Sen. Glenn Lazarus (PUP-Qld) – Maiden Speech

Senator Glenn Lazarus has delivered his official first speech to the upper house.

Lazarus

Having spoken numerous times on legislation over the past month, each time stating that it wasn’t his first speech, the Queensland Palmer United Party senator joked at the outset that it “is now my first speech”.

Senator Lazarus was elected as a Queensland representative at last year’s federal election. His term began on July 1 this year and will expire on June 30, 2020. He is the Senate leader of the Palmer United Party. [Read more...]


Hockey And Cormann Hail Mining Tax Repeal As Best Possible Deal In The National Interest

Following today’s vote in the Senate to repeal the mining tax, the Treasurer, Joe Hockey, says the government has delivered on another of its election commitments.

Hockey

Hockey, speaking at a joint press conference with the Finance Minister, Senator Mathias Cormann, said the government had secured the best possible deal it could in the national interest. He attacked the Labor Party for dealing itself out of negotiations. The Palmer United Party was only relevant, Hockey said, because the ALP would not negotiate.

Cormann also blamed Bill Shorten for the delay in increasing the compulsory superannuation contribution. Hockey said the outcome wasn’t the government’s preferred position but that it was the ALP preventing it delivering on its election commitments.

  • Listen to Hockey and Cormann (15m – transcript below)

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Media release from Treasurer Joe Hockey and Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann.

Failed mining tax finally gone

The Government has delivered on our commitment at both the 2010 and 2013 elections to scrap the failed Minerals Resource Rent Tax (mining tax).

Along with scrapping this failed tax we are abolishing or re-phasing all of the unfunded promises that Labor irresponsibly and recklessly attached to it. The tax package was so poorly designed, it was in fact costing the Government billions of dollars each year. [Read more...]


Mining Tax Abolished As Government Deals With Palmer

2.20pm – The federal government has struck a deal with Clive Palmer and the Senate has voted 36-33 to abolish the mining tax.

The agreement will see the Income Support Bonus continue until the end of 2016. The Schoolkids Bonus will also continue until the end of 2016 but will be means-tested and eligibility will cut out for family incomes above $100,000. The Low Income Super Contribution will continue in its existing form until June 30, 2017. The agreement will also see compulsory superannuation increase to 10% from July 2021 and then by increments until it reaches 12%.

It is believed the agreement was struck late this morning and signed off by Prime Minister Tony Abbott around midday. When the Senate met at 12.30, the government moved to bring on an immediate vote on the legislation. The Opposition attempted to have the legislation referred to a Senate Committee but this was defeated.

The amended bills were passed by the Senate at 2.20pm. They were returned to the House of Representatives which also passed the amendments at 6.27pm.

Watch the full Senate debate. It began just after 12.30pm and ended at 2.20pm.

Announcing to the House of Representatives that the Senate had voted to repeal the mining tax, Treasurer Joe Hockey said it was “testament to a failed government”. He said it showed how “irrelevant” the modern Labor Party is. “They were dealt out – the modern Labor Party is irrelevant,” Hockey said.

The agreement says the 3 PUP senators will support the legislation, as will the Motoring Enthusiast Senator Ricky Muir. Two other senators will be required to secure passage and this is likely to come from Senators Bob Day, David Leyonhjelm and John Madigan. [Read more...]


No Change To Interest Rates; Cash Rate Still 2.5%

At its monthly board meeting today, the Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate unchanged at 2.5%.

The cash rate was last changed in August 2013, when it was reduced from 2.75%.

Statement from Glenn Stevens, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Statement by Glenn Stevens, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 2.5 per cent.

Growth in the global economy is continuing at a moderate pace. China’s growth remains generally in line with policymakers’ objectives, with weakening property markets a challenge in the near term. Commodity prices in historical terms remain high, but some of those important to Australia have declined this year. [Read more...]


Ministerial Statement On Iraq: Abbott And Shorten Unite In House

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, has made a Ministerial Statement on Iraq in the House of Representatives.

Describing the ISIL movement as a “death cult”, Abbott said “Australian aircraft have participated in humanitarian airdrops to people trapped on Mount Sinjar and, just yesterday, to the besieged inhabitants of the town of Amerli”.

He said in coming days Australian aircraft will take part in an airlift of supplies to the Kurdish government in Erbil.

Abbott said: “So far, we have met requests for humanitarian relief and for logistical support. So far, there has been no request for military action itself.”

The Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, responded to Abbott’s statement, and offered the Opposition’s support to the government’s position.

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Ministerial Statement on Iraq.

Many Australians are understandably apprehensive about the risk of becoming involved in another long and costly conflict in the Middle East. [Read more...]