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Medical evacuation bill still alive with Phelps open to amendments – politics live Medical evacuation bill still alive with Phelps open to amendments – politics live
(35 minutes later)
The PMO has released the transcript of Scott Morrison’s doorstop this morning:
JOURNALIST: Prime minister, if you lose the medevac bill today, why should you not drive to Government House and call an election?
PRIME MINISTER: It’s not a matter [inaudible], that’s why. I mean, the independents have said that themselves. So I think they’ve answered their own question. That matter will be determined I assume later in the parliament today. I have made it pretty clear that the bill is acceptable in no form. We will not be giving any comfort or any licence for the parliament to support this in any way, shape or form.
JOURNALIST: Will you allow it to come on for a debate today though?
PRIME MINISTER: It does come on for a debate today, that’s the process.
JOURNALIST: So you will consider absolutely no Labor amendments to this bill whatsoever?
PRIME MINISTER: This bill is acceptable in absolutely no form. It only weakens our borders, it does not strengthen them. I will not give a leave pass to this parliament to weaken our borders. Thanks very much.
You may remember from Luke’s report yesterday, that David de Garis declined to answer how he found out about the AWU raid. Looks like shiz is about to get reeeal interesting in the federal court.
Justice Bromberg has ruled Michaelia Cash's former media adviser David De Garis will have to give evidence about who tipped him off that federal police were set to raid the AWU's offices. #auspol
From this morning
For any National party voters, that guy in the red tie is the leader of the party and the deputy prime minister.
Labor of course, is not having a caucus meeting this morning, having spent two hours dealing with those issues last night.
On citizenship issues, Paul Karp has this report:On citizenship issues, Paul Karp has this report:
Labor has released advice warning the government bill to lower the bar for stripping terrorists of Australian citizenship is unconstitutional as it prepares to dissent on the usually bipartisan security committee.Labor has released advice warning the government bill to lower the bar for stripping terrorists of Australian citizenship is unconstitutional as it prepares to dissent on the usually bipartisan security committee.
The advice, written by Victorian QC Peter Hanks, said there is a “reasonable argument” granting home affairs minister Peter Dutton the power to revoke citizenship merely on his subjective belief the person is a dual national is not supported by the constitution.The advice, written by Victorian QC Peter Hanks, said there is a “reasonable argument” granting home affairs minister Peter Dutton the power to revoke citizenship merely on his subjective belief the person is a dual national is not supported by the constitution.
The release of the advice comes after the shadow foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, told caucus on Monday night Labor is likely to issue a dissenting report on the bill on the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, a first for them in this term of opposition.”The release of the advice comes after the shadow foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, told caucus on Monday night Labor is likely to issue a dissenting report on the bill on the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, a first for them in this term of opposition.”
You can read the rest of that hereYou can read the rest of that here
Labor warns Coalition bill to strip terrorists of citizenship is 'unconstitutional'Labor warns Coalition bill to strip terrorists of citizenship is 'unconstitutional'
Jordon Steele-John will introduce the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Audio Description) Bill 2018 to the Senate today, which, if passed “would enable equal access to television for the 385,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision”.Jordon Steele-John will introduce the Broadcasting Services Amendment (Audio Description) Bill 2018 to the Senate today, which, if passed “would enable equal access to television for the 385,000 people in Australia who are blind or have low vision”.
We reported on this yesterday, but it may not have got all the attention it deserved because of all the other clusterforkery which was going on, but the auditor general gave a fairly bad mark to the home affairs department over how long it takes to process citizenship applications and visas.We reported on this yesterday, but it may not have got all the attention it deserved because of all the other clusterforkery which was going on, but the auditor general gave a fairly bad mark to the home affairs department over how long it takes to process citizenship applications and visas.
Tony Burke has indicated Labor will have more to say about this today:Tony Burke has indicated Labor will have more to say about this today:
The ANAO audit report into Peter Dutton’s mega department titled “Efficiency of the Processing of Applications for Citizenship by Conferral” is completely damning.The ANAO audit report into Peter Dutton’s mega department titled “Efficiency of the Processing of Applications for Citizenship by Conferral” is completely damning.
