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Political news and analysis from the ACT and Federal Parliaments


Ian Watt departs Prime Minister and Cabinet. Michael Thawley steps in

THE Public Service has been shocked by the resignation of Dr Ian Watt and the announcement by the Prime Minister of his replacement by Michael Thawley from 1 December. In addition to over three decades of experience in the Australian Public Service, Mr Thawley was the senior adviser on international relations to former Prime Minister, […]

Finally Canberra gets Forensic Mental Health Orders

CHIEF Minister Katy Gallagher has announced the passage of new laws surrounding mental health. “These laws are culmination of seven years of work which involved close consultation with mental health organisations, medical professionals and most importantly those who are living with mental illnesses and their families,” Katy said. “The Government believes that mental health patients […]

With friends like the Feds, life becomes even harder for Napthine government

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra ON the ropes already and facing the polls on November 29, the Victorian Liberals have yet again been knocked by their federal colleagues. Tuesday’s move to reintroduce fuel indexation by the tariff route, with the gamble that validating legislation will get through later, is a clever tactic from a […]

It’s official. Mr Fluffy houses to be bought back and demolished

CHIEF Minister Katy Gallagher says more than one thousand Canberra houses affected by ‘Mr Fluffy’ loose fill asbestos insulation will be bought and demolished by the ACT Government following an in principle agreement with the Commonwealth Government. The Commonwealth will provide the ACT with a $1 billion concessional loan towards the cost of the program. […]

Mr Fluffy announcements coming on Thursday. Just routine say the Chief’s office.

THE program for the Legislative Assembly has been announced for the week and it certainly looks like the Mr Fluffy issue is going to come to a head. Not only is the Chief Minister scheduled to make a Ministerial Statement on the ACT Asbestos Taskforce, she’s also introducing the “Dangerous Substances (Asbestos Safety Reform) Legislation […]

Elections ACT starts pondering new electorates

THE exact shape of the new five electorates, each with five seats will determine the future of politics in the Australian Capital Territory. ACT Electoral Commissioner Phillip Green says public consultation on those new electorates will kick off next week. “The public consultation process for the redistribution of the ACT Legislative Assembly’s electoral boundaries will […]

Grattan / Abbott floats GST change but puts limits on commitment to major federation reform

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra THE headline out of Tony Abbott’s weekend Henry Parkes Oration on federalism was his highlighting that the federal government is willing to contemplate a more onerous GST – on certain conditions. The more subtle message was his note of hesitancy about charging full bore ahead on trying to dramatically […]

Katy on Gough

CHIEF Minister Gallagher has blogged her speech to the Assembly’s Gough Whitlam condolence motion. Here’s what she had to say: Madam Speaker, the entire Australian nation has been moved this week by the news of Gough Whitlam’s passing. It has brought grief from Gough’s home in the eastern suburbs of Sydney, to Indigenous Australians in […]

Abbott’s court is full of flatterers, and it’s a recipe for groupthink

By Ian McAuley, University of Canberra In a democracy governments cop criticism: that’s a rule of politics. Opposition parties and politically-aligned organisations will always exploit opportunities to have a go at the government. But it is particularly irritating for a government when criticism comes from institutions noted for their political independence, and when some of […]


Tharwa bridge closures

ROADS ACT is warning road users of a series of closures on Tharwa Bridge to allow for maintenance work starting on Monday 27 October 2014. The closures will be in effect daily from 9 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday, Monday 27 October 2014 to Friday 31 October 2014. The bridge closure will mean […]

Party Cadre swap with Shenzhen

CHIEF Minister Gallagher has announced a new StudyCanberra student intern program between Canberra and Shenzhen to attract the best and brightest students from Shenzhen to Canberra and give local students the opportunity to apply their knowledge in Shenzhen. The Canberra-Shenzhen Innovation Intern Exchange Program is the first education outcome of the historic MOU signed between […]

Andrew Barr does away with the EPIC board

ANDREW Barr has announced he’s legislating to abolish the showground board. “Legislation introduced in the Legislative Assembly today will pave the way for the integration of Exhibition Park in Canberra (EPIC) with the management of other Territory venues,” Andrew said. The Exhibition Park Corporation Repeal Bill 2014 will repeal the Exhibition Park Corporation Act 1976 […]