Members' Forum

23Feb2017

News reports this week say some Coalition MPs are lobbying for first home buyers to get on the property ladder by accessing some of their superannuation savings.

Under the proposal, the would-be buyers would have access to some of the banked employer super contributions equal to their voluntary payments, which could then be used as a deposit on a first home.

But there are also fears that such a move could further inflate the already overheated property market, particularly in Sydney.

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09Feb2017

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull this week delivered a tirade in parliament against Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, calling him a parasite, hypocrite and sycophant.

Mr Shorten has previously used the epithet ‘Mr Harbourside Mansion’, coined by Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin.

Are the jibes a sign of more acrimonious mud-slinging to come or just a feisty start to the parliamentary New Year?

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....