Monday 21st November 2016 - 7:52 am
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The news: Monday November 21

by Alan Thornhill

A leading budget watcher is forecasting a Donald Trump presidency will not have a significant impact on Australia’s federal budget.






Two Senators face challenges in the Court of Disputed Returns today

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Sunday 20th November 2016 - 7:11 am
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The news: Sunday November 20

by Alan Thornhill

China advocates free trade at an APEC  leaders meeting in Peru 

Syria conflict: Aleppo hospitals ‘knocked out by bombardment’



Saturday 19th November 2016 - 8:01 am
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The news: Saturday November 19

by Alan Thornhill

Malcolm Turnbull in Peru for APEC leaders’ meeting ABC


Donald Trump has named more conservative hardliners for key posts, with Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions nominated as attorney general.




Friday 18th November 2016 - 12:01 pm
Comments Off on PM defends free trade

PM defends free trade

by Alan Thornhill

The Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, has delivered a spirited defence of free trade, which has been under sustained attack by the incoming President of the United States, Donald Trump.


Addressing the Business Council of Australia in Sydney, Mr Turnbull said free trade had contributed much to this nation’s prosperity over recent decades,

“There are few countries that have so clearly benefited from being part of a larger, dynamic global marketplace as Australia,” Mr Turnbull said.


“We have to make the case for trade,” he added.


“To fully realise the potential of global trade however, our economy must become even more flexible and even more competitive.”


” And that’s why we need a vigorous structural reform agenda,” he added,


Mr Trump won the US presidential  election last week by offering frankly protectionist and isolationist policies to voters who had grown tired of conventional economic remedies.


Mr  Turnbull said Australia’s present annual growth rate of 3,3 per cent  is better than that of Japan and several regional neighbours.

He also said:  “Quite rightly, Australians expect us, their elected officials to make the hard decisions that will underpin continued growth in national prosperity.


This is particularly the case in the highly competitive global environment in which we find ourselves, where we need to work hard just to retain our current standing in global trade and investment markets, let alone get ahead.


However, there is no doubt that the environment for reform has become more challenging.


“Now that isn’t a statement about the composition of the 45th Parliament,” Mr Turnbll  said.

Rather, it’s an observation that after 25 years of growth, the need to undertake reforms that will deliver long-term gains for all Australians— which may create winners and losers in the near term—isn’t keenly felt in many parts of Australian society.


“We risk becoming victims of a complacency that fails to recognise the hard work that enabled our economic success and the need for it to continue if that success is to be enduring.”


“My Government’s commitment is to deliver a strong national economic plan that drives more growth, more jobs and ensures we remain a prosperous first world economy able which can afford a generous social welfare safety net.”

“This plan includes our innovation and science agenda – fundamental to competitiveness in the 21st century, our big export trade deals; our tax reforms to encourage investment, guaranteed funding for infrastructure, health and education.


“And of course, the important industrial reforms which were the triggers for the double dissolution – restoring the rule of law to the construction sector and ensuring unions and employer organisations are as accountable to their members as you are to your shareholders.


“But it must also include a strategy to bring the Budget back into balance.


“This is not just an economic priority, it is an issue of fairness,” Mr Turnbull said.


“It’s an issue of intergenerational equity.


“Our young people already face the twin challenges of getting a foot in the door of the job market and saving for a deposit on a house,” Mr Turnbull said.



Friday 18th November 2016 - 7:15 am
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The news: Friday November 18

by Alan Thornhill

Malcolm Turnbull champions free trade in a speech that puts him at odds with the

isolationist policies of Donald Trump smh



APEC  leaders in Lima wait for the Trump offensive ABC



US President Barack Obama has urged his successor Donald Trump to stand up to Russia if it deviates from US “values

and international norms” BBC









Thursday 17th November 2016 - 3:06 pm
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Trend employment falls

by Alan Thornhill

 Australia suffered its first fall in trend employment for almost three years last month,

The Bureau of Statistics also reported today that the trend towards part, rather than full time work, had continued in October.

In figures published today, the Bureau said:   “In October 2016, trend employment decreased by 1,000 persons to 11,946,600 persons, the first decrease in the trend series since November 2013.”

But it said:  “ This slight fall in trend employment reflected an increase in part-time employment of 8,400 persons being more than offset by a decrease in full-time employment of 9,500 persons.”
“Since December 2015 we have seen a continued decline in trend full-time employment and an increase in part-time employment, with a corresponding increase in the share of hours worked by part-time workers.”

“This shift to part-time employment has been more pronounced for males compared to females,” said the Program Manager of ABS’ Labour and Income Branch, Jacqui Jones.

“Over the past year, part-time employment has increased from around 31 per cent of employment to 32 per cent.”

“ That’s a relatively large shift, if you consider that it was around 29 per cent 10 years ago.

“Since December 2015, there are now around 132,700 more persons working part-time, compared with a 69,900 decrease in those working full-time,” said Ms Jones.

“The trend monthly hours worked increased by 3.2 million hours (0.2 per cent), with increases in total hours worked by both full-time and part-time workers.”

“The trend unemployment rate remained steady at 5.6 per cent,”

“The participation rate decreased by 0.1 percentage points to 64.5 per cent.”

“Participation has decreased by 0.6 percentage points over the past year.”””

“Trend series smooth the more volatile seasonally adjusted estimates and provide the best measure of the underlying behaviour of the labour market.”

“The seasonally adjusted number of persons employed increased by 9,800 in October 2016,”

However she added:  “the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for October 2016 remained at 5.6 per cent, and the seasonally adjusted labour force participation rate remained at 64.4 per cent.

Thursday 17th November 2016 - 7:51 am
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The news: Thursday November 17

by Alan Thornhill

Christopher Pyne welcomes  Donald Trump’s signal that Australia is welcome to take a bigger role in mutual defence ABC



Donald Trump rejects New York Times criticism of him for accepting telephone calls from foreign leaders before he officially became US president.  ABC

Wednesday 16th November 2016 - 8:07 am
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The news:Wednesday November 16

by Alan Thornhill


Trump: I could have won popular vote if I needed to  BBc


My book

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Weathercoast by Alan Thornhill

A novel on the murder of seven young Anglican Christian Brothers in the Solomon Islands.

Available now on the iTunes store.


Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

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