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…]


James Paterson Sworn In As Victorian Liberal Senator

James Paterson has been sworn in as a Victorian senator, filling a casual vacancy left by the retirement of Michael Ronaldson.

Paterson, 28, is a former official of the Institute of Public Affairs. He won preselection last week.

Under Section 15 of the Constitution, the casual vacancy is filled by a vote of the two houses of the Victorian Parliament sitting as one. Since the referendum of 1977, casual vacancies must be filled by a person from the same political party as the departing senator.

Paterson will see out the remainder of Ronaldson’s term which runs until June 30, 2017, barring a double dissolution this year. He is expected to secure a winnable position on the Liberal Party’s Senate ticket. [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…]


Liberal Party Review Of The 2014 State Election

This is the Victorian Liberal Party’s review of the 2014 State Election.

The review is titled: Good Government for Victoria. It was put together by Dr. David Kemp, a former President of Victorian Division of the Liberal Party and the former federal member for Goldstein.

The review’s Advisory Panel consisted of: Donna Bauer, Andrea Coote, Russel Howcroft, Amanda Millar, Hugh Morgan, John Roskam and Julian Sheezel.

The Liberal-Nationals government of Denis Napthine was defeated after just one term in 2014, winning 38 seats out of a possible 88, a net loss of 7 seats. It was elected under the leadership of Ted Baillieu in 2010. [Read more…]


COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation

The Council of Australian Governments met in Canberra and discussed a range of issues, including terrorism, reform of the Federation and the taxation system.

COAG

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held a joint press conference following the meeting. He was accompanied by Premiers Baird, Napthine, Newman, Barnett, Weatherill and Hodgman, as well as the Territory Chief Ministers Gallagher and Giles. Felicity-Ann Lewis represented Local Government.

The State have agreed to introduce legislation to support federal laws covering the arrest, monitoring, investigation and prosecution of domestic extremists and returning foreign fighters.

COAG also agreed that the Federation and Tax Reform White Papers need to progress together. [Read more…]


Liberal Election Advertising Begins In Victoria

With the Victorian state election due in two months tomorrow, the Liberal Party has begun television advertising.

This advertisement, titled Fixing Labor’s Mess, features Premier Denis Napthine. It airs tonight. [Read more…]


Geoff Shaw Survives Expulsion Attempt With His Own Vote

The Liberal-turned-independent member for Frankston in the Victorian Legislative Assembly, Geoff Shaw, has used his own vote to survive an attempt by Premier Denis Napthine to have him expelled from the Parliament.

Shaw

Shaw issued an apology to the Assembly on September 2 but Napthine gave notice of a motion of expulsion after Shaw described the proceedings as “a political farce”.

Today, Napthine moved the motion to expel Shaw. Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews led all the ALP members out of the chamber and six government members spoke on the motion before a vote was taken. With the Speaker not able to vote, the result was tied and Shaw cast his vote against the motion. [Read more…]