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The Week in Parliament

There were so many issues alive in Parliament this week that the opposition barely knew where to go for things to raise in question time. Whether it was Jenny Macklin, the Shadow Minister for Social Services, who accused the government of taking a sledge hammer to Australian families with its two year freeze on family tax benefit B or Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen asking what parts of the corporate tax plan were going to be dropped in the budget. The freeze will amount to a loss of real income of $66 a year per family. As Christian Porter pointed out in his answer, this hardly amounts to a sledgehammer blow…Read More as a subscriber

The Week in Politics

The last two weeks of parliamentary sittings before the budget have so far been dominated by the passage of the childcare legislation and the debate over section 18C. There was also a considerable amount of backgrounding on marriage equality. At the beginning of the week a group of CEOs wrote to the Prime Minister demanding early passage of marriage equality legislation implying that the absence of same sex marriage rights was harming business. Peter Dutton reacted strongly to this initiative telling the CEOs they should stick to their knitting….Read More as a subscriber

Arthur Sinodinos at the Press Club

Arthur Sinodinos delivered his first address as Industry, Science and Innovation Minister to the Press Club on Wednesday as part of Science and Technology Australia’s ‘Science Meets Parliament’ event. He also took the opportunity to launch Australia’s National Science Statement…Read More

Joe Hockey’s Back
The Australian Ambassador to the United States and former Treasurer Joe Hockey will be back in Sydney at the end of the month. Ambassador Hockey will attend a special event hosted by Corrs Chambers Westgarth in Sydney on Friday March 31 when he will speak about the Australia – United States relationship…Read More

Changes to Procurement Rules
On Monday it was announced that a Parliamentary Committee will inquire in to the application of the new Commonwealth Procurement Rules…Read More

Free to Air TV Celebrates
Free to Air Television held and event in Parliament on Monday night celebrating sports coverage on the platform…Read More

Friends of the Arts
Labor Friends of the Arts meet on Monday night in the office of Tony Burke MP. New Labor MP Peter Khalil also took the opportunity to play Tony Burke’s telecaster to show of his skills…Read More

Good Results for Trade
Australia’s Trade in services recored strong growth in 2015-16, increasing 7.7 per cent to $146 billion announced by the Trade Minister on Tuesday in Parliament House…Read More

Bob Brown Back in Parliament
The Australian Conservation Foundation hosted a reception in the Senate Alcove on Tuesday night. It was attended by former Greens leader Dr Bob Brown. On Wednesday he announced the formation of the ‘Stop Adani Alliance’ in the Senate courtyard…Read More

World Down Syndrome Day
Senator Linda Reynolds hosted the Friends of Disability Parliamentary Friendship Group on Wednesday for World Down Syndrome Day with a morning tea in Parliament House. As the co-convenor of the group she was promoting the message “Not special needs just human needs”…Read More

Mayors of South East Queensland in Office
Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg hosted the Council of Mayors of South East Queensland in his office on Wednesday morning to discuss how the government is improving river health through the Resilient Rivers Imitative…Read More

Regional Programme Australia and Pacific
The Finance Minister Senator Cormann was in attendance for the Official Opening Ceremony of the Regional Programme Australia and Pacific yesterday by KAS Australia and Pacific. The event was also attended by the Prime Minister’s wife Lucy Turnbull AO and the German Embassy…Read More

Unesco world heritage bid for the Adelaide Hills
The Adelaide Hills came to Canberra on Wednesday night to present to politicians on the Unesco world heritage bid and the Heysen foundation on unique farming practices…Read More

Migration Settlement Awards in The Great Hall
The Australian Migration Settlement Awards were held in The Great Hall in parliament House at 6.30pm on Wednesday night…Read More

Multicultural Statement
Assistant Minister for Social Services Zed Seselja joined the Prime Minister to launch Australia’s Multicultural Statement in Parliament House on Monday…Read More

Singapore FTA
On Monday the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steve Ciobo tabled the amended the Singapore – Australia Free Trade Agreement (SAFTA) in Parliament. The agreement will now be referred to the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties which will conduct an inquiry and report back to Parliament…Read More

Science Meets Parliament
Science and Technology Australia held their annual conference, ‘Science Meets Parliament’, on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The conference bought 200 of Australia’s leading scientists and technology developers to Canberra to meet with Members of Parliament…Read More

New Australian Ambassador to Nepal
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop announced the appointment of Peter Budd as Australia’s next Ambassador to Nepal on Tuesday. She noted that Nepal is the eighth largest source of international students in Australia with over 15,000, and two-way trade is valued at over $800 million…Read More

