The Abbott Government have celebrated their first 100 days and awarded themselves a tick in every box. Everything they have done has been handled efficiently, smoothly, swiftly and professionally. That is, of course, if you listen to the Government’s own glowing but exaggerated assessment.
Thanks to Michael Trembath, here is a link to the articles that provide us with the real story of the Abbott Government’s first 100 days. Satirically sub-titled ‘Delivering on our Plan‘ it delivers an absolute mockery of the claim that the Government has done just that. Our thanks go to Michael for giving The AIMN permission to reproduce his compelling list.
Here is Michael’s fact-finding assessment and evidence of the first real 100 days of the Abbott Government:
Delivering on Our Plan
Commitments and Action Taken
The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has now been renamed The Department of Immigration and Border Protection
Aiming to ‘hide the boats’ with changes to announcements about asylum seeker boat arrivals (they later backed down, the government now will brief journalists each Monday) Christmas Island residents will ‘do everything they can to announce boats arriving’ One people smuggler ridicules their silence on boat arrivals
Operation Sovereign Borders Commander General Angus Campbell will no longer be present for the entire weekly briefing, giving his weekly report on the number of boat arrivals and take a few questions before leaving after previously repeatedly refusing to give details about questions he said related to “on-water matters”..
Immigration Minister accuses media of ‘misrepresentation’ and claims that they “never had a policy of towing boats back to Indonesia” despite on occasions, the then Opposition Leader suggested he would bring the policy back
Unwinding parts of Labor’s crackdown on cheaper foreign ships operating on Australia’s coast
Australia and Indonesia were involved in a mid-ocean stand-off in the early hours of Friday morning as a customs vessel tried unsuccessfully to return a boatload of rescued asylum seekers to a reluctant Indonesia
The Immigration Minister said that for the sake of correcting the public record … two (boats) were accepted and two were not. The Jakarta Post reported on Saturday that Agus Barnas, spokesman for the Indonesian co-ordinating minister for Legal, Political and Security Affairs, said his country had declined to receive three out of six Australian requests for transfers since September.
The Australian Greens’ Order for Production of Documents passes the Senate and forces the Coalition to table reports about on-water incidents under Operation Sovereign Borders.
Immigration Minister refuses to tell Parliament whether any asylum-seeker boats have been turned back to Indonesia – a Coalition election policy – prompting ridicule from Labor He acknowledges a Senate motion calling him to release reports on asylum-seeker arrival
Immigration Minister has instructed departmental and detention centre staff to publicly refer to asylum seekers as ‘illegal’ arrivals and as ‘detainees’, rather than as clients: a leading asylum seeker agency describes this as designed to dehumanise people. A spokesman for the Immigration Minister said he would not comment on internal government communication.
Abbott raises the prospect of Australia leaving the United Nations refugee convention, risking damage to Australia’s regional and international reputation, especially as it is currently a member of the UN Security Council and is hosting the G20 summit in 2014.
AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development) responsible for administering the $5 billion official aid program will be “integrated” back into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, potentially putting the 1300 Canberra-based staff members out of work
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has announced the creation of a new taskforce to stamp out corruption in the Customs and Border Protection Service: which will identify officers or groups who pose a risk to the service, as well as their outside criminal associations
Withdrawing funding to The Welcome Centre, which provided support to asylum seekers, refugees & new arrivals through English classes, volunteer & work experience opportunities, emergency relief and friendship.
Formally disbanding the Immigration Health Advisory Group, which provided independent advice on the health needs of asylum seekers, sacking all the groups members except the current chair who will set up its own advisory panel despite having little mental health experience
Asylum seekers in Darwin complained that only two toilets were available for 500 people in one section of the Christmas Island detention facility. The Immigration Minister said these complaints “unsubstantiated” – two asylum seekers who spoke to the ABC were sent to offshore detention
First ever images leaked from within the Australian asylum seeker detention centre on Nauru, including pictures of children playing in the dirt and asylum seekers being forced to hang their clothes on fences due as building work is incomplete.
