Littleproud opposes Hanson’s referendum pamphlet messages

Back to the political positions on the voice and Nationals leader David Littleproud was asked about the no pamphlet which will be sent to voters, along with the yes pamphlet, and what he would like to see in there.

The pamphlet is written by politicians who support either side. It is not fact checked –the MPs can choose what goes in there.

When it comes to the ‘no’ side, there has already been some inflammatory claims made by politicians, which are not correct, including Peter Dutton’s claim that the voice would “re-racialise” Australia.

Littleproud said he would not support that language in the pamphlet.

No. I’ve made that very clear, I don’t support those sort of words. I’m not prepared to put my weight behind those words,” he said.

Littleproud is also against Pauline Hanson’s wishes to include that the the voice is a “smokescreen” to establish an “Aboriginal state within the nation” (I hope it does not have to be said, but just in case – that claim is absolute bollocks).

There will be about 30 politicians having input on the no pamphlet and Littleproud said the majority of those will be the ones who set the tone (the majority is the Coalition) but he doesn’t support Hanson’s claim either:

I’m not the final arbiter of this, but I don’t support those set of words – I’ll make that very clear… I don’t think that would advance a mature discussion.

Key events

Over on the seven network and Tanya Plibersek continued her sisyphean task of ‘debating’ Barnaby Joyce.

First up was the question of whether or not the government would accept the vote of David Van. Peter Dutton expelled Van from the Liberal party room after former senator Amanda Stoker raised allegations of “inappropriate touching” against him, following a statement Lidia Thorpe gave to the senate. Van has denied all the allegations against him. He quit the Liberal party on Saturday and said he was “deeply distressed and hurt that I have not been afforded procedural fairness in relation to these claims”

Van will now sit on the crossbench as an independent senator (where Thorpe also sits). There is always the question of whether or not a government will ‘accept’ the vote of a MP but it is a ridiculous premise because it is not for governments, or oppositions to decide. A MP represents an electorate – in this case, the state of Victoria – and governments can’t not accept his vote. Van will vote as he pleases on legislation in the senate and that will be recorded on the hansard. Governments can choose who they negotiate on bills with, but that is a completely different question.

Plibersek says:

We’ll have to of course, he’ll have to vote yes or no on legislation, and of course we’d prefer him to vote yes for government legislation than to vote no. But once again, I think we’re kind of missing the point here. We’re all talking about whether David Van is going to resign or stay in the Parliament, and really, once again, the point here is that we need to make sure that every workplace is safe, that every workplace has processes in place if people want to make complaints about safety at their workplace, sexual harassment, or even sexual assault, that they’ve got somewhere to go for it to be properly dealt with and properly investigated.

To reiterate – Van has denied all allegations against him.

Voice vote tops parliamentary agenda

The parliament will sit at 10am today. The Senate will immediately get about the business of passing the referendum legislation.

Josh Butler will be in the chamber for that moment and will keep you updated on that. There are a lot of voice supporters in town for the moment – expect there to be some emotion when the final vote goes through.

And then – it up to the campaigns.

Chalmers to herald record job growth

Treasurer Jim Chalmers will no doubt take a dixer on this today – the Albanese government has “had the strongest job growth in the first year of any new government on record”.

Between May 2022 and May 2023, more than 465,000 jobs were created.

Chalmers’ office says this is “more than six times the number of new jobs created in the first year of the Abbott and Howard governments”.

Which it is, but also – these are largely inherited conditions. The government has done more to support wage growth and the like, but the pandemic, closed borders, and a very tight labour market were part of the package.

(So I can see why he wants to take the W, just keep in mind the context.)

Among the records:

  • The number of Australians with a job is now more than 14 million for the very first time.

  • Australia’s participation rate is 66.9% – the highest on record, primarily driven by record high participation for women (62.7%).

  • The share of women in work is at a record high – with the employment to population ration for women at 60.5%.

Victorian Liberals name byelection candidate

There is the Fadden byelection coming up, but there is also a state byelection in Victoria, as AAP reports:

A beaten Victorian election candidate has received a second chance as the Liberals’ pick for a crucial state by-election in Melbourne’s north-east.

Nicole Ta-Ei Werner, who failed to regain the marginal seat of Box Hill for the Liberals in November, won preselection for the Warrandyte byelection in a vote of more than 100 party members at a Chirnside Park golf club on Sunday.

