72 Facts About Abbott Government


The Abbott government was sworn into office on 18 September 2013.

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In economic policy, the Abbott government aimed to rein in a budget deficit that reached A$48.

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Abbott Government campaigned in opposition and in office to halt the people smuggling trade, and unauthorised maritime arrivals ceased during his term of office under Operation Sovereign Borders.

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In 2015, The Abbott government agreed to resettle an additional 12,000 refugees from the region.

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The Abbott Government launched the New Colombo Plan to encourage educational exchange with the Indo-Pacific region.

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Domestically, Abbott Government campaigned for recognition of Indigenous Australians in the Australian Constitution, flagging a referendum for 2017, and promised a plebiscite on the issue of same-sex marriage.

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Liberal–National coalition, led by Abbott Government, won the 2013 Australian federal election, returning their Coalition to power after six years in opposition.

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Abbott Government served as Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs under Liberal leaders Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull and then became Leader of the Opposition following a 2009 leadership spill in which he defeated the incumbent leader, Turnbull, by one vote.

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Abbott Government offered support to the Gillard government's National Disability Insurance Scheme, and matched the government on its first four years funding for the Gonski restructuring of education funding.

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Abbott Government took a proposal for an expanded paid parental leave scheme, part funded by a levy on big business, to the 2010 and 2013 elections.

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The party had campaigned heavily against Abbott and promised to block his key election commitment to abolish the carbon tax it had jointly introduced with the Gillard government.

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Abbott ministry was not announced for an unusually long period and the Agence France Presse reported that Abbott had set out to stamp a "markedly different style on government" standing "in stark contrast to the 'chaos' he liked to accuse his Labor predecessors of fomenting as almost hourly soundbites, lengthy press conferences and briefings were cranked out in an effort to control the 24-hour news cycle".

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Abbott Government chose the Indonesian capital as his first overseas destination, and travelled to Jakarta on 30 September 2013, to meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on 30 September 2013.

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Abbott Government announced a commitment to extend compensation to Australian victims of terrorist attacks, allowing payments of up to A$75,000 to those who suffered in attacks on New York, London, Egypt, Mumbai, Jakarta, Bali and Nairobi since 2001.

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In Brunei, Abbott Government attended his first East Asia Summit with world leaders, including India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

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Abbott Government was accompanied by Foreign Minister Bishop, Trade Minister Robb, five of Australia's state premiers, and 30 of the country's senior business executives.

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Abbott Government discussed the search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, being led by Australia.

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Abbott Government announced military co-operation between the China and Australia would be developed to include high-level meetings, staff exchanges and joint exercises.

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Abbott Government announced that President Xi would address the Australian Parliament in 2015.

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Abbott Government hailed the agreement, saying that, along with the Korean and Japan agreements, it would underpin Australia's prosperity in coming years.

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Abbott Government committed to increasing Defence spending to two per cent of GDP within a decade.

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Abbott Government moved to strengthen economic and defence ties with Japan, signing the Japan–Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and inviting Shinzo Abe to address Parliament and announcing a transfer of defence technology and equipment would be included in it.

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Abbott Government announced that the Australian mission was to "disrupt and degrade" Islamic State "at home and abroad".

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In September 2015, the Abbott government expanded Australia's military mission, by joining US-led airstrikes against IS targets in Syria, and announced that 12,000 additional refugees from the region would be accepted.

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Shortly after losing office, Abbott Government gave this appraisal of the battle against Islamic State:.

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Abbott Government was concerned as early as August 2014 that the Indonesian militant Islamist terror group Jemaah Islamiah has aligned itself to ISIL, and formed a potential threat.

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At the opening of a regional summit against terrorism in Sydney in June 2015, Abbott Government praised the leadership against Islamist terrorism shown by Muslim statesmen such as Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib – who had described ISIS as "against God, against Islam and against our common humanity" – and of Egypt's president el-Sissi – who told Egyptian imams that Islam needed a "religious revolution".

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Abbott Government said he hoped the wording for a referendum could be concluded in 2016, for a referendum vote in 2017.

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Abbott Government announced the establishment of the Indigenous Advisory Council in November 2013.

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In Opposition, Abbott Government promised to spend a week a year in remote indigenous communities.

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On his August 2015 week in remote indigenous communities, Abbott Government again discussed constitutional recognition and became the first Prime Minister to visit the grave of land rights champion Eddie Mabo.

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Abbott Government reduced funding to the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and associated policy officer positions in state governments, but not by as much as it had committed to during the election campaign.

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Abbott Government promised to "cut red tape" and reduce the company tax rate.

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Abbott Government committed to abolishing the carbon tax, to bring down power and gas prices, and to abolishing the mining tax to increase investment and employment.

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In June 2014, Abbott Government launched the Reform of the Federation white paper, with an eye to clarifying "roles and responsibilities for states and territories so that they are as far as possible, sovereign in their own sphere".

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In February 2014, Abbott Government announced the Royal Commission into trade union governance and corruption to inquire into financial irregularities associated with the affairs of trade unions.

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Labor and the Greens opposed the Coalition's promised abolition of carbon pricing, and the introduction of "direct action" carbon-reduction policies, but the Abbott Government secured cross bench support for the repeal of the tax in July 2014.

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The Abbott Government was unable to secure passage of its expanded Paid Parental Leave Scheme, or medicare co-contribution and the measures were scrapped.

