Here is a summary of what you can read in the latest edition of the Inside Canberra newsletter which was published 4 May 2018. Our valued subscribers get access to the full publication, as well as video content and back copies on our membership site. Select your subscription today.
The Week in Politics
This week was a tale of budgets. It was clear that there were rivers of gold for some governments but not for others. Hints from the Commonwealth government included the idea of income tax cuts as well as an extension of the pharmaceutical benefits scheme and the earlier announcement of the cancellation of the 0.5% increase in the Medicare levy…
From the Gallery by Michael Keating in Parliament House
• Treasury is forking out nearly half a million bucks on market research to determine how the punters will react to next Tuesday evening’s budget. Tender documents show that two contracts have been let: one to Sydney-based company Pollinate, valued at $201,850 and the other to Melbourne-based WheretResearch-Baseded Consulting at a mere $245,000. The seriously interesting question is whether Treasury will have time for a bit of major tweaking if the result is that most people reckon it’s a shocker.
• On Tuesday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull welcomed confirmation from the President of the United States Donald J. Trump that Australia will be exempt from its steel and aluminium tariffs. The Prime Minister, Minister Ciobo, Cabinet colleagues and Ambassador Joe Hockey have advocated for Australia’s interests at all levels of the Trump Administration…
Inside Canberra Forums
Proposed Forum Schedule for 2018:
Regional Development and Agriculture Forum in partnership with the National Rural Press Club (TBA) with Michael McCormack MP, Leader of the Nationals, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport
Inside Canberra $64 Question: Monday, May 7 with The Hon Bob Katter MP –
Book Here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/inside-canberra-64-question-with-bob-katter-mp-at-65-northbourne-tickets-45752121828?utm-medium=discovery&utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&aff=escb&utm-source=cp&utm-term=listing
Infrastructure Forum Monday the 18th of June with The Hon Paul Fletcher MP Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities
Foreign Affairs and Investment Forum Monday the 25th of June with The Hon Julie Bishop MP, Minister for Foreign Affairs
Revenue and Financial Services Forum Monday the 13th of August with The Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Minister for Revenue and Financial Services
Resources and Energy Forum Monday the 20th of August with Senator The Hon Matthew Canavan, Minister for Resources and Northern Australia
Education, Science and Training Forum Monday the 10th of September with Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, Minister for Education and Training
Health Forum Tuesday the 16th of October with The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health
Defence Forum Monday the 26th of November with Senator the Hon Marise Pyne, Minister for Defence
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Is Gonski 2.0 Just More of the Same?
The Gonski 2.0 report, or to give it its true title ‘Through Growth to Achievement’, makes the point strongly that Australian educational standards are falling. This is evident in the report itself the authors of which seem incapable of writing plain English. Take recommendation 10 as an example…
Reforming the Public Service
A brouhaha has erupted in Canberra over reform of the public service. It was generated by the Secretary of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science, Dr Heather Smith, who also happens to be the wife of the Secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Dr Martin Parkinson. Dr Smith published an article in last month’s ‘Public Sector Informant’ entitled ‘Doing Policy Differently’ which surveyed the views of a range of senior public servants and others affected by public administration in order to determine the applicability of the current public service model to contemporary circumstances.
The Business Council Takes up the Cudgels
On Monday ‘Get Up’ sent around a circular seeking donations so it could campaign against the Business Council of Australia’s $26 million onslaught in support of corporate tax cuts. This campaign, it was said, was going to involve a marginal seat campaign, data analytics, television advertising and a sponsored television show on ‘Sky News’. This information…
It’s a Question of Translation
It turns out that Emmanuel Macron has a knack not universally shared by visiting European dignitaries: he speaks nearly flawless English. At a joint press conference with Malcolm Turnbull at Kirribilli on Wednesday he switched effortlessly between French and English as he fielded a couple of questions from media packs from both countries but, at the end of the presser, he showed how difficult it is to achieve perfection in a language that’s not your first – or perhaps his mind had already moved on to lunch with Sydney’s French community…
Assistant Minister for Trade Addresses Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade Expo
Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Mark Coulton MP on Monday delivered the keynote address at the 34th Australia Papua New Guinea Business Forum and Trade
Expo in Brisbane.
Five-year Funding for Vital Car Safety Program
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Leader of The Nationals, Federal Member for Riverina Michael McCormack and Paul Fletcher MP Minister for Urban Infrastructure and Cities and Federal Member for Bradfield announced on Tuesday The Federal Government has marked National Road Safety Week by announcing the continuation of funding for the work of independent vehicle safety consumer organisation ANCAP…
New National Data Rules
On Tuesday Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Digital Transformation, the Hon. Michael Keenan MP and Assistant Minister to the Treasurer, the Hon. Michael Sukkar MP announced the Creation of a National Data Commissioner to oversee a new data access framework.
New legislation to remove red tape inhibiting research and growth while maintaining data security and privacy. A new Consumer Data Right to help Australians find a better deal…
New Science and Technology Policy for National Security
On Tuesday Christopher Pyne Minister for Defence Industry announced the Government released its new National security science and technology policy agenda.
Minister Pyne said this agenda is focused on new science and technology policy priorities for national security. These include:…
Memorial Wall To Honour Emergency Services Heroes
Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor unveiled a new memorial wall in Canberra to mark the fourth annual National Memorial Service for fire and emergency services personnel who have lost their lives protecting the community.
Home Affairs Minister Announces New Deputy Commissioner
Peter Dutton the Minister for Home Affairs announced the appointment of Deputy Commissioner Karl Kent as the new Commonwealth TSOC Coordinator within the Department of Home Affairs to tackle transnational serious and organised crime…
Tim Hammond MP’s Surprise Resignation
In a statement to the media on Wednesday Labor Member for Perth and Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs, Shadow Assisting for Resources Tim Hammond announced his surprise resignation…
New Defence Symposium between Australia and France
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and President Emmanuel Macron of France announced the establishment of an annual Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium…
Aid for Trade Commitment Achieved
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop announced Australia has achieved its target of increasing aid for trade investments to 20 per cent of the total aid budget, far earlier than our 2020 deadline…
Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Board
Senator Matt Canavan the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia advised on Thursday that the Chair of the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility, Ms Sharon Warburton, will step down from the role due to family health reasons…
Levelling the Playing Field for Craft Brewers and Distillers
Treasurer Scott Morrison announced today Craft brewers and distillers will no longer pay additional tax, allowing them to compete on fairer terms with large beverage companies.
The Government will increase the amount beverage companies can claim back on their excise and extend the concessional draught beer excise rate to smaller kegs, typically used by craft brewers…