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The charity manager and former pastor beat out 22-year-old law student Antonietta Di Cosmo and Institute of Public Affairs senior fellow John Roskam in the final two rounds of voting.

If successful, Ms Werner would become the 10th woman in the state Liberals’ 30-member party room following outspoken MP Moira Deeming’s expulsion after she participated in an anti-trans rights rally attended by neo-Nazis.

The upcoming by-election was triggered by long-serving Warrandyte MP Ryan Smith’s sudden decision to quit politics early next month.

Held by the Liberals on a 4.2% margin, it could prove a hurdle for opposition leader John Pesutto amid mounting internal divisions.

Labor is yet to announce whether it will contest the poll, which is expected to be held some time in August or September.

It will be the first Victorian state by-election in more than five years, and Labor hasn’t won one since taking the seat of Benalla from the Nationals in 2000.

Nicole Ta-Ei Werner
Nicole Ta-Ei Werner (centre) has been named the Liberals’ candidate for Warrandtye. Photograph: Ellen Smith/The Guardian

Littleproud opposes Hanson’s referendum pamphlet messages

Back to the political positions on the voice and Nationals leader David Littleproud was asked about the no pamphlet which will be sent to voters, along with the yes pamphlet, and what he would like to see in there.

The pamphlet is written by politicians who support either side. It is not fact checked –the MPs can choose what goes in there.

When it comes to the ‘no’ side, there has already been some inflammatory claims made by politicians, which are not correct, including Peter Dutton’s claim that the voice would “re-racialise” Australia.

Littleproud said he would not support that language in the pamphlet.

No. I’ve made that very clear, I don’t support those sort of words. I’m not prepared to put my weight behind those words,” he said.

Littleproud is also against Pauline Hanson’s wishes to include that the the voice is a “smokescreen” to establish an “Aboriginal state within the nation” (I hope it does not have to be said, but just in case – that claim is absolute bollocks).

There will be about 30 politicians having input on the no pamphlet and Littleproud said the majority of those will be the ones who set the tone (the majority is the Coalition) but he doesn’t support Hanson’s claim either:

I’m not the final arbiter of this, but I don’t support those set of words – I’ll make that very clear… I don’t think that would advance a mature discussion.

‘Everyone is absolutely shocked at the allegations,’ Burney says

Asked about independent senator Lidia Thorpe’s comments last week that her allegations against David Van (which he denies) were not taken seriously until a white woman (Amanda Stoker) “stood up and said, ‘Yeah, this happened to me too’” (which Van says he has no recollection of), Linda Burney turns to the parliament at large.

The question was did Burney think Thorpe was right and Burney says:

I think everyone is absolutely shocked at the allegations that were made last week. And you know, workplaces should be a safe, safe place. I think there has been some very good work done. Particularly with the leadership of Katy Gallagher and the Kate Jenkins report.

The Labor caucus is now 50% women and no one should have to feel unsafe in the workplace. No. It is unacceptable. And it is something that obviously has shocked this parliament.

Campaigning to begin in earnest

“I’m feeling quite emotional,” Linda Burney says.

Once the referendum legislation passes about 10am AEST, the yes (and no) campaigns will begin in earnest.

Burney:

Then we will see the campaigns get into full swing. Remember we have several months out from the the actual referendum and why this is so, so important is that it is about recognition, something that you and I can both share of 65,000 years of history and culture and puts in place a permanent voice that will be able to advise government on issues that affect Aboriginal people.

Voice will have ‘enormous moral authority’, Burney says

The minister for Indigenous Australians is now speaking to ABC radio RN Breakfast.

Linda Burney in parliament
Linda Burney in parliament. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Linda Burney is being pushed on what power the voice would have:

The power very much lays within lays within the principles.

It has an enormous moral authority to start with. And that’s very, very important.

But think about the principles that have been articulated that the voice will be will be built around and it will be independent and will give independent advice not just to the parliament, but also to the government.

It will be chosen by local people.

It will be accountable, it will be balanced.

It will be community-led, and importantly, it will be accountable and work along existing traditional structures and organisations that are in place now.

