Politics (3762 Stories)

ACT budget 2015 spends big on health, education and public housing


With a predicted deficit of $407 million, Andrew Barr’s first budget as both Chief Minister and Treasurer is a modest one.
In light of what Minister Barr has described as “savage” cuts from the Commonwealth, the 2015-16 ACT budget handed down today focuses on infrastructure, creating jobs and maintaining Canberra’s title as world’s most liveable [...]

ACT budget 2015-16 highlights

act budget 2015-16

ACT residents will pay higher rates, spend more money on vehicle registration and see pay parking extended after hours in many of Civic’s car parks under the 2015-16 ACT budget handed down this afternoon.
In good news, the ACT Government has allocated more money for health and education than ever before. It also plans to increase [...]

Protect our national capital heritage

Screen Shot 2015-05-29 at 4.43.28 pm

The Yarralumla Residents Association supports the views of senior heritage experts and the Inner South Canberra Community Council, who are urging the Commonwealth to push ahead with recognition of Canberra on the National Heritage List.
As pointed out by the immediate past chairman of the ACT Heritage Council, Duncan Marshall, Canberra has played such a central [...]

Double dip, backflip and FBT pike


Sometimes, for this old Laborite, this government just keeps on giving. If my amusement is part of my age of entitlement, then go you good thing!
Was it Hockey and Cormann who said there are lifters and leaners? Was it these ministers and their assistant ministers who said we should all pay our way, share in [...]

Voter action needed following Dickson shops debacle


There have been recent reports that the controversial Dickson supermarket proposal continues to be debated behind closed doors within the government planning bureaucracy.
Residents have devoted hours (days!) attempting to convince this government that residents are not opposed to changes within the shopping centre. It is just that this particular proposal is so wrong for Dickson. [...]

Proportional representation – Xanadu


Anyone see John Warhurst’s article in last week’s Crimes? It was on voting reform. He made a number of good points.
One was that the report from the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters (JSCEM) was just released and it would be probably only of interest to “the smallish number of people who find electoral matters riveting.” [...]

Have your say on the ACT Arts Policy Framework

By 22 April 2015

[ 23 April 2015 at 12:00 pm; ] Minister for the Arts Joy Burch has called on Canberra’s arts community to register for tomorrow’s public forum on the review of the ACT Arts Policy Framework.  
Minister Burch’s office has released the following information:

“artsACT is looking for feedback from the community on the current ACT Arts Policy Framework, and the forum on Thursday provides those with [...]

Kids in detention camps – crazy!

john hargreaves hostel

In 1952, when I was three, my parents emigrated from England to Australia and we went to a migrant hostel in Bonegilla in Victoria; later we went to other hostels at Bradfield Park and East Hills in Sydney.
My memories are varied of this time but I’ll share with you some of them.
I remember living in [...]

What do Canberrans think about mandatory data retention laws?

data retention

While I do not have access to statistics on how Canberrans feel about the recently passed mandatory data retention laws, I can honestly say that I have spoken to no one who agrees with them.
The Australian Capital Territory’s Human Rights Act was the first charter of human rights enacted in Australia. After coming into force [...]

ACT electorate redistribution proposal unveiled

electoral redistribution proposal

The ACT Redistribution Committee has today announced its proposed redistribution of the ACT into five electorates.
Currently the ACT has three electorates:

The electorate of Molonglo elects seven members of the Legislative Assembly and encompasses the town centres of North Canberra, South Canberra, Weston Creek, and parts of the ACT to the north and east of Canberra.
The [...]

ACT solar farm project moved from Uriarra to Williamsdale


The ACT Government has shelved plans to build a solar farm near Uriarra. Following opposition from residents, the 26,000-panel solar farm will instead be built in Williamsdale.
Here’s the media release from Simon Corbell’s office:

The ACT Government has agreed to license parts of blocks 1470 and 1471 District of Tuggeranong (Williamsdale) to Elementus Energy as an alternative [...]

Canberrans can stop puppy farms and backyard breeders with new bill


A few months ago, a four-week-old puppy (pictured) was surrendered to RSPCA ACT. He was apparently an unwanted gift, and these owners were actually his third, which meant that this puppy would have likely been taken from his mother and litter mates right after he opened his eyes.
Named Curtis by the staff, one of my experienced [...]

Political funding – a frightening future for the ACT

By 17 March 2015

The political landscape of the ACT is changing at lightning speed. Here are some of the most significant changes:
1)      From 2016, the size of the Legislative Assembly will swell from 17 members to 25 members.
2)      The ACT will be split-up from three electorates (two with five seats and one with seven seats) to five electorates [...]

What does the ACT think about the death penalty?


Inside my backyard shed are two signs that my fiancée and I recently made. The signs read, “Indonesia, we love you but please tell your Government to stop killing Australian citizens”.
Over the past month or so, I have spoken on various radio stations and contributed to numerous public forums against the state sanctioned killing of [...]

Chic Henry and the tram to nowhere?

light rail artist impression

I’ve had a couple of long conversations with Summernats’ Chic Henry, who is tossing up whether to run in the 2016 ACT election.
He told me that the Liberals want him to stand but one of the reasons he hasn’t yet committed is his age. If he were fifteen years younger he’d have no hesitation, but [...]

Anzac centenary commemorated through the arts

By 23 February 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja has today announced over $80,000 in funding for two arts and culture projects as part of the Australian Government’s Anzac Centenary Arts and Culture Fund Public Grants Program.
From the media release:
The ACT’s Centenary of Anzac commemorations received a boost today with Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja today announcing [...]

