GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up: Global security summit steals spotlight
15 June 2018
- Prime Minister Turnbull has endorsed US President Trump’s success at the US-North Korea summit in Singapore.
- By-election campaign activity continues, with senior party figures crossing the country for campaign appearances and announcements.
- Senator Brian Burston has resigned from One Nation to sit as an independent.
- Bill Shorten has promised a boost for WA’s GST share.
- State Budgets have been handed down in Queensland and Tasmania.
Turnbull applauds Trump
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has praised US President Donald Trump’s efforts this week during a US-North Korea summit in Singapore, where North Korean leader Kim Jong-un committed to dismantling nuclear weapons. Mr Turnbull described the President as a “very persuasive, very powerful dealmaker” with a new approach to international relations. Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the Government is “cautiously optimistic” while signalling that any genuine commitment to denuclearisation will require demonstrable action from North Korea.
From the campaign trail
It was another busy week on the by-election campaign trail, with Prime Minister Turnbull travelling to Tasmania to join Premier Will Hodgman for a Tasmanian Budget announcement relating to the Bridgewater Bridge. The PM also committed $2.4 million for a new regional health research centre in Burnie and spent time at a local school. Meanwhile, Liberal candidate for Mayo in South Australia, Georgina Downer, campaigned with ministers Simon Birmingham and Josh Frydenberg in the Adelaide Hills. Following a solo appearance on the ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten spent time campaigning in Western Australia, where Labor is fighting to hold two seats.
Senator Brian Burston has announced his resignation from One Nation, following ongoing public conflict with party leader Senator Pauline Hanson. Senator Burston commented to the media that his former party “should be called Gone Nation”, and called on the two remaining One Nation senators – Pauline Hanson and Peter Georgiou – to honour their original commitment to pass the Government’s company tax plan. Senator Burston will remain in the Senate as an independent. Responding to the news, Prime Minister Turnbull confirmed the Government is committed to working with the crossbench, saying “we treat senators with the greatest respect, regardless of their party or affiliation”.
GST in WA
Ahead of the 28 July by-elections in the WA seats of Perth and Freemantle, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced that a Federal Labor Government will deliver a permanent floor of 70c in the dollar for every GST dollar raised in the State. At a cost of $400 million, the additional funding would be delivered via Labor’s planned Fair Share for WA Fund, under which the Party has already pledged $1.6 billion.
Queensland and Tasmanian Budgets handed down
Queensland Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad handed down the State Budget on Tuesday, revealing a net operating surplus of $1.5 billion in 2017-18, easing to $148 million in 2018-19. Under the theme of ‘delivering for Queensland’, the Budget allocated $45.8 billion in infrastructure funding over the next four years, and a record $18.3 billion towards the Health portfolio in 2018-19. In Tasmania, Treasurer Peter Gutwein has released the Hodgman Government’s first Budget since its re-election in March, with a surplus of $161 million and a $2.6 billion spend on infrastructure.
The Federal, NSW, Victorian, SA, WA, Tasmanian and NT parliaments will sit next week.