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


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…]

Bob Brown Resigns; Christine Milne New Greens Leader

Senator Bob Brown has resigned as leader of the Australian Greens.

Brown’s surprise decision was announced at a party meeeting in Canberra. Senator Christine Milne was immediately elected as the new leader.

Later in the day, Melbourne MP Adam Bandt was elected deputy leader.

Brown said he would leave the Senate later in the year when the Tasmanian Greens division has finalised pre-selections. [Read more…]

“Fellow Earthians” – Bob Brown’s Green Oration

This is the text of the Third Annual Green Oration by Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens.

Senator Bob BrownFellow Earthians,

Never before has the Universe unfolded such a flower as our collective human intelligence, so far as we know.

Nor has such a one-and-only brilliance in the Universe stood at the brink of extinction, so far as we know.

We people of the Earth exist because our potential was there in the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, as the Universe exploded into being.

So far, it seems like we are the lone thinkers in this vast, expanding Universe. [Read more…]

Gillard Presses On As Brown Claims Criticism Is Sexist

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown said today that criticism of Julia Gillard was sexist.

Brown’s comments came after several days of speculation about Gillard’s leadership, culminating in a Labor caucus meeting on Sunday and a BBQ at The Lodge, ahead of the return of Parliament tomorrow.

  • Listen to Bob Brown at his media conference this morning (20m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Bob Brown

Later in the day, Prime Minister Gillard held a press conference and refused to be drawn on speculation about her leadership. She congratulated the Queen on her 60th anniversary as monarch, announced details of arrangements for Queensland flood victims, and emphasised the government’s economic program over the next eighteen months.

  • Listen to Julia Gillard’s press conference (23m)

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Julia Gillard

Bob Brown Jousts With The “Hate Media”

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown jousted with some members of the Canberra press gallery today.

Brown referred to “the hate media” whilst one journalist accused him of regularly “bagging News Ltd”. The national daily, The Australia got several mentions.

  • Listen to the audio (27 minutes) or watch selected moments and judge the maturity levels for yourself.

    Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Coal Barons Should Help Pay For Catastrophes: Greens

Greens leader Senator Bob Brown has attracted criticism across the political spectrum for his call for the mining industry to be taxed to pay for natural disaster relief.

This is the press release issued by Senator Bob Brown, leader of the Australian Greens.


Senator Bob BrownThe full tax on excess profits by the coal mining industry, as recommended by Treasury, should be imposed with half set aside for future natural catastrophes in Australia, Greens Leader Bob Brown said in Hobart today.

“It is unfair that the cost is put on all taxpayers, not the culprits,” Senator Brown said.

“Burning coal is a major cause of global warming. This industry, which is 75% owned outside Australia, should help pay the cost of the predicted more severe and more frequent floods, droughts and bushfires in coming decades. As well, 700,000 seaside properties in Australia face rising sea levels.”

“A Goldman Sachs study found that the reduction in the mining super tax agreed by the current Labor government (the coalition opposes the mining tax) would cost Australians $35 billion in forgone revenue to 2019-20.”

“Scientists agree that current floods come from record-high temperatures of Australian oceans this season.”

“We also ask insurers to show some compassion to Queensland’s flood victims, and to others who face loss as wild weather besets the country. Many people believe they have flood cover and, if not, the fine print should have been disclosed to them.”

House of Representatives Debates Gay Marriage Resolution

An impressive debate began in the House of Representatives tonight on a motion by the Greens member, Adam Bandt, calling on parliamentarians to gauge their constituents’ views on the issue of marriage equality.

Bandt’s motion reads:

That this House:

(1) notes there is:

(a) a growing list of countries that allow same-sex couples to marry including the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, SPain, Canada and South Africa; and

(b) widespread support for equal marriage in the Australian community; and

(2) calls on all parliamentarians to gauge their constituents’ views on the issue of marriage equality.

Speaking to the motion, Bandt said, “there have been many attempts through history to limit love and all have failed”. The text of his speech is at the end of this page. [Read more…]

Victorian Liberals Put The Greens Last As Labor Stitches Up A Deal

The Liberal Party in Victoria has decided to preference the ALP ahead of the Greens in all lower house seats in the November 27 election.

The decision dramatically reduces the chances of the Greens winning any of the inner-Melbourne electorates it had been favoured to capture. Without Liberal preferences, the Greens will struggle to capture Richmond, Brunswick or Northcote, although it may still be in with a good chance in Melbourne.

A minority government following the election is now much less likely.

The Labor Party has chosen to preference the Greens in all Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council districts. The Greens have agreed to give preferences to Labor in most of the key marginal seats.

The Group Voting Tickets for the Legislative Council have also been published by the Victorian Electoral Commission. As in the Senate, proportional voting is used to elect 5 members in each of 8 districts. Voters may cast a single vote “above the line” or number all preferences below the line. Preferences for votes cast above the line will be allocated according to the tickets lodged by the parties with the Commission.

Download the Group Voting Tickets for the Legislative Council (PDF):

Baillieu and Brumby Meet in Election Debate

The Victorian Labor Premier, John Brumby, and the Liberal Opposition Leader, Ted Baillieu, have debated each other tonight in the only televised encounter of the 2010 state election.

The one hour debate was a lacklustre event, enlivened by a scrap over Greens preferences. Baillieu insisted that Brumby announce whether the ALP would preference the Greens, whilst Brumby said it was only Liberal preferences that were likely to elect Greens’ candidates.

Baillieu argued that Labor has presided over an increase in violent crime and problems in transport, children in care, and hospitals. He said government debt, waste and mismanagement had to be reined in.

Brumby said they key issue was “who will keep the jobs coming”, arguing that his government’s focus on education and infrastructure was the key “to meeting the challenges of the times ahead”. Brumby said he offered strong leadership and stability.

"Brumby and Baillieu meet in 2010 TV election debate"

Brumby and Baillieu meet in Victorian election debate

Click the PLAY button to listen to the debate (60 mins):

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Giving Substance To The Words

There are thirty-two new members of the 43rd Parliament, elected on August 21st. Three of them are returning after a voluntary or enforced absence. As a group they constitute one-fifth of the House of Representatives, a significant turnover and renewal of the lower house. Many of them will be there for years to come.

Over the past month, I have made a point of watching the maiden, or first, speeches of these members. On the whole, it is difficult not to be impressed by these fledgling parliamentarians.

There has been much comment on the moving speech from the Western Australian Liberal, Ken Wyatt, the first indigenous member of the House, but others also delivered considered and thoughtful speeches. [Read more…]