In the final sitting week before the budget, the parliament paused for a day on Monday to reflect on the life of former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser
. Later in the week, the Senate passed the government’s controversial data retention laws
, the fourth tranche of national security legislation for Attorney-General George Brandis
, which will force telecommunications providers to keep individuals' phone and internet use for two years. The government is now widely expected to release the Taxation White Paper
and the final report of the Competition Policy Review
early next week.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott
announced that the head of Operation Sovereign Borders, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell
, will be appointed Chief of the Army in May and Air Vice-Marshal Gavin Davies
will be appointed Chief of the Air Force in July.
The Prime Minister
will head to Singapore on the weekend to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew
The Prime Minister
announced an additional $100 million in new funding for the Great Barrier Reef Trust
to support the implementation of a new Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan, jointly released by the Federal and Queensland governments last weekend.
In an address to the Australia China Business Council, Treasurer Joe Hockey
said that Australia is considering its position in joining the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB
) before Tuesday’s deadline to sign a memorandum of understanding. Treasurer Hockey listed best practice governance principles Australia would like to see applied to the new body in his speech.
Long-time Queensland Liberal Senator Brett Mason
announced that he will retire from politics before the May budget. He gave his final speech to the Senate this week. Also in the Senate, former ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher
was sworn in to replace Labor’s Kate Lundy
who has now retired.
The Productivity Commission
released terms of reference for an inquiry looking into the most cost-effective way of developing mobile broadband capability for public safety agencies. See the review homepage here
, media reports suggest the Government will soon release the findings of the David Peever-led First Principles Review
into the Defence Department and its agencies, recommending a major reform package.
This week’s Newspoll
shows Labor leading the Coalition 51:49 in the two-party-preferred vote.
, the 55th
Parliament was officially opened this week with Independent Peter Wellington becoming Speaker.
Voters go to the polls tomorrow in the NSW
state election, with Premier Mike Baird hoping to better Labor’s Luke Foley to secure a second-term for the Coalition Government. GRACosway will bring you a final wrap of the campaign later today.
No parliaments sit next week.