Friday, November 28, 2008

Lee Rhiannon urges Rees to use COAG to push for more Health Funding

Greens MP and health spokesperson Lee Rhiannon says Premier Nathan Rees must use tomorrow's COAG meeting to push for more funding for primary health, particularly for early intervention and prevention services.

Referring to the crisis facing acute hospital care identified yesterday in the report by Commissioner Peter Garling SC, Ms Rhiannon said "The Garling Report focused on acute care hospital services but the crisis will not dissipate unless the Rees government invests heavily in health prevention and early intervention services,"

"Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's offer to the states of $450 million for preventative health is a start, but much more is needed to arrest pressures on the NSW hospital system.

"2008 figures from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare show that NSW spending on public health as a proportion of total recurrent health spending is in decline, with NSW below the national average." Ms Rhiannon said.

Source: Greens media release.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's statement on Mumbai

Overnight in the Indian city of Mumbai there have been a series of coordinated attacks on up to 10 hotels, train stations and other public places. It is unclear at this stage who is responsible for these attacks, although one organisation has claimed responsibility. The Australian government unreservedly condemns the atrocious attacks on innocent people in Mumbai, whoever has carried out those attacks.

As we speak, these events continue to unfold, but we understand that up to 80 people have been killed and some 250 injured. Our sympathy and condolences go to the victims and to their families. Attackers may still be in the hotels, and there are reports that hostages have been taken.

The government is seeking to confirm as a matter of urgency the safety and welfare of Australians who may be affected. We have 317 Australians registered with us as being in Mumbai. There are likely to be more than that. Our consular staff are currently attempting to contact all the Australians who are registered. At least two Australians have been injured, and our thoughts are with them and their families. I am advised that Australian casualties may rise.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has been in contact with the families of those who have been known to be injured so far and with their families in Australia and is providing consular assistance on the ground in Mumbai. Australians who are concerned about the welfare of loved ones can contact a hotline that has been established by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

The number of the consular hotline is 1800 002 214. I have just now spoken to the Australian High Commissioner to India, who is in Mumbai and leading the government’s response. Officials from the Australian Consulate-General in Mumbai and the Australian High Commission in New Delhi are checking with local authorities and hotel owners to determine exactly how many Australians may have been caught up in these incidents.

The group that has claimed responsibility for this attack calls itself the Deccan Mujahideen. Together with other ministers, I have just attended a meeting of the National Security Committee of the cabinet. At this stage, little is known about this group—at least, a group using that name. But whichever group has perpetrated this attack, they are cowards—absolute cowards—and murderers.

It is likely to take some time to identify all the perpetrators. This cowardly attack on India’s stability, peace and democracy reminds us all that international terrorism is far from defeated and that we must all maintain our vigilance. We have to continue to work closely with our allies and partners around the world to defeat terrorism.

In the light of this attack, we have today reissued our travel advice for India. The advice says that Australians should avoid travel to Mumbai at this time. I would encourage all Australians to read the advice carefully. We are offering, through the Australian Federal Police, assistance with counterterrorism and forensics policing to the Indian authorities and any other assistance which may be of direct relevance at this critical time. We stand ready to assist India in any way it needs right now.

This latest attack on Indian peace, stability and democracy reminds us again of the need to remain forever vigilant. I remind all honourable members of this: this is an unfolding event; it is a serious incident, and it is therefore of deep concern and distress to all Australian families who have members of their families in India and/or in Mumbai at this time.

I would join with all members in offering our thoughts and prayers at this time, given the great uncertainties which continue.

Senator Coonan condemns Mumbai Terrorist Attacks.

The Coalition has joined the Australian Government in condemning the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India.

Speaking this morning Senator Coonan said “The Coalition expresses its deepest sympathy for the victims of these attacks and their families, those responsible for these serial attacks in Mumbai have launched a cowardly assault on the values of freedom and democracy in India.

It is also an assault on all of us that share the values of free societies.

I, together with all Australians, condemn the perpetrators of these cowardly and frightful attacks which demonstrate in the clearest terms that terrorist groups are active in South Asia,”

“The Coalition understands that the Australian Government and Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade are providing consular assistance to Australian nationals in India, as well as to relatives in Australia,” Senator Coonan said.

Source: Liberal Party media

Relatives can seek further information through the DFAT hotline on 1300 555 135.

A sad day for the Australian Democrats

The WA branch has be de-registered after they declined to the WA Electoral Commission's determination that it had less than the minimum 500 members needed to be registered as a party.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Victorian Council Elections

Some of Victoria go to the polls this Saturday, while the majority of the state postal vote. I have no idea why most councils use postal votes while some use traditional voting booths at school but that is how it is. The councils that have "attendance voting" are below.
Banyule, Brimbank, Greater Dandenong, Glen Eira, Hbsons Bay, Knox, Moreland, Port Phillip & Yarra. All the others use postal voting.

If you would like any further information feel free to leave a comment.

