Can You Help?

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.


Become a Patron!


Valedictory Speech: Senator Ron Boswell (Nats-Qld)

Senator Ron Boswell has given his valedictory speech, bringing to an end a 31-year political career for the Father of the Senate.

Boswell

Boswell was first elected to the Senate as a Nationals member from Queensland at the federal election of March 5, 1983, the election that brought the Hawke government to power. He was re-elected in 1987, 1990, 1996, 2001 and 2007. [Read more…]


Another Season Of Valedictory Speeches As Twelve Senators Depart

Twelve senators are about to leave the Federal Parliament as the July 1 changeover approaches.

The departing senators will give valedictory speeches in the Senate over the next two weeks. The first will be given tomorrow by the Nationals Senator Ron Boswell, who has been in the Senate since 1983.

The Senate has 76 members. Each of the six states has 12 senators, whilst the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory have 2 senators each. Senators serve fixed 6-year terms which commence on July 1. Except in the case of a double dissolution, Senate elections are staggered, with half the state-based senators facing the electorate at each House of Representatives election. Territory senators serve terms that are concurrent with the House.

On July 1, the State senators elected on September 7, 2013 will take their places. These 36 senators will serve terms that end on June 30, 2020.

Twenty-four senators were re-elected last year. Of the 12 who were replaced, 7 were defeated (6 ALP and 1 Liberal) and 5 retired (2 ALP, 2 Liberal and 1 Nationals).

The ALP lost one member in each state and will have only 25 senators from July 1. The party lost 3 members to the Palmer United Party (PUP), and one each to the Liberal Democrats (LDP), the Greens and Family First (FF). [Read more…]


Current Federal Parliamentary Party Leaders

Each political party represented in the Federal Parliament elects leaders in each house.

Just as the government is decided in the House of Representatives, so the parties elect their leaders and deputy leaders from amongst their representatives in the House. If the party is not represented in the lower house, its leader will be chosen from amongst its members in the Senate.

House of Representatives
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party John Howard
Member for Bennelong (NSW)
Peter Costello
Member for Higgins (Vic)
National Party Mark Vaile
Member for Lyne (NSW)
Warren Truss
Member for Wide Bay (Qld)
Australian Labor Party Kevin Rudd
Member for Griffith (Qld)
Julia Gillard
Member for Lalor (Vic)


The major parties also elect leaders and deputy leaders in the Senate. These people form part of the leadership group and act as the focal point for their parties in the upper house.

For example, the current Liberal Party leader in the Senate, Nick Minchin, is referred to as the Government Leader in the Senate. Senator Chris Evans is referred to as the Opposition Leader in the Senate.

Senate
Party Leader Deputy Leader
Liberal Party Senator Nick Minchin
(South Australia)
Senator Helen Coonan
(New South Wales)
National Party Senator Ron Boswell
(Queensland)
Senator Nigel Scullion
(Northern Territory)
Australian Labor Party Senator Chris Evans
(Western Australia)
Senator Stephen Conroy
(Victoria)
Australian Democrats Senator Andrew Bartlett
(Queensland)
Senator Lyn Allison
(Victoria)
Australian Greens Senator Bob Brown
(Tasmania)
Family First Senator Steve Fielding
(Victoria)


Footnote: Convention dictates that the official leader of the main parties will be a member of the House of Representatives. In 1968, following the death of its Prime Minister, Harold Holt, the Liberal Party chose its upper house leader, Senator John Gorton, as the new prime minister. Gorton immediately resigned his Senate seat and contested the by-election for Holt’s lower house electorate, Higgins. Thus, Australia had a prime minister for several weeks who was not a member of either house. This is allowed for in Section 64 of the Constitution.


Voluntary Student Unionism: Senator Boswell’s Speech

This is the speech given by the Nationals Leader in the Senate, Ron Boswell.

The Senate is debating the Higher Education Support Amendment (Abolition of Compulsory Up-front Student Union Fees) Bill 2005. The Nationals have long-supported the abolition of student union fees, believing that no-one should be forced to join a union or that their money should go to people or events that they do not support. The Nationals’ policy is to support the abolition of compulsory student union fees while also looking after the educational and other needs of students, particularly in regional areas.

This legislation gives effect to the abolition of the fees, while The Nationals have argued strongly for and secured a funding package of some $80 million that will contribute to non-educational university amenities and services. We went to the Prime Minister and to the Minister for Education, Dr Nelson, and put our case in the strongest possible terms. The funding package would not be there today if it were not for the National Party. I believe it answers our policy resolution on VSU as much as is possible at this time. I am aware that there is a proposed amendment from my colleague Senator Joyce, which will be moved in the committee stage but which is not supported by the government. [Read more…]


Senator Ron Boswell (Nats-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Ron Boswell was first elected to the Senate as a Nationals member in March 1983.

Boswell went on to win re-election in 1984, 1987, 1990, 1996, 2001 and 2007. He retired on June 30, 2014, after serving for 31 years and 118 days. He is currently the sixth longest-serving member since the Senate was established in 1901.

Boswell served as Leader of the National Party of Australia (1990-2003) and Leader of The Nationals (2003-2007) in the Senate. He was Deputy Leader (2007-2008). [Read more…]