Let's blow this popsicle stand. Thanks for your company throughout the sitting week. Thanks to Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen for lovely visuals.
Go well Pulsers, until we meet again.
Let's do the evening summary.
Today in federal politics:
- Valentines Day dawned with the Foreign Minister Bob Carr under pressure over the treatment of Australian man Ben Zygier, who died in mysterious circumstances in an Israeli prison.
- There was a flurry over income taxes after the Treasurer Wayne Swan refused to rule out future increases on morning radio.
- The Treasurer cleaned up quickly, once the issue kicked into the morning news cycle. Mr Swan's opposite number Joe Hockey, then had to play the rule-in rule out game himself.
- A Coalition consultation paper on the development of dams up north leaked - prompting a discussion of who was a big dam person and who was not, and whether these dams being proposed were magic dams or just dams that couldn't be delivered because the policy was uncosted.
- Question Time saw Coalition wags attempting to deliver Valentines Day chocolate to Kevin Rudd, who hadn't gathered quite enough publicity in their humble opinion.
- Mr Rudd meanwhile did quite well enough on his own getting noticed. Mr Everywhere was, indeed, everywhere.
More fun to wind down with. Rocco Fazzari has prepared this animation on Tony Abbott and going north. Enjoy!
Photos without Notice.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard examines a chocolate rose left at the Table Photo: Andrew Meares
Photos without Notice.
Kelly O' You Shouldn't Have
Kevin Rudd receives a rose from Kelly O'Dwyer Photo: Andrew Meares
Photos without Notice.
A coalition of the heart.
Andrew Hirst media adviser to Opposition Leader Tony Abbott shares his rose with Bronwyn Bishop and John Cobb Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Photos without Notice.
Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne and Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Let's ease toward the evening with chief photographer Andrew Meares and Photos without Notice.
This is Andrew's daily selection of frames from Question Time.
Let's take a few moments to think about the parliamentary week.
It's been a messy week for Labor, with a debate about the mining tax front and centre.
That debate has kept the focus on the Treasurer Wayne Swan. In case the focus was going to move away from Mr Swan, Kevin Rudd ensured it didn't. He made sure that voters and readers linked Mr Swan directly and inexorably with the under performance of the mining tax.
The pressure of all that showed this week - and Mr Swan isn't great at hiding his nerves.
I think this act of provocation by Kevin Rudd is quite deliberate in a strategic sense, as well as confirmation of the complete breakdown in relations between the two lads from Nambour (should further confirmation have been required!) Labor's internal leadership dynamic is as much a contest between Mr Rudd and Mr Swan as it is between Mr Rudd and Julia Gillard. Mr Swan doesn't want Mr Rudd to come back, and has thus far succeeded in holding him out. So it's a test of wills. And there are those newspaper opinion polls coming at the weekend. It explains the step up in profile this week. And you get a sense that things behind the scenes are shifting a little.
And the Coalition?
Tony Abbott's gear shift in presentation is interesting.
I think his speech on the Act of Recognition was really outstanding. It drew a line over the indigenous politics of the Howard era. Indigenous affairs is a policy area Mr Abbott cares deeply about, and the sincerity showed.
As for those magic dams - it gives us all something to chew over; a sense of a policy debate to come.
But the Coalition is going to have to pick it up on the fine print. Vision in politics is all well and good, but detail and precision and coherence is good too.
It was something about the combination of the last sitting day, Valentines Day, hearts and magic dams that made me think of this.
From the desk of Bob Katter.
Damn them magic dams.
"It is not the intention of the Liberal National Party to actually deliver these projects. When they build these dams, who is going to use them? The farmers and graziers won't because their industry is one that you can't make a quid out of any more. It costs $400m to build a single dam so 100 dams will cost $40 billion. Where does the LNP suppose they will get the money from? And who will it help because it won't help our dying agriculture industry."
Parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer Bernie Ripoll has taken the MPI debate for Labor.
Mr Ripoll points out that Mr Smith talked for twenty minutes in the debate and only spoke of superannuation for five.
I fear Mr Ripoll has embarked on the same strategy.
Outside the chamber, Mr Hockey wants to make sure nobody missed Mr Swan's slip on the unemployment rate during Question Time.
