Here is a preview of our publication published on 20 April 2018. The full edition is available on the membership website or was emailed to current subscribers. If you are not already a subscriber visit the subscription page now.
The Week in Politics
The week in politics has been dominated by the Financial Services Royal Commission largely because the government has ended up with egg all over its face. From Monday, when AMP was revealed to have illegally misled the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), the government has been playing catch up. These revelations were followed by outrageous stories of financial planners charging trailing commissions for services they never delivered.
Following these, together with stories of rorts by the Commonwealth Bank, government ministers were forced to agree that the Royal Commission – which they had opposed – was a good thing after all. Treasurer Scott Morrison, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer were forced to eat crow and, by Thursday, Senator Cormann was admitting that the remit of the Royal Commission may need to be extended. (read more as a subscriber)
- The Week in Politics
- From the Gallery
- Michael McCormack at the Press Club
- Inside Canberra Forums
- New Chief of the Australian Defence Force
- Northern Territory Gas Decision
- Appointment Of Part-Time Member To The Reserve Bank Board
- Launch of the Australian Constitution Centre at the High Court
- Australian Competition And Consumer Commission Appointments
- COAG Energy Council
- SAAB Signs OPV Subcontract
- Defence Trade Controls Act Review
- New Chair for Australia Council Board
- Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss appointed ARTC Chair
- The Iron Man to Visit Australia
- Government Announces Telecommunications Consumer Safeguards Review
From the Gallery
•The Joint Committee on the National Disability Insurance Scheme held a discussion on Tuesday in Perth on general issues around the implementation and performance of the NDIS.
• On Thursday the Prime Minister of Australia Malcolm Turnbull and the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands Rick Houenipwela announced a commitment to deliver a high-speed undersea telecommunication cable between Australia and Solomon Islands.
• The Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment held the 100th Free Trade Agreement (FTA Seminar on the Gold Coast on Friday.
Michael McCormack at the Press Club
The Acting Prime Minister, Nationals’ leader Michael McCormack, appeared at the Press Club on Thursday to deliver a speech entitled ‘Stronger Regions Make for a Stronger Australia.’
Mr McCormack said he’d gone into politics to look after people. The proper role of politicians is public service and, in order to do this, the government is cutting taxes and red tape to encourage industries to move to Australia’s rural and regional areas. He’s also working to develop infrastructure so that farmers can get their product to market as well as working to improve communications in the bush. These reforms will increase productivity and contribute to wealth in country constituencies.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to issues in the bush and all Nationals members have different views about the best solutions to the problems in their constituencies… (read more as a subscriber)
New Chief of the Australian Defence Force
On Monday the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Defence Senator Marise Payne, Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester announced that Lt General Angus Campbell (pictured right) will become the 19th Chief of the Australian Defence Force at the conclusion of the term of Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin.
The Government will recommend to the Governor-General a number of command changes to the Australian Defence Force.
Following confirmation, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell AO, DSC will be appointed Chief of the Defence Force when Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin AC completes his tenure in July… (read more as a subscriber)
Northern Territory Gas Decision
The Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia Senator Matt Canavan and Senator for the Northern Territory Senator Nigel Scullion announced the decision on Tuesday about the Northern Territory Government to develop their gas resources.
As quoted in the Northern Territory Inquiry, Geoscience Australia estimates that the Northern Territory has 257,276 PJ of prospective shale gas resources, equivalent to over 200 years of east coast domestic demand.
The Commonwealth’s consistent position, supported by the Chief Scientist and the CSIRO, is that unconventional gas can be extracted in an environmentally sustainable way if states adopt a scientific and evidence-based approach. (read more as a subscriber)
Appointment Of Part-Time Member To The Reserve Bank Board
On Thursday Treasurer Scott Morrison announced the appointment of Dr Gwenneth (Wendy) Craik AM to the Reserve Bank Board. Dr Craik has been appointed as a part-time member of the Board for a five-year period from 7 May 2018.
Dr Craik is the current Chair of the Climate Change Authority, the Steering Committee of the National Environmental Science Program Climate Science and Earth Systems Hub, and the NSW Marine Estate Management Authority…
Australian Competition And Consumer Commission Appointments
On Thursday Treasurer Scott Morrison announced Mr Mick Keogh OAM will serve as a Deputy Chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) for a period of five years.
He also announced the reappointments of Ms Sarah Court and Ms Cristina Cifuentes as Commissioners, each for a period of five years…
SAAB Signs OPV Subcontract
The Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne announced on Friday that Lurssen Australia has awarded a subcontract to Saab Australia in South Australia.
Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne on Friday announced Saab Australia had been chosen to provide the Situational Awareness System for the Royal Australian Navy’s 12 new Offshore Patrol Vessels…
Defence Trade Controls Act Review
On Friday Minister for Defence, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, has appointed Dr Vivienne Thom AM to conduct a review of the Defence Trade Controls Act 2012.
Dr Thom is a former Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and a former Deputy Commonwealth Ombudsman overseeing law enforcement, immigration, taxation and defence agencies.
Minister Payne said the Defence Trade Controls Act is an important element in the Government’s continuing effort to protect current and future national security and Australian Defence Force (ADF) capability…
New Chair of Australia Council Board
Minister for Communications and the Arts Senator Mitch Fifield has appointed Mr Sam Walsh AO as Chair of the Australia Council Board for a three-year term, commencing 1 July 2018.
Mr Walsh is a passionate supporter of the arts, having served in a range of capacities in Australia and the UK over several decades. He has been a member of the Australia Council Board since October 2016…
Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss appointed ARTC Chair
Former Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss (pictured right) has been appointed Chair of the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC).
Acting Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack said Mr Truss would bring experience and energy oversighting the Australian Government owned interstate rail network company.
“As a former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Mr Truss was a driving force in the delivery of significant Australian Government infrastructure investments, including the early funding for Inland Rail,” Mr McCormack said…
The Iron Man to Visit Australia
One of the most interesting of the current crop of political leaders, French President Emmanuel Macron, will visit Australia in the near future. Mr Macron has had a dream run in his first eleven months as President. The economy has grown and he’s gained international approval for his support of international treaties, particularly the Paris Agreement. He’s hosted meetings with Presidents Trump, Putin and Erdogan and negotiated a rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.
Government Announces Telecommunications Consumer Safeguards Review
On Tuesday Communications Minister Senator Mitch Fifield (pictured above) announced the terms of reference for a review into consumer safeguards in the telecommunications sector.
The review will be undertaken in three parts:
1. Ensuring that consumers have access to an effective complaints handling and redress scheme that provides transparency and holds telcos accountable for their performance.
2. Ensuring consumers have reliable telecommunications services including reasonable timeframes for connections, fault repairs and appointments; as well as potential compensation or penalties against providers.
3. Ensuring consumers are able to make informed choices and are treated fairly by their provider in areas such as customer service, contracts, billing, credit and debt management, and switching providers… (read more as a subscriber)