Archives for category: Politics

I managed to score an HD for this essay. It’s an interesting topic. Hope you enjoy!

Legacy (2015) argues that, ‘Participation under a neo-liberal political regime severely limits the democratic reach of participatory and deliberative planning.’ Conversely, profound processes of ‘deliberation’ come with risks for achieving action in confronting the challenges of urban governance. Using appropriate examples of strategic planning, consider the conflict between public input, community interests and effective outcomes in practice, and discuss the theoretical tensions this can present.

Maginn et al. (2016, p. 137) state that strategic plans in Australia ‘are more like glossy place promotion brochures’ and that there is ‘little evidence that metropolitan strategies have had direct or tangible effects on development outcomes.’ This appears to be an apt characterisation as strategic plans are often pushed aside the moment a governing party pursues a new idea or is voted out of office. Much of this, as Legacy (2015) argues, is due to the failure of the neo-liberal governance model to facilitate a long-lived strategic plan. Instead, governments are left to the whim of economic markets that do not operate predictably over long periods. In this essay, the tension between the neo-liberal governance model and deliberative/communicative planning will be discussed. The essay will begin with a recount of the rise of communicative planning ideals in response to predominate modernist practices that had fallen out of favour. The discussion will then move to the intrusion of the neo-liberal paradigm and how its clash with deliberative processes can see public backlash and electoral shift. Before concluding, the essay will discuss means of incorporating deliberative processes within the making of strategic plans whilst also permitting a firm economic grounding.

Rise of Communicative Planning

Our understanding of the purpose of town planning has shifted greatly over the past 150 years. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Scott (1998, p. 87-102) argues that Western societies took a ‘high modernist’ turn in the governing and structuring of society. This reformation saw the rise of a supposedly scientific and technical approach to planning in which cities, towns, regions, and their customs and practices were cut down to their simplest elements that could be easily controlled and manipulated by the state. It was a time when policymakers turned to new philosophies under the belief that former societal practices were regressive and inefficient. For planning, this meant that the former organic development of settlements was to be abandoned and must be replaced with master planning by technical theorists such as the well-known Le Corbusier and Robert Moses. Much of this restructuring of town planning was held back by world wars, however, post-war reconstruction saw immense governmental intervention and stimulus into the growth of settlements and regions. Taylor (1998, p. 8) argues that town planning, especially in Britain, was practiced as an extension of architecture in the post-war period. Sticking to the technical approach, this architectural focus would divide settlements into land uses and enforce strict built form controls. The practice gave minimal consideration to full societal concerns, though it was undertaken under the premise of improving living conditions, but the naivety of planners as to the intricate needs of a society likely resulted in the structural enforcement of inequity. Planning would function in this way for a number of decades before localised opposition saw planning reform.

Taylor (1998, p. 75-91) argues that the rise of communicative planning through the post-modernist reformation of the 1970s was a recognition that planning is a ‘political process’. ‘Political’, in this sense, is not used negatively. Rather, the political process allows the community and stakeholders to deliberate, debate, and even vote on proposed planning initiatives. Mees (2010, p. 99-100) recounts the freeway revolts that occurred in Toronto and Melbourne during the 1970s. In both cases, policymakers had designed a road-based transportation system through the modernist technical approach to planning. The designs would require the forced acquisition of private property and see the construction of large highways through the middle of communities. The Melbourne example from the 1970s was the proposed Eastern Freeway extension through Melbourne’s inner north. Community groups were successful in their campaign to oppose the road, but the freeway never left the masterplan, as will be discussed later. Sager (2009) defines a communicative planner as someone who ‘facilitates discussion and attempts to involve even marginalised interests’. The communicative planner should strive to look beyond the basic economics of a proposal and enable full societal concerns to be heard in the planning process. In many respects, this communicative process offers greater value for the strategic arm of planning especially in Victoria where the statutory arm is still conducted using the technical, modernist approach as discussed above. Nevertheless, as the statutory framework is developed through a strategic foundation, there is high potential for the communicative approach to have far reaching impacts in the planning framework. However, the post-modernist reformation occurred alongside a broader economic restructure of governmental systems, which has come to cause great tension between societal and economic interests.