Swan gets facts wrong again today and needs to correct record on jobless from 5.1% to 5.4%. Hopeless.... Just hopeless— Joe Hockey (@JoeHockey) February 14, 2013
Victorian Liberal Tony Smith is taking up the issue of superannuation in the matter of public importance debate.
Labor needs to stop playing with people's retirement savings, is the message. Mr Smith says Labor has imposed $8 billion worth of new taxes on super since coming to office.
Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane is backing in the effort on social media.
After a couple of last questions, on education funding, the mining tax and what the United States might do on carbon pricing in the wake of President Obama's state of the union address yesterday; the Prime Minister has asked that further questions be placed on the notice paper.
Mr Swan gets a question on Mum and Dad - if Mum and Dad ran the house like you run the Budget it would have all gone to pot by now.
The Treasurer uses the opportunity to roll out the case studies of how Mum and Dad are better off. Mum and Dad would have a mortgage. They are paying $5,000 less a year on their home loan.
There was a brief digression about how Mum and Dad would have had to convert the house to a tent if the Coalition was in government during the global financial crisis.
Fortunately, that is now over.
In his answer to Mr Pyne, Mr Swan said Australia's unemployment rate was 5.1 per cent. An outstanding performance.
Mr Hockey whips up to the dispatch box. What is the current employment rate, Mr Hockey inquires of Mr Swan.
5.4 per cent, Mr Swan notes.
"I did make a mistake."
Mr Swan is now being challenged on the government's job creation record.
Manager of Opposition business Christopher Pyne raises job creation in countries like Mexico and Chile.
Mr Swan is letting fly with a fruit smoothie. Mr Pyne is mixing apples and oranges and pears.
It sure is Thursday down there.
Is the Treasurer aware the mining companies have accumulated more than a billion in credits to be offset against their tax liabilities?
This question is from Liberal deputy leader Julie Bishop.
The Treasurer says he is aware, because these figures have been published by the companies.
The resources industry also provides a real time fact check to Ms Bishop via social media.
Ben Mitchell is spokesman for the Minerals Council of Australia.
Memo for Julie Bishop - it's a deferred tax asset. A standard feature of all tax design. #QT— Ben Mitchell (@1Ben_Mitchell) February 14, 2013
Kelly O'Dwyer Liberal backbencher delivers a Valentines Day chocolate rose to ALP backbencher Kevin Rudd. Photo: Andrew Meares
Trade Minister Craig Emerson is letting fly with a barrage of dam puns.
Looks like Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer succeeded in her Valentines delivery.
Water Minister Tony Burke gets the predictable dam Dorothy Dixer.
Mr Burke contends the dams envisaged by the Coalition in their consultation paper are magic dams.
"Only the Opposition could up with a policy where dams would be always full, always empty and always flowing."
Mr Burke is continuing on funding. If there is to be private funding of dams, will there be tolls? The increased prices will flow through production to consumers.
For moi? Photo: Andrew Meares
Nationals leader Warren Truss wants the Prime Minister to provide pre-Budget certainty concerning superannuation.
While the Prime Minister responds, Coalition MPs are attempting to deliver Valentines Day chocolates to Labor's most famous backbencher, Mr Rudd. There are efforts to suppress the spontaneous outbreak of good will.
Now the former Speaker, Peter Slipper - who has the cross bench question today - is inquiring about roads and congestion on a road in his electorate.
Anthony Albanese, with portfolio hat on, is taking the question.
Mr Swan is currently very exercised about the Coalition's dams proposal.
There is a reference to a hole in the Coalition's policy dyke.
Shadow treasury spokesman Joe Hockey is back now with a tax question. He asks the Treasurer, Mr Swan, given you rule out various tax changes all the time, why didn't you rule out increasing personal income tax rates when you were on the radio this morning?
Mr Swan says he's delighted to get this question. He says the Coalition has a set of policies to smash hard working Australians.
Mr Hockey is back. Will you rule out increasing income taxes in this budget, yes or no?
Mr Swan: "We will not be increasing personal income taxes."
Mr Abbott seeks a further supplementary. Given the Treasurer ruled out a carbon tax before the last election, how can anyone believe your reassurance?
Mr Swan says only one party in the parliament has a proposal to increase taxes, and its not Labor.
