GRACosway Weekly Policy Wrap Up
31 July 2015
Minister for Trade and Investment Andrew Robb was in Hawaii this week to progress negotiations on the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. Progress has stalled on a number of fronts, including United States opposition to dairy liberalisation. At home, five Queensland members of the federal Nationals party room have vowed to oppose the TPP if it does not make allowances for Australian sugar exporters.
Greens state member for Franklin, Nick McKim, has been announced as Christine Milne’s replacement, who retired from the Senate earlier this year. McKim, a former state party leader and minister in the Giddings Government, was one of nine candidates to contest the ballot. McKim’s replacement for the state seat of Franklin will be determined by countback, under the rules of Hare-Clarke. See announcement here.
In a joint interview with The Australian this week, Defence Department secretary Dennis Richardson and Defence Force chief Mark Binskin said the forthcoming defence white paper will focus on re-equipping the Royal Australian Navy and the preservation of the Australian shipbuilding industry. Mr Richardson described the process as the most meticulous approach ever taken by a government, with the paper due for release in late August. Read more here (subscription service).
In what has been labelled an embarrassing defeat in the NSW Government’s prosecution of UberX, the Government has been forced to drop charges against 24 UberX drivers citing ‘evidentiary issues’. In response the Government announced it will be increasing its efforts by conducting random roadside checks.