This article is from the source 'guardian' and was first published or seen on . The next check for changes will be

You can find the current article at its original source at https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/dec/03/liberal-labor-party-medevac-repeal-bill-jacqui-lambie-ken-wyatt-politics-live

The article has changed 18 times. There is an RSS feed of changes available.

Version 10 Version 11
Labor calls for royal commission into defence veteran suicide – politics live Angus Taylor says he has not yet been interviewed by strike force detectives – politics live
(32 minutes later)
The opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, says there have been more than 400 ‘senseless loss of life’ since 2001. Follow all the day’s politics – live Labor accuses the PM of misleading parliament by claiming the government has not increased debt. Follow all the day’s politics – live
Senate question time ends with a very fiery exchange about whether Simon Birmingham can guarantee that government staff will be available for interview by the police on NSW strike force Garrad investigating the use of a falsified document by Angus Taylor to attack Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore.
Birmingham said that the government will “cooperate with the police”. Labor’s Murray Watt notes that that is what Michaelia Cash had said about the AWU raid leak matter, but then she provided a written statement and refused to be interviewed.
Penny Wong shouts: “You’re hiding staff! What’s so hard about making staff available?”
Mathias Cormann labelled the referral to the NSW police “politically motivated”.
Birmingham noted that the record of the shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, on police referrals is “eight zero – zero findings” (of criminal guilt).
The shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, asks Christian Porter: “Malcolm Turnbull, former judge David Ipp, and Icac counsel assisting Geoffrey Watson have all labelled Scott Morrison’s phone call to NSW police commissioner Mick Fuller inappropriate. Why was it made?”
Christian Porter responds that Dreyfus’s judgment hasn’t been so flash hot. Porter is referring to the eight police referrals Labor have made without any charges.
Labor’s Tony Burke asks a cheeky question about Angus Taylor’s first speech to parliament, in which he recalled living as a student alongside Naomi Wolf, a famed US author. In Taylor’s version, she wanted to remove a Christmas tree in case people were offended, something he described as “political correctness”.
Wolf, you may have heard, was not at Oxford at the time. In fact, she was on the other side of the world touring her new book.
Burke asks:
Needless to say the question is not allowed.
In the Senate, Labor’s Catryna Bilyk is asking about this report by Sarah Martin about a bullying complaint against National Llew O’Brien.
The agriculture minister, Bridget McKenzie, confirms only that the Nationals have a process for investigating bullying complaints, but she first dodges then rejects the part of the question about whether her handling of the dairy code of conduct is the cause of tensions in the Nationals.
McKenzie: “I reject the second part of that long-winded question.”
Labor’s Mark Butler picks up the attack on Angus Taylor. He asks further questions about an alleged failure to declare interests in a company GFA F1 Pty Ltd. The interest is held through another entity, Farm Partnerships Australia. Taylor’s office has issued a statement saying he needs to declare only “direct and controlling interests”. Taylor is asked whether he supports that interpretation of the rules.
The attorney general, Christian Porter, jumps up to answer the question. He says that’s always the way interests have been declared.
Scott Morrison is asked another question on the Angus Taylor scandal. This time it’s about why the government has not released a transcript of the Morrison-Fuller call, despite a Senate order to do so. He responds:
Burn.
He then goes on to explain.
Morrison says he will respond to the police investigation when it concludes. He then challenges Anthony Albanese to hold his side to the same standards it is demanding of the government. That is, that ministers would resign if they come under investigation before an investigation concludes.
Morrison withdraws that last bit.
Angus Taylor is asked whether he has been interviewed by detectives attached to strike force Garrad, which is investigating allegations Taylor relied on a forged document to attack Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore.Angus Taylor is asked whether he has been interviewed by detectives attached to strike force Garrad, which is investigating allegations Taylor relied on a forged document to attack Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore.
Taylor answers simply: “No.”Taylor answers simply: “No.”
Over in the upper house, Labor has asked agriculture minister Bridget McKenzie when she became aware Nationals senator Perin Davey had arranged a meeting between irrigators concerned with the Murray Darling Basin Plan and water resources minister David Littleproud. Over in the upper house, Labor has asked the agriculture minister, Bridget McKenzie, when she became aware Nationals senator Perin Davey had arranged a meeting between irrigators concerned with the Murray-Darling Basin plan and the water resources minister, David Littleproud.
Labor’s Murray Watt heckles “you’ve been bypassed”, while McKenzie replies that she heard earlier in the week. Labor’s Murray Watt heckles “You’ve been bypassed”, and McKenzie replies that she heard earlier in the week.
Glenn Sterle follows up by asking if McKenzie was invited. McKenzie replied “I’m not invited to a lot” of stakeholder meetings - in the same way that defence and skills ministers are not invited to every meeting. She said it is entirely appropriate that the meeting was organised with the water resources minister. Glenn Sterle follows up by asking if McKenzie was invited. McKenzie says “I’m not invited to a lot” of stakeholder meetings, in the same way that defence and skills ministers are not invited to every meeting. She says it is entirely appropriate that the meeting was organised with the water resources minister.
The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, is attacking Labor for talking down Australia’s economy. Economic management has been the focus of Labor’s early attention in question time this week.The treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, is attacking Labor for talking down Australia’s economy. Economic management has been the focus of Labor’s early attention in question time this week.
Frydenberg:Frydenberg:
Scott Morrison is then again pressed on misleading the parliament. Anthony Albanese accuses him of misleading parliament in each of the last four sitting days. Morrison responds that Albanese is treating parliament like a “second-rate high school debating chamber” with his “stunts and his clever little lines”.Scott Morrison is then again pressed on misleading the parliament. Anthony Albanese accuses him of misleading parliament in each of the last four sitting days. Morrison responds that Albanese is treating parliament like a “second-rate high school debating chamber” with his “stunts and his clever little lines”.
