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PM’s 2019 agenda: national security, species protection and a budget in surplus

Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Wednesday, August 22, 2018. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING

Public servants waiting to learn if legislation in their field makes it on the Commonwealth’s 2019 agenda will want to keep be their expectations realistic.

Pushed to name what might be coming in the squeezed timetable before this year’s federal election, Prime Minister Scott Morrison this morning identified three issues on the government’s agenda for the parliament:

“We want to make sure that we continue the momentum we’ve had with the measures on national security. They’re the things that have always kept my focus. But there are a range of remaining items that have been outstanding on the legislative agenda for this year and we’re just going to make sure we take them through. There’s some environmental legislation to that end that I know is important for native species and a few other things like this. So we’re going to keep our focus on finishing off that legislative programme, but this year it’s about the Budget, a Budget that will be in surplus.”

In the interview on ABC News Breakfast he added that he’ll be focused on keeping Australia’s economy strong to guarantee essential services like Medicare that Australians rely on.

Morrison’s immediate agenda is a trip to Pacific island nations this week, described as a “step-up” of Australia’s efforts in its own region.

“We will be there both in Fiji and Vanuatu, this will be the first visit of a Prime Minister outside of the Pacific Islands Forum to Vanuatu we understand, ever. This is really about demonstrating, following through on the announcements I made last year, about stepping up our security partnerships, stepping up our economic and cultural partnerships. There is also the work we’re doing with Blackrock in Fiji, which is very important about boosting the training and presence for police and other forces, international forces that Fijians are a big part of, around the world. This is a big partnership.”

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The Mandarin

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