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Former fire chiefs meet with ministers, but not PM, on climate and bushfires – politics live Former fire chiefs meet with ministers, but not PM, on climate concerns – as it happened
(32 minutes later)
Greg Mullins and others have met with Angus Taylor and David Littleproud to discuss climate concerns. Follow all the day’s politics, live Greg Mullins and others discuss climate change and bushfires with David Littleproud and Angus Taylor. This blog has now closed
That’s where we’ll leave the day for now. Thanks again for following along with the day’s events. It’s been another frantic day, so let’s recap:That’s where we’ll leave the day for now. Thanks again for following along with the day’s events. It’s been another frantic day, so let’s recap:
the government has met with former fire chiefs, including Greg Mullins, about the climate and bushfires. Mullins says he hopes the Coalition can look past politics and act seriously on climate change. The prime minister was not in the meeting, leaving it up to Angus Taylor and David Littleproud. The government has met with former fire chiefs, including Greg Mullins, about the climate and bushfires. Mullins says he hopes the Coalition can look past politics and act seriously on climate change. The prime minister was not in the meeting, leaving it up to Angus Taylor and David Littleproud.
Labor called for a royal commission into veterans suicides. The government said it was open to the idea, but would need more time to consider it. The RSL national president Greg Melick said there had been enough inquiries, and that the problems and solutions were known and needed to be acted upon. Labor called for a royal commission into veterans’ suicides. The government said it was open to the idea, but would need more time to consider it. The RSL national president, Greg Melick, said there had been enough inquiries, and that the problems and solutions were known and needed to be acted upon.
the day began with reports that Ken Wyatt, minister for Indigenous Australians, had handed a contract to a company linked to a Liberal donor and former candidate without an open tender. The day began with reports that Ken Wyatt, the minister for Indigenous Australians, had handed a contract to a company linked to a Liberal donor and former candidate without an open tender.
Labor used question time to attack Angus Taylor again on multiple fronts, accusing him of misleading parliament in his first ever speech, and attempting to draw Scott Morrison and Christian Porter further into the City of Sydney forged documents scandal. Taylor revealed he had not yet been interviewed by police.Labor used question time to attack Angus Taylor again on multiple fronts, accusing him of misleading parliament in his first ever speech, and attempting to draw Scott Morrison and Christian Porter further into the City of Sydney forged documents scandal. Taylor revealed he had not yet been interviewed by police.
The government failed to produce a transcript of the phone call between Mick Fuller and Scott Morrison about the police investigation into Taylor, despite a Senate order, which prompted criticism from Labor and the Greens.The government failed to produce a transcript of the phone call between Mick Fuller and Scott Morrison about the police investigation into Taylor, despite a Senate order, which prompted criticism from Labor and the Greens.
Question time got fiery when Michael McCormack and Joel Fitzgibbon clashed in question time. Fitzgibbon was ejected. McCormack became animated about his interactions with farmer protesters out the front of parliament. Those protesters had told McCormack he lacked passion and that the Nationals would not exist unless it took a bolder stand on water and the Murray Darling Basin Plan. Question time got fiery when Michael McCormack and Joel Fitzgibbon clashed. Fitzgibbon was ejected. McCormack became animated about his interactions with farmer protesters out the front of parliament. Those protesters had told McCormack he lacked passion and that the Nationals would not exist unless it took a bolder stand on water and the Murray-Darling Basin plan.
speaking of the Murray Darling Basin Plan, the government announced a review of its water management policies to ensure they are not inhibiting access. Speaking of the Murray-Darling Basin plan, the government announced a review of its water management policies to ensure they are not inhibiting access.
Anthony Albanese addressed the Labor caucus, rallying the troops, and promising more pressure on what he called Scott Morrison’s “Angus Horribilis” Anthony Albanese addressed the Labor caucus, rallying the troops and promising more pressure on what he called Scott Morrison’s “Angus Horribilis”.
See you tomorrow for another round.See you tomorrow for another round.
Emergency services minister David Littleproud addressed his meeting with former chief of NSW Fire and Rescue Greg Mullins a little earlier at a press conference: The emergency services minister, David Littleproud, addressed his meeting with the former chief of NSW Fire and Rescue Greg Mullins a little earlier at a press conference:
Littleproud said the peak council of fire commissioners had advised that Australia has “sufficient assets” in the form of 100 fire-fighting aircraft. If the season is extended and is more severe the federal government will “continue to be agile with the states” which have primary funding responsibility to provide them. Littleproud said the peak council of fire commissioners had advised that Australia has “sufficient assets” in the form of 100 firefighting aircraft. If the season is extended and is more severe the federal government will “continue to be agile with the states” which have primary funding responsibility to provide firefighting services.
