MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (2023)

Key events

  • 1d agoWhat we learned, Wednesday 24 May
  • 2d agoTreasury refers PwC to AFP for criminal investigation
  • 2d agoPolice officer who tasered 95-year-old charged
  • 2d agoJulian Leeser urges colleagues to back the voice
  • 2d agoABC managing director ‘worried about' First Nations staff
  • 2d agoBoy, 15, discharges firearm outside WA school
  • 2d agoAustralia 'not about to be invaded' defence minister says
  • 2d agoQuestion time begins
  • 2d agoScott Morrison argues Indigenous voice will cause 'confusion, uncertainty'
  • 2d agoScott Morrison speaks against Indigenous voice to parliament
  • 2d agoChristian Porter won’t act for Clive Palmer in lawsuit against government due to conflict of interest
  • 2d agoAnthony Albanese and Narendra Modi hold press conference
  • 2d agoDaniel Andrews says landlords can claim his tax hike as a deduction
  • 2d agoGovernment looking at wage subsidies to get people in work, Burke says
  • 2d agoGreens warn of 'debt spiral' for students
  • 2d agoOpen letter signed by 110 academics calls for Aukus rethink
  • 2d agoSussan Ley says opposition is not using scare tactics on voice referendum
  • 2d agoGood morning

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2d ago03.12BST

Christian Porter won’t act for Clive Palmer in lawsuit against government due to conflict of interest

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (1)

Tory Shepherd

Former attorney general Christian Porter will not act for billionaire Clive Palmer in his $300bn lawsuit against the federal government.

Porter had received “confidential and privileged information” that was relevant to that lawsuit when he was still in office in 2020.

Palmer’s Singapore-based company Zeph Investments is suing Australia for $296bn, arguing a breach of the Asean free trade deal. (You can read all the details here).

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (2)

Jesse Clarke, the AGD’s general counsel, international law (acting), said:

Upon receiving the notice of arbitration… that was reported in the media. It identified the honourable Christian Porter as one of the parties assisting the claimant, the department checked its records and confirmed that while Mr Porter was attorney general, he received confidential and privileged information and took decisions regarding the conduct of the dispute.

Labor senator Helen Polley suggested that was a conflict of interest, and Clarke said:

Senator, what I can say is, following the department establishing that that information was received by Mr Porter when he was attorney general, we sought and have subsequently received confirmation from Mr Porter that he has in fact not been retained, nor will he act for Mr Palmer, or any of his companies in relation to this dispute, nor has he passed on any confidential information to them.

For further background on this story from Paul Karp:

Clive Palmer hires Christian Porter for $300bn lawsuit against Australian governmentRead more

2d ago02.59BST

Question about Scott Morrison’s secret ministries in Senate estimates

There is ongoing public interest in former prime minister Scott Morrison’s secret ministries, Labor senator Anthony Chisholm has told Senate estimates.

Shadow attorney general Michaelia Cash is quizzing the Attorney-General’s Department about whether they briefed the government about releasing the advice of solicitor general, Stephen Donaghue, on the matter.

Donaghue found Morrison’s secret additional ministry appointments were legal but “fundamentally undermined” responsible government.

Chisholm said, in the discussion about releasing Donaghue’s advice, that he was “aware of a lot of public interest into the secret ministries of the Morrison government”.

I know as I still go about the country today, I still get people raising it with me as unusual and symptomatic of our predecessors,” he said.

Cash said she was “glad” to hear those comments.

Because what it has now shown is that there are circumstances in which a government will release constitutional advice, and you have confirmed for me that those circumstances clearly include when it is in their political interest to do so,” she said.

Chisholm pointed out that that was not what he had said.

Department officials took on notice questions about any advice given on the release of the advice.

2d ago02.57BST

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (4)

Josh Taylor

Coalition and Labor argue over mobile blackspots program funding

The environment and communications committee in Senate estimates has gone into a break after arguments between Coalition and Labor senators over the government’s mobile blackspots program funding.

Prior to the 2022 election, the Labor in opposition promised in certain electorates that they would get new mobile towers under the program, and in government set about delivering those in the first round of funding of the program under the new government in 54 locations which overwhelmingly went to Labor electorates (74% the Coalition has said).

The Coalition has accused the government of engaging in pork-barrelling, and the auditor’s office is considering the round in its reviews.

Labor argues that while the sixth round of funding was picked by the minister, the future rounds will go through department application processes with the telecommunications industry.

But Liberal senator Hollie Hughes says taxpayer funds have been used to “bribe” electorates, noting that nine out of 54 of the locations were in the marginal seat of Eden Monaro.

Labor accused Hughes of “badgering” the minister representing the communications minister, senator Carol Brown, and then the chair called a break.

Upon return, Brown said the blackspots were election commitments and the government is delivering on them.

2d ago02.57BST

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (5)

Daniel Hurst

Key takeaways from Modi and Albanese press conference

So, no questions were allowed at that press conference with Narendra Modi and Anthony Albanese in Sydney.

