Daily Archives: March 2, 2012
Στις 19 Φεβρουαρίου, ο Άγγελος Ανδρεάτος ταξίδεψε μέχρι τον Καναδά και συγκριμένα στο «The Local Company», ύστερα από πρόσκληση των Ελλήνων που ζουν εκεί.
Αυτό που έγινε «ομολογουμένως» δεν περιγράφεται.
Ενθουσιασμός, χαρά, συγκίνηση και απόλυτο κέφι, είναι οι μοναδικές λέξεις που μπορούν να αντικατοπτρίσουν το σκηνικό αυτής της εμφάνισης του Άγγελου Ανδρεάτου.
Οι ομογενείς πέρασαν μία υπέροχη βραδιά μαζί με τον δημοφιλή καλλιτέχνη, αφού ξεφάντωσαν μέχρι τις πρώτες πρωινές ώρες, τραγουδώντας μαζί τους όλες τους τις επιτυχίες!
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Welcome to our live coverage of politics from the national capital.
12.28pm: Julia Gillard:
“The decisions I have made are about merit, about the strongest possible team.”
12.24pm: Here is the guts of the Prime Minister’s statement:
Bob Carr will join the Senate, and will take on the role of Minister for Foreign Affairs. Until he takes his place in the Senate, Craig Emerson will continue to act as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
Craig Emerson will also take on an expanded role of Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, paying particular attention to increasing Australia’s international economic competitiveness, with a focus on the Australia in the Asian Century White Paper.
Brendan O’Connor moves into Cabinet to take the position of Minister for Small Business, as well as Minister for Housing and Homelessness. Small businesses are central to Australia’s economy and deserve Cabinet-level representation.
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon will take on the additional portfolio of Emergency Management, which as I have made clear I believe must be a Cabinet-level appointment.
Tony Burke will take on the additional role of Vice-President of the Executive Council.
Kate Lundy is promoted to Minister for Sport and Minister for Multicultural Affairs, as well as Minister Assisting for Industry and Innovation.
David Bradbury is promoted to the Ministry as Assistant Treasurer, and in the newly-created position of Minister Assisting for Deregulation.
Jason Clare will take on the additional portfolio of Minister for Defence Materiel.
Kim Carr will move to the crucial services delivery portfolio of Human Services. Minister Greg Combet will continue to be responsible for manufacturing at a Cabinet level.
“I wish to thank Robert McClelland for his many years of service in the Ministry.”
Parliamentary Secretary changes
Jan McLucas will become Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister in addition to her existing duties, and Richard Marles will assume wider responsibilities with the additional title of Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs.
Bernie Ripoll becomes Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, while Sharon Bird becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Higher Education and Skills.
Jacinta Collins will become Manager of Government Business in the Senate following Mark Arbib’s retirement.
“I want to thank all Ministers who have served the Government so well in their current portfolios.”
12.21pm: Bob Carr: “I couldn’t say no.”
12.20pm: Craig Emerson has expanded trade.
Kate Lundy is in the ministry.
David Bradbury is in the ministry as Assistant Treasurer.
Jason Clare has Defence Material.
Kim Carr goes to Human Services.
Greg Combet gets manufacturing.
Robert McClelland goes to the backbench.
12.15pm: Here’s the Prime Minister.
With Bob Carr.
He’s coming to the Senate, and will be Foreign Minister.
Noon: Prime Minister Julia Gillard will announce her ministry in ten minutes.
11.55am: BREAKING: ROBERT McCLELLAND CONSIDERS POLITICAL FUTURE.
From Sunday Age political editor Misha Schubert on The National Times.
“Robert McClelland has told colleagues that he is consulting family before deciding his political future after being told he’ll be dumped from cabinet, raising the spectre of a byelection in his Sydney seat of Barton.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard is expected to announce her reshuffle shortly, with a new line-up sparked by the resignation of Kevin Rudd as foreign minister last week. Senator Mark Arbib’s portfolios are also up for grabs after his shock resignation from politics in the wake of Monday’s leadership ballot.”
11.51am: Mr Abbott is unhappy about Mr Swan’s remarks on the miners.
Greens leader Bob Brown has a different view.
This from my colleague David Wroe, who went to a press conference from Senator Brown before.
