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Federal Politics

Politics Live: March 18, 2014

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What?

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer during Senate question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer during Senate question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

But before we leave, to enjoy an iced water and some yogic stretches, what did we learn today?

 

We'll see you tomorrow for the start of the "biggest bonfire of regulations in our history".

Seriously, Australia, it does not get any better than this.

Alex Ellinghausen, Andrew Meares and I will see you then!

 

 

 

As we prepare to make our farewells, a note about what continues to hop at Parliament House.

The Senate is considering a communiqué on the 19th National Schools Constitutional Convention, while the House debates the Farm Household Support Bill.

In the committee wing, the Senate's Environment Committee has just begun a hearing into the government's Direction Action Plan.

Later today (circa 7.30pm), there will be a Senate Economics Committee hearing into the Qantas Sale Amendment Bill.

Yes, Alan Joyce will appear.

No one called me anything today.

Treasurer Joe Hockey during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Treasurer Joe Hockey during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

I still don't know why he had to call me "small Bill Shorten".

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

It takes a lot more than a man in a green t-shirt to scare me.

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during Question Time.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Leader of the House Christopher Pyne during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Oppa Conroy style.

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Super fierce death stare ...?

 

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Clear head? Check. Warm heart? Check. Strong spine? Double check.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The time being 4.50pm, we now present PHOTOS WITHOUT NOTICE.

But now, an update on the vending machine situation. We understand it took a copy of the Fin and Fairfax's Paddy Doulman's arms to free the chips.  

Frank Keany took custody of the Doritos. He says "they taste of victory".

 

On other matters, Labor's spokeswoman on foreign affairs, says Australia should consider sanctions for Russia over Ukraine.

Plibersek notes that Australia does not have a huge trade relationship with Russia, but it is important to chip in on international efforts.

And Australia is on the UNSC at the moment, after all.

She is also hesitant to comment on regional security implications for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

"There are so many lose strands here, there are so many lines of inquiry," Plibersek says. "It is all speculation."

Deputy Labor Leader Tanya Plibersek is on Sky News.

Should Sinodinos go?

She defers to the PM.

"He's Arthur Sinodinos' boss."

When asked if she is reluctant to go hard because of Labor's slow response to Craig Thomson, Plibersek says:

"No, it's because Tony Abbott has a ministerial code of conduct ... We'll be very happy to apply our standards to our people."

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has held a press conference in Canberra to discuss its search efforts for the missing Malaysian Airlines flight.

AMSA holds "grave concerns" for those who were on the flight.

 

 

Just in time, Jonathan also has a handy Sinodinos backgrounder.

Five things you didn't know about the Assistant Treasurer.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer during Senate question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer during Senate question time on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

In the Senate, when QT ended, Penny Wong has a P.S on Arthur Sinodinos.

Jonathan Swan reports that Wong said the Red chamber had witnessed a "cover up" by the Abbott government.

"There are some extraordinarily serious public allegations made against the Minister," she said.

"You would have thought [Sinodinos] would have taken the opportunity in question time today to front the Australian people."

Labor's Senate leader said Sinodinos had failed to disclose the "enormous" financial benefit he stood to receive [during his dealings with AWH].

Wong described Sinodinos' previous statement to the Senate as "inadequate at best and deliberately obfuscating at the worst".

In reply, Liberal senator Simon Birmingham said it was "outrageous" that Labor had tried to "operate some sort of kangaroo court" to "smear" the Assistant Treasurer.

In the House, we move on to a matter of public importance on the "gross failure" of the government to properly invest in education.

Kate Ellis, Labor spokeswoman for education, is moving the MPI.

She say the Coalition is "lazy".

"They are too busy with petty politics" to follow through with Gonski reforms.

"They are heartless."

At 3.09pm, Tony Abbott calls an end to question time.

Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews is Dixered on rental affordability.

He takes the opportunity to point out that there were six Labor ministers for housing in the previous government(s).

"The reality was that this housing portfolio became a game of musical chairs for the Labor government!"

I'll be here all week.

Treasurer Joe Hockey during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Treasurer Joe Hockey during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Hockey does not lose momentum.

He is shouty. And insistent.

"So I'm getting questions from someone [i.e. Bowen] who not only promises a surplus but claimed to have delivered a surplus. But in fact nothing of the sort ever happened and why? 

Because now we know the Labor Party's true legacy was to leave us with the burden of the fastest growth in spending of the 17 major IMF economies in the world. That's Labor's legacy."

Better make than nine.

Labor's Graham Perrett is sent out for an hour, as Joe Hockey answers a question from Chris Bowen about budget forecasting.

"The fact of the matter is that forecasts do obviously have an impact on the budget bottom line," is all Hockey gets in before the member for Moreton is told to exit. 

"He's not the only clown in the circus over there," the Treasurer then observes.

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer is questioned by Senator Penny Wong during Senate question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer is questioned by Senator Penny Wong during Senate question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Other Labor questions asked of Sinodinos since have been ruled out of order.

But Wacka Williams has successfully asked the Assistant Treasurer a Dixer about the importance of removing "the burden of red tape".

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer during Senate question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Senator Arthur Sinodinos Assistant Treasurer during Senate question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Meanwhile, what's been happening in the Senate with Sinodinos

Jonathan Swan reports that Penny Wong opened Red QT with a question to the Assistant Treasurer, asking whether he had abided by ministerial standards in his dealings with Australian Water Holdings.

Did he open doors to the Liberal Party in his role on the AWH board?

Sinodinos said he could not comment on the matters before ICAC.

"Watch this space," he said. "I will be vindicated."

Sinodinos added that if he needed any tutoring on how to appear before ICAC he could ask Greg Combet and Doug Cameron.

It's not like I've got an endless supply ...

That's eight Labor MPs gone now.

(If you've been counting, we haven't yet mentioned Jim Chalmers who was booted early on.)

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

And still they fall.

New MP for Lalor, Joanne Ryan, is the next Labor MP to be kicked out.

She does not survive a question from Kate Ellis to the PM on Gonski funding.

 

But the silliness does not end there.

Pyne taunts Shorten about Labor not paying back HSU funds used to elect Thomson.

"If he could be Bob Hawke, rather than small Bill Shorten ..."

Tony Burke objects, and asks Pyne to withdraw "unparliamentary language". 

"I was referring to his politically small persona rather than any other persona but if its assists the House I withdraw the word 'small,'" the Leader of the House says.

 

Labor MPs are dropping like political flies.

Greg Combet's sucessor in Charlton, Pat Conroy, is kicked out during a Dixer to Christopher Pyne.

Pyne is asked about Craig Thomson. And how the government will protect union members.

