Liberal member for Chisholm cries as the prime minister defends her in parliament. This blog has now closed
- Scott Morrison says attacks on Gladys Liu have a ‘grubby undertone’
- Peter Dutton says Biloela Tamil children are ‘anchor babies’ used to help case
- Indigenous groups, Labor, Greens attack expansion of cashless welfare card
And on that note, I am going to wrap it all up for this week, because the internet issues have driven me to the brink of a Michael McCormack (and the House is adjourning).
A massive thank you to Mike Bowers, Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin and Paul Karp for all their work, and to those behind the scenes, for keeping me, and the blog, all going.
Russell Broadbent is telling the chamber that “principles are important” as is the rule of law. It seems to be an announcement – he may not always stand with the government on issues.
Russell Broadbent is making an interesting speech in the adjournment debate in the chamber right now. He says his job is not to follow the whims of the party leader of the day and that he needs to follow his judgment.
“I always in essence in the end, when it comes down to it, I offer the people I represent, this parliament and this nation, my judgment on any particular issue,” he says.
The House has already agreed to the Criminal Code Amendment (Agricultural Protection) Bill 2019, but it’s being debated again. Why? Amendments were made to the bill in @AuSenate, and a bill must be agreed to in the same form by both Houses to become law. pic.twitter.com/hUsvuBDErI
Here’s the moment David Littleproud rediscovered science, but not necessarily the whole truth about how he got himself into the mess in the first place (which was through a written response to a question on whether he believed climate change was manmade, to which he answered, in writing, “I don’t know,” but sure, go off about being imaginarily interrupted).
David Littleproud – Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters – now says he accepts the science on man-made climate change: ‘I’m just a poor humble bloke with a Year 12 education but I’m prepared to accept what our scientists are telling us”. pic.twitter.com/dQljftGhpp
The speaker, Tony Smith, confirmed just after question time that the Gladys Liu statement would not count as misleading parliament, in the event it is found to be incorrect, because it came from outside the parliament. So it doesn’t count towards the Hansard record, no matter who tabled it. Which makes sense. People table documents all the time, and it doesn’t become Hansard.
There is no suggestion the statement is incorrect, or could be. Tony Burke was just trying to clear up whether it was subject to the same privileges rules.
Penny Wong during the attempt to suspend standing orders, on the government’s response to Gladys Liu:
I will say this: there is only one person who is making these specific and serious concerns about the member for Chisholm an issue about race, and that is Scott Morrison. There is only one person who is linking these specific, serious concerns about the member for Chisholm to the entire Chinese-Australian population, and that is Mr Morrison.
This is the prime minister who is using this issue as a shield from accountability to the parliament and the Australian people. The prime minister is hiding behind the entire Chinese-Australian community to avoid saying why he has ignored warnings from our national security agencies.
Question time, as seen by Mike Bowers.
Not sure if Stirling Griff was in the chamber for that one, but Rex Patrick voted against suspending standing orders. Jacqui Lambie and One Nation voted with Labor and the Greens.
The motion to suspend standing orders was tied – and then lost – because when there is a tie in the Senate, the status quo remains (in this case, not to suspend standing orders).
OK, before I burn my computer because of the internet issues I have been having all week, Rex Patrick supports the substance of the motion, but not the motion to suspend standing orders.
Over in the Senate, Centre Alliance has announced it will support Labor’s motion to suspend standing orders.
Question time ends with a “Go Sharks.”
Scott Morrison has just taken a dixer about the mining tax.
What even is this.
In the Senate, Labor is moving to suspend standing orders.
Penny Wong has put forward this motion:
I move that –
(1) The Senate notes widespread reports in the media about the member for Chisholm this week which raise questions concerning her fitness to be a member of the Australian parliament.
Sarah Martin, who is in the chamber, tells me Gladys Liu is crying.
Mark Dreyfus to Scott Morrison:
Did the PM receive any advice about the current member for Chisholm from government agencies before or since the May 18 election?”
