The prime minister tells parliament both attorney general George Brandis and the solicitor general Justin Gleeson have his full confidence.

6.08am BST

There is still the regular matter of public importance going on in the house: Labor’s motion regarding “the government’s failure of leadership in energy system modernisation”.

After that, the lower house will go back to the plebiscite debate.

5.41am BST

5.35am BST


5.30am BST

Smashing the happiness index.

5.27am BST

5.24am BST

I promised the fact check on the treasurer’s figures re the deficit.

Scott Morrison told the parliament:

Since this government came to office in 2013, the level of nominal expenditure on payments by the Government which was set out in the 2013 PEFO [Pre Election Fiscal Outlook], the payments by the government for $424.4bn. That was the estimate. The actual amount of payments in the 2016 PEFO was $425bn. This is a government that has ensured we have controlled expenditure. The budget I handed down in May, based on the final outcome figures, will see expenditure as a share of the economy fall.

5.10am BST

Labor’s Tony Burke asks Malcolm Turnbull: Has the prime minister sought advice from his department about the current conflict between the attorney-general and the solicitor-general and does the prime minister have confidence in the solicitor-general?

Turnbull says yes and Brandis and Gleeson have his confidence.

I can say that I have discussed it with my department and my secretary, indeed, and I have spoken to him about it. The advice we have is that the attorney-general has... consulted with the solicitor-general in the manner he has described in his submissions that he has made, so the attorney-general has my complete confidence.

Absolutely, the solicitor-general has my confidence, too, sure.

5.04am BST

A Dixer to Peter Dutton: will the minister update the house on the importance of Australia’s strong and consistent border protection policies and is the Minister aware of any alternative approaches?

Dutton uses it to identify Labor MPs who don’t support the Labor party’s boats policy in full.

5.02am BST

Labor to Turnbull: I refer to the member for Warringah’s [Tony Abbott] comments that it’s good to be popular. Given the prime minister’s plebiscite is almost as unpopular as his Government, when will he dump the member for Warringah’s plebiscite and have a free vote on marriage equality?


Only a few years ago her leader, the member for Maribyrnong [Shorten], the Leader of the Opposition, advocated a plebiscite in the course of a meeting with the Australian Christian Lobby. He went to see them and told them he supported a plebiscite.

Only a year ago the Greens party supported a plebiscite and advocated there should be a plebiscite. The two parties that are steadfastly opposing it in the Senate, or promise that they will,are the Greens and the Labor Party, each of whom has advocated one.

4.59am BST

Agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce gets a question on supporting the dairy industry which segues into an answer on Labor failing to support a 19% backpacker tax. (We don’t have a final position from Labor yet.)

Joyce says:

I note it is incredibly important that we went into bat for the backpacker industry, the backpacker labour and we have now got a package that comes forward with a 19% tax. This is after consultations with 178 industry groups, welfare groups, unions, labour hire companies and we invited participation for the general community and got over 1,700 submissions.

4.53am BST

Labor’s Mark Butler to Malcolm Turnbull: In July 2011, the Prime Minister said that 100% of stationary energy will need to come from clean sources by the end of the century. Prime Minister, what happened to you?


It is a complex business reducing emissions, as we know. The object of government policy is to do so at least cost. The Emissions Reduction Fund has been very successful and we are well on track to meet our 2020 targets, indeed, to beat our 2020 targets....

We are [meeting the targets] but in a clear-eyed, hard-headed rational manner. It is not an ideological matter, we are approaching it methodically and effectively.

4.50am BST

A government question to Julie Bishop: Will the Minister advise the House why it’s crucial to have a strong coherent position on important geo security issues? (This goes to the South China Sea dispute and Paul Keating’s comments.)

4.49am BST

Plibersek to Morrison: It’s now three years since this Government took office. When will the government take responsibility for blowing out the 2015-16 deficit by over eight times in that period? You’ve octupled it.

Labor holds up eight fingers en masse. We get the point, says Speaker Smith.

Since this government came to office in 2013, the level of nominal expenditure on payments by the Government which was set out in the 2013 PEFO [Pre Election Fiscal Outlook], the payments by the government for $424.4bn. That was the estimate. The actual amount of payments in the 2016 PEFO was $425bn. This is a government that has ensured we have controlled expenditure. The budget I handed down in May, based on the final outcome figures, will see expenditure as a share of the economy fall.

