Labor says Melissa Price may have misled parliament over meeting with former Kiribati leader, while Labor attacks PM over moving Israel embassy to Jerusalem
So Melissa Price lives to fight another day.
Which will be tomorrow. When she is the feature of question time.
The result of the division to suspend standing orders is tied
71 to 71
A division is called.
Unless someone from the government doesn’t turn up (hey, it’s happened before) the motion will fail.
And if you haven’t seen Anne Davies story on the Wentworth polling as yet:
The Liberal party is in serious danger of losing the seat of Wentworth this weekend according to a new ReachTel poll that shows Liberal candidate Dave Sharma’s primary vote has slumped to 32.7%. The vote of high profile independent and local GP Kerryn Phelps has surged to 25.8%.
Labor’s Tim Murray has also increased his share of the primary vote to 21.6%, compared with 19.5% in a ReachTel poll two weeks ago. The Greens’ Dominic Wy Kanak has 9.1% while independent Licia Heath has 5.6%.
Alex Turnbull has switched his support in the Wentworth race from Labor’s Tim Murray to independent Kerryn Phelps, saying it makes more sense:
Ok so lets talk about strategic voting #auspol #wentworthvotes. Firstly there’s a great book that summarizes the literature on this called Gaming the Vote by William Poundstone. You can find it here https://t.co/0A31Zo7xZ8
One of the key challenges of instant runoff or preferential voting is that you can get the “winner turns loser” and “center squeeze” phenomenons. Here’s a section of the book below. pic.twitter.com/hKClFv6N3P
So realistically if its tight, and the preference flows are as they are its better to vote for @drkerrynphelps if you want greater certainty of the Liberals not retaining the seat. However, if you want to virtue signal and not win, do your thing @Greens
And if you vote for @Timpmurray be very sharp about your preferencing.
Shockingly, the government is against the motion.
Greg Hunt is speaking up for the government. He says he won’t be lecutured by the Labor party given its mistakes, including pink batts.
“I 100 % disagree with what he has said was the conversation,” Melissa Price told parliament about what she had said to the former president of Kiribati.
Tony Burke said she has left herself “no wriggle room” now that the conversation has been confirmed, on the record, by others who were there.
That the House:
Tony Burke has walked into the House of Reps in an effort to suspend standing orders over what Labor says is Melissa Price had “misleading” information.
He is focusing on the wrong answer to the Great Barrier Reef fund. And wants to know if it had “anything to do” with the note Scott Morrison handed her, before she answered 5% to the question of – how much can the Great Barrier Reef Foundation spend on admin.
Simon Birmingham told David Speers on Sky that the decision to have a discussion about moving our Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem had been agreed upon by cabinet.
“Yes,” he said in answer to Speers’s question on that.
So Australia, and I as prime minister, am open to that suggestion. What I’ll do in the months ahead is obviously confer with cabinet colleagues. I will obviously take the opportunity during the upcoming summit season to confer with other leaders around the world and gauge their perception about this and to make the case that Dave [Sharma] himself has made about whether this can actually provide an alternative way forward and aid the cause that I believe all of us are interested in pursuing. So, no decision has been made in regarding the recognition of a capital or the movement of an embassy, and I should be clear – those two things, they are the two issues.
The Senate debate on removing discrimination law exemptions for religious schools is underway.
The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, said Australians were “horrified” to learn religious schools can fire teachers and expel students on grounds of sexuality and gender, and this should be fixed. The government leader in the Senate, Mathias Cormann, confirmed the government will not support the bill, because it does not agree on removing the exemption for teachers.
Labor, the Greens and enough of the crossbench are already against the government’s “life time ban” on Nauru and Manus Island asylum seekers to keep the bill in purgatory, but New Zealand is also against it.
The New Zealand Herald reports foreign minister and sometimes acting prime minister Winston Peters says it would create two tiers of NZ citizenship, which, obviously, NZ is against.
Peters said that would, in effect, create one group of New Zealand citizens that could travel and work in Australia, and another group that could not.
“We’re going to have to consider whether or not, as a result of our 2013 commitment (to offer to take 150 refugees from Nauru), we end up with people who are second-class citizens in New Zealand.
