The treasurer lowers expectations for the budget as the major parties grapple with climate policies. All the day’s events, live from Canberra
When you refer to left-wing terrorism do you mean the Islamic groups?
Yes, I do and anybody in between. I don’t care whether they’re neo-Nazis or they’re part of some cell that’s been involved in a fight in the Middle East or trying to recruit people onshore or fund raise onshore.
These are all people that ASIO have been interest in and the fact that they have been able to thwart the number of attempts that they have, the fact that they have been able to make arrests and conduct investigations as recently as you point out today indicates that we have a very, very real problem.
Patricia Karvelas pushes Peter Dutton on Afternoon Briefing to explain why he brought up “leftwing” terrorism when Mike Burgess did not mention it.
You can use Islamic extremist, you get in trouble for using that, you can use left wing to describe everybody from the left to the right.
I said today I don’t care where people are on the spectrum, if they pose a threat to our country and want to do harm to Australians then they are in our sights.
On the flip side, the government, Labor, and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation are all opposing this motion from Sarah Hanson-Young at the moment:
I shall move that the Senate:
This is the next step in this
Pauline Hanson & One Nation the lone voices defending the atrocious victim blaming comments of Bettina Arndt. Yet more reason she is not appropriate to be the Deputy Chair of the Family Law Inquiry. I’ve written to my fellow Fam Law Committee members today asking for her removal.
Malcolm Roberts being put in charge of counting two people may be the greatest contribution he has made to Senate business, in his entire career
Malcolm Roberts just had the easiest counting job the Senate has ever seen.
Every single senator, except One Nation are voting for this motion.
One Nation, like the cheese, sit alone.
This isn’t surprising, given where government MPs have been on this for days now.
The Coalition will support Labor’s motion condemning Bettina Arndt and calling for her to be stripped of her Order of Australia. Pauline Hanson says One Nation will oppose it #auspol
More information: Labor says the motion is carefully written to not criticise the Queensland police. The government says politicians shouldn’t be able to strip honours #auspol
Jim Chalmers on Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg walking back expectations for a surplus that they created themselves:
The surplus is a test that they set for themselves and it remains to be seen whether they will meet that test.
We won’t know until the end of September whether there has been a surplus for the year that we’re in now.
The New Zealand minister for M?ori development has released this statement:
Minister for M?ori Development and Associate Minister for Trade and Export Growth Hon Nanaia Mahuta and Minister for Indigenous Australians, the Hon Ken Wyatt AM, MP will this week sign a collaboration arrangement to deepen the Trans-Tasman working relationship on indigenous issues.
This is coming up in the next 15 minutes or so (from Kristina Keneally and Penny Wong🙂
I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move that the Senate:
Question time ends.
Richard Marles to Melissa Price:
Is the minister’s so-called announcement of a 60% Australian industry content on the future submarine contained in any contract between the Australian government and Naval Group?
I recall standing here over a week ago where I clearly outlined that, in the contract, we are in the design phase, and at the end of the design phase we will then be in a position to agree what the AIC contribution was going to be
But good news: it’s a great opportunity to talk about it. The good news is that now we have, our own minister for defence, has now met with her French counterpart.
Meryl Swanson to Scott Morrison:
Prime Minister, the community of Williamtown and surrounds in my electorate has been deeply affected by PFAS contamination.
And I thank the member for her question on this very important matter. As you would be aware, the issues surrounding PFAS have been going back over many, many government administrations. They go back over many …
Over this government’s administration, over the previous government’s administration, and many more beyond that, Mr Speaker.
Richard Marles to Melissa Price:
My question is again to the minister for defence industry: can the minister explain why she counts the work of French language school Adelaide’s Alliance Francaise as local content?
Defence says contracts for a French language school, aBarossa Valley resort and the management consultancy that employs former defence minister Christopher Pyne are evidence of Australian industry involvement in the nation’s $80bn Future Submarines program.
Defence released a list of 137 “subcontractors” to the submarine project last week to placate local firms after French company Naval Group warned that Australian suppliers might not get 50% of the subs’ contracts.
We are committed to the submarine program, on time, on budget, and on spec.