The Prime Minister looks less than impressed with her Valentines Day gift from Opposition whip Warren Entsch.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard examines a Valentines Day chocolate rose left as a gift on her desk by Chief Opposition Whip Warren Entsch. Photo: Andrew Meares
Here is Question Time, opening on the mining tax. Is the Prime Minister happy with the outcome she negotiated on the mining tax?
Prime Minister Gillard responds by declaring Mr Abbott has made a major gaffe today. She says he supports the current company tax rate, which calls into question his commitment to his paid parental leave scheme.
We'll take that as a comment.
Now just before Question Time, a couple of 'take note' things.
Mining tax first.
- The Greens have a private members bill on the go designed to plug revenue gaps in the mining tax. This bill proposes to tighten up the royalties problem.
- Today, they have announced they will amend their original proposal to stop the big miners lowering their exposure to the mining tax by claiming depreciation.
- So now it's royalties, plus depreciation.
- This bill is expected to be considered in the next parliamentary sitting week.
Now research funding.
If you were with us on The Pulse Live last week, we covered an effort by Green deputy leader Adam Bandt and Liberal Kelly O'Dwyer to pass a motion calling on parliament to protect research funding. This motion failed last week because the numbers were not quite there for an absolute majority.
Labor opposed the motion.
This morning, the very same motion passed on the voices.
There was no division, so the fact the government has technically lost a vote stayed below the radar.
I reckon that's the first time a motion, sponsored by the Greens and the Coalition, has been passed by the House of Representatives. If I'm wrong, I know Pulsers will correct me.
I see there's a very good discussion underway in the comments about 'to dam or not to dam'.
Tim Lester has gathered some voices for a discussion on Breaking Politics on the dams consultation paper today.
More brain food for your lunch break.
Coalition defends dam strategy
The opposition leader and his water and treasury spokesmen have all defended a Coalition draft plan identifying $30bn in potential dam developments nationwide.PT2M20S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-2eepl 620 349 February 14, 2013
Big dam dreaming. How to fund new dams up north?
National Senator Barnaby Joyce on Sky News was flagging a mix of things: public and private funding. And private companies, like mines, might build dams themselves.
Interesting concept - private dams. Will they remain private, or could they be subject to third-party access claims? If we are talking private investment, is that likely to be superannuation funds?
Lots of meaty questions.
"Now some of these dams will require public funding and at the last election I had half a billion dollars put away in my portfolio as seed capital to this purpose.
Some of them will require private funding and ... myself and (my) chief of staff, Matt Canavan designed the infrastructure partnership scheme which is a mechanism to attract funds from private investment to invest in this nation building infrastructure.
Some of them don't need anything because in such areas as the mining industry they require water to get coal mines up and they'll build them."
It's one of those vaguely scrappy days where we might need a quick summary of where we are at while you down your el desko lunch.
Running today in politics:
- There's continuing debate over the mining tax, (which segued briefly into a 'rule-in rule out' exercise concerning whether income taxes would need to rise in order to patch holes in the Budget.)
- Foreign Minister Bob Carr is under some pressure about what the government knew about a Melbourne man who died in in mysterious circumstances in an Israeli prison.
- Leaking dams - so to speak. A leaked Coalition consultation paper has flagged a proposal to build a number of new dams in north of Australia.
- And what's Kevin up to?
Have a heart Steve.
Mr Rudd and Liberal Steve Ciobo, together, for heart Kids.
Roses are red, violets are blue. If you don't have a date, Question Time starts at 2 :) KRudd #electionvalentines— Kevin Rudd (@KRuddMP) February 14, 2013
Kevin Rudd and Steve Ciobo wearing their HeartKids badges. Photo: Andrew Meares
Greens leader Christine Milne meanwhile is keeping up political pressure concerning the case of Prisoner X - Melbournian Ben Zygier.
(Posts from earlier today will give you the background on this story.)
The government, she says, has questions to answer. Why was Mr Zygier's welfare in effect handed over to the spooks, Senator Milne inquires. Why were the diplomats sidelined?
Shadow spokesman for climate action, Greg Hunt, on radio this morning.
Not-so-big dam dreaming.
HOST: Can I just clarify what the status of the discussion paper is? Are you actively considering a plan that would involve 100 dams or have you dismissed it?
