Last month in politics: a globetrotting PM and a new environmental agenda

Government, Government Relations, Parliament, Politics

Bree Liddell 9 Aug 2022
3 mins
Anthony Albanese addressing the 2022 NATO summit in Madrid

The start of a new financial year is upon us, and while most of us are likely to have been preoccupied with tax returns and EOFY sales, it was a busy month for the political news cycle.

The new Albanese Government has settled in, and politicians of all stripes have finally returned to Canberra, giving the public its first official look at the how the 47th Parliament might operate.

Most eyes were following the Prime Minister in Europe as he met foreign leaders for the first time, including Canada’s Justin Trudeau, who saved himself from embarrassment after momentarily forgetting Anthony Albanese’s name.

However, there were plenty of other events unfolding at home and abroad that also caught the public’s attention.

Boris Johnson resigns

After speculation swirled in the media, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson finally put the question to bed, resigning on July 7 following his party losing confidence in his leadership.

Mr Johnson stepped down as leader of the Conservative Party but will remain caretaker Prime Minister until a new leader is chosen.

His resignation follows the loss of support from his party, narrowly surviving a confidence vote in June and losing two by-elections in supposedly safe seats.

Throughout his tenure, Mr Johnson’s leadership was tarnished with scandal, culminating in the mass resignation of 59 ministers and junior ministers from his government.

During his resignation speech, Mr Johnson said: “It is clearly now the will of the parliamentary Conservative Party that there should be a new leader of that party and therefore a new prime minister”.

He thanked the public who voted for his party in the 2019 general election, which delivered the Conservatives their largest majority since Margaret Thatcher’s victory in 1987.

The race to replace Mr Johnson as UK Conservative leader and Britain’s new PM is down to six candidates, with the successor to be announced on September 5.

2021 State of the Environment report

July marked the long-awaited release of the 2021 State of the Environment report by Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek. The report is published every five years and provides a comprehensive assessment of the health of every aspect of our environment.

The latest report did not make for good reading, assessing Australia’s environment to be in poor health and deteriorating. Since the previous report in 2016, more species are threatened with extinction, land clearing has continued to a large scale and extreme weather events are unfolding more frequently.

The report also found greenhouse gas emissions are having a wide-reaching effect across both ecosystems and human societies. A minimum of 19 ecosystems are displaying signs of collapse or nearing collapse.

At the report’s release, Ms Plibersek attacked the previous Coalition Government for its environmental management, claiming it had left a lack of trust towards Governments’ ability to protect the environment.

That attack followed criticism earlier this year that the former government deliberately delayed the release of the report to boost its re-election chances, after having received it from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water in December.

The Labor government’s environmental policies in response to the report include major regulatory overhauls, which are expected to bring Australia in line with global environmental proposals.

Ms Plibersek will draft a proposal for the establishment of an independent environmental protection agency and will seek to have almost one third of the country’s land and oceans protected by 2030.

The changes in legislation could result in amendments to the existing 1999 Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act or an entirely new law to replace it.

Anthony Albanese visits Ukraine

Following the end of NATO’s summer summit in Madrid, Anthony Albanese accepted an offer to visit Ukraine before heading home from Europe.

Accompanied by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Mr Albanese visited the war affected towns of Bucha and Irpin, as well as Hostomel airport, all locations that have become infamous for brutality committed by Russian troops.

Appearing visibly disturbed by the war crime scenes, the Australian Prime Minister said the damage brought upon the residents was heartbreaking.

During a joint press conference with the Ukraine President, Mr Albanese announced Australia would provide an additional $100 million in military support. Australian support for the country includes an additional 34 armoured vehicles, 20 Bushmasters and other equipment, including drones, requested by Ukraine.

Mr Albanese also announced new sanctions and travel bans on an additional 16 Russian ministers and oligarchs, taking the number of individuals targeted by Australia to 843, and the number of sanctioned entities to 62.

2021 Census results

It’s been almost a year since Australians completed the latest Census and results are now starting to be released.

Some of the significant data included:

  • A 2 million increase in population since 2016, to 25.4 million
  • Our population is made up an almost 50:50 split between males and females (12.5 million males and 12.9 million females)
  • The Millennial and Baby Boomer populations now represent the equal largest generations (21.5%)
  • 5% of Australians were either born overseas or have a parent who was
  • 25% increase, since 2016, in the number of Australians identifying as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander
  • 9% of the population identify as having no religion compared to 43.9% identifying with a form of Christianity
  • More than 2 million people were recorded as having a long-term mental health condition





Bree Liddell More from author

Bree is Cannings Purple’s Government Relations Consultant, working with a diverse set of clients across the energy, resources, education and health sectors.

Qualified with a Bachelor’s Degree in Arts (Politics and International Relations) and Bachelor’s Degree in Science (Sport Science)(Nutrition), Bree is currently pursuing her Graduate Certificate in Public Policy.

Bree is skilled in strategic communications with the capability to review and analyse policies and procedures to deeper understand the government’s position, particularly identifying areas of opportunity for clients to engage government and create a working relationship.

With a broad range of working knowledge of the political system and internship experience in a state members office, Bree is perfectly placed to assist clients in navigating government process, policies and approvals.

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