Neo-Liberal Intrusion

Healey (2006, p. 14) explains that, at the same time as the practice of planning was being reformed through the 1970s, the prevailing economic structure within Western societies was also reforming. This included a shift from the ‘demand-stimulation strategies’, as promoted by John Maynard Keynes following the Great Depression, to a greater focus on economic ‘supply’. Healey goes on to explain that this ‘neo-liberal’ turn concerned itself with reducing regulatory burdens placed upon private business and winding back government involvement in the everyday running of the economy. The impacts of this governmental restructure were felt heavily in the United Kingdom and the United States through the 1980s as both nations were ruled by conservative administrations. The impact would be less so in Australia, however, Victoria saw large-scale privatisations through the 1990s via the Kennett Government and the election of the Howard Government in 1996 saw the neo-liberal ideology rolled out nationally. Today, the neo-liberal ideology is deeply ingrained in global markets. Governments are restrained in their ability to enact policies that increase regulatory oversight, nor are they able to readily source funding for initiatives that struggle to demonstrate their economic return. The concern here for planning is that the new communicative/postmodernist framework, with its emphasis on considering all societal concerns beyond those with a direct economic link, is that it can be difficult to justify strategic plans that do not consider economic performance first a foremost. Further, a continued financial squeeze has seen governments intentionally limiting the reach of communicative planning practices with the aim of artificially manufacturing economic confidence for private enterprise employed to implement state projects.

Legacy (2015) refers to the strict economic remit of the neo-liberal ideology as a ‘post-political’ environment for planning. This environment can see, especially for large or costly government proposals, public participation actively prevented or the process constructed in such a manner that public opinion is not given the ability to sway the final outcome. As discussed, preventing public participation in the planning process is theorised to provide greater economic confidence for private contractors, however, governments also create or restructure their own departments to see them operate in the manner of a private agency beyond the reach of regular public oversight. Sager (2009) refers to this as the ‘depoliticising [of] decisions by making them a matter of operational management’. He goes on to say that this results in ‘social and political issues [being] reduced to technical and procedural matters’. This premise at the core of the neo-liberal ideology unwittingly forces planning to return to its modernist foundations where the whims of theorists are forced upon society and the public is seen as a mere element to be manipulated and controlled. Planners, therefore, are forced to contend between the ideals of communicative planning, with its core intended to uphold the interests of all society, and that of the neo-liberal governance model, which allows consideration into areas only that provide a strong economic link. As with the freeway revolts of the 1970s, this means that the public must turn to extra-process activism in order to amend or overturn governmental decisions. For Melbourne, it was precisely this that occurred in opposition to the re-proposed Eastern Freeway extension (East West Link) and likely saw a government fall as a result.

Erosion of Participation

The East West Link, as recounted by Legacy (2015), was a proposed set of twin road tunnels connecting the Eastern Freeway from Hoddle Street in Clifton Hill to the City Link Tollway in Parkville. The road differed from the 1970s proposal, which was planned to be an open-cut trench through the inner suburbs of Melbourne rather than a tunnel. However, the proposed tunnels still saw strong opposition from residents and transport planning academics. The core of the resident opposition was that the Baillieu/Napthine Liberal Government (which proposed the road) did not announce the project as one of their initiatives prior to winning government. Indeed, Legacy (2015) contends that the Baillieu/Napthine Government was elected on the promise of enabling long-awaited public transport projects. The Liberal Government’s Public Transport and Roads Minister Terry Mulder even announced prior to and following winning government that, ‘We went to the election to say that we had no plans for the tunnel. And that is our policy’ (Millar & Dowling 2013). Further to resident opposition, transport academics opposed the proposal on the long-established theory that urban road projects do not alleviate the traffic problems that they are intended to solve. Rather, they act to worsen the problem (Speck 2018, p. 64). The Baillieu/Napthine Government actively moved to reduce the ability of the public to be involved in the planning process, even changing the law to do so, and rushed other required statutory approvals in order to sign construction contracts prior to the 2014 election. Opposition groups were forced to mobilise outside the planning process through activism that saw large media interest. The campaign was so strong that the opposition Labor Party promised to abandon construction of the tunnels should they win government.

The Baillieu/Napthine Government was voted out of office in 2014 to make way for the Andrews Labor Government. The new Andrews Government moved to cancel the East West Link contracts despite an enormous cost in compensation arranged in secret between the contractors and the former government (Legacy 2015). It seemed from this point that the neo-liberal governmental structure would be reformed in Victoria, particularly for planning, as the Andrews Government appeared willing to uphold community concerns. However, Legacy notes that the former government had amended the Major Transport Projects Facilitation Act 2009 resulting in the erosion of public participation in major projects. Moving into the initiatives of the Andrews Government, it is clear that this amendment is continuing to be used in such a manner to prevent public participation, particularly in transport matters. Recent deliberative initiatives (too recent to be the subject of peer reviewed academic analysis), such as the proposed North East Link, have been labelled a ‘show trial’ by affected residents as Government contractors begin work despite a continuing planning process (Lucas 2019). The devolution of government departments to that of agencies conducted in the manner of a private business can also be seen under the new government. New agencies have been established for the handling of level crossing removals, the construction of various freeways, the expansion of suburban roads, and for the building of railway infrastructure. For all these projects, the Government has not permitted the public to discuss the underlying problems intended to be solved. Instead, public participation is reduced to that of deciding minor matters, such as relating to building facades and colours.

