Turnbull Reshuffles Ministry

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a major reshuffle of his ministry, in the aftermath of this week’s retirements and resignations.

The major casualty is NSW Nationals MP Luke Hartsuyker, who is the only minister to be dumped. His removal is partly a matter of geography, given the change in Nationals leadership.

There are three new faces in Cabinet: Senator Fiona Nash (NATS), Darren Chester (NATS), and Steve Ciobo (LNP). Nash becomes Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Regional Communications and Minister for Rural Health. Chester becomes Minister for Infrastructure and Transport. Ciobo takes over Trade and Investment from Andrew Robb. [Read more…]


Mal Brough Resigns From Turnbull Ministry

Mal Brough has announced that he has resigned from the Turnbull ministry.

BroughBrough said he had been advised by the Federal Police that their enquiries into the Slipper-Ashby affair may takes “several more months”.

Brough stood aside as Special Minister of State and Minister for Defence Materiel and Science on December 29, 2015. He cited the police investigation as the reason.

Jamie Briggs, the Minister for Cities and the Built Environment, resigned on the same day, in the wake of allegations about his personal behaviour.

Today’s announcement comes as Prime Minister Turnbull is reshuffling his ministry to take account of Andrew Robb’s retirement and Barnaby Joyce’s accession to the leadership of The Nationals, following the retirement of Warren Truss. [Read more…]


ALP Releases Policy To Cut Back Negative Gearing

An ALP policy released today proposes that negative gearing will only be available from July 1, 2017 for newly constructed homes.

Announcing the policy at the NSW ALP State Conference, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said all current investments will be grandfathered.

In a further measure, the capital gains tax discount will be reduced from 50 per cent to 25 per cent.

The full policy appears below.

Statement from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten

ALP

A strong and sustainable budget is necessary so we can fund our priorities of health and education and underwrite our nation’s future. [Read more…]


Barnaby Joyce Elected Nationals Leader; Nash New Deputy

Barnaby Joyce has been elected unopposed as leader of The Nationals and will become Deputy Prime Minister in the next few days.

Joyce assumed the leadership at a partyroom meeting at 8pm tonight. It followed the announcement earlier today by Warren Truss that he was retiring.

NSW Senator Fiona Nash was elected deputy leader. There were 7 candidates for the position out of a partyroom of 21 members. No vote tallies were released and the ballot papers have been destroyed.

Joyce

Joyce and Nash will take office when Truss officially steps down. This is likely to be early next week, as Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to announce a reshuffle over the weekend. [Read more…]


Excluding Citizens Of “Unsound Mind” From Voting

The Estimates Committee of the Senate today discussed the issue of excluding people of “unsound mind” from voting.

Questioning of Australian Electoral Commission officials was led by Victorian Greens Senator Janet Rice.

Section 93.8 of the Commonwealth Electoral Act says that enrolment will be denied to “a person who by reason of being of unsound minds, is incapable of understanding the nature and significance of enrolment and voting“. [Read more…]


Daniel Andrews Offers To Settle Nauru Refugees In Victoria

The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has offered to settle and house the families who were brought to Australia but now face return to Nauru.

In a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today, Andrews said: “I write to inform you that Victoria will accept full responsibility for all of these children and their families including the provision of housing, health, education and welfare services.”

Andrews said the circumstances were “clearly exceptional” and “a political argument is of no benefit” to the families concerned. [Read more…]


Glossary: White Paper

A White Paper is a statement of government policy on a specific issue.

A white paper will usually be presented to Parliament (tabled in Parliament) as a prelude to the introduction of legislation. The relevant minister will usually make a statement to parliament about the contents of the white paper.

White Papers often result from a consultation and discussion process following the presentation of a discussion green paper or options paper. [Read more…]