Prime Minister Tony Abbott made a lot of promises during the 2013 election. He’s kept some of them but others have fallen during the past year.



* Repealed carbon tax.

* Abolished mining tax

* Notified Clean Energy Finance Corporation to suspend its operations and introduced legislation (three times) to permanently shut it down

* Established Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council chaired by Warren Mundine

* Moved indigenous affairs into Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet

* Started root-and-branch review of competition laws (report due in December)

* Established Operation Sovereign Borders taskforce led by three-star military commander

* Immigration minister visited Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nauru and Papua New Guinea

* Reintroduced temporary protection visas for refugees already in Australia (although the measure was immediately overturned by parliament)

* Finalised and issued protocols for Operation Relex II, to turn back asylum seeker boats when safe (no details released publicly)

* Deployed extra boats to help Customs and naval vessels

* Audited refugee assessment process with a view to removing appeals to the Refugee Review Tribunal (legislation for the change is before parliament)

* Expanded Nauru asylum seeker processing centre to 2000 places (presumably done although the government says this is an “operational issue”; 1100 asylum seekers there at end of July)

* Appointed minister for trade and investment

* Put all employment issues for people with disability under the minister for disabilities and carers

* Established a new Standing Council on Law, Crime and Community Safety (expected to report to COAG by July 2015)

* Commissioned white paper on energy security (expected release in December)

* Relocated deregulation to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and started government-wide processes to cut red tape, including a comprehensive agenda of legislation and regulations to repeal in first term

* Minister assisting the prime minister for deregulation to table annual red tape reduction report in parliament (Abbott made this statement in March; there’s no minister with this title but responsibility falls to Josh Frydenberg as Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister)

* One day of parliament in autumn and one in spring dedicated to repealing counterproductive, unnecessary or redundant legislation and associated regulations (second repeal day will be late October)

* Infrastructure Australia’s governance rearranged to abolish infrastructure co-ordinator position and replace with chief executive responsible to the board

* Completed review of NBN Co commercial progress and independent audit of its design

* Establish fair indexation for certain defence pensions, to start July 1, 2014

* Exploration development incentive gives tax breaks for mining investments from July 1, 2014

* Pilot program held for New Colombo Plan including Indonesia, Singapore, Japan and Hong Kong

* Set up full New Colombo Plan from 2015 for two-way exchanges with universities in region

* Set up $100,000 fund for research and information campaigns about online safety, run by the Children’s e-Safety Commissioner

* Abbott to spend a week in an indigenous community each year (he’ll just squeak this in for 2014 during the week before the anniversary of his swearing-in)

* Made a decision on second Sydney airport

* Froze the Passenger Movement Charge at $55 for whole term

* Designated three agencies with high-volume client interaction to trial three services using next-generation tele-presence from 2014 (though unknown which agencies)

* Trial relocation of critical data to a secure government cloud using automated tools


* Commission of audit reviewed all aspects of federal government operations, was to report within four months (started October 2013, reported March 2014 and report released in May)

* Review of indigenous training and employment programs, headed by Andrew Forrest, was to report within six months (started October 2013, reported released August 2014)

* Review of Tasmania’s shipping costs, freight industry, the Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme and the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme was to report by mid-March (reported late June)

* White paper on competitiveness of the agriculture sector, including considering food security was to report by September (final paper due end 2014)

* Productivity Commission review of child care was to report by September (draft report released July, final due October 31)

* Start construction on the East-West Link in Melbourne with $1.5 billion commonwealth funding by September (Victorian government has called for tenders and expects to sign contracts before November 29 state election)

* Complete independent review into long-term structure and regulation of telecommunications within six months (started December 2013, regulation review released in July, cost-benefit analysis released late August)


* Operation Sovereign Borders continues with only one successful asylum-seeker boat arrival in 2014. Government insists mission is not yet accomplished while spruiking its results.

* Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to monitor prices and report quarterly, for two years, on impact of carbon tax (this power was given to the ACCC when carbon tax repealed in July)

* Amend laws to ensure registered organisations and their officials have to play by the same rules as companies and their directors (legislation introduced twice but yet to pass)

* Established Joint Commonwealth and Tasmanian Economic Council, led by Dale Elphinstone, to report quarterly to PM for first 18 months of government (first meeting held in December but there’s been no word since then)

* White paper on the development of Northern Australia within 12 months (started February, green paper released in June, final report expected by February 2015)

* Make agreements with states and territories for “one-stop shop” for environmental approvals (agreements signed with NSW, Queensland and ACT; draft agreements with Tasmania, WA, SA, NT; agreement with Victoria expected by end of year)

* White paper on reform of the federation (started late June, to report by end of 2015)

* Locate a commonwealth agency in Gosford CBD (money has been allocated to build an office for 600 workers; half will come from the Australian Taxation Office, which is talking to other agencies to find another 300 workers to move)

* Encourage a quarter of public schools to work independently (negotiations with states and territories in progress; only agreement signed with Tasmania thus far)


* Appoint expert scientific panel by December 2013 to review the science supporting the boundary area for marine protection zones, to report within six months (in December 2013 minister promised details would be released early 2014 but that hasn’t happened)

* Start Productivity Commission review of operation of Fair Work Laws by mid-March (draft terms of reference leaked in early March but review postponed)

* NBN to give all Australians access to 25 megabits per second download speeds by 2016 (now estimated only 43 per cent of premises will get 25Mbps download speeds by 2016)

* Within a year, put forward a draft constitutional amendment to recognise indigenous people and establish a bipartisan process to assess its chances of success (now promised by end of 2014)

* Finalise position on Big Data Strategy within a year (data policy branch set up in communications department to work with Finance “to advance the government’s Big Data Policy agenda”)

* Complete review of diplomatic resources by mid-March (consular strategy review started but yet to report)

* Pause compulsory superannuation guarantee increase for two years but otherwise no adverse changes to super


* White paper on tax reform; take proposals to next election (not yet started but it was promised within two years)

* Legislate for 26 weeks paid parental leave at full pay, to start July 1, 2015

* Cut company tax by 1.5 per cent, to start July 1, 2015

* No cuts to health or education ($80 billion cuts over a decade flagged in May budget but government argues states were never going to get this money anyway)

* No changes to pensions (changes proposed in May budget but won’t take effect until after 2016 election)

* No changes to the GST

* Prime Minister to make annual statement to parliament on infrastructure.

* Trade and investment minister to make annual statement to parliament about new investments and jobs growth (expected to be in late September)