Enhancing Communicative Processes

In returning to the argument by Legacy (2015) that, ‘Participation under a neo-liberal governance regime severely limits the democratic reach of participatory and deliberative planning’, and the challenges that ‘deliberation’ pose for governments operating under the neo-liberal model, it is important to consider whether the best interests for both parties, public and government, are being met through the current system. It may be argued that the current model is failing both parties with the public dissatisfied by planning processes and government facing backlash at the ballot box, as can be seen from the Baillieu/Napthine Government’s election loss. No party truly wins in these circumstances, not even the public, who managed to see the East West Link abandoned, as they are still not given the opportunity to discuss the underlying problems that strategic plans aimed to remedy. Sager (2009) argues that government must move away from its sole commitment to economic performance as the measure for good government. He goes on to quote Denhardt and Denhardt (2015, p. 1) who state that, ‘Government [should not] be run like a business, it should be run like a democracy.’ For Sager, an important step in this reformation is for government to recognise that individual members of the public (which he refers to as ‘citizens’) have needs that cannot be met through the sole characterisation of individuals as ‘consumers’. However, Taylor (1998, p. 130-154) notes that we cannot ignore the neo-liberal paradigm so long as we continue to operate within its framework. With this, new planning processes must be considered that aim to meet both societal and economic demands.

A potential means of solving the deadlock between societal and economic needs is to pursue strategic plans that have both a communicative and economic basis. With this, both the public and private contractors can have confidence that proposed plans and initiatives will not be thrown out on a whim by new governments. In an examination of four different planning styles, Innes and Gruber (2005) found that ‘collaboration’ provided the best outcomes ‘where diversity and interdependence interests are high’. This suggests that strategic plans must be undertaken through a communicative process if they are to remain relevant in the political cycle and maintain public support. Incorporating economic return into plans derived from a communicative process, rather than merely relaying economic initiatives to a passive public, is an approach that every government should consider if they care for their own longevity. A further means for this process may even include the ability for the public to vote on larger initiatives, as Mees (2010, p. 129-145) recounts for the experience of Zurich in the 1960s and 70s. As in much of the world, governing authorities in Zurich had pursued a road-based transportation system, however, local laws required expensive initiatives, such as highway construction, to be put to public vote. The public defeated the road-based proposal in favour of greater investment in public transport. Mees goes on to recount the success of the of the Zurich transport system into the 21st century with the example demonstrating that deliberative processes do have the potential to provide economic confidence and prosperity.

Summary

It is likely, as Legacy (2015) contends, that the neo-liberal governance model has resulted the limiting of deliberative planning processes. Neo-liberal governance puts economic interests at the core of planning decisions and gives little consideration to wider societal concerns. This is in contrast to the ideals of communicative planning, which rose in recognition that planning must be understood as a political process unlike the modernist application of planning practiced from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The neo-liberal model, despite its preference with current governments, fails to adequately serve both the public and the government. Public participation is reduced and communities are not permitted to discuss the underlying cause of the problems they face. Governments, meanwhile, risk electoral backlash, as we saw with the East West Link, should they drive the neo-liberal ideology to its logical end. However, it may be possible to reactivate communicative processes within a tight economic remit provided that consensus can be reached on the deliberative process. Strategies developed with a collaborative approach have been shown to provide greater outcomes and receive greater governmental and community respect. These processes are also shown to provide the economic confidence required within the neo-liberal paradigm.

 

References

Denhardt, J & Denhardt, B 2015, The New Public Service: Serving, Not Steering, 4th edn, Routledge: Taylor & Francis Group, London & New York.

Healey, P 2006, Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies, 2nd edn, Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire & New York.

Innes, J and Gruber, J 2005, ‘Planning Styles in Conflict: The Metropolitan Transportation Commission’, Journal of the American Planning Association, Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 177-188.

