BUSY YEAR IN PARLIAMENT WRAPS UP

With three weeks in Canberra in November, the Federal Government has finalised a busy legislative period. We have passed several key pieces of legislation through parliament and delivered on many of the promises we took to the election.

In October, we provided a middle income tax concession. Previously, the income tax rate of 37% cut in at $80,000, now it cuts in at $87,000. This has given hard-working Australians earning over $80,000 a tax cut. Reflecting changes in purchasing power and consumer price index in the tax rate structure is important to ensure people aren’t burdened with what would otherwise effectively be a tax increase.

The Government also passed amendments to the superannuation system, designed to make it both more sustainable and equitable, while increasing the integrity and fairness of the system. In passing this legislation, the Government listened to the considerable community feedback on its original proposal and, most importantly, abandoned the proposed $500,000 after tax concessional cap.

Two other important bills to pass Parliament were the Registered Organisations Bill and the Australian Building Construction Commission Bill, the two bills that were the triggers for the double dissolution election. The Registered Organisations Bill will see all unions and employer groups subject to similar levels of governance transparency and accountability as companies. The re-establishment of the ABCC will boost productivity and restore the rule of law to the construction sector, holding recalcitrant unions such as the CFMEU to account for their behaviour on building sites.

We have also passed key reforms to vocational education and training, once again fixing a mess caused by Labor, and at the same time saving taxpayers billions of dollars. Under this Government, commencements in traditional apprenticeships are beginning to improve and we are addressing ways in which we cannot just get more young Australians to start apprenticeships, but ways in which we can ensure that they are completing apprenticeships. And in the final hours of Parliament, we achieved resolution on the Backpacker Tax giving certainty to Australian farmers through a competitive tax rate for working holiday makers.

It’s been a busy year and the Coalition Government has made significant headway in implementing the agenda it was elected on. But there is so much more to do next year, including passage of our proposed small business tax cuts and continuing our work to balance the budget black hole inherited from the Labor Party.

As the weather continues to warm, I would like to take this opportunity to remind all of our residents to Plan and Prepare so that you, your family and your home is prepared in the event a bushfire breaks out in Berowra over the course of the summer. Visit the NSW Rural Fire Service at https://www.rfs.nsw. gov.au/plan-and-prepare to know your risk and create your Bush Fire Survival Plan today.

Finally, I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2017 is already shaping up to be an exciting year and I look forward to your continued input and support to make it our most prosperous yet. As always, if there is anything I can do to assist you please do not hesitate in contacting my office on (02) 9980 1822 or by emailing me at Julian.Leeser.MP@aph.gov.au.