Vincent Connelly continues to be possessed by the ghost of a community theatre thespian who was doomed to serve as a stage hand and spent every performance in the wings, acting out the lead actor’s lines.
Richard Marles to Melissa Price:
Can the minister explain why she counts nights in the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort as Australian industry content for the future submarines?
Peter Dutton in the “How safe are you” dixer once again “both sides” the terrorism threat.
Mike Burgess mentioned “rightwing extremism” six times in his annual speech on threats to Australia. He did not mention “leftwing” extremism or terrorism at all.
Whether it’s the United Kingdom, the United States, France, anywhere in the world where we’ve seen these people act out, there is the capacity for these people, whether they’re on the right wing, whether they’re on the left wing, anywhere in between – it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter, Mr Speaker.
The fact is that we will deal with that threat, and we will make sure of that …
The inspector general of the Australian defence force’s 2018-19 annual report has been tabled in the Senate and reveals new details of the investigation it has been conducting into Australian special forces’ conduct in Afghanistan.
After interviewing 338 witnesses, the inspector general has revealed “there were 55 separate incidents or issues under inquiry covering a range of alleged breaches of the law of armed conflict, predominantly unlawful killings of persons who were non-combatants or were no longer combatants, but also ‘cruel treatment’ of such persons”.
The inquiry is also examining incidents relevant to the organisational, operational and cultural environment which may have enabled the alleged law of armed conflict breaches. The inquiry is not focused on decisions made during the ‘heat of battle’. Rather, its focus is the treatment of persons who were clearly non-combatants or who were no longer combatants.”
I was referring specifically to the report I cited in my earlier answer. In that report, it says, “In one instance, ministers explicitly decided to waive the project eligibility criteria for an application they wish to fund. The awarding of funding to projects also disproportionately favoured ALP-held seats,” Mr Speaker.
It went on to say, “The minister’s office did not make any records outlining the extent to which each application had been assessed or how the application was ranked in respect to other competing applications.”
Anthony Albanese to Scott Morrison:
My question is to the Prime Minister: And I refer to his misleading of Parliament in a previous answer. Isn’t it a fact that the evidence given by the Australian National Audit Office to the Senate Committee referred to section 4.32 and 4.33 of the Audit Office report that indicate that 272 ineligible projects were funded?
I note the member has asked me a question in relation to my earlier answer. And in my earlier answer, I made reference to the Audit Report findings in relation to the program administered by the member for Grayndler, Mr Speaker. So, let me speak a little to those matters.
As he’s introduced that into his question, Mr Speaker. That project, it said in the report, eligibility and compliance checking process was developed by the department, but was abandoned partway through. Its implementation was not replaced with an alternative. “Projects located in electorates held by…
The Leader of the Opposition can resume his seat. I get his gist.
…I’m just going to make two points, because I listened… I don’t like people interjecting. You just saw with the previous question from the member for Mallee, because it’s my job to listen very closely.
Anthony Albanese doesn’t get his question to Scott Morrison out in time:
And I refer to his previous answer, where he again misled the parliament when he said there was nothing in the audit office report that contradicted his previous statement to the parliament.
I refer him to sections 4.32 and 4.33 of the report, which says: “In addition to program ineligibility, this situation suggests, particularly in respect of the eight completed projects so selected for funding under the program may not have required – the Australian government funding to deliver the project …
David Littleproud somehow manages to mess up his own dixer, and is pulled into line by Tony Smith for answering a question he was not asked.
The minister will resume his seat for a second. No, your microphone is off for a sec. I’m just gonna say to the minister, I refer him to what I’ve said about the ability to briefly compare and contrast. I’m glad I listened to the question.
No, I can see the prime minister … I can tell the prime minister and others, what was actually asked did not include alternatives. And I listened very closely to the question. I have a transcript of it here. Let me be blunt. I’m not sure it was planned, but I know what was asked. And the minister was not asked for alternatives.
This is still for sale in the Liberal party store
It appears to be as “limited edition” as the surplus itself.
Anthony Albanese to Scott Morrison:
The prime minister has now had more than one full sitting day to correct his misleading of the parliament that only eligible projects were funded under his sports rorts scheme. Why has he failed to correct the record when the auditor general has given evidence to the Senate that his claim is just not true? That, in fact, 43% is the correct figure?