Senator Brown shares Wayne Swan’s diagnosis that the influence of money is a ‘‘poison’’ to the national debate, even going as far as to compare the likes of Clive Palmer, Twiggy Forrest and Gina Rinehart to Russian oligarchs.
‘‘We have to be careful that we don’t end up like Russia, with oligarchs running he country,’’ Senator Brown has said at a morning press conference in Canberra.
‘‘We’re in great danger of that. I’m a democrat. I believe in a fair go in this country and that’s what the Treasurer is talking about.’’
Senator Brown’s assessment is that while the ALP is hamstrung by its relations with the rich and mighty, a greater influence for the Greens would give Mr Swan more room to take swings at Australia’s own oligarchs.
His prescription? More power to the Greens.
11.50am: Meanwhile, the ABC’s Latika Bourke has her eye on Tony Abbott.
Latika Bourke @latikambourke
Oppn will introduce a private members bill to restore the Solar Hot Water rebate scheme until the end of the financial yr.
2 Mar 12
11.45am: The main points from Mr Albanese’s statement just now.
The 3,000-page report makes a range of recommendations for action in three areas: to allow Sydney (Kingsford-Smith) Airport to operate to its full operational capacity, to protect and expand the role of other airports in the Sydney region, and to identify the site for a new airport to meet long-term growth.
There is no doubt there are difficult issues to resolve but the report is clear on the cost of delaying action.
Spare landing and take-off slots are already limited in the peak hours – by 2015 Sydney Airport will be severely constrained at peak times and by around 2030 no new growth will be possible.
The Committee does not support any change to the curfew and also points out that with the airport already close to capacity, increasing the cap in peak hours would only buy as little as a year.
I have already made it clear that the Federal Government will not make any changes to the current cap or curfew.
We will also maintain the current protections for regional airlines and Bankstown Airport will not be developed as Sydney’s second airport.
Further, I have consistently stated that the Government has ruled out the use of the Badgerys Creek site as a second airport and that remains our position.
The Federal Government will now commence consideration of the Committee’s recommendations.
11.30am: Transport Minister Anthony Albanese is meanwhile about to release a report about a second Sydney Airport.
My colleague from The Sydney Morning Herald, Jake Saulwick, had the news break this morning.
Here’s Jake’s story.
And he’s at the event.
Oh, we have an exec summary now. Says additional airport needed by ‘around 2030′
2 Mar 12
11.15am: Anytime now.
A large pile of cardboard boxes in the corridor around the corner from Stephen Smith’s ministerial office. #wonderwhy? #reshuffle #auspol
2 Mar 12
11.10am: Here is US comedian Stephen Colbert speaking about the so-called “super PACs” in the US – third party groups active in the presidential primaries.
Colbert’s comedy has done a great deal to focus public attention on this issue in America.
The following is a wonderfully absurb discussion about who controls his super PAC, Americans for a Better Tomorrow, Tomorrow.
10.45am: Perhaps Mr Swan could start with pondering Recommendation 24 of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters’ inquiry into the funding of political parties and election campaigns.
“The Committee recommends that the Australian Government investigate options for restricting or capping third party political expenditure.”
(If you are keen on this debate, have a look at their report, tabled last December, here.)
This would, of course, require support from the Coalition.
So far, this debate has been held hostage by a stand-off between the major parties.
The Liberals say they haven’t seen a coherent agenda from Labor in this space.
But the Liberals showed their contempt for the whole discussion by failing to lodge a submission to last year’s inquiry until well after the due date.
10.30am: Clive Palmer, quoted in The Australian Financial Review this morning.
“It is obvious from Mr Swan’s comments that he feels he has a responsibility to workers at the exclusion of all other Australians, and that clearly explains his poor performace as Treasurer.”
Reader David Sanderson isn’t buying Mr Palmer’s rebuttal (or Liberal Christopher Pyne’s for that matter)..
Katharine Murphy@murpharoo 2 Mar 12
Here’s the link. Interested in your views on Swan. Truth telling or class warfare? goo.gl/2a8ek
@murpharoo A legitimate debate. Calling it “class warfare” or the “politics of envy” as Pyne did is just juvenile.
2 Mar 12
10.05am: Clubs lobbying against pokie machine reform is actually an excellent case study to consider when we ponder the rise of vested interests.
The usual response to calls for more regulation to prevent third parties abusing their power in public policy debates is the free speech defence.
It’s a free country. We (James Packer, Clubs Australia etc) can say exactly as we like.
