The Jones Report - 23 February 2018

For the 16th straight day, the bloke with the red face in a big hat hogged the front page and the first story in every news bulletin.

Barnaby Joyce’s resignation today is welcomed and appropriate. Not because of his personal affairs or because of the untested allegations about sexual harassment but because he was clearly unable to continue doing his job.

Hopefully, we can now focus on the issues that need to be dealt with like getting the Regional Growth Fund, regional City Deals and the remaining Regional Jobs and Investment Projects delivered.

Malcolm Turnbull is in Washington to meet with Donald Trump. The media pack travelling with him are speculating about whether he should talk about gun control following last week's mass murder in Parkland. He should.

For the last 80 years, the US has played a critical role in international security - particularly in our region. Americans have also been in the forefront of thought leadership in so many areas of public policy. Both are compromised by the horrific spectacle of a country that seems incapable of protecting its most innocent citizens from gun massacres.

To suggest that the answer to yet another school shooting is to arm teachers is not just unhinged, it sends a message to friends around the world that your moral authority is on the slide.

And on local affairs

Congratulations to the new Catholic Bishop of Wollongong. Father Mascord, formerly of Maitland, was ordained as the new Catholic Bishop of Wollongong in a moving ceremony at the WEC last night. I look forward to engaging with him. I know we won’t always agree but I’ve always enjoyed the dialogue and exchange of ideas with local church leaders in the past.

Energy Prices and Local Manufacturing

I held a roundtable in Wollongong this week with Labor’s Shadow Minister for Energy, Mark Butler MP, and the big manufacturers including BlueScope, Bisalloy, MM Manufacturing and the peak industry bodies to discuss the energy needs of local industry.

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Local Sporting Champions Grants

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Round 3 of the Local Sporting Champions Grants close on 28 February 2018.

Eligible junior athletes are invited to apply for grants of up to $500 to support the cost of travel, accommodation, uniforms or equipment at state, national and international championships.

For more information, visit my website at stephenjones.com.au.


Uni's back

Uni is back. I dropped into the University of Wollongong to chat with new and returning students about the things that matter to them. Not surprising - jobs, penalty rates and Turnbull's higher ed cuts were top on their agenda.

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