GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up: Government turns focus to global issues
- The PM led Remembrance Day services in Canberra last weekend, and later paid respects in Melbourne, in the wake of the Bourke Street attack last Friday.
- The Government has lost further ground in the latest Newspoll and now trails Labor by 10 points.
- Scott Morrison attended the ASEAN Summit in Singapore.
- A $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund for small business funding has been announced.
- In NSW, Michael Daley is the new Opposition Leader.
Commemorating 100 years since the end of WWI, Prime Minister Scott Morrison led Remembrance Day services at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra on Sunday. He was joined by Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and former PM Paul Keating to mark the centenary. The following day, Mr Morrison joined Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy in Melbourne to honour Italian restaurateur Sisto Malaspina, the victim of last Friday’s Bourke Street attack.
The Coalition has slid further in the polls this week, trailing Labor by 10 points with a two-party preferred split of 55-45 per cent, according to the latest Newspoll. Labor continues to lead the primary vote on 40 per cent to the Coalition’s 35 per cent, while Scott Morrison remains ahead of Bill Shorten as preferred PM on 42-36 per cent.
The PM jetted off to Singapore on Tuesday to attend the ASEAN Summit and meet with key international partners. A decision on whether Australia will shift its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will reportedly be reached by Christmas, following confirmation that the Australian-Indonesia Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will not come to fruition until the embassy move has been ruled out. Negotiation on the Australia-Hong Kong FTA has concluded, guaranteeing access for Australian services in areas such as finance, education, construction and transport. In related news, Japanese PM Shinzo Abe has touched down in Darwin today, where he and Mr Morrison will discuss an agreement to reinforce regional ties between the two countries.
Boosting small business funding
The Government has unveiled a $2 billion Australian Business Securitisation Fund to inject finance into the small business sector. The scheme will provide additional funding via the securitisation market to smaller banks and non-bank lenders, which will on-lend to small businesses. Consultation with major financial institutions and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) is also underway to establish an Australian Business Growth Fund to facilitate longer-term equity to small businesses. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Minister for Small and Family Business Michaelia Cash have also announced adjustments to financial reporting thresholds in order to reduce the “reporting burden” for small and medium businesses. Around 2,200 companies will benefit from the changes, reducing annual regulatory costs by an estimated $81.3 million.
News out of NSW
Michael Daley has been elected NSW Labor Leader 33 votes to 12, overcoming frontbencher Chris Minns at a caucus meeting last Saturday. The leadership change follows the recent resignation of Luke Foley amid allegations of sexual harassment. Daley promised at the weekend to “press the reset button” and laid out his vision for a Labor government built on four pillars: investment in education and hospitals; easing the cost of living; jobs for Sydney and the regions; and making Sydney more liveable. Addressing media, Daley said, “I’m not here to save the furniture, we are here to win the 2019 election”.