/ 24 January 2024

Leaving the Canberra Bubble 

Image source: AAP
Image source: AAP

The Squiz  

Former PM Scott Morrison has decided to call an end to his political career after more than 16 years in the Federal Parliament and almost 4 in the top job. He says “now is the time to move on” after securing offers to join a bunch of global advisory firms where he will focus on defence and security policy. He’ll make a formal announcement today before finishing up as an MP at the end of February. And although his Sydney seat of Cook looks safe for the Libs with a margin of 12%, there will be a lot of interest in the by-election when that happens around April… 

How’s history gonna judge him?

Look, we don’t write the history books, but it’s fair to say his time in the political spotlight has been pretty turbulent. He was controversial in the Immigration and Social Services portfolios – but as PM, his 2019 ”miracle” election win made him the toast of the Coalition. Morrison cited tax cuts, stopping the boats, and managing Australia through the pandemic as some of his career highlights. But his record also includes the “secret ministries” controversy, the backlash over his Hawaii holiday during 2019’s massive bushfires, and criticism over his handling of Brittany Higgins’ allegations. In his new life, Morrison will be leaning into his work as the architect of the AUKUS pact while keeping Sydney as his home base, where he will be “more active in my Church community”. And maybe ukelele lessons are on the cards… 

Anything else happening?

Umm yep… Plenty of speculation we’re about to see some change to the Stage 3 tax cuts. In an interview with Sydney FM host Kyle Sandilands yesterday morning, PM Anthony Albanese said “everybody will be getting a tax cut” – while his ministers danced around giving an answer to that question. In their current form, the next round of cuts due in July would give people earning $180,000 a $6,000 cut, but not so much for people taking home less than $100,000. Albanese met with his Cabinet yesterday to sign off on a new cost of living package – and will meet with the broader Caucus (aka all Labor MPs and senators) this arvo in Canberra. Stay tuned…   

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