Friday, October 26, 2018

Banks calls for kids off Nauru

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.



“As the world warms, it will undergo a phase change: like water molecules falling out of their crystalline patterns in a melting iceblock, everything we know will shift and rearrange itself. Flows of air and water will wander, rainfall will migrate, seas will rise, cyclones will range further from the equator, old ways of living will become impossible, and habitats and societies will transform and collapse.”


“There was a moment last July, standing on stage before an expectant audience under the sails of the Sydney Opera House, when Caroline O’Connor wondered if she was in the right place. In 34 years of live musical-theatre performance in fabled venues in London, New York and Paris, she’d never experienced an instant of indecision. But this night was different.”


“On February 7, 2009, following 12 years of drought, and on a day when temperatures soared to 45 degrees, bushfires burned across the state of Victoria. The fires, of unprecedented ferocity, killed 173 people, injured hundreds more, and a million animals perished in the flames as well. The fires reduced 3500 buildings, 2000 of them people’s homes, to char and rubble.”


“Two years after trying to ban greyhound racing, the NSW government’s contribution to the industry is set to exceed $70 million. An amendment to the state’s point of consumption tax laws, which passed late on Tuesday night, will result in a forecast extra $32 million flowing to the industry over the next four years.”


“Australian human rights lawyers have called out the NSW government for its ‘extraordinarily archaic’ position on abortion and urged the state to follow Queensland’s example. NSW is the only remaining Australian state where abortion is still a crime after the Queensland parliament on Wednesday night passed laws to legalise abortion up to 22 weeks’ gestation.”


“Queen Princess Meghorn United Kingdom Duchess and a small red haired man landed in New Zealand, Aotearoa, Middle Earth, today to huge fanfare. Dozens of royal enthusiasts lined the street holding celebratory buckets of KFC to share with the princely couple. Duchess Magayn was extremely pregnant and wore a loose dress very pregnantly to hide her pregnant belly, which was indeed with child.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.