Well, the new Australian government seems to be step-by-step and piece-by-piece dealing with almost everything about the previous government that made me ashamed.
The latest is the removal of discrimination against gay&lesbian couples in legislation, by giving them the same entitlements as hetero couples (the pieces of legislation in question already don't discriminate on marital status, so this part is relatively straightforward). They're not going to legalize same-sex marriage, sadly, but at least the enshrined financial discrimination by government is coming to an end.
In a way, I can accept that for the moment - I'd rather see this partial improvement get through than a more completely equitable move fail. It may be that, like the call for a republic, it's a fight for a later time, possibly even a later government. I'm still sad for the gay and lesbian couples that want to get married now.
Apparently the government is also about to deliver a $21B (AUD) budget surplus, nearly 1.75% of GDP. That's huge, more than a thousand dollars per capita. Assuming they're still funding the election promises, I worry about what's being cut, but at least it should help then deal with our current schizo economy which can't decide between the internal inflationary effects of full employment and heavy consumer spending or the market downturn brought on by the US financial crisis, since it gives them the breathing space to fairly rapidly move from the anti-inflation measure it's designed to be, to spending more to help out the economy should the economy turn extremely sour later.
They're doing better economically than the arch-conservative government they replaced, but recent Labor governments have been bigger economic reformers than the supposed conservatives anyway, while still advancing a more equitable social agenda, a less gung-ho foreign policy and more responsible environmental policies. So far, so good.
But I'm still worried about where the $21B surplus came from. I guess I'll find out soon, when the budget is released.