Weekly Wrap Up
- The RBA kept the official cash rate at 0.1 per cent with Governor Philip Lowe saying the cash rate is still unlikely to be increased until 2024.
- The ABS released its retail trade figures for August showing retail turnover fell a further 1.7 per cent. Meanwhile, the weekly payroll jobs and wages data shows payroll jobs are down a further 0.7 per cent, while wages are up 1.8 per cent.
- Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced new ministerial roles as the state prepares for hosting the 2032 Olympic games.
- Following his elevation as NSW Premier and the election of new NSW Deputy Premier Paul Toole, Dominic Perrottet initiated a small cabinet reshuffle which saw Energy Minister Matt Kean become Treasurer.
- Premier Perrottet also announced current Secretary of the Department of Communities and Justice Michael Coutts-Trotter will become Secretary of Department of Premier and Cabinet this month.
Spotlight on Integrity
Recent developments in NSW have led to renewed calls for a national integrity body. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) model isn’t one he would consider at a federal level, saying the process needs to “assume people are innocent before they are thought to be guilty”. The Morrison Government released its exposure draft legislation to establish a Commonwealth Integrity Commission (CIC) late last year, which wrapped up public consultation in March 2021. Attorney-General Michaelia Cash previously confirmed the government would like the legislation introduced to parliament before the end of the year.
The Centre for Public Integrity has since published its discussion paper Which Watchdog?[PDF] comparing features of the proposed CIC against existing State and Territory integrity commissions which was critical of the Government’s model. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has once again called on the Prime Minister to deliver on the Coalition’s 2019 election promise to establish the anti-corruption body, signalling it will be a topic of interest for Labor when parliament resumes on 18 October.
As anticipated, the Prime Minister announced a reshuffle to the Morrison Cabinet and Ministry late last week. Angus Taylor took on the additional responsibility of Industry, becoming Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction; Melissa Price was appointed Minister for Science and Technology, in addition to her responsibilities as Minister for Defence Industry; while Alex Hawke was elevated to Cabinet as the Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs.
Additionally, Ben Morton joined the Ministry as Special Minister of State, Minister for the Public Service and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister while Tim Wilson became the Assistant Minister Assisting the Minister for Energy, Industry and Emissions Reduction.
The Morrison Government released its plans for reopening Australia for international travel in the coming months. as a framework is developed to support the country advancing onto Phase B and C of the National Plan. Initial plans indicate fully vaccinated Australians will be able to travel overseas as soon as November, with the implementation of an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document to be developed and a broader rollout of a home quarantine system.
To support the reopening of international travel, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Dan Tehan announced eligible travel agents and tour arrangement service providers can now apply for a one-off $10,000 grant by 3 November. Meanwhile, in NSW, Premier Dominic Perrottet, announced changes to the states reopening roadmap as vaccinations are set to reach the 80 per cent target next week.
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