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Budget Analysis: Australia’s three major political parties speak with Ticker News

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The Australian Government’s 2021 federal budget was handed down last night, with leaders spending big to lock in the nation’s Covid-19 recovery.

AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

It’s being dubbed by the Morrison government as the most crucial budget since World War II, with more than $53 billion in new stimulus payments and funding being allocated for key ­services.

The winners? The country’s vaccination rollout program, women, the aged and child care sectors, major infrastructure projects, business owners and taxpayers.

The losers? The climate, renewables, universities, and international tourism were just a few of the areas which didn’t receive as much attention – from a financial point of view.

But what did the country’s three major political parties have to say? We spoke with Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham, Greens Leader Adam Bandt, and Labor Senator Katy Gallagher.

SENATOR SIMON BIRMINGHAM – MINISTER FOR FINANCE, LIBERAL PARTY OF AUSTRALIA

Matt Turner/The Advertiser

Birmingham says the budget plan is one which is measured and prudent, with a focus on ensuring a sustainable debt profile.

He applauds Australia and his government for its pandemic response, particularly when comparing the nation’s economic position to many other country’s around the world.

The Finance Minister believes the budget has many measures designed to help ensure Australia’s productivity continues to grow.

He says the Morison government has implemented a series of reforms and incentives to generate innovation culture in Australia, and promote sustainable and positive long-term outcomes.

In terms of the housing bubble, Birmingham speaks of expanding government-guaranteed support for first home buyers, which will allow more young people to enter the property market.

Focussing on women, the minister applauded the introduction of economic security streams which have been introduced to support the female population.

ADAM BANDT MP – LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN GREENS PARTY

Australian Greens

On the other end of the political spectrum is Greens Leader, Adam Bandt who says the budget is only good for “the billionaires and big corporations”.

Bandt slams the $50 billion handouts and subsidies for the coal and gas industries and the $1.1 billion for new coal and gas projects during a “climate crisis”.

He argues it’s ridiculous that the budget has $62 billion allocated for the super-rich, all whilst the government’s own forecasts anticipate further wage cuts.

The Greens Leader was not surprised by the budget, and spoke about the “trickle-down effect”, whereby subsidies and handouts will eventually be passed down to low and middle-class citizens.

Will the budget promote any real change? Bandt says this level of spending could have turned Australia into a green energy superpower. But instead, it promotes coal and gas.

Bandt talks of global summit leaders from around the world now having to hold back-room meetings to work out how they deal with Australia’s climate stance.

All in all, Bandt is not a fan of the Government and thinks that “pressure is beginning to build” on the Prime Minister and his party allies.

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER – AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY

Dion Georgopoulos/The Canberra Times

Senator Katy Gallagher is a Labor Party representative for the Australian Capital Territory, bringing our budget analysis to a conclusion.

Gallagher says it is extraordinary that there is $100 billion in spending, a massive deficit and a huge debt, yet real workers on the ground are still being left behind.

She believes the budget is more of a “political fix” than a real and genuine attempt to deal with weaknesses in the economy.

The Labor Party would have liked to see better wage forecasts, and they worry that wage growth is not only going to stop – but it’s going to go backwards.

Gallagher thinks the Australian public is looking for more permanent and sustainable solutions to economic, environmental and societal issues.

In terms of the budget’s focus on women, the senator welcomes the money being spent but says the financing lacks any real form of coordinated action to ensure members of the female population are both safe and valued.

Global Politics

Organisers reveal how many spectators will be allowed at the Tokyo Olympics

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Up to 10,000 domestic spectators will be allowed to attend events at the upcoming Tokyo Olympic Games

The decision comes just weeks before the opening ceremony and ends months of speculation about whether spectators will be allowed at the pandemic-postponed Games.

Medical officials have raised concerns that allowing spectators could worsen the spread of infections.

Despite that – a spectator limit will be set at 50 percent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people in all venues.

Foreign spectators has been banned in March.


The decision was announced – following talks between event organisers and government officials.
The Governor of Tokyo says if there is a “dramatic change in the infection situation”, having no spectators in venues is on the cards.

“In light of the government’s restrictions on public events, the spectator limit for the Olympic Games will be set at 50 percent of venue capacity, up to a maximum of 10,000 people in all venues,”

organisers said in a statement.

A decision on spectators at the Paralympics will be delayed until July 16, a week before the Olympics open.

The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on July 23.

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Global Politics

Insider reveals death day of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper

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Hong Kong pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily will be forced to shut “in a matter of days” after authorities froze the company’s assets under a national security law, an adviser to jailed owner Jimmy Lai says.

According to reports, Friday will be the last day for the 26-year-old newspaper.

Media advocacy groups say that the closure of Apple Daily would undermine the former British colony’s reputation as an open and free society and send a warning to other companies that could be accused of colluding with a foreign country.

The publisher’s head company Next Digital will hold a board meeting on Monday to
discuss how to move forward after its lines of credit were frozen.

“We must press on”: news raid sends “shockwaves” through Hong-Kong

Following raids on a Hong Kong newsroom last week, a journalist based in the city-state says it has sent “shockwaves” through the entire industry.

500 Hong Kong police offices raided Apple Daily to arrest a number of top executives and seize documents over allegations the publisher breached national security laws.

Elaine Yu from the Wall Street Journal says the incident “raises important new questions about how media outlets can report on topics that are now considered highly sensitive.”

Apple Daily says the company’s CEO, COO and three editors were all arrested during the raids.

The behaviour of the individuals is said to have breached legislation that prohibits sedition, secession and subversion against Beijing.

The assistant to Apple Daily’s chairman says operations at the newsroom are limited because Hong Kong authorities have seized many of the company’s accounts.

He also says “it’ll get harder for reporters to get people to talk to them because the police can now potentially seize reporter’s files and devices through a court warrant.”

Sold out news stands with “we must press on” printed on front page

“We must press on”… that was the message on the front page of Apple Daily, that people in hong kong queued up for.

Many Hong Kong locals have have queued up to buy copies of the pro-democracy newspaper Apple Daily… a day after its newsroom was raided by police.

The paper typically prints about 80,000 copies but increased that to 500,000 to meet demand.. and some news stands sold out.

A total of five executives were arrested including the Editor-in-chief and chief executive officer.

Police made the arrests on suspicion of collusion with a “foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security”.

200 Hong Kong police officers arrested five senior executives. Image: Apple Daily.

Meanwhile, this is the second time that police have searched the building.

The company’s founder Jimmy Lai, was recently arrested for national security violations.

Mr Lai is currently serving a 20-month prison sentence.

The raid follows arrests made at the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre last month.

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Global Politics

Why Olympic spectators are likely despite widespread opposition

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Olympic Games organisers and government officials are meeting today and it’s expected that a final decision will be made – on how many – if any – domestic spectators will be able to attend events at the Summer Olympics, which commence in a month.


Concerns have been raised by medical experts that allowing spectators could worsen the spread of infections

Foreign spectators are banned from attending the games due to health concerns.

The Olympic Organising Comittee will update the general public today on exactly how many local fans will be allowed in the stands

Local media have reported that a 10,000 spectator cap will be set. 

On the weekend, in a move to reduce the risk of COVID spreading, Tokyo’s Governor announced six viewing sites have been scrapped

Members of the public would have been able to watch live broadcasts of events at these locations. 
That will no longer be happening with some instead set to serve as vaccination sites.

There is still considerable opposition in Japan for the Olympic Games going ahead. A new poll shows almost two-thirds of Japan’s public want the event postponed again or cancelled altogether. 

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