GRACosway Weekly Policy Wrap Up

24 April 2015

Prime Minister Tony Abbott is in Turkey this weekend for the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landing at Gallipoli.  PM Abbott will also attend the memorial ceremony at Villers-Bretonneux in France to commemorate Australia’s involvement on the Western Front.  Earlier in the week, PM Abbott was in New Zealand to meet with Prime Minister John Key and to attend the dedication of the Australian Memorial in Wellington.

Media reports suggest that WA will receive an upfront payment of $600 million from the Federal Government to deal with declining GST revenue, following last week’s COAG meeting where leaders agreed to retain the existing GST distribution formula for the next year, despite pressure from WA Premier Colin Barnett to increase his State’s share.  WA Treasurer Mike Nahan has said any payment will not be a handout, while the Federal Government is yet to confirm speculation from the bilateral talks between the two governments.

With just over two weeks until the federal budget, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten attempted to put some pressure on the government, announcing a Labor policy to find $14.3 billion over 10 years in savings by changing superannuation tax arrangements for high income earners.  Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen followed up the next day in a National Press Club address, flagging potential changes to negative gearing.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop this week made the first visit to Iran by an Australian Minister in over a decade.  Ms Bishop also announced former Senator and Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Hon. Dr Brett Mason as Australia’s next Ambassador to the Netherlands.

The Productivity Commission has released an issues paper for its inquiry into public safety mobile broadband, see here.

WA and Tasmanian Parliaments sit next week.  Meanwhile, the NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian this week announced that the State Government will hand down its budget on 23 June.

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