Amnesty International details a report, describing Manus Island’s detention centre as ‘cruel, inhuman, degrading and violating prohibitions against torture’. They also highlight that gay asylum seekers on Manus island are being told they will be reported to the PNG police if they engage in homosexual relations while in detention
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has played down the United Nations’ Refugee Agency’s scathing assessment of Australia’s offshore detention centres, describing the report’s criticism as ‘‘overstated’’.
An asylum seeker who was moved off Nauru to give birth is being locked up for 18 hours a day in a detention centre in Brisbane while her week-old baby remains in hospital with respiratory problems A spokesman for Mr Morrison yesterday said doctors at the hospital had advised that it is common for mothers not to stay overnight because of bed restrictions, but the Mater Hospital suggested the mother should have been allowed to visit her child whenever she wanted. Abbott: “deeply regrets” that “they’ve happened because people have come to Australia illegally by boat”
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison on a profoundly disabled four-year-old Tamil asylum seeker in a Brisbane detention facility who will be transferred offshore along with her father: “It doesn’t matter whether you’re a child, it doesn’t matter whether you’re pregnant, it doesn’t matter whether you’re a woman, it doesn’t matter if you’re an unaccompanied minor, it doesn’t matter if you’ve got a health condition – if you are fit enough to get on a boat, then you can expect you’re fit enough to end up in offshore processing.”
About 20 Hungarian riggers brought in on 457 visas to work on the construction of a warehouse at Eastern Creek in Sydney’s west were sent home after complaining that they were being paid less than the award wage (less than $15 an hour.)
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison limits the number of Permanent Protection Visas to 1,650 – meaning that no more further protection visas can be provided to onshore applicants until June 30 2014 Guardian article
Indonesia will call back its ambassador to Australia and “review” Australian diplomatic positions in Jakarta as anger rises in Indonesia over revelations that Australia tapped the phone of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife
Abbott’s election adviser Mark Textor has sparked a diplomatic storm after apparently comparing Indonesia’s foreign minister to “a 1970s Filipino porn star” on Twitter. An Indonesian responds directly on Twitter
A delegation of Russian politicians was in Indonesia to discuss the Australian phone tapping revelations, while giving “permission” from Moscow to Indonesian MPs to meet with former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who lives under temporary protection there.
Abbott proposes security round table with Indonesia SBY says cooperation won’t resume until Australia signs code of ethics Which Abbott has declined to immediately commit to, but suggests a security round table be established so both nations could be more open with each other and build greater mutual trust In a significant departure from the normal government formulation, which is declining to comment on intelligence matters, Trade Minister Andrew Robb spoke of the surveillance of Indonesia in 2009 as a matter of fact.
Relations with Indonesian Media and Social Media
Abbott shut out the local press while meeting business and government delegates in Indonesia *which is considered commiting an offence in that country
Indonesians express Aussie hatred with hashtag #GanyangAustralia which means ‘Crush Australia’
The publication of a sexually lurid cartoon of Tony Abbott on the front page of Indonesia’s Rakyat Merdeka newspaper on Saturday is the second time in seven years that the same newspaper has courted the outrage of Australians by inking an offensive image of the Prime Minister.
The Immigration Minister describes Indonesia’s refusal to accept asylum boats ‘very frustrating’ and that there is “no real rhyme or reason” why Indonesian authorities had not taken stricken asylum seekers back to their shores after a three-day impasse
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison refuses to reveal what anti-people smuggling activities have been shelved in Indonesia as a result of the spying scandal
Abbott says Indonesia’s suspension of co-operation on asylum seeker boats is one of the reasons behind an increase in boat arrivals.
Indonesia’s cooperation with Australia on people smuggling, trade, police and military exercises will stay on hold until after Tony Abbott has agreed to a “code of ethics” for the use of intelligence.
