Senator says it was ‘a little patronising’ of her to request his attendance on ABC TV. As it happened...

7.05am GMT

That’s your bloomin’ lot for the evening, as Peter Cundall would say.


In the fight of my life against Pauline Hanson, I risked everything to stand up against her regressive, narrow view of Australia. To defeat Pauline Hanson and One Nation in 2001 has been my greatest political achievement.

6.31am GMT

Pauline Hanson has praised conservative senator Cory Bernardi and said that Malcolm Turnbull had moved to the right to hold the top job and stave off “revolt” in his party.

In comments at the Tourism & Transport Forum Australia on Wednesday, Hanson also said Donald Trump was “saying what I was saying 20 years ago.”

He has changed. He has to start listening to voters.

6.23am GMT

Also in the senate, Labor’s Glenn Sterle made a joke about a zebra while women’s minister Michaelia Cash was making a point about respect for women on White Ribbon Day.

Cash was wearing a black and white jacket.

Senator Glenn Sterle warned after suggesting a Coalition Senator looked like a zebra.

6.08am GMT

Just before Emma Husar’s speech, Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm asked the following question regarding domestic violence:

.@DavidLeyonhjelm asking about what support is available for the one in three men who are victims of domestic violence #auspol #senateQT

Very good question. All domestic violence is bad not just that of men against women. https://t.co/wbgk9P5XgM

6.04am GMT

There was a whole lot of barbequeing going on in Canberra today.

5.44am GMT

In a matter of moments, there will be a panel - again at the Tourism and Transport Forum that will feature crossbench senators Pauline Hanson, Jacqui Lambie and Derryn Hinch.

5.30am GMT

After chasing each other around the building today, One Nation senator Rodney Culleton has had his meeting with party leader Pauline Hanson.

The meeting happened in Hanson’s office, so she won that little arm wrestle, although Culleton told Sky News it was “a little patronising” of her to request his attendance on ABC TV last night.

5.27am GMT

Labor MP for Lindsay, Emma Husar’s, speech in full.

In my first speech in this place I said 29 out of my 36 years of life had been affected by domestic violence.

I am a survivor of family violence, and it has taken me a long time to overcome the trauma of that to be where I am today.

5.21am GMT

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5.13am GMT

Dr Mike Freedlander, Labor MP and paediatrician, has just described the most horrific injuries suffered by children as a result of domestic violence.

He questions the use of the term “domestic violence”. Domestic might suggest it is a lesser form of violence, whereas it is far from that.

These are real things and they have been real things to me in my career. We know there is a strong correlation with violence against children with violence against women.

5.01am GMT

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4.52am GMT

Llew O’Brien, the new National MP for Wide Bay, acknowledged and thanked Emma Husar for her speech. He is a former police officer and talks from a different experience. He says the focus is rightly on the effect on women but reminds the chamber that sometimes men are the victims of women and men and women both suffer in same-sex relationships. It is a very respectful, nuanced speech.

4.47am GMT

Emma Husar, Labor MP for Lindsay.

She says the first 13 years of her life was marred by family violence. She has described her father’s violence towards her mother. She says while the blows did not land on her, they may as well have. It scarred her.

I am ashamed. I shouldn’t be but I am.

4.39am GMT

Labor has listed a matter of public importance, “the need to address family violence as a national priority”.

Labor’s Terri Butler has spoken and now human services minister Alan Tudge.

4.31am GMT

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4.20am GMT

Malcolm Turnbull does not get up in time to call for an end to question time so Labor squeezes one more question in.

Did the prime minister have any advanced notice of the contents of his deputy Barnaby Joyce’s letter of 17 November?

The commitment of our government to the basin plan is absolute but it is a plan which presents significant challenges which the member for Watson understood back in 2012 which he had the northern basin aspects of the plan reviewed to look at precisely these issues of ensuring that there is neutral or improved socioeconomic outcomes.

4.16am GMT

Earlier Paul Karp reported on the One Nation split in a senate vote. The vote was on superannuation: Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Roberts voted with the Greens, while Brian Burston and Rod Culleton voted with Labor and the government.

Hanson and Culleton were absent during Question time. Burston and Roberts were in the senate.

4.13am GMT

There was a government question on electricity supply and then another Murray Darling question.