Zali Steggall, the independent MP, has been on the ABC talking about the federal government’s proposal for its Commonwealth integrity commission. She’s had a briefing from the attorney-general Christian Porter on the design. We’re still waiting to see draft legislation. It was promised by the end of the year, initially, but is now not likely until next year. Steggall still has some concerns about the proposal. Zali Steggall, the independent MP, has been on the ABC talking about the federal government’s proposal for its commonwealth integrity commission. She’s had a briefing from the attorney general, Christian Porter, on the design. We’re still waiting to see draft legislation. It was promised by the end of the year, initially, but is now not likely until next year. Steggall still has some concerns about the proposal.
Still on bushfires, crossbench MP Andrew Wilkie has reiterated his calls for the defence force to develop a firefighting capability. Wilkie asked a question on the issue during question time, warning the deteriorating climate and prolonged fire seasons were making it difficult to access foreign firefighting resources. Still on bushfires, the crossbench MP Andrew Wilkie has reiterated his calls for the defence force to develop a firefighting capability. Wilkie asked a question on the issue during question time, warning the deteriorating climate and prolonged fire seasons were making it difficult to access foreign firefighting resources.
David Littleproud said he was advised there was no issue with access to resources.David Littleproud said he was advised there was no issue with access to resources.
Wilkie has issued a statement saying he met with representatives of emergency leaders for climate action after question time. They advised him much greater investment in aerial firefighting was needed.Wilkie has issued a statement saying he met with representatives of emergency leaders for climate action after question time. They advised him much greater investment in aerial firefighting was needed.
Former fire chiefs, including Greg Mullins, have met with the energy minister, Angus Taylor, and the drought minister, David Littleproud – but not Scott Morrison – to discuss their concerns about climate change.Former fire chiefs, including Greg Mullins, have met with the energy minister, Angus Taylor, and the drought minister, David Littleproud – but not Scott Morrison – to discuss their concerns about climate change.
Mullins says he is hopeful the government can “reach out across the boundaries of politics and do more”. He said the extremes being seen due to climate change were not mere “business as usual”. Mullins says he is hopeful the government can “reach out across the boundaries of politics and do more”. He says the extremes being seen due to climate change are not mere “business as usual”.
Asked whether the government can do more than its current commitments to the Paris agreement, Mullins says:Asked whether the government can do more than its current commitments to the Paris agreement, Mullins says:
Mullins also asked for national investment in heavy firefighting aircraft. He said they are used across states and territories and are truly a “national resource”.Mullins also asked for national investment in heavy firefighting aircraft. He said they are used across states and territories and are truly a “national resource”.
Labor has seized on comments from the RBA governor on subdued wage growth, made during its decision to leave rates on hold. Labor has seized on comments from the RBA governor on subdued wage growth, made during the central bank’s decision to leave rates on hold.
Down in the Senate, a motion has been passed that calls on the government to include changes in the robodebt processes in the government’s midyear economic update.Down in the Senate, a motion has been passed that calls on the government to include changes in the robodebt processes in the government’s midyear economic update.
You’ll remember the government recently announced changes that would stop over-reliance on income averaging, a fundamentally flawed and frequently erroneous way of calculating welfare debts.You’ll remember the government recently announced changes that would stop over-reliance on income averaging, a fundamentally flawed and frequently erroneous way of calculating welfare debts.
The Greens senator Rachel Siewert said including the changes in Myefo would help Australians understand what was truly changing with the robodebt system.The Greens senator Rachel Siewert said including the changes in Myefo would help Australians understand what was truly changing with the robodebt system.
“There are so many unanswered questions and it’s absolutely outrageous that the government is once again leaving people worried and in the dark about what is happening,” Siewert said.“There are so many unanswered questions and it’s absolutely outrageous that the government is once again leaving people worried and in the dark about what is happening,” Siewert said.
“After all that people have been through the government owes them an explanation at the very least.”“After all that people have been through the government owes them an explanation at the very least.”
Melick says there is no evidence that a royal commission would find anything different from inquiries by the productivity commission, joint standing committees or the national mental health commission. All have considered the problems with veterans’ support services.Melick says there is no evidence that a royal commission would find anything different from inquiries by the productivity commission, joint standing committees or the national mental health commission. All have considered the problems with veterans’ support services.
“It’s an enormous distraction. If there’d been no inquiry and we didn’t know what the problem was, that’d be different,” he tells Sky News.“It’s an enormous distraction. If there’d been no inquiry and we didn’t know what the problem was, that’d be different,” he tells Sky News.
