GOVERNMENT TURNING OFF THE SWITCH ON SOUNDS AUSTRALIA FUNDING

In Senate Estimates last night it was confirmed that the Turnbull Government is planning to axe the funding for Sounds Australia at the end of this year.

Sounds Australia has been responsible for a massive increase in opportunities for Australian artists around the world. The figures speak for themselves. In 2009, Australian 49 artists were appearing at international events. In just 5 years Sounds Australia took that to 263 - an increase of 437 per cent.

SENATOR BILYK: Sounds Australia does a brilliant job promoting Australian music to the world, but I understand that funding for this vital work has not been guaranteed beyond 31 December 2016?

 

ARTS DEPARTMENT: That’s correct Senator.

 

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TURNBULL GOVERNMENT VOTES TO EXPLAIN ITS OWN FAILURES

Just before 6pm tonight, the Turnbull Government made history – it is the first Federal Government in Australian history to vote against itself.

For the first time since Federation in 1901, tonight the Government has voted IN FAVOUR of a second reading amendment. 

Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer voted in favour of Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh’s amendment that:

“calls on the Government to explain why it has failed to close tax loopholes and increase transparency in Australia.”

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TURNBULL GOVERNMENT TELLS NGA STAFF: DON’T COME IN ON MONDAY

JOINT MEDIA RELEASE WITH: GAI BRODTMANN MP, SHADOW MINISTER FOR CYBER SECURITY AND DEFENCE PERSONNEL, MEMBER FOR CANBERRA

Labor is deeply concerned at reports dozens of staff at the National Gallery of Australia have been told on Friday they won’t have a job as of today.

“The Liberal Government’s cuts will decimate the number of highly-qualified and dedicated specialists that help contribute to the operation of the institution,” said Member for Canberra Gai Brodtmann.

“We knew these cuts were coming from the Budget, but we had no idea they would be delivered as brutally as we have seen today.”

“The National Gallery is home to some of Australia’s greatest stories. Once again we see that when it comes to Australian stories, culture and the arts, the Turnbull Government is as bad the Abbott Government,” said Shadow Minister for the Arts Tony Burke. 

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ANTARCTIC RESEARCH BETRAYED BY GOVERNMENT CUTS

The decision to close the research station on Macquarie Island will be a betrayal for Australian Antarctic Research.

Earlier this year the Turnbull Government announced “a new era of Antarctic engagement”. Malcolm Turnbull said “Australia’s Antarctic science programme is one of our most iconic and enduring national endeavours.  Antarctica is of great importance to Australians, and Antarctic science will continue to be one of our national priorities.” 

It’s now clear that this “new era” will involve winding up a scientific base that has been operating for almost 70 years.  

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ONE YEAR ON, TURNBULL IS NO BETTER THAN ABBOTT

As rogue Liberal senators push their own agenda on hate speech laws, it couldn’t be clearer that one year after becoming Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull has no authority.

Malcolm Turnbull’s previous opposition to changes to Section 18C has been roundly ignored by his colleagues, with almost his entire senate backbench backing an amendment bill.  Mr Turnbull’s inability to bring the extreme right elements of his party into line not only shows his impotence as a leader, but could also result in a legacy of dangerous hate speech.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Turnbull has taken one of the most high profile supporters of allowing hate speech and put him in charge of Multicultural Affairs. Zed Seselja was previously willing to cross the floor to weaken race hate laws. It speaks volumes on Malcolm Turnbull’s weakness that Senator Seselja is now in charge of this portfolio. 

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PARLIAMENTARY EARLY MARKS REWARD TRUANT LIBERAL MPS

Overnight, Christopher Pyne put new changes to Standing Orders on the Notice Paper. They mean Parliament will finish at 8:00pm instead of 9:30pm, so they don't have to keep any MPs in the building after dinner because they’re likely to wander off and not return. The adjournment only gets voted on if a Minister wants a vote.

After the last sitting week was such a shambles for the Government, we now see their desperate attempts to give the impression of order. What they’re doing is like trying to solve a truancy problem by giving everyone an early mark: changing the rules because they cannot follow them.

They claim to have a working majority, but what they’ve got is a majority of people who don't want to work.

 

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TURNBULL’S AUTHORITY IN TATTERS ON 18C

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Attorney-General and the Shadow Minister for National Security, Mark Dreyfus QC.