Shorten to Turnbull: I refer to the deputy prime minister’s letter of 17 November indicating to the SA government, indicating that the government would abandon its obligation to deliver 450 gigalitres of water to the Murray-Darling Basin through efficiency measures. Does the deputy prime minister’s letter reflect government policy?

The leader of the opposition could you assist us by showing where in the letter does the word “abandonment” is used? Not once.

4.09am GMT

Labor’s Tony Burke to Malcolm Turnbull: When the deputy prime minister personally insisted on receiving the water portfolio, did he keep secret from the prime minister his intention to undermine the additional 450 gigalitres on the Murray-Darling Basin plan? Did the prime minister have any idea prior to Friday that his deputy had put in writing that the basin plan wouldn’t be completed and since then, has the prime minister in any way reprimanded the deputy prime minister for free ranging on the basin plan?

(These two are both former water ministers.)

This is the plan the honourable member promulgated as minister and the section to which I referred is in his plan and that is part of the plan to which we are committed.

4.05am GMT

A government question to social services minister Christian Porter on the improvement of the domestic violence hotline.

4.03am GMT

Tony Burke to Malcolm Turnbull: Can the prime minister confirm his government has threatened to sue Mark Rogers, a Sydney grandfather, over his use of the Medicare logo on his Save Medicare website? Will the government be threatening legal action against the Liberal party, the member for Ford, the minister for trade, the member for Bonner and the health minister who have all used the Medicare logo in their own political material?

Turnbull says yes to the substantive question.

That litigation is as he has described.

4.00am GMT

Peter Dutton gets a government question on securing borders and third-party settlements. He says the US Homeland Security department has been out to work out rapid screening methods for the refugees taken into Australia. But most of the answer goes to whacking Labor on asylum seekers.

3.58am GMT

Not happy, Bowers.

3.56am GMT

Labor to Turnbull: I refer to the video of a Brisbane 7-Eleven employee being forced to return half her wages to her employer in cash. As a result of this cashback scam, staff are paid $11 an hour below the minimum wage. Given the prime minister’s own ministerial standards requires ministers to act with the highest standard of integrity, how can the prime minister possibly justify his ongoing holdings in managed funds which invest in 7-Eleven?

Turnbull says his managed funds are managed by an external advisor at arms’ length, much like a superannuation fund. He says to Labor, if you want to go there, check what all MPs superannuation funds invest in.

3.54am GMT

Next government question is on unions.

3.52am GMT

Labor to Malcolm Turnbull: The member for Mallee said the deputy prime minister was right to abandon the bipartisan commitment for an additional 450 gigalitres in the Murray-Darling Basin plan, saying “SA will get more water than it can actually handle”. Is it the position of the government that the basin plan delivers more water than SA can actually handle?

Turnbull quotes section 7.17 of the basin plan.

What it makes very clear is that it must be neutral or improved socioeconomic outcomes to be associated with the removal or the conversion of water from consumptive to environmental uses. That is what is in the plan. That is what the plan says. Nobody is saying it is easy. I think it was Mark Twain who said whisky is for drinking and water is for fighting over.

3.47am GMT

A government question to health minister Sussan Ley on union regulation.

3.46am GMT

Chris Bowen to Malcolm Turnbull: Yesterday the minister for revenue said she wanted to lift superannuation funds to the same standards as the banks. Is the former NSW Liberal leader and chairman of Industry Super Australia Peter Collins accurately describing Government policy when he says “If super funds were responsible for failures in financial advice, failure to pass on interest rates cuts and remuneration and other forms of profit gauging by banks, there would have been a Royal Commission into super funds in a flash”.


The honourable member knows very well that the Government’s sought to ensure that there are independent directors on industry super funds. That is hardly a radical proposal. This has been resisted by a number of the vested interests associated with the industry super funds where, in many cases, as the honourable member knows, the directors are drawn solely from the employers and the unions. All we are seeking into is to install what is regarded as corporate governance 101 in the rest of the corporate world. The honourable member should take care to represent the interests of the members as opposed to once again representing the interests of union bosses who are very happy to sit in those well paid directorships.

3.41am GMT

Bob Katter invokes the spirit of the Magna Carta during a question to Barnaby Joyce #QT @gabriellechan @GuardianAus pic.twitter.com/8U3lm5Axj8

3.40am GMT

Defence industry minister Christopher Pyne gets a government question on the registered organisations bill that passed this week.

