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ALP Supports Military Commitment To Iraq, Greens Opposed

The Labor Opposition has given its support to the government’s commitment of RAAF aircraft and military personnel to the fight against ISIL in Iraq, whilst the Greens have opposed it.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described ISIL as a “barbaric organisation” and said: “Labor supports today’s announcement of the deployment of an Australian military force – including RAAF assets and personnel – to the United Arab Emirates.”

Shorten said the ALP didn’t do so lightly: “But we support the Government’s decision that Australia has a role to play in eradicating this evil and we are reassured that our support is being provided at the request of, and in full coordination with, the Iraqi Government.” [Read more…]


The Good Fight: Wayne Swan Launches Memoirs Of The Rudd-Gillard Years

The Good Fight, the memoirs of Wayne Swan, Treasurer in the Rudd and Gillard governments, has been launched in Canberra.

Swan

The ALP’s deputy leader and Gillard supporter, Tanya Plibersek, spoke at the launch.

In his speech, Swan concentrated on the work he undertook during the global financial crisis in 2008-09. He said it was now possible to contemplate the Abbott administration as a one-term government. [Read more…]


Condolence Motions Make For Heartfelt Start To Parliament

Proceedings in the House of Representatives got off to a prickly start today with the government goading the ALP during condolence motions for Arthur Gietzelt and Ariel Sharon.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott set the tone when he moved a motion of condolence for the former Senator Gietzelt who died on January 5 at the age of 93.

Abbott

During his speech, Abbott said: “He was a lion of the Labor Party—or at least he always asserted that he was a lion of the Labor Party and of no other party.” The Labor benches bristled at the comment and as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten rose to speak a voice could be heard describing Abbott as a “low dog”.

Abbott’s comment was a reference to allegations in documents released by the Australian Security Intelligence Service (ASIO) that claimed Gietzelt had communist connections during his time as a member of the ALP. Gietzelt served as a minister in the Hawke government from 1983 to 1987.

Following the Gietzelt condolence, Abbott moved a second condolence motion for former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon who died on January 11 after spending eight years in a permanent vegetative state following a stroke in 2006. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop spoke to the motion, as did Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and his deputy, Tanya Plibersek.

After the speeches, the Manager of Government Business, Christopher Pyne, associated himself with what he called “the genuine and heartfelt remarks” by Abbott, Bishop and Shorten, “and the remarks made by the Deputy Leader of the Opposition”.

The Opposition benches bristled again, with the comment assumed to refer to a statement made by Tanya Plibersek in the House on September 17, 2002, in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq. She said: “…I can think of a rogue state which consistently ignores UN resolutions, whose ruler is a war criminal responsible for the massacres of civilians in refugee camps outside its borders. The US supports and funds this country. This year it gave it a blank cheque to continue its repression of its enemies. It uses US military hardware to bulldoze homes and kill civilians. It is called Israel, and the war criminal is Ariel Sharon.” [Read more…]


Bill Shorten’s ALP Shadow Ministry – Full List

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has announced the shadow ministry, following the ALP’s defeat in the 2013 federal election.

The reshuffle is extensive by comparison with the former Rudd and Gillard ministries and appears to reflect Shorten’s desire for a team he described as “energetic and diverse”. At a press conference today, Shorten said the executive demonstrated “generational change” with more members from “gen-X”. [Read more…]


ALP Leadership Holds Press Conference

The new Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has held a press conference in Canberra, following a Caucus meeting which finalised Labor’s leadership positions and the composition of the shadow ministry.

Shorten appeared with his new deputy, Tanya Plibersek, and the party’s Senate leader, Penny Wong, and the deputy Senate leader, Stephen Conroy. [Read more…]


Plibersek New ALP Deputy Leader; Wong And Conroy Take Senate Positions; Shadow Ministry Elected

Tanya Plibersek has been elected deputy leader of the ALP at a Caucus meeting in Canberra today.

Plibersek, the member for Sydney since 1998 and Minister for Health in the former Labor government, will be Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

ALP

Senator Penny Wong has been re-elected as Senate leader, the position she secured on June 26 when Kevin Rudd replaced Julia Gillard. [Read more…]


Julie Owens Rebukes Media Over Coverage Of Opinion Polls And Leadership

Frustration over opinion polls and leadership speculation was on display today at the Westmead Millennium Institute for Medical Research.

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, was obviously irritated by media questions about the Nielsen poll released today. Almost speechless, Plibersek allowed the Labor member for Parramatta, Julie Owens, to take over and deliver a rebuke to the gathered media about medical research and children’s health.


Owens holds Parramatta with a margin of 4.37%. She suffered a 5.49% swing against her at the 2010 election. She has held the seat since 2004.



The Death Of Margaret Whitlam

Margaret Whitlam died, aged 92, on March 17, 2012.

Parliamentary tributes were delivered on March 19. A memorial service was held on March 23.

Margaret Whitlam Memorial Service

 

Mar 19-20 – House of Representatives & Senate Condolence Motion Speeches

    • Julia Gillard (ALP)
    • Tony Abbott (Lib)
    • Tanya Plibersek (ALP>
    • Julie Bishop (Lib)
    • Kevin Rudd (ALP)
    • Watch Kevin Rudd
    • Malcolm Turnbull (Lib)
    • Senator John Faulker (ALP)
    • Watch John Faulkner
    • Senator Marise Payne (Lib)
    • Senator Bob Brown (Greens)
    • Josh Frydenberg (Lib)
    • Natasha Griggs (CLP)
    • Mar 23: Tony Whitlam’s eulogy for his mother
    • Mar 23 Catherine Dovey’s eulogy for her mother

Tanya Plibersek Discusses Homeless Initiative


New Conversation About Equality Needed, Says Plibersek

Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of WomenTanya Plibersek, the Minister for Housing and Minister for the Status of Women, has delivered an interesting speech about the need for “a new conversation about equality”.

Speaking at the Sydney Institute, Plibersek said “the fact remains we cannot yet say that equality has been won”. She cited income differentials, the lack of women in the higher echelons of business, and violence against women as evidence.

The minister argued that “there is a solid body of evidence that gender equality is good for the economy as a whole” and outlined a range of measures in support of this. [Read more…]