This how the Sydney Daily Telegraph saw Mr Turnbull’s election
Malcolm Turnbull has launched a leadership challenge against Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The Government is in turmoil as the both camps count the numbers to see whether Mr Turnbull has enough support to topple Tony Abbott.
Mr Turnbull and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop met with the Prime Minister to request the leadership ballot earlier today.
Mr Turnbull resigned from Cabinet and then called a snap 4pm media conference to confirm his decision.
“A little while ago I met with the Prime Minister and advised him that I would be challenging him for the leadership of the Liberal Party,” Mr Turnbull said.
“Now this is not a decision that anyone could take lightly. I have consulted with many, many colleagues, many Australians, many of our supporters in every walk of life.”
Mr Turnbull said he had been under sustained pressure to put his name forward.
“This course of action has been urged on me by many people over a long period of time.
“It is clear enough that the Government is not successful in providing the economic leadership that we need. It is not the fault of individual ministers.
“Ultimately, the Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs. He has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs.
“Now we are living as Australians in the most exciting time. The big economic changes that we’re living through here and around the world offer enormous challenges and enormous opportunities.”
‘We need advocacy, not slogans’
Mr Turnbull identified the Prime Minister’s approach to the job as a main concern.
“We need a different style of leadership,” he said.
“We need a style of leadership that explains those challenges and opportunities, explains the challenges and how to seize the opportunities.
“A style of leadership that respects the people’s intelligence, that explains these complex issues and then sets out the course of action we believe we should take and makes a case for it.
“We need advocacy, not slogans. We need to respect the intelligence of the Australian people.
“The only way we can ensure that we remain a high wage, generous social welfare net, first world society is if we have outstanding economic leadership, if we have strong business confidence.
“That is what we in the Liberal Party are bound to deliver and it’s what I am committed to deliver if the partyroom gives me their support as leader of the party.”
Just hours earlier, Mr Abbott dismissed leadership speculation during a media event in South Australia.
“I just am not going to get caught up in Canberra gossip, I’m not going to play Canberra games,” he said.
“I know that sometimes the media particularly like to play the Canberra game, but I’m not going to get involved with it.
“I’m just not going to chase all of these rabbits down all of the burrows that you are inviting me to go down, I’m just not going to play the Canberra games.”
A number of senior ministers had foreshadowed the likelihood of leadership challenge before the end of the year.
“And this time I think they will get him,” one minister said.
Mr Turnbull was opposition leader before he was unseated by Mr Abbott.
Turnbull admits timing not ideal
Mr Turnbull has acknowledged the timing of his announcement is “far from ideal”.
The Canning by-election will be held this Saturday, after the death of popular Liberal MP Don Randall.
“But regrettably, there are few occasions that are entirely ideal for tough calls and tough decisions like this,” Mr Turnbull said.
“The alternative if we were to wait and this issue, these problems were to roll on and on and on is we will get no clear air.
“We have to make a change for our country’s sake, for the Government’s sake, for the party’s sake.
“From a practical point of view a change of leadership would improve our prospects in Canning, although I’m very confident with the outstanding candidate we have that we will be successful.”
Roy throws support behind Turnbull
Queensland MP Wyatt Roy is one of the first Government MPs to show his hand, confirming he will support Mr Turnbull in a leadership challenge.
“I will be backing Malcolm Turnbull,” he told 612 ABC Brisbane.
“These are not decisions that people come to lightly but as Malcolm pointed out in his press conference, modern politics is very different to how it has been practised in the past.
“The reason I came into politics was because I wanted to change the country for the better.
Mr Roy said he wanted his Government to create meaningful reforms and the Coalition needed to communicate its message differently.
He said he would back Ms Bishop to remain as deputy but did not believe there would be a ballot for that position.
BRONWYN Bishop today quit as Speaker as her mate Tony Abbott blamed the MPs’ expenses system and not her big-spending for close to a month of embarrassing revelations about travel costs.
The Prime Minister maintained the obstinate defence of Mrs Bishop’s documented and free-wheeling use of taxpayer funds.
And while voters will welcome the spending review he announced today, Mr Abbott appeared to be saying that if Mrs Bishop was going down, everyone was going to suffer.
The Prime Minister said Mrs Bishop had “by and large” obeyed the rules when she chartered aircraft to attend Liberal Party functions, or hired limos for $1000 a trip when the ComCar Transport service was available to her in Sydney.
He said similar expenses had been claimed by MPs “on both sides of the fence”.
“What has become apparent, particularly over the past few days, is that the problem is not any particular individual. The problem is the entitlement system more generally,” said Mr Abbott.