Increase in live cattle exports to Indonesia from 75,000 cattle this year on top of the 260,000 quota
Despite a new video mishandled in Mauritius alarming animal cruelty activists and renewing calls for tougher penalties on exporters, Abbott says ‘the government was unmoved on its stance on live exports’
Agriculture Minister says he will not shut down the exports of live sheep to Jordan, despite the latest revelations of animal cruelty where sheep were being dragged along the ground to the place of slaughter, where they are killed next to the bodies of other sheep, thrown into car boots and carved open at the throat. Other animals have stones thrown at them and some are sat on by children. He also scrapped the position of Independent Inspector General of Animal Welfare, announced by Labor to oversee the live export industry, amid fresh evidence of cruelty towards Australian animals overseas. The Agriculture minister has ‘full confidence that my department is currently seeing how this leakage (of the footage) occurred
The Abbott government was rebuked by Japan and New Zealand for ditching Australia’s commitment to monitor closely its catch (the lion’s share of a global catch split between nine nations) of the critically endangered southern bluefin tuna. Parliamentary secretary to the Agriculture Minister Richard Colbeck has shelved the proposal, claiming its $600,000 cost was unwarranted in an industry worth $150 million a year in exports.
Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan has confirmed that the dispute with Australia over spying allegations has accelerated his country’s desire to source beef from other countries.
Abbott distances himself from concerns over Sri Lanka’s human rights record, suggesting the country should be judged by a different standard to others
Abbott on Sri Lankan human rights abuse: “Obviously the Australian Government deplores any use of torture. We deplore that, wherever it might take place, we deplore that. But we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen.” Scribd: Tony Abbott on Sri Lanka
Australia will donate two navy ships to Sri Lanka to promote enhanced collaboration on people smuggling, despite its human rights record The former Customs boats will be given a $2 million facelift and handed over by mid-2014
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has refused to back down over comments to China regarding its newly declared air defence zone in the East China Sea, despite an angry response from the Chinese government. Treasurer Joe Hockey: she is doing exactly the right thing.
Australia faces strained diplomatic ties on a new front after China lashed out at comments from Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and called for an immediate correction. But Abbott says Australia will speak its mind on China’s territorial dispute with Japan
The Chinese foreign minister has launched an unprecedented public attack on the Australian Government, accusing it of “jeopardising bilateral mutual trust” as the row over the East China Sea escalates
The government of Timor Leste – East Timor – believes Australia’s overseas spy agency covertly recorded Timorese ministers and officials in Dili in 2004. They say it happened during negotiations over a treaty that governs billions of dollars in gas revenue between the two countries.
A lawyer representing East Timor in its spying case against Australia says his office has been raided by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). East Timor’s prime minister says he is shocked by the Australian Government’s decision to authorise raids on a lawyer and whistleblower who were set to provide evidence against Australia in The Hague.
Abbott arrived noticeably late to the first session of the APEC leaders meeting in Bali. Mr Putin being less than pleased and ignored Mr Abbott’s presence when he finally turned up to be seated next to him
New Zealand Opposition Leader David Cunliffe has used a high-level meeting in Sydney to lobby for New Zealanders to be treated the same as Australians living in New Zealand: i.e. student allowances and loans, public disability insurance
The National Commission of Audit will report to the Prime Minister, Treasurer and Minister for Finance with the first phase due by the end of January 2014; and the second phase due by no later than the end of March 2014
Members of the team hand-picked by the Abbott government to lead the commission of audit will be paid $1500 a day: more than what a family received through the scrapped Schoolkids Bonus each year.
Tony Abbott’s hand-picked auditor charged with assessing government spending and advising on outsourcing runs a company that has won contracts from the federal government worth more than half a billion dollars.
