Below is a summary version of the Inside Canberra political newsletter published on 11 May 2018.
The Week in Politics
On Wednesday the High Court handed down its judgement in the Katy Gallagher matter. The Court confirmed its decision in the Matt Canavan case that, unless a foreign law precludes Members of Parliament from renouncing their dual citizenship, then they cannot sit in the Parliament if they hold dual citizenship when they nominate to stand for election.
Following this three Labor members, Justine Keay, Susan Lamb and Josh Wilson, along with the Centre Alliance member for Mayo, Rebekha Sharkie, announced in the House of Representatives that they would resign and recontest their seats at a by-election.
Following the High Court decision, Bill Shorten and Tony Burke faced a hostile media at a press conference at Parliament House. The first question was from Mark Riley who asked the Opposition Leader: “You told the public that you could give a rolled gold guarantee that all Labor members were eligible to sit in Parliament. In light of the High Court decision don’t you feel like a goose?” (subscribe to the newsletter to read more)
From the Gallery by Michael Keating
• The Prime Minister started off Budget week with a press conference with the Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities Paul Fletcher for an announcement on rail upgrades to improve traffic around Sydney Airport. The announcement was made in Banksmeadow, NSW.
• There was a Budget-eve Cabinet Meeting in Parliament House on Monday Morning.
• Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton announced Mr Michael Outram APM has been appointed to the position of Commissioner of the Australian Border Force (ABF). (subscribe to the newsletter to view the full From the Gallery segment).
This Week in Parliament
The government introduced its omnibus bill for cuts to personal income tax on Wednesday but the bill was not debated pending the Opposition Leader’s budget reply speech on Thursday night. During question time Labor focused on the value of the corporate tax cuts over the ten years from 2018-19. It was difficult to see the point of the questions other than to establish the amount of money that could be reallocated to essential services.
The government refused to be drawn into this debate and instead simply provided the value of the unlegislated cuts which they said was $34.5 billion with another $9.5 billion for an extra year of cuts. The government’s argument was that the legislated cuts were done and dealt and were unlikely to be reversed….
Inside Canberra Forums
Proposed Forum Schedule for 2018:
Regional Development and Agriculture Forum in partnership with the National Rural Press Club (TBA) with Michael McCormack MP, Leader of the Nationals, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Inside Canberra $64 Question: Monday, May 14 with Senator Jim Molan AO, DSC – 6.00 pm-9.30 pm.
Infrastructure Forum Monday the 18th of June with The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities
Foreign Affairs and Investment Forum Monday the 25th of June with The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Revenue and Financial Services Forum Monday the 13th of August with The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services
Resources and Energy Forum Monday the 20th of August with Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Education, Science and Training Forum Monday the 10th of September with Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training
Health Forum Tuesday the 16th of October with The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
Defence Forum Monday the 26th of November with Senator the Hon Marise Pyne, Minister for Defence
For Professional & Corporate Subscribers; to register please email email@example.com or call our office on 02 6373 3001.
Scott Morrison at the Press Club
Scott Morrison started his post-budget speech by showing a video which emphasised the need for long-term budgeting and the importance of the government’s initiatives. It was pure electioneering.
The Treasurer opened his address by saying that the people in the video were why the Turnbull government had as its objective building a stronger economy. He said he was concerned at what the economy would look like in ten years’ time. When he left university the economy was in recession with unemployment at 10% and interest rates of 17% and he did not want to see an economy like that again.
He said the budget meant that ordinary households would be
$1000 better off which would allow them more freedom in household budgeting. The removal of bracket creep will mean that people could work extra hours without losing most of it to tax. The extra $24 billion for education will mean that children will be better educated and will have better futures. (subscribe to the newsletter to read the full article.)
Editor-in-Chief of Inside Canberra, Michael Keating asked a question following the Treasurer’s National Press Club Address.
Shorten’s Budget Reply Speech
There was more intrigue and anticipation than usual as the Leader of the Opposition rose to give his budget reply speech.
Bill Shorten’s speech set out the battle lines for the by-elections that are expected to take place this winter. He said that, as he listened to the Treasurer’s speech on Tuesday, he thought Labor can do better than this. The government had offered cuts to health and education in exchange for ten dollars a week. The government’s $80 billion worth of tax cuts for the banks and big business was still in the budget. Mr Shorten said Australians should ask themselves what they are going to get to help them with the cost of living.
He announced that Labor would do better on tax for working Australians. Under Labor, the cut will be almost double what the government is offering. A teacher on $65,000 will get a cut of $398 more each year than the Coalition is promising. Cuts like this can be achieved because Labor will not give tax cuts to big business…
The Inside Canberra $64 Question at 65 Northbourne
Federal Leader of Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Bob Katter joined Editor-in-Chief Michael Keating for the latest $64 Question at 65 Northbourne.
Mr Katter talked about his history of Australia where he said Gough Whitlam was part of the reason for his passionate interest in politics.
He talked about his belief in the politics of convection including examples of Sir Robert Menzies during his time as Prime Minister. The Queensland Parliament is a good example of party politics creating members of Parliament out of the party system he said…
Our next Inside Canberra $64 Question is on Monday with Senator Jim Molan AO, DSC. Please register here to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/inside-canberra-64-question-with-senator-jim-molan-ao-dsc-at-65-northbourne-tickets-45925195496
New Consul General And Senior Trade Commissioner For Dubai
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steven Ciobo announced the appointment of Ian Halliday as Australia’s Consul-General and Senior Trade Commissioner in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates, our largest investment partner in the Middle East…
Who Will Win Mayo?
Adelaide’s awash with rumours that, in the wake of the resignation of Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie, one of the members caught up in the citizenship debacle, from federal Parliament on Wednesday, Nick Xenophon will stand as a candidate in the South Australian electorate of Mayo…
Will Jacqui Lambie Return?
Former Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has ruled out a tilt at the lower house seat of Braddon after the resignation of Labor’s Justine Keay following the High Court decision on the citizenship status of ACT Labor Senator Katy Gallagher. According to a statement released by Lambie’s spokesman, Glynn Williams, on Wednesday afternoon, she “took the hard decision personally but her calling is to return to the Senate.” It seems to us that the Parliament was a more entertaining place with people like Jacqui and Nick populating the corridors.
Kevin Rudd v Malcolm Turnbull
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has taken to Weibo, a popular Chinese social media site, to launch a splenetic criticism of Malcolm Turnbull’s “paranoid and all over the place” policies towards Beijing and to ruminate about other Chinese matters. Mr Rudd’s animosity towards Mr Turnbull goes back years: the two most recently clashed in 2016 when the latter refused to nominate the Ruddster for the post of Secretary-General of the United Nations…
Senator Storer’s First Speech
Senator Tim Storer gave his first speech as an Independent Senator from South Australia following standing as part of the Nick Xenophon team in the Senate on Wednesday.
He said “I intend to uphold the values and spirit of accountability and transparency that the Nick Xenophon Team articulated when I stood for election in 2016.”
he process of careful review I’ve undertaken with the important bills before me in my first two weeks in March and now is consistent with that spirit. I will judge legislation and other measures put before me on their individual merits, assessing proposals against four benchmarks: integrity, fairness, prosperity and sustainability. I will not engage in trade-offs for political gain… (subscribe to the newsletter to the full article)
Other articles in this edition include:
- The Next L.A.W. Tax Cut Election
- New Murray Darling Deal Favours Irrigators and Indigenous Groups
- The Economy Heads for the Black
- Fuel Security Review
- Innovative Project To Commercialise Offshore Gas
- Small Business Digital Taskforce submits report to Government
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