He argued Mrs Bishop’s notorious spending had been within guidelines but outside “community expectations”.
The Prime Minister announced a wide-ranging review and promised “fundamental reform” of when and how members of Parliament could spend taxpayer money on travel.
It could mean members of Parliament will no longer fly at the pointy end of then plane but back in economy.
The inquiry will be conducted by businessman and president of the MPs’ Remuneration Tribunal John Conde, and David Tune, who resigned as head of the Finance Department in 2014.
“This will not be a quickie review, because there have been quickie reviews in the past,” said Mr Abbott.
He said: “So it’s very important we have a system which is independent, which is accountable, which is transparent and which is workable.”
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten backed the inquiry but wasn’t as kind towards Mrs Bishop.
“The resignation of Mrs Bishop from the position of Speaker, like her apology, was overdue and unrepentant,” Mr Shorten said in a statement.
“Unfortunately Tony Abbott still won’t accept that Bronwyn Bishop has done anything wrong. Mr Abbott has blamed the system, but it was Mrs Bishop’s addiction to privilege that was the real culprit.”
The Prime Minister’s move effectively absolves Mrs Bishop of accusations she abused the expenses system while Speaker, and when she was a back bencher who charged the taxpayer for trips to friends’ weddings.
And it depicts her as being unfairly made the target of voter outrage over expense claims other MPs had also made.
But it also ended weeks of voter uproar over Mrs Bishop’s use of public money for private travel which was rattling the Government and angering ministers who were pressing for her removal as Speaker because the controversy was smothering their efforts.
The row also was damaging Mr Abbott personally which charges his defence of Mrs Bishop showed he was out of touch.
They are electoral neighbours and old friends and the Prime Minister appeared to be putting that friendship ahead of what was best for the Government, voters and the Parliament.
He had effectively chosen her as Speaker and refused to criticise her after reports of spending excesses. Mrs Bishop called Mr Abbott today to report she had given her resignation to Governor-general Peter Cosgrove.
The Coalition now will have to find a replacement as Speaker. Deputy Speaker is Bruce Scott but as he is a National, a Liberal is likely to be chosen.
But there is a precedent with former Nationals MP Ian Sinclair serving as Speaker in the Howard Government.
Mrs Bishop has indicated she will stay in Parliament as member for Mackellar.
“It has been a very difficult day for Bronwyn Bishop and I think we should respect the fact that it has been a very difficult day for her,” said Mr Abbott.
The table below indicates the salaries of various senior politicians, with the Speaker receiving $341,477 (as of 1/07/2013), which does not include other travel and electoral entitlements. Australia has one of the highest rates of pay for politicians in the world.
|Office||Additional salary (%)||Salary as of July 1|
|Deputy Prime Minister||105||$400,016|
|Leader of the Opposition||85.0||$360,990|
|House of Reps Speaker||75.0||$341,477|
|Leader of the House||75.0||$341,477|
|Minister in Cabinet||72.5||$336,599|
Australians love a scandal, and Speaker Bronwyn Bishop’s expenses scandal – which began when it was revealed that she taken a $5227 helicopter charter flight from Melbourne to Geelong to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser – is no exception.
Referred to as “Choppergate”, the scandal has since expanded to include allegations of two more similar charter flights and a $90,000 fortnight in Europe, were she was seeking another job, during which Mrs Bishop charged taxpayers nearly $1,000 a day to travel in luxurious private limousines, and $4,000 for phones and calls.
The internet has continued to lampoon her, even though Mrs Bishop agreed to repay the cost of the charter flight (what about the other flights), plus a $1,300 penalty, and Prime Minister Tony Abbott declaring on Monday that Mrs Bishop has been put “on probation”. What exactly does that mean?
A full review of Mrs Bishop’s expenses is long overdue.
Here’s how the internet saw her behaviour.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has made a partial back down from yesterday’s solar investment announcement, saying today that he would be supportive of using the sun’s energy, as long as it involved mining it.
“It’s a big untapped resource just sitting there,” Mr Abbott said. “If we mined it sustainably, reserves could last for 80-100 years”.
Energy analyst Tom Skillton said it was an offer the solar industry should consider seriously if it wanted to remain viable. “The mistake the [solar] industry has made in the past is to focus, somewhat obsessively some would say, on the renewable nature of its product. But as soon as you consider it as a finite resource, it becomes a lot more attractive for Government investment,” he said.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt has also backed the idea, saying residents would hardly notice the hole created in the sun. “This new mine will be subject to the most stringent conditions, to ensure that access to light and warmth is only minimally affected,” he said.