Legacy, C 2015, ‘Transforming transport planning in the postpolitical era’, Urban Studies, Vol. 53, No. 14, pp. 3108-3124.

Lucas, C 2019, ‘North East Link hearings branded a ‘show trial’ as early works start’, The Age, 27 October, viewed 30 October 2019, <https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/north-east-link-hearings-branded-a-show-trial-as-early-works-start-20191025-p534c5.html&gt;

Maginn, P, Goodman, R, Gurran, N, & Ruming, K 2017, ‘What’s so strategic about Australian metropolitan plans and planning reform?’, in L Albrechts, A Balducci, & J Hillier (eds), Situated Practices of Strategic Planning: An international perspective, Routledge: Taylor &

Francis Group, London & New York, pp. 135-157.
Mees, P 2010, Transport for Suburbia. Beyond the Automobile Age, Earthscan, London.

Millar, R & Dowling, J 2013, ‘East-west rationale to stay secret’, The Age, 25 August, viewed 25 October 2019, <https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/east-west-rationale-to-stay-secret-20130824-2sis1.html&gt;

Sager, T 2009, ‘Planners’ Role: Torn between Dialogical Ideals and Neo-liberal Realities’, European Planning Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, pp. 65-84.

Scott, J 1998, Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed, Yale University Press, New Haven and London.

Speck, J 2018, Walkable City Rules: 101 Steps to Making Better Places, Island Press, USA.

Taylor, N 1998, Urban Planning Theory since 1945, Sage Publications, London.

University case study of the failed Camberwell Railway Station Redevelopment.

The Age

What is the case about?

The Camberwell Station redevelopment was a proposal, many years in the making, to build three and nine storey towers beside and above the 1918 Camberwell Railway Station which services the Camberwell Junction shopping strip on Burke Road and surrounding residential areas (CSTP Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC & Ors, 2009). The development had been in planning since before 2002 by the State Government owned Victorian Rail Track Corporation (VicTrack) which owns the railway station and adjoining land. The development would have seen a mix of lower level business with residential above, but faced criticism from residents, the Boroondara Council and from high profile individuals, including actor Geoffrey Rush, as the development would have been much taller than other structures along the shopping strip, which generally sees buildings of only two storeys, and would have almost totally blocked the view of the railway station from Burke Road. The dispute came to a head in 2009 with a hearing at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) that ruled in the favour of VicTrack and their chosen developer, but with a requirement that some design alterations be made. However, the development was shelved in 2012 following the election of a conservative Government two years earlier (Carey, 2012).

What are the substantive issues in the dispute?

The substantive issues came down to differing policy at the state and local government levels. Policy of the state would like to “facilitate residential and commercial development in existing activity centres with good access to public transport” (CSTP Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC & Ors, 2009). This is consistent with a global governmental push for high density urban living along high capacity transport corridors as cities become evermore populated. In 2010 the then Labor State Government made moves to amend planning schemes to encourage “high-rise corridors” along railway, tram and bus routes, moves that were opposed by the Liberal-National opposition who believed that the policy would lead to “unliveable” conditions (Johnston, 2010).

Camberwell’s Boroondara Council and Boroondara Residents Action Group (BRAG) appear to have agreed with this sentiment and had further worries about neighbourhood character in the “leafy east”. The opponents of the nine-storey station development proposed an alternative development which would have seen a low level structure, consistent with the height of existing Burke Road buildings, and only on the southern side of the site (BRAG, 2009). Whether or not such a development would be cost-effective is unknown, especially considering the cost of railway works including the removal of train stabling and accommodating those trains elsewhere.

(This answer should have made reference to “substantive issues” as set out in Planning Australia by Thompson and Maginn).

What are the planning issues?

At the zoning level, the proposed development was not in breach of planning law as agreed by VCAT. The railway station was zoned as a Public Use Zone (PUZ) and was adjoined by areas zoned Business as well as Burke Road which was a category one main road (CSTP Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC & Ors, 2009). VCAT made note of seemingly conflicting Council planning schemes. The proposed development had been in the planning since at least 2002 and would have been relying on an old 1993 structure plan which came to clash with a new plan released by Council in 2008. The 1993 plan appeared visionary for its time as it pre-dates the Melbourne 2030 strategy, which called for major development in “Principal Activity Centres”, as it encouraged “significant development” at the Camberwell Railway Station site. The new 2008 plan encouraged “low scale” development at the station (Camberwell Junction Structure Plan, 2008, p. 8) but was released the year after the developers had applied to Council for a planning permit. As demonstrated, this new Council plan clashed with State Government strategies that aimed “to create a more sustainable urban form for metropolitan Melbourne” which would see development of a “high level of intensity and scale” in activity centres, close to public transport (CSTP Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC & Ors, 2009).