GREG HUNT: What we have set out is a vision for Northern Australia and linked to that is a vision for new dams. We haven't set out any dams at all. What we have set out is a list of proposals for other people. But the key to this is that we are looking for the long term – looking at things such as Australia being a food bowl, flood security. These are important steps forward and we are proud of establishing a vision. But these are draft papers and, in particular, it's not about any decision on any particular dam, that's a long-term process, and it's certainly not going to be misconstrued by the Government, although they will attempt to do that. But it's the difference between people setting out a vision, working it out with the community and having what we now see today potentially a $4 billion black hole because the carbon tax estimates, just like the mining tax estimates, are in chaos.
HOST: So the 100 dams: it's not a proposal as such, it's not policy as such, but you're considering it?
GREG HUNT: No, the Coalition has put together a draft discussion paper. The findings of the task group will be formally released and updated as the year progresses. So there's no decision on any specific dam, any specific proposal at this stage.
HOST: Do you see merit yourself in these proposals?
GREG HUNT: Well we'll let the public comment on individual proposals but those are submissions. Now some may be a good idea, some may be a bad idea, but that's chronicled - a list of submissions to the task group.
It is very interesting - the new developmentalism. We debated this on The Pulse Live last week, and I pondered it in a column I wrote for The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald last weekend.
While the ideas we've seen to date from the Coalition are works in progress, they underscore the fact that Tony Abbott has quite different instincts to those that dominated in the Howard/Costello era. Mr Abbott is comfortable with the notion that governments are activist. Not all Liberals share that world view.
Chief political correspondent of The Sydney Morning Herald, Lenore Taylor, has been thinking about big dam dreaming.
For a party that has been begging for an election ever since we had the last one, and insisting that it is ready to govern, some of the Coalition's policy ideas look decidedly underdone. The latest leak – of a plan to build up to 100 dams across Australia and create a new foodbowl in the north – is the latest example of a thought bubble masquerading as a policy.
Both sides of politics have at times waxed lyrical about the potential of agricultural production in the north to help feed the booming population of Asia, and the attraction of the idea is obvious.
But in a curious reversal of their traditional ideological stances, Labor emphasises market-driven ways to open up the region and the Coalition talks about expensive big government intervention in building dams and providing new tax breaks and the like.
Do we really have a dam phobia?
This is a serious question, future water security being a big public policy issue.
Meanwhile, Mr Rudd has taken to his Facebook page to address matters of the heart.
Mr Abbott has moved on from the taxis to a Queanbeyan policeman, who is endorsing the concept of more CCTV cameras. The policeman exits stage right, and Mr Abbott is now taking questions from reporters.
How about that leak on the dams?
"I'm pleased that our dams consultation paper was circulated for consultation. It's not a final paper, but it is a good paper. The Australian people are hungry for a vision."
What is this thing exactly?
"It's a draft consultation paper. We've been touring the country, getting people's advice and input. In the end there's a process that would have to be gone through before dams get built."
Mr Abbott adds that Australia needs to get over its current dam phobia. "We certainly shouldn't have this Green extremism that says all dams are bad everywhere."
When will we see more policies?
"We've released a large number of specific policy commitments. You'll see more documentation come out in the weeks and months ahead."
Tax? Will you put taxes up?
"I absolutely guarantee to the Australian people that the tax burden would be lower under a Coalition government."
Mr Abbott contends it's chaos within the government right now. Labor's faceless men have not yet resolved who they want to be Prime Minister. The Coalition by contrast is stable.
The rule-in, rule-out game. Treasurer Wayne Swan had to play on radio this morning as we noted in the post at 10.26am. (Will you rule out income tax rises to plug holes in your Budget?)
So did shadow treasury spokesman Joe Hockey when he faced the media this morning to drawn attention to Mr Swan's failure to rule-out income tax increases.
JOURNALIST: Will you rule out increasing the personal income tax?
JOE HOCKEY: We have constantly said; we are the ones that get rid of the taxes. We are getting rid of the carbon tax. We are getting rid of the mining tax. We said with the packages - they will go, but we have also said that we will get rid of the carbon tax and have tax cuts. That is the bottom line. Labor needs to raise revenue to raise taxes to pay for - not just its new promises on the NDIS and Gonski - but to pay for old promises of the big spending against the carbon tax and against the mining tax.