Despite telling Australians in February he has “no plans to change” racist hate speech protections in Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, Malcolm Turnbull today left the door open to changes.

When asked in an interview this morning about his position, Mr Turnbull replied “it depends how you amend it.”  The Prime Minister’s answer this morning contradicts George Brandis who told the ABC “the issue is off the table”.

But the Prime Minister went further this morning noting the “worthy arguments” of repealing race hate protections. 

Malcolm Turnbull must outline what he believes these “worthy arguments” are and what exactly he thinks people should be able to say that’s not permitted under the current legislation. 

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TURNBULL MUST EXPLAIN RACE HATE LEAKS

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Attorney-General and the Shadow Minister for National Security, Mark Dreyfus QC.

Malcolm Turnbull's leadership is again in question today as more hard right-wing MPs call for the repeal of race hate laws, including a member of his own front bench.

Leaks from within the Liberal Party also suggest Malcolm Turnbull did a deal to repeal race hate laws for the support of right-wing MPs in rolling Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.

Malcolm Turnbull must immediately explain these leaks and tell the Australian people if they are true.

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INDIAN INDEPENDENCE DAY 2016

Joint Media Release with Leader of the Opposition the Hon. Bill Shorten MP and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs, Senator the Hon. Penny Wong.

Today we extend our best wishes to everyone celebrating India’s milestone 70th Independence Day.

When the tricolour is raised above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort today, it will symbolise nearly seven decades of prosperity in India.

India has grown into a global economic powerhouse and has successfully lifted tens of millions of people out of poverty.

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TURNBULL MUST RESIST ABBOTT-ERA CHANGES TO HATE SPEECH LAWS

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Attorney-General and the Shadow Minister for National Security, Mark Dreyfus QC.

Malcolm Turnbull is facing yet another test of his leadership today with news the hard right-wing of the Liberal Party is in conversation with the Senate cross-bench about repealing Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act protects against offence, insult, humiliation and intimidation based on race, colour, nationality or ethnic origin. If the Government is again harbouring intentions to make changes to 18C, it has to come clean, now.

Proponents must also explain what they think people should be able to say that’s currently not permitted. 

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LABOR WELCOMES BACKDOWN ON ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION LAWS ATTACK

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Attorney-General and the Shadow Minister for National Security, Mark Dreyfus QC.

Labor welcomes indications today that the new Environment and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will abandon the ridiculous vendetta of the Abbott Government against those who bring actions to uphold Australian laws designed to protect our natural environment and national heritage.

Since mid-2015 Attorney-General George Brandis and Mr Frydenberg’s predecessor Greg Hunt have been threatening to destroy the capacity for concerned groups or individuals to bring legal challenges against developments that could harm the environment in contravention of Australia’s environmental protection laws. This campaign was founded on the ridiculous argument that such cases amounted to ‘lawfare’ or ‘legal vigilantism’ that would hurt the economy.

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MALCOLM TURNBULL’S $30 BILLION BUDGET HOLE

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.

The Liberals have a $30 billion Budget hole going into the final week of the election campaign and no way of paying for it.

Neither side of politics will achieve the numbers outlined in the 2016-17 Budget, but only Labor acknowledges this fact.

There are currently $30 billion worth of “zombie” measures factored into the Liberals’ Budget that will never pass Parliament.

Labor recognises this and has completely reversed these out of our Budget bottom-line.

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A BETTER WAY OF CUTTING GOVERNMENT WASTE TO IMPROVE SERVICES

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Brendan O'Connor.

A Shorten Labor Government will commit to achieving sustainable efficiencies throughout the public sector, without compromising jobs, service and ability to deliver sound policy.

This is in stark contrast to the Liberals who want to achieve savings through harsh efficiency dividends and through privatisation and outsourcing.

Labor will not proceed with the increase to the efficiency dividend as announced in the 2016-17 budget.

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LABOR’S FISCAL PLAN TO DELIVER SAVINGS OF $10.5 BILLION OVER THE DECADE

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.

Labor has a positive plan for Australia’s future, and a clear plan to pay for it that is responsible and fair.

Today Labor unveils our final budget bottom line and a fiscal plan that confirms we will put the budget on a path back to balance in the same year as the Liberals, without smashing family budgets or cutting funding from schools, hospitals and Medicare.

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IGNORING CARETAKER CONVENTIONS FINE WITH TURNBULL

Malcolm Turnbull today gave permission for NBN Co Chairman, Dr Ziggy Switkowski, to ignore decades of precedent on caretaker conventions.

