GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up: Nats Turbulence Hits PM’s US Trip

23 February 2018
  • The Coalition has lost ground in this week’s Newspoll following ongoing public scrutiny of the Deputy PM.
  • PM Malcolm Turnbull is in the US for a series of meetings with key government figures, including President Donald Trump.
  • A Productivity Commissioner and Chief Economist will join NSW Treasury.
  • Energy policy dominates in SA ahead of the looming election.
Newspoll Backlash

Two-thirds of voters have reported dissatisfaction with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce in the latest Newspoll, calling for him to either move to the backbench or retire from politics altogether. The Government’s primary vote has slipped two points to 36 per cent, while Labor remains steady on 37. Similarly, the two-party preferred vote margin has ballooned to 6 points, with Labor leading the Coalition on 53 to 47 per cent. Meanwhile, the Government is trying to shift the focus to its proposed company tax cuts.

Nationals Leadership in Question 

Victorian Nationals MP Andrew Broad has called for the Deputy PM to resign for “the best interests of the party”, and will reportedly raise the issue of leadership in a party room meeting early next week. While Mr Joyce has urged the public to “move on” from the details of his private life, reports have surfaced that a formal complaint of sexual harassment has been made against Mr Joyce, which he has described as “spurious and defamatory”.

Meanwhile, in the US 

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is in Washington for a raft of meetings with key figures, including President Donald Trump, members of Treasury, and heads of intelligence agencies. Mr Turnbull’s main priority on the three-day trip is to “broaden and deepen the relationship” between Australia and the US and enhance opportunities “for two-way investment”. He is joined on the trip by the premiers of NSW, Victoria, Queensland and WA, along with Australian business leaders.

IMF Assessment 

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released its annual assessment of Australia’s economy and financial policy settings, commending Australia’s “robust economic performance”. Treasurer Scott Morrison welcomed the report, saying it was an endorsement of the Government’s management of the economy during its “transition to broader-based growth”.

NSW Productivity Commission 

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has announced the NSW Government will establish its first Productivity Commission to drive microeconomic reform and improve the regulatory environment. Alongside a Productivity Commissioner, a new Chief Economist will also sit within Treasury, expected to become a “driver of innovative and visionary economic analysis and advice in NSW”.

Energy in SA 

Energy policy has dominated discussion in SA this week ahead of the 17 March State Election. To find out more, check out GRACosway’s most recent edition of ‘SA Votes’. Also not to be missed is SA Best’s new campaign promo.

Looking Ahead

The Federal House of Representatives will sit next week; Senate Estimates will be held from Monday to Friday.


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