So we hit the end of the 2nd month of the year for 2018 and who would have thought we would have a new Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the National Party. Yesterday (26th Feb 18) the National Party elected The Hon. Michael McCormack MP, member for Riverina in NSW as its new national party leader and as such appointed as the new Deputy Prime Minister. Deputy Prime Minister McCormack comes from a long family history on the farm and lives in Wagga Wagga. Most recently, for the past year and half he has been the Minister for Small Business until a recent re-shuffle in December last year, but as Deputy Prime Minister he will also take on the portfolio of infrastructure and transport.
All this as the Prime Minster returns from important talks with the US President and prepares for the year ahead. There is no question that Australian politics has once again become more interesting by the day. But the real order of business is now a matter for the Prime Minister and the parliament to knuckle down and pass some legislation. With all this leadership scuttle bug now behind them, the focus will turn to the federal budget which will be handed down in a few months.
There is bound to be lots of talk and leaks about what is in and what is out in this year’s budget and let’s hope for the travel and tourism industry that the budget proves to be supportive and not another tax grab as has so often been the case with this current government. The cut and thrust of federal politics remains a very interesting subject for us all and as the new Deputy Prime Minister takes on his role and the leadership team work on the important polices impacting our nation, time will tell if this is a good thing or a bad thing.
As a post script note, Barnaby Joyce has been a good friend to the travel and tourism industry while in his party’s top job and we do owe him a thank you for his advocacy for our industry. While Barnaby is retracting to the back bench, not to full retirement, we can’t wait to see how he contains himself in the nose bleed seats. Once again, interesting times in Canberra.