FROM AFTA’s chief executive, Jayson Westbury
The 45th Parliament got off to a cracker of a start in Canberra yesterday with the ever entertaining Prime Minister and Opposition Leader setting the mood and perhaps the agenda for the year well and truly as parliament’s resume for 2018.
As to the mood, let’s say it is electric and alive which makes for a much more interesting time for those of us that love to watch the bun fight unfold. Question time at its usual entertaining self with blow after blow from the dispatch box, but perhaps without any real policy debate other than who has more members that should be referred to the high court than the other.
Yes, it would seem the citizenship issue of sitting members was not resolved in Dec last year as first thought, and both sides appear to be determined to gather some scalps in the process.
Of course the 45th Parliament sits on a knife’s edge as the Government only has a one seat majority and so a scalp in the wrong direction could mean once again we have a govt without a majority to be in power.
I know there are many travel industry people that love to talk about politics, so this year is set to be one of the best for sure. As to the agenda — well, I’m not sure about that.
The company tax rate cuts which the Government really wants to get passed seems set to be frustrated and stopped by the opposition, yet word now is that the Federal Treasurer is looking to business to trade company tax cuts for guarantee employee wage rises. Seems to me that is a little Robin Hood-like. Take from Jane and give to Paul? Not sure about that policy and again it will be interesting to see how that plays out.
So when it comes to the agenda, I will have to get back to you on that once it is a little clearer. 2018 is bound to be a bumpy year for the Federal Government with issues of sitting members being called out, possible by-elections which could go either way and a budget in May that we hope will rock our world as it may be a pre-election budge, meaning that the next federal election could be called before May 2019.
I know that feels like a long way away, but time seems to fly these days and never a truer word spoken than a day is a long time in politics. Buckle in, the forecast is for stormy weather in Canberra all year.
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