Axis of Deceit: The Extraordinary Story of an Australian Whistleblower
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Retrieved 13 July Lebanese Muslim Association. Retrieved 18 February The Australian. Islamic Council of NSW. Archived from the original on 9 October Retrieved 26 January Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 16 December Retrieved 15 December The Age. Retrieved 19 April Mosques in Australia. Renmark Renmark Marree. Category Islam in Australia Mosques by country. Categories : Mosques in Sydney Mosques completed in establishments in Australia. Hidden categories: Webarchive template wayback links Use Australian English from January All Wikipedia articles written in Australian English Use dmy dates from January Coordinates on Wikidata Articles needing additional references from December All articles needing additional references All articles with unsourced statements Articles with unsourced statements from July Use dmy dates from September Namespaces Article Talk.
Australians expect to know the result of federal elections within hours of the close of voting. But this was the first genuinely close election since , and its impact on the final composition of the House of Representatives was not settled until more than a week later. Yet it was clear from election night that neither Labor nor the Coalition would harvest the 76 seats necessary to form a majority administration.
This immediately brought into play the crossbench MPs, some of whose votes would be required to create and sustain a government. Who were they? Given that the crossbench MPs, the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition and their senior colleagues and advisers would all be involved in negotiations to produce a government, the personalities and political backgrounds of the players were of significance.
Windsor had been in a similar position once before, as one of three Independents who had supported the Greiner Coalition Government in New South Wales when it almost lost office at the election; later that year, he was a signatory to an agreement with the government that ushered in a series of parliamentary reforms.
Bandt, an industrial lawyer, had been a branch member of the Labor Party but contested the seat of Melbourne for the Greens in before winning it in Crook was a product of the often rancorous relations between the Liberal and Nationals parties in Western Australia and his attitude to supporting the federal Coalition was unpredictable.
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In short, despite commentary linking four of the six to the conservative side of politics, none of them had a strong emotional attachment to the non-Labor parties. On Wednesday, 25 August, the Independents gathered in Canberra to begin discussions with the major parties and each other. This contention—of dubious constitutional provenance—became a moving narrative, with seats, first-preference and two-party preferred votes used interchangeably as the decisive factor Brent Privately, they were bombarded with phone, email, text and tweet messages.
Heffernan later tried to apologise Coorey a. The pressure on the three regional Independents—much of it partisan, ahistorical or misinformed—continued until day seventeen. Because of majority results in the 27 successive federal elections held since , the role of the Governor-General in choosing a prime minister has been constitutionally anodyne.
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Yet memories of Remembrance Day —when the Governor-General dismissed a government because of its failure to secure the passage of supply through the Senate—remain strong within the political class, and the novel result raised questions about the role of the Governor-General in the event of a prolonged political impasse. Few, however, expected that the family circumstances of the current incumbent, Quentin Bryce, would emerge as a mooted impediment to her exercising her constitutional functions.
The Chief Justice himself, Robert French, did not directly respond to Faris, but made it clear that, unlike in , neither he nor the other High Court justices would be tendering advice to the Governor-General Gordon et al His response was clear and unequivocal:. The functions of the Governor-General are of the highest constitutional order. The notion that the Governor-General might in such circumstances be constitutionally inhibited in the performance of her functions by reason of a perception of bias or of a conflict of interest is one that, in my opinion, finds no foothold in the structure or text of the constitution.
Gageler a, 2.
Its significance lay in the fact that from 1 July the Labor and Greens senators would constitute a majority in the upper house and have the capacity to influence positively or negatively the legislative agenda of a government of either party. The agreement contained a series of policy objectives, especially in the area of the environment, and proposed parliamentary and electoral reforms. Tony Abbott had initially resisted any such costing on the grounds that it could be subject to political interference by ministers, but relented when the Independents became insistent.
He also announced that he had entered a formal agreement to support Labor in supply and confidence votes ABC b. Needless to say, many of the exchanges among the three Independents, the parties and their advisers were and remain confidential. Each was insistent that the needs of regional and rural Australia were paramount, but it remained uncertain whether they could maintain unity. The parliamentary arithmetic meant that Tony Abbott needed the votes of all three to become prime minister whereas Julia Gillard needed only two.
Katter was the first to announce his intention. Significantly, he did not attend the briefings on climate change given to the other Independents by Lord Nicholas Stern and Professor Ross Garnaut. It was also reported that he had assembled a new team of advisers during the interregnum, some with Liberal Party connections, who convinced him to moderate his criticisms of the Coalition.
Finally, he produced a point negotiation list, which he put to Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott on 2 September on the basis that his support would go to whoever endorsed the bulk of it. Given that the document demanded there be no carbon or mining tax and no emissions trading scheme, it was not surprising that Labor rejected it.
