The cost of housing
dominated federal politics this week, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott
forced to defend Treasurer Joe Hockey
, following comments he made during a media conference on Tuesday about housing prices. The Opposition labelled the Treasurer as out of touch for his advice that first home buyers should ‘get a good job’. Meanwhile, Reserve Bank Governor Glenn Stevens
labelled Sydney housing prices as ‘crazy’.
Prime Minister Abbott
has called on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten
to provide detail of any ‘sweetheart deals’ he may have been involved in during his tenure as National Secretary of the Australian Workers’ Union.
The call came after Victorian Labor MP Cesar Melhem
resigned as Premier Daniel Andrews’ upper house whip following allegations aired at the Royal Commission into Union Corruption. Mr Shorten has denied any wrong doing and said he would cooperate with the Royal Commission.
Several months after the departure of the last departmental secretary, Daryl Quinlivan
has been sworn in as Secretary of the Australian Department of Agriculture
. Mr Quinlivan, who has most recently been the Head of Office at the Productivity Commission, was Deputy Secretary of the Department from 2005 to 2010.
Minister for Defence Kevin Andrews
announced the appointment of the Expert Advisory Panel
to oversee the Future Submarine Competitive Evaluation Process
. The Panel includes Professor Donald Winter
, a former Secretary of the United States Navy, the Hon Julie Anne Dodds‑Streeton
, Mr Ron Finlay
and Mr Jim McDowell
. See the announcement here
NSW Premier Mike Baird
announced Professor John McMillan AO
as the NSW Ombudsman
on a two year appointment. Prof McMillan will replace Bruce Barbour, whose term concludes on 30 June. See media release here
Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop
announced former NSW premier Barry O'Farrell
will join the Australia-India Council
as Deputy Chair, from 1 August for a five-year term.
Federal, SA, WA, NT parliaments sit next week, while the Tasmanian and ACT parliaments have estimates.