Weekly Wrap Up
- The Reserve Bank of Australia published its final paper into the Review of Retail Payments Regulation.
- The Senate Select Committee on Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre tabled its final report which includes 12 recommendations to reform the future of digital assets including cryptocurrency regulation.
- The Senate has referred Tax Commissioner Chris Jordan to its Standing Committee of Privileges on whether he could be in contempt of the Senate for not handing over JobKeeper recipient data.
- Hearings for the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption’s (ICAC) Operation Keppel, investigating former NSW MP Daryl Maguire resumed this week.
- The NSW Supreme Court handed down its judgment on former NSW Labor MPs Eddie Obeid and Ian Macdonald, with both receiving prison sentences for conspiring to commit offences of misconduct in public office regarding a 2009 mining exploration licence.
Parliament returned this week, with many parliamentarians attending via videolink. There is ongoing uncertainty about the Coalition Government’s position on net-zero emissions by 2050, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Energy Minister Angus Taylor working to secure the support of the Nationals on a potential policy change. Further meetings are to be held over the weekend, ahead of the Prime Minister’s attendance at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow on 31 October. The Nationals are expected to seek significant funding commitments from the Liberals in exchange for any agreement.
Debate continued around the issue of members’ interests disclosures after the Labor Opposition moved to have former Attorney-General Christian Porter referred to the Standing Committee of Privileges and Members’ Interests over the non-disclosure of the names of donors to a blind trust on the registration of members’ interests. Speaker of the house Tony Smith found there was a “prima facie” case to investigate, but the Government voted against the motion and instead requested the committee consider the rules to provide clearer guidance on the issue.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese both acknowledged the three-year anniversary of the national apology to the survivors and victims of institutional child sexual abuse. During his speech, the Prime Minister announced that next week the Government would launch its 10-year national strategy to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse. The Prime Minister also confirmed the fourth annual progress report on the implementation of recommendations from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse would be published later this year.
The House of Representatives will resume sitting next week, while Supplementary Budget Estimates will be on in the Senate.
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