(There is a court hearing today for the former MP's sentencing.)

Swanny

He's still got it, you know.

Labor MP Wayne Swan during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor MP Wayne Swan during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Nick Champion, the champion of getting kicked out of QT has had a quiet patch of late.

But he has just added another booting to his record.

Yet another question to the PM on the orphans of vets payment ... And the Labor MP is gone.

 

Julie Bishop has just been Dixered by WA MP Ian Goodenough on how Australia is co-operating with Mongolia on promoting economic growth.

Somehow her answer ends with: "the Leader of the Opposition should get with Mongolia ... and repeal the mining tax!"

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop during Question Time. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

BS pings another cutting the kids of veterans' payment question at TA.

He notes that Don Rowe from the RSL thinks this is a "mean penny pinching exercise".

The PM replies that the government was upfront before the election.

"People expect us to keep our commitments."

BS comes back with:

"Is the Prime Minister really saying he can't find a quarter of a million dollars for 1200 orphans?"

Madam Speaker labels this an abuse of the standing orders.

The government counters with a palate cleansing Dixer on the carbon tax.

"The filibuster continues in the Senate!!" Enviro head honcho Greg Hunt declares.

 

 

Labor swaps course. 

Shorten is back on the orphans of veterans' payment (that the government is planning to scrap).

The opposition spent a lot of its ammo on this subject yesterday.

Will the PM now reverse his callous decision to cut the payments to the children of Australian veterans of war? 

The PM says that children of vets will still get education support. And military rehab will continue.

"Every scheme that is directed towards veterans and their families is being supported ..."

BUT

On the orphans payment, the government will not be "generous" with money it doesn't have (unlike Labor).

A Dixer to Warren Truss on road projects in WA, including the Gateway project, is too much for Albo.

"This is a project that I turned the sod on!" the former transport minister protests on a point of order.

Madam Speaker dismisses this ("that's a political debating point!").

Soon after, a still protesting Albo is sent packing for one hour.

Labor is sticking on Sinodinos.

Bernie Ripoll has a question for the PM.

Why was he put in charge (as Assistant Treasurer) of future financial advice laws which reduce accountability and consumer protection?

The PM is unfussed.

"It is the Assistant Treasurer's job to deal with those particular matters ... [which will also save $200 million a year]," he replies.

Joe Hockey is asked a Dixer by Luke Harksuyker on measures taken to improve productivity in WA.

Seems innocuous, hey?

And yet, no less than three Labor MPs were kicked out in the process.

(Julie Collins, Tim Watts and Julie Owens.)

Perhaps it had something to do with Hockey making jokes about Wayne Swan's suntan.

At one point there is so much noise, Madam Speaker gets to her feet.

But the Treasurer does not immediately sit down, despite the orders of Bronwyn Bishop.

Eventually she has to break protocol to get his attention.

"Joe!"

 

 

Labor MP Julie Collins bows as she leaves the chamber. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor MP Julie Collins bows as she leaves the chamber. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor are not ready to let the Sinodinos question go.

Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus asks the PM.

Just six months ago [when the ministry was sworn in] you said, "I want to absolutely scotch any suggestion that there is a cloud over Senator Sinodinos. There is not. I would not be appointing Arthur to the incoming ministry if I thought there was any cloud over him."

Does he stand by this statement?

"I do," the PM replies. 

And I point out ... that the investigation by ICAC is "relating to a company not to any particular individual".

The first Dixer calms things down.

It is also to the PM and is on what the government is doing to cut red and green tape.

Abbott uses it to flag the upcoming Repeal Day.

"It will be the biggest bonfire of regulations in our history."

But then Abbott expands, in a slightly less short answer.

"... because the Leader of the Opposition has been seeking a statement on this matter, let me satisfy him.

It is important to maintain the highest possible standards in our public life, I want to stress to the House and to the Australian community that people should be in public life to serve and country and not themselves.

There are important matters being investigated by the NSW ICAC in respect of [Senator Sinodinos], the matters in question happened prior to his entering parliament and becoming a Minister.

The Senator has been asked to assist an inquiry into a particular company. He is doing so fully and frankly as you'd expect...

Quite properly Senator Sinodinos has kept the Senate updated on this matter and I refer people to his statements."

Primo question.

BS to TA.

Do you retain full confidence in the Assistant Treasurer?

"The short answer is yes."

QT begins with a PM update on the Malaysia plane search (after Australia was asked to take over a chunk of the search yesterday).

The Royal Australian Air Force has taken two "sweeps" over the "southern corridor".

Another sweep is due to take place later today.

Shortly there will be four RAAF aircraft in the search area.

Question time.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during Question Time on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Givien the pep talk vibes here, one reporter wondered at the media briefing if the PM had been inspired by the TV show Friday Night Lights (which is based around a high school football team).

No cigar.

The government spokesman (giving the briefing) said he wasn't familiar with the program.

Briefly, back to the Coalition's party room meeting this morning.

The PM had some stirring words for the troops.

Waters, along with gender advocates such as Claire Braund, argue that the workplace gender reporting is a critical step on the way to tackling the gender pay gap and getting and increasing women's workplace participation.

The Business Council of Australia has recently argued the requirements add "unnecessary red tape".

We wait to see what the government's final position is.

 

The Greens have just come out to say they will move to disallow any attempt by the government to weaken gender reporting.

"The Greens will disallow any attempt by the Abbott government to conceal and entrench the gender pay gap," Greens spokesperson for women, Larissa Waters says in a statement.

"The Abbott government's draft changes to gender reporting include weakening requirements for businesses to provide basic data, such as how many women are employed and how much they are paid compared to their male colleagues ..."

As we round the corner to question time, a word or two about gender reporting. 

A coalition of business, government and community organisations have banded together to try and preserve the federal government's gender reporting requirements.

The head of Women on Boards Australia, Claire Braund, is leading the group, including the Diversity Council, Local Government Managers, National Foundation of Australian Women, Business and Professional Women Australia and YWCA, which is calling on Employment Minister Eric Abetz not to wind back gender reporting requirements for companies.

It is understood that that government is considering scaling back reporting requirements, introduced under Labor, which require companies with more than 100 employees to report to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency on pay, recruitment, retention and promotion.

(Red tape and all that.)

Braund, on behalf of the coalition of groups, says that "gender" is not a red tape issue.

We understand that the Doritos have actually been trapped since last night, when Fairfax education correspondent Matt Knott went in search of dinner and was sorely disappointed.

John Kerrin from the AFR was the KitKat purchaser today.

(He was eventually able to prise the chocolate through the gap at the bottom of the machine.)

If anyone has any information about the nut buyer, please contact us via the secret signal.

