Saturday, February 2, 2013

THE RATS ARE ABANDONING THE SINKING LABOR SHIP...Labor shock: Minister Chris Evans to resign, Nicola Roxon to go

THE third most senior member of Julia Gillard's team, Senate leader Chris Evans, will announce his shock resignation as a minister and Attorney-General Nicola Roxon will also resign from the cabinet.
According to the The Australian newspaper, Ms Roxon will step down from her cabinet portfolio and retire from politics at the September 14 election.
Ms Roxon's apparent departure comes on the heels of news that the government leader in the Senate, Chris Evans, will resign from the ministry on Saturday. His departure could lead to a battle to replace him as Senate leader between Communications Minister Stephen Conroy and Finance Minister Penny Wong.
The shock resignation of Ms Roxon, a solid Gillard supporter, created a storm of commentary within ALP ranks late last night as the word spread she was stepping down and not expected to contest the next election.
One senior Labor MP told The Weekend Australian late last night that "Rome is burning".

Attorney General Nicola Roxon
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon is expected to announce her shock retirement from politics, in another bombshell blow to Labor.

"Nicola Roxon to resign from cabinet early tomorrow,'' van Onselen tweeted late on Friday.

Chris Evans
Chris Evans with Julia Gillard last year. Picture: Kerris Berrington

In the Senate, the party leader is elected by MPs and traditionally from the party's Left faction. Senator Conroy has been deputy leader for five years but is from the Right faction.
Last night there was a suggestion Senator Wong would support Senator Conroy and become deputy to replace Mr Evans, although some MPs were urging her to run for the top spot. A ballot would be held on Monday, if required.
Senator Evans is Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research. One option being considered by Ms Gillard is giving that post to Immigration Minister Chris Bowen with his nightmare portfolio going to Small Business Minister Brendan O'Connor.
Ms Gillard was still working on the changes last night and is expected to finalise the line up today.

Julia Gillard Nicola Roxon
Attorney-General Nicola Roxon, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Minister for Families Jenny Macklin at the Parliament Offices in Sydney late last year. Picture: Renee Nowytarger

Small Business is tipped to stay in Cabinet and some believe Treasurer Wayne Swan should add that portfolio to his job to elevate the importance of the sector ahead of the election.
Mental Health and Ageing Minister Mark Butler may pick up Mr O'Connor's other portfolios of Housing and Homeless.
It is unclear if there will be a new Cabinet minister but there will be a new junior minister. Victorian Mark Dreyfus or Mike Kelly from NSW are among those who could be promoted.
There was no response from Senator Evans' office last night but his WA Senate colleague Mark Bishop confirmed his departure on Twitter.
Chris Evans
Senator Chris Evans with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Perth late last year.

"Resignation of Chris Evans a loss. Serious, hardworking competent minister. Unassuming, consistent and effective senate leader."
The low-profile Senator Evans has also been minister for industrial relations and as immigration minister dismantled the Pacific Solution, which Ms Gillard was forced to resurrect last year. He has been an MP since 1993.
Senator Evans' WA Senate colleague, Mark Bishop, told AAP the senator's Perth colleagues had been aware for "some time'' that the commute to Canberra was taking its toll.

"I think the actual timing is a surprise,'' he said on Friday night.

"Chris has been commenting to people for some time that he is tired."

He said the resignation could have serious organisational and political "consequences" for Labor in WA.

"Chris had access to everyone who was important in Western Australia ... the government will lose that inside edge," Senator Bishop said.

Christopher Pyne, manager of opposition business in the House, said Senator Evans' resignation "spoke volumes" about the state of federal Labor nearly eight months from the election.

"The information that I have is that Chris Evans has resigned not because of ill health, which was my first thought, but because he's just had enough," Mr Pyne said.

"And for the Senate leader and a cabinet minister to decide that he's just had enough speaks volumes for a dysfunctional Labor government."

He said he believed more resignations would follow.

"I don't want to speculate that this might be part of a (Kevin) Rudd push for the leadership, but it seems particularly odd that two days after the prime minister has fired the starter gun for an election campaign, her Senate leader has resigned, Craig Thomson has been charged with 149 offences, and one would have to say that the election campaign has got off to a very rocky start,'' he said.

Labor shock: Minister Chris Evans to resign, Nicola Roxon to go

1 comment:

  1. Glad to see her move on. I trust the disasterous amendments she proposed to the socialistic anti-discrimination legislation particularly the minefield she was creating for damned lawyers with the attack within that proposed amendments on freedom of speech - a disgusting piece of legislation that would encourage vexatious complainants and a huge bureaucracy to deal with it. Good riddance Madame Roxon.