Asia-Ready People, Asia-Ready Policies: Wayne Swan Speech

This is the text of Treasurer Wayne Swan’s address to the Australia in China’s Century conference in Sydney today.

Wayne Swan

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Speech by Treasurer Wayne Swan to Australia in China’s Century conference.

Asia-Ready People, Asia-Ready Policies

Can I start by thanking you, Paul for that introduction, thanking you all here for that warm welcome, and especially acknowledging The Australian and The Wall Street Journal for putting this event together. The rise of China, and especially the stupendous growth in its middle class, sits alongside the Global Financial Crisis as one of the two defining economic events of our lifetimes. Both are transforming the world. Indeed, China’s return to pre-eminence in the global economy is the most momentous development since the industrial revolution re-shaped the Western world over 200 years ago. So what China’s rise means for our place in the global superstructure is certainly a big enough topic to warrant this high-quality gathering today. I’m thankful for the opportunity to offer some thoughts and then to discuss them with my distinguished colleagues on this panel. I know that by this stage you don’t want me to go over too much of the same ground or recite the same stats. Instead, I want to offer the personal perspective of an Australian Treasurer whose seven trips to China mean I’ve probably visited there more times than all my predecessors since federation combined. That’s not a perfect statistic, but it does illustrate the shifting focus of Treasurers since the second world war, from markets in London, New York and Tokyo towards Shanghai and Hong Kong today. [Read more…]

President Barack Obama’s Acceptance Speech At The Democratic Party Convention

Barack Obama has accepted the Democratic Party’s nomination for president and delivered a rallying call to the party faithful in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Barack Obama

Obama argued he had rescued the economy from disaster and the recovery would be put in doubt by a Romney presidency.

He said: “Over the next few years, big decisions will be made in Washington, on jobs and the economy; taxes and deficits; energy and education; war and peace – decisions that will have a huge impact on our lives and our children’s lives for decades to come… On every issue, the choice you face won’t just be between two candidates or two parties. It will be a choice between two different paths for America. A choice between two fundamentally different visions for the future… Ours is a fight to restore the values that built the largest middle class and the strongest economy the world has ever known.”

Obama’s speech followed a fulsome personal tribute to him from Vice-President Joe Biden. Obama’s wife, Michelle, introduced him to the convention.

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Transcript of President Obama’s speech to the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, as transcribed by the New York Times.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Thank you. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you.

AUDIENCE MEMBERS: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you so much. Thank you. Thank you very much, everybody. (Cheers, applause.) Thank you.

Michelle, I love you so much. (Cheers, applause.)

A few nights ago, everybody was reminded just what a lucky man I am. (Cheers, applause.)

Malia and Sasha, we are so proud of you. (Cheers, applause.) And yes, you do have to go to school in the morning. (Chuckles.) (Laughter, applause.)

And Joe Biden, thank you for being the very best vice president I could have ever hoped for — (cheers, applause) — and being a strong and loyal friend.

Madam Chairwoman, delegates, I accept your nomination for president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.) [Read more…]

Bill Clinton Address To The Democratic Party Convention

Former President Bill Clinton has received a rapturous reception from delegates to the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Bill Clinton

Clinton gave the keynote speech in support of the nomination of President Barack Obama. At the end of the speech, Obama joined Clinton on stage.

As a CNN commentator put it, the speech, like all Clinton speeches, needed an editor, but it was like a hammer hitting a nail on the head.

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Transcript of former President Bill Clinton’s address to the Democratic convention, as transcribed by the New York Times.

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you. (Sustained cheers, applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Now, Mr. Mayor, fellow Democrats, we are here to nominate a president. (Cheers, applause.) And I’ve got one in mind. (Cheers, applause.)

I want to nominate a man whose own life has known its fair share of adversity and uncertainty. I want to nominate a man who ran for president to change the course of an already weak economy and then just six weeks before his election, saw it suffer the biggest collapse since the Great Depression; a man who stopped the slide into depression and put us on the long road to recovery, knowing all the while that no matter how many jobs that he saved or created, there’d still be millions more waiting, worried about feeding their own kids, trying to keep their hopes alive.

I want to nominate a man who’s cool on the outside — (cheers, applause) — but who burns for America on the inside. (Cheers, applause.)

I want — I want a man who believes with no doubt that we can build a new American Dream economy, driven by innovation and creativity, but education and — yes — by cooperation. (Cheers.)

