Further tax relief on Coalition cards ahead of federal election
10 March 2019
(Translation appears in Arabic section)
Canberra - M E Times Int'l: The Australian reports the Coalition could capitalise on an improved budget position to deliver deeper cuts to personal income tax. The federal government has already committed to $144 billion worth of relief for workers over the coming decade. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten says he is focusing on the minimum wage. He has vowed to lobby the Fair Work Commission to force employers to pay a 'living wage' if Labor wins government.
Polling suggests NSW voters against Berejiklian govt stadium policy
Sydney: New polling suggests the majority of voters in New South Wales are against the state government's stadium policy. The survey taken for the Sydney Morning Herald has found more than 52 per cent don't want the government to knock down and rebuild Allianz Stadium. About 37 per cent support the policy, while 10 per cent are undecided. The New South Wales Land and Environment Court has given the all clear for hard demolition to begin at Allianz Stadium after quashing a bid to extend an injunction.
Dutton warns of refugees becoming citizens
Sydney: Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has argued refugees brought to Australia for medical treatment would soon become citizens, against the wishes of the community.
However, under Australian law, it's entirely up to the minister to grant them citizenship.
This latest warning follows Mr Dutton's sensational claims refugees medically evacuated from Manus Island and Nauru would take up hospital beds and public housing usually reserved for Australians.
"Once they're in Australia you'll never see them deported or leaving our shores, they'll go on to become Australian citizens, and that is not the outcome that most Australians support," Mr Dutton told 2GB radio on Thursday.
Convention to allow dogs to enter the schools of the state of SA
Adelaide: Sniffer dogs could start patrolling public secondary schools for drugs within months after the South Australia Government signed off on a range of protocols.
The decision came after the state government described the drug situation in schools as scandals.
The signed agreement authorizes school administrators to contact drug detection units and bring police dogs to school when needed.
The agreement also includes cooperation between drug-infested schools and police forces to protect children who are vulnerable to addiction.
The Convention focuses on secondary schools in the state.
Shorten to declare election a 'referendum on wages'
Canberra: Opposition leader Bill Shorten is poised to declare the upcoming federal election 'a referendum on wages'. In an address to the Australian Financial Review Business Summit, Mr Shorten will again focus on flat wages, arguing that Australians are now digging deeper into their savings just to pay the bills. He has rejected claims that 'getting wages moving' is a 'war cry of class-warriors', insisting it is instead a 'fundamental economic imperative' that will require 'cooperation'.
Aust, EU rebuke Saudis at UN rights forum
N.Y: Three dozen countries, including all 28 EU members and Australia, have called on Saudi Arabia to release 10 activists and co-operate with a UN-led investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its Istanbul consulate.
It is the first rebuke of the kingdom at the UN Human Rights Council since it was set up in 2006 and comes amid growing international concern about Saudi violations of basic freedoms such as freedom of expression.
"It is a success for Europe to be united on this," an envoy of an EU country told Reuters.
The joint statement, also backed by Canada but not the United States, was read out by Harald Aspelund, Iceland's ambassador to the UN in Geneva. There was no immediate Saudi reaction.
Australia and Indonesia Sign Landmark Trade Agreement
Canberra: Australia and Indonesia have today signed the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA), starting a new chapter of cooperation and deeper economic management in one of our most important relationships.
Bolstering economic ties between our nations will create new trade opportunities for Australian and Indonesian businesses, boost two-way investment and increase prosperity in both countries.
With a population of 270 million and high levels of economic growth, Indonesia is on track to become one of the world’s largest economies. This makes the strengthening of our ties both strategically and economically important.
This is a great deal for Australia: it means that 99 per cent of Australian goods (by value) will enter Indonesia duty-free or under significantly improved preferential arrangements by 2020.
A stronger economic partnership with Indonesia will provide a major boost for Australian farmers. Under the agreement, producers of grains, live cattle and meat, dairy and horticulture, and many other products will benefit from lower tariffs and improved access to Indonesian markets.
This Agreement with Indonesia builds on the multitude of trade deals our government has struck, which led Australia registering a record $22.2 billion trade surplus in 2018.
The Agreement guarantees that majority Australian-owned businesses can take advantage of the exciting investment opportunities available in Indonesia’s rapidly expanding economy.
Construction on Metro West rail line to begin in 2020: NSW Premier
Sydney: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced construction on the new Metro West rail line will be accelerated to begin next year. The underground metro will be able to transport commuters from Sydney to Parramatta in 20 minutes. The Premier says strong economic management is the key factor in bringing forward construction.
Voters worried about health, immigration
Sydney: New polling shows voters are concerned about health and immigration but not so worried about defence and national security.
It also reveals confidence in all levels of government and business has gone down since Malcolm Turnbull was dumped as prime minister in August last year.
A poll of 1000 voters released by JWS Research recently shows voters are mainly concerned with health, hospitals, immigration and the environment.
Just five per cent of voters thought defence and national security was a top three issue, but a majority of voters thought the government was handling those issues well.
The survey tracked the level of confidence in the performance of state, federal and local governments, and business and industry, finding confidence dropped after the leadership spill.
Morrison announces $328 million national domestic violence action plan
Canberra: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has unveiled a $328 million action plan to tackle domestic abuse, marking the biggest ever financial commitment to combat the national issue. Focusing on prevention, identification, rescue and recovery, the scheme will start at a grass-roots level and will involve educating school children to work to avoid the development of perpetrators or victims of domestic abuse. Mr Morrison says no community is exempt from the 'hideous condition' of domestic violence and that its permeation through every tier of society means there is often unity across the political spectrum in dealing with the problem. The Prime Minister has also noted that the action plan does extend to supporting men who also experience instances of domestic violence.
People with disabilities seen as ‘less than human’: Steele-John
Canberra: Greens Senator Jordon Steele-John says people with a disability are seen as ‘less than human’ by the majority of Australia. The Coalition is facing mounting pressure to pass a vote for a royal commission into disability after extending Question Time to avoid a motion in favour of the inquiry. Senator Steele-John told Sky News a previous Senate inquiry into the issue has found entrenched systemic abuse towards disabled people across the country.