The most watched contest will be for Melbourne Lord Mayor. The candidate teams are as follows (Team names link to candidate statement provided to the Victorian Electoral Commission, Lord Mayor candidate names link to candidate, team or party website if available.)
p.s Yes, the Gary Morgan in this list is THE Gary Morgan of Roy Morgan Research fame.
(Note: The "C Melbourne Grow site won't work when clicking a link. To visit the site copy/paste the link into your address bar)
Team NameLord MayorDeputy Mayor
Active MelbourneRobert DoyleSusan Riley
C Melbourne GrowCatherine NgTerry Makings
Shifting the BurdenJoseph ToscanoMargaret Ely
Passion for MelbourneNick ColumbSue Calwell
The GreensAdam BandtKathleen Maltzham
Melbourne Supercity WorldRobert CrawfordMichael Kennedy
Residents EquityShelley RobertsAbdiaziz Farah
Team Melbourne Gary SingerJoanne Painter
Fowles A Fresh VisionWill FowlesDavid Wilson
McMullin-Wilson For Melbourne's FuturePeter McMullinTim Wilson
Our City - Your CouncilGary MorganMichele Anderson

I don't normally do this but having looked through the Candidate statements, if was voting I would vote for The Greens or Shifting the Burden. Let me know in the comments who feel is the best team for Melbourne.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Liberal Party website offers fake Rudd merchandise.

THE Liberals have begun to toy with Kevin Rudd.

The Kevin Rudd Decisive Action Doll is just one of the items available at a mock memorabilia site set up by the Liberal Party to celebrate the Prime Minister's one year anniversary.

The website has pictures, watches, dvds and books all dedicated to lampooning Mr Rudd's first year in office.

The Kevin Rudd Decisive Action Doll is said to "feature real voice recordings of all your favourite Rudd catch-cries: 'My challenge to you is this…', 'The buck stops with me', 'On the question of…', and many more."

The toys section also includes the Kevin Rudd Model Plane with the accompanying pitch: "Now you can fly whenever and wherever you like – just like Kevin Rudd!" article
Fake shop

Obviously, that is "non-core" merchandise. Well that is what the Liberal Party will claim when they don't deliver it. All of our Rudd merchandise is real.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Kate Ellis turns down $30,000 zoo shoot.

Federal Minister for Youth and Sport Kate Ellis has turned an offer of $30,000 to pose for men's magazine Zoo Weekly. "She had a chuckle at the idea but has decided against it,'' her spokesman told Zoo. Zoo editor Paul Merrill said he was very disappointed.
"It's easy to see why so many members stand to attention when they catch a glimpse of Kate,'' Merrill said. "We're naturally sad that she's turned down a shoot and deprived her constituents of a much needed morale boost in this global recession. "But Zoo is starting the campaign today to make her our next prime minister anyway.''
A few weeks ago Minister Ellis was voted sexiest Australian MP by her peers.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Julie Bishop on Good News Week

Julie Bishop is currently a guest on the Channel 10 show Good News Week. No video available yet as the show is still on. The interesting part is Julie showing her sense of humour and she was quite funny at times. anyway here's is what I remember from she was "On the lounge"

Paul McDermott(the host): Let's start with word association
Julie Bishop: Ok
PM: Opposition
JB: Temporary
PM: Malcolm
JB: Prime Minister
PM: Bi-partisanship
JB: Over-rated

PM: Power
JB: Girl
PM: Let's go deeper
JB: Let's
PM: What's it like being a woman in Federal Politics?
JB: well I've never been a man in Federal it's so of hard to compare.
PM: What's your dream job?
JB: Treasurer
PM: Who are less trustworthy, lawyers or politicians?
JB: well they're both better than journalists.

Paul then asked Julie what's the most embarrassing thing she will admit on TV and she told a very weird story about being the youngest sister and one day her 2 oldest sisters were on the swings and wouldn't let Julie have a turn no matter how much she she cried or screamed so she went to shed and grabbed an axe and started hacking at the swings. Her mum came out and said "Julie put the axe down, girls get off the swings. This prompted Claire Hooper to say "I hope Malcolm knows this story"

UPDATE: The full episode will be available on the video section of the GNW website (here) soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

New Zealand Votes.

9pm (11pm)
Been having internet problems. Anyway, Clark has conceded
National 46%
Labour 34%
Green 6.5%
NZ First 4.3%
Act 3.7%
Maori 2.2%
United Future 0.9%
Progressives 0.9%
98.0% votes counted

National 59
Labour 43
Green 8
Act 5
Maori 5
Progressive 1
United Future 1
(The parties likely to form a coalition are in bold)

Percentages still looking the same. They may change when bigger non-rural booths report in which should life the Labour vote a bit.

Winston Peters getting smashed by National in Tauranga. Looks like there will be no seats for the NZ First party as their party vote is under the 5% threshold.

6pm (8pm)
Antony Green reckons "The chances of national getting a majority in their own right do not look good. But National plus ACT are still looking good. Now TVNZ are publishing their prediction, I can report the models are looking like National 45.6, Labor 36.1."

