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Australia politics live: Bridget Archer ‘inclined to’ support motion to censure Scott Morrison; Nationals MP breaks ranks to back Indigenous voice | Australia news

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Coalition won’t back Morrison censure ‘stunt’, Dutton tells party room

Paul Karp

Paul Karp

In the party room the Liberal leader, Peter Dutton, said the Coalition would not support the censure motion against Scott Morrison, labelling the move a “stunt”.

He said:

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So much for a kinder and gentler parliament, this is Anthony Albanese at his political brawler best.

But despite receiving widespread support from the party room in favour of that position, it seems at least one MP disagreed.

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Liberal MP Bridget Archer, who Guardian Australia revealed yesterday was reserving her position, has now said she is “inclined” to support the censure.

Archer said:

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I was there [in the party room]. It has become clear to me over time that there is not much point speaking up in there, but particularly given [the] leadership announced a position yesterday prior to [the] party room even meeting. I am inclined to support the censure motion.

Key events

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And some Mike Bowers magic for you:

Just two besties chillin’ on a question time bench. Just chillin’ and thrillin’ and vibin’ and not thinking about the “addicted to power” comment. No, not at all.

Scott Morrison and Alex Hawke during question time
Scott Morrison and Alex Hawke during question time. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

When you realise there is another 2.5 years to go as one of the only people in the party room making sense.

The member for Bass Bridget Archer during question time
The member for Bass, Bridget Archer, during question time. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Linda Burney and Tanya Plibersek

If you want a case study of clarity and moral power in politics, reviewing video of @LindaBurneyMP making her case for the Voice just now in #qt would be an excellent start #auspol

— Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo) November 29, 2022

The Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney
The minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Country Liberal senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has responded to Noel Pearson’s interview on ABC radio RN Breakfast this morning:

It doesn’t take long for nasty to rear its ugly head.

I am no stranger to attacks from angry men who claim to speak on behalf of Aboriginal Australia.

In the past I have been told by a supposed Wurundjeri elder that I deserve to die a slow and painful death following my National Press Club address on ending the violence in remote communities. Also following this address, I was called an ‘Oxygen Thief’ by a man who is often referred to as an Aboriginal leader in Alice Springs, he also put me on notice, whatever that means?

Warlpiri men have publicly personally attacked me for standing against their calls on better leadership from them regarding the violence and abuse suffered by Aboriginal women and children. If they’re not personally attacking me, belittling me by calling me a silly little girl (despite being the mother of four sons) and attempting to intimidate me, then they’re claiming I have snubbed them as my colleague Pat Dodson the ‘Father of Reconciliation’ has suggested. I hardly think agreeing to catch up while passing each other briefly between divisions on the floor of the Senate is the same as formally arranging a time and place for a meeting.

It’s not hard to see why as an Aboriginal woman I have reservations about enshrining an idea that lacks detail into our parliament that has the potential to empower bullies like those I have encountered over the years. Since yesterday’s announcement, my offices have been bombarded with calls in support of the Nationals position but also bombarded with threatening and abusive calls that the women in my office should not have to be subjected to.

Research has shown that bullies only ever project onto others their own insecurities and failures, or in defense of a truth. So, it perplexes me that for some disturbing reason some ABC presenters’ foam at the mouth at the opportunity to pit Aboriginal people against each other and bullying is encouraged rather than called out.

While the ‘Yes’ campaigners have suggested this referendum is all about bringing people together as a unifying exercise for the whole of Australia their actions speak otherwise. We didn’t need a crystal ball to know that if you do not agree with the voice to parliament, you will be called names, be accused of racism, bigotry and it will also be suggested that you are incapable of thinking for yourself. The ugly side of the Voice to Parliament is now on display for the country to witness. Beware the accusations and emotional blackmail, the weapons of choice for those attempting to enforce conformity.

As Ghandi said ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’

I don’t care for the absolute noise of bullies. I am here to contribute to practical and meaningful measures within my capacity as the Senator for the Northern Territory and I will continue to be the voice for the voiceless who expect nothing less of me.

Paul Karp

Paul Karp

Greens push to lower voting age

The Greens are using the matter of public importance in the Senate to argue for a lower voting age.

As Guardian Australia reported last week, both the Greens and independent MP Monique Ryan will push for 16 and 17 year olds to be able to vote after the New Zealand parliament agreed to debate the issue.

The Greens will conduct consultation and reconsider their position that 16 and 17 year olds voting should be voluntary – which was a sticking point with Labor the last time the issue was examined by the joint standing committee on electoral matters.

Greens support parliamentary code of conduct

Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi has welcomed the recommendation of a code of conduct for MPs and their staffers as part of the parliamentary standards report.

