GRACosway Weekly Policy Wrap Up
1 May 2015
Australians woke to the news on Wednesday morning that Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran had been executed in Indonesia. After a decade spent in prison, and months of intense representations from Australian officials – most notably Foreign Minister Julie Bishop – calling for clemency, the pair were killed by firing squad. Foreign Minister Bishop and Prime Minister Tony Abbott held a joint press conference to condemn the killings, and announced that the Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson will be withdrawn for consultations later this week.
Also overseas this week, Australia has evacuated 106 Australians and delivered two RAAF planes carrying 15 tonnes of aid following the earthquake in Nepal. Today Ms Bishop announced a further $5 million in humanitarian aid for the devastated country, bringing Australia’s total contribution to date to $10 million.
Earlier in the week Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with French President Francois Hollande. The two countries have committed to build on the Strategic Partnership signed in 2012 by enhancing high-level dialogues on security and terrorism issues, and strengthening intelligence cooperation.
Media reports today suggest that the Social Services Minister Scott Morrison will next week announce details of the Government’s key childcare measures to be included in the budget, which will be handed down on 12 May. This follows the announcement of a $250 million two year nanny pilot program for home care services.
The Australian Energy Regulator (AER) released its Network Revenue Determination for the 2014-2019 control period this week. The determination will see a reduction in electricity bills for customers in NSW, QLD, SA and the ACT. The decision has been welcomed by various governments. See the AER here.
The Northern Territory Government handed down its budget on Tuesday, marking the start of ‘budget season’. Treasurer Dave Tollner revealed a $285.2 million deficit, and a projected path back to surplus in 2017-18. See budget papers here.
The Victorian Labor Government will deliver its first budget next Tuesday. GRACosway will issue a comprehensive budget briefing note on the day. The upcoming budget timetable is as follows:
- Federal – Tuesday 12 May
- WA – Thursday 14 May
- Tasmania – Thursday 28 May
- SA – Thursday 18 June
- NSW – Tuesday 23 June
- QLD – Tuesday 14 July
The 56th NSW Parliament will be officially summoned following the March 28 election on Tuesday, a mostly ceremonial day, with the return to normal parliamentary business from Wednesday. See Tuesday’s business program here.
VIC, QLD, SA, WA and ACT parliaments also sit next week.