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Archives for 2016

Treasurer Releases MYEFO – Mid-Year Economic And Fiscal Outlook Projects Lower Growth But Surplus In 2020-21

The Treasurer, Scott Morrison, has released the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, a budget update that projects lower growth but with a return to surplus still forecast in 2020-21.

Morrison

MEYEFO projects that economic growth in 2016-17 will fall from 2.5% to 2%. In 2017-18, it will be 2.75%, down from 3%. The 2018-19 and 2019-20 projections of 3% growth remain.

The government says the underlying cash deficit is expected to narrow from $36.5 billion (2.1% of GDP) in 2016-17 to $10.0 billion (0.5% of GDP) in 2019-20.

Treasurer Scott Morrison told a press conference with Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann this afternoon that in six weeks of parliamentary sittings since the election the government has legislated two-thirds of its budget repair measures.

MYEFO has confirmed that Tony Abbott’s Green Army will be abolished. The government will also save $970 milllion from cuts to family payments.

Tax receipts are down $31 billion from the May Budget forecasts.

Unemployment is predicted to remain at 5.5% through to 2017-18, falling to 5.25% thereafter.

  • Listen to Treasurer Morrison and Finance Minister Cormann at their press conference (44m)
  • Watch the press conference (45m)
16-12-19_myefo

Media release from Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Senator Mathias Cormann.

Today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) confirms that the Budget is projected to return to balance in 2020-21.

The underlying cash deficit is now expected to narrow from $36.5 billion or 2.1 per cent of GDP in 2016-17 (down on the $37.1 billion reported in the Budget and PEFO) down to $10.0 billion (0.5 per cent of GDP) in 2019-20. [Read more…]


Senator Rod Culleton Resigns From Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

Senator Rod Culleton has announced his resignation from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party.

CulletonIn a Twitter post tonight, Culleton criticised Hanson and One Nation. In a characteristically rambling and incoherent media release, he said: “Policy decisions have been run in morning media, with no consultation, discussion or agreement from the party room and personal attacks and undermining, un-Australian behaviour towards myself and my team, has been ongoing and terms dictated to the team.”

Culleton accused Hanson of “diluting her pre-election promises” in relation to a banking inquiry. He said: “The PHON leader’s public rants against me have also been accompanied by demands for my resignation and control over diaries, office management and staffing by Senator Hanson and her Chief of Staff, James Ashby.”

Culleton said he intended to continue “independently of PHON” in the 45th Parliament.

The Western Australian senator is awaiting a High Court ruling on his eligibility for election to Parliament. If he is expelled from the Senate, a recount will most likely result in Culleton’s brother-in-law replacing him. [Read more…]


Malcolm Turnbull Becomes Australia’s 22nd Longest-Serving Prime Minister

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull today becomes the nation’s 22nd longest-serving prime minister.

Turnbull has now served in the position for 1 year, 2 months and 25 days, overtaking Joseph Cook, who took the original Liberal Party to its first-ever election victory in 1913. Like Turnbull in 2016, Cook only secured a one-seat majority. Cook was gone within 15 months.

Turnbull has now broken free of the pack of prime ministers who governed briefly, in three cases as stop-gaps following the death of the incumbent. On June 10, 2017, he will move into 21st position when he overtakes William McMahon, the Liberal PM who lost to Gough Whitlam in 1972 and took the coalition out of government for the first time in 23 years.

December 10 Elections

Today is also the anniversary of three federal elections, in 1949, 1955 and 1977. The first of these saw Robert Menzies begin his record-breaking 16-year term as prime minister. In 1955, he won the fourth of seven consecutive victories, in the aftermath of the disastrous split in the ALP. In 1977, Malcolm Fraser secured his second massive victory against the ALP, in an election that ended Gough Whitlam’s political career.

With three outings, December 10 is the single most popular day for federal elections in Australian political history. Two elections have been held on each of August 21, December 13 and December 16. With a total of 12 elections (26.7%), December is the single most popular month for elections.

The last December election was in 1984, when Bob Hawke won the second of his four victories for the ALP. Hawke turned 87 yesterday.


Success And Failure: The ALP’s Results In Federal Elections Since 1910

The tables on this page show the extent of the ALP’s victories and defeats in federal elections since 1910.