We now bring you an exclusive breaking live update on the great Press Gallery vending machine rip-off.

Alex Ellinghausen has been staking out the machine.

The trapped cheese surpreme Doritos have been joined by a packet of nuts and a KitKat!

 

 

Press Gallery vending machine at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Press Gallery vending machine at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

"This is a challenge for Mr Abbott."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Education minister Kate Ellis. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Education minister Kate Ellis. Photo: Andrew Meares

Before long, Shorten is asked about Arthur Sinodinos.

Through a spokesman, BS has already said Tony Abbott should "address" the issue today.

Now, the Labor leader himself said the matter "should not be allowed to drag on".

"This is a challenge for Mr Abbott. Mr Abbott's the Prime Minister. Mr Abbott needs to explain as the Prime Minister of Australia what he intends to do with his Assistant Treasurer," he said. 

There are also bright Green Gonskis present (from the Australian Education Union).

Ellis says it is fantastic to speak to "some of the Gonski bus drivers out there driving across the country, speaking to tens of thousands of Australian parents who have been betrayed by the Abbott government ..."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Education minister Kate Ellis attended a Gonski education funding rally. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Education minister Kate Ellis attended a Gonski education funding rally. Photo: Andrew Meares

Meanwhile, Labor has taken a breather and gone for a jaunt out the front of Parliament House.

This time yesterday, the lawns were full of March in March protestors.

Now, Bill Shorten and education spokeswoman Kate Ellis are warning of cuts to education. They want the government to "honour the six-year Gonski school funding deal".

"Very clearly education cuts are a big issue in the WA election ..." says BS.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Education minister Kate Ellis attended a Gonski education funding rally. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Education minister Kate Ellis attended a Gonski education funding rally. Photo: Andrew Meares

Former indie Tony Windsor is back at parliament today.

He has been hanging out with indie Cathy McGowan to talk coal seam gas.

As Peter Hannam reports, Windsor wants to "slow this thing down" when it comes to the CSG industry.

"We seem to be hell-bent on pushing these industries in these high risk areas without due knowledge of the consequences."

Cathy McGowan Independent MP for Indi welcomed former MP Tony Windsor to speak on coal seam gas. Photo: Andrew Meares

Cathy McGowan Independent MP for Indi welcomed former MP Tony Windsor to speak on coal seam gas. Photo: Andrew Meares

Here's a familiar face.

Cathy McGowan Independent MP for Indi welcomed former MP Tony Windsor to speak on coal seam gas at Parliament House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Cathy McGowan Independent MP for Indi welcomed former MP Tony Windsor to speak on coal seam gas at Parliament House. Photo: Andrew Meares

The 18C debate sure has been bubbling along.

As James reports, David Coleman, Craig Laundy, Alex Hawke, Ewen Jones and George Christensen all spoke on the legislation today.

While Ken Wyatt said that his support for the final version of the bill was conditional on the final form of the legislation.

Do we need to add that crossing the floor is a very big deal?

As Jonathan Swan reported this morning, representatives from various minority community groups warned that the Abbott government would be "licensing the public humiliation of people because of their race" if it went ahead with changes to the Racial Discrimination Act.

This follows a report in The Australian today that speculated the government is proposing to remove the words "offend, insult, humiliate" from section 18C of the race hate laws.

The parties have emerged from their Tuesday meetings.

The Labor caucus gathering was a reasonably quiet affair (we understand there was a joke made about Arthur Sinodinos).

But the Coalition meeting was more dramatic.

As James Massola reports, indigenous Liberal MP Ken Wyatt has warned that he could cross the floor if his party moves to repeal laws that make it unlawful to offend, insult or humiliate a person on the basis of their race or ethnicity.

Press Gallery vending machine at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Press Gallery vending machine at Parliament House in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Oh no! Someone's Tuesday has started in the worst possible way. 

(Maybe that's what you get for trying to eat chips for brunch.)

There is something quite Ruddesque about insisting how much you are focusing on your current job, isn't there?

Now, the question you have all been waiting for.

The Morrison for PM one.

When asked if he could one day become PM by his local paper last week, the Immigration Minister said he was "up for any challenge".

He was asked again today on 2GB about his ambitions.

"When people put that question to me, I kindly respond to them in a way which is, 'look thank you for that. But my job at the moment I think is pretty clear,'" he said.

"I'm up for whatever challenge there is. But the challenge I have right now is very clear."

"It's 89 days today."

So says Morrison of the number of days since a boat successfully made it to Australia.

He also notes it is six months since he was sworn in.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has also been on 2GB this morning.

"I think Australians watching that program last night will be very thankful that the Australian government has a very strong policy on our borders to ensure that people don't get to illegally arrive in Australia with that sort of air of entitlement ..."

Last night's 7.30 program showed footage of asylum seekers trying to get to Australia from Indonesia.

It included claims by Iranian asylum seeker Arash Sedigh that he and fellow asylum seekers were mistreated by Australian authorities.

In the footage Sedigh is also shown getting extremely angry with the Australian government (i.e. "F*** Australia") and recalls how he made threats to authorities, amid his frustration about not getting the help he needed.

He also comments: "they should remember 9/11 for the United States".

In response, the Immigration Department has said there are "clear guidelines to govern the use of force".

In other words: watch this space.

Where does Labor stand in all this?

Albo has said that people are entitled to the presumption of innocence.

A spokesman for Bill Shorten has come out a little stronger with:

"Given the serious nature of these matters, Mr Shorten is confident the Prime Minister will address this issue today.

''These are very serious allegations – for the Assistant Treasurer and for the Liberal Party.

''This is an Assistant Treasurer who is prosecuting reforms that will remove accountabilities in the financial services sector, including the most basic requirement for advisers to act in the 'best interests' of their clients ..."

"Absolutely not," Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Radio National.

"Arthur Sinodinos is doing an outstanding job as Assistant Treasurer."

Senior Liberal MPs Jamie Briggs and Josh Frydenberg have also offered their support.

"He's a very good person," Briggs said.

"[He's] a terrific person, a person of the highest integrity," said Frydenberg.

 

Another parliamentary sitting week, another minister in the eek seat.

We learned yesterday from Kate McClymont and Michaela Whitbourn that ICAC has heard Labor and Liberal figures, including Arthur Sinodinos, stood to make tens of millions of dollars from a company linked to the family of former powerbroker Eddie Obeid.

This morning, the question has started to be asked of MPs - should the Assistant Treasurer stand down while the inquiry is going on?

And it is three wins so far to the press gallery.

We won the cricket, the basketball and now the swimming's in the bag.

Not without some controversy, however.

Apparently Nationals MP and former journo Darren Chester also claimed victory with the winning gallery basketball team on Monday.