Mark Dreyfus to Scott Morrison:
“Yesterday the PM specifically referred to the media statement released by the member for Chisholm. Is the report by journalist Sam Maiden correct that the PM’s office prepared that statement? What steps did the PM or his office take to verify the information contained in the statement?”
Angus Taylor, who can’t answer questions on the details and impacts on Australia’s ACTUAL emissions reduction policy, is attacking Labor for not having answers on the details and impacts of a policy which is not being enacted.
Mark Butler has a follow up question for David Littleproud:
My question is to the minister for drought and various other things. And I refer to the minister’s earlier answer. And also to an article in the Guardian in which the minister responded to written questions about whether or not there was a link between human activity and climate change and he responded that he was not convinced about that. Does he still hold that view?
I thank the honourable member for his question. With respect to my response: I accept the science. I’m just a poor humble bloke with a year 12 education but I’m prepared to accept, prepared to accept what our scientists are telling us. As simple as that.”
And here is the exchange he says he was interrupted in.
David Speers: You say the climate is changing and that is certainly true. The question is: is this manmade climate change?
Just on that answer from David Littleproud there, Paul Karp’s article which was followed up by David Speers, leading to that “interrupted exchange” was based on an emailed question to Littleproud’s office.
Here was the emailed question sent to Littleproud:
“I don’t know if climate change is manmade.
“I’m about practical outcomes. Whether that’s about having a cleaner environment or giving farmers and emergency services the right tools to adapt.
Justine Elliot to David Littleproud:
The minister was asked, “Just to be clear on this, you’re not sure manmade climate change is real?” The minister responded, “I’m not.” The Washington Post leads with the headline Australia’s natural disaster minister doubts manmade climate change is real. Does the minister still doubt the science?
Let me make this clear. I accept the science … (the Labor side of the House arcs up).
… I thank the member for her question. Let me make it clear. I accept the science on manmade impact on climate change. Always have.
It’s another question to Michael McCormack, from his new best mate, Joel Fitzgibbon, because politics in 2019 means hugging in front of the cameras when a 2GB radio host tells you to, apparently:
“I refer him to the answer he gave yesterday with respect to the terrible drought impacting upon our farmers and our rural communities. In six years the government has appointed a drought coordinator, a drought taskforce, and the member for New England as the drought envoy. Deputy PM, why hasn’t the government ever made any of these reports available to the parliament?
Mr Speaker, reports are one thing. Getting on the ground and doing the real work, the real work that regional Australia wants and expects and deserves is another thing. We have been very responsible, as a government, to help our regional communities through this drought.”
Indeed, Mr Speaker, they have reported to government and government has acted accordingly to their advice and that has been important, and I also commend the member for New England for his role as the drought envoy.
Indeed, we cannot make it rain. If we could we would have. These are desperate times for farmers throughout Queensland, farmers throughout New South Wales. Indeed in the member for Parkes’ electorate they have destocked. There are farming communities on their knees. He is working hard, as we all are.
Josh Frydenberg takes a lickspittle where he again refers to Wayne Swan as “Chairman Swan” and siggggghh.
Now Labor starts up on the foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, who has also defended Gladys Liu by saying she has been “clear and open about her associations” and “proactively disassociated herself” from organisations that claimed her as a member without her knowledge or consent.
Asked by Kimberley Kitching if she had received security briefings about Liu, Payne refused to comment on engagement with intelligence and security agencies or private conversations with colleagues.
“But he’s a good man. Good St Michael’s Regional high school, Wagga Wagga, boy. The PM is a good man too. They’re both very, very good. They both want the best for our country. And the Reserve Bank governor, Dr Philip Lowe, he’s called for continued spending on infrastructure projects including rail, on bridges, on roads. He understands that, yes, building infrastructure is helping the economy.
Pardon me for correcting your grammar, but it wouldn’t be which, it would be who. People are actually who. I was taught a lot in English [he names his English teacher]. I’m sure she taught Philip Lowe as well. Both the Reserve Bank governor and indeed the PM are both right for putting forward our infrastructure plan for this nation.”