3.39am GMT

Tanya Plibersek to Kelly O’Dwyer: It has been revealed that Australia’s biggest banks will have to pay almost $180 million in compensation because they spent years charging over 200 customers fees for services that they didn’t actually receive. Is this what the minister meant when she said she wanted to lift superannuation funds to the same standards as banks? Does the minister really want superannuation account holders to be treated the way banks treat their customers?

This relates to Gareth Hutchens’ story yesterday about a speech O’Dwyer gave to the superannuation industry.

They [super funds] think it is acceptable that they have lower governance standards than that that currently applies to banks and life insurance companies. It is ridiculous. It is ridiculous to think that millions of Australians who have their money in superannuation funds would have funds that have lower governance standards than that currently applying to banks and to life insurance companies. It is not actually something that we have dreamt up on this side of the house. There was a review that was undertaken under Labor’s watch by Jeremy Cooper, a hand-picked person from Labor for the job, who concluded that the governance standard for superannuation funds was not up to the mark.

3.31am GMT

Shorten to Turnbull: Today ratings agency Standard & Poor’s warned Australia’s AAA credit rating will be at risk unless the government stands by its commitment to a surplus in 2021. On this basis, why is the prime minister still persisting with his $50bn tax handout to big business when a ratings downgrade will push up the mortgage repayments for Australian homeowners?


Turning to the ratings agencies, they have been absolutely crystal clear their concern is that the government’s budget will not be passed through the parliament because of the reckless opposition of the Labor party. That is what their concern is. They recognise that we have a plan, we have an economic plan, which sets out a path towards a budget surplus.

3.28am GMT

In the Senate: Greens senator Nick McKim has asked the attorney general, George Brandis, whether immigration minister Peter Dutton’s comments about letting Lebanese immigrants to Australia being a “mistake” had harmed deradicalisation efforts.

Brandis replies:

That is certainly not the case ... nothing Mr Dutton has said has in any way prejudiced or compromised that engagement. There has been no suggestion from [the national security] agencies or my department to that effect.

3.25am GMT

Bob Katter to Barnaby Joyce: you are aware of the notorious Flinders river water allocations. Almost all of these waters are worth over $180m have been granted to two [large] corporations. This was in contrast to a refusal to even consider submissions from the people of the area itself that were based upon economic development, industry and community benefit. The most serious questions of ministerial and departmental impropriety are raised here. In light of this ... to provide for the enrichment of the rich, would the minister consider right-to-sustenance legislation, rights enshrined in and from the time of the Magna Carta itself?

The nub of Joyce’s answer:

The water licences are predominantly a state issue, especially on the Flinders. I note the concerns you have and we too are wanting to develop the north and build more water infrastructure.

3.19am GMT

Jim Chalmers to Scott Morrison: Ratings agency Standard & Poors has today warned that Australia’s AAA rating will be at risk unless revenue is increased in a sustained way. Why is the treasurer refusing to support sensible reforms on negative gearing and capital gains?

Morrison does not touch on negative gearing as such.

Those opposite are a one trick pony when it comes to the budget. The only thing they are able to come up with is just tax people more. They are addicted to tax.

3.12am GMT

The next government question is on Labor blocking the government’s savings.

3.12am GMT

Chris Bowen to Scott Morrison: Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has today warned that Australia’s AAA credit rating will be at risk unless the treasurer stands by his commitment to a surplus in 2021. A commitment which is in the treasurer’s own budget papers bearing his name. Does the treasurer take any responsibility for placing Australia’s AAA rating at risk with his chaotic management of the budget?

Scott Morrison says the government is trying to repair the budget but Labor is standing in the way. He has $40bn in savings up his sleeve, $20bn has passed and $20bn is blocked by Labor.

You know what happened at the last election. You took a $16.5 billion deficit increase to the last election and it is no surprise that the Australian people rejected you.

3.07am GMT

The first government question is about delivering on promises - union regulations and superannuation.

3.07am GMT

Shorten to Turnbull: Rosie Batty, the Productivity Commission, the Victorian Royal Commission into family violence have recommended that family violence survivors shouldn’t be cross-examined in court by their abusers. Will the Prime Minister join with Labor to amend the Family Law Act to ensure that vulnerable witnesses are protected during court proceedings?