I thank the member for his questions. And the comments that I made on that matter were made on the basis of the information that was available to me from the ANAO report … Mr Speaker, that ANAO report, at the time of my making that comment, Mr Speaker, made only one reference – one reference – to ineligible projects, as best as I’m aware, on page nine.
It said: ‘No applications assessed as ineligible were awarded grant funding.’ And that point was reiterated by the ANAO during the committee hearing.
Angus Taylor is playing his favourite game of “cherrypicking the emissions reductions numbers” as a dixer.
Here is what is actually happening:
There are so many backbenchers who unmask themselves as the worst sort of teacher’s pets in their delivery.
Tracy Flick could take lessons.
This afternoon I will move for the Senate to acknowledge the sixth anniversary of Reza Barati’s murder on Manus Island, and ask for a minute’s silence. pic.twitter.com/PPiEPsvwvi
Mark Butler to Scott Morrison:
Is the prime minister critical of the New South Wales government for committing to net-zero emissions by 2050?
We’re working with the NSW government. We’re working with the NSW government. And just a few weeks ago, the premier and I stood together and we agreed a plan, some $2bn, to invest in what is happening in NSW and in Australia, to achieve important targets, Mr Speaker.
And we have a plan. See, that’s the thing, Mr Speaker. That’s what the leader of the opposition doesn’t understand.
Michael McCormack is doing his leadership impersonation, but despite his characterisation of his own reviews, the crowd is not rolling in the aisles.
Probably not the smartest attack line, given Scott Morrison’s stated mission to improve mental health, suicide rates, and child welfare in this country.
Josh Frydenberg mocks the “wellbeing budget” Jim Chalmers has spoken on (which has been adopted by New Zealand).
There’s a very innovative approach from the member for Rankin, who likes to tax a lot, Mr Speaker.
His very innovative approach, Mr Speaker, which, when he was burnishing his leadership credentials the other day at the Australia Institute, is to deliver a ‘wellbeing budget’, Mr Speaker. A ‘wellbeing budget’.
Jim Chalmers to Josh Frydenberg:
Why won’t the treasurer admit that since he took over, economic growth has almost halved, wages growth has stalled, consumption growth has weakened, business investment and productivity have declined, underemployment has increased, government debt and household debt have reached new record highs, and that all of this happened before the fires and the coronavirus hit?
Mr Speaker, where’s the member for Rankin when you need a hug in this place, Mr Speaker? Where is the member for Rankin?
Mr Speaker, I can inform the House that in January of this year, when … that the IMF has said that Australia’s economic growth will be higher than the United States’, higher than the United Kingdom, higher than France, higher than Germany, higher than Japan, higher than Canada in 2020 and 2021.
Mr Speaker, the facts tell the story that the Australian economy has grown on the Coalition’s watch, Mr Speaker.
Josh Frydenberg still doesn’t know how to use a microphone, however he has discovered an octave only dogs can hear, so six of one.
We are back on the “Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches” dixer train and the five molars I have ground down with stress fractures from gritting my teeth so hard over the past couple of years are less painful than this.
Richard Marles and Peter Dutton have a slanging match across the chamber as Scott Morrison finishes that answer, which is as useful as looking for meaning in a Justin Bieber song.
Richard Marles to Scott Morrison:
Last night the director general of Asio said the extreme rightwing threat in Australia is real and it’s growing.
It is this government that restored the funding to our intelligence agencies, our border protection authorities, that those opposite, when they were in government, stripped out and left Australians vulnerable on their watch.
In 2013, Mr Speaker, this government came to office to keep Australians safe, and no government has invested more and applied itself more to give those who are working on counterterrorism in this country the resources they need to go after those who would seek to do Australians harm.
Scott Morrison is continuing the managing of expectations over the budget surplus it says it has already delivered, but has not – and may not – because of outside influences.
It’s true to say, Mr Speaker, that the Australian people, the Australian economy, has had its fair share of damaging impacts, particularly in recent times and in recent years, Mr Speaker. And we certainly don’t need any more.
We are not immune from these things, but, Mr Speaker, we are well prepared.
