Mal Brough Wins Liberal Party Preselection For Fisher

Mal Brough has won Liberal National Party preselection for the Queensland seat of Fisher.

Mal Brough

Fisher is currently held by Peter Slipper. Slipper left the LNP last year after accepting the position of Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Brough previously represented the electorate of Longman but was defeated in the 2007 election.

Brough defeated five other candidates for the preselection, including the LNP’s former state director, James McGrath. Whilst former Prime Minister John Howard supported Brough, McGrath was supported by Joe Hockey, Julie Bishop and Malcolm Turnbull.

Tony Abbott’s China Speech: Working Harder On A Complex Relationship

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott has delivered a keynote foreign policy address on the China relationship.

Speaking in China, Abbott said: “It will take time and much further evolution for our friendship with China to approach the warmth that we take for granted with America. But it is worth the effort and it must be made.”

Of Australia’s developing relationship with China, compared to more established relations with Japan and the United States, Abbott said: “Prime Minister John Howard understood that you could make a new friend without losing an old one.”

Abbott advocated political and legal reforms in China: “In the long term, China should prosper even more if its people enjoyed freedom under the law and the right to choose a government, despite the difficulty of managing this transition in a country with a tumultuous history.”

Abbott addresssed AustCham Beijing, the China-Australia Chamber of Commerce.

Text of Tony Abbott’s address to AustCham Beijing, China.

WORKING HARDER ON A COMPLEX RELATIONSHIP

In just over 30 years, hundreds of millions of Chinese have entered the middle class acquiring TVs, motor cars, extensive wardrobes, and air-conditioned homes.

They have become better educated, more thoroughly informed and more widely travelled.

For the first time since 1949, Chinese people can more-or-less decide how they work and where they live, even outside the country, although they still can’t choose their government.

It’s been a great watershed in human development as well as one of the most remarkable economic transformations in human history. [Read more…]

Turnbull Speech: Open Markets, Open Minds And An Open Society

Malcolm Turnbull has delivered a speech on the economy in which he sounds a warning about Australia’s economic future.

Malcolm TurnbullThe Opposition’s shadow minister for Communications said of the changing world environment: “The real story is much more than China, or indeed Asia. At the centre of the great economic changes in the world today is an accelerating convergence triggered by trade liberalization and supercharged by the Internet. As people in developing countries acquire more skills at first world standards and as the Internet makes historically non-traded sectors thoroughly trade exposed, there are grave risks as well as new opportunities for high wage, developed economies like Australia.”

Turnbull called for inefficient and uncompetitive industries to adapt or die. He warned against government attempting to pick winners. “Now change is often very unsettling – but we need to remind ourselves and our fellow countrymen that just as firms which cannot change to new circumstances will decline, and sometimes close, the same is true for national economies.”

The speech also deals with education, broadband and “harmonious diversity”.

Text of Malcolm Turnbull’s ANU speech: Open Markets, Open Minds and an Open Society (or why we should be more like Stephanie Gilmore and less like King Canute)

It’s an honour to be here at the ANU for the launch of Asia & the Pacific Policy Studies, the new flagship journal of the Crawford School of Public Policy.

Under the editorial leadership of Tom Kompas, Director of the Crawford School, APPS will focus on public policy research from – and about – Australia, Asia and the Pacific, with the first edition out at the start of 2014.

As the newspaper industry’s travails remind us, paper and ink are yesterday’s story, and I note with approval that Tom and his team have future-proofed APPS – it will be published electronically and free of charge, thanks in part to support from AusAID.

Public policy is ultimately the most pragmatic and applied of disciplines. But it must also be founded in rigorous thinking about economic and social behavior – big ideas about the interrelationships that have to be taken into account in successfully leading social and political change.

Rigorous empirical research based on sound precepts – studies of outcomes across jurisdictions, of what worked, what didn’t, and which unanticipated consequences arose – are the most valuable analysis and data available to policymakers considering a problem. And while we are often, but not often enough, aware of what has been tried in the UK, US or New Zealand, we typically know less about what’s been tried elsewhere, particularly beyond the OECD. [Read more…]

Tony Abbott’s Foreign Policy Speech To The Heritage Foundation

This is the text of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott’s speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC.