Turnbull gives a fulsome answer:

We all understand the cross-examination of a victim by the alleged perpetrator is a very traumatic experience.

We are working very closely with the stakeholders in this area, in particular the judges and magistrates in the family courts to progress measures to support vulnerable witnesses.

3.02am GMT

Question time now. First question is on domestic violence.

3.01am GMT

I will just end on one last point from Scott Morrison and Kelly O’Dwyer’s press conference.

The discussion got around to the the rest of the government’s agenda, including the corporate tax cuts.

The objective is to increase the amount of work people can get, the amount of hours they can get, the amount of wages they can earn and the profits the companies can do. That’s what you do. You don’t squeeze a lemon until you get arthritis.

What you do is cut the tax rates particularly for small and medium-sized business to give them to the room to do this. What Labor is doing by blocking this is leaving Australia economically stranded.

2.50am GMT

Scott Morrison is asked: How confident are you in bringing a surplus in 20-21?

I am as confident as I can be on the basis of the parameter projections in the budget. The real question is – the budget will return to balance where we can be most confident, when the Labor party accepts its economic responsibility to pass the savings that are in this budget. That’s what it boils down to.

2.46am GMT

Scott Morrison is holding a press conference now.

He goes to the Standard & Poors warning about budget repair and the superannuation reforms passing the house.

As a global credit rating agency issued yet another warning to Australia about the risk of losing its top tier rating, a leading business group believes the Turnbull government is “trying very hard” to repair the budget.

Standard & Poor’s global ratings director Craig Michaels has told a conference in Australia if the budget is returned to surplus in 2020/21 as promised it would still be consistent with the AAA rating.

I think it is a sustainable reform, I think it is a fair reform, I think it is a necessary reform. We have a world-leading superannuation system in this country and this is even more so. Yes, we had to make the case and make the argument, and we had to take it through the parliament, with our colleagues, and work through all of those issues, but that’s the work of government. That’s the work of reform.

Much is often written about where’s the reform by commentators. Well, it is looking you right in the face. Today’s reforms passed through the parliament were not easily won but they were important to achieve.

2.37am GMT

After Pauline Hanson didn’t go to Rodney Culleton’s office at 11:30, he went down to a Cure Cancer Australia BBQ at noon.

As soon as he entered the courtyard, Hanson left.

No, she didn’t come to the scheduled 11:30 [meeting] ... I can’t force her to come, she’ll come, well, anyway, she didn’t show up.”

I will speak to her – but there’s no big issue ... I might grab Pauline and we just go to a quiet restaurant and do it over a bottle of red wine and talk it through, that’s probably the better environment.

2.32am GMT

Nat MP Andrew Broad:

Hey I got a wedgie at school.

You didn’t get a wedgie because you’re brown.

Nats MP @broad4mallee had an interesting analogy for Labor's Anne Aly, on receiving racist emails@abcnews #auspol pic.twitter.com/j0whmkttgK

2.26am GMT

Apologies people. I stepped away from the machine to talk to real people.

Let me just summarise the day so far.

1.31am GMT

Just an update on threats against Labor MP Anne Aly. She talked about threatening emails. A quick look at her Facebook page reveals death threats. We are told police are investigating.

1.28am GMT

I should have mentioned earlier, the Coalition’s superannuation reforms have passed the Senate with Labor support.

1.26am GMT

1.22am GMT

Turns out the meeting between Rodney Culleton and Pauline Hanson was scheduled for 11:30 but Hanson never showed up.

The standoff (your office or mine) and political theatre continues and Culleton is off to Nationals bbq.

1.03am GMT

1.00am GMT

The backpacker tax debate has started in the Senate.

12.55am GMT

After some to-ing and fro-ing about whether Senator Rodney Culleton and One Nation party leader, Pauline Hanson, would meet last night or this morning, and whose office to meet in, the meeting is on now (at 11:30 on Culleton’s home turf).

The meeting was called because Culleton was referred to police after a letter he allegedly sent to a Cairns magistrate prompted concerns in judicial ranks of a possible attempt to pervert the course of justice and threaten a judicial officer.

I couldn’t say. He has no ring through his nose ... I don’t know his every movement. He’s still managing to do his job – full credit to him.