The problem with this argument is the losers from gambling addiction don’t have the same resources to mount a public campaign defending their interests.
We’ve highlighted on the Pulse this week a fightback from a coalition called Stop the Loss.
It’s a really good campaign, assisted by the talents of advertising guru Neil Lawrence.
But Stop the Loss are at least 12 months behind the clubs.
The battle in Canberra has already been waged, and lost.
So is the relevant criteria here free speech or fair speech?
The rise of third party interest campaigns is one of the biggest issues confronting professional politics. Here, in the United States, everywhere,
I welcome Mr Swan bringing on this debate.
But if he brings it on, he should be prepared to follow through with some action.
9.55am: As we were saying.
Where do we draw the boundaries if we are debating the pernicious influence of vested interests?
How about the pokies and clubs industry @SwannyDPM are they vested interests too? #auspol #pokies
2 Mar 12
9.50am: And how about the clubs, and the gaming interests staring down poker machine reform?
Does the Treasurer believe they are threat to rational policy making as well?
Or only rich miners?
9.40am: Very good point about disclosure raised by the ABC’s Sabra Lane this morning in her interview with Mr Swan.
Here’s this morning’s news story by my colleague Dylan Welch on a push-back by Labor and the Coalition concerning the registration and disclosure of lobbyists.
The 2008 regulations (regarding lobbyists) forced so-called consultant lobbyists – people or firms that lobbied on behalf of companies – to record all meetings with ministers.
There are 934 recorded on the register.
But the Greens said it needed to go further to include the 4000 company employees who met federal politicians to lobby on behalf of their company.
The Greens also sought to expand the regulations so they covered all 150 members of parliament, not just ministers.
Labor and the Coalition rejected both suggestions.
The report rejected scrutinising the in-house lobbyists because ”it would result in a significant increase in administrative requirements for both lobbyists and government”
9.30am: And Pulse readers continue to express interest in the Swan essay.
This contribution from a reader:
“There’s a telling juxtaposition on the front page of The Australian this morning.
There’s a story down page one: Swan says the wealthy pursue their vested interests in league with the media.
Then the main page one story: Exclusive! Miners warn jobs at risk if ports have to pay fees to dump sludge in Great Barrier Reef.
Is this unintentional irony on the part of The Australian?
As Wayne Swan might say: “I rest my case.”
9.20am: Wayne Swan is not the only Labor essayist doing the rounds this morning.
Bob Carr, the man who would have been the Foreign Minister, (but for a bunch of bad and clumsy stuff we still don’t entirely comprehend), has taken to the keyboard for The Australian Financial Review this morning.
Of course it’s an interesting read.
Here’s Mr Carr on leadership, and rising to the “improvisational challenge”:
In World War I and in the Cold War, the Labor Party had leadership that could not rise to the improvisational challenge. Those leaders, Billy Hughes and H V Evatt, could not surmount the contradictions, bridge the divisions and invent new issues that might have united a muddle-headed party.
The splits of 1917 and 1955 were a failure of leadership. But there have also been Labor leaders in the past who have been able to invest new agendas. Whitlam laid out a program of national health insurance and funding for schools based on needs. It supplanted Cold War divisions and the myth of bank nationalisation.
Bob Hawke’s personalised leadership held the party together for an economic reform agenda, while the same issues split the Left off from New Zealand Labour.
Paul Keating, by elevating economic modernisation, native title and the Republic, showed the zest with which leadership can craft new conversation.
Neville Wran by force of personality was able to send a message to country and city about NSW Labor: moderate, fiscally responsible, responsive to its working class base but open to new ideas of anti-discrimination and environmental protection.
It was nimble-footed leadership in both cases and it worked a treat.
Forget theory and improvise. Inventive leadership shaping public discussion, entertaining and enlarging the national debate is probably the best we’ve got. That’s my view anyway. Then I’m inclined to see things the leader’s way.
9.10am: And, from the horses mouth.
(There’s a #fairgo hashtag?)
Good to see @THEMONTHLY essay is starting a conversation on the #fairgo. It’s up on web now at tinyurl.com/7mf3brd
2 Mar 12
9.06am: Opposition leader Tony Abbott is off to install a Rheem.
He’s off to a Rheem factory in Rydalmere, presumably to highlight the Gillard Government’s decision this week to close down solar rebates.