4.42am BST

A government question to financial services minister Kelly O’Dwyer: How will our enterprise tax plan proposals for small business and income tax cuts for individuals help grow the economy and create jobs and higher wages for the hard-working Australians of Dunkley and elsewhere?

4.41am BST

Bowen asks Morrison: Why is the Treasurer refusing to listen to Ceda, the Grattan Institute, International Monetary Fund, Moody’s, Standard and Poor’s on the urgent need for revenue measures to get the budget back into balance and maintain Australia’s three AAA credit ratings agencies?


What this country has to face is to grow our economy so we grow revenues. You grow small businesses into larger businesses.You ensure Australians can increase their earning capacity. That companies can profit more. Wage earners can earn more on their wages. When you achieve economic policies that increase the earnings of Australians, that’s how you raise the revenue. You don’t do it by jacking up taxes like those and others have suggested. What we have done is make sure Australians pay their fair share of tax, multi-nationals will be paying their fair share of tax.

4.38am BST

In Senate question time, senator Penny Wong has taken up the attack on attorney general George Brandis by asking why he failed to stick up for the solicitor general when he was criticised by senator Ian MacDonald.

Wong said that as the first legal officer, Brandis is obliged to stand up for independent statutory officers like Justin Gleeson and Australian Human Rights Commission president, Gillian Triggs.

4.36am BST

"It's nice to be popular Mr Speaker" Tony Abbott reacts to interjections from labor #QT @gabriellechan @GuardianAus pic.twitter.com/fe3l4dNc3c

4.36am BST

The Dixer question to Morrison is on Labor not supporting the government’s enterprise tax plan which cuts tax for small moving to large businesses.

4.34am BST

Labor goes to negative gearing. Very interesting.

Bowen to Morrison: Yesterday the chairman of Ceda said there is no believable end to the deficit in sight and revenue measures are “the only realistic way to balance the budget quickly”. Does the treasurer agree with this advice from Ceda and why won’t the government embrace negative gearing reform?

no, Mr Speaker, we do not agree with the Opposition that the road to dealing with the budget issues is to increase taxes and to increase the deficit as those opposite proposed at the last election.

4.29am BST

Tony Abbott has come in from the cold.

Come on down Tony.

4.27am BST

Tony Abbott gets a question to the trade minister Steve Ciobo. Applause and cheers erupt from the Labor benches. Abbott looks genuinely pleased, noting “nice to be popular”. Abbott asks: Will the Minister update the house on how the expanded Singapore-Australian Free Trade Agreement will support the government’s plan for jobs and growth?

4.26am BST

In the senate, attorney general George Brandis has revealed in Senate question time that since the Coalition won government in September 2013, “740 people from 29 people-smuggling vessels have been intercepted and returned to their country of departure”.

4.24am BST

Rebekha Sharkie, of NXT asks transport minister Darren Chester: South Australia is grossly under-funded for road infrastructure and in 2014 we lost the supplementary local road funding that addressed this inequity. During the devastating recent storms, my electorate suffered over $10 million worth of damage to local roads, a cost my community can ill afford. Will the Government urgently review their funding model to make it urgent for SA and consider an urgent one-off grant to help repair the badly-damaged roads in my electorate of Mayo?

Chester says the Coalition government had provided $3. 2bn through the Roads for Recovery program - which is not related to the supplementary road funding. He says he will be happy to meet with Sharkie about other funding. We made some promises during the election, Chester says, in many more words. But he does not answer the question.

4.20am BST

The next Labor question is to Turnbull on whether he has obtained further advice on the mental health effects on the plebiscite on the LGBTI community.

Turnbull posits a new argument.

Professor McGorry made the point that, to agree with my proposition that Australians are able to have a civil discussion about this but he said he was concerned there were some small elements, sub-groups I think was the term he used, which would be intemperate in their conduct and that that could cause distress for some people in the LGBTI community.

I simply leave honourable members with this question, it’s a very fundamental one for our democracy. Are we going to say that we may not have a public debate on a topic when it is alleged that there will be a minority, some small groups, that will act intemperately?

