Caretaker Conventions During The Federal Election

With the 2016 double dissolution federal election expected to be formally called tomorrow, the Turnbull government will soon go into caretaker mode.

The caretaker period usually begins when the Parliament is dissolved. This could take place as early as Monday, but must take place by close of business on Wednesday in order to satisfy the constitutional requirements of Section 57.

The caretaker conventions are based on the idea that the executive government can no longer he held to account by the Parliament. Therefore, during the election period, the government makes no major policy decisions or appointments and doesn’t enter into contracts, agreements or arrangements that would bind a future government. Any significant decisions that have to be made require consultation with the Opposition. [Read more…]


Bill Shorten Delivers ALP Budget Reply Speech As 44th Parliament Ends

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has delivered his Budget Reply Speech in the House of Representatives.

The ALP leader’s speech was the final item of business for the House of Representatives. Whilst it is scheduled to return on Monday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to formally announce the July 2 election on Sunday and the Parliament will not return.

  • Listen to Shorten’s speech (32m)
  • Watch Shorten (32m)

Transcript of Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply Speech.

After seven months of waiting. After months of ruling-in and ruling-out, after all that on and off the table… After apprehension and great expectations. This Budget has fallen apart in 48 hours.

This Budget was meant to be Malcolm Turnbull’s justification for rolling Tony Abbott.

After Tuesday night Australians are left to wonder why he bothered.

• The same $80 billion of cuts to schools and hospitals – still in this budget
• The same cuts to working and middle class families – still in this budget
• The same cuts to Medicare, to childcare, to aged care, to paid parental leave, to pensioners and carers – still in this Budget.

The same wrong priorities for Australia. Was this really the point of the Turnbull experiment? [Read more…]


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…]