Faruqi said:

These behavioural codes and standards will make parliament a safer place for everyone who works at and visits this place.

I’m pleased that the report has acknowledged the intersections of discrimination that further marginalise First Nations people, people of colour, disabled people and LGBTQI+ communities, and the codes explicitly prohibit discrimination on these grounds.

I have first hand experience of the damage that racism and sexism does to a person who doesn’t belong to the ‘dominant norm’ of white men in suits. There will now be a clear and unambiguous recognition that this is unacceptable – and that perpetrators will face consequences for their actions.

The evidence we heard from witnesses showed an overwhelming desire for strong and enforceable codes, not meaningless platitudes.

I really want to thank the courageous staff – current and former – who have spoken out about the toxic culture of parliament and have paved the way for a safer, more respectful, inclusive and diverse parliament.

The codes were agreed to by consensus. They are a strong expression of this parliament’s desire to do better. I look forward to their implementation.”

Joe Hinchliffe

Joe Hinchliffe

Queensland parliament supports Uluru Statement from the Heart

The Queenlsand parliament has voted to support the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full – despite the Liberal National opposition declaring it a “cheap stunt” and “grubby wedge politics”.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk called on the parliament to send a “clear message” of support for Uluru following the National party’s federal leader, David Littleproud, deciding to oppose an Indigenous voice to parliament and reports the LNP state council voted “overwhelming” to push the federal coalition to do the same over the weekend.

The treasurer, Cameron Dick, described Littleproud’s stance as an “awful, mean spirited [and] hurtful” effort to “stoke the right wing of politics”.

But opposition leader David Crisafulli described Labor’s move as “grubby wedge politics”, saying his side of the chamber was given no notice of the motion.

Several LNP members then spoke negatively of the Uluru Statement, claiming it lacked detail, with Southern Downs MP James Lister saying that, if he spoke with Indigenous people in his electorate about it, he was sure “they would be as much in the dark about what this proposal involves as we are”.

Mermaid Beach MP Ray Stevens described it as “malarkey” that he had not read the Uluru Statement in full and yet was being asked to vote to support “he had no idea about” with “one minute’s notice”.

Jordyn Beazley

Jordyn Beazley

Labor increases aid budget by $1.4bn

The minister for international development and the Pacific, Pat Conroy, has outlined what to expect in the forthcoming reset of the international development policy, a framework which will guide how Australia’s aid budget is spent.

During a speech today to the Australasian aid conference, he announced a new strategy focussed on better supporting people with disabilities, and also signalled a potential focus on increasing investment in climate, gender, and civil society.

“As always, the issue is what to prioritise – within the budget we have,” he said.

Conroy reiterated during the speech that Labor had increased the aid budget by $1.4bn over four years.

However, experts have noted that even with the increase the outlook for aid is still “grim”. Australia’s aid budget still ranks among the lowest in the OECD, sitting at 0.19% of gross national income.

Tony Burke has also submitted the sitting calendar to the house.

Daniel Hurst

Daniel Hurst

Wong defends government on reduction of Senate estimates

The leader of the opposition in the Senate, Simon Birmingham, asked about the sitting schedule for next year at the end of Senate question time. The Coalition argues the number of weeks allocated to Senate estimates – a key method of scrutinising government spending and performance – has dropped from four to three.

Birmingham said the sitting schedule “shows that the government wants scrap additional budget estimates for early next year, a departure from practice in place since the 1990s”. He said the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, had said the Australian people deserved accountability and transparency – and asked why the new government was scrapping additional estimates.

The government’s leader in the Senate, Penny Wong, told the Senate:

Well, I do love a question on accountability and transparency from the Coalition, and I particularly love it on a day that we know the house is preparing this week to debate a censure of your former leader for the double-up ministers that he’s invented, and I’m asked a question by a man who probably knew about Mr [Angus] Taylor covering up the price increase ahead of the election. Where was your interest then, Senator Birmingham?

Wong then gave the government’s official line on why there wouldn’t be Senate estimates early in the new year. It’s apparently linked to the fact the government delivered a budget in October – the second budget this year, after the Coalition’s one in March. There won’t be a mid-year economic and fiscal outlook (Myefo) which is normally done in December:

There will not be a Myefo so there will not be estimates after that.

Wong said she anticipated the “normal Myefo and budget process” would resume the following cycle.

In a follow-up question, Birmingham said the government’s proposed sitting schedule for 2023 also proposes four additional Senate-only sitting days on Fridays, but there was no established routine for Friday sittings. Birmingham asked whether, in the interests of accountability and transparency, the government would commit to including a Senate question time in every scheduled Friday sitting.

