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Archives for October 2014

Abbott, Pragmatic Nationalist, Proposes Modest Reform Of Federation

Describing himself as a “pragmatic nationalist”, Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he believes it is worth another try to “harmonise” the revenue and spending responsibilities of the States and the Commonwealth.

ParkesAbbott spoke at the Sir Henry Parkes Commemorative Dinner in Tenterfield, NSW. On October 24 1889, Parkes, a five-time premier of NSW, delivered his famous Tenterfield Oration, a call for the colonies to federate.

Abbott said: “Now I remain a pragmatic nationalist – but the states exist, they have wide powers under the constitution and they can’t be abolished; so – rather than pursue giving the Commonwealth more authority over the states, as I proposed in my 2009 book, Battlelines – better harmonising revenue and spending responsibilities is well worth another try.”

Abbott said he used to think that “the states should become subordinate legislatures to the Commonwealth”, but he now doubted that “any such constitutional change could succeed”. He said: “…in any event, it’s a good principle to propose the smallest change that will actually tackle the problem – that’s why resolving the mismatch between what the states are supposed to deliver and what they can actually afford to pay for is worth another go.” [Read more…]


Widodo Inauguration: Abbott Stresses Jakarta Focus In Foreign Policy

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has flown to Indonesia to attend the inauguration of its new President, Joko Widodo.

In his weekly video message, Abbott repeated his earlier remarks that “our foreign policy needs a ‘Jakarta’ focus rather than a ‘Geneva’ one”.

He said one million Australians visit Indonesia each year. “It has the world’s largest Muslim population, it is the world’s third largest democracy and, along with India, it’s the emerging democratic superpower of Asia.” [Read more…]


Cormann Says Shorten Is An Economic Girlie Man

The Minister for Finance, Senator Mathias Cormann, today described Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as an “economic girlie man”.

Cormann

Interviewed on the Sky News Agenda program, Cormann was asked about comments by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten that a budget surplus was more likely under a Labor government “than this current mob”. [Read more…]


Government Announces Industry Innovation And Competitiveness Agenda

The Federal Government today announced an Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

Abbott

Speaking at a press conference in Canberra, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott and the Minister for Industry, Ian Macfarlane, announced a series of measures to life apprenticeship rates and encourage employee share ownership. The plan also aims to promote science and technology skills in school, reform the 457 visas programme, and establish Industry Growth Centres.

  • Listen to the joint press conference with Tony Abbott and Ian Macfarlane (37m – transcript below)
  • Watch Abbott and Macfarlane (37m)

Downloads (PDF)

Statement from Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry.

Strengthening Australia’s competitiveness is the key to our future prosperity. [Read more…]


Hockey Talks Of Economic Reform In Speech To London Institute

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has addressed the Institute of Economic Affairs in London on the future of the Australian economy.

HockeyIn his speech, Hockey discussed the importance of economic change. “Economies, and their enterprises, that are slow to adapt will be left behind,” he said.

Hockey compared Ford and Google: “The Ford Motor Company, which revolutionised manufacturing and the auto industry in the 20th century, currently has a market capitalisation of $53 billion after 110 years of operation. Google is more than 7 times larger in just 15 years.”

Structural reform will “lay the foundation for a more promising and secure future,” Hockey said. “Over the next decade, the traditional macroeconomic levers of monetary and fiscal policy will not deliver enduring growth… With fiscal policy constrained and monetary policy limited, the only alternative to facilitate growth is to undertake further structural reform in response to global change. Structural reform is indeed the key plank of Australia’s economic strategy under the Abbott Government.” [Read more…]


We Shirtfront The Tsar; Abbott Says He Will Confront Putin Over MH17 At G20

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says he will “shirtfront” Russian President Vladimir Putin over the shooting of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17.

Abbott

Abbott made his comments at a media conference at Caval Ridge Mine in the Queensland electorate of Capricornia, held by Michelle Landry. He defended and praised the coal mining industry. [Read more…]


Kate Ellis Accuses Christopher Pyne Of Distraction Tactics Over Curriculum Review

The Shadow Minister for Education, Kate Ellis, has accused Christopher Pyne of tinkering with the national curriculum as a distraction from the government’s budget cuts.

Ellis

Speaking in Adelaide following the release of the Review of the Australian Curriculum report, Ellis said the government had cut the Curriculum authority’s funding by $20 million. [Read more…]


Pyne Releases Review Of National Curriculum

The Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, has released the Review of the Australian Curriculum.

Pyne

The review was conducted by Dr. Kevin Donnelly and Dr. Ken Wiltshire.

The report says that there is too much content in the curriculum, especially in primary school years. It says some aspects of the curriculum make teaching it complicated. It says there are content gaps in the curriculum and calls for parents to be more closely involved in what their children learn. It says there needs to be improved accessibility for all students, including those with disabilities and special needs. [Read more…]


Abbott On The Liberal Party’s 70th Anniversary

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has used his weekly video message to remember the 70th anniversary of the Liberal Party.

The Liberal Party was founded in 1944, following conferences in Canberra and Albury that were convened by Robert Menzies. Menzies was a former leader of the United Australia Party (UAP). He had been effectively deposed from the party’s leadership in 1941. The UAP collapsed in the aftermath of its landslide defeat in the 1943 election. [Read more…]


Bob Such, South Australian Independent Liberal, Dies, 70

Bob Such, the former Liberal-turned-independent member of the South Australian Parliament, has died, at the age of 70.

Bob Such

Such held the seat of Fisher in the House of Assembly for 25 years. First elected in 1989, he served as a minister in the Liberal government led by Premier Dean Brown. He was moved to the backbench after Brown was deposed by John Olsen in 1996. In 2000, Such quit the Liberal Party and was re-elected as an independent in 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.

Following this year’s state election, Such and Geoff Brock held the balance of power after Jay Weatherill’s Labor government was returned with 23 seats to the Liberal Party’s 22. A few days after the election, Such was diagnosed with a brain tumour. [Read more…]