The NDIS will not be exempt from its commission of audit and may allow the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) to contract out some administrative functions to the private and not-for-profit sectors
Treasurer Joe Hockey wants to cut waste by hiring expert external consultants to repeat an audit of Treasury forecasts which was done 10 months ago by expert external consultants
Treasurer considers delaying mid-year budget to “avoid hurting confidence”
They are expecting to confirm a deficit of just under $50 billion in its Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO), $20 billion more than the deficit forecast by Labor in its last economic statement before the election
Concedes that it will have to boost its own spending (and debt levels) if it is to get a rapid injection of funds into infrastructure projects, overlooking spending on programs such as welfare and education
The Treasurer announces increasing the Commonwealth debt limit to $500 billion while announcing a five-person Commission of Audit including former Liberal minister Amanda Vanstone and Tony Shepard from the Business Council of Australia
The Treasurer denies the federal government is bailing out the Reserve Bank with a $8.8 billion contribution (analysis by Michael Pascoe) 2nd analysis
Treasurer Joe Hockey will seek an agreement with the Greens to abolish the debt ceiling this week as he faces new projections showing 13 more years of continuous budget deficits – enough to last the life of this government and the next four. Despite Abbott saying in August 2013, that the Greens have ‘fringe economic policies… no one has that kind of economic policy’ Video of Abbott confirming and committing to never to do a deal with a minor party ever Christine Milne article on the debt ceiling debate
Treasurer is seriously considering a proposal for states to receive a share of company tax revenue in lieu of revenue they would forfeit when assets were privatised – effectively paying the states to privatise public assets
Planning to sell Medibank Private despite sales growth of 7% and health fund membership growth of 145,000 lifted total group revenue to $5.4 billion
Transport unions warn thousands of Qantas maintenance, catering and other support staff could be sacked and their jobs sent offshore if restrictions on the foreign ownership of the national carrier are lifted
Treasurer Joe Hockey has scrapped a set of foreign ownership conditions stopping the Chinese company Yanzhou from taking full ownership of an Australian coal miner, less than two weeks after rejecting a US firm’s $3.4 billion takeover bid for GrainCorp
The Attorney-General reinforces NBN ban on Huawei, a blow to the world’s biggest manufacturer of telco equipment and could strain ties between Australia and the Chinese government, which are negotiating a free-trade agreement that Abbott wants signed within a year
The Federal Government negotiated with Holden in November 2013 over a new round of funding. If the funds do not materialise, Holden has said it will pack up shop and leave. The Treasurer declares the Government will “not negotiate with a gun to our heads”
Holden makes the decision to pull out of Australia as early as 2016 Toyota insists it will stay in Australia after posting a $149 million profit, making it the only local car maker to be in the black.
Treasurer Joe Hockey said in Parliament that Holden managing director Mr Devereux should “come clean with the Australian people” and be “honest”, “Either you’re here or you’re not,” A company insider sends the text message: Are you seeing this question time attack on Holden? during Parliamentary Question Time. Taunting (Holden) to leave. It’s extraordinary.
The fleet of high-security Holdens used by the Prime Minister will be replaced with bomb-proof BMWs.
Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane says Toyota employees must adjust to changed working conditions (including shorter holidays, ‘time off to give blood, ‘three week shut down over Christmas on top of their annual leave’) in the wake of Holden’s decision to cease manufacturing in Australia.
Abbott rules out more money for Toyota: providing additional money is “not the right way to go”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is on track to run out of money within months and Treasurer Joe Hockey is pointing the finger of blame at the previous Labor government, despite the financial position of the ACCC has been made public every year in its annual report and there is no crisis
Shares fell for the sixth day in a row as offshore investors trimmed their Australian equity portfolios ahead of expectations a depreciating local currency will eat into their profits, the longest losing streak in 17 months for shares
The Treasurer is determined that his senior public servants spend more time in the ‘real world’, with executives, bankers, bond traders and corporate investors by decentralising Treasury. Shifting parts of Treasury out of Canberra – last done in the early 1990s but reversed in the late 1990s to save money
Setting up a Royal Commission into the former government’s home insulation scheme Despite data showing far from increasing the rates of fire occurring from installing insulation – as it actually reduced the rate of fires and likely reduced the rate in a quite substantial manner.
