GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up
The Federal Parliament has passed legislation this week to clarify which companies are ineligible for the lower 27.5 per cent corporate tax rate. Under a new ‘bright line’ test, companies that receive more than 80 per cent of their income in passive forms will not be eligible for the lower tax rate.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has released the minutes of its Monetary Policy Meeting held on 7 August, during which it was decided to leave the cash rate unchanged at 1.5 per cent. The minutes reveal the RBA considered a range of issues, including international and domestic economic conditions and the state of financial markets.
RESOURCES AND ENERGY
Darren Miller has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). Miller has more than 25 years’ experience in the renewable energy sector and in 2015 co-founded MoJo Power, an innovative electricity retailer. Miller’s term will commence on 27 August 2018.
The Australian Government has directed the Australian Energy Regulator (AER) to establish a default market offer for electricity prices, as recommended by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s Retail Energy Prices Inquiry. The ACCC will monitor and report on prices, profits and margins of companies in the National Electricity Market.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced $85 million of funding for clean energy programs in regional areas. The package includes $55 million to assist the private sector implement clean energy technologies in regional communities and $30 million for local communities to develop their own clean energy projects.
INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND WATER
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Transport Michael McCormack announced the appointment of Anthony Matthews as the new Chair of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) Board.
The NSW Legislative Council’s Public Accountability Committee inquiry into the delays surrounding the delivery of the George Street light rail held its first hearing this week. Transport for NSW Deputy Secretary Stephen Troughton told the committee that penalties for late delivery of the project by the Altrac Consortium are capped at $232.5 million.
The Queensland Government has announced $2 million for a business case to connect the Gabba precinct with the Cross River Rail project, including a raised pedestrian bridge over Main Street to improve access to the sporting stadium. The Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and other stakeholders will now develop a precinct plan.
The NSW Government is calling on the community to comment on the first stage of plans for the development of land surrounding the new Western Sydney Airport. Executive Director for Western Sydney and Aerotropolis Activation Brett Whitworth said the land could provide up to 600,000 homes and become Sydney’s next economic hub.
Transport for NSW has issued a competitive tender to operate Sydney’s ferry services. Existing operator Harbour City Ferries will be invited to take part in the tender process; the successful operator will be announced in 2019.
The Senate has referred the My Health Records Amendment (Strengthening Privacy) Bill 2018 to the Senate Community Affairs Legislation Committee for inquiry and report. While the due date for submissions is yet to be announced, the Committee will deliver its report by 8 October.
Ahead of next month’s Wagga Wagga by-election, the NSW Government has announced at least $50 million in funding to rebuild Tumut Hospital in the Riverina region. The works are expected to include upgrades to the emergency department, inpatient beds, rehabilitation services, operating theatres and outpatient services.
Queensland Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Steven Miles has announced the launch of the Alcohol and Drug Information Service (ADIS) website, which will provide the public with information and resources on drug and alcohol treatment. The website forms part of the Palaszczuk Government’s Action on ice plan.