Mining operations could begin within two years, with full-scale production ready within a decade.
Source: The Shovel
Check out this Youtube video, laying out some of the bizarre anomalies that is the US-Canadian border!
Since the breakup of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, Macedonia has had aspirations of joining the European Union.
However, a bitter naming dispute over the Slavic republic’s insistence on the use of the name Macedonia has continued with Greece for 24 years. Tensions became so high as to effectively close the border between Greece and Macedonia in the late nineties. The border only remained open for those travelling on non-Macedonian passports. Even today, Greece refuses to put Greek visas into Macedonian passports, choosing rather to put then an A4 piece of paper carried with the bearer’s passport. Macedonian born travellers using non-Macedonian passports can also be in for a tough time when trying to enter Greece.
Macedonia has been an ascension candidate for EU membership for sometime now but because of the unresolved naming dispute, Greece has utilised the power of veto to block Macedonian membership.
With Greece out of the Eurozone, which appears inevitable as they default on loan repayments to the IMF, this stumbling block will be removed as Greece as a non-member of the EU can no longer veto Macedonia’s EU membership aspirations.
While considering the recent insurgent action in the northern Macedonian city of Kumanovo which resulted in the deaths of eight police officers, I found myself thinking that this was not an action for the Macedonian police (PM), but rather an action which falls under the purview of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ARM).
The role or charter of the ARM is
- To protect the lives and the personal safety of the people;
- To guarantee the independence and the territorial integrity of the state;
- To guarantee the material wellbeing and the prosperity of the people.
- Deterring aggression;
- Defending the country in case of an aggression;
- Uniformity and conformity in the international co-operation in the area of defence.
The Republic of Macedonia maintains a defensive potential and combat readiness of its Armed Forces which function as a deterring factor in case of a potential aggression in accordance with our capabilities
The written role or charter of PM is a little harder to identify. In part their role is to obey and enforce the laws of RoM for the people. It also manages entry, exit and visa activities at international borders point, and international airports, provides security for foreign embassies and consular buildings, and manages and issues passport and passport renewals. It provides policing on the lakes of Macedonia which form international boundaries with Greece and Albania. Again, this is seen as an army role, as they manage the country’s borders generally. Some of these roles are not policing in nature, and can (or should) be managed by other agencies. The Police of the Republic of Macedonia also works closely with the NATO peacekeepers in patrolling areas with high numbers of ethnic Albanians along its borders with Kosovo and Serbia.
It has been stated in the media that the rebel uprising was led by five Kosovars supported by ethnic Albanians from the Kosovo region. As it would appear that this threat arose in a foreign or neighbouring country, repelling it would be a matter for ARM rather that PM.
However, PM sees itself as the superior or premier law enforcement organisation in RoM, with the ARM playing a very clear and distinctly minor secondary role in defence of the country. In the case of this rebel uprising from Kosovo it is clear the police saw this as their role to manage rather than that of the ARM. PM is largely an inefficient, inflexible, authoritarian organisation, political in nature, with many ideas and functions relating to its socialist past. However its role is purely domestic in nature, protecting the citizens of the Republic.
Eight police officers and 14 alleged members of an armed group were killed in fighting in a northern Macedonian town of Kumanovo authorities have said, amid increased concern about the political stability in the Balkan nation that has a history of minor ethnic hostilities.
Interior ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said another 37 police officers were wounded in the clashes that started on Saturday. By Sunday Kotevski stated that the police operation was now over and that “one of the most dangerous terrorists groups in the Balkans has been neutralised”.
He said police stated the 14 individuals were believed to be members of the armed group. Some of the killed wore uniforms with insignia of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army. No identification documents were found on the deceased.
Macedonia has announced two days of official mourning for the eight PM officers killed in action.
Macedonia says five Kosovars led the armed group which was involved in deadly clashes with security forces in the northern town of Kumanovo.
Eight officers and 14 gunmen were killed in the fighting, Interior ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said.
Those named were members of the now dismantled Kosovo Liberation Army.
Mr Kotevski said the operation near the Serbian-Kosovan border was now over and the armed group had been “neutralised”, with a large amount of weapons seized.
Last month, about 40 ethnic Albanians from Kosovo briefly took over a Macedonian police station in the village of Gosince near the border, demanding the creation of an Albanian state within Macedonia.
In 2001, rebels demanding greater rights for the ethnic Albanian minority launched an uprising against the government, and tensions have continued despite a peace deal.