Abbott will be unable to abolish the fixed price on carbon pollution before 2015 unless he goes to a double-dissolution election, before July 2014
Clive Palmer is threatening to block all the Abbott government’s legislation – even measures he supports such as scrapping the carbon price – unless his party gets more staff and resources
Early repeal of carbon price scheme could cost $2 billion
A razor taken to the CSIRO with almost a quarter of scientists, researchers and workers at Australia’s premier science institution will lose their jobs under the federal government’s present public service jobs freeze
AusAID (Australian Agency for International Development) responsible for administering the $5 billion official aid program will be “integrated” back into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, potentially putting the 1300 Canberra-based staff members out of work
Keeping 18 of 92 unlegislated tax proposals, remainder will be either dumped, amended or reviewed, a cost of $3.1b to budget. The $2000 cap on self-education expenses dumped, low-income superannuation tax offset linked to mining tax scrapped but rolling back the proposed 15 per cent tax on superannuation earnings over $100,000 a year., fringe benefits changes for car industry dumped, but keeping Labor’s tobacco excise increase, raising $5.3b for budget
Providing relief payments of up to $1,000 to help people in the aftermath of the New South Wales bushfires but does not include people who have been cut off from their homes or who have no electricity have not been deemed eligible in the first round of disaster payments
The chairman of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council declares that ‘we cannot hide the fact that Australian wage rates are very high by international standards’ The government is distancing itself from these controversial comments John Howard’s former “fair pay” umpire, Ian Harper, has poured cold water on suggestions that the minimum wage affects Australia’s economic competitiveness.
Intending to abandon $1.5 billion of union-linked wage increases for up to 350,000 workers in aged and child care while suspending payments from the $300 million Early Years Quality Fund established by the Gillard government to cover wage increases for childcare workers
The child-care wage increases would have increased certificate III childcare workers by $3 an hour and early-childhood teachers by $6 an hour.
Abbott is asking childcare providers to “do the right thing” and hand back $62.5 million given to them to improve wages in the poorly paid sector
The Education Minister floats the possibility of privatising $23 billion of HECS student debt Which when done in the UK, investment bank Rothschild had pushed for students’ interest rates to be raised
WikiLeaks leaks the Trans Pacific Partnership exposing details of secret trade negotiations that could leave Australians paying more for drugs and medicines, movies, computer games and software, and be placed under surveillance as part of a US-led crackdown on internet piracy.
Introducing a Social Services and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2013 including seven Acts to replace the student start-up scholarship with an income-contingent student start-up loan while enabling an interest charge to be applied to certain social security debts, removing regulation on national gambling and the requirement for employers to provide paid parental leave as well as acts in relation to child support and the stillborn baby payment
Considering changes to lower the GST threshold on imported goods from $1000 to $20, raising more than $550 million per year in extra revenue at the cost of $1.5 billion per year in administration costs
Repealed their internet filter policy before the election which Abbott “quickly” read, although their revised policy still refers to internet filters (except that parents will install them themselves)
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull brushed aside a record petition of more than 200,000 online signatures to save Labor’s NBN
The board of NBN Co was asked to resign by the Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull. Telstra also managed to build a test site in a laboratory to test the FTTN option and began a trial just after the election.
The Opposition claims it it is being inundated by “countless” complaints by Australians alarmed after the new Coalition Government ‘wiped them off the NBN rollout map’ with “no apology and no real explanation”
NBN Co’s interim satellites are reaching full capacity and the government-owned company has started turning away new customers in rural Victoria. These customers must rely on existing broadband infrastructure until NBN Co launches two custom-made satellites in 2015.
The newly-formed senate committee examining the NBN said it has been forced to summons NBN Co executives to appear as witnesses at planned hearings this week. NBN Co executives have been “reluctant to attend the committee in person”.
The union representing Telstra field staff says the telco’s copper-wire network is “beyond repair” and “an absolute disgrace”, casting new doubts over the federal government’s plans to use it to deliver faster broadband in its mixed-technology national broadband network
The Abbott government expects to make less money from the NBN because of slower speeds available under the Coalition’s copper-based network, a Senate committee has heard. ABC link
The Coalition’s national broadband network model will prove inadequate for many businesses, is poorly planned and is unlikely to be completed on time, according to NBN Co’s internal analysis for the incoming Abbott government.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull admitted the Abbott government will break its NBN election promise of giving all Australians access to 25 megabits per second download speeds by 2016
He also said that job losses are “likely” at the NBN Co after a review of the Government’s broadband plan found it will be billions of dollars more expensive than the Coalition had promised. The Conversation article One in three Australian premises will miss out on the Coalition’s NBN: ‘They are selling us a technology that’s already obsolete – this is the greatest con in Australian history,’ critic claims
Handing over $1.5 billion in federal funding for the east-west link without seeing the full business case, despite an election promise that any investment of more than $100 million would require a published cost benefit analysis.
