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AFTA Update

Travel Daily Exclusive - Tuesday 3 July 2018

So our hard-working elected officials in Canberra have broken for the “Winter Recess”, with the last joint sitting day coming to a close on 28 Jun. Both the House of Representatives and Senate will resume on 13 Aug, leaving a six-week break - and from where I sit, they need it.

Based on the most recent track record, this mid-year break always brings with it all sorts of interesting events. With no Parliament sitting, politicians, parties and positions will now be hitting the pavement to talk about the policies needed to keep the country going and what each will do better than the other – but all the while not actually doing anything as the vehicle to legislation is on holiday.

Meanwhile, the craziness that has become the cross bench in the Senate and the people who hold the future of legislative decisions in their small collective hands continue to switch, change, move around have a go at each other and generally change their minds within a 24-hour period.

As times in Canberra go, the next six to 12 months until the next election is going to be very interesting. Meanwhile, there is the remaining challenge ahead set for 28 Jul of the five bi-elections that need to take place principally because of members’ resignations over duel citizenships. These bi-elections have become almost a mini election as the media can’t get enough of the speculation over what may or may not happen and what signals this sends to leaders and future or current party leaders, or not. It just adds to the all-round craziness that Federal Parliament has become and unfortunately I don’t think any of this is
going to change anytime soon.

So perhaps settle in for a cold winter, some interesting reading over the next six weeks. Hopefully when
parliament resumes on 13 Aug with the five nearly-minted members of the house of reps in place and a clear understanding of who is going to do what to which outstanding piece of legislation, we can all get on
with it. Very interesting times for those who love to watch and listen to federal politics, and I don’t think six weeks has ever seemed so long as this next six will seem, with so much behind-the-scenes shenanigans.

We shall see how it all turns out...