4.14am BST

Next government question is to Christopher Pyne, defence industry minister, on Singapore’s defence relationship with Australia.

4.12am BST

Labor’s Andrew Giles asks the PM: “After the election, the prime minister said he’d learned a lesson, a very clear lesson, about his attacks on Medicare. So why hasn’t the prime minister abandoned his cuts to breast screening, MRIs and X-rays which will mean Australians will have to pay more for vital scans?

Turnbull flicks the question to the health minister, Sussan Ley, who says:

The truth is that this government is investing more in Medicare than any previous government, including any previous Labor government. The truth is that this government saw 17 million more bulk-billed consultations than any previous Labor government. The truth is that the cuts, as you describe them, are not that at all.

4.08am BST

The first government question to Turnbull is the importance of trade and investment, specifically with Singapore.

4.04am BST

First question from the opposition leader, Bill Shorten to the prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, on Medicare, followed by: “Can the PM answer this without a tantrum on a text message?”


I thank the honourable member for his question and he shows his glass jaw very neatly there. Clearly the text message is a bit of an issue for them. While it is amazing, eventually, even the leader of the opposition realises that deceiving millions of vulnerable Australians is wrong. Even the leader of the opposition is starting to feel the shame, just a little bit, it’s creeping up ... We are investing more in Medicare every year ...

4.01am BST

Here is a range of reactions to the plebiscite from MPs and senators.

3.57am BST

Julia Gillard has given a speech on the life of British MP Jo Cox. It is well worth a read. Here are a few highlights:

I genuinely believe that politics is a noble calling, not a grubby, necessary evil. We are so incredibly fortunate to live in free and fair democracies where we have the right to run for parliament. Jo was an exceptional person, there’s no doubt about it. But she wasn’t unique, and she would have been the first person to say so. There are so many women in our communities who could serve with distinction: we need to help them to get into parliament and to be proud to be political.

Of course, this isn’t just about numbers, and it’s not about ‘having a go’. It’s about results. Women need power to change things. You can’t change things if you are a name on a ballot, a quota filled – you need your seat in parliament. Participation is the start, but power is the end. Jo knew that – it’s why she worked so hard across party lines to make sure that women were running for seats they could win and it’s why she herself joined a party where she stood a shot of becoming an MP and, one day, a minister, even a prime minister.

3.43am BST

Wong again calls for Brandis to resign.

3.33am BST

Here is Wong’s case:

This matter started when senator Brandis made an amendment to the legal services directions in May.

The legal services directions set out rules and requirements for the performance of commonwealth legal work.

3.30am BST

Wong is reprising the dispute between the AG and the SG.

Wong says Brandis seems to believe that the only legal opinion anyone may need is his opinion.

3.27am BST

OK, in the Senate, Penny Wong is talking George Brandis, his greatest hits and his latest dispute with the solicitor general.

She says the attorney general should not mislead the parliament and the public. It is not trivial and represents a major attack on the solicitor general.

3.20am BST

Here is the next take from AAP on pollie perks ...

High court judges unanimously held that amendments to legislation and rulings by the Remuneration Tribunal did not constitute acquisition of property.
A majority held that changes to the life gold pass legislation, reducing return air trips for retired MPs from an unlimited number to 25 and now 10, also did not constitute acquisition of property other than on just terms.
In The Castle, the Aussie battler Kerrigan family resort to the high court when developers seek to acquire their home to expand an airport.
The case hinged on Section 51 (xxxi) of the constitution which says that property can’t be acquired other than on just terms.
Entitlements for politicians, past and present, remain deeply controversial and have been progressively wound back from their most generous heights.
The high court directed that the four meet the unspecified but likely substantial cost of their challenge.

3.13am BST

Like this!

Breaking news from AAP and the high court:

Four former federal politicians have lost their high court challenge over reduced post-parliamentary perks.

The four – a Howard government defence minister, John Moore, the Hawke government minister Barry Cohen and Labor MPs Barry Cunningham and Anthony Lamb – had used the same legal principle made noteworthy by the Australian comedy movie The Castle.