Wong didn’t commit to it:

Of course we will work with the Senate on how Fridays would be arranged.

Barnaby Joyce then jumps the gun in acknowledging the passing of the last of the NSW Rat of Tobruk as part of an act of indulgence, associating himself and the Coalition with comments Matt Keogh had made about a veterans employment awards night.

Ernie Walker passed away at 106.

Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton both make speeches in honour of Mr Walker after question time.

Bowen on gas prices

Michael McCormack gets a question!

The former deputy prime minister asks Chris Bowen:

Australian businesses are facing collapse due to skyrocketing gas prices. A Riverina business in the town of Young, not far from here, has seen its gas bill skyrocket from around $60,000 per month to more than $170,000 per month. After six months in office, why is this government refusing to take appropriate steps to pump more gas into the market to reduce prices?

Bowen:

I think the [honourable, but the transcription service recorded it as ‘unborn] member for his question for that he is right about skyrocketing gas prices, that is true.

In December 2021, gas was $11.56 a gigajoule, it is now $20.47. All thanks to Ukraine and the war, the illegal war by Russia. They were blaming the Russian war on 20 May but apparently on 23 May, it has nothing to do with Russia and nothing to do with gas prices.

The honourable member might want to talk about what gas he thinks is lying [around] that we just press a button and get going.

The honourable member talked about energy prices and policies to reduce energy prices and we on this side of the house are actively working to ensure the impacts of the Russian war do not flow through to industries and businesses in Australia.

I give credit where it is due for those opposite have been active as well.

Promoting alternative views as well for the last week holding a seminar about atomic energy, about nuclear energy, that was their big idea last week.

Their big idea about lower power prices.

… The CSIRO report found that nuclear, the cost of small modular reactors which those opposite are so in love with would cost $770 a kJl. They will be $5bn a reactor. $5bn a reactor. We know they would need 80 across the nation. That would amount to about 70% of GDP. That is their plan of lower energy costs. Now they say they want a conversation. It would be a gas bag led recovery.

Albanese on rental affordability in Brisbane

The Greens MP for Brisbane, Stephen Bates, has the third crossbench questions:

Fifty percent of my electorate in Brisbane are renters and it is becoming harder for people to find a home to rent. Many are living in cars or couch surfing.

We’ve heard all the agents advising landlords to increase rent by 25% and the affordability rental report today revealed 50% of private renters are in housing stress. Prime minister, will you commit to national rental standards [and put it on the national cabinet agenda for next week]

Albanese:

I thank the member for his question and yes, indeed, there are challenges of housing affordability in Australia. We accept that.

What we have done is to accept responsibility for making changes that the national government can do.

There is national governments, state government are responsible for many of the issues that the member raises and local government is also responsible as well in terms of whether they choose to support affordable housing.

I have said before that, in my area, fortunately the Labor counsellors support affordable housing. Unfortunately, members of the Greens party and some others have failed to ever support any affordable housing measures. What they say is increases in intensity are bad.

I encourage the member to come to the project to my electorate on the corner of Marrickville Road and Livingston Road. They can see they are a great example of projects brought together an increase in density together with the support of the Council provided a 100% privately paid for public library that has won awards for architecture, not just in Australia, but is now winning some global awards as well.

This is an example whereby we worked the local government, together with the state New South Wales government because it was the old Marrickville hospital site to get an increase in density close to public transport which is also allowing for an increase in affordable housing. I would say to the member …

Bates:

On relevance. I understand how levels of government work. My question was on ventures, not housing affordability.

Albanese:

I was asked about housing affordability and what I am doing is pointing towards different methods whereby you can have more affordable housing by cooperation, including with local and state government which goes directly to what the member asked.

He did not ask me about any actual federal government responsibility. I tell you what the federal government is doing, I tell you what the federal government is doing, we have a housing accord bringing together the Master Builders Association of Australia, bringing together every state and territory government, including the Palaszczuk government in Queensland with the Commonwealth in order to promote housing development and put downward pressure in order to provide more support for affordable housing.

Affordable housing is a challenge. There are not simple easy solutions, if they were, government would have just adopted them. What we have is a series of measures all of which are combined to ensure that we take action to make housing more affordable for Australians.

Annika Wells takes a dixer on aged care, where she refers to Scott Morrison as:

“Former prime minister Scott Morrison, Morrison as the minister for health undermining all”

Which makes Luke Howarth, the Liberal MP for Petrie very upset. Very, very upset.

He stands up to say:

There is one on correct title in relation to the member for Cook …

Milton Dick sits him down.

The minister was clear. I was listening carefully to her and she referred to him as the former prime minister Scott Morrison. That is his title. I will give her the call to continue her answer in silence.