In fact, some accused Katter of structuring the document to achieve that very outcome ABC c, In a delayed, dramatic and lengthy media conference on the afternoon of 7 September, both declared that they would support a minority Labor administration on supply and confidence votes and treat ordinary legislation on its merits, thus ensuring that Julia Gillard would continue in the office of prime minister. Given that it was the decision by Windsor and Oakeshott that ultimately determined who took government, it is important to examine their motives. Policy was doubtless important, but so were political imperatives.
Had the Independents installed a minority Coalition government it would have faced a Labor—Greens majority after 1 July , which might well have curtailed or amended its legislation—including items negotiated with the Independents. Of greater significance was the strong desire of the Independents to avoid an early election and the likelihood of a return to majority government.
Given the relative performances of the big parties at the poll, the Independents reckoned that a Coalition minority government would be more inclined to call an early election than a Labor one. The agreement signed, the second Gillard Government was sworn into office by the Governor-General on 14 September It would be wrong, however, to suggest that the issue of parliamentary reform was altogether drowned in a sea of last-minute pork-barrelling.
While it contained many important changes to the working of the House of Representatives, it was not particularly far-reaching and largely mirrored procedures that had operated in the Senate for many years. Even before the new Parliament sat, a controversy arose as to whether such an unusual arrangement was constitutionally permissible.
In a parliament in which the majority is wafer thin, the granting of permanent pairs can provide the government with an additional buffer against defeat. Soon after the government was sworn in, Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, began to express concerns over his earlier offer to pair the Speaker—especially as rumours persisted that Rob Oakeshott might take up the post Massola The Speaker shall not vote unless the numbers are equal, and then he shall have a casting vote.
By this arrangement…the relative voting strengths are maintained. Harris , Hitherto, the Australian Parliament had no experience of the granting of pairs to presiding officers. To clarify the matter, the government asked the Solicitor-General to provide advice on whether there was a constitutional impediment to a pairing arrangement involving the Speaker. He advised that no arrangement could confer on the Speaker a deliberative vote, nor could it deprive him of a casting vote. Whether for constitutional or political reasons, the Opposition confirmed it would not grant a pair to the Speaker.
The first session of the 43rd Parliament met on 28 September and rose for the Christmas recess on 25 November.
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Given the dramas of the election and the post-election period, it was a relatively mundane affair. Fifty-six bills passed the House of Representatives and the government lost only three divisions—none of them on legislation. The voting patterns of the six crossbenchers were unremarkable, save for one exception. Windsor, Oakeshott, Wilkie and Bandt were government loyalists whereas Crook gave 28 votes to the Coalition and only eight to the government. The surprise was Bob Katter who, despite his endorsement of a minority Coalition administration, voted with Labor in 22 of 33 divisions Horne , 7.
Veteran press gallery correspondent Laura Tingle was positive in her end-of-year assessment of the performance of the new-look Parliament:. Despite all the dire predictions [and]…despite the disappointment of newspaper editors determined to see it as an unmitigated disaster, the end-of-term report on how the hung parliament has been working must be that it has been operating effectively, whether at the level of a clearing house of ideas or as a legislative workhorse.
Tingle History does not support such a prediction: the —43 hung Parliament ran its term despite experiencing a change of government, and so have the post State and Territory minority Parliaments.
It is true that the loss by Labor of just one of its seats to a Coalition candidate in a by-election 5 would imperil its position, but even then an election would not be likely. If such a vote were carried, convention and precedent would require Julia Gillard to resign as prime minister and advise the Governor-General to commission Tony Abbott. In the unlikely event that Gillard advised a dissolution of the House, it would quite properly be refused. As well as being a breach of an agreement with Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott that the next election will be held in September or October , any election held before August of that year would be for the House of Representatives only, with a separate half-Senate election required to be held later for those senators set to retire in mid Even if the preconditions for a double-dissolution election were in place, Section 57 of the Constitution dictates that it could not be held after April It is possible that Australia will have a different government before the end of , but it is improbable that an election will occur before then.
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Australian Associated Press, 22 August. Australian Parliamentary Debates.
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Ashdown, Neil. Global Insight, 26 August. Bouris, Mark. The Sunday Telegraph, 29 August. Brent, Peter. Bryce, Quentin. Letter to Gageler, S. Cannold, Leslie. The Sun-Herald, 29 August. Cavalier, Rodney. The Australian, 2 September.
Axis of Deceit
Coorey, Phillip. Sydney Morning Herald, 30 August. Sydney Morning Herald, 26 August. Drape, Julian. Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September. Gageler, Stephen.