And by the way, after last night, I want a man who had the good sense to marry Michelle Obama. (Cheers, applause.)

You know — (cheers, applause). I — (cheers, applause).

I want — I want Barack Obama to be the next president of the United States. (Cheers, applause.) And I proudly nominate him to be the standard-bearer of the Democratic Party. [Read more…]

National Accounts Show 3.7% Annual Economic Growth

The National Accounts figures released today show economic growth of 0.6% in the June quarter. The annualised growth rate if 3.7%.

Treasurer Wayne Swan said the figures showed that Australia’s economy grew faster than every single major advanced economy, not only in the June quarer but over the year to June.

Australia has now completed 21 years of consecutive economic growth.

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Media statement from Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Today’s National Accounts reaffirm Australia’s position as one of the strongest economies in the world, and shines a light on our ongoing resilience in the face of significant international headwinds.

Gross Domestic Product rose by a solid 0.6 per cent in the June quarter, which builds upon exceptional growth in the March quarter, revised up to 1.4 per cent. This takes Australia’s growth performance to a robust 3.7 per cent through the year.

The National Accounts show the Australian economy grew faster than every single major advanced economy both in the June quarter and over the year to June, and has successfully completed a stunning 21 consecutive years of economic growth – a feat not matched by any other advanced economy over this period.

Australia’s economic performance in the June quarter was even more impressive against a backdrop of worsening global conditions, including a contraction in the euro area, moderating growth in the United States and the return of financial market turbulence. [Read more…]

Michelle Obama Addresses Democratic Party Convention

United States First Lady Michelle Obama has given a rousing address to the Democratic Party convention in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Democratic Party Convention

Mrs. Obama gave a personal view of the president. She said the values she fell in love with guide him each day in the White House.

“In the end, for Barack, these issues aren’t political — they’re personal,” Mrs. Obama said. “Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it, and he wants everyone, everyone in this country to have the same opportunity.”

Towards the end of her speech, the First Lady said her most important title is still “mom-in-chief”.

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Prepared text of Michelle Obama’s address to the Democratic National Convention.

Thank you so much, Elaine…we are so grateful for your family’s service and sacrifice…and we will always have your back.

Over the past few years as First Lady, I have had the extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country.

And everywhere I’ve gone, in the people I’ve met, and the stories I’ve heard, I have seen the very best of the American spirit.

I have seen it in the incredible kindness and warmth that people have shown me and my family, especially our girls.

I’ve seen it in teachers in a near-bankrupt school district who vowed to keep teaching without pay. [Read more…]

Gonski: Gillard Announces New School Funding Arrangements

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced new school funding arrangments in response to the Gonski report.

Julia Gillard

The funding changes will start in 2014, after the next election. Major changes will be phased in over the years to 2020.

Gillard announced the changes in an address to the National Press Club in Canberra.

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Text of email from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Labor members and supporters.

Today, in response to the Gonski review into school funding, I’m announcing major improvements to the way we fund schools to make sure that every child has access to a world class education.

As you’ve no doubt heard me say before, I believe in the power of education to change lives. It changed mine. Because my parents were passionate about education, they wanted their daughter to enjoy all its benefits.

So as a young girl, I was painstakingly taught to read by my mother before I went to school. As luck would have it, the public schools I was zoned to attend were great schools.

I liked school and succeeded at it, but even in great schools like Unley High, I was conscious of the kids who struggled and got left behind.

That’s why it’s so important for me to make sure every child has the opportunity to get the education they deserve, regardless of where they live or what their family background is.

Currently the gap in reading, maths and science between disadvantaged and advantaged students is more than two years of schooling. That’s not good enough.

That’s why there’ll be extra money for the schools and students who need it most: students from lower income families, indigenous students, students with a disability, those with limited English skills and kids in regional and remote areas.

We’re also:

  • Giving new teachers more time to plan their classes and mentoring with more experienced teachers
  • Setting a benchmark funding amount for each student, based on the costs in schools which are already achieving great results
  • Introducing higher entry requirements for teaching
  • Giving teachers annual performance reviews and giving feedback on how they can improve
  • Giving school principals more power to run their schools the way they want, including hiring staff and controlling their budgets

These are just some of the changes we need to build an education system that gives every child every opportunity. By 2025, I want Australia to be in the top five countries for reading, science and maths.