12.52am GMT

Nats MPs Andrew Broad brushed off Aly's death threats saying "yeah, I got some wedgies in school, so you know..." pic.twitter.com/08QJ4RagyY

12.51am GMT

Labor MP Anne Aly has recieved death threats over Dutton's Lebanese terror comments... despite not being Lebanese https://t.co/lZ69XEZ6CY pic.twitter.com/4o8yns05Ar

12.50am GMT

Former freedom human rights commissioner and Liberal Goldstein MP Tim Wilson is speaking on the race motion. This debate is in the secondary chamber, the federation chamber.

He suggests that Labor is using the motion – though he agrees with the basic principles – to score cheap political points.

You can’t build public confidence and public support ... unless the public believes the borders are secure. That is what this government has achieved and it is one of its great legacies.

12.43am GMT

Labor’s MP for Watson, Tony Burke, is speaking to the race motion which was initiated by Labor. They want everyone including the prime minister to sign up to the motion which commits to a non-discriminatory immigration policy.

He says given Peter Dutton’s recent comments regarding the Lebanese Muslim second- and third-generation migrants, it is clear that not all MPs support the motion – that is a non-discriminatory immigration policy.

I have no doubt the immigration ministers comments will win him votes. I don’t care.

I don’t want there to be partisanship in a motion like this.

I want it to be true.

12.35am GMT

Shorten continues and refers to Cowan MP, Anne Aly, counter-terrorism expert.

It is time for some leadership from the prime minister. It is time that the minister for immigration was brought into line.

As the remarkable member for Cowan has said, the member for Cowan who was involved in driving WA Labor’s cyber-security strategy seven years ago, she said this morning, and I agree, “I am fearful that the minister for immigration’s comments will be used by an extreme view who would seek to harm the fabric of our society”.

12.31am GMT

Bill Shorten is warming up.

All of these are reasons why the minister for immigration’s recent comments were so profoundly wrong. Suggesting it was a mistake to allow a generation of migrants to come to Australia more than three decades ago because of the crimes of a tiny handful of their grandchildren is not just ignorant and insulting, it is not just a denigration of people who have worked so hard and given so much to this country.

The comments weren’t just a repudiation of the success of Australia, a nation made great by migration and multiculturalism. The minister’s comments, his ignorant comments, contradict and undermine and fly in the face of every briefing I have ever received from our security agencies who explain to us how best to counter radicalisation, about defeating extremism.

12.28am GMT

Bill Shorten goes through the changing global security setting. Then he moves onto the importance of an inclusive nation.

When I talk about our citizens, I am mindful one of the most powerful assets in the fight against terrorism doesn’t wear a uniform or wield a weapon. It is our united harmonious inclusive nation.

As the prime minister said so well in parliament only last month, terrorists and extremists want the wider Australian community to turn against Australian Muslims. He said the message to Australian Muslims is, “You’re not wanted here, you will never be accepted here, you cannot be Australian”.

12.26am GMT

Bill Shorten speaks next.

He thanks the government for keeping Labor informed, including former PM Tony Abbott.

There are many issues that can divide this parliament, often deeply, all of us in this place on all sides share a common determination to keep Australia safe. We are all committed to ensuring our people, our institutions and our commercial enterprises are protected by the most up to date technology.

12.24am GMT

Malcolm Turnbull has gone through the government’s legislation on counter-terrorism.

He finishes on Australia’s multicultural and inclusive society. This is the interesting bit, in the context of Peter Dutton’s comment.

We are one of the most successful multicultural societies in the world. From the oldest human cultures of our first Australians to the newborn baby in the arms of its immigrant mother, we are stronger because of our diversity but that does not mean that we should be blind to or ignorant of the challenges our society face. When we see extremist behaviour, it should be called out for what it is.

When we see vulnerability, it should be addressed by all Australians, by government, by business, by community. We all have a stake in this. It is the combination of our national attributes of security, diversity, freedom and the prosperity which they enable, that make us best-placed as a society to unite against terrorism and violent extremism. As I have said many times, the glue that holds us together is mutual respect. Mutual respect. The recognition that each of us is entitled to the same respect, the same dignity and opportunities.

12.17am GMT

Turnbull says re the nexus between criminality and terrorism, a pilot of the national criminal intelligence system is underway in the Australian criminal intelligence commission.

12.15am GMT

Turnbull says a review after the terrorist acts overseas found Australia already has robust legislative policy and operational arrangements in place.

But it identified some areas requiring further work.