Chris Bowen to Greg Hunt:
There are Australian survivors, including one pleading with the government to respond to the parliamentary report into Australia thalidomide tragedy before more survivors die. Why hasn’t the prime minister responded to this report which was handed down in March last year?
I’m actually very pleased to receive this question. It’s a matter of extreme importance. No government in the last 50 years has taken it as seriously as us.
Those Australians who suffered from thalidomide and all of the consequences were given a grave injustice.
It’s the downhill slide to QT.
Today’s topics should be a pretty easy guess.
Equinor is the third major company to pull out of the Great Australian Bight.
BP abandoned its plans in 2016.
Resources minister Keith Pitt has responded to Equinor’s decision to pull out of the Great Australian Bight:
The discussions I’ve had with Equinor indicated this is purely a commercial decision.
There are no other influences at all. It is quite simply a suppressed world oil price, a look at the risk … The Great Australian Bight is a frontier exploration area.
That sound you hear is Wayne Swan’s satisfied sigh as he places his whisky class back down on his desk.
Scott Morrison was asked whether or not he believed Australians would forgive him for not delivering the surplus he already said he delivered (if indeed, that is what happens):
What the Australian people are looking for as we deal with this crisis – as we’ve dealt with many others others in recent times – is the calm, measured, information- and fact-based approach, being upfront and honest with the Australian people about what we see every single day.
The chief medical officer has been doing that on a daily basis with his counterparts now for many weeks.
Government MPs have met in Canberra, with the partyroom discussion focused on the ramifications of the coronavirus on a range of industries, including tourism, education and trade.
But the prime minister, Scott Morrison, told MPs that while the effects will be “tough”, the virus did not give the government a “leave pass” to not act on the other issues that Australians expected the government to be focused on, such as aged care.
It’s almost like sometimes there are things governments can’t control when it comes to its budgets, and you can make promises and not deliver? *cough global financial crisis cough*
Scott Morrison says there is no way the government could have predicted the coronavirus last year. The government has not said it will be delivering a surplus, but, as we have been saying for months now, the language has changed from when Morrison said this in May last year:
What we’ve noted about the impact of this global virus is that the information changes almost every day, both on the clinical side as well as what we’re learning about the economic impacts.
The duration of what the impact of this virus will be, and its impact around the global economy, is also not known at this point.
Is the government still able to guarantee a surplus?
As we work through this crisis, what we’ve been seeking to do – and I’d encourage others to do the same – speculation doesn’t help anybody.
Information and facts do.
Josh Frydenberg says the impact of coronavirus (now officially called Covid-19) will be “more significant than the bushfires”.
Not only that, its impact will be broader:
Treasury have told me they haven’t finalised their advice on the economic impact of the virus.
They say there’s considerable uncertainty around what exactly that impact will be, but they are continuing their discussions with the key players in the economy who are impacted. But the message is very clear: the impact will be more significant than the bushfires, and it plays out more broadly across the Australian economy.
Stepping out of federal politics for a moment, WA’s Labor treasurer, Ben Wyatt, has announced he will not seek re-election in March next year.
Josh Frydenberg continues:
As the prime minister referred to, I have been talking to people in the building industry who have expressed concern about their ability to get product in the event that the Chinese factories remain closed for a period of time.
Our message today is that the Australian economy is remarkably resilient. It is in its 29th consecutive year of economic growth.
Josh Frydenberg is once again lowering expectations for the budget, laying out the impacts to the budget over the past year or so. That surplus the government promised in the next financial year is looking as increasingly shaky as the grammar used to describe it:
The Australian economy has been facing a number of economic shocks that have been beyond our control.
The trade tensions between the United States and China, the ongoing drought, the fires, the flood and now the impact of the coronavirus.
The prime minister is giving an update to the Covid-19 situation in Australia:
The evidence of that has been demonstrated in these many weeks now that have passed since the coronavirus has become an even more significant issue as each week has passed.
We are learning more and more about the virus and the government’s decisions from the outset have been exercising an abundance of caution.
