GRACosway Weekly Policy Wrap Up

25 September 2015

As the dust settled following last week’s leadership change, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s new Ministry was sworn in on Monday (read GRACosway’s summary of the first Turnbull ministry here). The new cabinet saw a number of Turnbull supporters elevated to Cabinet, including three women; Senator Marise Payne (Defence Minister), Senator Michaelia Cash (Minister for Employment and Women), and Kelly O’Dwyer (Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer) join Julie Bishop (Foreign Minister) and Sussan Ley (Health Minister ). Turnbull has described his ministry as one for the future, whose focus will be on innovation and agility.

The new Ministry has been out in force this week, with ministers making numerous media appearances. The Prime Minister kept a busy schedule, appearing on Sunrise, Today, ABC radio and 7.30 as well as Sky News. Treasurer Scott Morrison and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann fronted a long press conference where they outlined the Government’s commitment to tax reform and to the ongoing Tax White Paper process. Meanwhile the Treasurer made clear that his budget priorities lie in cutting spending, not revenue measures, telling 7.30’s Leigh Sales, that he would encourage people to “work, save and invest.”

Prime Minister Turnbull announced changes to a number of departmental names and responsibilities following the reshuffle, with Water Resources added to the Department of Agriculture, Innovation added to Industry and Science and Arts brought under the Department of Communications. Administrative changes will see the new Department of Communications and Arts taking over responsibility for copyright, and the Department of Education resuming responsibility for  childcare. See changes to administrative orders here, and the renamed departments here.

In his first major policy announcement since becoming Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull yesterday joined Australian of the Year Rosie Batty to announce a $100 million package to address domestic violence.  The package includes the use of innovative technologies to keep women safe, and education resources to change community attitudes to violence and abuse.

The by-election for the West Australian seat of Canning was held last weekend, with Liberal Candidate Andrew Hastie winning the seat, despite a seven per cent swing against the Liberal Party.

In the first Newspoll of Turnbull’s leadership, the Coalition has seen a dramatic increase in its primary vote and now leads Labor in the two-party-preferred vote 51 points to 49. Some 55 per cent  of respondents rated Turnbull as preferred prime minister, while support for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten fell to 21 per cent (down from 41 per cent the week prior to the leadership change).
No parliaments are sitting next week.

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