The calls for an inquiry cannot be far away.

 

It's not just swimming this week. There is a whole carnival going on!

There was cricket on the weekend, basketball yesterday and tomorrow, there will be netball.

It is all in aid of Harmony Day.

Nothing brings people together like sport.

Josh Frydenberg also took time out from deregulating the country to swim for the Coalition team.

We understand there was too much red tape for the government to win today.

Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg during the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay at the Parliament House swimming pool on Tuesday.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Liberal MP Josh Frydenberg during the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay at the Parliament House swimming pool on Tuesday. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite claimed the gold medal in the individual event.

The Sydneysider grew up in Maroubra and has been an "active surf lifesaver for 28 years" according to his personal webpage.

So an indoor swimming pool with no sharks or waves must have been a chunk of cake.

Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite after his win in the individual category.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor MP Matt Thistlethwaite after his win in the individual category. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The journos finished first*, ahead of the Coalition kids and Labor.

But of course!

There is something about political reporting that just lends itself to swimming laps in chlorinated water and wearing goggles, no?

(*Shout out to Heath Aston from the Fairfax bureau for his part in the victory!)

The victorious Press Gallery relay team with the trophy after the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The victorious Press Gallery relay team with the trophy after the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The gallery, Coalition and Labor all fielded teams.

Guess who won?

Coalition MPs during the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Coalition MPs during the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

The press gallery and MPs have faced off in their annual battle in the parliamentary pool.

(Yes, there is a pool at Parliament House.)

Labor MP Graham Perrett dives in during the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Labor MP Graham Perrett dives in during the Pollies vs Press Gallery Swim Relay. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

But first things first.

There has been competition of the sporting variety at Parliament House.

 

It's Tuesday in Canberra.

That means party room meetings in the morning before the usual question-off at 2pm.

In the meantime, Operation Sovereign Borders and Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos are dominating debate. What a pairing!

Sort comments by:
  • What's happened to the flamin" confessional that should've been installed 3 months ago? The queues are getting longer and noses are growin' at an alarming rate! Arthur will be ok as he's a good little catholic boy, nothing like those heathens in opposition!

    Commenter
    Al48
    Location
    victoria
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 5:37PM
  • I'll try again with moderation.

    Tony Abbott defends Sinodinos because this occurred prior to becoming a minister. Who's he kidding?

    "Given the serious nature of these matters, Mr Shorten is confident the Prime Minister will address this issue today," a statement out of the Opposition Leader's office read.

    "These are very serious allegations - for the Assistant Treasurer and for the Liberal Party.

    "This is an assistant treasurer who is prosecuting reforms that will remove accountabilities in the financial services sector, including the most basic requirement for advisers to act in the "best interests" of their clients.

    "The fact that the Liberal Party has already been shamed into returning the $75,000 it received in donations shows something seriously stinks here."

    The relentless pursuit and humiliation of Craig Thompson & his family over misusing $25,000 which occurred prior to Thompson becoming a minister seems to be forgotten. Apparently Peter Slipper is suffering ill-health from the eye-watering pursuit through the courts over $900.

    I watched Sinodinos laughing on television saying its the investors responsibility to be financially literate and now we discover he's involved in a dodgy company which paid him around $2000 per day as participated to seal a deal enriching himself 20 million.

    Get rid of this man, right now. He should not have any position of power.

    Australians learnt Abbott his mob systemically misused taxpayers money whilst in opposition, paying back thousands dollars, for weddings, personal book launches, sports events, viewing property etc

    Somehow they have managed to walk away without being held to account. Why?

    Commenter
    punch
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:59PM
    • great post punch.
      Born to rule- it's in their DNA.
      Would like to have read your other transcripts!

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:04PM
    • The problem is that there are so many dodgy Liberals in parliament, the place might be vacant if you start enforcing rules to prevent corruption.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:06PM
    • Because they have union (corporate) protection.
      Because they are playing the game of politicking - not looking after the every-day 'Joe & Jane Citizen'.
      Because they were bankrolled in donations that far outweigh anything ALP got.
      Any answer that could be put up, should be put up.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:07PM
    • And you forgot the best one of all, Punch, where Abbott hounded Julia Gillard and continues to hound her through the unions Royal Commission for something she may or may not have done 20 years ago before she went near Parliament.

      And nobody has suggested that Julia Gillard made $200, let alone $200,000, out of her erstwhile connection with Bruce Wilson!

      The only thing more amazing about this appalling hypocrisy is the appalling silence of the massed forces of Australia's Fourth Estate in calling out this hypocrisy.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:08PM
    • @WW - 5.08pm. Totally with you on that one WW. Not one media outlet has done a relevant comparison and therefore questioned the validity of the LNPs stance (or lack of action on this).
      Many stories of what 'a great guy' he is though.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:16PM
    • Sorry to bust in on this progressive parade, but if you're talking about fiscal responsibility, the word "Labor" doesn't sit very well in the discussion.

      Hilarious, all of you !

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:20PM
  • "I will be vindicated", said Craig Thompson.

    Er, I mean Arthur Sinodinos.

    Commenter
    Tone
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:59PM
  • $250 000 a year. If the Liberals stopped going to each other's weddings there would be plenty of money for the orphans.

    Commenter
    Vacqueyras
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:49PM
  • Labor might consider adapting the Sound of Music. Today it could have happened. Enough of them were thrown out. Evacuate the Chamber like the Von Trapps did - last Labor person standing ie not thrown out, sings the poignant last notes of the National anthem, solo, leaves the Chamber as The Bishop is left behind with her team to continue the destruction of parliamentary process while the Von Labors head for neutral safe territory, The Senate, where due process is still observed. Its going to be a long war.

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:44PM
    • I think the day will come this year when that actually happens, Lyn. The public are not aware of the mockery that Dolores is making of Parliament because hardly anybody watches it. But sooner or later, her lack of judgement and total bias will become so entrenched she will not even realise when she has crossed the line from gross unfairness to being ridiculous.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:11PM
  • According to the Liberal Party, it is of no consequence if you took $200k from Eddie's mates for being a Liberal Party mandarin, as long as you did not spend a night in the dim, dark past as a guest at Eddie's ski lodge.

    I wonder how Tony Burke and Stephen Conroy feel being smeared from one end of Parliament to the other by Abbott and his mates for their 'crime'. Any Liberal defender of Sinodinos who wants to cry 'smear' needs to explain how they happily jumped into and beat up the nastiness when a couple of Labor politicians were vaguely in range.

    By the standards that the Liberals demanded of Labor in the last Parliament Sinodinos should be gone, now and forever!

