Josh Frydenberg to take on trade war concerns

Mr Mnuchin told a House Financial Services Committee hearing on Wednesday that US companies should be able to source some of their supplies from elsewhere to keep costs down, but he appeared to caution against any hope for a swift resolution to the trade conflict. Loading The Treasury Secretary told the committee that Mr Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were likely to meet at the G20 leadership summit in Osaka in the final week of June, but he appeared to be more negative about the prospect of an agreement…

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How will the government negotiate a majority in the Senate?

Normal text sizeLarger text sizeVery large text size The re-elected Morrison government’s legislative fortunes may hang on a final undecided Senate seat in Queensland. On current counting, the Coalition can rely on having 34 seats in the 76-seat upper house. It might win 35 – there is a fair prospect it will get one additional seat in the Sunshine State. But it will still need 39 seats to get laws passed – 39 being the magic number for a majority in the upper house. At most, it will end up…

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Sally McManus defends unions’ election campaign, vows to take on Scott Morrison

“I knew that something was not right, especially in the last two weeks,” Ms McManus said. “For most of the election campaign there was an uneasy anxiety but the polls kept saying something else.” The ACTU detected social media messages about its support for an inheritance tax in the week before Prime Minister Scott Morrison called the election, with one fake tweet making it look like Ms McManus was calling on Labor to implement the policy. “It just grew and grew and grew. What I saw happen was a subterranean…

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Scott Morrison under pressure to promote two women to his new ministry

Mr Morrison also faces a potential pressure point with Queenslanders over their representation in cabinet, with the state’s Liberals arguing they deserve one more position at the top of the government. Loading The Prime Minister has told colleagues over several months that he does not believe MPs should be promoted too quickly to the ministry and that it is better for them to serve a full term in Parliament before joining the executive. This approach limits the pool of candidates for the cabinet and the ministry and suggests a series…

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Labor weighed shift to capping franking credits

The policy deliberations in March last year suggest that Labor was conscious of the damage the Coalition could inflict upon the decision to strip tax refunds from retired investors who had not paid tax. Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit: Labor asked the Parliamentary Budget Office to assess what it would cost to put in caps well below $10,000 as well as a guarantee to exempt all pensioners. According to Budget Office costings, capping the refunds at $5000 would have cost the budget $287 million in 2014 – a fraction of the $2.6 billion…

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What happened to the climate change election?

Let’s start with a significantly overlooked fact from Saturday. The Greens had a good night. This is obscured by the large swings against them in the seats in which they had hopes, like Wills and Cooper. But look at the Senate. It’s an important place to look because it is a house of proportional representation, unlike the lower house, where votes can be wasted in safe seats or on lost causes. Here, the Greens gained the largest swing of any party in the country: up around 2.6 per cent, taking…

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Jim Chalmers told to clear the way for Anthony Albanese or face payback

But Mr Chalmers was considering his options on Wednesday night after receiving strong encouragement – especially from Victorians – to contest Mr Albanese for the leadership. “Labor needs to rebuild, refresh and renew and I want to play a prominent role in that. What role is to be determined,” he said. In the box seat: Anthony Albanese would be made leader unopposed if Jim Chalmers pulls out.Credit:Wolter Peeters Victorian MPs who are furious at what they see as a “deal” stitched up in NSW have urged Mr Chalmers to contest…

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A Labor elder statesman’s verdict on the mistakes that brought defeat

If the party had promised to put 3000 teachers a year through intensive upskilling in classroom technique, there would have been more impact – for a fraction of the cost. Or recruit 500 super maths teachers to lift school performance to that of Singapore and Shanghai. Or a new approach to behaviourally challenged kids to improve school learning environments. Or develop the world’s most compelling science curriculum. Then premier Neville Wran with Bob Carr, his planning and environment minister and future premier. Credit:Stuart William Macgladrie State politics offers a pointer…

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Shorten should steer clear of selection of successor

Illustration: John ShakespeareCredit: Hopefully the Labor Party, like the rest of Australia, won’t listen to Bill. – Mick Grimson, Leumeah If Shorten is actively campaigning against Anthony Albanese’s leadership bid, then Albanese’s chances of election by Labor members and his popularity with the public have just soared. – Toni Lorentzen, Fennell Bay That well-known book from Bob Hawke’s era, What They Don’t Teach You at The Harvard Business School, contains the only answer the ALP needs to understand its fate. The CEO of the ACME Dog Food Co asks the…

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How will the new government reach the magic number of 39 in the Senate?

Jacqui Lambie is a wildcard in the new Senate. How has the crossbench changed? For the past three years, the Coalition government was dealing with a large and turbulent Senate crossbench. Fraser Anning changed parties not once but twice after falling out with One Nation’s Pauline Hanson and then getting expelled from Queensland MP Bob Katter’s party. Brian Burston also fell out with Senator Hanson and joined Clive Palmer’s party. Nick Xenophon and David Leyonhjelm both quit to pursue state politics – unsuccessfully – and handed the reins to their…

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