Four of his five wits went halting off, and now is the whole man governed with one: so that if he have wit enough to keep himself warm, let him bear it for a difference between himself and his horse; for it is all the wealth that he hath left, to be known a reasonable creature.”
Catherine King brings Michael McCormack back to the despatch box and the chamber is once again filled with beige noise.
Last week the PM said, “We’re really starting to hit our head on the ceiling in terms of how much infrastructure work you can get under way at any one time.” But the Reserve Bank governor says, and I quote, “We can do more.” Deputy PM, who is right?
Well, Mr Speaker, the Reserve Bank governor’s a good fella. I went to school with him. He was the dux of the school. Something I never achieved.”
Honestly, white noise has more of an impact.
George Christensen is the latest to inflict Michael McCormack upon us and, in what has become McCormack tradition, includes the reference to the “Morrison-McCormack government”, which is the only time it is ever used.
The deputy prime minister is attempting to talk about the carbon tax, but there is still a tub of cream cheese sitting on my desk from my lunch and it’s a bit hard to tell them apart.
Jim Chalmers to Scott Morrison:
Does the PM agree with the Reserve Bank governor that, and I quote: “The challenge we face in monetary policy is carrying too much of a burden?” When economic growth is the slowest it’s been since the global financial crisis, why has the government left all of the heavy lifting to the Reserve Bank?
The first lickspittle is about how amazing Liberals are at supporting multicultural Australia.
The Labor leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, has asked whether the prime minister received any security advice about Gladys Liu.
The government leader in the Senate, Mathias Cormann, responded that preselections are matters for the party organisations: “I am not aware of any such advice being received, but out of an abundance of caution, to be 100% sure, I’ll take that question on notice.”
Someone misses the call and Brendan O’Connor gets the next question.
It’s to Josh Frydenberg:
Anthony Albanese to Scott Morrison:
My question s addressed to the PM. Does the PM agree with the Reserve Bank governor that the economy is being, and I quote him: “Weighed down by a protracted period of low income growth.”
Mr Speaker, the challenge of getting incomes to rise in this country is not a new one. It’s one the government has been working with with the Reserve Bank for many years. As treasurer I have had numerous engagements with the Reserve Bank governor about this very issue. And I can tell you that’s why our government initiated the tax relief that we took through this parliament, not just in the most recent budget, but in the budgets before that because we wanted to ensure that Australians keep more of what they earn. In the most recent quarterly figures, the most recent quarterly figures, 0.7% was real wage growth through the year. That’s higher than what we inherited from the Labor party in their last year, when they were in government, and ensuring that we continue to grow wages is a function of implementing our economic plan.”
Peter Dutton will miss question time for “personal reasons”.
Mehreen Faruqi has responded to the vegan terrorist bill being passed by the Senate:
This bill is an absolute fraud. It’s nothing more than ag-gag legislation aimed at protecting big agribusiness from scrutiny at the cost of animal welfare and the community’s right to know and protest.
The Greens are proud to oppose laws aimed at stamping out protest and jailing activists and whistleblowers.
And for everyone telling me how Pokemon Go is still cool, here you go: the moment it became part of our Hansard record.
Nick McKim questions whether the creators of Pokémon Go could be liable under the ‘vegan terrorists’ bill as it might incite people to trespass onto agricultural land. Bridget McKenzie responds: “chasers of Pikachu are safe”. pic.twitter.com/1fkeEKuj49
Senate question time has begun though, and Penny Wong is straight into the issue of Gladys Liu.
Paul Karp will have something on that for you very soon
Ahead of question time, Scott Morrison is making a statement by indulgence on R U OK? Day.
Anthony Albanese will also make a statement on this.
Christian Porter spoke to his local Perth radio station, 6PR, this morning. He, of course, was asked about Gladys Liu. From the transcript:
Well, I think there’s three separate issues there. I mean, Andrew Bolt’s a great interviewer and it’s his job to make politicians look a bit unsteady from time to time, and he’s done that to me, does that to the best of us – he’s a great interviewer.