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:43PM
    • All political corruption should be given the treatment it deserves. The spineless NSW Labor Party allowed it to fester and the Coalition could follow suit if they are not careful. The swift standing-down of anyone reasonably suspected of corruption is the first vital step to be taken.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:00PM
    • I agree Mr Morrison that corrupt politicians should be tossed out - but at the same time politicians should refrain from smearing each other until there is solid evidence.

      In times past, I would happily have defended Senator Sinodinos on the basis that a vague connection should not be sufficient to condemn a person. But Tony Abbott changed the ground rules so that anybody who has the slightest exposure should be attacked, slimed and condemned on the whiff of suspicion. Those rules got him into power, so they are obviously the right ones.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:21PM
  • Plibersek on Sinodinos and previous Labor challenges: "We'll be very happy to apply our standards to our people."

    Yes Tanya, we know.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:36PM
    • Glad you know something right Hacka, because everything else seems to be out the daily briefing note on deflection.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:47PM
  • It seems that the opposition are flailing around trying to hit something, anything in QT. While the Gov just methodically does what it says it's going to do.

    There really is an air of desperation in their (the Oppositions's) approach.

    Commenter
    Otwen
    Location
    Nowhere near Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:35PM
    • It's not desperation, it's frustration at the Speakers blatant bias and juvenile politicking by the kids on the right.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:52PM
    • How many times has the Speaker stopped an Opposition member from taking his or her turn to ask a question? Zero? How many loud interjections has she permitted to go unchallenged? Plenty. If the opposition stopped their interjection noise even by half there would probably be no one thrown out.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:08PM
  • Funny isn't it that last parliament, Pyne was kicked out routinely for offering nothing to the debate and for pointless and rude interjections. Labor MP's get kicked out because of nothing but the biased nature of the Speaker. Libs and their born to rule mentality...

    Commenter
    Scott B
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:33PM
  • 3.24." Liberal senator Simon Birmingham said it was "outrageous" that Labor had tried to "operate some sort of kangaroo court" to "smear" the Assistant Treasurer."

    I dont agree with the characterisation of Labor's approach to the Sinodinos matter as being a Kangaroo Court.

    Maybe Birmingham wasn't around when Slipper and Thomson IMO were treated to the Kanagaroo Court treatment by the Libs during the previous Parliament. Kangaroos in wigs were then regularly seen bouncing around the Chamber.

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 4:02PM
    • The treatment by the Parliament of both Slipper and Thomson, regardless of their alleged conduct was vile beyond measure. Especially Slipper, who was branded a misogynist on the basis of private texts by people who would be mortified if their private texts were made public.

      These people created new recipes for smearing that were never know before. And they get in a tizzy because Arthur Sinodinos is found to be $200,000 to the better as a result of a connection with Eddie Obeid.

      The only thing more revolting than their disrespect for decency and the rule of law is the hypocrisy in their demands for it when it is one of theirs in the firing line.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:13PM
    • I think that you will find that Thomson's conduct is no longer “alleged “as he’s been convicted of stealing Union money to spend on Hookers! To say oh poor old Slipper had his private text messages made public..when he said all those disgusting things about female genitalia...... boggles the mind. However your point on when the shoes on the other foot is valid. Unfortunately that’s politics... Should vote for me I’d clean em up!

      Commenter
      Brettie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:35PM
    • 4.31pm Plibersek says
      ''Tony Abbott has a ministerial code of conduct.''
      When Abbott finds it, please let us members of the public know, won't you? (- because there has been no evidence of its existence so far...)

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:40PM
    • Clean, are you Brettie? Never put anything in an email or text that would be highly embarrassing? The point is that it was private and we don't live in a police state where all private communications are subject to public exposure and ridicule for political ends.

      As for Thomson, we have a system of law when the punishment is not intended to precede the trial. It was not proven then - only alleged. Thomson's only serious crime in Abbott's eyes was to stand between Abbott and the Treasury Benches - and Abbott did not give a damn who else got damaged in his attempts to blast Thomson out of the way.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:52PM
    • Yes I am clean... I don't write about crap like Slipper did and Thomson's about to get sentenced for all those disgraceful acts. He did it, he lied to parliament and he got caught. No one can defend him now ... surely?

      Commenter
      Brettie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:04PM
    • But that's the point Brettie.

      How do we know but for your word? Surely you would not be happy to publish all of your texts over a specific six month period for us all to trawl through. Bear in mind that Slipper's egregious texts were less than five, made on one day, in thousands of messages over a six month period.

      As for Thomson, I'm not defending him - but he was entitled to a presumption of innocence until a proper legal trial was held and he was convicted - he should never have been subject to a medieval trial by ordeal when the only crime that Abbott was concerned about was that he stood between Abbott and power. Windsor and Oakeshott were clean as a whistle but that did not stop Abbott unleashing all sorts of the vilest abuse as if they had done something wrong, rather than look after the interests of their electorate.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:27PM
  • SMH
    Thanks for the great pictures, as usual.
    Some of the photos really capture the personality and the emotions, and makes Question Time blog here quite interesting with the descriptions and captions, and the stories behind the day's stories.

    So it's a unique little service, well done.

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    PH
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:35PM
  • Many here on both sides are under the delusion that their side of politics can do no bad, and the other side can do no good.

    Look at any post here that suggests the Government may be wrong on something. The general thrust of the apologists seems to be, ‘No Tony’s not doing that, but in any case Gillard/Rudd did it worse than us’.

    Criticising the actions of the Government (usually) isn’t vitriol or anti-Tony rantings, it’s simply criticism. For my part I criticised Labor when they were in power when, in my view, they got something wrong (education, asylum seekers, education, leadership shenanigans, education). The difference now is that the Liberals are in power, and they are, in the view of many (including ALP supporters, quite a few LNP supporters, and political agnostics) not performing very well at all. Criticism is inevitable.

    If you want to refute criticism put up a cogent counter-argument, don’t simply abuse the criticiser.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:35PM
    • What was wrong with education for you, Gigondas?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:16PM
  • Good to know that we have an Assistant Treasurer who may so much about large sums of money from personal experience. No question of mere entitlement. He works hard for his money. Could I also have a job which gives me $200,000 for 100 hours work?

    Commenter
    George of Templestowe
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:30PM
    • Don't forget, as reported in Fairfax earlier, he ''stood to earn as much as $20 million in personal profits working for a company... linked to Obeid''
      Super nice for some, cake for the rest, huh?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:51PM
    • Can't tell you where to get such a job, but don't go looking at SPC Ardmona. There, you are lucky to gross a quarter of that for working 8,000 hours and then get roundly abused by a PM on half a million a year and everything provided for asking 50c an hour more for putting up with bright glare from unlabelled tins in the sunlight.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:16PM
  • Out of interest, how many Government MPs have been booted out of the chamber since the election. I can't recall any.