Labor accuses the prime minister of misleading parliament by claiming the government has not increased debt. Labor’s Jim Chalmers says the government has doubled Australia’s debt.Labor accuses the prime minister of misleading parliament by claiming the government has not increased debt. Labor’s Jim Chalmers says the government has doubled Australia’s debt.
Scott Morrison describes Chalmers as “Obi Swan’s padawan” in his response.Scott Morrison describes Chalmers as “Obi Swan’s padawan” in his response.
Andrew Wilkie has a question on problems with access to firefighting assets and equipment during the elongated bushfire season. He asks:Andrew Wilkie has a question on problems with access to firefighting assets and equipment during the elongated bushfire season. He asks:
David Littleproud responds to the crux of the question. He says he’s been assured by the Australasian fire and emergency service authorities council that the current access to equipment is suitable.David Littleproud responds to the crux of the question. He says he’s been assured by the Australasian fire and emergency service authorities council that the current access to equipment is suitable.
Just away from question time temporarily, Paul Karp filed this from the Coalition party room earlier:
At the Coalition joint party room, Scott Morrison suggested that all options are on the table on the issue of veterans’ mental health. While he didn’t explicitly say the Coalition is considering a royal commission, he said it is “giving active consideration to what further action we can take” over the Christmas period.
Morrison addressed the government’s decision to delay the religious discrimination bill, thanking the attorney general, Christian Porter, for his work to date and acknowledging that “within the party room there are different views – even more so across the community”.
Morrison said the government was “seeking the time to get this right” and credited the fact that “a listening and respect has been shown in the drafting process to date”.
Morrison wants the bill to bring people together on matters of faith and belief, and he “doesn’t want a partisan element to this process” to ensure smooth passage of the bill through parliament – an interesting hint that perhaps the Coalition needs Labor support to legislate it.
Morrison said the government was not backing down on the ensuring integrity bill – which will now be reintroduced to parliament.
Morrison also made some comparisons between his government and that of John Howard:
One backbencher asked the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, about penalties for banking executives - suggesting that fines hit shareholders so perhaps personal penalties for executives was the way to go.
Frydenberg responded that penalties had been increased but it was important to get the balance right so banks keep lending. The prime minister said there are provisions which allow for removal of individuals from the banking sector.
Labor continues to press its attack on the Coalition’s economic management. It results in the predictable response: Labor’s all about taxing and spending.
Things have gotten slightly out of control in the House. People seem upset. There’s some yelling. Some name-calling.
It’s been a long year, I suppose.
The deputy prime minister, Michael McCormack, gets up to answer a question. Evidently someone makes a quip about his, er, less-than-friendly interaction with farmers outside parliament this morning.
McCormack thunders in response:
Labor MP Joel Fitzgibbon stands to raise a point of order.
McCormack:
McCormack continues on. Fitzgibbon gets up again.
McCormack:
The Speaker is telling everyone to sit down.
Morrison is asked a dixer on the economy.
He says the government is bringing the budget into surplus, not increasing taxes, and not growing debt.
Jim Chalmers, the shadow treasurer, asks a question on the same topic: what will it take to wake the government up to the “floundering economy”?
Frydenberg responds:
Labor’s Anthony Albanese begins question time with a call for the government to support a royal commission into veteran suicide.
The prime minister, Scott Morrison, says the suicide rate is far too high among veterans.
Morrison says the government will continue to reflect on the issue of a royal commission over the Christmas break.
He says every time a veteran suicides, there “must be justice”.
In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. Other international suicide helplines can be found at www.befrienders.org.
Bill Shorten is making a 90-second speech in the lower house on disability. Today is the international day of disabled persons, he says.
Malcolm Roberts is on Sky News about One Nation’s shock decision to deny the government passage of its union busting legislation on Friday. Roberts reckons it was all about the merits of the bill, and not about a certain Queensland election and a possible union campaign against the party.
A little earlier, a group of civil society organisations gathered at Parliament House to demand the government rule out any changes to secondary boycott laws.
Secondary boycotts have become an important tool in driving social change. But they have drawn the ire of government. Scott Morrison recently told the Queensland Resources Council they were “a potentially more insidious threat to the Queensland economy and jobs and living standards than a street protest”. Morrison at the time pledged to introduce mechanisms to outlaw what he said were “indulgent and selfish practices”.
Oxfam, 350 Australia, Market Forces, the Australia Institute, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Uniting Church in Australia gathered to call for the government to rule out new laws outlawing secondary boycotts.
They were backed by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young, who said such a move would impinge on democratic rights.
“Australians of all political persuasions value their rights and freedoms to support products, services and companies that align with their values,” she said. “More and more Australians are using their consumer power to make good environmental choices and their right to do so should be protected.”
Labor senator Catryna Bilyk is continuing. She asks the government senators:
“Is this really why you entered politics? Was it really to deny healthcare to vulnerable people?”
The Senate is back debating the medevac repeal bill. Liberal senator Sam McMahon is warning of doom and death if the medevac law is allowed to stand. She says medevac is a weakening of Australia’s sovereign borders.
Labor senator Catryna Bilyk says the government believes “we can’t protect our borders and be compassionate at the same time”.
This debate is likely to stretch on for some time. We still haven’t heard from Jacqui Lambie.