Federal Politics

Politics Live: July 8, 2014

Abbott: 'give Japan a fair go'

Tony Abbott and his Japanese counterpart were full of praise for each other in a join press conference.

Now, we're off to read up on the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement fact sheet.

Before that, what did we learn today?

 

Many thanks for tuning in. Alex Ellinghausen and I will see you tomorrow.

 

 

Michael Gordon and Ben Doherty have an updated file on the High Court case and the 153 asylum seekers.

As they write, the asylum seekers, including around 40 children, "face being in limbo on the high seas for weeks in an Australian customs vessel while their fate is decided in the High Court".

Under a timetable agreed by lawyers for the asylum seekers and the Abbott government, "a directions hearings will be held within three weeks, raising the question of where the asylum seekers will be held in the interim ..."

The carbon tax repeal debate also continues.

But is due to wind up this evening at 6.50pm, before the Senate considers some government documents for a spell and then has a general adjournment debate.

We can expect more Senate debate on the repeal tomorrow.

 

The hectico schedule for Shinzo Abe continues.

He and his travelling party have met the Abbott cabinet in the cabinet room.

Abe then has a meeting with Bill Shorten, before a dinner in the Great Hall of Parliament House at 7pm.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a Cabinet room meeting at Parliament House on ...
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a Cabinet room meeting at Parliament House on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen 

Lambie says that her vote to repeal the carbon tax (with the PUP amendments) will ensure that savings are passed to "everyday Australians".

"I know that this course of action will provide hope for [my] Tasmanian community."

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PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie is now speaking in the Senate on the carbon tax repeal debate, her first speech to the Senate.

While she notes this is not her official maiden speech, she begins by acknowledging indigenous Australians, Australia's military and the Governor of Tasmania Peter Underwood, who has died.

Then, she gets into the carbon tax repeal.

She says that Labor and the Greens deceived Australia by introducing a carbon tax.

"The Labor-Greens carbon tax has failed to deliver any environmental benefits ..."

PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie during the debate on the Carbon Tax Repeal Bill. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
PUP Senator Jacqui Lambie during the debate on the Carbon Tax Repeal Bill. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen 

Over in the Senate, the carbon tax repeal bills are being debated again.

Labor's Doug Cameron has the floor.

And he is using it to heckle Liberal senator Cory Bernardi, who is in the president's chair.

"I know that you're a climate change denier ..."

Why did Shinzo Abe talk so much about peace and the rule of law today in Parliament?

John Garnaut explains in this comment piece.

(Complete with a Lord Voldemort connection.)

 

 

Back in Sri Lanka, Jason Koutsoukis reports that the 41 asylum seekers who have just arrived will be given bail.

Jason has talked to Anthony Fernando who was on the boat and said he was "ill treated" by Australian authorities.

 

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Tony Abbott and Shinzo Abe have moved to the Main Committee Room of Parliament House for a joint presser.

The first question was from the AFR's Phil Coorey.

He asked how China will regard the events of today. 

"We do not have to win new friends by losing old friends," says TA.

A Japanese journalist then asked about Japan's new self defence measures.

Abbott said that Japan should be judged on the way it behaves today, not the way it behaved 70 years ago.

"If I may speak in Australian, give Japan a fair go."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe address the media during a joint press conference. ...
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe address the media during a joint press conference. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen 

In Sri Lanka, South Asia correspondent Jason Koutsoukis reports that the 41 asylum seekers the government handed back to Sri Lankan authorities have arrived in Galle.

 

But only in session very briefly.

The court has just adjourned.

 

Abe and Abbott are due for a press conference any minute now.

But in the meantime, the High Court hearing is back in session. 

 

In the Mural Hall of Parliament House, Shinzo Abe and Tony Abbott are seated at a table with humungo folders.

They are signing the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership. 

(FYI, TA signs quicker than SA.)

They are also signing an agreement on defence equipment and technology.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the signing of the Japan-Australia Economic ...
Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the signing of the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and Agreement on the Transfer of Defence Equipment and Technology. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen 
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Guess who was on the floor of the House of Reps today to hear Shinzo Abe address the Parliament?

James Packer.

His attendance was "no accident" writes business reporter Colin Kruger.

Packer will also follow both PMs to Western Australia tomorrow, where Tony Abbott will host Abe at Packer's Perth casino.

Abe has also introduced legislation to lift Japan's ban on casinos.

 

While we wait for the High Court to come back, The Age's political editor Michael Gordon has filed this report:

More than 150 asylum seekers intercepted by the Australian navy have been given a reprieve of at least 72 hours before they face being handed to the Sri Lankan government.

 

 

In a transcript just released by Tony Abbott's office we learn that the PM opened up the meeting with:

"Shinzo it is a real honour to have you in this Parliament. I want to congratulate you for a really moving and heartfelt speech this morning.

"I think that speech was truly the speech of a special friend of Australia.

"I think today really has been the birth of a special relationship."

Shinzo Abe replied with:

"First of all, thank you very much for hosting last night a wonderful dinner for me – myself – and for my wife as well.

"Indeed when, Tony, you visited Japan in April you really started this new relationship between Japan and Australia.

"This time, for me to be able to address the Australian Parliament has been a very much honourable moment for me."

And having a conversation near some roses.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at his office. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at his office. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen 

This included another handshake.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at his office in Parliament House. Photo: Alex ...
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe meets with Prime Minister Tony Abbott at his office in Parliament House. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen 
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