Each table shows the ALP statistics for three different measures:

  • the proportion of seats won in the House of Representatives,
  • the national two-party-preferred vote,
  • and the primary vote.

The ALP’s winning election years are shaded yellow.

The table includes every election since Federation, except for the first three: 1901, 1903 and 1906. These have been excluded since they took place before the formation of the two-party system as we know it. Since 1910, elections have been fought between the ALP and the non-Labor parties under a variety of names. [Read more…]


At Year’s End, Reserve Bank Leaves Cash Rate At 1.5%

As 2016 ends, the Reserve Bank of Australia has left the cash rate at 1.5%.

At its monthly board meeting, the bank made no change to the rate that has been in place since August. Movements in the cash rate are generally reflected in movements in commercial interest rates.

In a statement, the bank’s Governor, Philip Lowe, repeated points made in previous months about rising commodity prices, the effective functioning of financial markets and Australia’s transition from the mining investment boom. It says unemployment has decreased, inflation is low and the housing market has strengthened.

At the beginning of the year, the cash rate was 2.0%. The bank reduced the rate by 0.25% in May and by 0.25% in August. The rate is at an historic low point.

Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.50 per cent.

The global economy is continuing to grow, at a lower than average pace. Labour market conditions in the advanced economies have improved over the past year. Economic conditions in China have steadied, supported by growth in infrastructure and property construction, although medium-term risks to growth remain. Inflation remains below most central banks’ targets, although headline inflation rates have increased recently. Globally, the outlook for inflation is more balanced than it has been for some time. [Read more…]


Chris Bowen: The End Of Australian Exceptionalism?

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has addressed the National Press Club on the ALP’s approach to economic policy.

Bowen

  • Listen to Bowen’s speech (24m – transcript below)
  • Listen to Bowen take questions (37m)
  • Watch Bowen’s complete appearance (61m)

Transcript of Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen’s Address to the National Press Club.

THE END OF AUSTRALIAN EXCEPTIONALISM?

I first acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, and acknowledge elders past and present and emerging, as well as re-commit myself to the task of eradicating Indigenous disadvantage in Australia. [Read more…]


Susan Kiefel Appointed First Woman Chief Justice Of High Court; James Edelman Fills Vacancy

The Turnbull government has appointed Justice Susan Kiefel as the Chief Justice of the High Court.

KiefelKiefel was first appointed to the High Court in 2007 by the Howard government. She is the longest-serving member of the court and will become the 13th Chief Justice, the first woman Chief Justice and the fourth Chief Justice from Queensland. She will replace Chief Justice Robert French, who was appointed by the Rudd government in 2008.

Kiefel’s appointment means that all three arms – parliament, executive and judicial – of the Australian political system will now have been led by a woman.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General Senator George Brandis also announced that James Edelman will fill the vacant position on the court. Edelman, has been a judge of the Federal Court since 2015, after serving as a Justice of the Western Australian Supreme Court since 2011. He is a former Professor of Law at Oxford University.

Edelman is 42. He turns 43 on January 9. When he is sworn in on January 30, he will become the fourth youngest Justice of the Court, just behind Sir Owen Dixon, who was 42 years, 9 months and 7 days old when he was appointed in 1929. [Read more…]


Turnbull Announces Refugee Resettlement Deal With United States

The Turnbull government has announced a deal that will see the remaining refugees held in offshore processing centres offered resettlement in the United States.

Turnbull

Speaking at a press conference this morning with Immigration and Border Protection minister Peter Dutton, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the deal is a “one-off agreement” that will only be available to people currently in the off-shore centres. [Read more…]


Sen. Kimberley Kitching (ALP-Vic) – Maiden Speech

Senator Kimberley Kitching has delivered her maiden speech to the Senate.

Kitching

Kitching, an ALP senator from Victoria, filled a casual vacancy caused by the resignation of Senator Stephen Conroy. The preferred candidate of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, Kitching’s preselection was controversial inside the Victorian ALP.

A former lawyer and union official, Kitching is 46. Her term expires on June 30, 2022. [Read more…]


Frydenberg: Energy Security Is The Government’s Number One Priority

Energy security is the federal government’s number one priority, according to Josh Frydenberg, the Minister for the Environment and Energy.

Frydenberg

Frydenberg held a press conference this morning, following last night’s blackout across the whole of South Australia. [Read more…]