The Greens have attempted to strip the former governor general Peter Hollingworth of his pension, after survivors of institutional childhood abuse called for it because of how he handled abuse claims in the Anglican church.
That part of the motion was defeated and Rachel Siewert said the Senate was “ignoring the wishes of survivors”.
Fairfax has updated David Crowe’s story:
UPDATE: Phil Glendenning, the president of the Refugee Council of Australia, was at last night’s dinner and has gone on the record to confirm senator Pat Dodson’s version of what Melissa Price said is “100 per cent accurate”https://t.co/CSaFyUoUYl #auspol
Barnaby Joyce speaking on the Nationals leadership would not be reassuring if you were Michael McCormack or his supporters:
“Can we just deal with that? I am not surprised that journalists like yourself [David Speers on Sky] are asking me questions like that and come up and see me about it. That is not a surprise.
So why was the answer wrong, according to Burke?
Well, according to the government, the answer was up to 19% can be spent on admin costs (about 10% of the fund on administration and about 10% on sub-contracts)
Melissa Price in the parliament this afternoon tried to deny this conversation took place, or that she said these words.
Pat Dodson has put them in writing and they were witnessed by a number of other people at the dinner table as well.
What we have here is a situation where Melissa Price has made a series of appalling comments to the former president of Kiribati, and instead of facing up to those comments, apologising and withdrawing them, has sought to deny them in the parliament of Australia.
If there is one thing that an environment minister should be across in this government, it is what happening with the money that is going to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. This was the largest single removal of money from the commonwealth environment in history, leaving the commonwealth and going to a small, private foundation.
Melissa Price was asked twice how much of that money is spent on administration. And the answer she gave was wrong. Factually wrong. First of all she claimed it was a small amount of money, and then she said it was 5%. When you are coming off the base of half a billion dollars, 5% is hard to argue as a small amount of money.
Mark Butler and Tony Burke have held a press conference to say that Melissa Price may have “misled the parliament” when she denied the account of Patrick Dodson about what happened when she met the former president of Kiribati Anote Tong, by denying Dodson’s account in question time.
For those who missed it, this has come from Fairfax’s David Crowe’s story about a conversation Dodson, Tong and Price had when they met by chance in a restaurant overnight.
One witness to the conversation told Fairfax Media that Ms Price discussed a possible meeting with Mr Tong and then made a remark about demands for cash.
Ms Price asked Mr Tong why he was in Canberra and was told by Senator Dodson that the former Kiribati leader was in Australia to talk about climate change and was hoping to have a meeting with her.
Then we get David Littleproud talking about all those people sitting around kitchen tables.
I do not know anyone who has time to sit around a kitchen table and talk anymore, but apparently I am hanging out in the wrong electorates.
Mark Dreyfus asks about this tweet:
It’s OK to be white.
It’s OK to be Aboriginal.
It’s OK to be Asian.
It’s OK to be any ethnicity.
If you’re for all of the above, good on you. If you’re against any then you’re a racist and that’s fairly unAustralian.
And it’s GREAT to be Australian! pic.twitter.com/FIPyWYanV5
Ged Kearney to …
As people will know, an excellent policy that was worth over $2 billion, we’re down to $250 million. Of course you would expect a responsible government is looking at a full suite of policies, which would include the ERM. That is not a matter for me to talk about today, it is a matter for cabinet.
Trent Zimmerman actually just uttered the words “why he believes in delivering central transport services” and I have never felt more like stabbing my pen through my hand.
No, wait, I spoke too soon. Listening to Alan Tudge deliver the answer is the new pen-through-the-hand benchmark #deathtodixers
Peter Dutton gives us his dire predictions of direness, but it is October, so I guess he’s just being festive.
Then Melissa Price is back! A star is born, ladies and gentlemen.
Last week when asked how Australia would meet its Paris carbon reduction pollution targets she said it would build 1 billion trees. Does the Minister plan on sharing this environmental breakthrough with other nations and other amazing forestry breakthroughs to avoid real action on climate change”
Marise Payne sounds like she is just LOVING life at the moment.
She’s asked in the Senate about David Crowe’s story and gives the world’s shortest answers:
The minister has contacted Senator Dodson to say she disagrees with his interpretation of the conversation and has also contacted the guest to ensure there was no misunderstanding.
