Category Archives: Commonwealth Government

When is Australia’s next Federal Election?

That’s a harder question than it seems.  The complex interaction between laws relating to double dissolution elections, half Senate elections, House of Representatives elections, State elections (coming up in New South Wales and Victoria), and the timing of football finals and more, mean the earliest reasonably possible date is 4 August 2018, for which the election would have to be called by 2 July – only two months away – and the latest reasonably possible date would be May 18, 2019.

Making a judgement about which Saturday, between those dates, might be Election Day was complicated enough, and we were going to post this article which credibly suggests 20 October 2018: http://beginrant.wordpress.com/2018/05/07/begin-rant-why-ive-got-my-money-on-october-20/.

Until the events of Wednesday 9 May 2018 made it much more complicated, that is!  Four ineligible “Members” of the House of Representatives flagged or delivered their resignations, to join Tim Hammond who recently resigned because of the impact of frequent travel on his young family: www.news.com.au/national/politics/labor-senator-katy-gallagher-ineligible-to-serve-in-federal-parliament/news-story/868c92e0d0a6f8a1cc0de14abd01a5a2.  All four (plus Mr Hammond) are non-Government MPs.

We’ve now got 5 by-elections across 4 states, and as Paula Matthewson notes in her newsletter* Despatches on 9 May:

“Somewhat surprisingly, the AEC website advises that “there are no constitutional or statutory requirement that writs … be issued within any prescribed period”.

“Interestingly there’s precedent for a Speaker to decline to issue a writ when a federal election is ‘pending’ to avoid having two elections in close proximity.”

This opens up the possibility of the Prime Minister (OK, notionally the Speaker of the House of Representatives, but let’s be real) waiting until 2 July or a couple of days before, and an early Australian general election would then be called for 4 August.

As Matthewson further noted:

“If opinion polls show that voters have responded favourably to the Budget, would this be a path that Turnbull would take to an ‘early’ election? The option would have to be tempting given it’s expensive to participate in a by-election, and the Coalition isn’t exactly cashed up when compared with the combined election war-chest that has been created by Labor and the union movement.”

Other things which might push Prime Minister Turnbull towards one Election Day or another include:

  • Voters can get cranky if they are sent to the polls too frequently or too early: with whom would the voters of the five by-election seats get angry, if required to vote in a general election shortly after a by-election? Maybe Labor, whose MPs/processes have caused four of the five by-elections, or maybe the Prime Minister who chose the schedule for both.
  • Four of those 5 seats are on a knife-edge, and campaigners in Liberal HQ will be urging the Prime Minister to do nothing which might alienate the voters.  Don’t forget he’s governing with a one-seat majority, and the prospect of doubling or tripling that margin must be appealing.
  • As noted by Ms Matthewson above, the Federal Budget has just been brought down, and no-one knows how the electorate is reacting: one thing for sure is that much of the media for the next day or two, at least, will be consumed with discussion of the resignations and by-elections rather than the budget.
  • The by-elections are a real opportunity to thoroughly test how well the parties campaign, and whether the budget is an electoral plus or minus.
  • If the timing of the by-elections means the general election needs to be further away, not calling that general election on 4 August means the general election might have to be called at time at which the political landscape is somewhat unknown and unpredictable: for example, when polling is less propitious for the Liberal-National Party Coalition, and fewer election date options are available, as Ms Crosby lays out in her Begin Rant article linked above.
  • Does Labor want an election now or next year? While it isn’t up to them to decide, they can put the Prime Minister under a lot of pressure over many of the choices he might make – and there will be concerns within the Coalition at their capacity to withstand sustained populist pressure.
  • The media – and some in the Australian Labor Party – are characterising these by-elections as a test of Labor Opposition Bill Shorten’s leadership: the incumbent Government would probably prefer to face Mr Shorten in a general election rather than a new Labor leader enjoying a honeymoon with the electorate.

So, our best bet:

Prime Minister Turnbull is most likely to wait and see how well his budget is received in the community over the next week, and then choose both by-election and general election dates.

Which ones? On balance, probably by-elections now (say, June) which maintains some flexibility to call a general election for late October, May 18 2019, or February 28 2019, or less likely another date in 2019 albeit identified in Ms Crosby’s article as somewhat unfavourable … but if by-election dates aren’t announced in the next couple of weeks, get ready for a general election on 4 August 2018.

 

PS … Thanks to everyone who has been debating these options on Facebook et al – the discussion has provided plenty of food for thought!

