Posts Tagged ‘ xenophon ’

Minor parties force changes to Medicare threshold

Sep 23rd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia, Lead Stories

The Rudd Government has bowed to pressure from the Greens and Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and slashed the proposed income thresholds for the Medicare surcharge to $75,000 for singles, although Health Minister Nicola Roxon wants to leave the proposed new threshold for couples unchanged at $150,000.

New York trip an escape from the house of horrors

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Liberal leadership saga has overshadowed growing unrest within the Government over industrial relations, which the Prime Minister will again avoid this week. Some backbenchers fear Julia Gillard’s proposed industrial relations legislation is too similar to Work Choices. Last Tuesday, while Brendan Nelson was being dumped, New South Wales senator Steve Hutchins was telling a restive Labor caucus that the legislation was “Work Choices lite”.

Turnbull to seize on Rudd’s absence

Sep 22nd, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia

The Prime Minister today defended the trip as in the national interest, and received some unlikely support today from Independent Senator Nick Xenophon, who said now was the time to talk to world leaders in the wake of the global financial crisis. But Liberal frontbencher Eric Abetz said this morning: “Kevin747 seems to be a very good little tagline for him. It’s, unfortunately, indicative of what he’s been doing in recent times.”

Future for some couples still at Senate’s mercy

Sep 8th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

Amid the train wreck that the Senate became last week there was one consistency - everybody concerned claimed they had a mandate. The highlight was when the Coalition and Family First’s Steve Fielding knocked off the increase to the luxury car tax, worth $555 million over four years.

Labor in decline, Fielding’s first test, Republicans on the rise - the week in review

Sep 7th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

This week saw big problems emerge for the Labor Party in New South Wales and Western Australia, while federally the Nationals shrank even further with the loss of Lyne. In the Senate, Steve Fielding voted down the luxury car tax increase, while in the United States, Sarah Palin has garnered an immediate and positive reaction.

Bring on the number twos! – the week in review

Aug 24th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion, Science Fiction

This week was a week of number twos on a variety of fronts. In the US, Joe Biden became Barack Obama’s new sidekick, while in Australia, the minor parties in the Senate geared up to take on their new roles as second fiddles. Meanwhile, in the entertainment world, ‘Stargate Atlantis’ was cancelled and replaced by ‘Stargate Universe’.

Turning up the heat

Aug 24th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

f there was a large swing against Labor in Western Australia, let alone a loss, it would send a jolt right across a continent papered with wall-to-wall Labor governments. Inevitably, federal Labor would feel a touch nervous. This would affect the mood for the busy spring parliamentary session and Labor’s work on its extensive agenda.

Government heading for trouble in Senate

Aug 19th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Australia, Lead Stories

The Coalition will vote against a number of budget measures when they go before the Senate later this year. The Government will then need the votes of five Greens senators, Independent Senator Nick Xenophon and Family First Senator Steve Fielding to pass its legislation.

War games, Olympic Games and political games – the week in review

Aug 16th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The big news of the week, rather surprisingly, wasn’t the Olympic Games. However, the media still found time to complain about the Chinese government. On the local front, Labor managed to hang on in the Northern Territory, Federal Labor actually made a decision, and Peter Costello waited some more for his book launch.

Confronting the Senate

Aug 15th, 2008 | By David Harper | Category: Opinion

The Government is in a dilemma. Having invested much political capital in FuelWatch, does it move heaven and earth to get it through? Or does simply blame the Opposition for not supporting the policy, and privately breathe a sigh of relief when the Senate shoots what has been widely attacked as a dog of an idea?