    It's not as if they never yell out interjections, abuse, smart-aleck remarks or make noise.

    In the last Parliament they went from both sides.

    Just shows what a biased joke the Speaker is now.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:28PM
    • No one seems to want to address that subject WW. I can' tree all any in the QT s I've watched.
      Speaks for it self.
      I'll stand corrected though.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:34PM
    • No doubt She impresses herself with importance. It's a shame none of Tony's tormentors from the Parliament lawns on Friday could be conscripted to the Speaker's chair. I understand they had to be back in Newtown for class on Monday. All appeared more capable than Bishop the Elder.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBZwu5bAEdo

      Commenter
      Crying
      Location
      Out
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:45PM
    • Ok ACG, I'll correct you. You really meant to say "I can't recall any..."

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:50PM
    • The members of the government may make interjections but they don't produce the boorish wailing that constantly emanates from an ALP in disarray.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:54PM
    • When the Government of any colour has a clear majority it is rare for a Government Member to be removed from the chamber.

      Think of the time when a Labor Speaker in Whitlam's time tried to eject a Labor minister and the Speaker was forced to resign over it.

      It is interesting that the previous opposition was constantly accused of "relentless negativity" while the current opposition is putting up a constant barrage of noise during Question time, as well as frequent spurious (and sometimes genuine) points of order.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:56PM
    • We did get a half-heated "the members on my right will be quiet" at one stage, but her heart wasnt in it.

      I love the look on Tony Burke's face- gobsmacked most of the time, and rightly so. Her definition of 'wide ranging question' is pretty special. And I'm glad Burke called Bronwyn on her refusal to allow tabling documents before they're even named. That's a regular event.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:59PM
    • Nulla
      Not just one-eyed. one-eared as well.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:02PM
    • Seriously Nulla, how long can you go on defending the unethical and indefensible just because it's your side?

      The fact is that there is an incredible amount of boorish sneering and cat-calling and yelling on the Government side - the problem is that the Speaker is stone-deaf on the right side and stone blind on the left side. And she is in denial as to her inabilities.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:03PM
    • @Nulla - don't know how good your memory is, but I do recall a certain LNP group when they were in Opposition.... They were pretty 'rampant' in their behaviour.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:11PM
    • Lewis, apologies, it's this damn auto correct.
      Thanks.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:15PM
    • But Nulla have they been thrown out for "boorish wailing"?
      That's the point isnt it but I think I understand why you dont want to get that.
      The Speaker makes what Opposition thinks is an unfair/incorrect ruling ( and I agree with that assessment in many cases) and Labor objects and objector is then thrown out.

      When the Speaker is not abiding by the Rules then the only option left is protest the ruling to the point of being thrown out or stage a mass walk out in question time. No one on the Govt benches seems the least perturbed and clearly have no intention of objecting to The Bishop's bringing the Speaker's position into disrepute.
      You may make light of it, but democracy suffers. You do support democracy?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:26PM
    • In Dolores, we now have an umpire who not only rules the batsman out caught when the ball goes nowhere near the bat and bounces before reaching slips but, when things are getting a little dicey, takes the ball off the bowler walks up to the stumps, smashes them and THEN gives the batsman out bowled. It's not cricket - and its not a patch on democracy.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:34PM
    • Sorry WW, but to be fair - C'Witty has to call you out on calling our Bronnie ''Delores'' (as he did with ACG earlier).
      So, C'Witty...?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:23PM
  • Why dont we get this running live commentary from the Senate?

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:16PM
  • Poor ol Tones looked as comfy as a blowfly at a butchers picnic, trying to explain his cuts to orphans of veterans, not a good look when both RSL and Legacy condemn it. Bad look Tones, more people to march next time eh. !

    Commenter
    Piesnchess
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:16PM
  • Jace - election promises are always strange. And sometimes even stranger when they are not abandoned as expected. Remeber when kevvy promised to move Garden Island to Peter beaties electorate without telling Barry, and Barry blew up deluxe on TV. No body complained when Tbotts made the announcement (in their defence he was in a factory wearing protective clothing so they probably thought he was talking about the carbon Tax), back then everyone was giving free cash to profitable companies. Only now has it become uncool.

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:15PM
    • ....unless you're BHP Billiton

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:33PM
    • So if the Gov is not going to give any more money to profitable companies, if we exclude the $110 Million today going to RIO and BHP for a mine in Chile.

      BHP who then announced this afternoon are giving $10 million of that to farmers in Mozambique, Head is now spinning, anyway...

      What exactly will Direct Action involve again?

      Commenter
      Sambo
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:43PM
  • It's getting a little untidy.
    Dolores getting a little bit touchy.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:15PM
    • What about the sisterhood. Twice now with the online bullying name calling. What about her feelings? One girl degrading another girl in a position of authority... I would have thought that you would be supoprtive of a woman in charge. Maybe they didn't put more women in the cabinet to protect them from women like you.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:31PM
    • Cwitty, the Left only likes Lefty women who achieve through biology and not by merit. That is why they are perpetually afraid of women in the Liberal and National Parties.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:56PM
    • Oh, C'Witty - that is a petty, superficial argument and you know it. You've called that one simply because it could be 'gendered' to your liking. How many insults have you posted today, huh?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:20PM
    • cwitty my first line was a direct quote from Madame Speaker. I am not a sexist, On the contrary I support people on merit not their sex and quite frankly "Dolores" is out of her depth. I don't and won't defend or castigate anyone based on their gender.
      The nickname is apt.
      Time she lifted her game or was replaced.
      QT is a circus. Slipper, even for all his pomp and ceremony was streets above this farce.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:23PM
    • Cwitty, what is this 'sisterhood' crap? Is it just another way of putting women down as some sort of subgroup who have to stick together regardless of the sins of any one of them?

      It is far more disrespectful to women to play the sexist card from pretending to defend them than to just call it as it is. And are we to pretend that women are not female - and that men are not male?

      Of course, I would never accuse you of sexism in case you do a Bolt. Which makes me wonder if the various Discrimination Acts will have an exception where nobody can say anything hurtful to Andrew. But I digress.....

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:29PM
    • nulla, what rot.
      I've given kudos where and when kudos is due, recently to Sharman Stone for her gutsy attitude and passionate work for her electorate. So to for Judith Moylan and Judith Troeth, Mary Woodridge to name a few standouts. I'm not rusted on like some myopic squaddies.
      Who can't see the trees for the forrest.
      It's your lot that are squashing rising talent due to factions, try Kelly O'Dwyer.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:49PM
  • has even one LNP member been booted out during this term?