3.10am BST

The Singaporean PM is addressing a lunch in the great hall in parliament over lunch. Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten have both spoken. It is of a similar vein to earlier, so unless there is a cracking line, I will move on to other matters.

3.06am BST

The Indi independent, Cathy McGowan, gave a speech last night calling for a minister for young people and a campaign from the Australian Electoral Commission to engage young people in civic participation.

There is a backstory.

Outside court the women’s lawyer, Rob Stary, said the case was bound to fail and a terrible waste of resources.

Both women were students at the time and the AEC website clearly said students did not need to change their “home address”, he had told the court.

There is confusion about enrolment rules. The involvement of the Australian federal police, Australian Electoral Commission and media in the affairs of 27 young people in my electorate caused the loss of trust in our democratic political institutions. In 2016 approximately 350,000 eligible young people were not enrolled to vote. In the eyes of many young people, these events are even more reason why they feel it makes no sense to engage. No wrongdoing was found after rigorous investigation but these young people are still being scrutinised. We need to stand up for our young people, we need to support them and we need to encourage them to participate in politics. The AEC needs to be supported to engage young people.

2.34am BST

A summary, before the time gets away.

2.11am BST

Old chums.

2.07am BST

Come on down.

Malcolm the Magnanimous calls Tony Abbott down to see the Singaporean PM, who praised the former PM’s significant barbecue skills.

1.52am BST

Sound the bells! The Australian Bureau of Statistics declares:

Australia records more than 96% preliminary response rate for the 2016 census

The Australian Bureau of Statistics would like to thank Australia for participating in the 2016 census of population and housing. The preliminary response rate is now confirmed at more than 96%. This ensures we are on track to deliver the quality census data Australia needs.

1.46am BST

1.41am BST

The house now does not sit until 1.30pm. The Senate comes back at 12pm.

1.39am BST

1.37am BST

1.34am BST

Shorten also mentioned the 130,000 Singaporeans who had gained degrees in Australian universities (*cheers Dad*). And Shorten fondly remembers losing out to the Singaporean University team at intervarsity debating in the late 1980s.

There are more than 20,000 Australian expatriates living and working in Singapore, including friends of mine who voted at the royal golf course in the last three weeks of June, a booth we targeted most heavily. These Australians return to their friends and family praising a place where they know they’re welcome. Singapore is a culture that is different enough to feel novel, familiar enough to feel at home.

1.30am BST

I promised more of Bill Shorten. He said Labor welcomed the comprehensive strategic partnership agreement.

Labor welcomes the comprehensive strategic partnership that will see our 14,000 Singaporean troops train in Shoalwater Bay in Queensland per year. This is good news for the region and good news for our region. And both our nations are engaged in countering a new threat of extremism, the fight against Daesh, its agents and imitators. We also share a tradition of learning from each other, from your father’s famous warning, a rebuke that shook Australia out of its lethargy and certainly my own party has pursued of an outward-looking economy to engage with key markets of Asia.

1.27am BST

Lee goes through the benefits of the comprehensive strategic partnership concluded by the two leaders.

In defence, the Singapore armed forces will have more training, space and opportunities in Australia.

1.22am BST

Lee talks about the education exchanges and congratulates the foreign minister, Julie Bishop, on the new Colombo plan that provides for student exchanges.

By the end of this year, Singapore universities will have welcomed some 800 Australian new Colombo plan students. They will continue the spirit of exchange and renew the connections and good will between our peoples into the next generation. Our people also visit each other frequently. Last year some 400,000 Singaporeans visitedAustralia and 1 million Australians visited Singapore. Some come for education or business, more come for holidays or to visit family and friends. We feel quite at home in each other’s countries. Singaporeans may not quaff quite as much beer as Australians but I have it on good authority that Victoria Bitter goes well with chilli crabs.

1.19am BST

Lee says more than 20,000 Australians live and work in Singapore, in all sorts of professions.

He notes the Singapore-Australia free trade agreement signed in 2003 was Australia’s first FTA outside of New Zealand.

It has helped make little Singapore your fifth-largest trading partner and investor. We have also worked together on regional economic integration, first with Apec and now with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the TPP, and the regional comprehensive economic partnership, the RCEP.

