Gillard Now Breathing Down Rudd’s Neck

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is now Australia’s 17th longest-serving prime minister, just behind the 16th place-getter, Kevin Rudd.

Gillard is Australia’s 27th prime minister and has now been in the job for 2 years, 2 months, 16 days. Today she surpasses the term in office of Labor’s Depression-era prime minister James Scullin.

She will overtake Kevin Rudd’s term of 2 years, 6 months, 21 days on January 14 next year.

Liberals Remember The Labor-Greens Anniversary

On the anniversary of the Labor-Greens agreement signed by Prime Minister Julia Gillard in 2010, this is an advertisement posted on YouTube by the Liberal Party.

This is the text of a release from the Liberal Party.

Two years of a compromised government

Gillard

Two years ago today, Julia Gillard and Bob Brown signed a deal that gave the Greens unprecedented power in the Australian government – and gave us all the world’s biggest Carbon Tax.

The Labor-Greens’ partnership has been a disaster for Australia. Instead of the federal government providing certainty and steadiness, their unpredictability, dishonesty and new taxes have shredded confidence.

For two years, Labor and the Greens have gone after middle Australia – imposing the Carbon Tax, cutting the private health insurance rebate, slashing childcare rebates, and attacking superannuation. [Read more…]

Anne Summers: The Political Persecution Of Australia’s First Female PM

This is the video of Dr. Anne Summers’ Human Rights and Social Justice Lecture at the University of Newcastle.

The speech is titled: “Her Rights At Work: The Political Persecution of Australia’s First Female Prime Minister”.

Summers says: “In this lecture I want to examine what I contend is the sexist and discriminatory treatment of Australia’s first female prime minister by the Opposition and by some elements in Australian society.”

Kevin Rudd Launches Whitlam Biography

Kevin Rudd has launched volume two of Jenny Hocking’s biography of Gough Whitlam.

The second volume, titled “Gough Whitlam: His Time” covers Whitlam’s period in government and includes important new revelations about The Dismissal. Rudd’s speech was titled “Labor Politics, Conservative Politics and Australia’s future”.

The launch was held at the Museum of Sydney.

Text of Kevin Rudd’s speech at the launch of Jenny Hocking’s second volume biography of Gough Whitlam.

Labor Politics, Conservative Politics and Australia’s Future

It is nearly four years since I launched Volume I of this important biography of E.G. Whitlam.

I am honoured to have been asked by the author, Jenny Hocking, to today launch Volume II.

Much has changed in Australian politics since then.

Just as many things have not.

The essential narrative of Australian politics has remained much the same for more than a century: Labor in government the party of progressive economic, social and environmental reform, and of Australia’s place in the region and the world. [Read more…]

Gillard In Marathon Press Conference Over Slater And Gordon

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has held a marathon press conference answering allegations about her work as an industrial lawyer in the 1990s.

Julia Gillard

In a press conference lasting for 73 minutes, Gillard attacked “misogynists and nutjobs” on the internet over the “sexist” allegations in relation to her work at the law firm Slater and Gordon 17 years ago.

The Prime Minister’s remarks came hours after The Australian newspaper published an online apology for saying she had set up a trust fund for her then boyfriend, Bruce Wilson, in the 1990s.

Referring to “false and defamatory material attacking my character”, Gillard said she had decided to deal with the issues. Reporters then questioned her for 54 minutes.

Evening television coverage of the event also centred on a security breach where an intruder made it into the executive wing of Parliament House where the press conference was being held. The man handed Gillard some papers before leaving.

  • Listen to Gillard’s press conference (54m)

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  • Listen to the first section of the press conference on asylum seekers – Gillard & Chris Bowen (19m)

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  • Watch SBS’s Karen Middleton discuss Gillard’s response:
  • Watch Channel 7 report on the security breach:
  • Watch Channel 10 report on the press conference:
  • Watch ABC News report on the press conference:

Transcript of Julia Gillard’s press conference with Chris Bowen.

