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Reserve Bank Sets Historic Low 0.75% Cash Rate

The Reserve Bank has cut the cash rate by 25 basis points to a historic low of 0.75%.

The decision was announced by the Governor of the bank, Philip Lowe, at 2.30pm today.

The cash rate was last changed three months ago, in July, when it was reduced from 1.25% to 1.00%. In June, it had been reduced to 1.25%. The rate had been held at 1.50% since August 2016.

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

Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 0.75 per cent.

While the outlook for the global economy remains reasonable, the risks are tilted to the downside. The US–China trade and technology disputes are affecting international trade flows and investment as businesses scale back spending plans because of the increased uncertainty. At the same time, in most advanced economies, unemployment rates are low and wages growth has picked up, although inflation remains low. In China, the authorities have taken further steps to support the economy, while continuing to address risks in the financial system. [Read more…]


Sen. Andrew Bragg (Lib-NSW) – Maiden Speech

This is the maiden speech by Senator Andrew Bragg, Liberal, New South Wales.

Listen to Bragg (23m):

Watch Bragg (27m):

Hansard transcript of maiden speech by Senator Andrew Bragg, Liberal, New South Wales.

The PRESIDENT (16:59): It is approaching 5 pm and, pursuant to order, I will now call Senator Bragg to make his first speech. I ask senators that the usual courtesies be extended to him.

Senator BRAGG (New South Wales) (16:59): Mr President, I have a confession to make. I first discovered my love of Australia in Victoria. My upbringing in regional Victoria featured football, fishing and work in orchards, a cannery and a dairy. My interest in politics arose from growing up in a world where tax, trade, foreign investment and water policies all impacted people’s lives. Later came tertiary study, work and—sometimes boring—research, which imbued the notion in me that Australia must be competitive to succeed. [Read more…]


Wyatt Promises Indigenous Recognition Referendum Within Three Years

The Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, has announced that the Morrison government will hold a referendum within three years to entrench Indigenous Recognition in the constitution.

Wyatt
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Ken Wyatt, speaks at the National Press Club

Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra today, Wyatt stressed that the government would only proceed if it was certain that a referendum would succeed. “It will take time, it will need to be measured,” he said.

“We need to design the right model to progress to a point at which the majority of Australians, the majority of states and territories and indigenous Australians support the model so that it is successful.”

Wyatt said he would work across the political spectrum to develop the model. He said the ALP’s Indigenous spokeswoman, Linda Burney, would be “integral” to the process.

The minister said he was committed to bringing an indigenous voice to parliament, but that this may not be part of the constitutional reform. [Read more…]


Reserve Bank Cuts Rates To One Per Cent – Second Cut In Two Months

The Reserve Bank of Australia has cut interest rates by another 0.25% to a historic low of 1%.

Today’s announcement is the second reduction in two months.

Statement By Philip Lowe, Governor: Monetary Policy Decision

At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.00 per cent. This follows a similar reduction at the Board’s June meeting. This easing of monetary policy will support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target.

The outlook for the global economy remains reasonable. However, the uncertainty generated by the trade and technology disputes is affecting investment and means that the risks to the global economy are tilted to the downside. In most advanced economies, inflation remains subdued, unemployment rates are low and wages growth has picked up. The slowdown in global trade has contributed to slower growth in Asia. In China, the authorities have taken steps to support the economy, while continuing to address risks in the financial system. [Read more…]


Reserve Bank Cuts Cash Rate By 0.25% In First Movement For Three Years

The Reserve Bank of Australia has lowered the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent, the first change in interest rates in thirty-four months.

In its decision, the Board of the Reserve Bank said the decision was taken “to support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target”.

The Board referred to the growth in “trade disputes” and said that growth in international trade remains weak.

Monetary Policy Decision – Statement by Philip Lowe, Governor

At its meeting today, the Board decided to lower the cash rate by 25 basis points to 1.25 per cent. The Board took this decision to support employment growth and provide greater confidence that inflation will be consistent with the medium-term target. [Read more…]


Bob Katter’s Bizarre Speech On Same-Sex Marriage

Bob Katter, the independent member for Kennedy, has delivered a speech on same-sex marriage to the House of Representatives.

Katter’s speech was the last for the day and came on the eve of the House voting for the legislation.

Katter, 72, was elected to the House as a National Party member in 1993. Since 2001, he has won the seat as an independent. Since 2011, he has headed an eponymous party, Katter’s Australian Party.

Prior to entering federal parliament, Katter was Queensland MLA for Flinders (1974-1992). He was Minister for Development and Community Services (1983-1989) and Minister for Mines and Energy (1989) under the Bjelke-Petersen, Ahern and Cooper National Party governments.

  • Listen to Katter’s speech (16m)
  • Watch Katter (16m)

Hansard transcript of Bob Katter’s speech to the House of Representatives on same-sex marriage.

Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (22:06): I’m glad I made a mistake and had to come down early so that I could hear the speeches, as I know now why I do not sit here and listen to speeches or question time. I have heard a conglomeration of snivelling drivel in my life, but there is not the slightest scintilla of intellectual content in any one of tonight’s speeches. [Read more…]


Women In The 45th Australian Parliament

Women make up one-third of the 45th Parliament of Australia.

There are now 75 women in both houses, representing 33.18% of the combined total of 226 members. It was 30.97% at the end of the 44th Parliament.

There are 43 women (28.66%) in the 150-member House of Representatives, and 32 (42.10%) in the 76-member Senate.

With 43 members in both chambers, the ALP has the largest number of women (45.26%) in the parliament. The Liberal Party and Nationals combined have 21 members (20%).

The Greens (10 members in both houses) and the Nick Xenophon Team (4 members in both houses) each have 50-50 male-female representation.

At the 2016 double dissolution election, 30 women were elected to the Senate. Following the resignation of the ALP’s Stephen Conroy, the Victorian casual vacancy was filled by Kimberley Kitching. Following the resignation of Family First’s Bob Day, the South Australian casual vacancy was filled by Lucy Gichuhi, who sits as an independent. [Read more…]