Malaysia Free Trade Agreement Comes Into Force

A free trade agreement with Malaysia comes into force today.

The treaty is known as MAFTA, the Malaysia-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

It is the seventh free trade agreement Australia has entered into. The others are with Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Thailand, the United States and the multiparty ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA.

Text of a media release from the Minister for Trade and Competitiveness, Craig Emerson

Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in Force

EmersonAustralia’s ground-breaking free trade agreement with Malaysia enters into force today, opening up opportunities for exporters and investors across most sectors.

From today, 97.6 per cent of Australian goods currently exported to Malaysia are eligible for tariff-free treatment, rising to 99 per cent in 2017.

Service providers – including universities, schools, banks, insurers, telecoms companies and accountancy firms – will also benefit, with increased access to the Malaysian market and an easing of rules on control of Malaysian businesses. [Read more...]


Jenny Macklin: I Could Live On The Dole

This is a video clip showing Families Minister Jenny Macklin saying that she could live on the $35 a day Newstart allowance.

Macklin’s office released a transcript of her media conference which depicted the question and answer as inaudible.

  • Jan 2: Listen to Acting Greens leader Adam Bandt comment on living on the dole (9m)

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  • Jan 2: Listen to Cassandra Goldie from Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) comment (3m)

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Transcript of Jenny Macklin’s media conference in Melbourne, as released by the minister’s office.

Dad and Partner Pay, family payments, parenting payment

JENNY MACKLIN: Thanks everyone for coming to The Mercy today, happy New Year to everyone. First of all I’d like to thank everybody here at The Mercy for having us here today and for the family so kindly allowed us to meet their new born baby – just born at 7am this morning – so to Esther and Anthony and their little boy Cooper and baby Lucas, congratulations, it’s really, really wonderful to see a new member of their family. [Read more...]


1984-85 Hawke Government Cabinet Papers Released

The National Archives has released Cabinet papers from the 1984-85 Hawke Labor government.

Because the Archives is transitioning from the old 30-year embargo rule to 20 years, two years worth of papers have been released.

CLICK HERE for details of the Cabinet documents.

Dr. Jim Stokes, the National Archives historical consultant, outlined the political climate of the time, whilst a former Hawke minister, Susan Ryan, provided a personal recollection of 1984-85. Transcripts of their talks are provided below.

  • Listen to Dr. Jim Stokes (21m)

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  • Listen to Susan Ryan (27m)

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  • Watch an ABC News report (3m)

Text of remarks by Dr. Jim Stokes – December 4, 2012.

Background to the 1984 and 1985 Cabinet records

The political background

Journalist Geoff Kitney wrote in May 1984, ‘The light on the hill that has always beckoned the Australian Labor Party still burns. But another light illuminates the Australian political landscape today: the dazzling, brilliant blaze of Bob Hawke’s popularity’. A Morgan Gallup poll in February 1984 gave the government 54 per cent of the vote, against 40 per cent for the Liberal–National Party Opposition and 4 per cent for the Australian Democrats; Prime Minister Hawke’s approval rating was 70 per cent, against 36 per cent for Opposition Leader Andrew Peacock. Hawke’s personal popularity was enhanced by the perception that he was presiding over a generally competent Cabinet that was prepared to tackle major issues in ways that sought to achieve community consensus. He was also assisted by the internal problems of the Opposition, in particular Peacock’s uncertain hold on the Liberal Party leadership, the ideological conflict between the ‘wets’ and ‘dries’ on economic and social policy, and the strength of the very conservative National Party in Queensland. [Read more...]


2013 – Election Year!

Australia has ushered in the new year 2013.

These photographs show the traditional Sydney Harbour Bridge fireworks display.

One thing we know for certain at this hour is that the federal election will be done and dusted in a maximum 11 months. The last possible date for the election is November 30th. The election could be held in August but is most likely to take place in early September or early October.

NYE

NYE



Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s New Year Message

This is a New Year video message released by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.