 

 

* You should subscribe, via this page www.linkedin.com/pulse/have-you-signed-up-your-daily-despatches-paula-matthewson/

 

 

 

New Federal Ministry for Christmas

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has today announced a reshuffled Ministry, with several retirements/replacements, and new faces.  Amongst the biggest or most surprising changes:

  • Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce becomes Infrastructure and Transport Minister and his Agriculture portfolio goes to first-term Queensland Liberal National Party MP David Littleproud;
  • George Brandis retires from Attorney General and will become Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK;
  • Arthur Sinodinos has resigned from the Ministry as he battles cancer;
  • Daren Chester has been dumped from the Ministry;
  • Christian Porter will become Attorney General, losing Social Services to Dan Tehan;
  • New Deputy Leader of the Nationals Bridget McKenzie becomes Minister for Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications;
  • Queenslander Senator Matt Canavan returns to his Resources and Northern Australia portfolios;
  • Queensland Member of Parliament John McVeigh picks up the Regional Development, Territories and Local Government portfolios;
  • Michaelia Cash picks up Innovation, loses Women to Kelly’ODwyer, and sheds her industrial relations responsibilities to new Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplaces and Deregulation Craig Laundy;
  • Michael Keenan loses the Justice portfolio but joins Cabinet as Minister for Human Services, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Digital Transformations.

The full list is:

Cabinet

  • Prime Minister – Malcolm Turnbull
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure and Transport Minister – Barnaby Joyce
  • Treasurer – Scott Morrison
  • Foreign Minister – Julie Bishop
  • Attorney-General – Christian Porter
  • Home Affairs Minister – Peter Dutton
  • Sport, Rural Health and Regional Communications Minister – Bridget McKenzie
  • Human Services Minister and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister in Digital Transformations – Michael Keenan
  • Social Services Minister – Dan Tehan
  • Agriculture and Water Minister – David Littleproud
  • Regional Development, Territories and Local Government Minister – John McVeigh
  • Indigenous Affairs Minister – Nigel Scullion
  • Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister – Steve Ciobo
  • Finance Minister and Special Minister of State – Mathias Cormann
  • Revenue and Financial Services Minister and Minister for Women – Kelly O’Dwyer
  • Defence Industry Minister – Christopher Pyne
  • Defence Minister – Marise Payne
  • Resources and Northern Australia Minister – Matt Canavan
  • Energy and Environment Minister – Josh Frydenberg
  • Health Minister – Greg Hunt
  • Communications and Arts Minister – Mitch Fifield
  • Jobs and Innovation Minister – Michaelia Cash
  • Education and Training Minister – Simon Birmingham

 

Outer Ministry

  • Minister for Urban Infrastructure – Paul Fletcher
  • Minister for International Development and the Pacific – Concetta Fierravanti-Wells
  • Minister for Small and Family Business, Workplaces and Deregulation – Craig Laundy
  • Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security – Angus Taylor
  • Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs – Alan Tudge
  • Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel – Michael McCormack
  • Aged Care and Indigenous Health Minister – Ken Wyatt

 

Assistant Ministers

  • Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister – James McGrath
  • Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister – Damian Drum
  • Assistant Minister to the Treasurer – Michael Sukkar
  • Assistant Minister for Finance – David Coleman
  • Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment – Luke Hartsuyker
  • Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs – Zed Seselja
  • Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources – Anne Ruston
  • Assistant Minister for Vocational Skills and Training – Karen Andrews
  • Assistant Minister for Children and Families – David Gillespie
  • Assistant Minister for Immigration – Alex Hawke
  • Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services – Jane Prentice
  • Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation – Zed Seselja
  • Assistant Minister for Environment – Melissa Price

 

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 6 February 2017

last-week-logo-2Dreadful family violence stories and the new US President, marginalised other news in Queensland, but Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party made plenty of news, as did impending changes at Queensland Rail.

 

Governing

 

Opposition and Crossbench

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

 

Politicshanson-van

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher

Federal Urban Infrastructure Minister Paul Fletcher

 

Parliament

  • Queensland’s Parliament sits next week, from Tuesday 14 February to Thursday 16 February

    Federal Parliament House

    Federal Parliament House

  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • Federal Parliament sits this week, from Tuesday 7 February to Thursday 9 February

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 3 October 2016

last-week-logo-2Renewable energy and environmental protection got plenty of media last week in Queensland*, as did the Premier’s thoughts about how to deal with One Nation.

 

(“Last Week in Queensland” – this blog/newsletter – will be off the air from 10 October to 15 November, while half of Ethical Consulting Services is embedded in the US Presidential Election Campaign)

 

Governing

 

The Opposition and Crossbench

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Parliament

Queensland's Parliament's Speaker Wellington

Queensland’s Parliament’s Speaker Wellington

  • Queensland’s Parliament next sits, from Tuesday 11 October to Thursday 13 October
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • Both Houses of Federal Parliament next sit, from Monday 10 October to Thursday 13 October, and the House of Representatives sits the following week also – see www.aph.gov.au

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

New Australian Government Ministry 2016

min-vs-opp-160724The new Australian Federal Ministry has been announced, and the Shadow Ministry as well, in the last few days, in consequence of the Australian Federal Election held on 2 July 2016.

Ethical Consulting has done the hard work of matching up Government office-bearers against their Opposition counterparts, for you to download, here http://bit.ly/2a24t07.

If you prefer, here’s the Ministry http://bit.ly/2ai9Skv and here’s the Shadow Ministry http://bit.ly/2aDI894 for you to download, also.