The fact that Gladys Liu declines to adopt precisely Andrew Bolt’s descriptive legislation of the Chinese government, that isn’t her doing something negative for Australia. I put to you this proposition: that’s actually her doing something in Australia’s interest. It’s not in Australia’s interest to adopt precisely the language that was used on that show to describe the Chinese government when other accurate and alternative language is available.
The vegan terrorist bill has passed the Senate.
Given Peter Dutton’s earlier claims about the Biloela family, this is a good point (although there are journalists who have fact checked Dutton’s claims).
The asylum claims of Pryia – whose former fiancé was burnt alive in front of her – and Nades – who was conscripted to the Tamil Tigers as a child soldier – were processed by 2 public servants.
The courts have assessed if correct bureaucratic was followed-not their asylum claims.
Centre Alliance aren’t letting it drop either.
Rebekha Sharkie was very strong on Labor’s motion earlier today:
Rebekha Sharkie says the motion to suspend standing orders over Gladys Liu goes to “confidence” of MPs and urges the government not to use its numbers to “run a protection racket”. pic.twitter.com/RjcQvDVihG
In light of political developments this week, I am more determined than ever to press for a comprehensive parliamentary review of Australia’s relations with China.
“This is a vital relationship and the parliament urgently needs to undertake a most rigorous inquiry to see how we can maximise benefit from a mutually beneficial trading relationship, but equally gain an understanding of where caution is warranted in Australia’s national interest.
It is almost question time.
Or, in this case, the Gladys Liu hour.
Stop sending me your Pokemon Go defences. It’s over.
This is why no one should ever indulge in name calling, even when it seems like a great marketing sell.
“Shanghai Sam” was a stupid way to refer to the Sam Dastyari issue then. And now.
It’s rare that Andrew Bolt gets a guernsey in these pages, but given his interview with Gladys Liu gave the whole issue legs, I’ll include part of his response to Scott Morrison’s press conference:
There is 1.2 million Australians of Chinese heritage in this country. This has a very grubby undertone in terms of the smear that is being placed on Gladys Liu and I think people should reflect very carefully in the way they have sought to attack Gladys over this matter and the broader smear that I think is implied in that to over more than one million Australians.
Extraordinary. Are the dictators in Beijing now writing Morrison’s lines?
People would still need to be playing it, for this to be a thing.
Nick McKim is questioning whether the creators of Pokemon Go could be liable under the ‘vegan terrorists’ bill because it might incite people onto agricultural land. #auspol
Labor is not backing down on the Gladys Liu issue.
Penny Wong and Mark Dreyfus have just sent out this press release:
Today there are extraordinary reports that senior Liberals were warned by security agencies that concerns about Gladys Liu’s links to the Chinese Communist party made it ‘unwise’ to preselect her.
One Government MP is quoted: ‘There should have been concerns when she was being chosen to stand as a candidate and I believe those concerns were ignored.’
In the Senate the government has lobbed in a last minute amendment to the so-called vegan terrorist bill.
The amendment adds wood processing- and wood fibre-processing facilities to the definition of primary production businesses protected by the laws criminalising social media posts that incite trespass, a demand of the forestry industry that increases its remit beyond food production.
Joel Fitzgibbon and Michael McCormack have “cuddled” in front of the cameras after yesterday’s tantrums.
In unrelated news, water has been discovered on a planet with earth-like temperatures, if you are looking for a change.
And for those who missed it, here is the main message from Scott Morrison and his MPs
Scott Morrison says the Gladys Liu motion has “grubby undertones”. He refuses to come out and label it as racism when asked but says the “1.2 million Chinese Australians get the point”. pic.twitter.com/dNy4Nfbltf
The PMO has put out the transcript to the press conference Scott Morrison held.
You may have seen a note that Morrison did not address this first part of the ABC’s Andrew Probyn’s question:
Draft laws giving federal police more power to conduct identity checks at Australian airports are a step closer to being rubber-stamped, AAP reports.
“The proposal passed through the lower house on Thursday with shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, pleased the legislation had been amended in line with recommendations from parliament’s intelligence and security committee,” it said.