However, to make this a reality we’re going to need co-operation from the State Governments – and we know that Tony Abbott doesn’t support these reforms. It won’t be easy to get this over the line, and over the coming weeks and months we’re going to have fight hard together to make this happen.

Your voice is important. Please let your friends and family know about how we want to improve our schools so that they can speak up too, because this is a fight we can’t afford to lose. We owe it to every Australian child to make sure our schools don’t leave anyone behind anymore.

Julia

Mitt Romney Accepts Republican Party Nomination For President

Mitt Romney has officially accepted the Republican Party’s nomination for President.

Romney delivered his acceptance speech at the party’s convention in Tampa, Florida.

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Clint Eastwood And His Empty Chair

Clint Eastwood has addressed the Republican Party convention in Tampa, Florida.

The 82-year-old actor’s speech featured an empty chair and an imaginary conversation with President Obama.

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Transcript of remarks by Clint Eastwood at the Republican Party Convention.

EASTWOOD: Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you very much. Save a little for Mitt.

(APPLAUSE)

I know what you are thinking. You are thinking, what’s a movie tradesman doing out here? You know they are all left wingers out there, left of Lenin. At least that is what people think. That is not really the case. There are a lot of conservative people, a lot of moderate people, Republicans, Democrats, in Hollywood. It is just that the conservative people by the nature of the word itself play closer to the vest. They do not go around hot dogging it. [Read more…]

Five Australian Soldiers Killed In Afghanistan

Three Australian soldiers have been killed by a rogue Afghan soldier in Afghanistan and two members of the SAS have died in a Black Hawk helicopter crash.

Details of the incidents have been announced by the Acting Chief of the ADF, Air Marshal Mark Binskin. The Governor-General, Quentin Bryce, has described this as “the darkest of days for Australia”.

Mark Binskin

The “green-on-blue” incident occurred at a base in southern Oruzgan province yesterday. Two other soldiers were injured in the attack.

The helicopter crash occurred during an “insertion” in Helmand province. The aircraft rolled over on landing.

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About 1500 Australian Defence Force troops are in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force. The casualties announced today bring Australia’s death toll to 38. Seven soldiers have now been killed in green-on-blue incidents.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced that she has “made the judgement call” to come home early from the Pacific Islands forum in the Cook Islands. She said this is the nation’s worst day in Afghanistan and the worst loss of life since Vietnam.

Julia Gillard

Gillard insisted that the commitment in Afghanistan has a purpose and that “progress is being made”. She said: “We cannot allow even the most grievous of circumstances to alter our strategy… We went there for a purpose and we will see that purpose through.”

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Statement released by Department of Defence.

Three Australian soldiers killed, two wounded in insider attack

Three Australian soldiers have been killed and two wounded following an insider attack at Patrol Base Wahab in the Baluchi Valley region of Uruzgan.

The attack occurred during the evening of 29 August, 2012 (Afghan time) inside the confines of the Patrol Base. [Read more…]

CLP Wins Northern Territory Election; Labor Out After 11 Years

The Country Liberal Party has won today’s Northern Territory election. Terry Mills will become Chief Minister, replacing Paul Henderson and the eleven-year-old Labor government.

Terry Mills

The CLP appears to have won three seats, and possibly four, from Labor, giving it 15 or 16 seats in the single-chamber 25-seat parliament. Labor will drop from 12 seats to 8 or 9.

The CLP retained the 12 seats it held before the election and picked up Daly, Arafura and Arnhem. Labor is narrowly ahead in Stuart, ahead of its former ALP member Bess Price who defected to the CLP during the last parliament.

The independent member for Nelson, Gerry Wood, who backed Labor in the hung parliament, retained the seat, despite a swing of over 16% to the CLP.

The swing to the CLP was predominantly in remote and pastoral areas amongst indigenous voters. The swing in Darwin was much smaller and in some areas towards Labor. In Fannie Bay, Labor’s most marginal seat on a margin of 0.9%, the ALP secured a swing of 7% towards it.

Paul Henderson

The Chief Minister, Paul Henderson, retained his seat of Wanguri but there was a swing of around 7.8% to the CLP.

Indigenous leaders have been quick to point out that the indigenous vote can no longer be taken for granted. Hostility to the Intervention in indigenous communities appears to have been a factor in the swing against the ALP in rural areas.

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