Our two countries cooperate closely on security issues and humanitarian missions. Our security agencies work closely and quietly together to fight terrorism, sharing intelligence and information, carrying out counter-terrorism operations, exchanging notes on religious rehabilitation and deradicalisation programs. It’s important always and is especially worth mentioning today on the anniversary of the Bali bombings.

1.16am BST

Lee on his meeting with Tony Abbott last year:

Our societies are both egalitarian. We don’t stand on ceremony and we frown on rigid social hierarchies. We are informal and can hang loose. Thus, when prime minister Abbott visited Singapore last year, I could invite him to join my constituents for an Aussie-style BBQ at a public park, only to find he was much better at barbecuing than I was. Afterwards, we went to dinner nearby. I made sure to choose some good Australian wine! But, alas, I neglected to check the steak. After dinner, prime minister Abbott asked the chef where the beef was from. The chef, with Singaporean directness and candour, replied: “From the US, sir.” I will have to do better when prime minister Turnbull visits us next year.

1.12am BST

Lee says Australia and Singapore are both open economies that rely heavily on international trade, on global markets. And Australia and Singapore both want to deepen ties between Australia and south-east Asia.

1.11am BST


How is it that Australia and Singapore, two very different countries, as prime minister Turnbull said, a wide brown land and a little red dot, can forge such a deep bond? In land area, Australia is more than 10,000 times the size of Singapore! We are smaller than many sheep farms. The ACT alone is three times the size of Singapore. Australia has abundant natural resources, Singapore has none. We even have to import water from Malaysia. We are both Commonwealth countries, yes, but historically Australia has been Anglo-Saxon in composition and identity while Singapore is an Asian society, even though we speak English and we have the cosmopolitan outlook of a port city. Yet we are good friends because, fundamentally, we have similar strategic interests and perspectives.

1.09am BST

Lee notes Australia’s contribution to Singapore in world war two.

Singapore will never forget their sacrifice. During the Malayan emergency, Australian soldiers fought Communist guerrillas in the Malayan jungles. When Singapore joined Malaysia in 1963, the president of Indonesia launched Konfrontasi, a low-intensity conflict to undermine the new federation. Australian forces defended Malaysia in Malaya and Borneo. In 1965, Singapore separated from Malaysia to become an independent republic. You were one of the first countries to recognise our independence and the first to establish diplomatic relations with us. You played a key role in publishing the five-power defence relations in 1971.

1.06am BST

Just having some tech issues here. Bill Shorten has just given a very warm and personal address to Lee, mentioning Australia-Singapore ties, his visits to Singapore, Lee’s renowned maths and sudoku skills and Singapore’s food.

I will bring you more on Shorten in a minute but Lee has started now.

12.58am BST

Turnbull concludes:

We are countries with different histories and different cultural traditions yet we are countries familiar and comfortable with one another. We prize informality, we are suspicious of pretence, we speak plainly and with pragmatism, as friends should. We focus on outcomes and deliveries not pomp or protocol. Each of us can lay claim to be among the most successful multicultural societies in the world so our bright future is not just about complimentary interests and strengths, it is about common human qualities. To borrow from prime minister Lee, I and I’m sure all members of this parliament are immensely reassured that our relationship with Singapore springs from the heart as much as it does from the head.

12.56am BST

Turnbull says Singapore and Australia have similar world views on innovation, trade and rule of law.

Singapore and Australia are at one in defending the rule of law and rejecting the proposition that might is right. Australia and Singapore are firm proponents of institutions that that support regional stability and prosperity such as Asean and the East Asian summit. I am delighted Singapore will be the chair when they host leaders for an historic summit here in 2018 …

Last year, on the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations, prime minister Lee Hsien Loong and Tony Abbott signed a 10-year plan to expand the frontiers of our bilateral corporations across economic, strategic and people-to-people dimensions. Tomorrow governments will sign initiatives under our comprehensive strategic partnership.

12.52am BST


Australia was the first country to establish diplomatic relations with Singapore but the relationship was forged even before that, in world war twI and the defence of Singapore in which over 1,700 Australians lost their lives, more than a thousand of them are buried in Singapore soil.