The $6-8 billion east-west link will trigger huge increases in traffic on key sections of Melbourne’s road network
Abbott threatens to extend the parliamentary sitting calendar into Christmas during a joint party room meeting consumed by fiery speeches about an unbalanced ABC and a joking suggestion that former MP Sophie Mirabella could take over the running of the national broadcaster.
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull rings the ABC boss Mark Scott to tell him he had made an “error of judgment” in teaming with the Guardian to run revelations that the Indonesian president’s phone was bugged
Senator Cory Bernardi declares that ABC’s funding should be cut and the national broadcaster forced to sell advertising and paid subscriptions online to compete with commercial newspapers
WA’s Young Liberals will call for the federal Liberal government to “eliminate laws that require radio and television broadcasters to be `balanced'”.
Scrapping Labor’s targets to lift participation by disadvantaged students while opening the door to re-introducing caps on university places, removal of the equity targets which will disproportionately affect regional universities, axing the compulsory fee collected by universities to support student services Despite stating in August 2012 that the Coalition had no plans on capping university places
The Government says abolishing the MRRT (Minerals Resource Rent Tax) will save the budget $13 billion by axing other measures it says it was meant to fund, including Labor’s Schoolkids Bonus ($410 boost to family tax payments for primary school students, and $820 for families with children at high school) and the small business instant asset write-off
Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne has abandoned his pre-election pledge that every school would receive the same amount of funding under the Coalition as under Labor, while claiming to be too busy to meet the expert panel that devised the funding model Despite Abbott saying in August 2013 that if the Coalition won government, it would honour Labor’s funding commitments across the four years of the budget forward estimates. Pyne’s funding model has been described as ‘quick and dirty’ by a Gonski panel member The NSW Premier blasted his federal colleagues for abandoning the schools funding agreement he struck with the former Labor government, saying they should stop acting like an opposition. Pyne blames journalists for getting confused about his school funding promises, amid growing anger over the Coalition’s reneging on its pre-election commitments. The Coalition’s pre-election promise
Abbott on any misunderstanding on their promise to keep schools funding: “We are going to keep the promise that we actually made, not the promise that some people thought that we made, or the promise that some people might have liked us to make.” video link
Visits to www.schoolfunding.gov.au are redirected to the departmental website of Education minister Christopher Pyne, where there is no mention of the word “Gonski” at all, let alone a copy of the report or its 7000 submissions.
The Education Minister says independent public schools are improving student outcomes in Western Australia. However, there have been no measured improvement in student outcomes in WA’s independent public schools
Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis will fulfil an election promise and introduce legislation to repeal a section of Racial Discrimination Act that conservative journalist Andrew Bolt was found guilty of breaching
“He’ll repeal parts of the Racial Discrimination Act making it dangerous to ask why some people identify as exclusively Aboriginal – and deserving of special treatment – when all but one of their great grandparents were white.”
Abbott forms the Prime Minister’s indigenous council to provide advice on Aboriginal economic reform by recuiting powerful business and indigenous figures
Aiming to review $25 billion spent on indigenous affairs – “If there’s no economy and there’s no job there we need to think about other options that will move people to productive engagement.”
Savings of $30 million to be gained by a so-called “streamlining” of processes in the Family Court, described by chairman of the Law Council’s family law section as an unexplained one-liner in the Coalition costings
The Community Cabinet, the Major Cities Unit, the Social Inclusion Unit, the Australian Institute of Criminology, the Australian National Preventative Health Agency, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the National Health Performance Authority, the Independent Reviewer of Adverse Security Assessments, the Australian Research Council, the embassy in Senegal, the national Children’s Commissioner and the Human Rights Commission all facing cuts or abolition.
