GRACosway Weekly Policy Wrap Up

30 January 2015

The political year really kicked off this week with Australia Day on Monday and the Prime Minister’s decision to award Prince Philip a knighthood, the nation’s highest honour.  The PM was widely criticised for the move that was seen as an anachronism and out-of-touch with the electorate.  The decision has given rise to leadership speculation and led to further public focus on key members of the Prime Minister’s personal staff.  In response, the PM fronted the media and promised to consult more widely when it comes to these kinds of appointments in future.  Mr Abbott will now address the National Press Club on Monday where he is expected to outline the Government’s policy agenda for 2015.

The Prime Minister followed up the awarding of the 2015 Australian of the Year award given to Rosie Batty with the establishment of an advisory panel to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) on violence against women.  Ms Batty and retiring Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay will be the panel’s founding members.

Elsewhere this week the Government announced it will establish a Digital Transformation Office (DTO) within the Department of Communications to deliver government services electronically. Meanwhile, Education Minister Christopher Pyne announced that he wanted to pass the Government’s higher education reforms by March, calling on the Senate and the Opposition to pass the changes to deregulate universities.

Voters will go to the polls in Queensland tomorrow to decide between re-electing a Campbell Newman led Liberal National Party Government, or support Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Labor Opposition.  For further details see GRACosway’s Queensland election newsletter issued earlier today here.

Parliaments have not yet resumed for 2015.

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