How has the planning system been applied here?

VCAT made many notes encouraging a balance between state and local government policy frameworks, but ultimately resolved the conflict by attempting to satisfy planning scheme “clause 11.01” that states, “It is the State Government’s expectation that planning and responsible authorities will endeavour to integrate the range of policies relevant to the issues to be determined and balance conflicting objectives in favour of net community benefit and sustainable development…” (CSTP Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC & Ors, 2009). “Net community benefit” and “sustainable development” are the key planning issues for the site at Camberwell Junction. The 2002 Melbourne 2030 plan listed the shopping strip as one of Melbourne’s 25 “Principal Activity Centres” and as such is an area where “concentration of new development” is encouraged (Department of Infrastructure, 2002, p. 33). That, coupled with the 1993 structure plan, made it clear that the proposed development at the Camberwell Railway Station should go ahead. The main limitation of this process was community consultation. Planning applications are judged according to planning law and policy and, where the developer fails to provide adequate consultation, planning assessors can be overrun with complaints that are irrelevant to their main purpose.

What are your thoughts on the effectiveness of the planning system to resolve these disputes?

For the Camberwell Railway Station redevelopment the planning system was effective in solving the core planning dispute, that being differing policy at state and local government levels, but it fails to provide the community with an opportunity to express their thoughts on the design of the development itself rather than whether the development is in breach of planning law and policy. The community consultation “burden” falls onto the developer who really should be required to provide a constructive level of community involvement for a development in place of high community significance. Allowing the community to have their say will result in the best outcome as participants can feel as though they have been included in the design process and can take a piece of joint pride in the result. Failure to allow this may lead to community resentment and possible political interference where the project is not bipartisan.

In 2013, around three years after the election of a conservative State Government, a raft of new residential zones were brought into effect (Peterson, 2014). Boroondara Council moved to apply the most restrictive zone in the new suite to a huge area under its authority. The measure restricted developments to eight metres high and allowed councils to determine minimum lot sizes. While this did not apply to the Camberwell Railway Station site, it can be seen as a possible retaliation against developments like that proposed for Camberwell Junction and demonstrates the importance of bringing the community with you in the development process.

References

BRAG. (2009, January 31). Camberwell Station BRAG Plan vs Govt Plan [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFfwQJLqJ9s

Carey, A. (2012, October 3). Camberwell station development shelved. The Age. Retrieved from http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/camberwell-station-development-shelved-20121003-26yls.html

City of Boroondara. (2008). Camberwell Junction Structure Plan – Adopted by Council 27 October 2008. Retrieved from https://www.boroondara.vic.gov.au/sites/default/files/2017-05/Camberwell-Junction-Structure-Plan.pdf

CSTP Pty Ltd v Boroondara CC & Ors 2009 VCAT 1078

Department of Infrastructure. (2002). Melbourne 2030: Planning for Sustainable Growth: October 2002. Retrieved from https://www.planning.vic.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0018/20466/Melbourne-2030-Planning-for-sustainable-growth-text-only-version.pdf

Johnston, M. (2010, June 22). New laws promote high rise corridors. Herald Sun. Retrieved from http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/new-laws-promote-high-rise-corridors/news-story/28d558817353a8f40ae002cdeb534e79?sv=32539b83cc57eedc1318ed89e24737da

Peterson, C. (2014, February 18). NEW RESIDENTIAL ZONES – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR MELBOURNE [Blog Post]. Retrieved from https://urban.melbourne/planning/2014/02/18/new-residential-zones-what-does-this-mean-for-melbourne

Western Distributer

On the face of it the Western Distributor, proposed by Transburban on Thursday 30 April 2015, appears to be quite a compelling and clever project. The new road would spur from the Westgate Freeway near Williamstown Road and head north-east by tunnel and viaduct to Footscray Road and CityLink and would be funded two-thirds by Transurban and one-third by Government. No homes would be acquired, the inner-west would no longer lie sleepless with the sound of trucks through residential streets, but it is the impact on Footscray Road and Docklands which has raised my concerns.

After the road surfaces it would travel by viaduct over the Maribyrnong River and above Footscray Road which is already eight lanes wide with a central median and east-bound service road without the addition of six lanes raised above. A viaduct here is clearly overkill and would look so disgusting that it would attract anti-social behaviour and repel developers when the port and distribution centre have moved on.

