Members' Forum

25Jan2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has flagged the possibility of China joining the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) after US President Donald Trump dumped the trade pact as one of his first acts in office.

Mr Turnbull said the TPP could continue without the United States and there was ‘potential’ for China to join it.

But would China’s membership benefit Australia? Or are we better off without the TPP?

12Jan2017

Politicians on both sides continue to rack up questionable travel expenses at a time when many people are having to make do with less.

In 2015 Bronwyn Bishop resigned as Speaker after chartering a helicopter to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser.

Last year, Labor senator Sam Dastyari was forced to resign from the frontbench after having an education company with links to the Chinese government foot the bill for a travel charge he “didn’t want to pay” after exceeding his parliamentary travel budget.

This...

15Dec2016

The year 2016 has been a big one in anyone’s language.

At home, Australians endured a 55 day election campaign ahead of a 2 July poll, with the government scraping home with a one seat majority in the House of Representatives.

Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was disappointed Malcolm Turnbull did not back him for the job of United Nations Secretary-General while Pauline Hanson staged another comeback.

Overseas, the battle for the White House captured the world’s attention with Donald Trump becoming President-elect, despite Hillary Clinton winning the popular vote....

08Dec2016

Australia’s economic growth declined 0.5 per cent in the last three months, the worst result since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described the figures as ‘a bump in the road’ but Treasurer Scott Morrison said the negative growth was ‘a wake-up call’ for Australia to take action and repair the budget deficit.

Are you confident that Australia’s economy will get back on track next year?

24Nov2016

Think tank The Grattan Institute has identified three measures it calls ‘unfair aged-based tax breaks’ for older Australians.

Grattan Institute chief executive John Daly said that seniors pay less tax than do younger workers on the same income as a result of the Seniors and Pensioners Tax Offset (SAPTO) and a higher Medicare levy income threshold. Seniors also receive a higher rebate on their private health insurance.

The report Age of entitlement: age-based tax breaks recommends winding back SAPTO and the Medicare levy to save about $700 million a year. Reducing the private...