Sarah Hanson-Young on Equinor’s decision:
The decision of oil giant Equinor to pull out and dump its plans for oil drilling in South Australia’s gorgeous Great Australian Bight is a huge win for South Australia. A massive win for the community, for the environment, and our fishing and tourism industries.
This had been a long-fought fight. Thousands of people were involved in sending a very clear message to this foreign company that we didn’t want them in South Australia.
Labor’s position to adopt a net zero emissions target by 2050 was discussed in a meeting of MPs in Canberra on Tuesday.
One MP asked how the party ensured it kept the focus on the “jobs and opportunities” that come with climate action.
The prime minister has called a press conference in the blue room for 12.40.
That’s the second most important press conference location.
This must be above politics – and Bettina Arndt’s comments must be condemned.
Today Labor will move to have her Order of Australia withdrawn.
Because victims of family violence should never, never be blamed for family violence.
The bells are ringing. What insanity will greet us today? Who knows? This is the Australian parliament, where insanity is considered a political strategy.
Cue the immediate outcry of politicians capitulating to PC warriors, and influencing independent processes if the Order of Australia board, which as Sam Maiden reported yesterday is reviewing the honour, agrees it should be stripped.
Just a reminder: a Senate motion doesn’t mean she will lose it. Just that the Senate thinks she should.
Sarah Hanson-Young is celebrating the Equinor decision to pull out of its $200m Great Australian Bight drilling plans:
South Australians love our gorgeous bight and we want it protected for future generations and the rest of the world to come and experience.
What we need now is world heritage protection. The Greens’ bill for world heritage listing would give the bight the protection it needs and deserves from any other oil and gas companies proposing to put it at risk. I call on all other members of parliament to back it.
Hello good people of blogs, just grabbing the quiet time on Tuesday to let you know that Anthony Albanese has written to Scott Morrison proposing a service to mark the first anniversary on 15 March of the Christchurch shootings.
While there are many ways that Australia could mark the first anniversary of this sad day, I urge you to hold a national, multi-faith service on Sunday 15 March 2020. I recommend that the service be held in either Sydney or Melbourne, in recognition of the largest Muslim populations in Australia.
The party room meetings are on as we write this, so things are a little quiet. We’ll bring you what happened inside, once they are out
Keith Pitt’s office is all over the Equinor announcement:
Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt says the decision by Norwegian-based energy company Equinor to discontinue its oil exploration program in the Great Australian Bight, offshore from South Australia, is disappointing but the company is not leaving Australia.
“Equinor has made it clear this was a commercial decision and the company will continue to be part of the Australian oil and gas industry,” Minister Pitt said.
This is pretty big, given the fight to stop this in the first place: Norwegian fossil fuel company Equinor has abandoned its plans to drill in the Great Australian Bight.
That follows BHP pulling out in 2016.
It says it has concluded that its exploration drilling plan is “not commercially competitive” compared with other exploration opportunities. In December, Equinor was granted environmental approval to drill 372 kilometres south of the Nullarbor coastline, despite protests.
Breaking!! Oil giant Equinor has scrapped plans to drill in South Australia’s gorgeous Great Australian Bight.
This is a huge win for the community, the environment and SA’s tourism and fishing industries.
Good for the planet & jobs. Congratulations to everyone who fought so hard
However, we ARE preserving Holdens as historical artifact.
Arts Minister Paul Fletcher says the government will require General Motors to preserve culturally and historically significant objects once it closes operations in Australia. Heritage laws could stop some vehicles, photos, documents and plans being taken overseas #auspol
This is the June 2019 recommendation Tim Watts was speaking about, from the Australian taskforce to combat terrorist and extreme violent material online report:
Recommendation 4.3 — Relevant Australian government agencies, academia, researchers, and civil society bodies that monitor and review terrorist and extremist organisations to share with digital platforms (where legally and operationally feasible) indicators of terrorism, terrorist products and depictions of violent crimes.
But we know that “lefties” are often on Peter Dutton’s mind.
You dirty lefties are too easy. Enjoy your weekend.
Tim Watts continued:
Again the government is unable to point to a single initiative it is pursuing to achieve this, instead it points to its taskforce to combat terrorist and extreme violent material online report and tells us that this is all the platform’s responsibility.
