Factbox: Key policies for Australian PM Gillard

CANBERRA (BestGrowthStock) – Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard scraped back into office on Tuesday and will now lead the country’s first minority government since World War Two with the support of three independents and one Green MP.

Here are some key policies and their chances of success:


Chances of being introduced: Very strong.

* Gillard’s promise to build a $38 billion national broadband network, involving a $10 billion deal to use the network of dominant phone company Telstra was a key to her victory. The plan was a major incentive for rural-based independent lawmakers to back Gillard to retain power.

* Companies which may be affected: Phone companies like Telstra and Singtel. Wireless companies like Hutch Telcom. Cable and entertainment companies like Austar and News Corp.


Chances of success: Strong.

* Gillard has promised to return a small budget surplus from 2012-13 and a 2 percent cap on new spending. There is no change to the policy under the deals with the independents and Greens, despite pressure on the government to spend more on regional Australia. Gillard has outlined new spending priorities for regional health, education and infrastructure, but the money mostly comes from existing programs.


Chances of success: Strong.

* Under an agreement to win support from a key independent, Gillard has promised to crack down on problem gambling by imposing new restrictions on gaming machines. The Greens support the plans, which should now find support in the new parliament. However, Gillard might have a fight with state governments, who rely upon gambling taxes for around 10 percent of state revenues. Companies which may be affected include gaming and wagering groups Tabcorp Holdings, Tatts and Crown as well as Aristocrat Leisure, the world’s second-largest maker of slot machines.


Chances of success: Slightly better than even money.

Gillard went to the election proposing a 30 percent tax on coal and iron ore mining profits from 2012. Her wider program to cut company tax cut from 30 percent to 29 percent, and have employers pay more money into worker pension funds, relies on the mining tax. But the policy may need tweaks to win support from the independents, who support the concept but not necessarily the detail. Under her deal to win support of the independents, Gillard has agreed to a wider tax summit in 2012, which will include debate about the mining tax.

All major iron ore and coal miners, led by BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, will be affected by the tax. Other companies affected include Macarthur Coal, Centennial Coal, Fortescue Metals Group, Mount Gibson Iron and Atlas Iron.


Chances of success: Slightly better than even.

The government went to the election promising to cut carbon emissions by at least 5 percent by 2020, and to seek consensus for its plan for carbon trading, which has been shelved until after 2012. But under the deal with the Greens, the government will establish a new committee of lawmakers and experts, who will work on a policy to put a price on carbon pollution and promote renewable energy. Gillard will have majority support for any new consensus policy to price carbon emissions.

Companies affected include electricity generators such as AGL Energy; TruEnergy, a unit of Hong Kong-listed CLP Holdings; and Britain’s International Power, which has a stake in an Australian coal-fired power station.


Chances of success: Unlikely.

* Gillard wants to target a sustainable population and the government has signaled a fall in net migration from around 300,000 in 2009 to around 145,000 by 2012. Gillard also wants to set up a regional refugee processing center on East Timor, although Dili has not yet agreed to the plan. Business wants to maintain immigration numbers, and the Greens and independents oppose the offshore processing of asylum seekers. So the policy may be quietly shelved.

(Reporting by James Grubel)

Factbox: Key policies for Australian PM Gillard