About a quarter of Macedonia’s two million population are ethnic Albanians.
Sami Ukshini, Beg Rizaj, Dem Shehu, Muhamet Krasniqi and Mirsad Ndrecaj were the leaders of the armed group that clashed with police in a suburb of Kumanovo, some 40km (25 miles) north of the capital, Skopje on Saturday, the interior ministry spokesman said. Only one of the 14 uniformed bodies had been identified – that of another Kosovo national, named Xhafer Zymberi, said the spokesman.
“More than 30 terrorists, mainly Macedonian nationals and one from Albania, surrendered yesterday [Saturday] to the police forces,” Mr Kotevski added. He said 37 police officers were also wounded in the clashes.
Residents returning to the city are finding many of their homes damaged as a result of the fighting, one Reuters reporter at the scene says. “It’s total destruction. Thank God we’re safe,” Haki Ukshini said after finding his home largely destroyed.
The men who surrendered would face Macedonian justice, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said.
Македонија вели дека пет Косовари предводеше вооружена група која беше вклучена во смртоносните судири со безбедносните сили во северниот град Куманово.
Осум полицајци и 14 вооружени лица беа убиени во борбите, изјави портпаролот на Министерството за внатрешни работи, Иво Котевски.
Оние што се именувани се членови на сега веќе распуштената Ослободителна војска на Косово.
Г-дин Котевски рече дека операцијата во близина на српско-косовската граница е сега повеќе и вооружена група биле “неутрализира”, со големо количество оружје запленето.
Минатиот месец, околу 40 етнички Албанци од Косово кратко ја презеде македонски полициската станица во селото Гошинце во близина на границата, барајќи создавање на албанска држава во Македонија.
Во 2001 година, бунтовниците кои бараа поголеми права за етничкото албанско малцинство започна востание против владата, а тензиите продолжија и покрај мировниот договор.
Околу една четвртина од два милиони жители на Македонија се етнички Албанци.
Сами Ukshini, Бег Ризај, Dem Шеху, Мухамет Красниќи и Мирсад Ndrecaj биле водачи на вооружената група која се судрија со полицијата во предградието на Куманово, некои 40 километри (25 милји) северно од главниот град, Скопје, во саботата, портпаролот на Министерството за внатрешни работи рече. Само биле идентификувани еден од 14-униформирани тела – на друга Косово национална, именуван Xhafer Zymberi, изјави портпаролот.
“Повеќе од 30 терористи, главно македонски државјани и еден од Албанија, вчера се предаде [сабота] на полициските сили“, додаде г-дин Котевски. Тој рече дека 37 полицајци се повредени во судирите.
Жителите се враќаат во градот се најдат многу од нивните домови оштетени како резултат на борбите, еден новинар на Ројтерс на местото на настанот, вели. “Тоа е целосно уништување. Фала му на Бога ние сме безбедни“, рече Хаки Ukshini по наоѓање на неговиот дом во голема мера уништен.
Мажите кои се предадоа ќе се соочи со македонското правосудство, рече премиерот Никола Груевски.
Australian Catholic University will create two scholarships named after executed drug smugglers Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran for Indonesian students to study in Australia.
The scholarships will provide full tuition fees to the student’s chosen course over four years and be awarded to those who write an essay based on the theme of “the sanctity of human life”.
Vice-chancellor Professor Greg Craven said the scholarships would be a fitting tribute to the “reformation, courage and dignity” of the two Bali 9 ringleaders.
“In a small but symbolic way, the writing by Indonesian students on the sanctity of life would be an ongoing contribution toward the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Indonesia,” he said in a statement.
Before facing the firing squad, Chan and Myuran Sukumaran said they wanted their legacy to be a renewed push across the globe to abolish the death penalty.
However Indonesia has shown no sign of ending the practice, with plans already in place to kill five murderers. Up to 50 drug felons are also slated to be killed this year.
Professor Craven said that hope remained for a reprieve for other prisoners around the world on death row.
“The death penalty is a violent, cruel and immoral punishment that has no place in our society. And yet it persists,” he said.
They’ve got to be kidding, right?
Irrespective of your view on capital punishment, these men are convicted drug couriers and whose actions should not be glorified in this way. They are not martyrs, they knew what they were doing, were aware of the penalties, but took the risk for quick profit and got caught.
The actions of the Australian Catholic University will have NO influence on the Indonesian government, or its view on how it feels it should deal with perpetrators of drug crime.
I don’t see the ACU trying to influence the United States on its capital punishment policies, or naming scholarships after its death row inmates.
Where does this stop?