The new laws that could hit your hip pocket


Published on

There's a lot happening in parliament in the lead up to the end of the financial year.

The major parties are hoping to get a few bills passed in the Senate before the end of the financial year, so it's looking like a rough week ahead for both houses of parliament.

Ministers and Senators have spent the past few days engaged in hot debate on the proposed bills, with the Prime Minister desperately trying to rally support from the Opposition and the Independents in order to get some of his key budget measures passed through the Senate before July 1.

wallet cash australian money hip pocket

A few measures have already been passed in the Senate. We will keep this list updated at decisions are announced.

Gonski 2.0: Passed

After a considerable struggle, education minister Simon Birmingham's education reforms have finally passed through the senate. In order to secure the votes, the government had to make considerable changes to the bill, putting the cost of the measure $1.5 billion over the forward estimates. Minister Birmingham says the extra costs will be considered in the mid-year financial economic outlook (MYEFO). The reforms passed 71 votes to 64.

The bank levy: Passed

Arguably the most controversial measure introduced in this year's budget, the bank levy was passed through the Senate with support of Labor and Greens late on Monday night. No changes were made to the legislation despite numerous changes recommended in a senate committee report, including a review of the levy every two years and extending the tax to foreign banks with significant assets.

GST applied to online goods and services: Delayed

Both major parties voted to delay the online goods and services tax until July 1 next year, giving online shoppers a one year reprieve. This will also be subject to an inquiry by the Productivity Commission.

Amendment to GST Low Value Goods Bill: Defeated

The Greens attempt to amend the GST Low Value Goods Bill to list sanitary products as exempt from GST was defeated in the Senate 33-15. Otherwise known as the 'tampon tax', the GST Low Value Goods Bill has drawn criticism from lobbyists for treating women's sanitary products as 'non-essential' items.

Citizenship changes: Defeated

A government bill to toughen English-language requirements for Australian citizenship was rejected unanimously by the ALP caucus. The government is currently searching for ways to amend the legislation to get it through parliament.

ALP bill to stop penalty rate cuts: Defeated

In a controversial move, Queensland Nationals back bencher George Christensen crossed the floor late on Tuesday night to vote with Labor in a bid to bring down the Fair Work Commission's order to reduce penalty rates.

Still to come:

Media reforms: TBA

Plans to scrap the two-out-of-three reach rule for media companies are on ice for now, unless Prime Minister Turnbull can win the support of Senators Jacqui Lambie, Nick Xenophon, David Leyonhjelm, Derryn Hinch, Cory Bernardi and Pauline Hanson.

Welfare reforms: TBA

The government's move to strip welfare benefits from recipients who fail to show up to Centrelink appointments due to drug and/or alcohol addiction was one of the more controversial aspects of this year's budget. The measure has faced considerable push back from medical and welfare groups, which may affect its chances from being passed through the senate this week.

Get stories like this in our newsletters.

Related Stories


Steph Nash was a staff writer at Money until 2017.