Abbott attracted criticism from Prime Minister Julia Gillard over his criticism of cuts in defence spending.

Tony Abbott

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Julia Gillard

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Text of Tony Abbott’s speech to the Heritage Foundation in Washington DC>

It was the US Information Agency that organised my first trip to America as a member of parliament. I’d just been elected as a Liberal Party MP and had previously been one of the leading opponents of Australia becoming a republic.

Something happened in translation, though, because my US hosts had been told that I was very liberal and strongly anti-republican so I spent most of my fortnight in America being introduced to virtual communists.

Perhaps this was an illustration of the capacity of government agencies to get things wrong, in this country as well as in my own.

In any event, it’s good, finally, to find myself amongst like-minded Americans.

As our former prime minister, John Howard, often pointed out, the Liberal Party is the custodian in Australia of both the classical liberal and the conservative tradition.

The Heritage Foundation’s support for free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional values and strong national defence; and its mission to promote freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society closely correspond with the objectives of my own party.

The quest for freedom is the defining characteristic of the story of England but it has arguably been taken to a new pitch on this side of the Atlantic.

In a few pithy lines, Tennyson encapsulated the marriage of liberalism and conservatism in our tradition when he spoke of: “a land of just and old renown where freedom broadens slowly down from precedent to precedent”.

This is the heritage of the Magna Carta, the Provisions of Oxford, and the Glorious Revolution which the minutemen asserted against King George and which this Foundation celebrates. [Read more…]

Senator Mary Jo Fisher To Resign

Mary Jo FisherLiberal Senator Mary Jo Fisher has announced that she will resign from the Senate on August 10.

Fisher cited her depressive illness and her recent trial as reasons for her retirement.

Fisher was appointed to the Senate in 2007, replacing Amanda Vanstone. She was elected to a full term in 2010.

The South Australian parliament will appoint a replacement for Fisher.

Under Section 15 of the Constitution, the parliament is obliged to appoint a person nominated by the Liberal Party.

Text of statement released by Senator Mary Jo Fisher.

I am today announcing my intention to resign my position as a Senator representing the people of SA, effective 10 August 2012.

I do so on medical advice and after experiencing a further panic attack, similar but less severe than the one which caused such grief 18 months ago.

It has become undeniable that for me, the road to full recovery from my depressive illness has been hampered by my trying to get better, at the same time as continuing to serve in public office. My faltering recovery was exacerbated by repeated pressures from dogged, calculated and deliberate attempts by the police prosecution service to do everything possible to increase the length, complexity, cost and emotional turmoil both of my recent and extended trial, and the subsequent and continuing post-trial cost processes.

I thank my long-suffering family, friends and Parliamentary colleagues for their support through this persistently tough period. I am particularly thankful to my senatorial staff, each one of whom has stayed with me through exceptionally testing times. Without all of this support, the ordeal would be impossible.

It’s been a privilege to represent South Australians for the past 5 years as a Liberal Senator. In the main, I have enjoyed it and hope that I have made a difference for the better.

Tony Abbott: The Coalition’s Plan For Stronger Communities

The Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, has delivered his fifth Landmark speech.

Tony AbbottAddressing the Pratt Foundation in Melbourne, Abbott’s speech on “stronger communities” committed an incoming Liberal National government to “renew reconciliation by adopting more imaginative ways to include Aboriginal people in the mainstream economy.”

Abbott also said a coalition government will “restructure an element of the Council of Australian Governments to deliver more seamless law enforcement given that criminals don’t respect state or national borders.”

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Transcript of Tony Abbott’s Landmark Speech to the Pratt Foundation.

THE COALITION’S PLAN FOR STRONGER COMMUNITIES

John Howard was onto something when he said that he wanted Australians to feel more “relaxed and comfortable” about our country. People naturally seek the reassurance that their job is safe, their doctor is available, their children go to a good school, their neighbourhood is friendly, and their country is secure.

As a Liberal, the former prime minister readily appreciated that the more people can personally participate in the things that matter to them, the more likely they are to have a well developed sense of belonging to strong and cohesive communities.