The head of the Returned and Services League, Greg Melick, said he has reservations about calls for a royal commission into veterans’ suicides. Melick said there have been a large number of inquiries into the issue. The recommendations were all consistent. They should be acted upon, he said.The head of the Returned and Services League, Greg Melick, said he has reservations about calls for a royal commission into veterans’ suicides. Melick said there have been a large number of inquiries into the issue. The recommendations were all consistent. They should be acted upon, he said.
Just back on water, we’ve just heard the government will review its water policies to understand whether they are unfairly inhibiting access to water.Just back on water, we’ve just heard the government will review its water policies to understand whether they are unfairly inhibiting access to water.
The drought minister, David Littleproud, and Mick Keelty, the inspector-general of the Murray-Darling Basin plan water resources, have just made the announcement.The drought minister, David Littleproud, and Mick Keelty, the inspector-general of the Murray-Darling Basin plan water resources, have just made the announcement.
“Governments can’t make rain, can’t make water, but they can make policy,” Keelty said.“Governments can’t make rain, can’t make water, but they can make policy,” Keelty said.
You can chalk that up as a win, of sorts, for the protesters who have converged on Canberra to protest the basin plan, though many of them have been calling for it to be completely scrapped.You can chalk that up as a win, of sorts, for the protesters who have converged on Canberra to protest the basin plan, though many of them have been calling for it to be completely scrapped.
Labor used question time to pick up on where it left off yesterday: attacking the Coalition’s economic management and Angus Taylor.Labor used question time to pick up on where it left off yesterday: attacking the Coalition’s economic management and Angus Taylor.
Labor began question time by calling on the government to support a royal commission into veteran suicides. The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said he remains open to the idea, and will consider it further over the Christmas break.Labor began question time by calling on the government to support a royal commission into veteran suicides. The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said he remains open to the idea, and will consider it further over the Christmas break.
Labor moved its attack to economic management. It said the government must wake up to the “floundering” economy. Morrison said debt had not grown under the Coalition. Labor later said that was misleading because debt had doubled. Anthony Albanese said Morrison had misled parliament four times in the last four sitting days.Labor moved its attack to economic management. It said the government must wake up to the “floundering” economy. Morrison said debt had not grown under the Coalition. Labor later said that was misleading because debt had doubled. Anthony Albanese said Morrison had misled parliament four times in the last four sitting days.
Things got rather heated when Michael McCormack got up to answer a dixer on the drought. Someone made a quip about fiery criticism of him by farmers outside parliament this morning. McCormack flung himself into a rage when Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon got up on a point of order. “What are you standing up for? You don’t stand up for anything.” The ensuing high drama ended with Fitzgibbon being booted from the chamber.Things got rather heated when Michael McCormack got up to answer a dixer on the drought. Someone made a quip about fiery criticism of him by farmers outside parliament this morning. McCormack flung himself into a rage when Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon got up on a point of order. “What are you standing up for? You don’t stand up for anything.” The ensuing high drama ended with Fitzgibbon being booted from the chamber.
Labor continued the attack over the Angus Taylor controversy. It asked why the government had not complied with Senate orders to produce the transcript of the Morrison-Fuller phone call. Morrison said it was “question time, not smear time”.Labor continued the attack over the Angus Taylor controversy. It asked why the government had not complied with Senate orders to produce the transcript of the Morrison-Fuller phone call. Morrison said it was “question time, not smear time”.
Taylor then confirmed he had not been interviewed by detectives. In the Senate, Simon Birmingham said the government would fully cooperate with police.Taylor then confirmed he had not been interviewed by detectives. In the Senate, Simon Birmingham said the government would fully cooperate with police.
Labor also attacked Taylor on the two fresh controversies. Firstly that he misled parliament in his first speech over an experience with Naomi Wolf, well-known US author. Secondly, that he failed to disclose financial interests in a company.Labor also attacked Taylor on the two fresh controversies. Firstly that he misled parliament in his first speech over an experience with Naomi Wolf, well-known US author. Secondly, that he failed to disclose financial interests in a company.
The last question is to the veterans affairs minister, Darren Chester, who is asked on the level of support being provided to veterans. This has become an issue of importance amid growing calls for a royal commission into veteran suicides. Chester says $11bn is spent each year supporting veterans, but acknowledges more must be done.The last question is to the veterans affairs minister, Darren Chester, who is asked on the level of support being provided to veterans. This has become an issue of importance amid growing calls for a royal commission into veteran suicides. Chester says $11bn is spent each year supporting veterans, but acknowledges more must be done.
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.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.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?”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”.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).Birmingham noted that the record of the shadow attorney general, Mark Dreyfus, on police referrals is “eight zero – zero findings” (of criminal guilt).