Kristina Keneally, in an interview with ABC RN last week, raised the point that the Biloela family debate was straying into “anchor baby” territory:
This is an importation, quite frankly, of an American debate about so-called anchor babies, and the law is very different in the United States where citizenship is accorded to anybody born on American soil.
That is not the law in Australia so it’s an importation of that debate. No.
Also in the Senate, Kristina Keneally has just had this motion passed:
I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move that:
1) The Senate notes that:
Over in the Senate
Govt & ALP have just voted together to limit the time of the inquiry into drug testing of income support recipients, the inquiry has to report 10 Oct. They have also limited the time for inquiry into the extension of cashless debit card reporting 7 Nov
Peter Dutton has phoned in for his regular love in with Ray Hadley on 2GB.
The assistant minister for superannuation and financial services, Jane Hume, has launched the Australian financial complaints authority roadshow in Canberra, along with its chair, Helen Coonan.
Since December the authority – the “one-stop-shop” financial complaints body established by the Turnbull government when it was avoiding calling a banking royal commission – has received 60,000 complaints and resolved 73% of them, resulting in $144.7m of compensation being paid.
“Grubby smear” and “clumsy interview” is the official government line when it comes to Gladys Liu.
Jane Hume is repeating it on Sky.
Angus Taylor, the energy and emissions reduction minister, just told an off-the-record Australian Industry Group gathering at parliament that Australia is doing “extremely well” on its emissions reduction task.
Taylor cited as evidence that Australia is expected to exceed its 2020 target by 367m tonnes but strangely neglected to mention that Australia’s emissions are at a record high and still rising.
On the British-Australian bloggers who have been detained in Iran, named as Jolie King and Mark Firkin, Scott Morrison said:
I refer to the comments made by the foreign [affairs] minister. These are always very sensitive cases. They are never issues that are addressed well by offering public commentary on them and I note that in at least one of these cases that is a view that has been expressed by family members.
“We will continue to pursue these matters in the interests of the Australians at the centre of these cases and we will do that carefully and in close consultation through our officials who have been part of this process now for some time. I will respect the wishes of the family and I will respect the best interests of those citizens.”
Question: [I’ve been] involved in the reporting on [these issues] for the last four years. A lot of that involves China and we have been accused of racism from start to the finish of that. Clearly that is a concern the government has. How do you propose we report about this if it [does] involve some people who are members of the Chinese-Australian community?
Question: You mentioned earlier some local Chinese community groups of which Ms Liu seems to have been a member. What concerns do you have about the China Overseas Exchange Association? It is not a local Chinese community group but an organ of the communist party of China.
Morrison: We are looking at all these issues carefully in terms of the impact on Australia’s interests and will take whatever action we have to ensure Australia’s interests.
Question: On the broader issue of the smoke and mirrors around the advice or otherwise from security agencies, do you think it is worth considering given the concern of foreign interference in Australia ensuring that all MPs undergo security clearances so the Australian people can be confident that everyone who is sitting in parliament has passed those security checks?
Morrison: Honestly I don’t think that is a practical suggestion given the broad range of candidates you have at any election. There are foreign interference laws in this place. We know because we introduced them and the standards are very clear and the agencies undertake their work as is appropriate and deal with the government on those matters as they think is appropriate.
Question: Firstly, have you inquired with Gladys Liu as to the nature of her work with the Chinese consulate down in Melbourne? Secondly, what advice, if any, have you received from security agencies about Gladys Liu’s background or the people with whom she associated?
Morrison: Let me deal with the second question first because this is a very important question … I’m not suggesting anything by your question that this is any sort of alliance or alignment in your reasoning for asking them.
Question: Firstly, she has made that statement publicly but she hasn’t made to the parliament. Why is she not required to do that or why are you not requiring her to do that? Secondly, do you advise your members not to have any association with these Chinese groups now? Are you saying this is racist?
Morrison: I will let others draw their conclusions but what I do know is that – firstly, let me deal with your first point. I would be happy to table Gladys’s statement she has made publicly in the parliament. I have no problem with that.
