A parliamentary motion proclaiming “it is okay to be white” by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson was narrowly defeated in the Senate on Monday after gaining support from the government. The phrase, which has extensive roots in white supremacist and neo-Nazi organisations, gained popularity online during the presidential campaign of then-Republican candidate Donald Trump. Senator Derryn Hinch, who voted against the motion, said he was “disgusted the Liberals and Nationals voted with her”. Government senators Mathias Cormann and Ian Macdonald were among those absent for the vote, while Indigenous affairs minister Nigel Scullion was among those who voted for it.
Prime minister Scott Morrison will announce today that the federal government will follow the lead of United States president Donald Trump on several major foreign policy issues. Speaking to The Australian ($), Morrison said Liberal candidate for Wentworth and former ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, had persuaded him to consider moving Australia’s Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy in May was widely criticised by Muslim nations and the European Union as being detrimental to the Israel-Palestine peace process. Morrison also announced that the government would review Australia’s support for the Obama-era nuclear agreement with Iran.
Federal agriculture minister David Littleproud has criticised supermarket chains Coles and Aldi for not doing enough to help dairy farmers affected by drought. Speaking to ABC News Breakfast on Monday, Littleproud called Coles’ 10-cent farmer’s levy on three-litre Coles-brand milk an “empty media stunt” that had done “bugger-all” to help farmers, accusing the chain of being “either lazy or at best being slippery”. Littleproud also said that Aldi, which has not implemented a levy scheme, could “go jam it”. In August Littleproud was booed by a Q&A audience in Lismore after declaring he didn’t “give a rat’s” if droughts were exacerbated by human-induced climate change.
And leading candidates in the upcoming Wentworth byelection have clashed on climate change, refugee policy and preferences at a debate in Bondi. Labor candidate Tim Murray said opposition leader Bill Shorten had not visited the electorate because the byelection was “a sideshow” compared with the upcoming general election. Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps took issue with Liberal candidate Dave Sharma’s promise to push for a workable climate policy, saying he would “have to vote with a government that doesn’t believe that climate change is real and doesn't have a policy on climate change”. Neither Murray nor Sharma attended an earlier candidates’ forum organised by Wentworth for Refugees, at which Phelps, fellow independent Licia Heath, the Greens’ Dominic Wy Kanak and the Science Party’s Andrea Leong condemned mandatory offshore processing.