    Commenter
    juileep
    Location
    sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:09PM
  • Nine down - maybe the baker's dozen is on. Four to go.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:09PM
    • Those Labor members will be treating ejection as a badge of honour - just as Christopher "The Gazelle" Pyne did -
      Bishop the Elder is treating this Paliament like a gentleman's club for conservatives - better be careful or she'll be ejected herself on gender basis

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:24PM
    • Did my favourite Labor MP survive?

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:38PM
    • How does a baker's dozen answer the questions put to you? If you lack the knowledge to answer then say so, otherwise answer the questions.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      g
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:49PM
    • Who's your favourite Sarah ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:05PM
    • Seems you keep getting the cold shoulder there Pen? Maybe you need to re-phrase your question as a three-word slogan?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:46PM
    • Been practicing your arithmetic overnight I see. Kudos to you.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:08PM
  • TA " the matters in question happened prior to his entering parliament"

    Don't recall them affording the same luxury to Craig Thomson......

    Commenter
    Sambo
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 3:04PM
  • The guy sitting with the women behind Morrison doesn't looked so convinced with Morrison's rant

    Commenter
    Amro
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:54PM
    • Nah, it's because he doesn't like siting with the Avon Ladies.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:03PM
  • Crikey, seems I've missed all the fun from Madame Speaker whilst at the gym.
    Anyone left in the house?
    No doubt all from the op never the Govt.
    She lives upto he name, our Dolores.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:54PM
  • I miss Craig Thomson in parliment. Who can forget the 'tainted vote' call of Tbotts and Pyne, not to mention the sprinting from the chamber so as not vote with him. Best of all was the explantion speech by Craig - absolute solid gold entertainment...Good Times.. good times.

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:51PM
    • Don't need to hold on too long for further entertainment, C'witty. The Sinodinos caravan is about to pull up to join the fun.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:05PM
    • Jump! Circle the wagons!I see ICAC on the horizen!

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:19PM
    • jump the real fun begins with the Union corruption Royal Commission. While we wait we have the Pink Batts fiasco inquiry to entertain - much ore enlightening then dry ol' ICAC.

      Like giving 2 public servants 2 DAYS to develop the implementation of the Rudd thought bubble including Workplace health and safety guidelines and they were not allowed to consult with others even the insulation sector.

      Rivals the development of the NBN on the paper napkin for stupidity by government.under the ALP

      Commenter
      andie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:48PM
  • A billion dollars from the Trades Training Centres (Kate Ellis question).

    265/10%= 26.5

    Superclinics?

    Commenter
    Bronwyn G
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:49PM
  • Has Swan been able to find that missing $300billion?

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:49PM
    • better ask Sinodinos

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:06PM
  • Hey, Hacka, SteveH, and Enough

    Is there any chance that you the dynamic trio of the A. Bolt Club of in matters environment denial can explain how the carbon price has increased green energy production to the extent of a surplus of power generation according to your champion of absurdity, Greg Hunt? Meanwhile an increase in coal production to sustain an increase in power demand? I realise it’s asking a lot for you to demonstrate facts on these matters other than name calling, and abusing the Greens for taking climate change seriously, but I’ve been asking for a valid explanation for some time without any one of you anti-Green and denialist’s of man made climate change able to provide an answer to the question.

    Oh,why your in the mood for wearing thinking caps please explain the amount of electric power tariff increase created by the carbon price @ 0.43% of 1% of GDP? As a guide to your conundrum economists claim 0.18% of 1% of household expenses, which of course is significantly lower than the outrageous amounts claimed by Abbott and Hunt, who you vigorously support.

    There is another matter I would like you to address and that is how Abbott’s Divine Action policy can bring our emissions down to the promised 5% of year 2000 emissions when the Abbott is increasing coal production.

    I realise these questions are difficult for you to answer other than indulging slippery slopes and all manner of errors of reason including disparaging the Greens, but I also realise as do all thinking people that you cannot provide logical answers.

    Please confine your answers to the put questions despite the unsustainable difficulties that face you.

    Yours in forlorn hope

    Pen

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:43PM
    • FACT:The Carbon TAX makes electricity more expensive.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:00PM
    • cwitty's reply is unassailable by logic

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:02PM
    • @Cwitty, that's it then "the carbon tax makes electricity more expensive", that has once & for all settled that age old argument....the intellect shown in that statement is simply staggering !!

      Commenter
      Lefty
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:14PM
    • Fact: cwitty is that most people are compensated for the electricity price increase due to the carbon tax. therefore you have to talk about the 'net' effect on the household, which is 0.18%
      Sandwich and half a milkshake?

      Commenter
      Econorat
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:30PM
    • Fact: The GST, the biggest tax in Australia's history, introduced by the Liberals, adds 10% to everything. That increases the price of electricity, and its not even a purposeful tax, but I don't see people complaining about that.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:05PM
    • The PC estimated that around 7% of electricity tariffs were due to the carbon price. Not saying it is good or bad, but prices have gone up and it is at least partially attributable to the carbon price.

      Commenter
      Duke
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:23PM
    • Cwitty - not mine, it hasn't. if people gave a damn about the climate and pollution or their hip pocket they'd do as the price on Carbon is designed to do- reduce consumption. And not just consumption of grid electricity but overt consumption practices in general.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:21PM
  • Not paying orphans a one off cash payment with borrowed money... Is calling this out really hurting the PM. Or does it just remind people about his consitant thriftyness with tax dollars. Worse it could remind people about Labors waste.. Let it go Bill, you were better off with Sinodos

    Commenter
    Cwitty
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:40PM
    • Maybe the orphans can go work at Cadbury's.

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:51PM
    • who is this Sinodos? Is it Sinodinos no longer "in"?

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:51PM
    • jace - would that make them Oompa-Loompas?

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:01PM
    • Ouch Rod S. I think the members of the LNP would be more 'suited' to that role.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:13PM
    • These kids are orphans because of govt policy to send soldiers to war. It is callous and cruel to cut the orphans payment. Govt should take responsibility to support them. If they can find money for a chocolate factory and miners they can support the orphans.

      Commenter
      Medea
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:51PM
  • The Pulse @ 2:36pm.

    Is that Wayne doing a Bruce Springsteen impersonation?

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:39PM
    • No. Its Wayne doing an impersonation of the members of the Treasury Benches, spot on I would think very reminiscent of those clowns you find at the fair.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:43PM
  • Shorten is running a highly emotive and potentially disingenuous line using the term "orphan".

    Not sure what the unfortunate numbers are, but surely this is - to put it nicely - an incorrect statement.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:37PM
    • (I agree with the "emotive" part but not necessarily that it's "disingenous").

