October 14 Leigh warns on changes to federalism
The winding back of federal responsibilities implicit in the Abbott government’s proposed federation white paper poses a risk to Australian concepts of equality, according to assistant shadow treasurer Andrew Leigh.
Labor Party elder John Faulkner has called for a radical rewrite of the party’s relationship with the union movement as part of reforms which he says are crucial if the ALP is to lead the way in restoring faith in politics.
Almost $23 billion of the Abbott Government’s budget savings face an uncertain future in the Senate, while just over $25 billion of cuts have been passed.
October 4 Blowing up the budget
For a government that told voters that the grown-ups would be able to put the federal budget back on track, things are looking more and more dismal by the week.
Even in politics, or perhaps especially in politics, just saying something over and over doesn’t make it true, or make it happen.
October 1 Hockey’s budget retreat
The Abbott government has raised the white flag on up to $30 billion of budget savings, deciding to push the remaining few measures which have Senate support through the Parliament before recasting its budget strategy in December.
September 29 Homeland security rejig on the way
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has dismissed the prospects of a ministerial reshuffle, saying Prime Minister Tony Abbott is happy with the performance of his team.
September 29 IS strike details to be finalised
Australia is finalising the legal framework under which it would undertake military action in Iraq before federal cabinet commits to the move this week, foreign minister Julie Bishop says.
Clive Palmer said there was no budget crisis in Australia and debt levels are very low, indicating his Palmer United Party feels no pressure to shift its opposition to around $10 billion of budget savings.
September 26 Voters give leeway to get tough on terrorism
It is fair to say there is an unseemly, if understandable, rush about introducing new national security laws.
September 26 Tony Abbott leads On Capital Hill top 5 list
September 26 Can good policy be good politics?
2014 Power Issue | Five years of bitter politics have left many Australians wondering just what is needed to achieve occasional consensus – or whether it is even possible.
September 25 Financial advice rules face new threat
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann is under intense pressure to get new financial advice laws through the Senate, after a committee gave notice it intended to throw out the existing rules.
September 25 Albanese tackles the suburban issue
Labor will seek to make the development of Australia’s cities “one of the great divides” in politics, arguing Canberra must take a role in cities policy and encourage business to the urban fringes.
Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane says his green paper sets the policy directions for Australia to be ‘an energy superpower’.
September 24 No alternative but to dump Rudd, says Julia Gillard
Julia Gillard believed Kevin Rudd would be relieved by the weight of losing the prime ministership in 2010, “because he had found it so difficult in those last few months”.
September 23 Palmer set to back $2.7b in welfare budget cuts
The possibility that the Coalition will get some of its welfare cuts through the Senate has improved after Clive Palmer said the Palmer United Party was prepared to back $2.7 billion in savings also backed by Labor.
The Harper competition review is unlikely to be at all what many Coalition supporters, small businesses or farmers were expecting, but it’s reset the terms of a somewhat stale competition debate.
September 22 G20 ministers move beyond GFC agenda
Laura Tingle | The G20’s finance ministers and central bankers seem confident the back has now been broken on complex questions of financial regulation and tax thrown up by the global financial crisis.
September 22 Social welfare reforms to be ditched
The Abbott government appears set to split up its contentious social welfare reforms – presenting measures it can get through the Senate this week but putting off indefinitely measures worth billions.
September 20 ATO leads project to map multinationals’ tax schemes
September 20 Joe Hockey pushes global crackdown on tax cheats
September 20 Hockey gives state projects a kickstart
September 19 Iraq partnership caps a shift to calmer politics
Treasurer Joe Hockey remains committed to seeking a commitment from G20 finance ministers to a 2 per cent economic growth target but admits it is “ambitious”.
Australia has missed an opportunity to show true leadership in dealing with multinational profit shifting by delaying adoption of international bank transparency measures until 2017, according to the federal Opposition.
The United States’ relationships with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states could help resolve the wars in Syria and Iraq, says former US ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill.
September 15 Destiny with the unknown in another Iraq foray
Laura Tingle | Australia has once again become involved in a major conflict in Iraq – this time against an uncertain foe in a long-term war without boundaries but with bipartisan support very different to 2003.
September 15 Australia to adopt common reporting standard
Australia will adopt a common reporting standard designed to stop multinationals shifting profits to avoid tax from 2017, after federal cabinet approved the move before this week’s G20 finance ministers meeting.
National productivity could get a massive boost from the reform of the Federation as federal and state roles are rationalised, according to an issues paper.
September 12 Industry policy submerged under pragmatism
The Abbott government is prepared to wear the backlash on sub orders. But its long-term industry policy needs a lot more work.
September 11 No gain, just pain, in Gillard witch hunt
There have been two scenarios put forward over the years about the tortured case of Julia Gillard, the union slush fund and the house renovations.
The former Clerk, who served the federal Parliament in total for 40 years, died last weekend. He treated all those who sought his advice with the same patience, good humour and intelligence.
September 6 On the world stage
New governments often strike turbulence in their early years in government, and the turbulence is usually fanned by an opposition living off the knowledge of internal processes gained in government.
September 6 Intervening in Iraq and Ukraine may blow budget
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has not ruled out increasing the budget deficit to fund an expanded military role in Iraq and potentially Ukraine.
September 6 Tony Abbott: the first year
The economy will most determine if Tony Abbott can persuade voters of new “golden days”.
Former US ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill has warned the West will struggle to defeat Islamic State militants in Iraq unless it can buy off moderate Sunni Muslim tribal leaders to turn against the barbaric movement.