Mr Turnbull today failed to condemn Dr Switkowski for ignoring caretaker conventions, effectively saying the rules don’t matter. The arrogance is breathtaking.

The head of the Prime Minister's own department, Dr Martin Parkinson, made clear in a letter to me this week that Dr Switkowski knowingly ignored the caretaker conventions.

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LABOR’S PLAN FOR BUDGET REPAIR THAT IS FAIR

Joint Media Release with the Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, and the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.

Today Labor is announcing a substantial package of savings measures to pay for our priorities and deliver on our commitment to responsible, long-term budget repair.

We are announcing $16.2 billion in new and updated budget improvements over the medium term.

Labor’s net budget improvements to date now amount to $105.4 billion over the medium term.

Labor has a positive plan for Australia’s future, and a clear plan to pay for it.

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LABOR LEADS THE WAY ON STRUCTURAL REFORM

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.

Labor’s responsible reforms to negative gearing and capital gains tax will improve the Budget by around $600 million in the first year and grow to deliver an $8 billion fiscal dividend by the end of the medium term period.

In contrast, the Turnbull Government’s $50 billion giveaway to big business, beyond Labor's small business tax cut, costs the Budget $200 million in 2017-18, and over the decade will become a drain on the Budget to the value of $13 billion.

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TURNBULL CAUGHT OUT ON COSTINGS

Malcolm Turnbull has been caught out misleading Australians by pretending his government has already released its final budget position.

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CORMANN EXPOSES TURNBULL’S BREATHTAKING HYPOCRISY ON COSTINGS SCARE CAMPAIGN

The Turnbull Government’s breathtaking hypocrisy was exposed today when the Finance Minister admitted the Government had not released its final Budget bottom line.

The Government has been demanding Labor release its policy costings, but in an embarrassing admission Mathias Cormann said the Government had not done the same.

When Mathias Cormann was asked on Sky News about how the Government would be funding its campaign promises, the Finance Minister said:

“We’ll make these relevant announcements in good time.”

MATHIAS CORMANN – SKY NEWS – FRIDAY, 27 MAY 2016

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HOLE IN LIBERALS’ BLACK HOLE CLAIMS

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.

Today we witnessed a disastrous press conference from the Treasurer and Finance Minister, which started with a lot of hot air but was quickly brought crashing back to earth with simple questions from journalists.

This has followed weeks of the Liberal Party peddling outlandish and ridiculous numbers as somehow representing Labor’s final Budget position.

We couldn’t get the Treasurer and Finance Minister together for the release of the independent Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook report (PEFO) which exposed the Liberal Party’s poor economic and Budget record and its lies about ‘jobs and growth’.

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PEFO CONFIRMS THREE YEARS OF ECONOMIC AND BUDGET FAILURE

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Treasurer, Chris Bowen.

The true state of the books released by Treasury and Finance today:

  • Confirms that after three years of Liberal Government spending is up, deficits are up, debt is up, wages are down and living standards are down.
  • Lampoons the Government’s claims on “jobs and growth”.
  • Raises real concerns about the retention of Australia’s triple A credit rating while flagging that Australia has a revenue problem.

Unlike the Government’s Budget, the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook gives an independent assessment of the economy. It confirms Malcolm Turnbull’s economic plan is an economic failure and exposes the Government’s so called plan for “jobs and growth”.

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TURNBULL’S UNCOSTED SCHEME & FISCAL FAILURE

Malcolm Turnbull has a multi-billion dollar scheme to cut taxes for big businesses over the next 10 years that is uncosted in the Budget.

The Government talks about a ‘Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan’ but won’t tell the Australian people how much it costs over 10 years.

Malcolm Turnbull is so desperate to give big businesses a tax cut, he wants to rename $1 billion businesses as ‘small businesses’ for tax purposes.

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MORRISON GETS A FAIL ON EDUCATION FUNDING

Scott Morrison today debased the economic debate in the lead-up to the Budget by reverting to outright lying to the Australian people.

In an interview on the Today Show, Mr Morrison claimed Labor's Your Child. Our Future education policy was unfunded.

When asked how the Liberal's desperate 11th hour schools funding announcement stacks up with Labor’s plan, Mr Morrison said:

“What they are promising is an unfunded plan over the longer period of time.”