New Australian Embassy in Bangkok Revealed
The Australian Government has leased a new site in the Pathum Wan district of Bangkok, adjacent to the Embassy of Japan, to create office accommodation for embassy staff and for the ambassador’s residence…Read More

New Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in Parliament
Kevin Andrews MP hosted His Excellency Abel Guterres, the East Timorese Ambassador and new Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, in his office in Parliament House on Tuesday….Read More

RRRCC in Parliament
The Regional, Rural and Remote Communications Coalition were in Parliament House to meet with Members on Wednesday. They met with Member for Parkes Mark Coulton in his office to discuss better communications for the bush, particularly mobile phone black spots…Read More

Australia and Germany sign Declaration of Intent
On Wednesday officials from Australia and Germany signed a Declaration of Intent to establish an Australia – Germany Energy and Resources Working Group. The working group will explore long-term energy strategies in Australia and Germany that create stable investment conditions and increase the energy productivity in both countries…Read More

President of Argentina Visits Australia and Talks Beef
On Wednesday Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party Barnaby Joyce met with the Vice President of Argentina, Gabriela Michetti, during her visit to Australia. They discussed global agriculture and a traceability system for Australia’s beef industry…Read More

New Australian Ambassador to APEC
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Trade Minister Steve Ciobo have announced the new Ambassador to APEC, Mr Simon Newnham who is a senior career officer with DFAT…Read More

Animal Medicines Australia Talks Jobs
On Wednesday night Animal Medicines Australia (AMA) hosted a reception on the Queen’s Terrace in Parliament House to raise awareness of the process of accrediting certain chemicals for use in Australia and to promote the Australian jobs provided by AMA members. The reception was addressed by Assistant Minister to the Deputy Prime Minister, Luke Hartsuyker…Read More

Jobs for Regional Australia in the Nats Party Room
The Small Business Minister and Nationals MP, Michael McCormack, hosted the Customer Owned Banking Association in the Nationals’ Party Room on Wednesday night to discuss jobs and opportunities in regional Australia…Read More

60 Years of the Treaty of Rome
The European Union Mission in Canberra, the Embassy of Italy, European Union Parliamentary Friendship Group Chair, Andrew Laming MP, and Deputy Chair Maria Vamvakinou MP hosted a reception Parliament House on Wednesday evening to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Treaty of Rome…Read More

Gas Industry Vision
On Thursday Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and Resources Minister Senator Matt Canavan launched a new gas industry vision…Read More

Farrer Food Fair
Former Health Minister and Member for Farrer Sussan Ley MP hosted the first ever #Farrer Food Fair at Parliament House on Wednesday evening. The event shcowcase local producers from the Riverina region and was assisted by Bella Vita Tours…Read More

US-Australia Parliamentary Friendship Group
The Australia United States Parliamentary Friendship Group had a reception in Parliament House on Wednesday night. The event was hosted by Andrew Hastie MP the Chair of the group and Michael Danby MP the Deputy Chair…Read More

70 Years of Australia-Philippines Relations
Ed Husic MP and Anne Stanley MP introduced a bill on Thursday to recognise the strong relationship and shared history with the Philippines and Australia. The bill is to mark 70 years since the Philippines opened a diplomatic office in Australia…Read More

New ABC Board Chairman
On Thursday the Communication Minister Mitch Fiefield and Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull announced the appointment of the ABC Board Chairman…Read More

The Adani Mine Looks Set to Go Ahead Despite Bob Brown
Following a successful visit to India by Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk and seven North Queensland mayors, Gautam Adani, chairman of Adani, announced that, provided the finance could be put together, the $21 billion project would go ahead in August. Coal from the project will be shipped to Mundra in India where it will supply generators that will deliver power to millions of Indian homes…Read More

The Legislative Agenda
The Joint Party Room of the Liberal and National Party’s meet on Tuesday to discuss the legislative agenda for the week.
All the bills and amendments were passed through the party room with the two main bills being discussed being the Civil Law and Justice Legislation Amendment Bill…Read More

The Sam Dastyari Story
At the end of last week Dasher resorted to twitter to reveal that he’d conducted an online poll seeking suggestions for the title of his shortly to be released memoirs. The nub of his presentation was the disclosure of “the top ten suggestions I will not be using for my book”…Read More

You Can’t Say It’s All Work and No Play Round Here
Wednesday saw the launch of a board game called ‘Question Time!’ at the Parliament House visitors’ shop. The game, which costs $100, apparently allows the players to deal with parliamentary processes and to answer questions without notice just to show how tough our elected representatives have it. The launch involved an oversized board that was used to demonstrate the game…Read More

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