But the taskforce last met in June 2019 – there have been no public progress reports since.
Labor MP Tim Watts spoke on the far-right extremism threat in Australia last night in the chamber:
The government also says it’s spent just under $6m a year on countering violent extremism programs since 2013-14.
However, both funding streams are directed at ‘all potential drivers of radicalisation to violence’ and it’s unclear how much, if any, of this is targeting those at risk of far-right and white nationalist narratives.
In response the Department of Home Affairs tells us that it ‘undertakes a range of activities to promote positive alternatives and counter the messaging depicted in violent extremist propaganda’.
A ‘range of activities’ the government couldn’t even give a single example of anything they were doing in this space.
My colleague Josh Taylor asked who nominated the not-an-actual-psychologist for an Australia Day honour.
You’re not allowed to know.
Council of the Order of Australia, under the Governor General, rejected my FOI on docs about Bettina Arndt’s honour. I knew I’d probably get this decision but just wanted it on the record. pic.twitter.com/cTNS4YuT33
While we are on the topic of rightwing extremism it is worth pointing out that overnight, the UK added another rightwing group to its terrorism list:
A neo-Nazi group is to become the second extreme rightwing outfit to be banned as a terrorist organisation in the UK, the home secretary has announced.
Sonnenkrieg Division (SKD), members of which have been jailed for serious offences, is to be proscribed, making membership of the group illegal and punishable by up to 10 years in prison, Priti Patel said.
Budget crunch time is coming. Andrew Tillett, from the Australian Financial Review, had this story which points to just how hard balancing the budget is proving for the government:
A cash-strapped Morrison government is considering leasing warships to alleviate an upcoming budget crunch for the defence department as construction gets under way on a slew of multibillion-dollar projects.
Finance minister Mathias Cormann has told defence companies to come up with ‘innovative’ financing proposals if they want the green light for new military hardware.
It was Barnaby Joyce’s favourite morning of the year: the pollies v press touch football match.
The politicians lost.
In his speech, Mike Burgess mentions “right wing” six times. He does not mention left wing at all.
Rightwing extremism has been in Asio’s sights for some time, but obviously this threat came into sharp, terrible focus last year in New Zealand.
In Australia, the extreme rightwing threat is real and it is growing. In suburbs around Australia, small cells regularly meet to salute Nazi flags, inspect weapons, train in combat and share their hateful ideology.
And here is the question and answer which gave us the “both sides” answer from Peter Dutton, in response to Asio boss Mike Burgess’s comments about growing rightwing extremism threats in Australia:
Q: Just on the question of blindness to ideology, the director general made some pretty specific comments about rightwing extremism. It’s coming up to the anniversary of the Christchurch terrorist attack. Do you need to acknowledge that there is a particular and growing threat from rightwing extremism in Australia?
Well, I think, again, we made the point when [Duncan] Lewis was the director general that Asio has been working on rightwing extremism literally for decades in our country.
And I just don’t care honestly – you can portray me in whatever way you like.
Oh, it looks like Peter Dutton has been studying the Scott Morrison question deflection technique.
Michelle Rowland also stopped by doors this morning to lay out Labor’s lines for the coming day when it comes to defending its climate policy:
We know what happens next in this movie – we’ve seen it before. There’ll be a scare campaign, there will be untruths, there will be Liberal propaganda sent out on every medium trying to convince Australians to be scared. Well, the reality is that this is not a time to be making Australians who already have uncertainty about everything from stagnant wages to the economy of our country, and the global economy [scared]. It’s not a time for scare campaigns. It’s a time to listen to the experts; it’s a time to take action because the cost of inaction cannot be borne.
Women’s Legal Service Queensland says it is time for an “emergency response” from the commonwealth in relation to domestic and family violence. It has set out three priorities it says need to be implemented as soon as possible if there is to be any chance of properly addressing the scourge:
1. Legislation to remove the presumption of equal shared parental responsibility and create emphasis on safety in the Family Law Act;
2. Establishment of a family law system domestic violence death review process to understand and prevent family law deaths;
3. Restore and build funding to specialist legal services with the aim that calls for help don’t go unanswered.
Mark Butler is holding a quick press conference to talk Labor’s 2050 net zero emissions target.