12.51am BST

Turnbull on Lee Kuan Yew, Lee’s father:

Prime minister, your father was one of the giants of the 20th century. He founded a nation whose only assets are its people and location and created what has become a 21st-century city state, one which embraces the rapid march of technology and science, just as it does the trade and open markets upon which success has been established.

12.49am BST

Applause. Lee shakes hands with the Speaker and the president.

The Speaker, Tony Smith, welcomes Lee.

12.47am BST

There are four Australian flags. The senators have joined the house MPs. Lee Hsien Loong enters the chamber.

12.40am BST

Coming up, Singapore’s PM, Lee Hsien Loong, addresses parliament.

12.37am BST

The former treasurer Wayne Swan has given an explosive speech accusing BHP of aggressive transfer pricing schemes to avoid tax. He goes through the whole mining tax episode.

Corporations are not ends in themselves ... we live in a community not a corporation.

There are two tax systems, one for the super wealthy and one for the rest of us.

12.24am BST

Peter Dutton, immigration minister, has introduced the criminal code amendment (war crimes) bill. This is the law change that allows Australian forces to target combat support services and was revealed by Malcolm Turnbull in his statement to parliament at the beginning of September. Labor has provided in-principle support but was waiting to see the legislation.

12.01am BST

Scott Morrison has also introduced the bill to establish a register of foreign ownership of water entitlements to be administered by the commissioner of taxation.

This bill provides for the collection of information and publication of statistics about foreign holdings of registrable water entitlements and long term contractual water rights.

Overseas pension funds — including one owned by New York firefighters and another by Canadian teachers — currently own water in the Goulburn Murray ­irrigation district, with their quest for the highest returns believed to have led to water being held back until the drought deepens and ­prices rise well above $300/ML.

11.52pm BST

Scott Morrison is ripping through the backpacker bills in the house. Now the former head of Tourism Australia is speaking to the $5 increase in the passenger movement charge.

He segues into lecturing on how, if Labor doesn’t support the $5 increase on tourists, it will be asking taxpayers to pay for a reduction in the backpacker tax.

11.46pm BST

We are working on the assumption that the plebiscite bill is dead. Penny Wong has been asked what about the tactics will be over the next few years.

First, on the broader issue, I think the community will keep the pressure on. I think the community have moved. In the period I have been in this parliament I have seen an enormous shift in the Australian community and it has been heart-warming. So I don’t think the community are going to accept people continuing to vote not to have a vote. But, I’m happy to talk about tactics, and I want to say this: any Liberal senator who is prepared to move a marriage equality bill, I’m up for it. If you want to co-sponsor a bill with me in the Senate, I’m up for it.

11.36pm BST

Malcolm Turnbull has gone into a meeting with the Singaporean PM, Lee Hsien Loong.

11.35pm BST

The house and Senate begin.

Scott Morrison is in the lower house introducing the backpacker tax bills.

11.22pm BST

You can see why Albo was such a good leader of the lower house. No one got away under his watch.

11.16pm BST

Shameless, that Albo.

Bowers reports that the press gallery is into the grand final and the pollies came second last or fifth out of six teams. He speculated that it was the loss of Stephen Conroy which did the pollies down. Conroy was an enthusiastic, some say brutal, player. Albo may be taking the mantle.

11.11pm BST

The Big Issue’s Parliamentary Street Soccer Cup in Canberra was on this morning.

This is a very good cause that raises awareness for the Big Issue’s federally funded Community Street Soccer Program, which supports homeless and disadvantaged men and women around Australia.

11.05pm BST

The sound of canons ...

Don’t panic. It is the gun salute for the Singaporean PM.

11.04pm BST

The resources minister, Matt Canavan, says he is “bitterly disappointed” with BP’s decision to not go ahead with its controversial plan to drill for oil in the commonwealth marine reserve in the Great Australian Bight.

He said BP had been allowed to explore for oil in the marine reserve by making almost half a billion dollars worth of commitments to do work in the area, and now it had walked away.

[So] I would expect them to make good some of those commitments in other ways. I’ll be very interested in discussing with them in coming days what those plans might be.

