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Parties Debate Final Budget Outcome Figures

Following the release of the final Budget Outcome figures for the 2003-04 Budget, the government and opposition held press conferences.

The Treasurer, Peter Costello, said the underlying cash surplus of the Budget was $8 billion, $3.5 billion higher than expected. This was due to an additional $1.8 billion on the revenue side and $1.7 billion of reductions on the expenditure side.

The Shadow Treasurer, Simon Crean, appearing with the Shadow Finance Minister, Bob McMullan, said the Howard government was the highest taxing and spending government in Australia’s history, and families were under financial pressure. [Read more…]

Latham Announces New Shadow Ministry

The new Leader of the Opposition, Mark Latham, has appointed Simon Crean as Shadow Treasurer, created a new portfolio of Homeland Security and installed Stephen Smith as spokesman on Immigration.

Mark Latham, Leader of the OppositionAnnouncing his shadow ministry, Latham emphasised the need for the “protection of the physical security of all Australians”. He has appointed Robert McClelland, reportedly the final deciding vote in last Tuesday’s leadership election, to the Homeland Security portfolio, a name derived from a similar post created by President George W. Bush in the United States. [Read more…]

Kim Beazley Announces Candidacy For ALP Leadership

The former Labor leader, Kim Beazley, has announced that he will contest the leadership again at the Caucus meeting next Tuesday in Canberra.

BeazleyThis follows the announcement this morning by Simon Crean that he is resigning the leadership.

Speaking in Perth, Beazley, leader from 1996 until 2001, refused to discuss anything relating to the leadership, saying his next public comment would be after the Caucus meeting.

Beazley was federal leader between 1996 and 2001. He was defeated in the 1998 election, despite outpolling the coalition on the two-party-preferred vote. [Read more…]

Simon Crean’s Resignation Statement

Federal Opposition Leader Simon Crean has resigned his leadership of the ALP and called a Caucus ballot for next Tuesday to choose a new leader.

Crean“I won’t be a candidate for the leadership,” Crean said.

Crean said it had become obvious to him “that I no longer have the confidence of the leadership group and a majority of my Shadow Ministry”.

Crean has been leader of the ALP since November 2001, after Kim Beazley’s defeat in the federal election that month.

He faced a leadership challenge from Kim Beazley last June but survived by 58 votes to 34. [Read more…]

Remember Who Dug The Well: Crean Welcomes Hu

This is the text of the address of welcome to the President of China, Hu Jintao, by the Leader of the Opposition, Simon Crean.

The speech was delivered to a joint sitting of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Text of Simon Crean’s speech of welcome to China’s President Hu Jintao.

CreanMr President.

I’ve already had the opportunity to welcome you to Australia.

I now welcome you to our national Parliament.

Your historic presence in this Parliament – so soon after your inauguration as President of the People’s Republic of China – testifies to the importance and continuity of the China-Australia relationship. [Read more…]

President Bush Addresses Australian Parliament; Greens Ejected

United States President George W. Bush has addressed the Australian Parliament during his visit to Canberra.

The speech was punctuated by interjections from Greens senators Bob Brown and Kerry Nettle. [Read more…]

Simon Crean: Address To National Congress Of The RSL

Opposition Leader Simon Crean has addressed the National Congress of the Returned and Services League.

The National Congress met at the Adelaide Town Hall.

Text of Simon Crean’s Address to the National Congress of the RSL.

CreanHer Excellency, the Governor, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson.

The Minister for Defence, Senator Hill.

The Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Dana Vale. [Read more…]