A key finding was the need to continue working on how to best protect public places. I can confirm that in response to the review, we have committed as a priority to develop a national strategy for places of mass gathering, including a nationally consistent approach to risk assessment for such places.

The review also confirmed there are a diverse range of factors that could make someone vulnerable to radicalisation, from mental health issues, to a history of criminality.

12.10am GMT

Turnbull says the director general of security has reviewed the national terrorism threat level and that it remains unchanged at probable.

12.09am GMT

Turnbull says in recent weeks three individuals have been charged with foreign incursion offences. These latest arrests bring to 55 the number of people charged from 24 counter-terrorism operations around Australia since September 2014.

12.07am GMT

Malcolm Turnbull says Australia approaches the new global challenges with a strong foundation of freedom and diversity.

He restates:

The next mass casualty attack on Australian victims could be somewhere in south-east Asia where Daesh propaganda is galvanised existing networks of extremists, preyed on vulnerable young people and attracted new recruits.

We and we alone determine whether and how our forces are put in harm’s way but the closeness of our relationship ensures that no ally has more influence than we do. That influence is one which is highly valued now and in the future as President Obama reminded us in Lima on Sunday. Those who assert that our ties and our alliance with the United States should be reconsidered fail to recognise that a strong, trusted, forthright Australia is a powerful force for good, whether it is on the fields of conflict or in the corridors of power in Washington.

11.58pm GMT

The prime minister is shortly going to deliver a statement on cybersecurity. Katharine Murphy wrote a preview this morning.

The prime minister will tell parliament on Wednesday that Australia’s cyber capability, through the Australian Signals Directorate, is being deployed offensively to support coalition military operations against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Malcolm Turnbull will make a security statement at noon addressing directly the sensitive subject of Australia’s offensive cyber capabilities – while the minister assisting the prime minister on cyber security, Dan Tehan, will use a separate outing at the National Press Club to argue that, domestically, Australia needs to step up its preparedness against hacking and malicious cyber-attacks.

11.50pm GMT

Ian Macphee was immigration minister in Malcolm Fraser’s government.

He has acknowledged justifiable anger in the community to immigration minister Peter Dutton’s comments on the Lebanese migrant intakes of the 1970s in a statement to the ABC via the Refugee Council, reported by AAP.

We have had a succession of inadequate immigration ministers in recent years but Dutton is setting the standards even lower.

The Fraser government honoured international law and morality. From the Howard government onwards these have been increasingly discarded.

11.44pm GMT

Bill Shorten is asked about Labor’s policy to tighten employer regulations on 457, such as advertising before taking on workers. A tourism operators asked the opposition leader about his policy because she relied 457 workers for a small proportion of her workforce.

There are bona fide skills shortages in the Australian economy which can’t be fixed unless you bring in some people from overseas. So the 457 program is a valid and legitimate part of the Australian economy and our economic strategy in terms of generating jobs and productivity. But what we do want to see is a greater focus on labour market testing, because it is not your business which is the challenge, but we see people coming into Australia being ripped off under various visas.

None of us ... weren’t appalled when we saw that ABC footage of a worker at 7-Eleven on a temporary visa handing back half their pay to the boss.

11.33pm GMT

Barnaby Joyce was asked a lot of questions about the backpacker tax but the bottom line was he would not comment on whether the government would hold the line on 19% given Labor is supporting Jacqui Lambie’s proposed rate of 10.5%.

He says the Labor/Lambie position would see overseas workers paid less tax than Australians.

The government has been very mischievous. They have characterised our position of a 10.5% tax rate as charging backpackers less in tax than we charge Australians. That is not the case. There is no way, under any modelling, that a backpacker is going to be paying less tax than an Australian for doing comparable work but putting a rate at 32% and even 19%, they haven’t shown us the modelling for that.

11.23pm GMT

Barnaby Joyce is asked the obvious question, why do we tax cigarettes and not sugar?

Cigarettes are no good for you but no one is suggesting that, if you have a can of soft drink once a week, it will really affect your health. If you want to live on Mothers or whatever they call them, or super-saturated drinks, it is not a tax that will save you, it’s common sense. Nil by mouth – cut down on what you eat.