JOURNALIST: Will you specifically rule out any income tax?
JOE HOCKEY: I just said that. I actually said that. We are in the business of tax cuts.
Opposition leader Tony Abbott doesn't go to the marginal electorate of Eden Monaro quite as often during parliamentary sitting weeks as he once did.
But Mr Abbott is out there today. He's talking to taxi drivers I believe.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott meets with community representatives during his visit to Queanbeyan. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
No-one will be shocked to learn that the Greens don't care for big dam dreaming.
Bad for the environment. How can we afford it?
Greens water spokeswoman, Sarah Hanson-Young.
"While the Greens are releasing considered, costed policies the Coalition are leaking crazy thought bubbles with $30b price tags that will devastate the environment. This is another crazy idea, courtesy of Barnaby Joyce, who is more interested in being anti-environmental than nation-building. This is a pie in the sky plan based on 19th century thinking and the Coalition know they have no way to fund it."
Big dam dreaming, part three.
JOURNALIST: Are you concerned that this was a policy leak to the media?
SENATOR JOYCE: Leaks are always concerning because they take the agenda away from you in how you deliver what is a lot of homework. You don’t want certain sections to be taken out of a leaked document but of course you can’t avoid that.
Big dam dreaming, part two.
JOURNALIST: This is just a pre-election thought bubble.
SENATOR JOYCE: No it's not. A thought bubble would be something that hasn't come from due diligence. This has been worked on for nearly two years, travelling the countryside, examining sites over the past couple of years. This is certainly not a thought bubble.
Now to the subject of dams.
There's another policy leak out of the Coalition this morning.
Last week, a discussion paper floating policy options to develop northern Australia hit the headlines. Today, there's a dam building plan on the front page of The Daily Telegraph.
Queensland National Senator Barnaby Joyce has been deployed this morning in praise of the responsible building of dams. Senator Joyce is a dam man from way back.
"You have probably read the front page of the paper and the discussion in regards to the Coalition Dams Taskforce. I think it is really important that we deal with this issue in a positive way. The Australian people want to take the next step. The Australian people want the vision that takes them ahead, that has the capacity to grow the size of our economy to grow areas of opportunity and to create a mechanism to assist us in paying the debt the Labor Party has left behind. Now water is wealth. Efficient storage and usage of water that is environmentally responsible gives our nation a great capacity to take that next step."
Peter's analysis has generated a lot of interest from readers this morning.
If you want to get involved in today's discussion you can comment on the blog, or chime in on Twitter using our hashtag #thepulselive
Gathered on one side of the cabinet table were the newly-installed Prime Minister Julia Gillard, her Treasurer Wayne Swan and her Resources Minister Martin Ferguson. On the other were the heads of Australia's three big mining companies: BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata.
Absent were the key people from the Treasury - the ones who really understood the tax being discussed.
As the then Treasury head Ken Henry later told a Senate committee: "We were not involved in the negotiations, other than in respect of crunching the numbers if you like and in providing due diligence on design parameters that the mining companies themselves came up with."
The smartest people were kept out of the room. They were ferried draft agreements and asked to examine them quickly. They were unable to test with the miners the propositions they were putting to the government.
Given the mining tax has not raised as much revenue as expected, Mr Swan was asked by ABC Radio National's Fran Kelly to rule out future income tax increases to plug holes in the Budget.
Mr Swan gave the standard pre-Budget answer Treasurers give: he won't be in the business of ruling things in or out. So while it was the standard formulation, he did not in fact rule out future income tax increases.
The Treasurer has now taken to Twitter on the income tax question.
Make no mistake, the only party advocating an increase to income tax is @tonyabbottmhr's Liberals - not the Labor Party— Wayne Swan (@SwannyDPM) February 13, 2013
That GIF created by Alex Ellinghausen for the previous post is designed to tell you a story: this issue of Labor and leadership goes round and round in an endless, hypnotising, toxic loop.
So what else today?
There's budgets, costings and the mining tax. Treasurer Wayne Swan was out and about on radio this morning trying to explain what was under discussion with the states concerning the resources tax, and what wasn't under discussion.
There's continuing chatter around the corridors about Kevin Rudd and his intentions: whether he's a guided or an unguided missile.
