Breaking: Coalition claim victory with projected majority

Turnbull election nightAustralia will most likely be spared a minority Government with the outcome of the election now clear 8 days after polling day.

Speaking to the media following Bill Shorten’s concession speech (read that here), Malcolm Turnbull declared victory today stating that “the most important people to thank are the Australian people.”

Turnbull made the point that the Coalition has “won more first preference votes” than the Labor party (800,00o thousand), and is on track to win the national 2 party preferred vote as well. The Prime Minister said the next parliament will be an “exciting and constructive one” and that “it’s vital that we work together and find ways in which we can all agree.”

A likely olive branch as also handed to Pauline Hanson, with Turnbull stating that “every person who has been elected deserves respect.” The Coalition will have its party meeting tomorrow week. Following Bill Shorten’s comments about electronic voting, Turnbull expressed his enthusiasm for electoral reform in this area as well. He also outlined concerns surrounding the lack of regulation for robo-calls and text messages sent out by political parties.

Several of the seats in doubt have swung towards the Coalition in the last 24 hours and it’s now safe to say that the Coalition has won enough seats to govern in its own right, despite obtaining agreements with independent members Andrew Wilkie, Bob Katter and Cathy McGowan.

The Coalition has won the election on the slimmest of margins after suffering a 3.6% swing. The election came down to postal vote counts in the seats of Gilmore, Forde, Flynn and Capricornia pulling them accross to the 76 seats required to form majority Government. The seat of Herbert is still unclear; if the Coalition wins the seat they will sit on 77 seats.

There are still a few seats in doubt. We’ll update you via our live blog here until it is clear.

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Same Sex Marriage plebicite question revealed


It appears that the ball is now rolling regarding the same sex marriage plebiscite. Samantha Maiden reports in the Sunday Telegraph that the plebiscite will be formally ticked off by the Coalition Party room on September 18. The Government’s plan is to hold the plebiscite in February 2017 and the question is expected to be “Do you approve of a law to permit people of the same sex to marry?”

The next step for the plebiscite is to have legislation drafted and passed through both Houses of Parliament, to allow the poll to occur. It looks like the plebicite will be the first major test for the new Senate. Follow us to keep up to date!

Federal Government blocks the sale of NSW electricity company Ausgrid

MorrisonThe biggest issue in the last NSW State election was the privatisation of electricity assets in order to fund future infrastructure projects. That policy has been thrown into doubt today – Citing national security and interest issues, the Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has blocked the lease of the NSW Electricity network Ausgrid to a Chinese bidder. He has the power to do this for major purchases from overseas. Ausgrid is Australia’s largest power company supplying electricity to more than 1.7 million households. Morrison has indicated that all current applications for Ausgrid don’t meet national interest test, meaning the bids from both China and Hong Kong have been rejected.

NSW has until the 18 of August to propose alternative bidders.

Census website was “hacked” from overseas: ABS


Australians are still unable to complete the national Census this morning following major failures with the online lodging system. The Australian Bureau of Statics has admitted this morning there have been major failures caused by overseas hackers, who successfully pulled down the website four times. It remains down for this morning, by the choice of the bureau. 

The successful hacking attempt is expected to cause widespread concern and anger as the ABS currently have no way of determining if the personal information of people was retrieved by the hackers. 

More to come.

NT Royal Commissioner resigns


Less than a week ago Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that judge Brian Ross Martin AO had been appointed to the “Royal Commission into the Northern Territory juvenile detention system.” Earlier today Judge martin resigned from his position, stating that he did not think that he “would have the confidence of the Aboriginal  community”.

In a press conference Judge Martin took the opportunity to “be clear about a few matters” that had surfaced since his announcement. This included the suggestion of his impartiality as a judge in the NT for several years as well as the employment of his daughter, who has worked for the NT government. Citing “personal considerations that must give way to the over-riding importance of the Royal Commission” justice Martin says that the his resignation has not been sought from the government.

An announcement regarding a new commissioner is imminent. 

Hillary Clinton accepts the Democratic nomination

Clinton

History has been made today in the US, with Clinton becoming the first woman to be a democratic presidential nominee. 

When the US chooses a president they do it very carefully and no one can suggest it isn’t a quick process! After a series of state by state votes to weed out dud candidates and select a nominee, the 18 month process has culminated in a national convention of the US Democratic Party in Philadelphia.

Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton has formally accepted the nomination to be the presidential candidate for the Democrats in the US , defeating her rival Bernie Sanders. Clinton has made history today, become the first woman to do so in either major party. The Republican Party held a similar convention last week and formally chose Donald Trump as their nominee.

With Hillary and Donald now formally nominated, the pair will battle it out against each other until election day in the US – the first Tuesday in November.

 

When any barrier falls in America, it clears the way for everyone. After all, when there are no [glass] ceilings, the sky’s the limit. Hillary Clinton.

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Turnbull rejects Rudd’s UN tilt for power

Rudd

Kevin Rudd may need a strong cup of tea and an Iced Vovo after this disappointing news. 

Malcolm Turnbull has announced that Australia will not formally nominate Kevin Rudd for the top UN job.