Ruddock given the whip

By 23 February 2015

The sacking of Phillip Ruddock caused me to contemplate a number of issues.
Firstly, I have served with Phillip Ruddock on a couple of ministerial councils and found him to be a warm and honest man. A little dry perhaps, sometimes appearing to lack humour and very semantic, he was nonetheless a man of conviction and [...]

Knights and dames have no place in modern Australia: Barr

By 18 February 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

Chief Minister Andrew Barr will this week move that the ACT Legislative Assembly recognise that Tony Abbott’s ‘captain’s call’ to bring back knights and dames does not reflect a modern, confident and diverse Australia.
In a press release issued this morning, Barr said:

“Like many Australians, I have found the decision to bring back the archaic honour system [...]

NSW right uses bully boy tactics

By 16 February 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

The NSW extreme right has once again used its muscle to bully people into doing its bidding. Elected representatives have been coerced and cajoled into toeing the line and putting their support in for an embattled leader.
Sound familiar? I’m not talking about the NSW Labor Party. This is the extreme right of the Liberal Party. [...]

I call The Honourable….

By 6 February 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

With the hullabaloo over knighthoods and dameships, I was caused to think of another anachronism hanging about in our parliaments. This is the practice of awarding the title of “The Honourable” to MPs. This award is made to ministers and speakers and is awarded for life.
Once upon a time a Prime Minister (and the Deputy PM [...]

State of the Capital – Weekly political wrap 5/2/15

By 5 February 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

Poor results for ACT hospitals
Leader of the Opposition Jeremy Hanson has lashed out at Health Minister Simon Corbell after new revelations that Canberra’s hospitals are underperforming compared with hospitals in other jurisdictions. A National Health Performance Authority reported that only 60 per cent of Canberrans who visit the ACT’s emergency departments manage to access a doctor [...]

State of the Capital – Weekly political wrap 30/1/15

By 30 January 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

Life without Katy 
Chief Minister Andrew Barr has not enjoyed an entirely perfect kick-off in the top job.
After a long and successful innings from the factionally unaligned Jon Stanhope, Katy Gallagher was rigorously groomed for a smooth transition. Although Barr is an experienced minister and possibly the best performer in responding to questions in the [...]

Seselja claims Labor will restore carbon and mining taxes

By 27 January 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

Senator for the ACT Zed Seselja has today claimed that Labor will restore its carbon and mining tax slugs on Australians at the first opportunity.
In a press release issued following Andrew Leigh’s comments on government spending and revenue in The Australian, Seselja said:
“The confirmation from Andrew Leigh that the carbon tax would be imposed on Australians under a [...]

The ACT needs to stop having stupid arguments

By 27 January 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

To have a tram or not to have a tram? To have well-behaved dogs on public transport or not? $50 or $20 notes for poker machines? Bikes or cars?  These are not questions.
I appreciate that it is important that we as Canberrans discuss these issues, and I respect the principle that that the public has [...]

Five electorates, Green pastures?

By 26 January 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE
election vote

The change to the ACT electoral system, now with five electorates of five members, is fertile ground for the ACT Greens.
Over the past couple of years we have seen letters from Caroline LeCouteur both in social and print media. Caroline has been true to her beliefs and constantly pushed the environmentalist line. Good on her too, [...]

Barr announces new ministerial portfolios

By 20 January 2015

Urban renewal, transport, equality and jobs are on the agenda with new portfolios announced by Chief Minister Andrew Barr this morning.
Barr has taken on the new portfolio of urban renewal, which he says will promote garden suburbs and urban villages, bringing together infrastructure renewal with the promotion of social and cultural activity at a suburban level.
Mick [...]

Yvette Berry named as sixth ACT Government minister

By 19 January 2015

Labor MLA Yvette Berry has been elected as the sixth minister in the ACT Government.
The Labor Caucus elected Yvette this morning, filling the role in the Ministry left by the former Chief Minister. Her portfolio responsibilities will be announced tomorrow, along with those of the other five ministers.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr said he expects Yvette, [...]

Meegan Fitzharris wins Katy Gallagher’s seat

By 16 January 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE
Meegan Fitzharris

Labor political staffer Meegan Fitzharris will represent the seat of Molonglo after winning the spot left by former chief minister Katy Gallagher in a countback.
Meegan, who was born in New Zealand and moved to Australia in 1998, has lived in Gungahlin with her partner and two children since 2007.
During that time, she has advocated for [...]

Politics and the price of pillory

By 16 January 2015 FEATURED ARTICLE

The price we sometimes pay for freedom of expression is that people can use language to strip people of their dignity and self-respect and reduce them to lesser mortals. It is no more evident than in politics.
Members of parliament (read: Legislative Assembly here in the ACT) and ministers appear to be the targets of [...]

Burch begins to fall from her perch

By 14 January 2015 FEATURED ARTICLE

Chief Minister Andrew Barr has put his foot down on Minister for Racing and Gaming Joy Burch’s plan to scrap the twenty-dollar limit on poker machines, a move that would have allowed gamblers to use $50 notes. Ms Burch made the change on 22 December, the very day before Andrew Barr became the Leader of [...]

Canberra’s politicians: Bigger government at all costs

By 13 January 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

Canberra’s politicians have been working hard to expand the ACT Legislative Assembly.
Last year we saw a barrage of announcements leading towards the expansion of the Assembly from three electorates with a total of 17 seats to five electorates with a total of 25 seats which will take effect from the October 2016 election.
The expansion required [...]

Party Puts Sex back into Politics

By 5 January 2015 HEADLINE ARTICLE

Who said the Victorians were a stuffy conservative lot? How things have changed! Canberra’s own Fiona Patten MLC!
So Fiona won a seat in the Upper House in Victoria at the last elections, which saw the Liberal a one term wonder, booted out on their proverbials.
Anyone see the pickie in the papers celebrating this wondrous [...]

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