When you are struggling to gain control of the lower house,
there may well be transaction costs attached. For Australian
business, that means a range of initiatives might be at risk.
Consider for a moment some of the new policy frameworks that a
minority government may have to work within:
National welfare - Tasmania and South
Australia will want more of the federal tax dollar - Arrium's
plans to save $100m is just the beginning. Top of
Nick Xenophon's wish-list is a rescue package for the
Whyalla steelworks. As much as $250 million to $300 million may be
sought. More widely, what extra financial support might be demanded
for Australian industry to avoid job losses and the dislocation of
technology and globalisation?
Trans-Pacific Partnership – despite the
work of the last government securing a range of free trade deals,
these initiatives are now unlikely to be developed further, let
alone complex multi-nation deals like the TPP. Expect to see more
push back and demands for 'the Australian government to
look at the wider national interest in supporting a diverse economy
in our trade negotiations.'
Industrial relations reform – given a
big Senate crossbench, it is unlikely Malcolm Turnbull would have
the numbers to pass industrial relations reform legislation.
The $50 billion company tax cut – these
were reliant on the passage of a wider range of funding measures
like the changes to taxation of superannuation that now seem
unlikely to pass. This injection was at the heart of the
coalition's economic strategy, what can possibly replace
The Royal Commission into Banks –
bearing in mind the emerging complexion of lower house cross
benches and the senate, we may well see some form of commission
into the banking sector firm as a price of power but what it will
look like is anyone's guess.
Foreign investment - expect an increasing
level of restlessness over the benefits of FDI and potential
pressure for further restrictions.
Medicare: there is little or no hope that any
government in the near future will make any effort to deal with a
model designed in the 60's and 70's to meet the problems of
that period. Where does that leave the proposed Harper competition
policy changes designed to inject contestability into health and
The election result presents real challenges for business. The
inevitable horse trading that will ensue from a hung parliament
will create more uncertainty until the nature and complexion of the
governing party is clearly established and the terms on which
Australia will be governed - settled.
We'll be working to help bring clarity to our clients as to
what this might mean for you as quickly as possible.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
Chambers Asia Pacific Awards 2016 Winner
Client Service Award
Employer of Choice for Gender Equality
To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.
Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.
This decision has implications for Government authorities and corporations, and for private sector project proponents.
Some comments from our readers… “The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable” “I often find critical information not available elsewhere” “As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).