Furthermore, Transurban propose extending the new road just east of CityLink which would funnel car traffic into Docklands and Melbourne’s central business district – the opposite of what cities around the world are trying to do. Cars are to cities what saturated fat is to your veins. They are the easy way out, your quick and tasty meal. About three cars transporting three people take the space of a small Melbourne tram carrying up to 70 people each, most of which are already stuck behind private transport. The idea that we should further encourage car travel to the CBD is ludicrous, but this is where we hit a wall.

This road should be about providing easy truck access to Swanston and Appleton docks, much like the East-West Link was secretly about providing truck access to the previous Government’s proposed port at Hastings, but Transurban have proposed this project not because they care about getting trucks off the streets in the western suburbs, but because they believe it will make them a profit. Trucks alone are unlikely to do that. If the state Government alter the project to make it socially acceptable it may no longer be commercially viable, which would remove two-thirds of funding from the table and no doubt increase costs because the Government do not have the skills or expertise to construct the road themselves.

Does this mean we should let Transurban go ahead with the full project no matter the implications? No, certainly not. Below is my proposed alternative to a viaduct above Footscray Road whether or not it happens to be cost-effective.

Footscray Rd - Distributer

The diagram is not to scale, but I have removed four sets of traffic lights between Sims Street to the west and Appleton Dock Road to the east (off the diagram). I propose the Western Distributor should end just east of Sims Street with flyovers running into existing ground level lanes. Trucks which need to access Dock Link Road either to the north or south should loop under Footscray Road on the west or east using underpasses which already exist. Ending the new road here would prevent creating an undevelopable squalor, decrease construction costs and, hopefully, not present itself as the next best way to access the city by private transport.

You may have noticed that I have represented the Western Distributer with only two lanes each way. While I expect the tunnels to be constructed with the capacity for three lanes each way, only providing two lanes, at least initially, would help prevent an unmanageable flow which would need to merge onto Footscray Road.

Finally, while I provide reluctant support for the project as I have altered it, I would ultimately prefer taking port trucks off the road completely in the inner-west by moving freight, bound for the Westgate Freeway, by train to a new distribution centre near the proposed port at Bay West. The rail reserves already exist, they require far less manpower to operate and do not leave such a scar on our communities as are left by large, costly motorways.

Leadership tensions did not come to end after the failed Labor leadership spill in March, instead the speculation and media obsession grew stronger as the polls for Labor continued to fall. At the end of June the push to return Kevin Rudd had grown to the point where Rudd felt he had the numbers to lead a successful challenge against the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, and so he did just that.

Rudd’s camp collected signatures from caucus members to petition the Prime Minister to call a spill. This petition has not been released to the public, but as it happened, Julia Gillard, speaking to Sky News, called the spill for 19:00 AEST without ever seeing it.

I have compiled the day’s statements and press conferences. Anything that I have not uploaded myself will be accompanied with a link to the source. I have not included Julia Gillard’s interview with Sky News.

Gary Gray walk and talk. Who is he anyway?

Kevin Rudd says he will challenge.

Bill Shorten announces support for Kevin Rudd.

Chris Hayes, Returning Officer.

Outgoing PM, Julia Gillard, statement.

Outgoing Deputy PM, Wayne Swan, statement.

PM-elect, Kevin Rudd, statement.

Deputy PM-elect, Anthony Albanese, statement (via NewsOnABC).

It seems like a lifetime ago, but back in March, 2013, former Labor Party leader, Simon Crean, called on the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, to hold a spill allowing Kevin Rudd to challenge, the only problem being that Kevin Rudd was not ready. Crean had apparently missed a text message from Rudd that said his position had not changed, Rudd did not have the numbers to lead a successful challenge.

I have compiled the day’s media statements and press conferences. Anything that I have not uploaded myself will be accompanied with a link to the source.

Simon Crean calls for a spill (via NewsOnABC).

The Prime Minister calls spill for 16:30 that afternoon (via NewsOnABC).

Kevin Rudd says he will not stand.

Chris Hayes, Returning Officer.

A short statement from the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister.

Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, press conference.

Simon Crean speaks with Leigh Sales.

I rediscovered this little gem while organising one of my hard drives. The Katter Party’s founder takes on The Greens’ Scott Ludlam over live cattle exports with a bit of nuttery slipped in. I think Katter damaged his microphone.

Originally broadcast on the ABC’s Capital Hill television programme. The audio is via SoundCloud.