Australian News Media
Politics: National Releases Contract With Australia
National Party leader and Leader of the Official Opposition Tony Abbott has continued to push at the Government by releasing his Contract With Australia, a plan with several points as a means of trying to set up the National Party as a government-in-waiting. Full of red meat to the base, the Contract With Australia established the following points as principles for government:
- Reducing income tax from its current progressive six band structure (soon to be 5) to a three band structure with lower rates of tax.
- No carbon tax and a delay in the Government's emissions-trading scheme with a focus on nuclear energy and clean coal technology and shoring up the energy market and infrastructure.
- Repeal of the Master Plan for Higher Education, a key Clinton legislative win.
- Repeal of the Native Title Court.
- Means-testing of the Australian Basic Income for Citizens (APIC) rather than a flat rate for all income earners below $30,000 a year.
- Increase competitiveness of Australian agriculture.
- Attract investment to the Northern Territory and regional Queensland and Western Australia beyond mining.
- Tax write-offs for small business for 100% of new assets under $35,000
- Plebiscite on same sex marriage (despite the initial legislation to legalise same sex marriage arriving in the House of Representatives on Monday).
- Increase defence spending to 16% of the federal budget
- Rollback of the Clinton Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) expansion.
- Increase the rebate for private insurance holders from the Medicare levy.
- Privatise the NBN
Mr. Abbott, speaking at a press conference in his electorate of Warringah, said that "this was a contract that the National Party would make with the Australian people, and propose as alternate legislation to the Parliament while holding the Clinton Government to account". Many commentators have touted the move by Tony Abbott as a bold, innovative move to try and seize back the middle ground from the Government. Others have said that it is a rather desperate attempt by the National Party faced with the prospect that a much more centrist party in the Progressive Alliance has supplanted the Labor Party by being the main party of the left and it is rather popular. Some have also said that Tony Abbott is running scared of Pauline Hanson, whose One Nation party is stubbornly polling at 6%, 4% of which came from disaffected conservative National voters.
Polling of the parties in Parliament has shown National well behind the Progressives, with a 36%-28% gap between the two. Labor still solidly in third, but at 19%, with the Centrist Party at 7% and One Nation at 5% and the Greens on 4%. On those numbers, if an election were held today, the Government would be returned as a coalition with 171 seats, gaining 12, the Opposition parties would total 128, with One Nation gaining 8 seats while National and Centrist lose seats. National would lose 9 seats and the Centrists would lose 5. The Greens would be at 5 seats, Katter would win back his seat, and there would be two independents.
National Weather Forecast: 6 November 2017
Wet and windy weather in New South Wales, Victoria and South Queensland will bring up to 50 mm of rain during the day. Strong winds out of the southwest will carry the wet out to sea just in time for the Melbourne Cup. Spring continues to come barrelling to Australia as we see a warm up by the second half of the week, with Sydney reaching 25 degrees.
Let's take a look at our capital cities and regions:
- Sydney: 19/9 Rainy
- Melbourne: 18/7 Rainy
- Brisbane: 21/11 Rainy
- Perth: 27/12 Partly Cloudy
- Darwin: 31/15 PM Thunderstorms
- Adelaide: 28/19 Clear
- Hobart: 27/18 PM Thunderstorms
- Canberra: 21/14 Rainy
- Townsville: 28/20 Mostly Cloudy
- Cairns: 30/21 Partly Cloudy
- Uluru: 36/19 Clear
- Broken Hill: 19/10 Rainy
Politics: Is the Prime Minister considering a 2018 election call?
Prime Minister Hillary Clinton (L) and Deputy Prime Minister Kevin Rudd (R) of the Progressive Alliance and Australian Labor Party
The Prime Minister could be considering an early election at the beginning of 2018 as the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, and the National Party still struggle to find their mark against a confident Hillary Clinton and Kevin Rudd team. Polling has shown that the Government right now could be sitting on as much as a 56-44 lead vs. the other Opposition Parties. Clinton has never been more popular than right now with her economic and social initiatives that have driven small business to grow in Australia, and for the economy to be on track for a 4% growth year, a very strong year for the Clinton Government and one of the best in recent Australian history.
Rumours around the halls of Canberra could see the Prime Minister ask President Stephen Conroy to dissolve the Parliament and the country go to a snap general election sometime, perhaps in March, which would put the election time table sometime for early May. When asked about the prospect of an early election, both Clinton and Rudd were coy and unwilling to say whether or not the rumours had any merit to them. Former Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating and Progressive Alliance founder and husband Bill Clinton think otherwise when asked at a book launch in Melbourne for Keating's biography.
"I think the Prime Minister would be daft not to go to the country on such strong personal numbers and strong numbers for both the Progressive Alliance and a third place Labor Party. As it stands right now, Labor have work to do to regain the prominence among the left of Australia, but this would be a good start," Keating said to the Melbourne audience.
Within that 56% approval for the Government, 36% is for the Progressive Alliance and 20% for Labor, while the National Party sit on 30% in the Opposition polling, the Greens moving up to around 6% nationall and One Nation still sitting on 7%.
2017 in Review: Politics
This year was the year of Hillary Clinton. The Prime Minister landed victory after victory legislatively, passing a whopping 95% of her manifesto and successfully creating Australia as one of the top economies and most politically free nations in the European Union. After the presidential election last year set up the parliamentary republic system that we now operate in, it was about getting the job done for Australians, according to the Progressive-Labor coalition.
1) Native Title Court and Aboriginal Australian reform
This was perhaps the Clinton government's biggest achievement, but this reform has allowed for disputes between Aboriginal tribes in Australia and farmers and mining companies to be resolved by a neutral third party. The Clinton government, whose coalition of voters between metropolitan liberals, young people and minorities put the Progressive Alliance way ahead of their contemporaries, has really come alive after passing the native land rights reform. It was a legislative victory that will pave the way for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal Australians as first inhabitants.
2) Health care reforms
These are common sense, establishing a system of Medicare hospitals that operate fully at the national level. While doctors and specialists still operate as part of the private sector and bill Medicare, the hospital system which had been ballooning out of control in New South Wales and Victoria, the two most populous states in Australia. The National Hospital System as it is now called, to parody the National Health Service from the United Kingdom, is working and looks to dampen hospital costs and service costs at hospitals across the nation.
3) Economic management
In contrast to the National Party's stark forecast for deficits and debt if Labor were to join the Progressives in Government, economic management has been stable. The dollar hasn't fallen or risen out of line with market expectations, the stocks are roaring and Clinton can claim credit for being a moderating force on her party, which was baying for the reforms and management of the Nats to be thrown out the window but Clinton held firm, knowing it was the consensus of her husband, Bill Clinton, in the 90's for the ALP and Progressives to come to the altar on the need to safeguard the free market principles of liberal democracies across Europe.
4) Infrastructure bank
A stroke of genius on both the economic front and the fact that Australia has had underdeveloped infrastructure for decades. Outside of Sydney and Melbourne (and lately Brisbane), most Australians only had roads connecting them with very few rail lines fit for passenger train use. That has changed with the Clinton government, with projects extending to a Perth to Melbourne rail link that would connect across the north of the country. Additional freight lines, energy and technology infrastructure at a total amount of investment of $450 billion while the bank continues to gain value from its current investments and contributions from the federal government accrue interest. Not to mention the amount of superannuation funds contributing to the bank as it finds and makes investments into infrastructure on behalf of public super funds. Retirement secure, infrastructure build booming, and an institution at the federal level that surely will last the rest of the existence of the current financial system. Three huge wins for Clinton that lend her further credibility on the economy.