Scott Morrison on Gladys Liu:
Gladys Liu has made a very clear statement. Let’s be clear. Gladys gave a clumsy interview.
And just on that, Labor’s Tanya Plibersek pointed to the party holding firm on its climate change policy, if nothing else, in a doorstop interview a little earlier:
The leader has made it very clear – Anthony has made it very clear – that all of our policies are up for re-examination …
“But I would say Labor party members are proud of our ambitious climate change agenda and it’s really the government that should be answering questions about what is happening with climate change policy in Australia. We have got a government – I mean I have literally lost count of how many energy policies they’ve had. I don’t know if we are up to 15 or 16 and what we know about those policies is power prices are still going up, pollution is still going up, we are spending billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money and achieving none of the objectives that the government has set itself. Energy prices are up, and pollution is up.
Just for a change of pace, the Greens are calling for David Littleproud to step down from his ministries after he said he didn’t know whether manmade climate change was real or not.
David Littleproud has admitted that he does not believe the accepted science that human action is driving climate change, so how can he possibly be responsible for oversight of the water resources, drought, natural disaster and emergency management portfolios?” Richard Di Natale asked.
“That’s why the Greens are calling on minister Littleproud to do the right thing and immediately resign from the frontbench so that he can be replaced with someone who understands the science of climate change. If he refuses to do so, then Scott Morrison must stand him down.
I mean, obviously they are just discussing the Caroline Calloway article in the Cut.
What is anyone else talking about?
Sarah Henderson will be officially welcomed back by the prime minister in that press conference. She has just walked into the PMO for her briefing now.
Seems like the ideal time to look at memes.
I’ve just heard from people within the chamber over what Tim Watts said that had him kicked out from the chamber under 94a during the debate to suspend standing orders:
You’ll regret this, Porter. It’s going to come back and bite you on the arse.”
Scott Morrison has just called a press conference for 11am.
It is in the Blue Room (the second most serious press conference location).
Mark Dreyfus moves to suspend standing orders over Gladys Liu, saying the member for Chisholm needs to explain her “absolutely extraordinary” interview with Andrew Bolt pic.twitter.com/9KuaQrVwfO
For those interested, all of the crossbench voted with Labor on that motion.*
*I never really count Bob Katter as the crossbench. He very rarely gets involved.
Totally normal sitting arrangement.
Scott Morrison sat next to Gladys Liu during that vote.
Optics, optics, optics.
Motion to suspend standing orders ends.
Time on the debate concludes – the divisions begin.
Even without Tim Watts, Labor was going to lose this one.
Rebekha Sharkie is now speaking on the motion.
She says the motion goes to “confidence” of MPs in the parliament and urges the government not to use its numbers to “run a protection racket”.
Christian Porter says the motion is an “outrageous slur” on the first Chinese-born MP in the parliament.
“At the end of the day, you would have someone excluded from the parliament because of their heritage, and associations with that heritage,” Porter says.
Tony Smith has already issued the 94a warning and reminded MPs that they might want to be around for the vote.
But they keep going, so Smith then uses it.
Christian Porter points out that Chris Bowen travelled to China as a guest of the Guangdong Chamber of Commerce and the Chinese Communist party in 2015.
He asks if Bowen is under question for his associations.
Christian Porter is up and arguing against the motion.
He opens with:
It’s pretty awful stuff, isn’t it? It’s pretty awful stuff.
Earlier this week we had a condolence for the last living member of the Menzies government, who helped unravel the white Australia policy, and all these years later …
For those wondering, there were 1,090 votes in the Chisholm count.
I think, after Macquarie, it is the second slimmest margin in the country.
Mark Dreyfus says the government needs to hold Gladys Liu to the same standard it held Sam Dastyari:
It suited the current prime minister of Australia at that time to say that there was a lack of patriotism on the part of that senator because of the statements that he had made about the conduct of the People’s Republic of China in the South China Sea.
Now we have a Liberal member of parliament, a recently elected Liberal member of parliament who has said something virtually identical to the statements made by that former senator.