5:50pm (7:50pm)
4.6% counted. National is on 49%, Labour 32%, Greens 6%, Others 13%. At the moment National looks like winning 63 seats, Labour 40, Greens 8, Maori 5, ACT 4, and JAP and UF 1 each.

New Zealanders have gone to the polls today to elect their new government. The polls point to a National minority government with the support of ACT NZ, United Future and maybe the Maori Party. Results will be updated here starting at 7pm NZ time (5pm AEDT)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Live U.S Election blog.

3:20pm (11:20pm)
McCain gives his concession speech. Boos and cries of "Bullshit" ring out when he tells the crowd he rang Obama to congratulate him. Strangely cheers and claps when he says that's it's good to see an African-American elected to the White House. Shouts of "No" when he says "Join with me in coming together to work with the new President" More boos then chanting of "John McCain, John Mcain" when McCain says "Thought we fought hard we fell short the blame is mine and mine alone" Cindy McCain gets a cheer when John mentions her and thanks her. The biggest cheer goes up when McCain thanks Sarah Palin.

3:05pm (11:05pm)
Virginia given to Obama by CBS.

Close states
Florida(84%) - Obama leads 51%-49% (158,170 votes)
North Carolina(92%) 50%-50% (McCain leads by 2,839 votes)
Indiana(94%) Obama leads 50%-49% (7977 votes)
Missouri (29%) McCain leads 50%-49% (17,840 votes)

3pm (11pm)
Obama projected to win California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii and the Presidency
Obama 284 - 145

2:15pm (10:15pm)
2% in from McCain's jome state of Arizona, Obama leads 55%-44%
EDIT: A little bit more in, McCain now leads 55%-44%

2pm (10pm)
Results from close states
Florida(64%) - Obama leads 51%-49% (86,845 votes)
North Carolina - Obama leads 50%-49% (44,259 votes)
Virginia - Obama leads 50%-49% (12,282 votes)
Indiana - McCain leads 50%-49% (4,765 votes)

1:50pm (9:50pm)
Mississippi called for McCain
Electoral Vote Projection
Obama 200 - McCain 130

1:22pm (9:22pm)
ABC projects Obama will win Ohio
12% counted there, Obama leads 56%-43%

1:15pm (9:15pm)
Maine(3%) - Obama leads 66%-32%
Massachusetts(19%) - Obama leads 62%-36%
Connecticut(23%) - Obama leads 65%-34%
New Jersey(18%) - Obama leads 53%-46%
New Hampshire(17%) - Obama leads 57%-43%
Vermont(17%) - Obama leads 66%-33%
Florida(48%) - Obama leads 52%-48%
Michigan(6%) - McCain leads 52%-47%
Illisnois(9%) - Obama leads 63%-36%
Oklahoma(13%) - McCain leads 60%-40%
Tennessee(23%) - McCain leads 58%-41%
Alabama(3%) - McCain leads 55%-44%
Georgia(39%) - Mccain leads 60%-39%
South Carolina(32%) - McCain leads 57%-42%
Indiana(65%) - McCain leads 51%-48%
West Virginia(20%) - McCain leads 52%-46%
Virginia(67%) - McCain leads 50%-49%
South Dakota(10%) - McCain leads 51%-47%

1pm (9pm)
More states being projected.

Obama now is projected to win Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, DC, New York, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota

McCain projected to win North Dakota, Georgia, Wyoming, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky and South Carolina

Projected Electoral Votes
Obama 174 - McCain 76

12:30pm (8:30pm)
ABC projects McCain will win Arkansas

Obama 102 - McCain 49

12pm (8pm)
ABC projects New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, Maine, Delaware, and DC for Obama

Tennessee and Oklahoma for McCain

Obama now leads 102 - 34
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11:55am (7:55pm)Indiana(24%) - McCain leads 50%-49%
Kentucky(21%) - Mccain leads 57%-42%
Florida (10%) - Obama leads 58%-42%
Virginia (14%) - McCain leads 56%-44%
ABC has called South Carolina for McCain

11:35am (7:35pm)
Florida(2%) - Obama leads 57%-43%
Virginia(4%) - MCain leads 56%-44%

11:25am (7:22pm)
Indiana(12%) - McCain leads 51%-48%

11:15am AEST(7:15pm EST)
Indiana(8%) counted - Obama leads 50%-49%
Virginia(1%) counted - McCain leads 55%-44%
Kentucky(12%) counted - McCain leads 54%-44%

11:00am AEST (7:00am EST)
Channel 9 is showing ABC america's brodacast, Channel 7 is using NBC, CNN and their won correspondents. I'm watching 9 so most of my info will come from ABC. Based on Exit Polls ABC is Projecting Kentucky for McCain and Vermont for Obama
Current Electoral Vote Tally
McCain: 8 leads Obama 3

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Some Hubdub predictions about the U.S Election.









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