The auditor general has used unusually strong, unequivocal and unqualified language to condemn Dutton’s Department of Home Affairs, amounting to a complete and total failure in administration.The auditor general has used unusually strong, unequivocal and unqualified language to condemn Dutton’s Department of Home Affairs, amounting to a complete and total failure in administration.
The audit found that over the past four years, the number of citizenship applications stuck in the pipeline blew out by 771%, with 244,765 applications on hand at 30 June 2018.The audit found that over the past four years, the number of citizenship applications stuck in the pipeline blew out by 771%, with 244,765 applications on hand at 30 June 2018.
Hundreds of thousands of Australian permanent residents, living in the community, who simply want to pledge their formal allegiance to Australia, deserve much better that having their lives placed on hold by the black hole of a department.Hundreds of thousands of Australian permanent residents, living in the community, who simply want to pledge their formal allegiance to Australia, deserve much better that having their lives placed on hold by the black hole of a department.
There’s no need for colourful phrases – this report speaks for itself. The direct and damning conclusions are:There’s no need for colourful phrases – this report speaks for itself. The direct and damning conclusions are:
Applications for citizenship by conferral have not been processed efficiently by the Department of Home Affairs.Applications for citizenship by conferral have not been processed efficiently by the Department of Home Affairs.
Applications have not been processed in a time-efficient manner.Applications have not been processed in a time-efficient manner.
Applications have not been processed in a resource-efficient manner.Applications have not been processed in a resource-efficient manner.
Processing times have increased, there is an underlying decline in processing performance, and long delays are evident between applications being lodged and decisions being taken.Processing times have increased, there is an underlying decline in processing performance, and long delays are evident between applications being lodged and decisions being taken.
Significant periods of inactivity are evident for both complex and non-complex applications accepted by the department for processing.Significant periods of inactivity are evident for both complex and non-complex applications accepted by the department for processing.
The Department of Home Affairs has not checked the quality of its decisions in 2017-18.The Department of Home Affairs has not checked the quality of its decisions in 2017-18.
The auditor-general has called out the Department of Home Affairs for blatantly misrepresenting the facts to the parliament at Senate estimates, stating:The auditor-general has called out the Department of Home Affairs for blatantly misrepresenting the facts to the parliament at Senate estimates, stating:
“[Audit] results indicate that the complexity of applications lodged has decreased. These results are at odds with Home Affairs’ reported experience. For example, Home Affairs advised parliament at Senate estimates on 23 October 2017:“[Audit] results indicate that the complexity of applications lodged has decreased. These results are at odds with Home Affairs’ reported experience. For example, Home Affairs advised parliament at Senate estimates on 23 October 2017:
… we have talked to this committee before about this – that the case load complexity is rising as we are seeing a flow-through of previous humanitarian entrants. It might well be the case that there are bigger delays now because the cases we are looking at now are actually more complicated”.… we have talked to this committee before about this – that the case load complexity is rising as we are seeing a flow-through of previous humanitarian entrants. It might well be the case that there are bigger delays now because the cases we are looking at now are actually more complicated”.
The ridiculous claim by successive ministers that the delays were caused by boat arrivals has been shown to be totally false. The auditor general revealed that in fact applications from the humanitarian stream decreased by 9% over four years from a low base, and that “former illegal maritime arrivals” accounts for only 0.7% of lodgements in 2017-18.The ridiculous claim by successive ministers that the delays were caused by boat arrivals has been shown to be totally false. The auditor general revealed that in fact applications from the humanitarian stream decreased by 9% over four years from a low base, and that “former illegal maritime arrivals” accounts for only 0.7% of lodgements in 2017-18.
