Published 17 November 2017
This Week in Politics
In a week that was dominated by the triumphalism of the ‘yes’ supporters who got the result from the same-sex marriage survey that the polls had predicted from the start of the process, it was good to hear a speech from the Treasurer that focused on disadvantage and ways to overcome it. Scott Morrison is quietly asserting his credentials…
The Week in Parliament
The Senate actually passed some legislation this week. A bill was passed that provided for a fee to be imposed on foreign property investors who leave their properties vacant for more than six months. This was the first tranche of reforms designed to make housing more affordable for first home buyers. Provisions that reduced the allowable deductions for negatively geared properties, such as the deductibility of travel costs to visit the property, also passed. However, Labor and the Greens are resisting the proposal to allow young first home buyers to create special superannuation accounts in order to save for deposits under favourable taxation arrangements.
The Economy Gains Momentum
The Reserve Bank released its quarterly statement on monetary policy last Friday and it indicated that the Martin Place economists are optimistic that the economy has turned the corner.
Launch of Innovation Week
Acting Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Senator the Michaelia Cash, has welcomed the launch of Innovation Week on Monday, encouraging all Australians to back their ideas.
“I am delighted that Australia’s Chief Scientist, Alan Finkel, officially launched the Week in Melbourne this morning.
“This year’s Innovation Week theme of the future of healthcare gives us a chance to reflect that success can come from simply having the vision, courage, and patience to keep refining an idea.
Minister McCormack Announces 12 Months Of Unfair Contract Term Protections For Small Business
On Monday A Year On small businesses no longer have to “take it or leave it” when negotiating contracts with big business thanks to the Government’s continued support for small business, Minister for Small Business Michael McCormack says.
“Small businesses are often disadvantaged when it comes to contract negotiations which is why the Coalition Government delivered on its promise to level the playing field,” Mr McCormack said.
Bill Shorten Addresses the Australian Chamber
On Tuesday Opposition Leader Bill Shorten gave an address to the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Sydney.
He said “Businesses I speak to are talking to me in this current political climate of three major obstacles to their growth and greater success.
ANZSOG 2017 China Advanced Leadership Program
On Wednesday Senator Penny Wong the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affiars addressed the program in Parliament House.
During her speech Senator Wong said “Labor has a proud history of forging relations in Asia:
Gough Whitlam, who led Australia into Asia, building a base for robust bilateral relations in the region, including through establishing diplomatic relations with China;
Last Question Time in the Sitting period
The last question time of the Senate sitting week was dominated by the Queensland state election.
Queenslanders head to the polls on Saturday 25th November.
Several dixers were asked about construction of the Adani coalmine in the Galilee Basin and the provision of jobs throughout Queensland.
Fiona Nash’s Replacement ruled out by the High Court
The Senate’s replacement for Fiona Nash’s NSW seat, Hollie Hughes, was ruled ineligible for election by the High Court on Wednesday.
Hughes was another victim of section 44, but of subsection relating to her employment with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal after last year’s election.
Debate begins to Change the Marriage Act
Debate around changes to the Marriage Act has begun in Parliament with the introduction of a private member’s bill on Wednesday afternoon.
The bill was introduced by Liberal Senator Dean Smith with cross party support, including from Senators Wong and Di Natale.
It was the first matter of business debated on Thursday morning where several senators spoke emphatically about the bill.
Australia Needs a Defence Industry Plan
On Wednesday the Australian Strategic Policy Institute released a report by Paul Dibb and Richard Brabin- Smith on ‘Australia’s Management of Strategic Risk in the New Era’. This report puts a new perspective on Australia’s strategic framework, declaring it to be less benign than it has been in the past. In their executive summary the authors say:
“Australia’s strategic outlook is deteriorating and, for the first time since World War II, we face an increased prospect of threat from a major power. This means that a major change in Australia’s approach to the management of strategic risk is needed.
Press Gallery President Hangs Up the Camera
After 27 years at The Sydney Morning Herald, senior photographer Andrew Meares is walking away from it all. After covering many of the big events in Australia’s more recent history Meares has decided to move on to other things, but first of all he will enjoy some time off.
Photos From Around the House
Here are some photos from Parliament House taken during the week.