Weekly Wrap Up
- The RBA kept the official cash rate at 0.1 per cent and extended purchasing government bonds at the rate of $4 billion a week until at least February next year.
- Opposition Deputy Senate Leader Kristina Keneally has announced she is seeking pre-selection in the seat of Fowler for the upcoming federal election which, if successful, would see her move to the lower house.
- Greens Senator Rachel Siewert resigned from the Senate this week effective immediately. Ms Dorinda Cox will replace Ms Siewert in the Senate.
- Following a spill motion, Matthew Guy was returned as Victorian Opposition Leader, after the incumbent Michael O’Brien decided against contesting the ballot.
- The WA Budget was handed down yesterday, for more information please see the Budget Preview from GRA Partners.
Women’s Safety in the Spotlight
The National Summit on Women’s Safety was held this week, which saw hundreds of experts, advocates and survivors come together over two days to inform further development of the National Plan to end violence against women and children. Notable speakers and panellists included Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins, eSafety Commissioner Julie Inman Grant, and 2021 Australian of the Year Grace Tame.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison delivered the first keynote address where he outlined initiatives undertaken by the Federal Government in seeking to address violence against women, while also sharing the stories of survivors who had written to him detailing their experiences with sexual assault.
Foreign Affairs and Trade
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg addressed the ANU Crawford Leadership Forum Global Realities, Domestic Choices where he outlined the Government’s ‘China plus’ strategy to address ‘economic coercion’ by China and bring on a new approach to strategic competition within Australia. In his remarks, the Treasurer encouraged businesses to redirect more of their products to alternative markets like the UK, Singapore, Germany and South Korea.
China has since hit back at the remarks with China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin stating Australia is to blame for deteriorating relations and the ongoing rhetoric of ‘coercion’ should come to an end.
Vaccinations and the roadmap to freedom
Health Minister Greg Hunt announced Australia would receive four million Pfizer doses this week under a vaccine-swap partnership agreement with the UK that will see Australia send four million doses back to the UK later this year. Meanwhile, the Therapeutic Goods Administration has granted provisional approval for the Moderna vaccines for those in the 12 to 17 age group. Current data[pdf] shows 65 per cent of Australians aged over 16 have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 40 per cent aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated.
NSW released its ‘Roadmap to freedom’ which outlines the states approach to ‘living with COVID’ to come into effect in just over a month. The roadmap outlines a lift in stay-at-home orders for adults who have received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the Monday after NSW passes the 70 per cent double vaccination target — currently expected to be on or around 18 October — while other key restrictions are set to be lifted once the double dose target hits 80 per cent.
National Cabinet will meet next on 17 September. Federal Parliament is due to sit next on 18 October.
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