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Aus politics roundup.

Victorian state budget announced yesterday.

The federal election is well and truly finished, but that doesn’t mean there is nothing to talk about in the political world. Let’s start with state politics and the Victorian budget.

Victorian budget

Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas released his budget yesterday and there was good news and bad news. Good if you travel to work by car or public transport, but not so great if you work in the public service sector.

$2 billion will be spent upgrading the Sunbury line which will enable higher capacity trains. The Cranbourne line will be duplicated, which means trains will be able to run every ten minutes. This will cost the state government $75 million. $547 million will be spent on the next stage of the Hurstbridge line. 4.5 km of the track will duplicated and new stations will be built at Greensborough and Montmorency.

Ten stations will have their lines extended, 113,000 extra passengers will be able to travel during peak hour.

The Labor Government will invest $15.8 billion into the East North Link. This will connect the M8O Ring road with the Eastern Freeway at Bulleen road. The Government has said its commuters will save 35 minutes in travel time.

But it wasn’t just good news for city travellers. $340 million will be spent on building 18 new V/Line Velocity trains that will be shared between Ballarat, Geelong and Albury lines. Three new stations will be built on the Bendigo line.

The news wasn’t so good for the public service sector with the state government wanting $1.8 billion to be saved. Pallas spoke to the ABC and said he hoped there wouldn’t be any redundancies.

There will be free dental for all public primary school students. The first dental van will start visiting schools in term three this year. Dental vans will visit all schools in Victoria by 2022.

$135 million will be spent on upgrading early parenting centres and new centres will be built in Ballarat, Geelong and Bendigo.

Pallas has said there will be $1 billion surplus in 2019/20 and a $4.9 billion surplus in 2022/23.

Scott Morrison announces his cabinet.

A week after celebrating his unlikely victory, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced his new ministry. Environmental minister Melissa Price was under continuous pressure during the election campaign. She didn’t do one interview or press conference during the election campaign even though one of the major issues was climate change. Before the election Morrison did say she would stay in the role but that was before the election and things change.

Price was replaced in the role by Susan Ley. During a press conference Morrison said Price “asked for a new challenge”. Price will now be the defence industry minister.

Deputy National leader Bridget McKenzie will be the agriculture minister. McKenzie will be the first woman to take on the role.

After having a joyous night on election night the news wasn’t so good this week for Barnaby Joyce. Joyce lost the position of drought envoy. This position was given to David Littleproud. Littleproud will also take on the roles of water minister, rural finance, natural disaster and emergency management.

Ken Wyatt will be the first indigenous cabinet minister in Australian history to be indigenous minister.

Greg Hunt will continue as minister of health and has been given the role of looking after the public service sector. Matthias Cormann will continue as finance minister.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos will be the next Australian ambassador to the United States.

Warren Entsch will be the special envoy to the Great Barrier Reef. Entsch spoke in a press conference about his new role.

“We don’t need to save the reef, it’s still going, we need to manage it and manage it well and we’re the best reef managers in the world,” he said.

He has said he wants to ban single-use plastics.

“I want to see single-use [plastics] out, but it’s much broader than that, and I’ll defer to experts on how we do it” he said.


Photo from Pixabay

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