Christopher Pyne gets up for a dixer and Nick Champion gets thrown out for yelling “Send in Sgt York” and then leaves saying something about “General Pyne”, which sends Labor into hysterics, because, and no disrespect to the member, the bar for laughs in pretty low in this chamber.
Then Melissa Price is back! I guess I won’t be forgetting who she is now.
The latest data confirms that under the government’s policies carbon pollution will rise all the way to 2030 and the government will come nowhere near the Paris climate reduction targets for that year. Does the minister agree with the prime minister [that] Australia will meet its Paris commitments?
I thank the member for his question. Australia will meet its Kyoto targets, we are on the way to meeting the 2020 target. [Paris, PARIS, yells Labor]
Australia is on target to meet its 2030 target. We have got the full suite of climate policy [from] back in 2017; the climate review of policies said we had the right [mix] –emissions reduction fund, we recently announced a forestry plan – we have the policies. We will meet our targets.
Mark Butler to Melissa Price:
I refer to reports last night when she was told the former prime minister of Kiribati was in Australia to deliver a message on climate change, she told the former president I know why you are here, you are here for the cash, I have my cheque-book here, how much do you want? Does the minister deny saying those words to the former president of one of the nations most affected by climate change and sea level change in the world?
Ms Price asked Mr Tong why he was in Canberra and was told by Senator Dodson that the former Kiribati leader was in Australia to talk about climate change and was hoping to have a meeting with her.
“Is it about the cash?” Ms Price replied, according to the witness.
Today I received a letter from Senator Dodson with his recollection of a conversation. I was very concerned [the president was part of a meeting which] was a gathering at a restaurant where I stumbled across this group, and went over to introduce myself. I was with Senator Dodson who I classified as a friend of mine. I am very concerned that in some way the president has been offended in any way. I believe he is not here any more.
I’ve spoken to Senator Dodson today and asked him if he was able to provide them with a contact number for [the] president because I 100 % disagree with what he has said is the conversation. I see the Pacific as a very good friend and neighbour to Australia, that is exactly what I said to president Tong last night. Thank you.
Tony Burke to Melissa Price
(Yes, I did just have to look up who the environment minister was)
A good opportunity to talk about the reef, Mr Speaker. We know that this $440 million reef grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, we all know that the reef requires an enormous amount of effort in terms of the science needed, and there is an enormous amount of work that is being done in terms of the … There is a considerable amount of work that is being done already by the foundation, we have already identified $200 million with respect of water, a significant amount of money to research more broadly, a significant amount of money to resilience, and also a small amount of money with respect to administration.
Over in the Senate, Marise Payne is doing her best not to answer questions about the process that led to the “discussion” Australia is having over its Israeli embassy:
I am not going to comment on the details of the prime minister’s exchanges with his international counterparts in that way. What I will say is that consultation has been engaged in between Australia and a number of other international parties, of course. Again, Senator Moore misrepresents the position by asserting a complete change in policy. What the prime minister has indicated he wants to do is to have a discussion, to examine these extremely important issues of international policy. Those opposite seem incapable of participating in a discussion like that, incapable, they are only focused on process. They have no interest in Australia’s foreign policy positions whatsoever … based on the sorts of questions that they’ve been asking. I would remind them that there are those opposite who have also canvassed these same issues, including Mr Danby, including Mr Danby in May this year, who suggested that it may be appropriate to look at the location of the embassy. Some perhaps are open to a discussion but, clearly, not all.
Adam Bandt has today’s crossbench question:
Kids need to grow up in a stable loving environment. Under your watch, refugee children in Nauru are in crisis. When a 10-year-old boy repeatedly tried to kill himself, your government refused to transfer him to Australia for treatment until a court ordered it.
As the emergency grows to catastrophe, an Australian senior medical officer was arrested and deported from Nauru.
Why are you slowly killing these children?
Are you seriously arguing threatening these children’s lives as some kind of necessary evil? Acceptable because you want to send a broader message. Why [don’t you] accept the advice of the doctors [that] it is never in the interest of a child to lock them up until they die?