In a bid to ‘cut red tape’, aiming to abolish the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission which was designed to reduce the amount of time charities spent on administration via national accreditation
Funding for the Alcohol and other Drugs Council (ADCA), the national peak body representing organisations and workers in the sector, has been axed, undermining years of work to minimise alcohol and other drug-related harm across the Australian community Forcing the immediate closure of the 50-year-old organisation.
Abbott’s gay sister has proposed to her partner, and are planning their nuptials despite same-sex marriage not yet being legal in Australia.
Abbott says he will “do the right thing” and attend his gay sister’s wedding but could never support the marriage.
The first same-sex couples were legally married in Canberra Which were annulled less than a week later, with the High Court unanimously ruling that the ACT’s laws were inconsistent with the Federal Marriage Act, and were therefore unconstitutional Guardian article Abbott: They knew the risk that their marriages would be knocked down by the High Court Malcolm Turnbull says the current Parliament may change marriage laws to allow same-sex couples to wed.
Attorney-General George Brandis has asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to conduct a sweeping review of Commonwealth legislation to find provisions that encroach upon “rights, freedoms and privileges”.
Tim Flannery sacked, Climate Commission dismantled
Reduced the amount of money it is spending on its Direct Action carbon reduction plan by more than $300 million ($50 million will be saved by scrapping plans for three clean energy research centres; $200 million, comes from halving the amount the Coalition plans to rebate consumers for installing solar panels and solar hot water systems; spending money on solar energy projects over six years instead of four, and moving $50 million for geothermal and tidal energy projects to the industry budget)
Environment Minister Greg Hunt won’t attend annual United Nations climate change talks in Warsaw, saying he’ll be busy repealing the carbon tax in the first fortnight of parliament
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has rejected a proposal from the 53-nation Commonwealth to establish a new fund to help poor and island countries to combat climate change.
Scrapping the $10b Clean Energy Finance Corporation, which funds loans investing in technologies like solar panels and wind farms while returning on average around 5.8 per cent where cost of government funds is around 2.8 per cent
Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos has backed away from his suggestion that he would reconsider the government’s decision to shut down Labor’s Clean Energy Finance Corporation, given the corporation’s apparent financial success.
Representatives of most of the world’s poor countries have walked out of increasingly fractious climate negotiations after the Australia and other developed countries insisted that the question of who should pay compensation for extreme climate events be discussed only after
The Environment minister “looked up what Wikipedia” said that bushfires are not linked to climate change and it was clear that they were frequent events that had occurred during hotter months in Australia since before European settlement
A NSW state by-election in Miranda is predicting a 27% swing from Liberal to Labor: “After the worst bushfires in NSW in over a decade, Miranda was completely blanketed in smoke this morning, and firefighters were at every booth asking people to put the Liberal Party last”
Firefighters handing out “vote Liberals last” cards at polling booths for the Miranda by-election were harassed by Liberal MP Brad Hazzard and other party members Labor’s Barry Collier was returned to State Parliament on the back of a 27 per cent swing – the largest swing ever recorded at a New South Wales by-election
Wanting to remove protection from about 170,000 hectares of land in the central highlands recently added to the World Heritage Area: “I love Tasmania, but it needs to be an economy as well as a national park”
Under pressure from the forestry industry to reverse its election promise to scrap the Tasmanian forestry peace deal, which was an attempt to end decades of division and conflict between loggers and environmentalists that crippled the industry
Ministers will no longer be forced to consider formal conservation advice for endangered species in projects approved before the end of this year, under changes to the national environment law agreed on by the Coalition and Labor.
Uranium processing has been shut down at a Northern Territory mine which was the source of a million-litre radioactive spill in Kakadu national park as a comprehensive audit of the entire site is undertaken.