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In December 2013, Abbott Government launched a taskforce to help make it easier for Australians to permanently adopt children.

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Abbott Government made the announcement flanked by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell and actors Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness, who supported the process.

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In opposition, Abbott Government's Coalition had voted against a same-sex marriage bill put to the Parliament, but in office Abbott Government indicated that, while he personally opposed redefinition of marriage, if a bill were to come before the new parliament, the Coalition party room would discuss its stance on the issue.

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In Government, Abbott reaffirmed that he did not support changing the law to recognise same-sex marriages.

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Abbott Government permitted Coalition members to advocate for change if they felt strongly on the issue, and indicated that if a bill were to come before the new parliament, the Coalition party room would discuss its stance on the issue.

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Opinion polls suggested growing support for change, and on 11 August 2015, Abbott Government called a Coalition Party room vote and MPs voted against allowing a free vote on the issue 66 to 33.

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Abbott Government was criticised by some pro-gay marriage Liberal MPs for holding the vote in the Coalition party room, rather than the Liberal party room.

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In 2015, the Abbott government had been pursuing a policy of increasing its refugee intake from 13,750 people to 18,750 by 2018, but the worsening Syrian Civil War refugee crisis, led Abbott to announce an additional intake of 12,000 places for people escaping that conflict.

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In Opposition, Tony Abbott promised that his government would "stop the boats" within his first term of Government.

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In December 2014 the Abbott government passed the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 giving the immigration minister unprecedented powers to control the lives of asylum seekers.

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Abbott Government apologised to Indonesia after Australian Navy ships performing border protection tasks entered the country's waters on six occasions during December 2013 and January 2014.

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The Abbott Government told the High Court there remained 157 asylum seekers, who were on an Indian flagged vessel that had departed from Pondicherry, India.

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The Abbott Government said that when these asylum seekers "refused to meet Indian consular officials, who were to establish their identities and residency status", they were transferred to Nauru.

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In May 2015, the Abbott government released the Australian Infrastructure Audit.

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On 19 September 2013, Abbott Government joined NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell to jointly launch the 33-kilometre WestConnex motorway for Sydney.

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In Victoria, Abbott Government supported construction of the East West Link in Melbourne.

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On 15 April 2014, the Abbott government announced approval for a second Sydney airport at Badgerys Creek, 50 kilometres west of Sydney's CBD, and to develop accompanying integrated infrastructure.

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Abbott Government predicted that the project would create 60,000 new jobs for Western Sydney by the time the airport was fully operational.

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In May 2015, Fairfax political correspondent Peter Hartcher had made allegations against Tony Abbott Government, claiming falsely that he had snubbed the gay partner of an ambassador in Paris.

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In relation to climate change policy, Abbott had campaigned strongly against the Labor government's system of carbon pricing, and promised a "Direct Action Plan" for carbon emissions reduction.

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Abbott Government's government abolished the Gillard Government's carbon tax, but committed Australia to continuing to reduce greenhouse gasses at the Paris Agreement conference.

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Abbott Government delivered his election promise to remove the carbon tax with the support of the Senate cross bench in July 2014.

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In December 2014 during the 2014 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, the Abbott Government pledged $200 million over four years to the Green Climate Fund.

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In November 2013, the Abbott government made a decision not to send a ministerial delegate to the 2013 Warsaw climate summit.

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Tony Abbott Government announced plans to again study the supposed health impacts of wind farms, before the public release of a survey of scientific literature on the issue.

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The Abbott government was elected in the early stages of implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which had been introduced by Julia Gillard, and for which the Coalition had offered bi-partisan support.

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The Abbott Government proposed the introduction of a $7 co-payment for GP visits to permanently augment funding of Medicare and establish a medical research fund to work towards curing cancer and dementia.

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Abbott Government assumed the education portfolio during the early stages of implementation of the school funding reforms inspired by the Gonski review, and introduced by the Gillard-Rudd governments, for which the Abbott led Opposition had pledged to match the Labor government's proposed funding for the next four years in August 2013 after initially opposing the measures.

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On 24 November 2013 Pyne announced that the Abbott Government was reviewing all aspects of the Gonski funding agreements on the grounds that they were "a shambles and quite unimplementable", and inferior to the model in place under the Howard Abbott Government.

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Abbott Government moved to abolish the role of Freedom of Information Commissioner, abolish the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner and charge $800 for reviews of "freedom of information" request denials.

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In 2014, leaked discussions about the Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 disaster in Ukraine had claimed Abbott Government wanted to send 1000 Australian soldiers to secure the site, but cabinet colleagues, including Foreign Minister Bishop talked him out of it.

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ABC reported that in the lead up to the motion, the Abbott government had been facing "leaks and growing media criticism", when Abbott earned the "ire of his colleagues and the derision of many Australians by appointing Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, as a Knight of the Order of Australia", and that the defeat of the Liberal National Party government of Campbell Newman had disheartened the Coalition.

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In February 2015, Abbott Government was hit by leaks criticising his interventions to attempt to save Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan from the death penalty in Indonesia, and claiming that he had come up with a plan to "unilaterally invade Iraq" with a force of more than 3000 Australian troops to take on Islamic State forces.

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In early December 2015, Abbott Government said he would not make a decision on his political future until April 2016.

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