The report also reveals that Dutton’s department ignored the law, taking it upon themselves to do nothing with thousands of applications even though changes to legislation had not been agreed by the parliament. The report states in regard to the government’s unfair citizenship bill:The report also reveals that Dutton’s department ignored the law, taking it upon themselves to do nothing with thousands of applications even though changes to legislation had not been agreed by the parliament. The report states in regard to the government’s unfair citizenship bill:
“When they were announced, the proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 were to apply retrospectively to applications received from 20 April 2017 onwards. Home Affairs advised the ANAO in June 2018 that:“When they were announced, the proposed changes to the Australian Citizenship Act 2007 were to apply retrospectively to applications received from 20 April 2017 onwards. Home Affairs advised the ANAO in June 2018 that:
Staff were advised that the post 20 April applications were subject to the new requirements, however the requirements were not yet law. Therefore the applications were not able to be assessed against the existing requirements or the new ones announced by government.”Staff were advised that the post 20 April applications were subject to the new requirements, however the requirements were not yet law. Therefore the applications were not able to be assessed against the existing requirements or the new ones announced by government.”
The Abbott-Morrison-Turnbull government’s unfair changes were rejected by the parliament yet the Dutton’s department has treated people appallingly, adding to delays and uncertainty.The Abbott-Morrison-Turnbull government’s unfair changes were rejected by the parliament yet the Dutton’s department has treated people appallingly, adding to delays and uncertainty.
Your one millionth reminder this is not about border security.Your one millionth reminder this is not about border security.
The advice provided to the government includes this:The advice provided to the government includes this:
After noting the softening in Australia will feed in to marketing by people smugglers, the story becomes more complicated. “Although people smugglers may claim there has been a shift in Australian policy and entry to Australia is now possible with just the opinion of two doctors, the resumption of large-scale people smuggling to Australia will remain dependent on a shift in potential illegal immigrant (PII) intent – not smuggler marketing.After noting the softening in Australia will feed in to marketing by people smugglers, the story becomes more complicated. “Although people smugglers may claim there has been a shift in Australian policy and entry to Australia is now possible with just the opinion of two doctors, the resumption of large-scale people smuggling to Australia will remain dependent on a shift in potential illegal immigrant (PII) intent – not smuggler marketing.
“PIIs will probably be interested in any perceived or actual pathway where resettlement in a western country is guaranteed, even if such a pathway includes a period spent in detention. However, PIIs will probably remain sceptical of smuggler marketing and await proof that such a pathway is viable, or that an actual change of policy has occurred, before committing to ventures.”“PIIs will probably be interested in any perceived or actual pathway where resettlement in a western country is guaranteed, even if such a pathway includes a period spent in detention. However, PIIs will probably remain sceptical of smuggler marketing and await proof that such a pathway is viable, or that an actual change of policy has occurred, before committing to ventures.”
The boats didn’t stop attempting to come to Australia, they have just been turned back.The boats didn’t stop attempting to come to Australia, they have just been turned back.
Australia’s turnback policy will remain in place.Australia’s turnback policy will remain in place.
Late last year Bill Shorten tried to ram a Bill through Parliament which he now effectively says would have stopped us turning away criminals & put people smugglers back into business. It would be law by now if Shorten got his way. He cannot be trusted with our borders. #auspolLate last year Bill Shorten tried to ram a Bill through Parliament which he now effectively says would have stopped us turning away criminals & put people smugglers back into business. It would be law by now if Shorten got his way. He cannot be trusted with our borders. #auspol
Scott Morrison invited the cameras in for the first party room of the year:Scott Morrison invited the cameras in for the first party room of the year:
We are now confronting the full-scale natural disaster, national disaster of what is happening in western and northern Queensland.We are now confronting the full-scale natural disaster, national disaster of what is happening in western and northern Queensland.
I want to particularly commend Linda Reynolds for the way that she has managed and coordinated those efforts and particularly Linda thank you to the Australian defence force, who’ve been there, not just to do the work, but to provide that great encouragement to Australians, just by their sheer presence and turning up.I want to particularly commend Linda Reynolds for the way that she has managed and coordinated those efforts and particularly Linda thank you to the Australian defence force, who’ve been there, not just to do the work, but to provide that great encouragement to Australians, just by their sheer presence and turning up.
