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Australia politics live: Labor blocks Zoe Daniel’s push to ban gambling ads but promises ‘comprehensive’ response to issue | Australian politics

Australia politics live: Labor blocks Zoe Daniel’s push to ban gambling ads but promises ‘comprehensive’ response to issue | Australian politics

Labor blocks debate on gambling ads bill, but promises ‘comprehensive’ plan

Paul Karp

The leader of the house, Tony Burke, has explained although the government won’t allow Zoe Daniel’s private member’s bill to ban gambling ads to be debated, this is not to be taken as opposing the principle behind the bill.

Burke said:

I assure the house, the government is committed to ensuring online gambling takes place within a robust framework with strong consumer protections. Like many Australians we too as the government are concerned about gambling ads and their impact.”

Burke noted there is an inquiry into gambling advertising reporting within weeks. He said the government wants a “comprehensive” response, considering ads across multiple channels including TV, radio, outdoor, branding, and social media. So the government will await the report.

Updated at 20.35 EDT

Key events

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Paul Karp

Paul Karp

The home affairs minister, Clare O’Neil, has responded to the high court quashing her decision to refuse a convicted people smuggler a visa.

O’Neil said:

I am aware of today’s decision by the High Court and I am considering its implications. I can confirm I refused an application for a Safe Haven Enterprise visa on national interest grounds. The visa applicant has previously been convicted of a people smuggling offence. I will not be commenting further on the circumstances of the matter.”

The national press club address today will be given by AMA president, Professor Steve Robson.

You’ll be hearing a lot about Medicare. And also what needs to be done given a health system in crisis, including GPs.

We’ll bring you bits and pieces from the speech and the Q&A.

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Updated at 22.33 EDT

South Australian budget goes into the red

For those wondering how the South Australian budget is going, AAP has an update:

The South Australian government has rolled out more budget spending on health despite a significant deterioration in the state’s finances during the past six months.

Thursday’s financial blueprint will reveal a plunge into the red of $249 million for 2022-23 after the government predicted a $203m surplus in the December mid-year budget review.

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The reversal of fortune follows increased spending on health, the impact of summer’s flooding down the Murray and lower-than-expected GST returns.

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan says he still expects a budget surplus in 2023-24 with the details to be outlined with the release of the budget papers.

He says the government will continue to focus on health spending as well as helping combat the housing crisis and relieve cost-of-living pressures.

The treasurer has also pledged to honour Labor’s promise of no new or increased taxes:

The last thing we want to see is what Victoria has done and that is embark on really significant increases in expenditure and then eight years later realise they’ve got to start rapidly increasing the tax burden on their community.

Updated at 22.26 EDT
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The Local Government Association is in town, which means there are a lot of mayors and councillors in Canberra. Peter Dutton addressed the conference today, and was asked this question by a member of the crowd:

Economic conditions worsening, index finds

Following on the heels of yesterday’s surveys showing consumer and business confidence was falling, here is another index showing much the same thing. As AAP reports:

Consumer confidence has sunk to another post-pandemic low following the 12th interest rate rise in 13 months.

Morale has been low for several months in response to cost of living pressures and interest rate hikes and has now fallen to its lowest level since the Covid-19 lockdowns sent confidence levels plummeting in April 2020.

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The ANZ and Roy Morgan’s weekly index fell 3.1 points over the week, led by solid falls in current and future economic conditions.

The “current economic conditions” indicator fell 3.5 points and “future economic conditions” sunk 3.1 points.

ANZ senior economist Adelaide Timbrell said:

Confidence fell among renters, outright owners and those paying off their homes, though those paying off their homes fell to a record low

The poor result follows another interest rate rise in June and posturing from the Reserve Bank suggesting there is more tightening to come. The 25 basis point hike in June brought the official cash rate to 4.1%.

Pitt street mall
Shoppers at Sydney’s Pitt street mall. Photograph: Bloomberg/Getty Images
Updated at 22.07 EDT
Paul Karp

Paul Karp

Government loses bid to deny convicted people smuggler protection visa

Also in the high court this morning, the commonwealth lost a case defending the home affairs minister, Clare O’Neil’s, decision to refuse a convicted people smuggler a protection visa.

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The plaintiff is an Iranian Christian man to whom Australia owes protection obligations due to his fear of religious persecution but both Peter Dutton and O’Neil denied him a visa on the grounds that granting one would be against the national interest.

The man arrived by boat without a visa in December 2013. He was charged and pleaded guilty to aggravated people smuggling, and was sentenced to eight years in prison (four without parole) in October 2017.

The New South Wales district court judge had found the man was motivated by desperation to be reunited with his family, who had arrived in Australia in 2012 and received protection visas, not by a financial motive, and was unlikely to reoffend.

In June, O’Neil rejected his application for a safe haven enterprise visa, finding “the importance of protecting and safeguarding Australia’s territorial and border integrity” meant it was not in the national interest. All other criteria for the visa were satisfied.

On Wednesday a majority of four justices of the high court quashed the decision to refuse the man’s visa application. Their reasoning was that “national interest” considerations are “not intended to be a trump card for the minister” where the applicant otherwise meets requirements.

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They said the government’s interpretation would “leave the assessment of whether it is in the national interest for a person who is found to be a refugee to be refused a protection visa to the subjective evaluation of the minister or a delegate on a case‑by-case basis, unconstrained by any of the other provisions that govern the decision to grant or refuse a protection visa”.

O’Neil now has 14 days to determine the application in accordance with the law.

Updated at 21.42 EDT

Dutton to give speech at IPA

The IPA has announced that Peter Dutton will deliver a keynote address to members at the Institute of Public Affairs on 7 July.