Newspapers will be polling over the coming weekend - a point noted by some bloggers and commentators this morning. Possibly a coincidence of course, but Mr Rudd could not be more visible right now.
Australia was told through ''intelligence channels'' that Australian Ben Zygier had been imprisoned in 2010 by Israeli authorities on ''serious offences'' under Israeli national security law, Foreign Minister Bob Carr has confirmed.
Mr Carr's comments come as Israel admitted for the first time that it held an Australian with dual citizenship under a false name for security reasons.
According to a statement on Wednesday from the Israel's Justice Ministry, Ben Zygier's Melbourne family was notified after he was detained. Zygier was reportedly known as ''prisoner X'' in the high-security jail.
Facing a Senate estimates committee on Thursday morning, Senator Carr said the Australian government was given assurances by Israel that Mr Zygier's rights would be respected.
''The Australian government was informed in February 2010 through intelligence channels that the Israeli authorities had detained a dual Australian-Israeli citizen - and they provided the name of the citizen - in relation to serious offences under Israeli national security legislation. '' he said.
Senator Carr said the Australian government sought ''specific assurances'' from Israel that Mr Zygier's legal rights would be respected, that he would have legal representation of his choice, that his family would be told of his detention and that he would not be mistreated.
''The Israeli government further advised the Australian government that the individual would be treated in accordance with his lawful rights as an Israeli citizen. The government relied on these assurances,'' he said.
Senator Carr said that at no stage during his detention did the government receive any request from Mr Zygier or his family for consular help.
Get a grip people.
Let's move on with the major themes of the day in politics.
Oh .. dear.
Sergeant-at-Arms Robyn McClelland is presented with bounty.
Chief Opposition Whip Warren Entsch presented the Sergeant-at-Arms Robyn McClelland with a Valentines Day chocolate rose. Photo: Andrew Meares
Opposition whip Warren Entsch and MP Natasha Griggs.
Entering the spirit of the day.
Chief Opposition Whip Warren Entsch is embraced by Natasha Griggs. Photo: Andrew Meares
Even the parliamentary whips are feeling the lurve as this sequence of pictures from Andrew Meares will demonstrate. (At least on the Coalition side. There's no love on the Labor end, or for that matter, the crossbench.)
Coalition MPs will arrive to a gift today.
Chief Opposition Whip Warren Entsch presented all Coalition MPs with a Valentines Day chocolate rose in Parliament House. Photo: Andrew Meares
It is Valentines Day, so there's a fair flavour of peace love and harmony.
Workplace Minister Bill Shorten and shadow treasury spokesman Joe Hockey were in the same radio studio just a little while ago.
Joe Hockey to Mr Shorten: "I dreamt about you the other night."
Mr Shorten: "Pardon?"
Mr Hockey: "I dreamt about you the other night."
Mr Shorten: "You are only human."
(No, we did not make that up.)
I can dream about you. Workplace Relations Minister Bill Shorten (right) and Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey (left) during a radio interview in the press gallery.
Now back to the cheese. The picture I posted first up of Labor's Kevin Rudd and The Conversation's newest recruit Michelle Grattan is from last night.
The Conversation hosted a well-attended soiree for parliamentarians in the press gallery last night. Mr Rudd enjoyed the finger food, as did Opposition leader Tony Abbott. Pictures of the two men together got a solid run in the newspapers this morning. The Daily Telegraph noted Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott in campaign mode, while the Prime Minister Julia Gillard, was nowhere to be seen.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott greets Labor MP Kevin Rudd at The Conversation's soiree. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen / Fairfax
I can hear the Foreign Minister Bob Carr giving evidence before a parliamentary committee about what Australia knew about the case of prisoner X: an Australian citizen who died in mysterious circumstances in a high security prison in Israel. The ABC broke this story earlier in the week.
Senator Carr is making a statement. I'll get you a breaking news link on that shortly.
But here's the summary. He said essentially the government was told in February 2010 that an Australian citizen had been detained for serious offences under Israeli national security law. Australia sought assurances that his legal rights would be respected, he would have legal representation, that his family would be informed, and he would not be mistreated.
Assurances were given and accepted. Australia was then informed that prisoner X had died in December 2010.