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Grattan / Getting the government shipshape will take a lot more than throwing the co-payment overboard

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra TONY Abbott’s reference to removing “barnacles” from his government has become the Canberra chatter. In technical terms, according to senior government sources who’ve had nautical advice since the Prime Minister’s comment, the process involves “careening” – turning a ship on its side for cleaning or repair. In politics, that’s […]

NCA to be grilled on Parliamentary Zone paid parking

THE National Capital Authority (NCA) will be asked to discuss the effects of changed parking arrangements in the Parliamentary zone at the biannual public hearing of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories (NCET) on Thursday. The NCA manages the Commonwealth’s interest in the planning and development of Canberra and the […]

Is a bar tab worth getting talked into giving Simon Sheikh your super?

FORMER ACT Green candidate for Senate, Simon Sheikh is taking to the Australia Institute’s “Politics in the Pub” tomorrow to promote his new Future Super ethical fund. It kicks off at 6pm this Wednesday and Simon encourages prospective clients to bring their financial details. Even better, in an email obtained by “CityNews”, he’s promising to […]

Grattan / Lambie goes her own way

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra JACQUI Lambie has finally quit the Palmer United Party but vowed to continue her opposition to government proposals for university fee deregulation, a Medicare co-payment and welfare measures that “hit the underdog”. Lambie formalised the bitter break in a statement to the Senate this morning and a media conference […]

Zed finds money for Catholic schools

LIBERAL Senator Zed Seselja says three local schools; Mother Theresa School in Harrison, St Thomas Aquinas Primary School in Charnwood and St Monica’s Primary School in Evatt, will share in a $2.3m Australian Government grant to upgrade and build learning facilities. The grants, awarded as part of the Capital Grants Programme (CGP), will go towards […]

Grattan / Someone planted Lambie in PUP, Palmer alleges

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CLIVE Palmer has suggested renegade Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie was deliberately planted in PUP to disrupt it. He said PUP was currently investigating Lambie, including how she got endorsement and what she put on her endorsement form. “I think she was sent in by someone to disrupt. […]

Grattan on Friday / government should tone down ideology and turn up common sense

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, usually sharp-witted and articulate, entered an Orwellian zone this week. Trying to explain away Tony Abbott’s pre-election promise of “no cuts to the ABC or SBS”, Turnbull argued Abbott had said it in one interview the night before the election but he, Turnbull, and Joe […]

An unexpected win for consumers of financial advice comes out of PUP implosion

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AUSTRALIA’S financial services industry has been thrown into turmoil by the spectacular implosion of the Palmer United Party (PUP) and an independent stand by its supposed ally, Motoring Enthusiast Ricky Muir. Wednesday night’s disallowance, by a 32-30 vote, of the government’s regulations that unwound Labor’s Future of Financial Advice […]

The faithful rally to protest cuts to the ABC

THE ABC’s true believers gathered on Northbourne this morning to protest the Abbott Government’s planned $254 million cuts to the national broadcaster. Tony Abbott was there in efigy (sadly not put to the torch while your correspondent was in attendance), passing cars tooted in a desultory fashion (but did not stop and get out to […]

brodtmann lundy and leigh

Leigh, Lundy and Brodtmann want to know what Zed is doing about the public service

Local MPs Andrew Leigh, Gai Brodtmann and Senator Kate Lundy are jointly pointing out the turmoil in the Public Service locally in the wake of staff at the Department of Human Services (DHS) voting to pursue industrial action in protest against the Government’s below-inflation wage offer. “The Government is trying to force the department’s 35,000 […]

Grattan / Xi gives reassuring message about China’s benign intentions

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CHINESE President Xi Jinping has declared that “big guy” China is dedicated to pursuing peace and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region in a speech urging that China and Australia “jointly meet various security challenges to our region”. Addressing federal parliament, Xi said Australia and China should be “harmonious neighbours […]

Grattan / Palmer tells ‘drama queen’ Lambie to put up or shut up

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra CLIVE Palmer has lashed out at his Palmer United Party senator Jacqui Lambie, calling her a “drama queen” and telling her to challenge his leadership or “get on with the job” of representing her voters. After some time trying to avoid further inflaming tensions with the outspoken Tasmanian senator, […]

Grattan / Abbott’s blindsided by US-China climate deal

By Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra AFTER Tony Abbott did everything he could to keep discussion of climate change out of the G20, he has been ambushed almost on the eve of the weekend meeting. The Prime Minister did not have forewarning of the United States-China agreement on post-2020 emissions reductions, according to government sources. […]