Our record is that [we went about] improving the facilities that were opened by Labor when they were in office, and we will continue to treat every single case based on the medical advice that is received and transfers undertaken on the basis of that medical advice, and will continue to pursue that practice in each and every case.
As the prime minister outlined, firstly there are about 65 medical professionals on Nauru at the moment. [Not true, says Bandt.]
The Australian government has provided some hundreds of millions of dollars to medical services on Nauru. In fact there have now been around about 200 children who have come as part of family units, where a father or mother may have come down to Australia for medical assistance and they have come as part of that family unit, or indeed they have come down for medical assistance themselves.
So there are many cases, Mr Speaker, where the Australian government has provided support.
They make the point that we have been able to negotiate an arrangement with the United States – now 435 people have left Nauru, and from Manus, people have arrived as part of the 50,800 boats when Labor was last in government – those people have formed part of what I hope will be a bigger number heading off to the United States, and we continue to work on a number of cases, as we are, as the list of immigration is on a daily basis in relation to this matter.
As the prime minister rightly points out, we take the advice of medical experts, we have a look at the …
Well, again, Mr Speaker, I think Australians [want them to] better stick to the facts because if they don’t, they [will be] led by people like the honourable member [with the question] and what results, as the prime minister detailed before, could easily be repeated if that man is ever involved …[he points at Labor but runs out of time].
Michael McCormack also gets the next dixer.
Can the prime minister confirm the reports today that he first informed the president of Indonesia of his decision to overturn 70 years by bipartisan foreign policy by text message? Is the prime Minister so panicked about Wentworth he is willing to make the most cynically timed foreign policy decision in living memory? Why is the prime minister so reckless with our foreign policy?
Australians will know this about me, what I believe today is what I will believe next week, and a month from now, Mr Speaker.
When I went to Israel with the now leader of the opposition, only one of us remembers the lessons of that trip. The Liberal and National parties, we stand with Israel, I don’t know what the Labor party thinks any more. Some of their members, the member for Sydney, thinks Israel is a rogue state, Mr Speaker. She … has said this as a member of the House of Representatives, and called Israel a rogue state.
Now, I don’t believe Israel is a rogue state, nobody on this side of the house believes Israel is a rogue state, Mr Speaker. I don’t know what the bipartisanship is the leader of the Labor party is talking about when it comes to misplaced support for the state of Israel, I don’t know what that bipartisanship is.
When I listen to the question from the leader of the opposition, next week after the Wentworth byelection will the leader of the Labor party tell us his views on Jerusalem – the issue of Iran – will you tell us this week or next week? He wants to talk about process this week. My answer on those questions are the same today as they will be next week. He seems to have forgotten the fact earlier this morning, in the general assembly of the United Nations, Australia voted no for Palestine to chair the GE 77.
I haven’t heard anything from the opposition about this. I don’t know what the leader of the Labor party thinks on these questions any more, I don’t know what he believes in, Mr Speaker. I can say I’m not sure I have ever known what he believes in – depends on what part of the country he is in – you don’t need an atlas to understand what he thinks and what he says – you also need a calendar, it changes from day today today.
Joel Fitzgibbon to Michael McCormack:
Yesterday in question time he said, ‘I will never ever background a journalist’. Does he stand by that answer? Is what Ray Hadley said today – the office of the current deputy prime minister was the source of many of the leaks against the former deputy prime minister – true? People in glass houses should not throw stones.
Bill Shorten to Scott Morrison on … government dysfunction.
Ding, ding, ding!
Can the prime minister confirm that he and his government on Monday supported a white supremacist motion in the Senate, on Tuesday upended 70 years of foreign policy, and on Wednesday the former deputy prime minister is doing their best to uproot the current deputy prime minister? How can the prime minister claim that a vote for the Liberals in Wentworth is a vote for stability, when he still can’t explain why Malcolm Turnbull is no longer the prime minister?
The leader of the opposition really does need to grow up, Mr Speaker. He really does.
There are important issues that we are dealing with on a daily basis – the economy, the drought, the residential aged care inquiry.
We are working to ensure that we have a strong economy that can support Medicare, that can provide affordable medicines, that can keep Australians safe, and all the leader of the opposition wants to do is charge around in this building, in the bubble of politics, Mr Speaker.
