Weekly Wrap Up
- Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick handed down the 2021-22 State Budget. For more information, please see our dedicated analysis here.
- The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) reported that the seasonally adjusted employment rate decreased to 5.1 per cent in May.
- The Fair Work Commission announced a 2.5 per cent increase to the national minimum wage from 1 July, following the 2021 Annual Wage Review.
- Australia joined the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) for Nature and People – a biodiversity alliance of more than 60 countries aimed at protecting the world’s land and sea.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke at the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA) Conference, acknowledging the sector’s contribution to Australia’s prosperity.
- Victorian Acting Premier James Merlino announced further easing of restrictions from 11:59pm 17 June, including that the 25km travel limit in Melbourne will no longer apply.
- Premier Daniel Andrews is scheduled to return from leave on Monday 28 June.
Trade and partnerships
Prime Minister Scott Morrison joined leaders in the UK for the annual G7 Summit last weekend. COVID-19 response and recovery were prioritised for discussion and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson led the establishment of a global vaccine initiative to support developing nations, with Australia committing an additional 20 million doses to the effort. The Summit considered[PDF] a number of other key issues, including championing free trade, cutting carbon emissions, promoting democracy and building strong partnerships that support economic prosperity. The PM, US President Joe Biden and UK PM Boris Johnson all agreed that cooperation of the three governments is necessary to address emerging challenges in the Indo-Pacific region.
While in the UK, the Prime Minister and UK PM Johnson finalised the broader framework of the Australia-UK Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will eliminate a number of agricultural tariffs over a 10-year period. Notably, the FTA also relaxes restrictions for Working Holiday Visa makers, including lifting the cut off age to 35 and increasing the maximum length of stay to three years.
At the Summit, the Prime Minister worked with his Japanese counterpart Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga and established a partnership on decarbonisation, to be driven by new technologies that also boost economic growth. Prime Minister Suga reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, while Prime Minister Morrison advised that this timeframe was still his preference.
Australia also partnered with Singapore and Germany for a suite of hydrogen technology initiatives, including a $30 million investment to reduce emissions in maritime and port operations and the Declaration of Intent between the Government of Australia and the Government of Germany on the Australia-Germany Hydrogen Accord. Both agreements hope to accelerate new developments that reduce emissions and create new jobs.
60 years of the OECD Council
The Prime Minister travelled to France to speak at the OECD Council, recognising the 60th anniversary since its founding and 50 years of Australia being a member. While in Paris, the PM thanked French President Emmanuel Macron for his affinity and support during what he labelled as ‘difficult times’ in the Indo-Pacific.
All Parliaments will sit this week except Queensland. On Tuesday, both the NSW and South Australian Governments will deliver their 2021-22 Budgets.
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