A couple of reasons, because people are sitting on their backside too much and eating too much food and not just soft drinks, eating too many chips and other food. Of course it’s unsurprising and everybody is standing around right here now looking at everybody else’s stomach. Well, so the issue is take the responsibility upon yourself. The Australian Taxation Office is not going to save your health, right? Do not go to the ATO as opposed to go to your doctor or put on a pair of sandshoes and walk around the block and, if you can, go for a run. The ATO is not a better solution than jumping in the pool and going for a swim. The ATO is not a better solution than reducing your portion size.

11.16pm GMT

The Grattan Institute has proposed a sugar tax.

The deputy prime minister says a sugar tax is “bonkers” but now the tax idea is getting a head of steam, he thought he would nip it in the bud.

It is a tax where apparently if you put sugar in your coffee shop, in your latte, that isn’t a problem, but if you buy a can of drink that is a problem. You’ve got to nip these things in the bud from the word go.

Our sugar consumption in Australia is reducing. We believe in being healthy but we don’t believe you have a health policy that is led by a tax on sugar because if you want to deal with being overweight, well, here is a rough suggestion: stop eating so much and do a bit of exercise. There is two bits of handy advice and you can get that for free.

10.51pm GMT

Malcolm Turnbull is speaking at the Tourism and Transport Forum this morning.

The prime minister is outlining government initiatives in the tourism and transport sector. One of the policies he mentions is the national broadband network (NBN), including its turn around from an “utterly failed project” to super fast connectivity.

This has been a massive turn around and it is delivering super fast connectivity right across Australia in the most remote areas by satellite, many regional areas by fixed wireless and the bulk of the country by fixed line.

It is a critically important step ... It will power tourism across Australia. It will open new business opportunities and allow operators to better connect with their overseas markets and customers and better enable those millennials and the parents, of whom Katie spoke, to share their experiences on Instagram, Facebook and the other social media platforms that as you all know are so powerful and influential in terms of promoting awareness and making foreign visitors or potential foreign visitors eager and interested, excited about coming to Australia.

10.44pm GMT

From AAP:

Counter-terror expert and Labor MP Anne Aly says she has received threatening emails in the wake of immigration minister Peter Dutton’s comments about Lebanese Muslim immigration.
Aly said the comments had stoked fear and division and jarred with the prime minister’s assertion that an inclusive nation was the best weapon against terrorism.

If Malcolm Turnbull believes that, if he really believes that, he would have come out and slapped down Peter Dutton’s disgraceful comments against migrant Australians who have helped to build this nation.

10.41pm GMT

The superannuation bills are coming into the Senate now. It is worth reiterating the changes in the bill, given the internal Coalition fights over reforms to limit the generous tax concessions on superannuation. There have been several versions of these plans.

You may remember the reforms Malcolm Turnbull declared were “ironclad” during the election were changed in September after much teeth-gnashing at the July election result.

10.30pm GMT

Some more detail on the e-safety measures announced earlier. This is from the communications minister, Mitch Fifield, and the minister for women, Michaelia Cash.

The Turnbull government will also conduct a public consultation process on a proposed civil penalties regime targeted at both perpetrators and sites which host intimate images and videos shared without consent.

A discussion paper will be released in early 2017 and feedback will be sought from the e-safety commissioner, federal and state police, women’s safety organisations, mental health experts, schools and education departments, the Online Safety Consultative Working Group and others.

10.27pm GMT

10.24pm GMT

Rod, excuse me, I’m party leader

10.17pm GMT

The government’s announcement regards a new e-safety commissioner who will push for consistent laws across all states.

Turnbull has announced an online safety expert, Julie Inman Grant, as e-safety commissioner, working with his cyber security adviser Alastair MacGibbon.

The overwhelming feedback, as you travel around Australia and you do talk to people about what is the appropriate policy response, it is acknowledged that at a federal level, there is already in place criminal laws and minister Fifield’s taken you through that and there have been successful prosecutions.

Normally these matters are taken care of at a state and territory level and that is why the Coag process to ensure consistency across our states and territories in relation to those laws is so important.

10.08pm GMT

There have been White Ribbon events this morning with both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten speaking at a breakfast.

Here is Turnbull:

I want to acknowledge the victims of domestic violence and their families, whose courage and suffering we honour today. Yours are the faces and the stories behind the statistics that we are determined to change. Today, I recommit to my role as a White Ribbon ambassador and I encourage all men to wear a white ribbon as a sign of respect for women, as a sign that you do not tolerate violence or disrespect of women and as a vow to stand up and speak wherever you see it. We stand together, men and women, and condemn the actions of the few who commit domestic violence and we call on all men to respect women and show they abhor violence against women.