So in that sense, it brings about an enormous change in the sense of the parliament will have a permanent body protected by the constitution, that it can get advice from on the streets as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

‘We continue to repeat the mistakes of the past,’ Littleproud says

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Nationals leader David Littleproud is speaking to ABC radio RN Breakfast about the Nationals’ objection to the voice. Littleproud says it is local bodies that are needed, not a national voice. (Local bodies would feed into the voice, which has been outlined several times). Littleproud says this is the only way to actually start closing the gap.

Asked by Hamish Macdonald why the Coalition didn’t do this in the 10 years it was in power, Littleproud says:

Well, we failed. You got to be, Hamish … I’m not afraid to put my hand up and say that governments of all persuasions of the past have failed on this and this is where we continue to repeat the mistakes of the past.

This is about making sure the empowerment of local communities at a local level about getting bureaucrats out of Canberra and putting them around town halls and campfires and listening to those elders.

Junk food advertising targeted

Independent MP Dr Sophie Scamps will introduce a private member’s bill to ban junk food advertising.

Scamps says:

The Healthy Kids Advertising Bill 2023 (the Bill) aims to protect children from junk food marketing by removing ads from TV and radio between the hours of 6am and 930pm. The Bill would also place an outright ban on junk food marketing on social media and other online environments. Under the regulations, substantial fines would be imposed on broadcasters, internet service providers, and food companies that fail to adhere to the guidelines.

That comes after Scamps’ crossbench colleague Zoe Daniel introduced a private member’s bill to ban gambling advertising.

Scamps:

Approximately 40 countries around the world, including the UK, Ireland, Chile, Norway, Mexico, Thailand, and South Korea, already have or are planning to regulate junk food advertising. I want to see Australia join this list.

And she thinks she might have some government support for the bill:

I’ve been heartened by conversations I’ve had with members of the Albanese government as well as public comments made by the Communications Minister and believe there is genuine political will to address this issue. Protecting our children from obesity and a potential future of chronic disease is something all sides of politics can get behind.

Brunei’s leader visits

Anthony Albanese will meet the Sultan of Brunei, His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkia this evening.

Climate change, “strategic defence collaboration” and food security for the region are on the agenda, which means Aukus will be too.

The sultan’s visit will continue until Wednesday.

Good morning

Welcome to the final sitting before the winter break. It being the last four days the government can pass anything for more than a month puts a sense of urgency over the proceedings as all the parties strive to make their final points ahead of some time off.

The politics won’t stop of course – it never does – but it will slow with most MPs planning on taking a week or two of leave over the parliamentary break. Anthony Albanese will head to Lithuania (labas!) next month for the Nato summit and when it comes to defence and foreign policy, the Coalition is back to being in lockstep, so you won’t find too many differences there.

Which means this week is it for the political parties to set out their agendas and points of differences while voters are (mostly) still paying attention.

After leading an abhorrent week last week, which sent the parliament backwards in how it addresses allegations of sexual harassment and assault, the Coalition is looking to reset (again) as it deals with the fallout of the allegations against David Van.

Van has vehemently denied the allegations raised against him and quit the Liberal party, saying he is devastated action was taken without allowing him due process.

Peter Dutton had expelled Van from the party room and the Victorian Liberals had withdrawn organisational support in the wake of allegations being raised against the senator.

Van will be absent from the parliament this week, with a spokesperson confirming yesterday he had requested leave.

Moving to policy and the referendum legislation will pass the Senate today with the third reading debate scheduled. That comes after the Senate sat until four in the morning on Thursday to get through the speeches. The referendum campaigns will begin in earnest from next week with the bill’s passage through the parliament and the referendum itself is thought to be planned for sometime in October.

Meanwhile the other big fight remains the housing Australia future fund, with the Greens making a final push to have the government do something for renters to secure their crucial support. The housing peaks have thanked the crossbench for making changes to the bill so far and for securing more help to address the housing crisis but they have come together to ask for the bill to now be passed.

The government announced a further $2bn to accelerate social housing, with the money to begin flowing in the next fortnight. That can be used to refurbish vacant housing stock as well as expand existing projects to try to get more houses made available faster.

The Greens still want a rent freeze but that’s one area the government has not budged on. It’ll all play out this week.

You’ll have Paul Karp and Josh Butler in Canberra with Amy Remeikis on the blog. It’s a two-coffee morning so far. That will change. Probably very soon.

Ready? Let’s get into it.


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