But I want to thank you for the work you have done with emergency management to prepare, because we knew it was going to be a difficult season with bushfires.But I want to thank you for the work you have done with emergency management to prepare, because we knew it was going to be a difficult season with bushfires.
And to have the aerial assets ready and in place, I want to commend you for that, and to Michael Keenan and the work that has been done by Human Services to ensure that the payments have been getting out.And to have the aerial assets ready and in place, I want to commend you for that, and to Michael Keenan and the work that has been done by Human Services to ensure that the payments have been getting out.
I mean, just as of last Sunday, as I said at the Press Club yesterday, almost $40m in cash support within a week. To get support to those families. That’s government in action.I mean, just as of last Sunday, as I said at the Press Club yesterday, almost $40m in cash support within a week. To get support to those families. That’s government in action.
That’s government dealing with issues that the Australian people are facing. And Michelle, I know, you have seen the same thing in your electorate. Australians are strong. Australians are resilient. Under our government, we are going to continue to make Australia even stronger. That’s what we are about. A stronger economy, stronger borders, stronger services, that’s a stronger Australia. And that’s what we are about.That’s government dealing with issues that the Australian people are facing. And Michelle, I know, you have seen the same thing in your electorate. Australians are strong. Australians are resilient. Under our government, we are going to continue to make Australia even stronger. That’s what we are about. A stronger economy, stronger borders, stronger services, that’s a stronger Australia. And that’s what we are about.
Our opponents have plans that will make Australia weaker. To weaken the economy, to weaken our borders. And you can’t pay for services with money that’s not there and we all know that Labor cannot manage money. Here we are colleagues taking up this fight on behalf of the strong Australian people, backing them in, backing small business, lower taxes, the infrastructure they need, whether it’s supporting farmers in drought or supporting farmers in flood, we are there and we’ll be there, not just in the crisis, and the recovery, but we’ll be there for their prosperity in the future because those days will come and we believe in that and we believe in them.Our opponents have plans that will make Australia weaker. To weaken the economy, to weaken our borders. And you can’t pay for services with money that’s not there and we all know that Labor cannot manage money. Here we are colleagues taking up this fight on behalf of the strong Australian people, backing them in, backing small business, lower taxes, the infrastructure they need, whether it’s supporting farmers in drought or supporting farmers in flood, we are there and we’ll be there, not just in the crisis, and the recovery, but we’ll be there for their prosperity in the future because those days will come and we believe in that and we believe in them.
So that is our charge. That is our mission. We are united together in doing that. But before I go any further, there has been one element in our team that has been missing and his name’s Arthur! ... He’s back! And Arty, why don’t you say a few words, mate.So that is our charge. That is our mission. We are united together in doing that. But before I go any further, there has been one element in our team that has been missing and his name’s Arthur! ... He’s back! And Arty, why don’t you say a few words, mate.
Arthur Sinodinos (who is back from sick leave, which he took while undergoing cancer treatment):Arthur Sinodinos (who is back from sick leave, which he took while undergoing cancer treatment):
Thanks, prime minister. All I’m going to say is, first and foremost, when I’ve been out there talking to our people as I’ve come back to work, there is a real fighting spirit out there, a view that we can win this, and, as long as we provide a clear alternative, articulate that alternative and work as a team, we’ll get there, we can win this. The only other plea I would make is, Michael McCormack, no more singing, stick to your day job!Thanks, prime minister. All I’m going to say is, first and foremost, when I’ve been out there talking to our people as I’ve come back to work, there is a real fighting spirit out there, a view that we can win this, and, as long as we provide a clear alternative, articulate that alternative and work as a team, we’ll get there, we can win this. The only other plea I would make is, Michael McCormack, no more singing, stick to your day job!
(That last bit is because McCormack is an Elvis impersonator, who recently attended the Parkes festival where he attempted to sing, what at one point, may have been an tune in the style of Elvis.)(That last bit is because McCormack is an Elvis impersonator, who recently attended the Parkes festival where he attempted to sing, what at one point, may have been an tune in the style of Elvis.)
