Today we learned that the Gillard Government has moved $375 million out of foreign aid spending and towards paying for the cost of the asylum seeker program.
Foreign Minister Bob Carr says that this is nothing to worry about, offering a legalistic argument that “money spent on refugees within a country is legitimate aid” and citing an OECD definition to that effect.
The recent announcement that former national director of GetUp, Simon Sheikh, is to seek preselection as a Greens Party Senate candidate is no great surprise.
Those who take at face value GetUp’s claims that it is not aligned with any one political party might be a bit taken aback. (Its website claims that ‘GetUp does not back any particular party…’)
Paul appeared on Ross Greenwood's 'Money News' on 2GB to discuss Online Safety for children and young people as well as Labor's abandonement of their Mandatory Internet Filter policy.
Last Friday I was a speaker in the final panel session at the Melbourne Institute ‘Securing the Future’ conference, along with prominent economist Judith Sloan and fellow MP Andrew Leigh, the Labor Member for Fraser (in the ACT) and former ANU economist. This extremely important conference, sponsored by The Australian, attracted a heavyweight collection of policymakers, academics, officials and business people as speakers and participants.
Last night was another in the regular series of appearances by NBN CEO Mike Quigley before the Parliament’s NBN Joint Committee. This is supposed to be a mechanism for the Parliament, on behalf of taxpayers, to oversee the public investment being made in the national broadband network. The stakes are high: already taxpayers have pumped $2.7 billion into the government owned NBN Co and will be up for over $40 billion by 2021.
The Gillard Government has been on a knife-edge for so long now that we can sometimes forget how unstable it is. Developments in the last couple of weeks have been a good reminder – and have highlighted how fragile this government is.
For those who want to see the ‘missing link’ between the F3 and the M2 built as soon as possible, last week’s Infrastructure NSW Report is very good news. The report ranks it as the third highest priority motorway in NSW, following completion of the M4 and M5 upgrades.
Last week Infrastructure NSW released its report “First Things First”, setting out a NSW infrastructure strategy for the next twenty years. The report is a substantial and impressive piece of work. It sets out an ordered list of priorities for NSW infrastructure investment, based on a rational, fact-based assessment of which projects will deliver the greatest economic and social benefit; how much projects will cost; how much money there is available to spend; and available funding sources including both general government revenue (funded by taxes) and user charges (particularly tolls for users of motorways.)
I recently met with Chloe Van Dyck, a high school student who lives in my electorate. Chloe came to speak to me on behalf of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. JDRF supports research towards finding a cure for type-1 Diabetes.