As John Howard saw it, a big part of his mission was to end the confused sense of self that afflicted Australia at the end of the Keating era, exacerbated by the then prime minister’s insistence that we couldn’t be a real country unless we changed our symbols and repudiated much of our history.

These days, there’s an even deeper sense of public unease about where we’re headed, only the uncertainty is more economic than cultural. The Rudd/Gillard government is less than five years old yet its incompetence and untrustworthiness has engendered a profound sense of disappointment even amongst people who normally vote Labor. [Read more…]

Gillard And Abbott Light Royal Jubilee Beacon

Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Opposition Leader Tony Abbott both paid tribute to the Queen’s 60-year reign at the lighting of a beacon in Canberra tonight.

The beacon is one of 4200 being lit around the world’s Commonwealth nations ahead of a weekend of celebrations in Britain of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee.

    Julia Gillard

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  • Tony Abbott

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Abbott: This Is An Important Week

This is an important week, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says.

Tony AbbottAbbott’s comment comes as Federal Parliament met today amidst continuing speculation about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s leadership.

Gillard’s political judgement is in question again over her handling of the controversy over foreign workers for the mining industry. Gillard told unions she was kept in the dark about the decision to allow Gina Hancock to import 1700 workers. The decision was announced by Immigration Minister Chris Bowen on Friday. Other government sources claim Gillard was aware of the impending announcement.

After last week’s aggressive preoccupation with Craig Thomson, today’s Question Time in the House of Representatives was subdued. The Opposition did not move to suspend Standing Orders as they often do during Question Time.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott held a Cabinet meeting and posted this statement late today.

Transcript of Tony Abbott’s remarks to the Shadow Cabinet meeting in Canberra.

This is an important week. I think that it’s more and more obvious that this is a divided and dysfunctional government.

It’s also obvious that the faceless men are gathering around the Prime Minister. Now, we all know that the Labor Party is run by faceless men. We all know that the faceless men essentially decide who the Labor Party is, but it’s really up to the Australian people rather than the faceless men who should decide who should be the Prime Minister of this country. [Read more…]

Joe Hockey’s National Press Club Budget Address

Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey addressed the National Press Club today on last week’s Federal Budget.

Transcript of Joe Hockey’s post-Budget Address to the National Press Club.

Joe HockeyIn a part of my north shore electorate our Prime Minister describes as “privileged,” I have watched the fate of a small convenience store unfold over the last thirty five years. Whilst the shop has changed ownership it has only ever been a small family business usually operated by recent migrants to Australia.

Some months ago I dropped by late at night to buy some milk and I had a chat to the owner, lets call him “Sam” for the sake of anonymity.

During our conversation his young son was by his side doing his school homework on the shop counter.

Sam lamented to me how business had collapsed since the milk price had dropped to just one dollar a litre. Passing trade had fallen and his understocked shelves reflected the drop in sales. I admitted that there was little I could do to prevent a price discounting war between supermarkets. I did not want to create false hope.

At about this same time Sam was being hit with much higher electricity bills.

In order to save some outgoings he turned off his fridges at night and placed blankets over his freezer. His electricity bill dropped from around $600 a month to $300.

Since then Sam‘s electricity bill has been creeping back up to more than $500. He is very anxious about what the bill will look like after July. There is little more that he can do to reduce his electricity bill.

In the meantime, his customers have not come back and they can still buy milk down the road for just $1 a litre.

Of course there are billions of dollars of carbon tax compensation for some power stations and companies like Blue Scope Steel. There is no compensation for Sam or over two million similar small businesses.

The limited income tax and pension compensation for many Australians will not be enough to blunt the direct and indirect impact of the carbon tax.

I doubt that Sam’s family income is large, they live at the back of the shop, not in a waterfront residence such as Kirribilli House.

They may qualify for some form of compensation but nothing will compensate their small business for the day to day dislocation and rising costs. Nothing will compensate their business for the carbon tax.

Julia Gillard calls these people “privileged”. Yeah right. [Read more…]

Whatever It Is, I’m Against It