I do think it’s the ugly side of green activism, that yesterday a decision was made which impacts around 25 businesses ... in South Australia, we think up to 100 workers will be impacted, and those workers I’m sure went to bed last night a little restless ... but we had other people in this country popping the champagne corks and celebrating that fact. What does frustrate me is sometimes those workers in these industries, who tend to be fairly quiet, reticent types of people, aren’t the ones on the radio or in the media telling their stories.

10.59pm BST

There is a longstanding fight in the NSW Liberal party over reform. It goes to the way preselections are conducted. Katharine Murphy reported on the issue spilling into the party room yesterday when it was raised by Tony Abbott and knocked down by Christopher Pyne on the grounds that state party business should not be discussed in the federal party room.

Peta Credlin, Abbott’s former chief of staff, hit back on her Sky platform last night. She said if a NSW MP (Abbott) cannot raise it in the party room led by a NSW PM (Turnbull), then what is the world coming to?

Tony Abbott has publicly challenged Malcolm Turnbull to lead a democratisation push in New South Wales as he launched a stinging broadside against colleagues for leaking his tussle in Tuesday’s party-room meeting.

The former prime minister told Guardian Australia he was “dismayed” by the leaks after Tuesday’s regular party room meeting in Canberra. “It’s a cancer on our polity – this culture of leaking.”

He remarked that it was “just crackers” to say state organisational issues could not be considered during party-room meetings in Canberra given organisational issues in electorates and in various states were considered all the time.

“This line that it shouldn’t be raised in the party room is self-serving at best,” Abbott said – returning the rebuke to Pyne.

10.45pm BST

As I said the backpacker bills will come into parliament, which sits at 9.30am.

There are four related bills:

After we went through the process and deliberations and making sure we have a backpacker tax rate to attract labour into the country. Before we did it the Labor party were deriding us and now we have fixed it, they won’t support us. I ask people to ring up their Labor party member, their Labor party senator and ask them to do two things for us – support the backpacker tax to get this issue off the agenda and please support the plebiscite so we can get this issue off the agenda as well.

10.31pm BST

Paul Karp reports that Labor and the Greens will combine to push for a Senate committee to examine how best to close coal power stations to meet Australia’s climate change targets.

The Greens and Labor will move a motion to ask the Senate environment and communications references committee to report on mass closures of electricity generators, and expect sufficient crossbench support to set up the inquiry.

It will consider how the retirement of coal power plants can help meet the Paris climate target of limiting global warming to 2C and how to achieve it with “minimal community and individual impact from closures”. That will include ways to attract new investment and jobs to affected communities.

10.24pm BST

The 2016 Threat Report will be released today by the Australian Cyber Security Centre. This is the government body that deals with all of this stuff.

The most interesting point is that it identifies foreign powers as “the most serious and rising threat to the security of government networks”, according to the Oz.

Behaviour by a number of countries is demonstrating a ­willingness to use disruptive and destructive cyber operations to seriously impede or embarrass organisations and governments – equating to foreign interference or coercion. The employment of the tactic in such a brazen manner against high-profile entities has almost certainly lowered the threshold of adversaries seeking to conduct such acts.

10.13pm BST

Before I go anywhere else, you might be wondering what the Singaporean PM is doing in town. Katharine Murphy has enlightened us here:

9.58pm BST

Good morning fellow tragics,

It is a very full program today, this hump day in the parliament.

It has been a long road to get to this point, and I accept that there are those who are not happy with where we have ended up. The plebiscite certainly is not my preferred position either. I put up a cross-party bill back in 2015 in good faith, but it joined the other 17 unsuccessful bills that have gone before it ... This is a battle that has been going on for decades now. And, while I am not challenging the intention of some individuals across politics in championing this cause or those within the marriage equality movement, I am concerned that people are losing sight of the endgame. For them, it is more about the battle than the outcome.

This plebiscite is not about marriage equality. It is about two things and two things only: Tony Abbott’s ideology and Malcolm Turnbull’s job security. Equality for minorities should not be conditional on the approval of majorities. You do not have an opinion poll on rights. That is why they are called rights. Imposing this plebiscite would not just be a waste of money or a failure of leadership; I think it would be a failure of basic decency. It is a glaring contradiction of our national ideal of a fair go for all.

Terrorists could be able to break into secure Australian government networks to wreak significant disruption or destruction within three years, according to a major government report on cyber security.

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