Also happening today – a world record ending in Canberra, raising money and awareness for child victims of family and domestic violence.Also happening today – a world record ending in Canberra, raising money and awareness for child victims of family and domestic violence.
Norm Bartie will arrive in parliament house, in his digger, after travelling 5500km in the excavator, at a top speed of 30km/h.Norm Bartie will arrive in parliament house, in his digger, after travelling 5500km in the excavator, at a top speed of 30km/h.
Norm’s wife Rikki described it to me like this:Norm’s wife Rikki described it to me like this:
The journey has taken him from Brisbane – Townsville – Toowoomba – Wagga Wagga – Echuca – Canberra. The aim of the journey was to raise awareness for children who have been affected by domestic violence, abuse and trauma, and to raise funds for our not-for-profit organisation ‘It’s NOT Your Fault 4 Kids’, as well as taking this message to all kids along the way (that the abuse they have suffered from is NOT their fault, as opposed to what most of these children have as their core belief). Norm has raised $12,000 so far, enough to fund three retreats, with ongoing support, for a number of children this year.The journey has taken him from Brisbane – Townsville – Toowoomba – Wagga Wagga – Echuca – Canberra. The aim of the journey was to raise awareness for children who have been affected by domestic violence, abuse and trauma, and to raise funds for our not-for-profit organisation ‘It’s NOT Your Fault 4 Kids’, as well as taking this message to all kids along the way (that the abuse they have suffered from is NOT their fault, as opposed to what most of these children have as their core belief). Norm has raised $12,000 so far, enough to fund three retreats, with ongoing support, for a number of children this year.
That takes some dedication. And in a week like this one is shaping up to be, is a much welcome reminder of the good in people.That takes some dedication. And in a week like this one is shaping up to be, is a much welcome reminder of the good in people.
Timing is of the essence with all of this though. There are only two sitting weeks scheduled ahead of the budget. This fortnight is practically it, if there are any changes to be made ahead of the election.Timing is of the essence with all of this though. There are only two sitting weeks scheduled ahead of the budget. This fortnight is practically it, if there are any changes to be made ahead of the election.
Bill Shorten knows it:Bill Shorten knows it:
This issue is capable of resolution. It is possible in Australia to have strong borders without treating people cruelly. It is possible to make sure that treating medical clinicians, who are looking after people, that their advice is given the appropriate weight. Australia can have strong borders and be compassionate to the treatment of people and their care.This issue is capable of resolution. It is possible in Australia to have strong borders without treating people cruelly. It is possible to make sure that treating medical clinicians, who are looking after people, that their advice is given the appropriate weight. Australia can have strong borders and be compassionate to the treatment of people and their care.
Penny Wong had a few things to say about Scott Morrison this morning.Penny Wong had a few things to say about Scott Morrison this morning.
The Senator is not impressed.The Senator is not impressed.
“Fear is all he has left,” she said of Morrison.“Fear is all he has left,” she said of Morrison.
“He can’t run on his record, because his record is cuts and chaos, he can’t run on stability because they are so bitterly divided.“He can’t run on his record, because his record is cuts and chaos, he can’t run on stability because they are so bitterly divided.
“So what does he want run on? He wants to run on a fear campaign.”“So what does he want run on? He wants to run on a fear campaign.”
There is an Adani protest out the front of parliament today.There is an Adani protest out the front of parliament today.
It never stops.It never stops.
Adam Bandt has also weighed in on Labor’s proposed amendments to the medivac bill. He’s told us he is not overly happy. That doesn’t mean he won’t engage in discussions about it though:Adam Bandt has also weighed in on Labor’s proposed amendments to the medivac bill. He’s told us he is not overly happy. That doesn’t mean he won’t engage in discussions about it though:
“On first look, Labor’s amendments don’t make the current terrible situation any better. Labor is giving a lot of power back to Peter Dutton and it’s not clear that sick refugees will come to Australia any quicker than they do now.”“On first look, Labor’s amendments don’t make the current terrible situation any better. Labor is giving a lot of power back to Peter Dutton and it’s not clear that sick refugees will come to Australia any quicker than they do now.”