Outgoing Liberal MP Julia Banks has called on the federal government to remove all children and their families from offshore detention on Nauru. Speaking in Parliament on Thursday, Banks said “nothing should be stopping or delaying our getting these sick children, and their families, off Nauru”. “The political games and distractions of both parties have disgracefully played out in this place and in the meantime the situation on Nauru with sick children has reached a crisis point,” Banks said. The member for Chisholm announced she would not recontest her seat after the events surrounding the August leadership spill, although a subsequent email to supporters suggested she may run as an independent.
Greens and crossbench MPs are preparing to test the federal government’s new minority status by introducing a bill that would establish a federal anti-corruption commission. Greens senator Larissa Waters will move the motion when the Senate next sits in November, triggering a debate in the House of Representatives, where Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie is expected to support it. All six crossbenchers have expressed their support for an anti-corruption body, with likely new Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps describing it as “something that is very achievable”.
Queensland senator Fraser Anning has been expelled from Katter’s Australia Party. Speaking at Parliament House on Thursday, KAP leader Bob Katter said the party disendorsed Anning due to a motion he brought before the Senate proposing a plebiscite on restricting non-European immigration. “Ninety-nine per cent of what Senator Anning has been saying is solid gold,” Katter said. “However, there is one per cent of what he is saying that is totally unacceptable.”. In his first parliamentary speech in August, Anning called for “a final solution to the immigration problem”, invoking language widely associated with the Holocaust. In September, Anning addressed ($) a rally organised by neo-Nazi group True Blue Crew. The federal Labor Party had considered preferencing a Liberal-National Party candidate ahead of Katter at the next federal election, a move that would likely cost Katter his seat.
And New South Wales opposition leader Luke Foley has suggested several unnamed state government ministers may have engaged in inappropriate conduct or harassment. Earlier this week, federal Liberal senator Eric Abetz questioned ABC acting managing director David Anderson over allegations Foley drunkenly harassed a female ABC journalist at a function in 2016. Speaking in Question Time on Wednesday, Foley replied to a government MP calling on him to stand aside by saying he we welcomed an investigation “to talk about you and you and you and you” while gesturing at several ministers.