GRACosway Weekly Policy Wrap Up

14 November 2014:

After spending time in China and Myanmar this week for APEC and the East Asia Summit, Prime Minister Tony Abbott will welcome heads of state and other dignitaries to Brisbane this weekend for the G20 Leaders’ Summit.  PM Abbott said he expects the focus of the G20 to be on economic reform and growth, and he would seek detailed discussions about achieving a target of increasing global growth by at least 2 per cent over the next five years.  The PM’s economic agenda for the conference however has been somewhat overshadowed after the US and Chinese presidents jointly announced their respective post 2020 climate change actions to limit carbon emissions on the sidelines of the APEC conference in Beijing earlier this week. With world leaders joining as many as 4000 delegates to debate economic issues, it is expected that Ebola and climate change will also be raised.

During their Australian visit, a number of leaders will address the Federal Parliament over the next few days. Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the Parliament today and China’s President Xi Jinping will do the honours on Monday and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.  The address by Mr Xi is expected to be followed by the signing of an Australia-China free trade agreement.

In the Senate this week, tensions have increased between Palmer United Party (PUP) Senator Jacqui Lambie and PUP leader Clive Palmer after Senator Lambie promised to vote against all Government legislation until it raises its 1.5 per cent pay increase for the Australian Defence Force.  Senator Lambie also publicly criticised Mr Palmer’s leadership.  Mr Palmer said the Senator should challenge him for the party leadership and expelled her Chief of Staff Rob Messenger from the PUP.   Meanwhile, Senators Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm invited Lambie to join them to form a new voting bloc in the Senate.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull released the Spectrum Review Potential Reform Directions paper this week, setting out 11 reform proposals on the management of spectrum used by mobile phone companies and television networks.  See media release here.

Former Labor Premier of Queensland Wayne Goss passed away this week at the age of 63.

A by-election will be held tomorrow for the position of Lord Mayor of Newcastle following the resignation of the former Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy in relation to the ongoing Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry Operation Spicer.

NSW, SA, WA and Tasmanian parliaments sit next week.

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