GILLARD: I’m here with Minister Bowen to make an announcement arising from Angus Houston’s report into asylum seeker and refugee issues. There are some other issues today which I will deal with but we will deal with this immigration issue fully first. Minister Bowen has a booked telephone call with Papua New Guinea.

We received the report from Angus Houston last week and the Parliament did endorse the legislation necessary to implement what Angus Houston and his team referred to as a circuit breaker – that is, the commencement of processing on Nauru and PNG. But at the time we received the report from Angus Houston and his review team, we said we accepted Mr Houston’s analysis that this was an integrated package, that you couldn’t cherry-pick between the recommendations that you needed to do them all.

Today Minister Bowen and I are announcing we are actioning Mr Houston’s recommendation that the number of humanitarian places be increased to 20,000. This is important because we want to send two messages to asylum seekers. Message No.1, if you get on a boat you are risking your life, you are paying a people smuggler your hard-earned money and you are at risk of being transferred to Nauru or PNG. But Message No.2, if you stay where you are and you have your claim processed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees then there are more resettlement places available in Australia. That is the purpose of announcing the 20,000 places – that is the purpose that Mr Houston identified. [Read more…]

Statement By Peter Gordon

This is the text of a statement released today by Peter Gordon of Arnold Bloch Leibler.

Gordon’s statement is in response to this article in The Weekend Australian.


Peter Gordon statement

Gillard Promises Funding Increase To Independent Schools

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has promised that every independent school in the nation will receive an increase in funding.

Julia Gillard

Addressing the Association of Heads of Independent Schools, Gillard defended private schools. She said: “I’ve never looked at a big independent school in an established suburb and thought ‘That’s not fair’. I look at a big independent school in an established suburb and thing ‘That’s a great example’.”

  • Listen to Gillard’s speech (20m)

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Senate President John Hogg To Retire

Senator John Hogg, President of the Senate, has announced that he will retire at the next election.

John HoggHogg is a Queensland Labor senator. He was first elected in 1996.

He has been President of the Senate since August 2008.

Hogg’s retirement frees up a right-wing, Australian Workers Union position on the Labor Senate ticket.

The Western Australian Liberal Senator Alan Eggleston has also announced he will not contest the next election.

Three Labor and five Liberal members of the House of Representatives have signalled their intention to retire at the election.

Statement by Senator John Hogg, President of the Senate.

Senator Hogg, Labor Senator for Queensland, today announced that he would not be seeking a further term when nominations were opened by the Labor Party next Monday.

He said that he was grateful for the opportunity his party had given him to represent the people of Queensland in the Senate.

Senator Hogg confirmed that he would serve out his full term to 30 June 2014 as there are still many things to be done. [Read more…]

Kevin Rudd: Haven’t Changed A Bit

Always hang on to those old campaign posters.

Kevin Rudd

Land Of Hope And Dreams: Wayne Swan’s John Button Oration

This is Treasurer Wayne Swan’s John Button Oration, delivered tonight.

Wayne Swan

  • Listen to Swan’s speech (29m)

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  • Download a copy of Swan’s speech (PDF)

Text of Acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan’s John Button Oration.

LAND OF HOPE AND DREAMS

One of the aspects of my job I enjoy most is speaking to different parts of our community about so many different facets of our economy. In roughly eight years in the Treasury portfolio I’ve made hundreds of speeches on economic topics, which is of course no great surprise particularly given the whiteknuckle ride the global economy has been through in recent times.

But tonight I want to do things a bit differently. Tonight I want to talk to you in a very personal way about some of the values that have underpinned these speeches and about some of the influences that have shaped those values. In particular I want to talk to you about the ends of economic policy: what sort of society we want, and the sorts of lives we each aspire to lead.

To answer those questions we need to broaden our debates beyond the usual parameters of economic argument and policy-making. Most importantly, we need to talk about culture. Because it is culture perhaps more than anything else which influences our values, which in turn shape the type of society we want to build and the sorts of lives we want to lead. [Read more…]