Prosecuting conservation groups who seek boycotts of products alleged poor environmental practices Greens blast Coalition proposal
Taxpayers would be stung with a $150 million penalty if it broke the fifteen-year lease Labor signed to house the Department of Climate Change in the six-star energy efficient “Nishi” building in New Acton
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet decided to keep secret its first briefing for the Prime Minister: “(if publicly released, it is) less likely to provide comprehensive, frank briefing material to incoming prime ministers in the future as it is likely to be tailored to a different audience or with different interests in mind”
Silence echoes across Canberra as the Coalition clams up: Since winning office, Abbott has fronted the nation’s media just eight times (in two months). Calls to his office, and to his ministers, frequently go unanswered or unreturned. (Includes list of roadblocks)
Shutting out the local press while meeting business and government delegates in Indonesia which is considered committing an offence in that country
Liberal National Party senator Ian Macdonald, delivers a scathing attack on the Prime Minister’s office, as Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin are enforcing a culture of “obsessive centralised control phobia” and are out of touch with voters
Ministries gone; Resources, Citizenship, Multicultural Affairs, Science, International Development, Youth, Climate Change, Disability Care, Disability Reform, Mental Health, Energy, Resources, Financial services, Status of Women, Ageing, Seniors, Tourism and Housing and Homelessness, Tertiary Education and Skills. New Ministry; Border Protection. Upgraded to Cabinet: Sport (also only one female)
In defence of using over $23k in taxpayers money on Abbott’s trips linked to a cycling race and attendance at a car race and the cricket, ‘You don’t want members of parliament to be prisoners of their offices’
Abbott quietly repays $609 in taxpayer-funded entitlements he claimed to attend the 2006 wedding of one-time colleague Peter Slipper, who is now facing charges for alleged expenses rorts Link to a comprehensive list of travel allowances claimed by Abbott totalling $84k in 3 years
Abbott defends MP Don Randall’s tax-payer funded trip to Cairns where he took possession of an investment property during the overnight stay with his wife: some discussions were “best done face to face”. Abbott ignored the question of why Mr Randall’s wife went on the Cairns trip given it involved a work meeting, and was driven away.
Don Randall says he can “sleep well at night” about his $5000 business class taxpayer-funded trip with his wife to Cairns, adding that while he visited his investment property “it wasn’t as if I got the keys or anything”.
Defence Department records revealed that senior figures in the Abbott government were among those who enjoyed free travel on VIP military aircraft to fly to Canberra for parliamentary sitting weeks, amassing a taxpayer bill of more than $2 million
Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce has been busted for a third time using taxpayer funds to attend a wedding, repaying more than $300 claimed on ComCars to attend a journalist friend’s wedding five years ago
Attorney-General George Brandis’ orders for a second taxpayer-funded library have, for the time being at least, been shelved after concerns of being unable to move his $13000 taxpayer-funded books and magazines into his new Parliament Office
Abbott has ordered cabinet ministers and top public servants to personally approve the airfares and hotel bookings of tens of thousands of bureaucrats (not politicians) as part of a crackdown on government travel costs
The parliamentary speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, faced fresh complaints about her impartiality after she appeared to take a dig at two Labor frontbenchers over who was serving as the party’s key tactician – repeating a ‘puppet of the unions’ taunt
Federal Parliament descends into chaos last night, with the Opposition accusing Speaker Bronwyn Bishop of taking sides. An example Hansard She was the 6th highest serial offender in 43rd Parliament to be ejected under 94a
Abbott considers national war cemetery for Canberra: ACT RSL president comments “I would be horrified at the thought of people proposing to dig up and uproot graves of people that are long dead or recently dead”
Foreign Minister warns Australians travelling overseas they need to take responsibility for their own actions and can’t count on the federal government to bail them out if they get into trouble
Tony Abbott was asked to comment on a report that followed an inquiry in Victoria, which was highly critical of Pell, his attitudes to the problems evidenced in comments before the inquiry and the institutional failures of the Catholic church in stopping child abuse. “He is in my judgment a fine human being, a great churchman. Abbott said he was yet to read the Victorian report, issued on Wednesday, and did not see Cardinal Pell’s evidence to the inquiry. Abbott’s response to child sexual abuse by clergy angers victims
The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet signed a 12-month lease on a house in August, during the caretaker period. Mr Abbott made it clear shortly after the election he did not want to live there, costing taxpayers $3,000 a week to rent a house in Canberra that Prime Minister Tony Abbott does not want to live in.