September 5 Both sides dig in for a war of policy attrition
The Prime Minister is in deep trouble on his biggest election promise.
September 3 PUP deal puts super in the shade
Were voters really paying attention to the finer detail of Coalition policy when they went to polling booths in 2013?
September 2 BCA criticises Coalition’s welfare plan
The Business Council says the Abbott government needs to reconsider key aspects of its welfare changes, including plans to make all job seekers work for the dole and for those under 30 to wait six months for benefits.
The night before the Budget a strange exchange took place between Tony Abbott and his backbenchers.
Labor will move this week to end a parliamentary deadlock which is threatening to leave already cash strapped local councils without road funding from next month.
The Abbott government appears poised to make major concessions on budget health and education reforms, and the mining tax package, in order to win Senate crossbench support when federal parliament resumes this week.
August 23 Coalition behind in budget blame game
With Parliament due back, the pressure is on the Abbott government to not just get some budget measures through for the sake of it, but to reassure people it is actually in control of things.
August 22 Budgetary return fire may burn Hockey
Federal Parliament sits again next week after a five-week break which doesn’t seem to have been much of a break at all.
The Australian Medical Association’s alternative proposal to the $7 Medicare co-payment has perhaps even fewer friends than Joe Hockey’s budget.
Apart from the political stupidity of his comments about poor people, Joe Hockey keeps saying things that suggest he has a numeracy problem.
Less than a year ago, newly minted Treasurer Joe Hockey had a ‘narrative’ about the End of the Age of Entitlement. This week he committed one of the cardinal sins of politics.
The federal government’s plan to force the unemployed to apply for 40 jobs a month will cost the small business sector $700 million a year, according to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
“Just kill it” was the advice to Tony Abbott from a disparate group.
The opening salvos in the tabloids had all the subtlety of the now infamous Israeli ten minute warning missile.
The Prime Minister should make an annual “vision for Australia” speech that outlines goals for the next five to 10 years, the Business Council of Australia says.
Australian governments need to rethink their role in the economy by encouraging industries that have natural advantages – such as agriculture, mining, tourism and education, the BCA says.
Only a government that sets aside vested interests to seize the future can succeed, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten told a NSW Labor conference at the weekend.
Unarmed Australian Federal Police will be deployed to Ukraine to finalise the retrieval of the dead from the crash of MH17 after negotiations in Donetsk with separatists on the weekend.
The national security committee of federal cabinet provides one of the best examples of the Australian government at work, a long-time public servant observed this week.
Context is playing a grotesque game with the portrait of Joe Hockey painted in Madonna King’s new book.
Climate change and energy security, as well as concrete action multinational tax avoidance, need to be on the agenda at this year’s G20 meetings, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has told a US audience.
Revelations Treasurer Joe Hockey believes the budget was not tough enough was evidence he is out of touch and is planning even bigger cuts than already announced, opposition finance spokesman Chris Bowen says.
Club rung with an echoey emptiness when Bernie Fraser rose to speak there in March this year.
Clive Palmer’s stunning wedging of not just Tony Abbott but Labor and the Greens means climate change remains on the table as an issue for the next election. But not in the way the prime minister envisaged.
If there was one budget measure which Labor and the Greens really should have supported, it was the move to reinstate indexation on fuel excise.
The economic crisis has become an important prop in our national debate about reform.
Six weeks on from the budget, the rage is being maintained: the majority of voters still think the budget is unfair.
The fog has been thick in Canberra this week and has been hanging about until late in the day.
The Coalition’s political klutziness is outstripping Julia Gillard’s “chaotic minority government”.
Australians will respond to an argument for change and reform but they have two requirements, former prime minister John Howard observed this week.
With changing dynamics in east Asia, Australians need to carefully reflect on the nature of our close ties with the US.
If you can’t run a parliament, what hope of running a country?
Australia engages the providers who deliver welfare, medical and garrison services at the Manus Island detention centre, the report on events at the centre in February which left one man dead notes.
Budgets are a bit of a “right and left side of the brain” thing, where one side is the policy, and the other the politics. With this budget, one side of the brain doesn’t seem to have been functioning all that well.
May 2010 may have been only four years ago but in political time feels as far away as the paleolithic era.
The political practice of outlining spending and tax problems for some years into the future started in the late 1980s era and since then, promises have been extended even further into the future. Now, the whole process has started to come back to bite both sides of politics.
Every so often in politics there is a moment when you can almost hear the tectonic plates shift.
Conventional wisdom has been that Tony Abbott would have to have rocks in his head to contemplate a double dissolution election but senior Liberals believe he’s serious.
Laura Tingle | This is a budget written by a government that thinks it has all the time in the world. Its short term gradualism jars spectacularly with all the hysteria it hurled about from opposition about budget crisis and debt.
Joe Hockey has been quite cross this week. But perhaps he has not been as cross as Dick Honan.
The deficit levy may have outraged the Coalition’s voter base and provoked a slump in consumer confidence but, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, it“won’t dominate the headlines” after he delivers his first federal budget next Tuesday.
The combined shocks of the unravelling of the clothes of Emperor Abbott and his party on both budget management and political probity will have inevitable repercussions on the way politics plays out long into the future.
February 28 More action, less name-calling on asylum seekers
February 22 Joe Hockey’s big moment
February 21 Audit report delivery sparks rumours of cuts
February 17 Makeover shortcut to ALP comeback
February 10 Toyota could be Abbott’s biggest test
February 1 The name is Gonski – don’t come knocking