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Ken Wyatt awarded $2.2m contract to Liberal party donors – politics live Ken Wyatt awarded $2.2m contract to Liberal party donors – politics live
(32 minutes later)
Minister for Indigenous Australians under pressure over contract that did not go to tender. Meanwhile the Coalition tries to win over Jacqui Lambie on the medevac repeal bill. Follow all the day’s politics – liveMinister for Indigenous Australians under pressure over contract that did not go to tender. Meanwhile the Coalition tries to win over Jacqui Lambie on the medevac repeal bill. Follow all the day’s politics – live
WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Harfnsson is also in Canberra this morning, trying to raise Australian support for the imprisoned Julian Assange. He’ll be speaking at the National Press Club a little later. Albanese says Labor will continue to pursue Scott Morrison over his “Angus Horribilus”, a line that gets a decent guffaw from the Labor faithful.
Assange is on remand in London’s maximum security Belmarsh Prison, while the US seeks to extradite him for soliciting, obtaining and publishing secret documents. The trial is set down for February. If you don’t understand that Strike Force Garrad gag, look up Garrad on urban dictionary.
Harfnsson says the case should concern all journalists. He told the ABC earlier: He looks forward to Labor’s strategy for the end of the year. He says the party will examine media reforms and measures to strengthen democracy. Labor will have the first meeting of its national policy committee on Friday, he says.
Assange has already won support from unlikely quarters. Barnaby Joyce has voiced his support for Assange, as has former prime minister Kevin Rudd. It’s all about confidence, he says.
Albanese says when Scott Morrison says “quiet Australians”, he really means “shut up and listen to me”. This prompts some applause.
Albanese is now paying tribute to Labor’s Senate team for their work opposing the union-busting laws which were defeated on Friday. He tells caucus that the people in this room “made a difference”.
Albanese is now talking about Labor’s calls for a royal commission into veteran suicides. He speaks of meeting Julie-Ann Finney, the mother of a former sailor who killed himself after suffering PTSD.
Albanese pays tribute to Bill Shorten and Linda Burney for the work they did to oppose the robodebt system.
He then turns to aged care.
Albanese describes Scott Morrison as “an ad man with no plan”.
Albanese continues:
The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, is addressing caucus. He says Labor is moving forward.
“That’s more than you can say for this economy,” he quips.
Albanese says working people are struggling.
I’ve lost count of the Angus Taylor controversies, but at least two new ones emerged yesterday. One was sprung by Labor in question time. It says Taylor failed to declare an interest in a company named GFA F1 Pty Ltd. Taylor has a partnership interest in the company through a separate venture, Farm Partnerships Australia, which he has declared appropriately. But he hasn’t named an interest in GFA F1 on his pecuniary interests register. Labor isn’t alleging there is any conflict of interest.
The second issue to pop up was on the stranger side. In Taylor’s first speech to parliament, he spoke of his memories of Christmas while studying at Oxford. He remembered “a young Naomi Wolf”, now a well-known US author and journalist, wanting to remove a Christmas tree from the common room “because some people might be offended”. Taylor described his outrage at this form of “political correctness”.
Wolf subsequently raised the small issue of her not actually being in Oxford at the time of Taylor’s memory, and accused him of an “anti-semitic dogwhistle”.
“I was a Rhodes scholar in Oxford 1985-88,” Wolf said on Twitter. “Angus Taylor recalls me in a fever dream at Oxford in 1991 among those warring on Xmas. I was in NYC. Plus I love Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa. Flattered to be on this mythological hate list.”
Mark Butler has just been on Sky News, talking about these various controversies.
On Taylor’s defence of failing to declare an interest in GFA F1:
On the Oxford student story:
Of course, the issue continuing to pose the most trouble for Taylor is that he relied on a falsified document to attack Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore, for her travel-related emissions.
WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, Kristinn Hrafnsson, is also in Canberra this morning. He’s trying to raise Australian support for the imprisoned Julian Assange. He’ll be speaking at the National Press Club a little later.
Assange is on remand in London’s maximum security Belmarsh prison while the US seeks to extradite him for soliciting, obtaining and publishing secret documents. The trial is set down for February.
Hrafnsson says the case should concern all journalists. He told the ABC earlier:
Assange has already won support from unlikely quarters. Barnaby Joyce has voiced his support for Assange, as has the former prime minister Kevin Rudd.
Nationals Damian Drum and Michael McCormack have been down to see the Murray-Darling Basin protesters out the front of parliament.Nationals Damian Drum and Michael McCormack have been down to see the Murray-Darling Basin protesters out the front of parliament.
And boy, did they cop it.And boy, did they cop it.
The farmers’ frustrations were there for all to see. Mike Bowers was there and reports that the anger was palpable. Sky News had to apologise to viewers for all the swears, so you know it was bad.The farmers’ frustrations were there for all to see. Mike Bowers was there and reports that the anger was palpable. Sky News had to apologise to viewers for all the swears, so you know it was bad.
Drum was trying to calm everyone down. He says the public is now on the side of the farmers, after apparently abandoning them following reports about the Menindee fish kills earlier in the year.Drum was trying to calm everyone down. He says the public is now on the side of the farmers, after apparently abandoning them following reports about the Menindee fish kills earlier in the year.
