By Janine Perrett

On the surface it looked like the new PM was finally making big decisions yesterday. Well big announcements at least.

There he was solemnly addressing Parliament with a big national security statement; thankfully no flags, no death cult scare tactics, but not much new but the tone. Still steady as she goes.

There was the Treasurer announcing the government's response to the Harper review into competition which was "either the full Harper or no Harper" he declared before revealing that in fact only 44 of the 52 would be recommended and the rest, including key ones like an effects test, pharmacy deregulation and parallel book importing, well they will be subject to a review. Still it's a start.

The much heralded crackdown on multinational tax avoidance legislation was before the parliament but despite the big talk the Turnbull  government seems to be opposing its own bill because of its ludicrous opposition to the so-called kidnap amendments which require wealthy private companies to have tax transperancy.

Then again Labor seems to be all over the place on this one too.

And let's not even debate Bill Shorten's bizarre budget fix to double the price of cigarettes because with an approval rating of 15 percent it is unlikely we will ever see a Shorten Government to impose any of his sillier policies.

There was some real actual changes in key government departments though. Three deputy secretaries announced they were stepping down including the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, the latter giving PM Turnbull the chance to write a grievous wrong of the Abbott prime ministership.

Reports that Martin Parkinson, who was so shamefully and stupidly dumped from the top Treasury job, is about to take the top bureacratic role in the country would be welcome news.

Even more so given the news from Treasury yesterday that growth forecasts have been cut by one quarter of a percent to 2.75 percent, throwing out those overly optimistic projections of the last budget only six months ago.


It will make for a tough MYEFO in the weeks ahead. Some hard decisions will finally need to be made.