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IPA deputy executive director Daniel Wild said Dutton was providing the nation leadership:

Over recent months, Peter Dutton has drawn a sharper distinction between the opposition and the government on key policy issues facing mainstream Australia, such as the Voice, energy, education, and migration, which has kickstarted debates Australia needs to have.

Updated at 21.38 EDT

Inquiry into unpaid care work announced

The house has set up an inquiry into the recognition of unpaid care work.

Labor MP Peta Murphyis chairing the committee and said:

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This inquiry will examine the effectiveness of the Act in acknowledging and raising awareness of the important role of unpaid carers in Australian society, and will consider if legislative reform is needed.
The committee wants to hear from individual unpaid carers, carers’ representatives and advocacy organisations so it can make meaningful recommendations to government.

The committee is seeking written submissions, ideally of no more than 10 pages, on the inquiry terms of reference by Friday, 11 August 2023.

The inquiry is not considering the adequacy of payments for carers.

Updated at 21.30 EDT

Paul Karp has reported that Bridget Archer has joined Andrew Bragg’s call for an inquiry into how Brittany Higgins’ text messages were leaked:

Liberals Andrew Bragg and Bridget Archer have broken ranks to call for an inquiry into how Brittany Higgins’ text messages were leaked, with Bragg labelling debate in the Senate where the Coalition is pursuing Katy Gallagher “very ugly”.
The pair made the call after the finance minister denied misleading the Senate about her knowledge of Higgins’ allegation before it aired and Network Ten asked the Australian federal police to investigate how Higgins’ texts became public.
Gallagher told Senate estimates in June 2021 that “no one had any knowledge” of Higgins’ allegation before it was aired. That comment has been called into question by text exchanges between Higgins and her partner, David Sharaz, published by the Australian newspaper.

Albanese, Nathan, Nat and Shaun at the Lodge

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Anthony Albanese has spoken to Perth radio Nova Breakfast hosts Nathan, Nat and Shaun this morning – because he invited the trio over to the Lodge for dinner, and then carried out the stunt.

Apparently they found some “real humanity” at the Lodge, but there is a “real uncomfortable” couch in the sitting room that has been there since the 1950s.

That’s pretty much the whole point of the interview – talking about their dinner at the Lodge.

Just another day in Australian politics where FM radio hosts get to invite themselves over for dinner at the prime minister’s taxpayer funded Canberra residence and then have a good laugh about it the next day on radio.

(This is on the back of Albanese also attending FM radio host Kyle Sandilands’ wedding because he had told him he would. On his FM radio show)

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Updated at 21.03 EDT

Crossbench wants citizens’ assembly on housing

Crossbench MPs are coming together to ask for “a new way of dealing with housing”, proposing a citizens’ assembly of housing affordability.

The joint statement explains:

The Citizens’ Assembly of Housing Affordability would bring together 100 randomly selected but carefully balanced ordinary Australians including renters, buyers, owners, mortgage holders, investors, rural, urban, regional, young, old, men and women, to examine the evidence, question experts, and develop a consensus for future policy that reflects the needs of everyone.
Housing affordability has proved to be an intractable problem for our party-political system but it’s exactly the sort of impasse that the deliberative democracy process of Citizens’ Assembly can break through.
The Citizens’ Assembly model has been used around the world on difficult issues. It was used by the French government on climate policy, and in Ireland to provide a path to law reform on marriage equality and abortion. In Australia it been used constructively at state and local government levels, but, it has never been applied at the federal government level.

The crossbench has written to the treasurer and housing minister with the proposal, which they believe can be established “for less than the price of two average houses”.

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Updated at 20.58 EDT

GetUp unhappy with Labor over Middle Arm gas development

You may have seen this in the blog late yesterday – the government blocked an attempt to establish an inquiry into the Middle Arm gas development hub in Darwin.

As Anne Davies reported yesterday:

The Labor government has blocked a Senate inquiry into the proposed Middle Arm development in the Northern Territory, despite an earlier Senate inquiry into development of the Beetaloo basin recommending a follow up inquiry.
Although Labor had indicated it would support the recommendations from the earlier Beetaloo inquiry, Labor joined the Coalition to vote down a Greens motion to set up the further inquiry.
The Federal government has committed $1.5bn toward the maritime infrastructure for the huge Middle Arm development in Darwin Harbour, which is being promoted by the NT government as a “sustainable precinct” that will run on renewables and be a hub for new decarbonising industries such as green hydrogen and mineral processing for batteries.
But environmentalists fear that the huge investment in Middle Arm will inevitably lead to an expansion of gas in the Northern Territory and make Beetaloo a foregone conclusion and result in “a carbon bomb” that will make it impossible for Australia to reach its pledge to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Labor said it was opposing a review by the senate as the project was at an early stage and would go through other reviews including a strategic environmental assessment.

There are a lot of people angry at that development – including GetUp chief executive and Widjabul Wia-bal woman Larissa Baldwin-Roberts.

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Yesterday, the Albanese government broke a massive promise. They continue to let down traditional owners.
It seems Labor has forgotten the mandate on which they were elected just over a year ago. They supported the Beetaloo inquiry and the recommendation that the Middle Arm gas hub undergo additional scrutiny just two months ago.

Two men fishing in the Elizabeth River near the Middle Arm facility
Two men fishing in the Elizabeth River which flows into Darwin Harbour in the Northern Territory, near the Middle Arm facility. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Updated at 21.34 EDT

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Amy Remeikis

Published: 2023-06-14 03:22:34

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