What the leader of the opposition is demonstrating to the Australian people is just that he is just another politician in a suit, Mr Speaker. [He says this while wearing a suit, himself].
This is leader of the opposition who the Australian people have no idea what he believes, they have no idea what he stands for, all they know, Mr Speaker, is that this leader of the opposition is about one thing – himself.
I would suggest of the Opposition to get out of the gutter of politics and focus on issues that are of national interest to all Australians, Mr Speaker. On this side you get [discussions] on issues of foreign policy, Australians deciding the issues of … affecting this society. On the other side of the house we have the member for Sydney hinting Israel is a rogue state, Mr Speaker.
Ahead of question time, Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will honour Ian Kiernan, who has died, aged 78.
Kiernan was an environmentalist who spearheaded Clean Up Australia Day and a round-the-world sailor.
We are about to roll into question time.
My feed is still not great, so I’ll be heading into the chamber– so hit me up with your predictions while I cross this giant bloody building.
Time to take a leaf from Canada’s policy book?
Congratulations to Canada for taking the common sense step to legalise cannabis for personal use. It is high time that Australia follows suit.
Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, delivered his speech to the National Press Club just a few moments ago.
Here’s a taste:
Let me briefly specify six trends of particular concern to us:
One, wars are lasting much longer than they used to 20 years ago.
The Senate is likely to begin debate on discrimination protections for LGBT teachers under a Greens plan to suspend standing orders with Labor and crossbench support on Wednesday.
The tactic to force debate on Richard Di Natale’s private senator’s bill means the issue will be considered before the Wentworth byelection on Saturday, despite Scott Morrison refusing to give bipartisan support for ending religious exemptions to discrimination law for teachers and school staff.
Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne came together for their weekly slot with Adelaide radio 5AA. And the usually jovial pair had a small skirmish over the “it’s okay to be white” motion screw-up:
ALBANESE: Well let’s be very clear here. Pauline Hanson spoke on this motion in the Senate. They were sitting there listening to her do the dog whistle to rightwing extremists, use language that is used by the KKK and other extreme rightwing groups. And then the bells rang and they voted for it.
PYNE: Because it was mistake.
ALBANESE: But they were there in the chamber during the debate. It’s been on notice for a month.
PYNE: Are you seriously suggesting that people like Simon Birmingham and Marise Payne, and Christopher Pyne for that matter, are racist? Is that what you are saying?
ALBANESE: Simon Birmingham walked into the chamber and it is understandable that sometimes when the bells ring you go in and you sit with your team …
PYNE: So you are saying that Lucy Gichuhi is a racist?
ALBANESE: But there were a range of people sitting there. I am saying that, from time to time, people who are associated with your side of politics have been prepared to sit back and listen to dog whistles.
PYNE: So Anne Ruston is a racist? Is that what you are saying?
ALBANESE: You have been, from time to time, people on your side of politics …
PYNE: No of course you are not saying that, because it’s not true. You know as well as I do that it is not true and it was a mistake end everyone knows it was a mistake.
ALBANESE: They behaved like stuffed dummies incapable of independent thought. What were they doing, auditioning for a remake of Weekend at….
Here’s why the Greens were against the policy – and, it has to be said, some within the Labor caucus:
“Labor has abandoned its own party platform, Australian workers, our environment and our sovereignty in rolling over for the Morrison Government to pass the TPP,” the Greens trade spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said in a statement.
The final vote on the TPP was 35 to 15
And the division created some interesting bedfellows, at least for this Senate.
The Prime Minister’s Office have also just issued this statement on the TPP:
This landmark agreement is one of the most comprehensive trade deals ever concluded and strips 98% of tariffs for 11 countries with a combined GDP of more than $13.8tn and close to 500 million consumers.
Independent modelling shows Australia is forecast to see $15.6bn in net annual benefits to national income by 2030 from the TPP-11.
Scott Morrison was celebrating the TPP this morning ahead of it passing the Senate (as per the PMO transcript)
Can I tell you, I remember when the TPP-11, which now become … when the TPP was then made known. I was treasurer at the time and I was actually in Germany on some G20 business and the number of countries that came to us and said, “Are you still going to push ahead with this? Are you really going to keep going with this? Isn’t it a waste of time?” And I said, “Absolutely.”