Wells responds:

So many titles to choose from. I can see how it is confusing.

It’s Ted talks time, with Ted O’Brien

The the MP for Fairfax is once again getting some floor time to ask a question. Honestly, opposition has been very good to him. This may be the most we have seen him during QT since he entered this place?

O’Brien:

In his speech introducing the treasury of laws amendment bill last week, the assistant treasurer restated the government’s commitment to lower the cost of electricity bills for consumers. Does this mean the government is standing by its commitment to reduce household electricity bills by $275, or is this yet another cruel promise the government plans to break?

Stephen Jones is FULL of fire.

Thanks very much, Mr Speaker, and I think the honorable member for his question. The Albanese Labor government stands by each and every one of its promises and we have been working to deliver on those promises for the last six months.

This mob over here have done everything in their power to stand in our way on delivering on our promises we have been busy doing the work to ensure that we deliver on our promises.

Whether it has been introducing laws to get wages moving again, whether it has been introducing laws to ensure that Australians can afford to make a choice about whether they stay at home and look after their kids will go back and work another couple of days to make ends meet, whether it is about ensuring that we can put our elderly Australians in an aged care facility and know that they are going to get well fed and well cared for.

We have been delivering on each and every one of our promises, and in the area of energy … each and every question time, asking their ridiculous questions when they know that they have recited…

Paul Fletcher gets to his feet with a point of order:

Repeatedly using unparliamentary language. He has just done it again and should be asked to withdraw.

Jones is asked to withdraw and get on with his answer.

Jones:

While this mob over here, on each and every day of question time, have come to this dispatch box and ask us questions about what we are doing to help ordinary Australians meet their cost of living issues…

For nine years, they have presided over a wreckage of energy policies, 22 energy policies, not one of them delivered, not one of them delivered, while we are doing the hard work to ensure that we can get …

Ted O’Brien interjects that Stephen Jones “just put yourself on the hook for the $275 [power price reduction promise].”

He said: “We are getting on with the job of ensuring that we have an energy policy which will deliver affordable and sustainable energy in this country” #qt

— Paul Karp (@Paul_Karp) November 29, 2022

… If members opposite want to know why there are pressures on our power system and on energy prices in this country, they should go and grab a mirror. Twenty-two failed energy policies, not one of them delivered. Twenty-two failed energy promises, not one of them delivered. We are getting on-the-job, onto the job of ensuring that we have an energy policy which will deliver affordable and sustainable energy in this country, and they are doing their level best, day in and day out, to frustrate the delivery of those policies. If Australians want to know why their energy bills are going up, they should look no further than that fellow over there. Look no fellow than that fellow over there. Because there is not a man or woman in this parliament who is more responsible for the increase in energy prices than the member for Hume over there.

Linda Burney on the Nationals’s opposition to voice to parliament

The member for Robertson, Gordon Reid, asks Linda Burney a question, which is an opportunity for the minister to respond to senator Jacinta Price’s comments about her and the Nationals comments on the voice.

Woman wearing a pink top sits in green-coloured Parliament in Canberra
Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Reid asks:

How will an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice improve the lives of Indigenous Australians?

Burney delivers a masterclass in dignity here. The minister makes her point without naming a single person. She does not need to.

Burney:

I thank the member for Robertson for his question. He, like every person on this side of the house, understands the issue of equity.

Life outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people can and should be better.

The gaps in life expectancy and educational outcomes persist is unacceptable. Decades of failed government policies have not worked.

A voice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians is the best chance we have. And perhaps ever will have to address the injustices of the past and create change that will deliver a better future.

A better future that will improve the lives of Indigenous Australians on the ground, in practical ways, like health, education and housing.

This isn’t about more bureaucracy. This is about making sure voices in remote and regional communities are heard.

The Uluru Statement from the Heart is the result of 12 regional dialogues after all, over 1200 attendees from right across this country.

This isn’t about dividing people. It is about uniting Australians. Giving First Nations People a say in the matters that affect us. Not being told what is best by bureaucrats.

Mr Speaker, I grew up in Whitton, down in the Riverina, a small country town. I was raised by Billy and Nina. They were my great aunt and uncle.

We didn’t have much.

And I didn’t know my dad until I was 27.

Billy and Nina taught me the value of respect. And being kind to others doesn’t cost you anything.

And that you learn more from listening than by talking.

That someone with my history can stand in this place is the most unlikely thing.

But not everyone is so lucky. Not everyone can have their voice heard. In that is why we need a Voice.

An Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voice is an idea whose time has come. The Australian people will decide this referendum, not politicians, and I have faith in the Australian people.

We want to take Australia forward for everyone. We will work with anyone who wants to take this journey forward to a better future.

 

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