One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said an inadequate response to the Westpac scandal prompted her surprise blocking of the Morrison government’s crackdown on unions. Hanson, who with fellow One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts, unexpectedly voted with Labor, the Greens, and independent Jacqui Lambie against the reforms after the government had accepted her amendments to the bill, said the Prime Minister’s handling of the Westpac money-laundering scandal was “not good enough”. “Clean up the white-collar crime, go after the banking officials and prove to the people of Australia that you're here for everyone,” Hanson said. Labor and unions had made the Westpac comparison a key element of the campaign against the legislation. Attorney-General Christian Porter said the government intended to reintroduce it “at an appropriate time” in the future. “It's for Pauline Hanson to explain why she voted against a bill that met every requirement she sought through extensive consultation,” Porter said.
Medevac repeal: The defeat on unions comes ahead of the Morrison government attempt to win the crossbench over to its repeal of medical evacuation laws for asylum seekers. Lambie said she was willing to support the rollback provided one condition was met, which she would not discuss publicly. “There's a game of trust there between myself, the PM and Minister Dutton and I will not put that at risk,” she said on Thursday. Media reports tied the condition to resettling asylum seekers in offshore detention in New Zealand. In news related to medevac, the Federal Court has unanimously dismissed a federal government appeal against a ruling that the government must consider medical transfer applications from asylum seekers in Nauru who have been prevented from having teleconsultations with Australian doctors. The Nauruan government had imposed regulations keeping refugees from consulting with doctors registered overseas. The Human Rights Law Centre said the Federal Court’s unanimous ruling on Thursday highlights the government’s “bloody-mindedness”.
Labor blocks Taylor travel: Guardian Australia reports that Labor has denied Environment Minister Angus Taylor a parliamentary pair to attend energy and climate events in Europe next week, due to the police investigation into the origins of a doctored document he used to attack the lord mayor of Sydney. Meanwhile, The Age reports that Trade Minister Simon Birmingham intends to fight back against a French initiative to force Australia to adopt climate change targets in free-trade negotiations with the European Union. “We're completely committed to meeting our [Paris climate] targets and we've always met and exceeded our targets, but I think it would be unprecedented to see those type of provisions proposed in an agreement,” he said. The European Parliament on Thursday voted to formally declare a climate emergency, ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference starting in Madrid next week. In the United Kingdom election, Channel 4 held a leaders debate on climate change, with the absent Prime Minister Boris Johnson represented by a melting ice sculpture.
Verbeek death: Former Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has died at the age of 63 after a years-long struggle with cancer. The Dutchman led Australia through qualification to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. In 2016 he took on his final role in the game, as the coach of Oman.