Minor Changes To Opposition Shadow Ministry; Dodson Promoted To Executive In First Week As A Senator

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has made a number of changes to his Shadow Ministry, including the promotion of just-appointed Senator Patrick Dodson

The changes are as a result of the parliamentary retirement of Gary Gray, (Brand-WA), who held the posts of Shadow Minister for Resources and Shadow Minister for Northern Australia.

The Resources portfolio goes to Jason Clare, (Blaxland-NSW). He will be assisted by new Shadow Assistant Minister for Resources, Jim Chalmers, (Rankin-Qld).

Shayne Neumann, (Blair-Qld), becomes Shadow Minister for Northern Australia.

The new Shadow Minister for Regional Communications will be Stephen Jones, (Throsby-NSW).

Senator Dodson (WA) becomes Shadow Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader. He took up his Senate seat three days ago. [Read more…]


Clive Palmer Announces He Will Not Contest Fairfax

Clive Palmer has announced that he will contest the seat of Fairfax at this year’s election.

Palmer made the announcement during a valedictory statement to the House of Representatives. He left open the possibility that he might run for the Senate instead.

In his speech, Palmer defended his business interests, claimed he had been persecuted by the media, and itemised a long list of alleged achievements of the Palmer United Party.

Palmer, 62, won the Queensland electorate of Fairfax from the Liberal National Party by 53 votes in 2013. He polled 26.49% of the primary vote and won on preferences.

  • Listen to Palmer’s speech (15m)
  • Watch Palmer’s speech (15m)

Hansard transcript of Clive Palmer’s valedictory speech. [Read more…]


Scott Morrison Budget Speech 2016-17

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has delivered the 2016-17 Budget Speech, his first for the Turnbull coalition government.

The Budget forecasts a deficit for 2016-17 of $37.1 billion, falling to $6 billion in 2019-20.
It tightens superannuation concessions and introduces a new Youth Employment Package with internships and wage subsidies for business.

The Budget cuts company tax for small business and raises the personal income tax threshold of $80,000 to $87,0000.

The full text of the Budget is shown below, with complete audio and video.

Documents

Download the Budget documents (PDF).

  • Listen to Morrison’s Budget Speech (31m)
  • Watch Morrison (31m)

Hansard transcript of Scott Morrison’s Budget Speech.

Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2016-2017 [Read more…]


Philip Ruddock (Lib-Berowra) – Valedictory Speech

Philip Ruddock has given his valedictory speech to the House of Representatives, ending a parliamentary career of 42 years and 7 months.

Ruddock

Ruddock, the Liberal member for Berowra, in New South Wales, was first elected as the member for Parramatta at a by-election on September 22, 1973. He was the member for Dundas from 1977 until 1993. After his first election win, he has been elected to 16 parliamentary terms.

Ruddock was Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs in the Howard government from 1996 until 2003. He was Attorney-General from 2003 until the Howard government lost office in 2007. [Read more…]


Reserve Bank Cuts Interest Rates By 0.25%; First Reduction In A Year

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut the cash rate by 0.25% to a historic low of 1.75%.

The decision was announced at 2.30pm today. The Governor of the Bank, Glenn Stevens, said: “At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 per cent, effective 4 May 2016. This follows information showing inflationary pressures are lower than expected.”

The cash rate has been 2.0% since May last year.

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 lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.75 per cent, effective 4 May 2016. This follows information showing inflationary pressures are lower than expected.

The global economy is continuing to grow, though at a slightly lower pace than earlier expected, with forecasts having been revised down a little further recently. While several advanced economies have recorded improved conditions over the past year, conditions have become more difficult for a number of emerging market economies. China’s growth rate moderated further in the first part of the year, though recent actions by Chinese policymakers are supporting the near-term outlook. [Read more…]


Victorian Budget Delivered: Big Surplus, Capital Works, Transport Projects

The Victorian Treasurer, Tim Pallas, has delivered the State Budget for 2016-17.

The Budget has a surplus of $2.9 billion, with surpluses averaging $2.1 billion a year over the forward estimates. Net debt is forecast to gall from 5.9% of GSP this year to 4.8% by June 2020.

The Budget includes capital funding – “the most..ever” – for new and upgraded schools, and for road and rail projects. There is up to $12.4 billion in new capital investment, and an average of $7.4 billion a year t0 2020.

The Budget allocates $572 million for action on family violence. [Read more…]


ALP Releases Climate Change Policy

The ALP has released its climate change policy for the 2016 federal election.

The policy includes a commitment to 50% of electricity coming from renewable energy by 2030.

The Climate Change Action Plan includes a commitment to an emissions trading scheme but without a fixed price. The policy says: “Labor’s plan does not include a carbon tax or a fixed price on pollution.”

The policy booklet is shown below.

Email statement to supporters by Bill Shorten.

Shorten

Today I launched Labor’s plan to tackle the devastating consequences of climate change.
The cost of refusing to take real action on climate change will be shocking for Australia and our economy. It will hurt the economy, mean more pollution and less investment. The Labor Party I lead will not stand by and let that happen. [Read more…]