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How Will Beazley Fund Rollback?

This is the text of a statement issued by Prime Minister John Howard in the lead-up to the Ryan by-election.

The G.S.T. has emerged as a major issue affecting the electoral support of the government.

Earlier, Howard had claimed that the ALP would raise the rate of the GST if elected to office, despite the fact that the ALP has consistently opposed the GST and voted against it in both houses of parliament in 1999. [Read more…]

Another Poll Shows Coalition In Trouble As Ryan By-Election Nears

An AC Nielsen-AgePoll published today provides more gloomy news for the coalition, only days away from a crucial by-election test in the Brisbane electorate of Ryan.

The Nielsen poll has the coalition’s primary vote at 32%, statistically even with the 30% rating published last week by its competitor, the Morgan Poll.

Nielsen has the ALP on 45% of the primary vote and a massive 59% on a two-party-preferred basis. If replicated in an election, these figures would reduce the coalition to a mere rump in the House of Representatives.

Significantly, the Nielsen poll shows a hardening of opposition to the GST, with 51% of respondents expressing disapproval of the tax.

A Week Is A Long Time In Politics

The past week has been one of the more interesting in recent Australian political history, demonstrating a number of key elements of the power structures in Canberra.

Here’s how the week unfolded:

Tuesday February 27

A party-room meeting sees government backbenchers criticise the government.

A dozen government backbenchers have dinner at The Lodge, urging the Prime Minister to do something about petrol prices. This comes after criticism was aired at a party-room meeting earlier in the month. [Read more…]

Howard Opens Liberal Party Campaign For Ryan By-Election

After a dramatic week in Federal politics, the Prime Minister, John Howard, has opened the Liberal Party’s campaign for the Ryan by-election on March 17.

HowardThe Liberal Party holds Ryan with a margin of 9.5%, but its candidate, Bob Tucker, faces a difficult task to retain the seat.

The government has this week reversed a number of previous policy positions, notably the decision to cut the fuel excise by 1.5% and remove indexation of petrol prices.

The Ryan by-election was caused by the retirement of John Moore, the former Defence Minister. The Liberal candidate is Bob Tucker. The ALP candidate is Leonie Short.

Text of John Howard’s speech at the opening of Liberal candidate Bob Tucker’s campaign for the Ryan by-election.

Well thank you very much Bob, to Greer and the other members, all generations of the Tucker family, Con Galtos, Shane Stone, other parliamentary colleagues, ladies and gentlemen. [Read more…]