Katter’s Australia Party senator Fraser Anning has praised the White Australia Policy and spoke of a “final solution to the immigration problem”. Delivering his inaugural address in the Senate yesterday, the Queensland senator said “we as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European-Christian composition of Australian society” and called for a ban on Muslim immigration. “Not all Muslims are terrorists, but certainly all terrorists these days are Muslim, so why would anyone want to bring more of them here?” Fraser said. Speaking in the House of Representatives in response, Labor immigration spokesperson Tony Burke said the “silence” of the federal government in response to growing racist rhetoric “is everything to fear”. “There has to be a point when this parliament says ‘enough’. And if we haven’t reached that point tonight, then for some of us there is, apparently, no limit at all,” Burke said.
The National Energy Guarantee is in jeopardy after Coalition backbenchers threatened to cross the floor and vote against the energy plan. While most Coalition MPs agreed to endorse the NEG in a marathon joint party-room meeting on Monday, conservative backbenchers Tony Abbott, Andrew Hastie, Eric Abetz, Craig Kelly, Tony Pasin, Andrew Gee, Barry O’Sullivan and George Christensen reserved the right to cross the floor when legislation to establish the scheme reaches the floor of parliament. In a statement on Facebook, Abbott expressed reservations about ratifying the carbon reduction commitments Australia signed up to as part of the Paris agreement to fight climate change. “When the big emitters are not meeting Paris, why should we?” Abbott said. Labor energy spokesperson Mark Butler said on Friday that the NEG needed to promote robust emissions targets and renewable energy investment to secure bipartisan support.
Financial services group Colonial First State has admitted ($) to breaking the law more than 15,000 times after failing to move customers from high-fee to low-fee superannuation accounts. The royal commission into the banking and financial industries heard on Monday that CFS executive general manager Linda Elkins admitted CFS, the wealth management arm of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, misled customers at least three times in an effort to convince them to keep their savings in the company’s First Choice Super fund. The Australian Prudential Regulation Authority failed to prosecute CFS for the breaches, which occurred between 2014 and 2017, and would carry a maximum penalty of $160 million today.
And flight attendants for budget airline Jetstar have spoken out about underpayment and poor conditions. Speaking to the ABC, former Jetstar attendant Pojchara Kosolchuenvijit said cabin crews flying between Australia and popular tourist destinations such as Thailand and Bali were often required to work 20-hour shifts, and were paid as little as $100 a week. Jetstar staff have also complained about the airline’s new practice of using Thai-based crews for domestic flights to save on wages, with an unnamed pilot saying they were “not entirely satisfied this arrangement complies with Australian workplace law”.