Thursday’s cabinet meeting was bitterly divided over whether to nominate Mr Rudd for the position of United Nations Sectary General. The task was passed to Malcolm Turnbull to make his first ‘captains call’ since the election. The choice may be a simple yes/no answer, but that’s where the simplicity stopped.

When Turnbull decided to not formally nominate Mr Rudd, he decided support the opinion of his treasurer Scott Morrison and many conservatives, at the cost of his deputy leader Julie Bishop and many moderates in the party who did not want to make a partisan political move.

The threshold question is do we believe the person is well suited for that position? My judgement is that Mr Rudd is not. Malcolm Turnbull

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Crucial Royal Commission details released

TURNBULL BRANDIS TERROR LAWS PRESSERPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has appointed Mr Brian Ross Martin AO to be the Commissioner of the “Royal Commission in the Northern Territory juvenile detention system.” Mr Martin is a former judge of the NT as has also worked in judicial roles in South Australia and Western Australia. Royal Commissions have boundaries that are set around what they can and cannot investigate and these have also been released. Known as ‘terms of reference’ the commission will investigate if there have been any breaches in duty of care or potential human rights violations, as well as give an answer as to why previous reports were ignored by officials. It will look at the culture of across all youth detention centres in the Northern Territory since 2006 and

The inaugural hearing for the commission will take place on the sixth of September, with the process due for completion by 31 March, 2017.

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Comment: The horrific events in the Northern Territory are a failure of all of us

  • Jail image

    Boys as young as 10 were confined in spaces like this for up to 23 hours per day.

    Solitary confinement

  • Verbal abuse
  • Tear gas
  • Excessive force
  • Being stripped naked
  • Spit hoods
  • Violent threats
  • Restraint chairs

The list above is worthy of a third world, lawless regime. It’s happening in 2016, in Australia – to boys as young as 10.

The events broadcast on the ABC’s Four Corners program demonstrate that a light needs to be shined very brightly on this horrific situation. With Malcolm Turnbull’s Royal Commission, a light will shine.

The most distressing thing to see in my opinion was the way the boys shared their stories. Years of unjustifiably harsh treatment was recounted. How did they describe it? Their tone was cool and calm – as if the abuse was a normal way of life.

Seldom did they look ‘rehabilitated’.

As we seek to apportion blame we need to ask ourselves – who is at fault? The answer is everyone.

The events in Northern Territory happened because we have become lazy in our acceptance of our democracy. It is clear that our governments need a healthy dose of accountability and oppositions should not be the only force.

“Restraint chair” legislation was introduced into the NT Parliament this year by the current Liberal government. Was the Labor Party out to lunch during that vote? The parliaments we elect need to be held accountable for our actions – and it’s the job of ordinary citizens living in suburbia who do this.

It’s our country and we need to maintain its standards. Silence is not an answer.

There were independent commissioners and guardians in the NT. They investigated and wrote reports, but were restricted from disclosing the results of them – something is toxic about this fact

Your choice on a ballot paper once every three years isn’t the end of your task in our democracy. We must work together to ensure that our democracy is a healthy one where (to be extremely blunt) human rights abuses that were detailed on Four Corners have no chance of manifesting.

This is what happens when we achieve complacency. When we as a society are not bothered to maintain our democracy, it fails people. When we fail to shine the light across all areas of our government, the results can be deadly for those in the darkness.

Instead of shining lights to prevent potential crimes, as a nation, we’ll now be shining a light to reveal victims and their horrific stories.

ME
Matthew Robson writes for Politics in a Paragraph.

 


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Turnbull acts swiftly on Territory scandal

four cornersThe ABC’s Four Corners program has revealed horrific scenes of abuse and mistreatment of children taken into custody in the Northern Territory. Focusing on the stories of a number of boys at the Don Dale correctional facility, the program details a litany of unlawful actions and treatment that included the use of restraint chairs, solitary confinement, spit hoods and tear gas. The tactics were used on boys aged between 10-16 years.

Together with these stories reporter Caro Meldrum-hanna presented numerous instances of independent commissioners bringing the conditions of the children to the attention of the Northern Territory Government. The Government commissioned a review of a major incident and the results were not made public.

Less than 12 hours after the the Four Corners program aired, the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that the Federal Government will establish a Royal Commission to shine a light on the matter.

We are shocked by the report… we have moved swiftly to get to the bottom of it. We have here a very troubling state of affairs, where clearly there has been mistreatment of young people – there’s no question about that. Malcolm Turnbull.

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Government to legislate indefinite jail for terrorists

With the national terror threat level remaining at ‘probableVector illustration of a man lock up in prison’ the government is continuing to work on dealing with the issue of terrorism. The Prime Minister and Attorney General announced today that new legislation will be introduced into the parliament to ensure those convicted of terrorist offences will remain in jail until they have been rehabilitated. Known as ‘post-sentence preventative detention,’ the legislation effectively jails those convicted of terrorism offences indefinitely, should they show no signs of rehabilitation. The entire process would be handled by the courts, who would rely on the professional opinions of psychologists and doctors, as well as records of their time inside correctional facilities. The process mirrors similar legislation preventing paedophiles and those convicted of serious violent and sexual criminal offences.

 “The guiding principles of a post-sentence preventative detention  scheme would be that it cover high-risk terrorist offenders and contain appropriate procedural protections and safe guards.” Malcolm Turnbull

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