• Juggling issues and egos in Budget Estimates

    estimates.jpgA brief note today because it’s Budget estimates. This means I am locked in a room chairing the Finance & Public Administration committee from 9 am through until 11 pm all week.

    My committee examines the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet, the Department of Finance and also Indigenous agencies.

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  • Senate inquiry and the media agenda

    media_page_cameras_630x250.jpgLast week the Senate agreed to my motion that it conduct an inquiry into food certification schemes in Australia.

    This was prompted by the growing number of Australians who are concerned about the number of certification schemes and the lack of transparency in relation to labelling, cost to consumers, cost to business and suggestions that coercive tactics are being used to ensure compliance.

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  • Small business tax cuts a step in the right direction

    SME_tax_cut_2.jpgThe Federal Budget was handed down last night and as always there is a lot of detail to get through. However, one of the headline acts was support for small business through a 1.5 per cent tax cut, the ability to claim sub-$20,000 purchases as tax deductions through accelerated asset depreciation.

    This means that any purchase made by a small business - whether a company or private operator - up to the value of $20,000 can be instantly 'written off'.

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  • We can't keep kicking the can down the road

    dont-kick-maintenance-down-the-road.jpgWith the Federal Budget set to be handed down next week, I suspect a lot of political skin will be riding on how it is received. All indications thus far suggest it will be designed to support the economy and protect jobs in a rather fragile environment.

    Whilst there is always the usual sanctioned ‘leaks’ and media speculation, it is a fair guess that the country will run a large deficit next year – and for some years after that.

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  • Wake up to the threat before it's too late

    terrorism1.jpgI like Julie Bishop. She is smart, personable, competent and politically savvy. She’s proven to be an excellent Foreign Minister and one day I hope she gets the opportunity to hold the top job.

    Most recently, it was her address to the Sydney Institute earlier this week that marked her as someone who truly ‘gets it’.

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  • Government interference stifling investment

    red_tape.jpgLast week, I met with a group of self-made business men and women.

    They were all financially successful yet seemed to have the balance right in respect to other aspects of their lives too. They had families, seemed to take their parenting responsibilities seriously, tried to keep fit and also pursued numerous philanthropic endeavours.

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  • Tax reform: cut taxes, bureaucracy & entitlement

    tax.jpgWith only weeks to go until the Federal Budget, there has been a lot written in the press about tax and government spending.

    My position is crystal clear and I make no bones about it: taxes and government spending both need to be reduced for the good of the economy and Australian families.

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  • Growing unrest in the Australian majority

    reclaim_aus.jpgI am out and about in regional South Australia this week, so the comment will be mercifully brief!

    It is clear from my conversations with constituents that they are worried about the direction of the country. There is a sense of frustration that their politicians are letting them down.

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  • Australia leading the fight against terrorism at IPU

    IPU_English_logo_Colours.pngWhen parliament concluded last week, I joined an official delegation to Vietnam to attend a conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

    This is a bi-annual meeting of parliamentarians from across the globe that seeks to build relationships and strengthen the democratic process.

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  • Getting to the bottom of the halal certification racket

    halal.jpgEarlier this week, I went on radio to discuss one of the issues that seems to concern many Australians - halal certification.

    It is a concern that I share and have spoken about over a number of years.

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