That’s why I’m putting forward a proposition today on White Ribbon Day that Labor would amend the Family Law Act to compel judges and family violence cases to consider whether a witness should be protected under a range of mechanisms, such as video conferencing, and if the judge believes the available mechanisms under the act are insufficient to protect a vulnerable witness, the judge should be empowered to direct that all unrepresented litigants, the men and the women, should be represented by legal aid.

9.57pm GMT

Also in the Senate, the memorial Justin Gleeson legal direction disallowance will finally hit the chamber.

To explain, Labor is trying to make sure the legal direction that led to the resignation of solicitor general Justin Gleeson is dead, buried and cremated.

9.52pm GMT

From our mates at AAP:

Senator Culleton said he was “absolutely” happy to meet Senator Hanson and “the other boys” as well.

9.49pm GMT

Here is the full Derryn Hinch.

The independent senator Derryn Hinch has confirmed that negotiations with the government over paid parental leave could settle on 20 weeks.

Compromise is not a word that was much in my journalistic career I would think over 50 years, but I’m learning in Canberra it’s a very important one. I’d hope that certainly – 1 January was far too soon to bring anything in – I was pushing for 22 weeks, and not starting until 1 August.

I’ve had long talks with Christian Porter [the social services minister]. I think we can get the government back to starting at maybe 1 October and at least get 20 weeks, so if you’ve got 14 weeks from your employer you get six weeks from the government as well.

9.46pm GMT

Pauline Hanson has declined to answer questions about Culleton and her criticism of the Family Court after quickly departing an event

9.45pm GMT

Rod Culleton is trying to have breakfast but his adviser knocked coffee cups which crashed to the floor... pic.twitter.com/wXvC12yWim

9.43pm GMT


The Senate is where it’s at – as usual. Here is the government business we are expecting today.

9.37pm GMT

Gareth Hutchens will have the full paid parental report in a minute regarding Hinch’s negotiations.

9.35pm GMT

Hinch says on paid parental leave that he was pushing for 22 weeks. He said after talks with the social services minister, Christian Porter, he could get the government to back a start date of 1 October with at least 20 weeks.

9.19pm GMT

Derryn Hinch supports the Australian Building and Construction Commission with some amendments.

I think by next week, as a Christmas present, I think the government may go home with some sort of deal.

9.12pm GMT

Derryn Hinch has been on AM, he is keen to add protections for subcontractors (something we covered yesterday).

He says the government was “good” on his auditors amendments for registered organisations and the whistleblower reforms which he and Nick Xenophon pushed for.

I am encouraged by the government.

9.02pm GMT

Joint statement of the government members of the joint parliamentary committee on human rights

The government members of the joint parliamentary committee on human rights unreservedly support the migration legislation amendment (regional processing cohort) bill 2016 and encourage all members of the parliament to vote for the bill. The bill is critical to prevent people smugglers and their evil trade.

The legal advice referred to in the report was not drafted by the committee members and represents one opinion. Reports the committee has found that the bill is not needed are inaccurate. As with most of the committee’s reports, the minister has merely been asked to provide further information. This is standard practice of scrutiny committees.

8.53pm GMT

Good morning dear readers,

Pulling all the threads of Australian politics together today is a bit like mustering cats.

One Nation senator Rodney Culleton has been referred to police after a letter he allegedly sent to a Cairns magistrate prompted concerns in judicial ranks of a possible attempt to pervert the course of justice and threaten a judicial officer.

The Queensland attorney general, Yvette D’Ath, referred the matter to police commissioner Ian Stewart on Monday after the state’s chief magistrate, Ray Rinaudo, expressed concern the letter could trigger the offences.

Rod, excuse me, I’m party leader, I expect you to come to my office …

The Coalition’s proposed lifetime refugee travel ban is a ‘severe and exceptional’ measure and there is ‘no suggestion’ refugees present a danger to Australia, a parliamentary committee has said.

The parliamentary joint committee on human rights, chaired by Liberal MP Ian Goodenough, said in a report released on Tuesday the ban appeared to have a disproportionate effect on people of certain nationalities and could be discriminatory.

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