three decades, the Australian people have voted for a change of government. [Read more…]


Governor-General’s Proclamation Summoning Parliament

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has issued a proclamation summoning the Parliament to meet on November 12.

The proclamation is issued under Section 5 of the Constitution, which empowers the Governor-General to “appoint such times for holding the sessions of the Parliament as he thinks fit”.

As in all such matters, the proclamation is issued on the advice of the Prime Minister. It is the government that has decided when Parliament is to meet, not the Governor-General. [Read more…]


Abbott Rejects Governor-General’s Offer To Resign Over Shorten

The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has offered to retire early because her son-in-law has been elected Leader of the Opposition, but Prime Minister Tony Abbott has declined the offer.

Bill Shorten is Bryce’s son-in-law. Shorten’s election as leader of the ALP was announced earlier today.

Bryce is due to retire in March. She offered to leave earlier to avoid any perception of bias.

Abbott refused her offer on the grounds that her retirement is only a few months away and his “government commands the House of Representatives with a significant margin”.

Statement by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Statement from the Prime Minister

In anticipation of the election of the Hon Bill Shorten MP as Leader of the Opposition, I have spoken with Governor-General, Her Excellency the Hon Quentin Bryce AC.

The Governor-General offered to leave office early to avoid any perception of bias but due to the fact that she will retire in March next year and that the Government commands the House of Representatives with a significant margin, I have thanked her for her magnanimity but declined to accept her resignation, instead asking that she conclude her full term.

I am grateful that she has kindly agreed to my request.

The Governor-General is currently serving an extended term in office that she did not seek. Her agreement to stay on was a measure of her personal commitment to provide continuity at a time of political turbulence and she should be commended for her dedication to public service.

Her Excellency Quentin Bryce has served the people of Australia with distinction and has provided a gracious note to our constitutional arrangements through her widespread engagement with the community.

I believe it is only fit and proper that she be permitted to conclude her term and be accorded the appropriate farewell that her exemplary service merits.


Why Is Kevin Rudd Still Prime Minister?

The federal election was held ten days ago. The Labor government was defeated. Tony Abbott has announced his new ministry. But Kevin Rudd is still prime minister.

Rudd will remain prime minister until tomorrow morning.

At that time, Abbott will be sworn in as prime minister and his ministers will take the oath of office.

Rudd-Abbott

Until that moment, Kevin Rudd remains caretaker prime minister, as he has been since the beginning of the election campaign.

This is quite normal.

  • In 2007, Kevin Rudd won the election on November 24 but was not sworn in as prime minister until December 3. John Howard remained prime minister until that date.
  • In 1996, the election was held on March 2 but John Howard did not replace Paul Keating as prime minister until March 11.
  • In 1983, the election was held on March 5 but Bob Hawke was not sworn in to replace Malcolm Fraser until March 11.
  • In 1949, the election was held on December 10 but Robert Menzies was not sworn in to replace Ben Chifley until December 19.

Excluding the immediate installation of Malcolm Fraser as prime minister, following the dismissal of Gough Whitlam, on November 11, 1975, the fastest transfer of the prime ministership in recent decades took place in 1972. Because Gough Whitlam wanted to get down to business immediately, he was sworn in as prime minister three days after the December 2 election in which he had defeated William McMahon and the Liberal-Country Party coalition. Whitlam and his deputy, Lance Barnard, served as a two-man government until December 19.

Transferring the Prime Ministership

The process followed this year by Rudd and Abbott is part of a long tradition.

On September 8, the day after the election, Rudd tendered his resignation to the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce.

Rudd

In resigning, Rudd surrendered his commission to the Governor-General. Bryce accepted Rudd’s resignation but asked him to remain as caretaker prime minister until the swearing-in of the new ministry.

Bryce

Rudd’s resignation will take effect the second that Abbott is sworn in. In this way, there is always a prime minister in place. [Read more…]


Kevin Rudd Sworn In For Second Time As Prime Minister Of Australia

Kevin Rudd, Australia’s 26th prime minister, has been sworn in for his second term of office.

Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s resignation took effect at 9.51am as Rudd took the oath of office and signed the official documents before the Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, at Government House.

Anthony Albanese was sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister.

Chris Bowen, one of the ministers who resigned from the Gillard ministry in March, was sworn as Treasurer.

Government House has released correspondence between Julia Gillard, Kevin Rudd and the Governor-General. It shows how the transfer of power takes place in a Westminster parliamentary system.

Gillard

Rudd

 


Would A Double Dissolution In Early 2014 Be Unconstitutional?

Tony Abbott has made it clear that the first legislative act of his government after September 14 will be to introduce legislation to repeal the carbon tax.  The mining tax is also up for repeal.

The obstacle in Abbott’s path is the composition of the Senate.  Until July 1 next year, the balance of power in the Senate remains with the Australian Greens.  Without the support of their 9 senators, neither the ALP (31 senators) nor the coalition (34 senators) can command the 39 votes needed to win a vote.

Abbott and his shadow ministers have made it clear that they are prepared to call a double dissolution election if the Senate rejects their legislation.  This can take place if the requirements of Section 57 of the Constitution are met. [Read more…]