Let’s take stock of a few key points from the prime ministers of India and Australia:

  • The two countries are pushing ahead with setting up a taskforce on green hydrogen and will strengthen their cooperation in the mining and critical minerals sectors, moves that Albanese said would help reduce global emissions.

  • The two leaders finalised an Australia-India Migration and Mobility Partnership Arrangement, which the Australian government says will “promote the two-way mobility of students, graduates, academic researchers and business people, while also enhancing cooperation to prevent irregular migration and people smuggling”.

  • Albanese announced the establishment of the new Australian Consulate-General in Bengaluru, while Modi flagged plans to set up an Indian Consulate-General in Brisbane.

  • They expressed hopes for a trade deal by the end of this year.

  • Modi said the pair had once again discussed “the issue of attacks on temples in Australia and activities of separatist elements” and said that Albanese had “once again assured me today that he will take strict actions against such elements in the future also”.

  • There was no direct mention of any human rights concerns in the leaders’ public remarks; Modi said “democratic values” were the foundation of ties between Australia and India.

  • Both leaders described the deepening relationship between the two countries as also being important for regional stability. Modi noted that India, Australia, Japan and the US had discussed Indo-Pacific issues at the rescheduled Quad summit in Hiroshima last weekend: “Friends, the scope of India Australia ties not limited to merely our two countries. It is also linked to regional stability, peace and global welfare.”

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (6)

2d ago02.41BST

‘Our strong partnership with India will deliver benefits for Australia in trade’

The official statement from Anthony Albanese from the bilateral meeting has been released:

Prime Minister Modi’s visit to Australia has strengthened the close and strong relationship that Australia enjoys with India.
This is a relationship we need to invest in. Our strong partnership with India will deliver benefits for Australia in trade, investment and business, and in regional security and stability.
In my first year as prime minister, I have met with Prime Minister Modi six times, which underscores the value we place on deepening ties between our nations.
Australia is a better place because of the contributions of Indian-Australian community, and we want to see more connections between our countries.

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (7)

2d ago02.35BST

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (8)

Benita Kolovos

Andrews vows ‘we are going to support’ timber workers

Yes this Victorian presser is still going. The premier is now being asked about the resignation of the CFMEU’s Michael O’Connor from the government’s forestry advisory committee after the decision to end native logging six years early. O’Connor claims the government has ignored the union and employers in making the decision.

Daniel Andrews rejects this:

This is all about being honest and upfront with hundreds and hundreds of workers. We’ve got a number of court judgments that have been handed down by judges ... we had a plan to exit native timber harvesting at the end of this decade [but]a number of judgments have been handed down, one of which is on foot by way of appeal at the moment.

We’ve got very firm legal advice from the solicitor general and other well-respected senior counsel, that there is every prospect that that legal action regardless of the appeal will continue.

… So the choice is this: do we spend the next six months pretending that this isn’t the reality we confront? Or do we spend the next six precious months working with individual workers and families with businesses and communities to deal with what we have fully acknowledged is very, very painful news?

… This is a big challenge and we’re going to wrap support around each of those workers and their families. Just like the car industry, we are going to support them with absolutely tailored packages.

2d ago02.34BST

Narendra Modi then invites Anthony Albanese and all Australians to India for the cricket world cup later in the year.

Albanese has been invited to the G20 summit India is hosting later in the year – India is hosting the summit in New Delhi. But it has drawn controversy for hosting a tourism meeting for G20 leaders in the Himalayan territory of Jammu and Kashmir, which is disputed territory.

2d ago02.30BST

Narendra Modi also includes this warning in his remarks:

Friends, Prime Minister Albanese and I have in the past discussed the issue of temples in Australia and activities of separatist elements.

We discussed today also again today.

We will not except any elements that harm the friendly and warm ties between India and Australia by their actions or thoughts. I thank the prime minister for the actions that have already been taken. Prime Minister Albanese has once again assured me today that he will take strict action in the future.

2d ago02.29BST

‘Our ties have entered the T20 mode,’ Modi says of Albanese

The Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is now addressing the press conference in Hindi and is being translated:

I’m visiting Australia within two months of the visit of my friend, Prime Minister Albanese to India. This is our sixth meeting in the past one year. This reflects a depth in our comprehensive relations, confidence in our views and the maturity of our ties. In the language of cricket our ties have entered the T20 mode.

He goes through the same aspects as Anthony Albanese – strategic and trade relationship with growing links and mutual respect.

As you said yesterday, our democratic values are the foundation of our ties. Our relations are based on mutual trust and respect. The Indian community in Australia is a living bridge between our country.

2d ago02.23BST

Albanese announces establishment of new Australian consulate general

Among the announcements the pair are making Anthony Albanese says:

I’m also pleased to announce the establishment of a new Australian consulate general which will help connect Australian businesses to India’s booming digital and innovation ecosystem. And I welcome India’s plans for a consulate general in Brisbane. The establishment will be the fifth diplomatic presence that is there in India from Australia.

MP urges colleagues to back voice – as it happened (9)
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