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GRACosway Weekly Wrap Up
14 November 2014
 
After spending time in China and Myanmar this week for APEC and the East Asia Summit, Prime Minister Tony Abbott will welcome heads of state and other dignitaries to Brisbane this weekend for the G20 Leaders’ Summit.  PM Abbott said he expects the focus of the G20 to be on economic reform and growth, and he would seek detailed discussions about achieving a target of increasing global growth by at least 2 per cent over the next five years.  The PM’s economic agenda for the conference however has been somewhat overshadowed after the US and Chinese presidents jointly announced their respective post 2020 climate change actions to limit carbon emissions on the sidelines of the APEC conference in Beijing earlier this week. With world leaders joining as many as 4000 delegates to debate economic issues, it is expected that Ebola and climate change will also be raised.
 
During their Australian visit, a number of leaders will address the Federal Parliament over the next few days. Prime Minister David Cameron addressed the Parliament today and China’s President Xi Jinping will do the honours on Monday and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.  The address by Mr Xi is expected to be followed by the signing of an Australia-China free trade agreement.
 
In the Senate this week, tensions have increased between Palmer United Party (PUP) Senator Jacqui Lambie and PUP leader Clive Palmer after Senator Lambie promised to vote against all Government legislation until it raises its 1.5 per cent pay increase for the Australian Defence Force.  Senator Lambie also publicly criticised Mr Palmer’s leadership.  Mr Palmer said the Senator should challenge him for the party leadership and expelled her Chief of Staff Rob Messenger from the PUP.   Meanwhile, Senators Bob Day and David Leyonhjelm invited Lambie to join them to form a new voting bloc in the Senate.
 
Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull released the Spectrum Review Potential Reform Directions paper this week, setting out 11 reform proposals on the management of spectrum used by mobile phone companies and television networks.  See media release here.
 
Former Labor Premier of Queensland Wayne Goss passed away this week at the age of 63.
 
A by-election will be held tomorrow for the position of Lord Mayor of Newcastle following the resignation of the former Lord Mayor Jeff McCloy in relation to the ongoing Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) inquiry Operation Spicer.
 
NSW, SA, WA and Tasmanian parliaments sit next week.


FINANCE

Minister for Small Business Bruce Bilson released an updated Franchising Code of Conduct which included the introduction of civil penalties for serious breaches of the new code.  The new code will apply to conduct from 1 January 2015.  See media release: Levelling the playing field for franchising and the code
 
Sally Loane will leave her role as director of media and public affairs for Coca-Cola Amatil to become CEO of the Financial Services Council.  In related news, IAG Chief Executive Andy Cornish has been appointed President and Chairman of the Board for the Insurance Council of Australia.  See media releases: Sally Loane will be the new CEO of the Financial Services Council and IAG’s Andy Cornish appointed President of Insurance Council Board
 

RESOURCES AND ENERGY

Federal Developments

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced that Labor will not continue negotiations with the Government on changes to the Renewable Energy Target (RET).  See Labor’s media release: Labor rejects Abbott Government plan to destroy renewable energy and the Minister for Industry’s media release: Labor shatters bipartisanship by walking away from RET
 
The Business Council of Australia launched its report Australia’s Energy Advantages this week, calling on the Government to make policy changes across five key areas in order to ensure that Australia maintains its comparative advantage in the energy sector. See the report here and media release here.

State Developments
 
The NSW Government released the NSW Gas Plan for the regulation of the Coal Seam Gas (CSG) industry.  The Government has appointed the Environmental Protection Authority as the main agency responsible for CSG regulation.  For more details, see GRACosway’s brief here or the full report here
 
The Northern Territory Government is accepting expressions of interest from companies interested in building and operating the proposed gas pipeline between the Northern Territory and the East Coast.  Submissions close 15 December 2014.  See media release: Momentum building for gas pipeline and the project homepage here
 

INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT AND WATER

Federal Developments
 
Infrastructure Australia has announced that it is seeking its first CEO.  Executive recruiting firm Korn Ferry will oversee the search for candidates.  See media release: Infrastructure Australia seeking its first Chief Executive Officer
 
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for the Environment Simon Birmingham has announced a new five year monitoring plan for the Murray-Darling Basin to assess the effectiveness of environmental watering. See media release: Long-term environmental water monitoring programme for the MDB

State Developments

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Victorian Premier Dr Denis Napthine announced a $250 million Commonwealth-State partnership to complete the upgrade of the Tullamarine Freeway to Melbourne Airport. Construction will start in early 2015 with works aligning with the East-West Link.  See media release: Commonwealth Government and Victorian Coalition to deliver $250 million upgrade of Tullamarine Freeway
 
The Federal and NSW governments have announced the successful projects for the first round of the $200 million Western Sydney Local Roads Package.  For the full list of works, see media release: Better local roads for Western Sydney
 

HEALTH

Federal Developments

The Department of Health review of medicines and medical devices regulation held a stakeholder forum this week where it was announced that a discussion paper is expected next week, before submissions will be called for and due before the end of the year.  See the review homepage here and the presentation that was delivered here.
 
Minister for Social Services Kevin Andrews announced $1 million in funding to support the Camp Quality Primary School Education Program.  The program educates children about living with cancer.  See media release: $1 Million Boost for Camp Quality Education Programme

State Developments

A survey of 35,000 NSW hospital patients found that more than 90% rated their overall experience as good or very good, a NSW Bureau of Health Information (BHI) survey has found.  See the BHI media release: Results released for survey of 35,000 patients of NSW public hospitals and the Health Minister’s media release:  Positive patient experiences in NSW hospitals
 
About GRACosway
GRACosway is Australia's leading public affairs and corporate and financial communications counsel. Our integrated suite of services provides public policy, communications, regulatory, issues management, and media relations advice to a range of domestic and international clients across all industry sectors. From offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, and Perth (through GRA Everingham), GRACosway's clients benefit from the combined experience, expertise, and strategic perspective of our team in addressing complex and commercially sensitive projects. For more information head to gracosway.com.au
 
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