Federal Politics

Federal Politics Live: September 18, 2013

Another day, another government. Let's look back on it:

  • Tony Abbott was sworn in as Australia's 28th Prime Minister;
  • after a ceremony at Government House the ministry held its first meeting;
  • Mr Abbott wasted no time in rearranging the public service giving three departmental heads their marching orders;
  • Labor leader aspirant Bill Shorten again focussed on the lack of women in the new ministry saying it looked like "Dad's Army"; and
  • Cathy McGowan has succeeded in her attempt to oust former Coalition frontbencher Sophie Mirabella from the the Victorian seat of Indi

My thanks, as always, to you for reading, commenting and sharing your thoughts on politics.

Super snaps to the always incredible Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen. I hope you enjoyed seeing some of their favourite photographs from the campaign as well as today's work.

Go well.

Make that two (see 12.44 pm post).

What is with these National Party MPs anyway? Didn't they get the new PM's memo about being a stable and adult government?

Nationals MPs pose for photos afer the swearing in ceremony at Government House in Canberra on Wednesday.
Nationals MPs pose for photos afer the swearing in ceremony at Government House in Canberra on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Counting has stopped in the Queensland seat of Fairfax (2.19 pm post).

It will resume tomorrow. I'm on the edge of my seat!

Aspiring Labor leader Bill Shorten is responding to the swearing in of the new government.

He is taking issue with the number of women in cabinet (that would be one of 19).

"Women aren't getting the same deal as men in our society," Mr Shorten says.

"Tony Abbott has just lowered the glass ceiling for women's expectations in Australia."

The new cabinet is a "sort of Dad's Army" where only one woman can be promoted, he says.

Such a relief when they close the doors. They're sound proof, right?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a full ministry meeting in the cabinet room at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a full ministry meeting in the cabinet room at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
Back to top

Come one - there is no way Tony Abbott is going to dip into the prime ministerial jelly beans.

If anyone knows how many calories are in each one it's Skim-Mocha-Tony.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with his ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with his ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

This meeting will come to order. It's a day of action.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott holds a meeting of the full ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott holds a meeting of the full ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Wow - the chairs are so comfy in here.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with his ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with his ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The new ministry has met for the first time.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with his ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott meets with his ministry in the cabinet room at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Judith Ireland has filed this story on the colour and movement from today's swearing in ceremony.

Josh Frydenberg is sworn in as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister by Governor-General Quentin Bryce at ...
Josh Frydenberg is sworn in as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister by Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House in Canberra on Wednesday. Photo: Andrew Meares
Back to top

Good grief.

Now Clive Palmer is ahead by three votes as the counting in the Queensland seat of Fairfax continues. There are 1,373 votes still to be counted.

Whoever said this election wasn't a close contest?

My apologies - I have hitherto neglected to put up the link to the story about Cathy McGowan succeeding in her bid to become the independent MP for Indi.

You can find that story here.

Anthony Albanese launched his campaign last night.

The Sydney Morning Herald's James Robertson was there.

Chief political correspondent Mark Kenny has also written about Mr Albanese's bid which is being backed by finance spokeswoman Penny Wong.

Labor leader Kevin Rudd conducts TV interviews in Townsville on 2 September.
Labor leader Kevin Rudd conducts TV interviews in Townsville on 2 September. Photo: Andrew Meares

Now, of course, Labor is turning its attention to who will be its next leader.

The Age's state political reporter, Richard Willingham, filed this piece on Bill Shorten's campaign.

Graham Robson watches  Kevin Rudd at candidate Cathy O'Toole's campaign launch in Townsville on 1 September.
Graham Robson watches Kevin Rudd at candidate Cathy O'Toole's campaign launch in Townsville on 1 September. Photo: Andrew Meares

There was the persistent problem of the hair (Clive Palmer called it "silky").

Labor leader Kevin Rudd visits Hobart on 10 August 2013.
Labor leader Kevin Rudd visits Hobart on 10 August 2013. Photo: Andrew Meares
Back to top

Mr Rudd's tweets earlier today (11.02 am to 11.04 am) remind me that I have still to bring you a selection of Andrew Meares' favourite campaign photos (he travelled with Team Rudd).

Let's go through them now.

 

Labor leader Kevin Rudd returns to his car in Belgrave, Melbourne, on 9 August.
Labor leader Kevin Rudd returns to his car in Belgrave, Melbourne, on 9 August. Photo: Andrew Meares

One of the first official acts of the new government (other than totally rearranging the public service) is a visit to the Australian War Memorial.

Defence Minister David Johnston, Special Minister for State Michael Ronaldson and Assistant Defence Minister Stuart Robert will lay a wreath in remembrance.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has released a statement outlining the changes to the public service.

Mr Abbott says "the structure of government departments and agencies has created confused responsibilities, duplication and waste".

You can read the full revision of the Administrative Arrangements Orders here.

Right at the bottom of the statement comes the kicker (in journalism it's known as burying the lead).

Mr Abbott will recommend to the Governor-General that AusAID be "integrated into the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade" in order to enable "the aid and diplomatic arms of Australia's international policy agenda to be more closely aligned".

Mr Abbott's own department will take on responsibility for indigenous affairs, deregulation and the Office for Women to ensure "that these key whole of government priorities are at the centre of government".

I've been concentrating on the swearing in so far which means I have not read breaking news reporter Jonathan Swan's story on the new United States ambassador to Australia, John Berry.

Mr Berry has posted what may be the most friendly introduction video ever on the embassy website in which he talks about his love of knitted jumpers and the outdoors. (He has also had a lion cub named after him). Mr Berry goes on to introduce his husband Curtis Yee whom he describes as "a triathlete from Hawaii who loves anything involving salt water and waves".

I don't normally say this but I will today - if you only read one story today make it this one.

 

The new independent member of Indi, Cathy McGowan, reflects on her victory in this video.

(Before you watch you might like to read about businessman Clive Palmer conceding his lead in the Queensland seat of Fairfax.)

Back to top
Advertisement