Here is the motion Mark Dreyfus has put forward,
Labor’s motion to suspend standing orders over Gladys Liu pic.twitter.com/lbzRDYzIh5
After that talk to Dave Sharma, Gladys Liu has left the chamber.
Dave Sharma has walked over to Gladys Liu’s seat and is having a chat to her as Mark Dreyfus gives his speech.
We are right into it this morning.
Mark Dreyfus is straight into it, saying the member for Chisholm needs to explain her interview with Andrew Bolt and clear up, in the parliament, what the situation is.
The bells are ringing.
I hear them in my sleep.
Richard Marles was sent out by Labor this morning to give the opposition’s position on Gladys Liu. Here is some of that doorstop:
Q: Should Gladys Liu resign?
Greg Hunt has been asked about Gladys Liu as he was leaving an event this morning:
I am very uncomfortable with the way that some people have focused on her Chinese heritage, the fact that she has an accent, I think Senator Payne set that out and I agree with Senator Payne’s concerns about the characterisation. I have a deep discomfort at the way that some have focused on her Chinese heritage.
I’ve just had a look through some of the comments. I’m just going to say it again. Think about what you are posting. I don’t want to see those “jokes”. Be better.
As Alice Workman first reported in the Australian, Gladys Liu is meant to head the Sydney Institute’s “How the Coalition won Chisholm” event on 25 September.
We have a feeling this event will be quietly shuffled off the Sydney Institute’s calendar after their headline speaker is suddenly unable to attend.
Sarah Henderson will be officially sworn into the Senate at 9.30am today.
Seems there might be something in the water when it comes to our water ministers lately.
On the heels of David Littleproud admitting that he did not know if climate change was human-made or not, we have this from the NSW water minister, Melinda Pavey.
Oh my god. Water minister for NSW on climate change and drought. She’s remembering there was no rain in King Arthur’s time. pic.twitter.com/O8C8Y9jJJp
Sarah Henderson is back in the building.
Henderson lost the seat of Corangamite at the last election after a boundary change, but scraped by in the Victorian Senate selection to replace Mitch Fifield.
Frank Bainimarama will arrive for his first official Australian visit since becoming Fijian prime minister today, with a meeting scheduled with Scott Morrison for Monday.
It’s also the pair’s first meeting since Bainimarama said this about the Australian leader in an interview with Guardian Australia, after the Pacific Islands Forum last month:
After yesterday’s meeting I gathered [Morrison] was here only to make sure that the Australian policies were upheld by the Pacific island nations,” said Bainimarama. I thought Morrison was a good friend of mine; apparently not.
The prime minister at one stage, because he was apparently [backed] into a corner by the leaders, came up with how much money Australia has been giving to the Pacific. He said: ‘I want that stated. I want that on the record.’ Very insulting.
Government MPs have been pretty quiet this morning.
But the Senate crossbencher Rex Patrick has not been.
I actually think that with all of the evidence that’s emerging, she’s reached the Sam Dastyari threshold, where she must consider her tenure.
There’s a standard that’s been set for the parliament … I don’t think she’s been open and transparent about it.
Scott Morrison is off to the US next week. He’ll be at the White House but not the UN climate summit.
Katharine Murphy has this report:
Scott Morrison will not attend the UN climate action summit despite him being in America to visit the Trump administration at the time – deploying the foreign affairs minister, Marise Payne, and the Australian ambassador for the environment, Patrick Suckling, instead.
Guardian Australia understands speaking slots at the event in New York on 23 September were reserved for countries announcing new emissions reduction targets or financial commitments to the UN Green Climate Fund – and Morrison has been signalling Australia won’t be going further, at least at this point, than commitments previously announced.
It’s the last sitting day for this week, and the government has its first official “embattled” MP.
The member for Chisholm, Gladys Liu has had the adjective proceed her name in morning news coverage, as the fallout from an unsanctioned interview she gave to Sky News’s Andrew Bolt continues.
Link : Scott Morrison says Gladys Liu is ‘a great Australian’ – as it happened