The prime minister was saying at the time. And I can’t underscore enough how this agreement demonstrates our government’s commitment to expanding our trade markets.
Liberal senator James Paterson popped up on Sky to talk about why the Israel embassy should move to Jerusalem.
It’s no surprise he is in favour. It’s also a policy that is put forward by the branches at state and national level quite frequently. Until Tuesday, the parliamentary team response was “this won’t be happening”.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership deal has passed the Senate.
The Greens were against it, but Labor, despite internal division, supported the legislation, which meant it sailed through.
All five amendment attempts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership bill have been rejected and the Senate is voting on the bill.
Sarah Hanson-Young has put forward this amendment on the TPP debate the Senate is undertaking right now (given Labor’s support for the TPP, this debate is largely a tick and flick):
(1) Clause 2, page 2 (cell at table item 2, column 2), omit the cell, substitute:
If the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership, done at Santiago, Chile on 8 March 2018, enters into force for Australia — the first day that:
More changes at the ABC:
Breaking: The ABC’s director of regional & local, Michael Mason, former head of radio, has told staff he is leaving the ABC in December. Another vacancy to fill.
And as I’ve just been reminded, Mark Latham and the Liberal Democrats parted ways in September.
From Rosie Lewis’s story in the Oz:
‘I’ve been a Liberal Democrats member for the past 16 months. In recent times the national executive has been discussing my possible nomination for political candidacy without resolution,’ Mr [Mark] Latham wrote to the LDP.
‘Given the nature of the impasse, I have been advised to run elsewhere. In the circumstances, it’s only fair and reasonable that I ask you to cancel my Liberal Democrats membership please.’
David Leyonhjelm has just got back to me.
He says nothing is final about his own move yet but it’s “likely”.
Fairfax is reporting David Leyonhjelm will mostly likely leave the federal Senate in February for a tilt at the NSW upper house.
That would make sense – he is up for re-election at the next federal poll and the normal Senate quota of 14. something % seems a lot more difficult for the Liberal Democrats to gain than the NSW legislative council quota, which is 4.22 % (or less, depending on preference flows).
For those who haven’t seen Helen Davidson’s story on Nauru:
Nauruan authorities have arrested and ordered the removal of the senior medical officer for Australia’s immigration processing centre, an Australian doctor, according to sources on the island.
According to separate sources, Dr Nicole Montana, senior medical officer for Australia’s health contractor, IHMS, was arrested on Tuesday night and ordered to leave.
As Katharine Murphy mentioned yesterday, Orthodox Jewish people will have already voted in Wentworth. Because you know, there is that little thing called the Sabbath, which tends to count Saturdays out.
Which makes the “discussion” we are having about moving the embassy in Israel even more ridiculous.
As of COB yesterday over 10, 000 people have voted early for the #Wentworth by-election. Remember to number all of the boxes from 1 to 16 in the order of your choice #auspol pic.twitter.com/d0i8cWd08w
The diplomatic fallout from the “proposed discussion” is continuing on its merry way:
“The short-term political gain that could be secured by moving the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would surely be outweighed by the detriment both to Australia’s international standing and in its relations with Arab and Muslim-majority countries” #auspol pic.twitter.com/fzHBf7BBMF
Just as a reminder, here is what Michael McCormack had to say about the Nationals’ leadership issues, which have begun swirling around again now that Barnaby Joyce has decided he has spent enough time in political purgatory:
I will never, ever, background a journalist, and I think there is a cancer in Canberra at the moment, and it’s people who background journalists. It’s no good for politics. It’s no good for parliament. It’s true, I have to say: there are people opposite who also background journalists. You’ll find out. You’ll find out for sure. You already are finding out.
But you know what? The Australian people expect better. They expect better from politicians. I see the member for Sydney nodding, because she agrees. Whether it’s the Nats or whether it’s the Liberal party or whether it’s the Labor party, you know what? The Australian public just want us to focus on what’s important to them.
