Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings At The National Press Club

Tasmania’s Labor Premier, Lara Giddings, has addressed the National Press Club in Canberra.

Giddings spoke at length about the state of Tasmania’s economy. She defended her state’s share of the proceeds of the Goods and Services Tax, praised the National Broadband Network and talked of Tasmania’s place in the Asian Century.

Gidding

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  • Listen to Giddings respond to questions (27m)

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Transcript of speech to the National Press Club by Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings.

INTRODUCTION

Thank you to the National Press Club for inviting me to speak to you today.

If you were in Tasmania this summer you would have seen some of the world’s biggest cruise ships tied up in one of the most beautiful harbours on the planet.

You would have seen thousands of tourists and locals queuing to get into one of the world’s best museums at MONA. [Read more…]


Full Text Of COAG Communique

This is the full text of the Council of Australian Governments Communique issued after today’s meeting of first ministers in Canberra.

COAG press conference

Full text of the COAG Communique released following today’s meeting of federal, state and territory first ministers.

Council of Australian Governments Meeting – Communiqué

Canberra, 7 December 2012

The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) held its 34th meeting in Canberra today, 20 years to the day since its first meeting in Perth in 1992. The Prime Minister, Premiers, Chief Ministers and the President of the Australian Local Government Association (ALGA) participated in today’s meeting. The Leaders welcomed Northern Territory Chief Minister, the Hon Terry Mills MLA and President of ALGA, Felicity-ann Lewis to their first COAG meeting.

COAG also reiterated its commitment to focus its attention on policy reforms of national significance, and to keep its agenda as streamlined as possible.

National Disability Insurance Scheme

COAG reaffirmed its ongoing commitment to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by signing an intergovernmental agreement for its first stage. The agreement provides the foundation for all governments to work together to develop and implement the initial phase of the NDIS. The lessons learned in implementing the first stage will inform governments about proceeding to a full scheme by:

  • setting out shared roles and responsibilities for working collaboratively on the policy for a full scheme;
  • establishing the new Standing Council on Disability Reform, with representation from all jurisdictions, which – from 1 January 2013 – will be responsible for making decisions and formulating advice on matters arising from the launch and related to the transition to a full scheme; and
  • setting in place arrangements for the review and evaluation of the first stage which will inform the transition to a full scheme.

COAG noted the historic agreement between the Commonwealth and New South Wales Governments to establish the full NDIS in New South Wales by 1 July 2018. The Commonwealth noted that it looks forward to concluding agreements on the same terms with all other governments.

In addition, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory signed bilateral agreements with the Commonwealth which confirm the operational and funding details for the roll-out of the NDIS in each launch site. From this time, under the launch arrangements, people with a disability, their families and carers will start to benefit from a fairer, more sustainable and equitable approach to supporting people with disability. Discussions on further launch sites are continuing. [Read more…]


ALP 2001 Federal Election Policies

This page contains links to PDF documents of a selection of ALP policies for the 2001 federal election.


Beazley Pledges GST Rollback

The Federal Opposition Leader, Kim Beazley, has unveiled the ALP’s GST “rollback” plans, pledging to remove the 10% tax from electricity and gas from 2003.

The GST would also be taken off caravan park residents, women’s sanitary products, funerals, nappies and textbooks. The ALP has also promised to remove the impact of the tax from the emergency relief services of charities.

Beazley says the rollback will cost $2.2 billion over 4 years, but would not put the budget into deficit.

He described the plan as restoring the balance in favour of ordinary, struggling families, particularly those in the bush. It was “cradle to grave” relief, Beazley said.

  • Listen to Beazley’s rollback announcement (21m)

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  • Download the ALP’s GST Rollback policy (PDF)



Is The Ground Shifting?

With the Federal election now only months away, speculation about the likely result is taking on a distinctly different tone from that which has prevailed for much of the year.

In the words of Laurie Oakes in the latest edition of The Bulletin, “you can feel the ground moving. Things are looking better for John Howard, shakier for Kim Beazley.”

The year began with opinion polls showing the coalition struggling federally and in all States. Since 1998, the ALP has won government in Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia. It has been overwhelmingly re-elected in New South Wales and Queensland. [Read more…]


How Will Beazley Fund Rollback?

This is the text of a statement issued by Prime Minister John Howard in the lead-up to the Ryan by-election.

The G.S.T. has emerged as a major issue affecting the electoral support of the government.

Earlier, Howard had claimed that the ALP would raise the rate of the GST if elected to office, despite the fact that the ALP has consistently opposed the GST and voted against it in both houses of parliament in 1999. [Read more…]


Democrats’ Leadership Contest Causing Bitterness

The battle between Australian Democrats Leader, Senator Meg Lees, and her challenger, Senator Natasha Stott-Despoja, has grown increasingly bitter following an intervention by the party’s founder.

Former Senator Don Chipp, who founded the party in 1977 and served as its leader until 1986, on Sunday called for the Democrats’ membership to elect the 31-year-old South Australian senator.

Chipp claimed that it was possible that One Nation might control the balance of power in the Senate after this year’s federal election. He argued that this could only be resisted by a revitalised Australian Democrats led by Stott-Despoja.

Lees must go, Chipp argued, to save her party and to save Australia. [Read more…]


The Hard Politics Of The GST

After a smooth start to the GST last Saturday, the real politics of the taxation reforms are beginning to take shape.

The political fallout is hard to predict. The ACCC has been inundated with questions and complaints since business opened on Monday, but public acceptance of the GST has been evident at the retail level.

In the coming weeks, employees all around Australia will receive their weekly, fortnightly or monthly pay packets and it is then that the real political contest will take shape as people weigh up their take-home pay gains against the losses of the GST.

Over the ensuing months, electricity, gas, telephone and credit card bills will also show the effect of the GST. [Read more…]


Kim Beazley’s Address to the Nation on the GST

This is the full text of the Address to the Nation on the GST by Opposition Leader Kim Beazley.

The address, telecast on ABC television, was in response to the Prime Minister’s address on June 29.

Transcript of Kim Beazley’s Address to the Nation on the GST.

BeazleyGood evening. Thanks for your time.

I want to talk to you tonight about John Howard’s Goods and Services Tax.

And I want you to know why we in the Labor Party have so strongly opposed this tax.

We know ordinary Australians will be paying out much more in GST than they’ll get back from the tax cuts. [Read more…]


New Taxation Era As GST Begins

Major taxation changes, including the introduction of a 10% Goods and Services Tax, began today in Australia. Reaction to the changes is likely to determine the fate of the Prime Minister, John Howard, his government and the Opposition over the coming months.

HowardThe Wholesale Sales Tax (WST) system that has operated since the 1930s is now abolished. The differential rates of WST operated as taxes on business production. They have been replaced with a flat 10% tax which covers not only goods, but previously untaxed services. The GST operates at the consumption end of the production chain.

Basic food, education, child-care and health are exempt from the GST. Food was included in the government’s original plan, but exempted following the deal struck with the Australian Democrats last year that ensured the passage of the legislation through the Federal Parliament. [Read more…]