 

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Last Week in Queensland – 25 July 2016

last-week-logo-2This week in Queensland we saw who’s in the new Federal Ministry and Shadow Ministry; we heard about State Parliament’s Estimates Committee hearings, and the Government made each Minister a “champion” for a major indigenous community.

Federal Government

  • In consequence of the recent Australian Election, the new Federal Ministry has been announced, and the Shadow Ministry.  We’ve done the hard work of matching up Government office-bearers against their Opposition counterparts, for you to download, here http://bit.ly/2a24t07.
  • If you prefer, here’s the Ministry http://bit.ly/2ai9Skv and here’s the Shadow Ministry http://bit.ly/2aDI894 for you to download, also.

 

Governing

miller_jo-ann

MP for Bundamba Jo-ann Miller

 

The Opposition and Crossbench

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

 

Politics

Independent candidate for Toowoomba South Di Thorley

Independent candidate for Toowoomba South Di Thorley

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

ParliamentOpening Parliament 2015

  • Queensland’s Parliament is busy but not formally sitting: we’ve had Estimates hearings on the State Budget this week, and again from 26 to 28 July: the schedule for hearings is here: www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-committees/Estimates
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • The Federal Parliament was prorogued for the Federal Election held on 2 July, and the first sittings days for the new Parliament are Tuesday 30 August to Thursday 1 September – see www.aph.gov.au

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 11 July 2016

last-week-logo-2Federal Election fallout kept everyone entertained last week in Queensland’s media, and consequently squeezed out a focus on other news*.  The impact of new liquor trading laws, on the first weekend of trading, was examined.

Federal Election

  • As the narrow result became apparent, Prime Minister Turnbull came under attack from within and without.
  • Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has conceded defeat and the Prime Minister has claimed victory.
  • We still don’t know for certain whether it will be a majority government, or minority, but a scant majority is most likely
  • Both Government and Opposition will now reshuffle their frontbenches.
turnbull

Returned Prime Minister Turnbull

Governing

 

The Opposition and Crossbench

 

Politics

Premier Palaszczuk

Premier Palaszczuk

 

Community465px-Gray-Hound

 

Economy and Infrastructure

MP Ian Walker, opposed to above ground rail link

MP Ian Walker, opposed to above ground rail link

 

Parliamentparl house

  • Queensland’s Parliament sits again from 19 to 22 July, and 26 to 28 July, for Estimates Committee hearings on the State Budget
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • The Federal Parliament has been prorogued until after the Federal Election on 2 July – see www.aph.gov.au

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 9 May 2016

last-week-logo-2Queensland got a new Opposition Leader, the Federal Budget wasn’t as well received here as the authors hoped, cannabis = heroin in the Sunshine State, and there’s no skinny dipping here … Last Week in Queensland*.

Governing

New Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

New Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls

The Opposition and Crossbench

 

Politics

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructureogden-redev-roma

 

ParliamentOpening Parliament 2015

  • Queensland’s Parliament will sit from Tuesday 10 to Thursday 12 May and again from the 24th to the 26th, before the State Budget on 14 June
    • It’s a safe bet that the Federal Budget’s treatment of Queensland, and the ascension of Tim Nicholls to lead the Opposition will dominate much of the week
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • The Federal Parliament has been prorogued until after the Federal Election on 2 July – see www.aph.gov.au

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

 

Last Week in Queensland – 11 April 2016

last-week-logo-2Passionate “debate” around proposed changes to VLAD laws, the (latest) proposed cross-river rail project, and fallout from Adani’s mine permits, dominated last week’s news* in Queensland.

Governing

 

 

The Opposition

John McVeigh MP

John McVeigh MP

 

Politics

 

 

Community

 

 

Economy and Infrastructure

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad

Deputy Premier Jackie Trad

 

parl houseParliament

 

  • Queensland’s Parliament next sits from Tuesday 19 April 2016 to Thursday 21 April; there will be two weeks of further sittings in May before the State Budget on 14 June
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • The Federal Parliament – both Houses – have been recalled early, to sit on Tuesday 18 April 2016, amid threats of an early Double Dissolution election – see www.aph.gov.au

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.

 

Last Week in Queensland – 4 April 2016

last-week-logo-2Proposals to split Queensland won’t die amid arguments about regional neglect; polling again puts State Labor in front; Adani mine approvals announced last week will be a hot political topic this coming week, as will the “bike gang” issue.*

Governing

Mr Springborg

Mr Springborg

 

The Opposition

  • See below re the Speaker and recent polling

 

Politics

 

Local Government

 

Community

 

Economy and Infrastructure

 

Opening Parliament 2015Parliament

  • Queensland’s Parliament next sits from Tuesday 19 April 2016 to Thursday 21 April; there will be two weeks of further sittings in May before the State Budget on 14 June
  • The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
  • The Federal Parliament – both Houses – have been recalled early, to sit on Tuesday 18 April 2016, amid threats of an early Double Dissolution election – see www.aph.gov.au

 

Sleeper Issues?

 

 

 

 

* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual.  Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.
** It’s a different Michael Smith, OK?