The government has again refused to table the Philip Ruddock-led review into religious freedoms to the Senate:
Mathias Cormann had this to say about it:
The Ruddock report was commissioned by cabinet for the express purpose of informing cabinet deliberations in relation to a range of matters related to religious freedom. It was provided to the government in May. In due course, cabinet will finalise its response to the report’s recommendations. As such, the deliberative processes of cabinet in relation to the report provided to the government by the expert panel have yet to be completed.
I hasten to add, again, that the deliberative process of cabinet does not just commence with the consideration by the full cabinet of a final submission with a final set of recommendations. The deliberative process of cabinet actually begins with the relevant minister or ministers putting together a draft submission, and the work leading up to the putting-together of a draft submission, which ultimately is destined to be considered by cabinet.
Parliament’s Gossip Girl Derryn Hinch is spilling the tea on Senate corridor movements:
What’s going on with the Nats? In past 24 hours, have seen Barnaby Joyce on Senate side of Parliament House twice going in and out of Whacka Williams’ office. Is the rumoured leadership challenge on?
Just for a change of pace, and because we need a little bit of inspiring news from time to time, this is also something that is happening from our little place on the hill:
This handsome man is about to embark on a ‘Walk for Life’!
Just a few years short of his 90th birthday – Alan Staines is a man on a mission to walk from Canberra to Sydney to bring national attention our shameful suicide rate.
What a boss. Get around him. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/X8Nk85JglI
We are three days out from polls closing on Wentworth, where the Liberal party are scrambling to hold on to its one-seat majority in the House of Reps.
Now, the polls are bad. Single-seat polls are notoriously difficult to get right because, well, the samples are a bit hinky and we have seen time and time again the polls predict the exactly wrong result.
And on that absolute masterclass in bell-endery (a few of you pointed this out in the comments last night), Luke Howarth, whose seat of Petrie sits smack back in One Nation territory, had a slightly different take on the issue during his Sky interview yesterday:
“At the end of the day, I think this has been blown out of all proportion,” he said.
… What we are seeing from Pauline Hanson and the Labor party in the House of Reps today [Tuesday] is everything people in my electorate hate about Canberra. So if you go to people in my electorate and say, ‘well, it’s okay to be white’, most people would have no idea what you are referring about. They’d go ‘well, of course it is’. But down here, they are in this little bubble where One Nation and Labor want to play games and the fact is people on the ground think ‘what the hell are you guys doing down there’.
… I believe the government should have just let it die yesterday [Monday] and I think the opposition were wrong to raise it again in the House of Reps again today [Tuesday].
They should have just come out and said straight forward that the reason why they voted for it was because when you read what Senator Hanson said by itself it is fine, but when you put it in the context of what the Labor party raised, saying it was from a white supremacist group in the US, and not being a US MP I wasn’t aware of it, it has [been] given it more air time.
Michelle Grattan, who checks, double checks and then checks her information again (as do we, but for context) wrote about the monumental stuff-up, which was the “administrative error” that saw the government vote yes when it meant no.
When these Senate motions – on average there are 50-60 every sitting week – come, the government asks the relevant ministerial office to advise. In this case, it was the office of Attorney-General Christian Porter.
Porter says his staff interpreted Hanson’s [motion] as “a motion opposing racism. The associations of the language were not picked up”. An email was sent – advising support – “without my knowledge”.
Who doesn’t love the smell of a diplomatic storm in the morning?
Despite numerous, numerous reports that Indonesia is pretty cranky at the suggestion we might even be considering moving our Israeli embassy, and the cloud that puts over the trade agreement we have signed with them, Scott Morrison says everything is fine.
The Indonesian trade minister has discounted that report. That doesn’t surprise me. We have been in close engagement with Indonesia and we share one important value in common – we both believe in a two-state solution and that is the basis of the comments I have made today.
Speaking of Nauru and Manus Island, today’s press club address is by Peter Maurer, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
He’s speaking on the “global trends of war and their humanitarian impacts”. Given that Australia is involved in some of those global trends of war, and knows exactly what the humanitarian impacts can be, it should be quite interesting.
The Morrison government has woken to wall-to-wall bad headlines, featuring its allies warning it against walking away from a foreign policy Australia has held for decades, just days out from a byelection that will decide whether it holds on to its one-seat majority or not.
And it is an entire self-own.