He says it is not only in line with what Australia has committed to with the Paris agreement, it is also, increasingly, what Australians want (even if they didn’t vote for it at the last election).
Australia’s spy boss, Mike Burgess, used his annual address last night to warn of the growing rightwing terrorism threat in Australia.
As Ben Doherty reported:
Burgess said while violent Islamist fundamentalism remained Asio’s primary concern, the threat of rightwing extremism – of the type espoused by the Australian-born Christchurch killer – was ‘real and growing’.
‘In suburbs around Australia, small cells regularly meet to salute Nazi flags, inspect weapons, train in combat and share their hateful ideology.’
Well, I think, again, we made the point when [Duncan] Lewis was the director general that Asio has been working on rightwing extremism literally for decades in our country.
And I just don’t care honestly – you can portray me in whatever way you like. If somebody is going to cause harm to Australians, I just don’t care whether they’re on the far right, far left, somewhere in between, they will be dealt with.
Scott Morrison was asked about what he would be doing about domestic violence. Anne Aly, who first revealed her domestic violence experience in her memoir, is featured in her local paper today, talking about what she went through. Morrison says it will once again be on the Coag agenda.
Countering domestic violence and dealing with family violence is a priority every day for my government.
Not just on any one day. Every single day. Because every single day women are confronted, and children, with horrendous family violence.
The other half of Kristina Keneally’s doorstop was taken up on the motion Labor wants to move:
Today in the Senate we will have a vote on a motion put forward by senator Penny Wong and myself calling on the Senate to agree that the comments by Bettina Arndt in relation to family violence do not underpin the values of the Order of Australia and I encourage all senators to stand firm, to reject the abhorrent and reckless comments of Bettina Arndt and to make clear that there is no excuse for family violence.
There is no excuse for what happened to Hannah Clarke and her three children, it was a murder plain and simple, but there is nothing plain and simple about the tragedy that is domestic violence.
The climate wars (it’s been 84 years) continue in Australia’s political discourse.
Kristina Keneally opened with this volley this morning, giving unexpected praise to some fellow politicians on the other side of the fence:
You might not expect a former Labor premier of New South Wales to say this, but let me just reflect: how good is Gladys Berejiklian?
I mean, here is a Liberal leader in NSW who’s being quite clear with the community. Net zero emissions by 2050 is a NSW target, Gladys Berejiklian says, and it’s because it is right in line with the Paris agreement.
Peter Dutton has called a press conference for 9.15am in the Senate courtyard.
That will be about this:
Foreign interference in Australia is higher than it has ever been, and “sleeper agents” for foreign powers have lain dormant for years in Australia before being uncovered, the head of Australia’s domestic spy agency has warned.
In a wide-ranging annual threat assessment address delivered in Canberra on Monday night, the director general of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio), Mike Burgess, reiterated earlier security agency warnings that a terrorist attack in Australia is “probable”, and said that rightwing extremism, brought into “sharp terrible focus” by last year’s Christchurch massacre, was manifesting in “small cells” of adherents gathering to salute Nazi flags, inspect weapons and disseminate “hateful ideology”.
This is the motion Kristina Keneally and Penny Wong will be hoping to move:
1) Notes that:
It’s party room meeting time in Canberra, which means climate policy will once again be in the spotlight, as both sides grapple with how to move forward.
Barnaby Joyce has moved things in a very Barnaby Joyce way, pointing the finger at his colleagues in the NSW state government for setting a net zero emissions 2050 target. He says it’s a lame attempt to secure Greens preferences.
A clear and growing majority of Coalition voters support the Morrison government adopting a net zero target for 2050, with support for that proposition climbing 12 points in a month, according to the latest Guardian Essential poll.
The latest fortnightly survey shows a majority of Australian voters support net zero either strongly or somewhat (75%, up four points in a month), and 68% of Coalition voters in the sample hold that positive view. Last month, the proportion of supportive Coalition voters was 56%.
Congratulations to the Queensland police for keeping an open mind and awaiting proper evidence, including the possibility that Rowan Baxter might have been “driven too far.” But note the misplaced outrage. How dare police deviate from the feminist script of seeking excuses…