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Political news and analysis from the ACT and Federal Parliaments

michelle grattan

Grattan on Friday / Abbott will look tricky if he tries to abort the same-sex marriage bill he encouraged

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE prime minister is suddenly looking like a throwback to Tony Abbott, health minister, when he was fighting trenchantly against losing ministerial power over the abortion drug RU486. Driven by the wish to keep the support of Liberal conservatives, on whom his leadership depends, and by his personal moral views, […]

michelle grattan

Grattan / Abbott caught in no-win situation on same-sex marriage

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott’s office took quite a while to respond to Sky News’ Wednesday report that a group of backbenchers from across the parliament planned to bring forward a same-sex marriage bill on August 11, with the party room considering a week later whether Liberals should get a conscience vote. When […]

brendan smyth

Whither the arts asks Brendan?

FOLLOWING yesterday’s 2015 Arts Policy launch the Liberals’ Brendan Smyth wants to know what progress has been made. “The release of the government’s Arts policy framework yesterday shows that three years on from the 2012 policy nothing has changed, with the government telling us more needs to be done in the Arts without detailing what,” […]


New tender system for getting work from the ACT Government

THE ACT’s new electronic tendering system, “Tenders ACT” was launched today. A spokesperson Tenders ACT will make doing business with the ACT Government easier, by providing a central point where business opportunities are advertised. “The system offers an online forum to facilitate communication, and secure electronic lodgement of responses. There is no cost to use […]

joy burch launching arts policy

Behold the 2015 ACT Arts Policy

JOY Burch has released the 2015 ACT Arts Policy, following extensive consultation with the local arts sector and broader Canberra community. “artsACT received feedback from over 300 individuals and representative organisations as part of the consultation process and as a result we are confident that the final policy document is a strong reflection of the […]

Dr Maxine Cooper

Auditor-General unveils plans for the coming years

THE ACT Auditor-General Maxine Cooper has announced the Performance Audit Program 2015-16 and Potential Audits to Commence over 2016-17 to 2017-18. “The Audit Office has developed the Program having regard to the Office’s mandate, its strategic plan, and interests of its primary stakeholders: the Legislative Assembly and the ACT community,” Maxine said. The Audit Office […]

Mick Gentleman

A new duty scheme for green cars

MICK Gentleman has announced reforms to the duty scheme for light vehicles to help reduce greenhouse house gas emissions. “The ACT Government is taking steps to reduce the emissions of vehicles by rewarding consumers who purchase low emission vehicles,” Mick said. “Under the reforms the Green Vehicle Duty Scheme will be replaced by the Vehicle […]

michelle grattan

Grattan / Turnbacks remain an irritant in Australia-Indonesia relations: former foreign minister Natalegawa

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra FORMER Indonesian foreign minister Marty Natalegawa has called out the Abbott government over its attempt to shrug off any cost to the bilateral relationship caused by the unilateral manner of its boat turnbacks. But equally, Natalegawa has complicated Labor’s looming policy decision on whether to embrace turnbacks to limit its […]

michelle grattan

Grattan / Broad coalition formed to seek common ground on tackling climate change

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Major business, union, research, environment, investor and social groups have formed the Australian Climate Roundtable in an effort to “put the climate policy debate on common ground and offer a way forward”. The group’s formation comes just weeks before the Abbott government announces Australia’s emission reduction target for post-2020, in […]

capital metro feature crop

Simon says light rail is ace for cities like Canberra

SIMON Corbell says the Canberra Urban Regional Futures (CURF) paper released by UC shows light rail increases public transport patronage, delivers benefits to landowners and creates flow-on effects in diversifying the economy, improving liveability and increasing sustainability in cities of similar size and density to Canberra. “Findings in the CURF paper show that the introduction […]

michelle grattan

Grattan on Friday / Winter risks are greater for Shorten than Abbott

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE parliamentary budget session has ended with Tony Abbott having reason to feel a good deal more confident than Bill Shorten. After the budget itself going down relatively well for the government, some $14 billion of savings have been passed in the last fortnight. Abbott has planted national security centre […]

Mick Gentleman

Part time traffic signals light up in Tuggeranong

MICK Gentleman has announced to start of part-time traffic signals installed on the eastern approach to the Isabella Drive/Drakeford Drive/Athllon Drive roundabout. “The part-time signals will be operational from Thursday morning’s peak period from 7.30 am. The lights will typically operate from 7.30 am to 9.10 am Monday to Friday to relieve congestion by more […]