SCOTT MORRISON - TODAY SHOW - 1 MAY 2016

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PICKPOCKET PORTER CAN’T STOP LYING ABOUT THE NDIS

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Minister for Families and Payments and the Shadow Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin.

The Turnbull Government continues to lie about funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Labor's 2013 Budget set out a 10-year funding plan for the NDIS. This included an increase in the Medicare levy, but also several other savings and revenue measures.

These Budget measures – and the numbers underpinning them –  were prepared by the Treasury. The Treasury Secretary at the time was Martin Parkinson – the current Secretary of the Prime Minister’s own department. Is the Government seriously suggesting that we can’t trust the work of its most senior government officials?

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GOVERNMENT’S EARLY MARK ON AN EARLY MARK

The Government has given itself an early mark on its early mark by shutting down the House of Representatives an hour early.

It has also failed to consider one of the pieces of legislation Malcolm Turnbull said was the reason for recalling Parliament.

In his letter to the Governor General requesting the Parliament be recalled, Malcolm Turnbull said:

The reason for recalling the Parliament is to enable it to give full and timely consideration to two important parcels of industrial legislation:… 2. The Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Bill 2014 (Registered Organisations Bill)

MALCOLM TURNBULL – LETTER – MONDAY, 21 MARCH 2016

In his speech to the Parliament on Monday, the Governor-General, at the direction of the Prime Minister, said:

Honourable Senators and Members, as I declare open this new session of the Parliament, you are called together to conclude your consideration of the Australian Building and Construction Commission and Registered Organisations Bills.

GOVERNOR GENERAL – PARLIAMENT  - MONDAY, 18 APRIL 2016

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WHAT’S THAT YOU SAID TONY, SORRY, MALCOLM? NOTHING JOE, SORRY, SCOTT

If Australians are getting from Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison more of the same as they got from Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey -- what is the point of the Turnbull Government?

Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have all but confirmed Australia is heading towards a repeat of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey's disastrous 2014 Budget, making a myth of Malcolm Turnbull's promise of "new economic leadership".

Last week, Scott Morrison even used the exact same arguments to justify cuts in the upcoming Budget as Joe Hockey used to justify cuts in the 2014 Budget. When asked about the need to address declining Government revenue, Scott Morrison returned to the Abbott-Hockey rhetoric of old, saying he didn't "accept the view" Australia has a revenue problem.

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GOVERNMENT MUST EXPLAIN WHAT IT’S DONE WITH NDIS FUNDS

Joint Media Release with the Shadow Minister for Families and Payments and the Shadow Minister for Disability Reform, Jenny Macklin.

The Turnbull Government must explain what it has done with funding that was specifically legislated to pay for the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Government's repeated lying about funding for the NDIS is a desperate attempt to mask the fact that they have effectively pocketed funds from Budget measures that were legislated to help fund the full scheme .

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TURNBULL & MORRISON JUST ANOTHER ABBOTT & HOCKEY

Scott Morrison today called on Labor to pass the cruellest parts left over from Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s 2014 Budget.

Labor will not support the failed ideological policies which are being continued by Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison. Policies such as:

  • Cuts to family payments;
  • Cuts to paid parental leave;
  • $100,000 degrees;
  • Cuts to the guarantee for employee entitlements;
  • Cuts to Medicare;
  • Cutting to the pensions of 190,000 elderly migrants who want to visit family overseas; and
  • Increasing the pension age to 70.

When it comes to the 2016-17 Budget, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison are reading from Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s script.

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PROOF IT’S ALL JUST A STUNT

Malcolm Turnbull is charging taxpayers to fly around 150 MPs and their staff to Canberra next week for a stunt.

That’s what the Draft Legislation Program for the House of Representatives released today shows.

Malcolm Turnbull has decided trying to pass Tony Abbott’s workplace relations laws is the most important issue facing Australia right now.

Malcolm Turnbull has decided abolishing an independent tribunal whose job it is to make our roads safer is just as important.

This is where Malcolm Turnbull’s priorities lie.

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PART-TIME PRIME MINISTER HIDING FROM SCRUTINY

Malcolm Turnbull is hitting taxpayers with the massive bill of recalling Parliament but running away from scrutiny.
 
The new Parliamentary sitting pattern today released by the Government confirms the House of Representatives will only sit for two days in the first week when Parliament resumes, proving Malcolm Turnbull is simply engaging in an expensive stunt.
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