A protester, John Russell, is berating McCormack for not crossing the floor against the Liberals to stand up for farmers. The Nationals won’t exist after the next election if they don’t show some spine, he says:A protester, John Russell, is berating McCormack for not crossing the floor against the Liberals to stand up for farmers. The Nationals won’t exist after the next election if they don’t show some spine, he says:
Also in that interview, Mark Dreyfus denied any suggestion that Labor’s referral of Angus Taylor to police was a “political stunt”.Also in that interview, Mark Dreyfus denied any suggestion that Labor’s referral of Angus Taylor to police was a “political stunt”.
The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, has called for a royal commission into the shocking rates of veteran suicides in Australia. Albanese says:The Labor leader, Anthony Albanese, has called for a royal commission into the shocking rates of veteran suicides in Australia. Albanese says:
The shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, has been on Sky News also discussing the urgent need for a royal commission. He says the situation cannot be allowed to stand.The shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, has been on Sky News also discussing the urgent need for a royal commission. He says the situation cannot be allowed to stand.
Just a quick summary of what we’re expecting from today.Just a quick summary of what we’re expecting from today.
Labor will continue its pressure on Angus Taylor over the controversy now engulfing him, the prime minister and the attorney general. Taylor relied on a falsified document to attack Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore. The revelations prompted a police referral from Labor, and NSW police have set up a taskforce to investigate. The scandal was moved along further by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, who called the NSW police chief, Mick Fuller, a personal acquaintance, to check up on the investigation. We now know Christian Porter, the attorney general, was also on that call. The Coalition has accused Labor of “vexatious” and frivolous referrals to police.Labor will continue its pressure on Angus Taylor over the controversy now engulfing him, the prime minister and the attorney general. Taylor relied on a falsified document to attack Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore. The revelations prompted a police referral from Labor, and NSW police have set up a taskforce to investigate. The scandal was moved along further by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, who called the NSW police chief, Mick Fuller, a personal acquaintance, to check up on the investigation. We now know Christian Porter, the attorney general, was also on that call. The Coalition has accused Labor of “vexatious” and frivolous referrals to police.
The medevac repeal legislation will be debated again by the Senate today. The independent senator Jacqui Lambie still holds the critical vote, and faces lobbying from both sides. Lambie is yet to make her position clear. New figures were conveniently leaked to the Australian this morning suggesting more than one-third of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru have applied for transfer under the laws.The medevac repeal legislation will be debated again by the Senate today. The independent senator Jacqui Lambie still holds the critical vote, and faces lobbying from both sides. Lambie is yet to make her position clear. New figures were conveniently leaked to the Australian this morning suggesting more than one-third of asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea and Nauru have applied for transfer under the laws.
As we mentioned, Ken Wyatt, minister for Indigenous Australians, is under pressure over reports that he handed a contract to the company of a Liberal donor and former candidate without tender. The report in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age suggested the contract was awarded contrary to internal advice.As we mentioned, Ken Wyatt, minister for Indigenous Australians, is under pressure over reports that he handed a contract to the company of a Liberal donor and former candidate without tender. The report in the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age suggested the contract was awarded contrary to internal advice.
The Murray-Darling Basin plan protesters are still camped out the front of Parliament House. The protests are placing pressure on the Nationals. Many of their traditional constituents are furious with the government’s treatment of the basin, and want the basin plan scrapped or paused.The Murray-Darling Basin plan protesters are still camped out the front of Parliament House. The protests are placing pressure on the Nationals. Many of their traditional constituents are furious with the government’s treatment of the basin, and want the basin plan scrapped or paused.
Labor is also calling again for a royal commission into veteran suicides, saying it is unacceptable that those who served Australia face a higher suicide rate than the general population.Labor is also calling again for a royal commission into veteran suicides, saying it is unacceptable that those who served Australia face a higher suicide rate than the general population.
Stay with us. We’ll keep across all the developments as they happen.Stay with us. We’ll keep across all the developments as they happen.
Hello dear readers. Welcome to another day in the mad house.Hello dear readers. Welcome to another day in the mad house.
It’s Christopher Knaus here again, filling in for Amy Remeikis. I’ll be here with you all week.It’s Christopher Knaus here again, filling in for Amy Remeikis. I’ll be here with you all week.
There’s plenty on. The Murray Darling Basin protestors are still in Canberra in relative force. We’re expecting another day of debate on the medevac repeal bill. And there’s likely to be follow-up to the revelation that Christian Porter was in the room for Scott Morrison’s controversial call to NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller but did not seek advice about what he said was a “simple” and “basic” call. The call related to an active investigation into cabinet minister Angus Taylor following revelations in the Guardian that he relied on falsified documents to attack the Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore.There’s plenty on. The Murray Darling Basin protestors are still in Canberra in relative force. We’re expecting another day of debate on the medevac repeal bill. And there’s likely to be follow-up to the revelation that Christian Porter was in the room for Scott Morrison’s controversial call to NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller but did not seek advice about what he said was a “simple” and “basic” call. The call related to an active investigation into cabinet minister Angus Taylor following revelations in the Guardian that he relied on falsified documents to attack the Sydney lord mayor Clover Moore.
But the major story of the morning concerns Ken Wyatt, the minister for Indigenous Australians. The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age have reported that he awarded a $2.2m contract to a Liberal donor-linked company. The contract did not go to tender, and had the company conduct Indigenous eye surgeries at double the market rate. It was awarded despite internal objections, the papers reported.But the major story of the morning concerns Ken Wyatt, the minister for Indigenous Australians. The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age have reported that he awarded a $2.2m contract to a Liberal donor-linked company. The contract did not go to tender, and had the company conduct Indigenous eye surgeries at double the market rate. It was awarded despite internal objections, the papers reported.