/ The Institute for Private Enterprise is a think-tank promoting increased private enterprise and smaller governments except for defence to protect society.
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AFR

23
Mar
2016

Turnbull Decides Early Election & Budget

No sooner had the latest Newspoll been published (details are attached) with a 51/49 TPP in favour of the Coalition, but with the first negative net satisfaction ratio for Turnbull personally, than he announced an early return of Parliament to (again) consider two pieces of legislation on workplace relations and a double dissolution election on 2 July if the legislation is not passed this time by the Senate (of the two pieces of legislation, one has already been rejected twice and this rejection could be used to call a DD). This would be a considerably earlier election than the September/October months which Turnbull himself had previously foreshadowed.
16
Mar
2016

Turnbull Likely to Cease being PM

My letter published in today’s Financial Review (see below “Turnbull’s Elevation”) draws on a pretty damning critique of Turnbull by columnist Jennifer Hewett (see attached Hewett on Turnbull) who concludes that “The Government won't want anyone to be able to point out the real risk –that the Prime Minister Emperor has no policy clothes”.
11
Mar
2016

Savva’s Assessment of Abbott, Turnbull’s Visit to Mosque, C Change by Aus Institute

I circulated yesterday copies of articles by Andrew Bolt and Niki Savva discussing the Prime Ministership of Tony Abbott and the role played by Abbott’s chief of staff, Peta Credlin. I made strong criticism of the Savva comments, particularly that Abbott had performed worse than Rudd and the implication she left (without any supporting evidence) that he had slept with Credlin. I did not mention that I had previously written to The Australian criticising its handling of Savva comments, particularly by giving unwarranted attention to considerable amounts of what seemed to largely be gossip.
8
Mar
2016

Electoral Position, Defence & Budget Policies

Today’s Australian publishes an unchanged electoral position of the two major parties (TPPs of 50% each) but another reduction in Turnbull’s net satisfaction ratio. He is still well ahead of Shorten in the unchanged Better PM category (55/21). But the uncertainty about Coalition policy in various areas has been allowed by Turnbull to reach the point where an “early” election seems increasingly likely, with policies being unduly determined by electoral “demands” and Turnbull himself having a bigger say as to what is in the policies.
2
Mar
2016

Economic Outlook

At a time when in January the IMF revised down its global GDP forecast for 2016 from 3.6% to 3.4%, and also forecast a fall of 9.5% in non-oil commodity prices (after a fall of 17.4% last year), Treasurer Scott Morrison is justified in repeating his boast that today’s December quarter GDP increase of 0.6% (seasonally adjusted) shows Australia is continuing to grow well above the average in the OECD. In fact, the trend in GDP growth has edged up slightly since 2013.
25
Feb
2016

The Missing Economic Policy

Today’s Newspoll shows the two major parties are now on the same TPP (down from a steady 53/47 for the Coalition). Although Turnbull remains clearly preferred as PM, his indecisiveness over whether to raise the GST/cut income tax and his failure to produce any new substantive economic policy has contributed to the downturn. Turnbull’s general approach of not ruling any policy in or out –and then not deciding on anything – has not helped and his net satisfaction rating is down to 10 compared with 38 in mid-November. As Rowan Dean put it in Saturday’s AFR, “Turnbull: The Force Awakens has lost business to Deadbill”.
24
Jan
2016

Turnbull – What are His Policies?; Stone on Budget; Bob Carter

When an Australian PM makes an obviously pre-prepared address during a visit overseas his main object is not so much to inform his overseas audience as to let his supporters and opponents at home know his thinking about those government policies that are in dispute domestically. The address Turnbull made in Washington to the think-tank Centre for Strategic and International Studies was relevant particularly to his government’s policies on Islamic terrorism and our military involvement in Iraq/Syria –and to his own capacity to deliver them.
9
Jan
2016

Heydon Report – Ministerial Behaviour- A Hydrogen Bomb?- Saudi Arabi v Iran

The behaviour of the Turnbull Government continues to raise questions. Immediately following the publication by Justice Heydon of the Royal Commission on Trade Union Governance and Corruption, on 30 December the government issued a press release by the joint team of Turnbull, Brandis and Cash acknowledging the assessment of “a ‘widespread’ and ‘deep seated’ culture of lawlessness among many union officials. It also said it would submit improved legislation on regulating the construction industry and (separately) on the governance of trade unions. It promised to give full and careful consideration to the recommendations in the final report and “announce a detailed response to the public in early 2016”.
22
Nov
2015

Some Things are Ruled Out, Some Not

We have now experienced two meetings/summits of world leaders following the Paris terrorist attacks last Friday, one by the G20 in Turkey and one in Manila by those involved in the negotiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement (still to be approved by the US Congress). Although there was a general recognition at both meetings that the Islamic State constituted a powerful force and agreement that “something needs to be done” to combat it, no specific combined response was agreed, except that whatever else might be done boots on the ground are ruled out.
2
Sep
2015

RC Outcome Provides Golden Opportuinity

Apart from Heydon’s decision to continue as RC, the most important part of his rejection of the apprehended bias claim is the detailed analysis he made of the submissions by unions. That analysis can fairly be said to have left the unions standing on only one leg, at least from a legal perspective. His 67 page judgement justifying his decision sets out three reasons, argued in detail: