Australia politics live: ‘stop engaging in a race to the bottom with Peter Dutton’, Bandt warns Labor over immigration detention | Australian politics – Freedom Voice

Bandt: ‘kneejerk reaction’ to immigration detention will result in bad laws

On the issue of legal challenges to the laws, Adam Bandt addresses the frustration some in the parliament (and voters) are feeling:

Greens leader Adam Bandt.
Greens leader Adam Bandt has accused the Labor government of copying the Coalition’s ‘fear campaign’ about refugees and migrants. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

There’s every risk when you pass legislation quickly, as part of a kneejerk reaction to a dishonest fear campaign run by Peter Dutton, you end up with laws that can get challenged again.

I will just say this to Labor – stop engaging in a race to the bottom with Peter Dutton, because if you give in on one thing, he’ll come back the next day and ask for another.

If he says you’re not acting quickly enough one day, the next day he accuses you of rushing the laws. There’s nothing that will satisfy a man who has built a career out of punching down and demonising refugees and migrants.

I just wish Labor would take a stand on principle and defend the rule of law, instead of giving in to Peter Dutton’s fear campaign.

Key events

The government doesn’t need any more votes in the house of representatives where it holds the numbers. But it has made a habit (at least so far) of bringing the crossbench along with it on legislation – even when it doesn’t agree, or accept amendments.

But looks like there has been a deviation from the norm here –

⚠️ The Govt’s citizenship legislation will mean 1 in 2 Aussies over the age of 14 can have their Aussie citizenship stripped. This legislation is a massive deal!! Yet we’ve just been told that, despite today not being a scheduled sitting day, this bill will be voted on tonight!🧵

— Kylea Tink MP (@KyleaTink) December 5, 2023

Beetaloo Basin traditional owners pleased with water trigger but say fight for the environment not over yet

Traditional owners from Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation have welcomed the expansion of the water trigger in the nature repair laws, which they hope will help protect country from fracking in the Beetaloo Basin in the Northern Territory.

Djingili elder and Nurrdalinji Director Janet Gregory, who is from Elliott and now lives in Alice Springs says:

Aboriginal people are responsible for the health of our lands and water. But if fracking damages our water it can’t be healed.

If our water is lost or poisoned, where are we going to go? What will happen to our law, to our language, to our culture and to our country?

Gregory says the fight continues:

We’re going to keep standing up for the birds, the animals, the children, the old people and the country itself and the water that it contains, because this is life.

The federal government has done the right thing by our water, and we appreciate their work and the work of The Greens and independent MPs who have listened to us and helped to make this happen.

Parliament business suspended for Peta Murphy condolence motion

Today is a little bit of a different sitting for the house. It is an official sitting day, but all business has been suspended for a condolence motion for Labor MP Peta Murphy, who died on Monday. Usually, after the main speeches, a condolence motion motion – generally held for people who have long left parliament – gets moved to the federation chamber.

Murphy, the member for Dunkley, was in parliament just last week. Her loss, at age 50, has hit MPs across the chamber very hard. She was just that sort of person.

The member for Dunkley Peta Murphy during question time in the house of representatives, Parliament House in Canberra.
The late Peta Murphy during question time in the house of representatives, in February.
Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

So when the house sitting begins at 10am, after the prayers, it will be straight into the condolence motion. At this stage, about 60 MPs have asked to speak. That will most likely take us into the early evening.

Once the last speech has been delivered, the house will adjourn for a short while, before returning in the evening to accept the messages from the senate. That’s parliamentary speak for “the senate has passed things the house needs to vote on”. There is a possibility that the preventative detention bill, which was introduced by the government into the senate and passed yesterday, will be dealt with tonight.

So for most of the sitting day, it will be condolence speeches for Peta Murphy and then later in the evening, there could be a vote on preventative detention.

And then we are back again tomorrow for the final sitting day of the year – house and senate.

PNG leader James Marape to visit Canberra Thursday

The prime minister of Papua New Guinea, James Marape, will arrive in Canberra for an official visit tomorrow.

PNG Prime Minister James Marape.
PNG leader James Marape is expected to canvass a broad range of issues with Australia’s Anthony Albanese. Photograph: AP

The official release says:

The prime ministers will meet in Canberra to discuss the enduring security partnership and broader issues impacting on Papua New Guinea, Australia and the Pacific.

There is an expectation a new security arrangement will be signed between Anthony Albanese and Marape during the visit.

Plibersek: Landholders given chance to be paid to protect land under nature repair bill

On the nature repair legislation that she has negotiated passage through the senate on, Tanya Plibersek says:

This is a great opportunity for land-holders, for farmers, for traditional owners to be paid to restore and protect nature on their properties, so the sort of projects we could see are farmers who have got remnant rainforest on their land being paid to keep the goats out, to keep the weeds out.

Traditional owners in Western Australia doing cultural burning and reintroducing animals onto their properties.

We want to see a range of projects come forward.

We expect strong interest from philanthropists and the business community wanting to invest and protect and restore nature across Australia. Not just setting land aside – we actually need to care for that land and this gives private individuals like farmers and land-holders the opportunity to be paid to do that work.

Plibersek says Greens ‘teaming up’ with Coalition on indefinite detention

Tanya Plibersek is speaking to ABC News Breakfast where she is asked about Adam Bandt’s comments that Labor is in a ‘race to the bottom’ with Peter Dutton with its response to the high court’s indefinite detention decision.

Minister for Environment Tanya Plibersek at a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra.
‘Very strange’ … Minister for Environment Tanya Plibersek says she is bemused by the Greens’ decision to vote with the Coalition against the government’s detention bill. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Plibersek says:

Adam Bandt is teaming up with Peter Dutton to vote against people who’ve had concerns about their behaviour approaching schools or contacting their victims or their victims’ families. So I don’t know … very strange, teaming up there.

(That is in relation to the Coalition and Greens last week voting against government legislation that would have tightened the conditions on refugees and migrants who were released by the high court indefinite detention decision).

The Prime Minister’s XI (men) will play Pakistan today in Canberra.

Anthony Albanese will be attend this morning to greet the teams and ‘participate in pre-match formalities’.

Peter Hannam

Peter Hannam

Jasper’s wind speeds expected to slow as the cyclone approaches Qld

The first tropical cyclone in the Australian region has formed, with Jasper now a category 1 tempest, according to the Bureau of Meteorology.

Tropical cyclone Jasper has formed in the Coral Sea and is forecast to reach a “severe” strength of category 4 before beginning to weaken as it approaches Queensland coast. (Source: @BOM_au )

— (@p_hannam) December 5, 2023

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center, run by the US Navy, has a similar path, and a bit more detail. Wind speeds may reach 105 knots (194 km/h) and gusts to 130 knots (230 km/h).

As with BoM’s forecasts, Jasper is predicted to have its wind speeds slowing as it nears the Queensland coast.

Joint Typhoon Warning Center has a similar track, and forecasts gusts to reach as strong as 130 knots (240km/h) before halving that speed.

— (@p_hannam) December 5, 2023

That weakening will be welcomed by those along the Queensland coast. Even if it doesn’t cross the coast there will be a bit of rain around, particularly over the Coral Sea.

That rain and presumably a lot of cloud cover may have a side benefit of helping to take the edge off sea-surface temperatures for a while.

Cooler waters reduce the risk of mass coral bleaching, which, unfortunately, looks like being a risk in El Nino summers thanks to the background global warming.

Australia Post must be retained as essential service, not money-making scheme, Bandt says

And finally (the senate has been sitting so there has been a bit on, happening in the background) Adam Bandt is asked about Australia Post only delivering letters every second day. This has been coming for a while and is a bid to keep the business, well, in business. The idea is you’ll still see a postie pass by your door every day, but they’ll only carry letters every second day (parcels will continue as daily deliveries).

Bandt says the Greens will look at the change:

We’ll have a close look at this. Obviously, Australia Post is making a lot of money out of delivering parcels now because everyone buys things online. One of our concerns is making sure that they – we don’t make Australia Post into a profit making entity when it should be at a public service.

We’re encouraged about the fact the communication workers union seems to have given it initial support. But we’ll be having a close look to make sure we retain it as an essential service and it doesn’t all become about making money.

Nature repair bill ‘proof’ good-faith negotiations can work, says Bandt

The interview moves to the nature repair bill, which Tanya Plibersek won support for, after making a deal with the Greens. Adam Bandt says it is further proof that good faith negotiations can work:

The Greens pressure has worked. And the Greens have secured some significant wins. There’s been a blow against new gas and oil projects. Previously you could frack areas, so drill down to extract gas, including in farmland, and the government didn’t even have to consider whether that was going to affect our precious water supplies.

We know in many places it would have, that’s why so many farmers have been against fracking.

As a result of the changes secured by the Greens, the government has to look at the impact on water before they approve or look at fracking. That means they can stop some of these projects.

Bandt: ‘kneejerk reaction’ to immigration detention will result in bad laws

On the issue of legal challenges to the laws, Adam Bandt addresses the frustration some in the parliament (and voters) are feeling:

Greens leader Adam Bandt.
Greens leader Adam Bandt has accused the Labor government of copying the Coalition’s ‘fear campaign’ about refugees and migrants. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

There’s every risk when you pass legislation quickly, as part of a kneejerk reaction to a dishonest fear campaign run by Peter Dutton, you end up with laws that can get challenged again.

I will just say this to Labor – stop engaging in a race to the bottom with Peter Dutton, because if you give in on one thing, he’ll come back the next day and ask for another.

If he says you’re not acting quickly enough one day, the next day he accuses you of rushing the laws. There’s nothing that will satisfy a man who has built a career out of punching down and demonising refugees and migrants.

I just wish Labor would take a stand on principle and defend the rule of law, instead of giving in to Peter Dutton’s fear campaign.

Bandt: Labor following Dutton’s ‘dishonest fear campaign’ on detention

Asked if the parliament would have “time” to do what he is suggesting should have happened, given a third person was arrested this week, Adam Bandt says:

That’s heinous, and I don’t think you will find anyone in parliament who does anything but condemn the crimes.

But in Australia, we have a system if you commit a crime, you serve your sentence. After that, if you do anything else wrong, you can get arrested and taken before the courts. That’s what has happened in this instance.

What the government and the Liberals are proposing is to go further and start talking about legislation that says if you might commit a crime in the future, can you get locked up.

That’s treating people born in another country in a different way to the way we run the legal system here in Australia.

And that’s why legal experts have raised real concerns about this. Because it’s stepping beyond the way that we usually run our judicial and police system in this country, that says if you breach the law, the police arrest you, and you get taken to court.

They’re going a step further, all because Peter Dutton whipped up a dishonest fear campaign.

Greens worried Labor letting Dutton ‘write’ Australia’s migration laws

The Greens leader Adam Bandt is speaking to ABC News Breakfast about the passage of the preventative detention bill through the senate yesterday. It will go to the house, tomorrow.

Bandt says he is “worried that Labor is dancing to the Liberals’ tune and we’re seeing yet another race to the bottom on refugees”.

As far as the group of people who are affected by the high court’s decision is concerned, some of them have committed crimes, some have committed heinous crimes, many of them haven’t. And instead of considering the significant decision of the high court, where they basically said you can’t lock people up forever and treat it as a solution to migration problems, instead of having a sober and considered response to that, and thinking about what would a proper migration system look like in Australia, they have just let Peter Dutton write the laws.

And Peter Dutton has been running the show for the last couple of weeks. What we know, we’ve already seen legislation pass that needs to be fixed up. And what we know is that when you have this knee jerk reaction and a race to the bottom on refugees, you end up writing bad laws and it doesn’t always fix the problem. That’s our real concern.

Eden Gillespie

Eden Gillespie

North Stradbroke traditional owners to get access to two giant water reserves

In an historic move, the Queensland government will establish two water reserves on Minjerribah (North Stradbroke Island) and transition tens of thousands of megalitres of water to the island’s Traditional Owners.

Up to 61,190 megalitres of water will be transferred to the Quandamooka people. Half will be permanently set aside for the environment and cultural use and the other half will be available for land rehabilitation and economic opportunities.

Jumpinpin, Australia South East Queensland Jumpinpin is a channel between North and South Stradbroke islands providing boating access from the coast on the mainland to the open sea
Traditional owners, the Quandamooka people, will have access to huge amounts of water previously used for sand mining on the island. Photograph: aeropix/Alamy

It comes after the Quandamooka people were given Native Title rights in Minjerribah in 2011.

The water minister, Glenn Butcher, says the reserves are only possible because of the cessation of sand mining.

The water transitioned to the Quandamooka people was previously used for sand mining on Minjerribah, which ended in 2019 after a 70-year operation.

Butcher said the reserves “are important for the future environmental health of the island and its ongoing rehabilitation”.

They also provide future economic opportunities for the Quandamooka people and support ongoing cultural values.”

Chief executive of the Quandamooka Yoolooburrabee Aboriginal Corporation, Stephen Wright, said he was “pleased” the government “had recognised the Quandamooka people as the Traditional Custodians of Minjerribah’s land and waters”.

Good morning

Hello and welcome to a special edition of politics live. The house is sitting today to pay tribute to Labor MP Peta Murphy, who died from breast cancer.

Murphy attended parliament last week, before returning home for palliative care. She was a rare MP who was loved across the chamber – the house will only sit today for her condolence motion. You have Amy Remeikis with you for most of the day – we will also cover the national cabinet decisions.

Australia jumps into moon exploration with new ‘Roo-ver’ lunar vehicle

Australians have chosen Roo-ver as the name for our first lunar vehicle, AAP reports, as the Australian Space Agency sets out to produce a locally made, semi-autonomous rover as part of NASA’s Artemis program later this decade.

The moon is seen through a telescope, at the Macquarie University Astronomical Observatory.
Australia’s first lunar rover is expected to land near the moon’s South Pole and operate for a fortnight. Photograph: Paul Braven/EPA

NASA scientists will attempt to extract oxygen from the soil Roo-ver recovers on the moon, which could be a giant leap towards a sustainable human presence.

Weighing about 20kg and roughly the size of a check-in suitcase, the rover is likely to land in the moon’s South Pole region and will operate for a fortnight, or about half a moon day.

Two Australian consortiums are working on Roo-ver prototypes that the space agency will choose from for the moon mission vehicle.

Australian Space Agency head Enrico Palermo says the mission will provide the nation with significant expertise and new technical skills that can be brought back to improve industries on Earth.

“Investing in missions like this lifts our whole nation, it makes our economy stronger and industries more advanced, it lifts our standing on the global stage, it keeps our brightest talent here,” he says.

The space agency will also announce a $1m funding injection for two Australian space companies, to develop more efficient solar cells to power satellites and innovative propulsion systems for small satellites.

The projects will help address climate change and the transition to a net-zero economy, while driving productivity through innovation, Palermo says

Watchdog ‘loses patience’ with Telstra

Telstra is paying the price after being caught overcharging customers for the third time since 2020, Australian Associated Press reports.

The telco giant will refund $21m to consumers charged for inactive internet services across an 11-year period, at an average of about $2,600 a customer.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) also stung Telstra with a $3m fine for breaching customer billing accuracy rules and breaking its direction to comply with its code after a similar issue in 2020.

Telstra signage at a store in Sydney, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014.
ACMA has lost patience with Telstra after it found the telco was once again incorrectly charging customers. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

The authority says most of the 6,532 customers overcharged between 2012 and 2023 were small businesses.

Its boss Nerida O’Loughlin was scathing in her assessment of Telstra’s conduct, saying her organisation had “lost patience” after the third recent breach.

In 2020, Telstra was caught overcharging customers almost $2.5 million across 12 years, before overcharging another $1.7m in 2022.

“Telstra has a history of incorrectly billing customers, and it’s just not good enough,” O’Loughlin said in a statement.

Telstra executive Dean Salter acknowledged getting billing wrong “isn’t acceptable” and apologised to the affected customers.

National cabinet meeting this morning

Sarah Basford Canales

Sarah Basford Canales

The financial sustainability of the NDIS scheme will be at the top of agenda this morning when the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, convenes a national cabinet meeting with state and territory leaders.

The leaders will meet from 10.30am to discuss how the scheme will look in the coming years amid concerns over forecasts the NDIS will surpass a total of $50bn in next year’s federal budget and may exceed $90bn a year within a decade.

Earlier this year, national cabinet agreed to cap the NDIS’s cost growth at 8% per year from 2026.

Today’s meeting will deal with the details of what needs to change to make that target a reality. It follows the release of a comprehensive NDIS review, which was handed to the states and territories in late October and will be publicly released on Thursday.

But the debate is expected to be a little more than fiery after warnings from the premiers and chief ministers all week that they will derail any NDIS discussions until the GST “no worse off” guarantee matter is dealt with.

Under the 2018 arrangement, which will expire in 2026-27, the jurisdictions get 70% of revenue collected within their borders as compensation from the commonwealth for GST shortfalls.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has forewarned any extension would result in “significant fiscal implications”. Chalmers added the matter was still a “live conversation” but a deal wouldn’t come at any cost.

He said on Tuesday ahead of the meeting:

“Our instinct and our inclination is to always work with the states and territories where that’s possible, where that’s responsible and where that’s affordable, and where we can advance our common interests. And that’s the approach that we take to the next 24 hours.”

Last night, Albanese hosted the premiers and chief ministers at the lodge so it’s possible some late night agreements were reached over a hot meal and some wine.

Beyond the NDIS, and the GST extension, the leaders will also discuss other priorities including the recent infrastructure funding changes, Medicare and broader health reforms and cooperating to keep Australians safe.


Good morning and a warm welcome to our rolling news coverage for today. I’m Martin Farrer, bringing you our top overnight stories before regular service resumes.

New figures paint a troubling picture of the health system with elective surgery wait times at their highest level on record, while nearly one in two patients are spending more than the recommended time in emergency departments. The number of people waiting more than a year for hip and knee replacement surgery has quadrupled since 2018-19. Medicare and health reforms will be on the agenda when the national cabinet meets this morning.

Australia Post will end daily letter deliveries next year under new rules relaxing the requirement for five-day-a-week delivery as it tries to stem losses that ballooned to $200m this year. The outcome of the postal service’s modernisation review, to be announced by the Albanese government today, means Australians will soon be receiving ordinary letters and unaddressed mail every other business day, a response to the long-term decline of letters and the company’s first loss in eight years.

Australia’s year 9 students have climbed into the top 10 of OECD countries, the latest Programme for International Student Assessment (Pisa) shows, but it’s not the good news that it sounds: we’re continuing a longer-term trend of national decline. The 2022 Pisa results, released last night, showed Australia’s overall performance was above the OECD average in all categories, after sitting at average for the first time in mathematics in 2018. Australia’s overall ranking went up but experts say it’s only because other countries have gone backwards.

The Australian rover due to collect soil from our planet’s favourite satellite has a name after a public vote. We’ll let you know the result soon!

And Brittany Higgins has finished her cross-examination in Bruce Lehrmann’s defamation trial against Network Ten and Lisa Wilkinson – but the defence case continues, and we’ll bring you all the developments. In the meantime, here is our latest report.

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