      Commenter
      Bronwyn G
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:47PM
    • No-one, but no-one does disengenuous like Abbott does.

      Commenter
      Mary
      Location
      Mt Druitt
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:13PM
  • What co-operating is happening with the Mongolian government in mining and non-mining fields? Western Australia in particular?

    Commenter
    Bronwyn G
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:27PM
    • Australian Mining companies have been helping Mongolia mining for some time. Mongolia has the largest coking coal reserves in the world. This fact is reducing Australia's export of coking coal and keeping the prices low.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:18PM
  • Are the ALP benches still fired up from the march in March yesterday ?

    Must be Nick Champion's turn soon.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:23PM
    • So you must be sitting in there with them to call that one within a matter of a minute?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:41PM
    • Wish i could claim credit Jump. But after Champion survived yesterday, it was really about the laws of probability.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:57PM
  • I remember a teacher once telling me that if you have to throw a pupil out of class you do can't cut it as a teacher and shouldn't be in a classroom because your management skills are substandard. At last count I think the Liberal Speaker Browyn Bishop has sent out six MP 's in just today's question time. If you want to have chaos in the chamber just as in a classroom just show favoritism to one group and bias against another. Bishop is a disgrace as a speaker.

    Commenter
    RTP
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:23PM
    • True - B. Bishop would never make a good ''school M'am'' - and she certainly doesn't make a good speaker. Perhaps it is she who fills the vending machines that the LNP squaddies were so excited over earlier?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:30PM
    • RTP, another Labor Member has just been thrown out.
      They might as well all go out, they really are a bunch of incompetents.
      Another one just gone.

      Commenter
      Thepres
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:45PM
    • Therpes - Pyne stilll holds the record as the most ejected member in the lower house - does that make him incompetent ?

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:59PM
    • Bronwyn Bishop is the most disgracefully biased speaker in parliamentary history !!
      The LNP MP's are consistently allowed to do what they want during question time without fear of Bishop's intervention !!

      Commenter
      Lefty
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:03PM
    • Bronwyn Bishop is not the best Speaker we have had (perhaps Sir John Macleay was) but s she is far from the worst. Those criticising her strongly don't know what they are talking about.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:08PM
  • Can the Govt get it's civilian and military radars looking for the Greens? are they missing in action or have they deserted their posts? come out wherever you are.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:22PM
    • scott ludlum alive and well and loud "It looks awkward when you take policy advice on penalty rates and the minimum wage from mining billionaires and media oligarchs on the other side of the world-awkward, and kind of revolting."

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:49PM
    • Noticed you said radar and not GPS. The Govts GPS are totally unreliable.

      Commenter
      Kermit
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:01PM
  • Imagine how much Australia would prosper if the Greens/Labor party would let the repeal of carbon and mining taxes go through.
    ALP/Greens are anti-West Australian and indeed anti-Australian.

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    PH
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:20PM
    • the reason Abbott thinks he can reduce regulation is that there is no plan to introduce any legislation - this no-plan government is all analysis and no synthesis

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:27PM
    • Anti-Australian might be slightly Hyperbolic... But they are anti-democratic. They refuse to accept the majority decision. The Carbon Tax is Labors 'work choices' . BS needs to listen to 'The Gambler' he is Holding, when he should be folding and running away. The labor green alliance will become a permant protest coallition, as long as they promise to re-introduce a great big new tax on everything. I hope they enjoyed the march the other day... Thats all the future holds for them.

      Commenter
      cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:29PM
    • Christielle
      Given that there was no discernible negative impact from the Carbon Tax, I don't see how you could think there would be a discernible positive impact if it was repealed.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:38PM
    • If you believe the prosperity of Aust is being held back by the price on carbon and a mining tax, you'll believe anything that comes out of TA's mouth.

      Is there a soul in Australia who hasn't witnessed TA blatantly and repeatedly lying ? And yet they must cling to the myths peddled by the LP and their massive support machine.

      Commenter
      Mary
      Location
      Mt Druitt
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:01PM
  • Australia is in charge of looking for a plane that no one knows where to look. So we increase the number of planes to look for the plane that no one knows where to look?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:18PM
    • Plane denial, got any facts and figures?

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:25PM
    • Pen, the airforce just wants to really run down their P3 Orions before they give them to Indonesia as foreighn aid.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:27PM
  • @2:14 ... it was Luke Simpkins, Member for Cowan and not Luke Hartsuyker, Member for Cowper who asked the question. Fairfax needs to get the facts right.

    Commenter
    Nulla
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:17PM
  • Ten thousand redundant laws and acts!

    Commenter
    Bronwyn G
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 2:06PM
    • amazing coincidence - the same number as Abbott's broken promises!!!! but he's still breaking them..

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:20PM
    • @toukley:

      are you counting them (the broken promises)?

      I imagine there's been a lot of dead wood in the House of Representatives, in the clauses and things.

      Some of the 10,000 redundant laws have had effects; some of them have been forgotten.

      How are the changes in laws negotiated and prioritised?

      Commenter
      Bronwyn G
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:24PM
    • actuallly bron, I think you'll find it's 9000 individual sections and clauses in Acts and Regulations, and hundreds of whole Acts. Sounds more than it is due to hot air behind it creating a refractory error

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:30PM
  • I think more likely it's a clear heart, a strong head and a warm spine...

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:52PM
  • They want the government to "honour the six-year Gonski school funding deal".
    When will Labor come clean and admit that they never had a funding commitment-they had a debt commitment. Genuine Government funding commitments are done over the forward estimates-a four year period. More money for education has already been wasted while standards have actually fallen. The key to better education is better Teachers-but the Unionised Teachers and their Labor Party supporters will not accept this-all they want is more borrowed money.

    Commenter
    noitall
    Location
    Beacon Hill
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:50PM
    • Was that meant to be a coherent argument, noitall?
      You know, some of you right-wingers don't read papers on education written by other right-wingers. Especially the papers that vocally suggest it is in ANY government's best interest to focus on creating a well functioning and equitable education system. That is because it will benefit ALL (But hey, I can predict all round claims that that will be just too damned socialist!!!) Sheesh! Some people just don't know - do they?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:59PM
    • hey notball - i guess for a start Labor would have used that $100mill Abbott just threw to the unentitled BHP billiton for overseas investment

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:02PM
    • Your point about the difference between a commitment inside and outside the forward estimates period is right. And you’re also right that some money has been wasted, but not where you’re implying. The fall in standards started in the early 2000s, at exactly the same time the Howard funding model started to give billions (yes, billions) extra to private schools, many of which didn’t need it. The drift to private schools (on the back of relatively reduced funding for the public sector, and a fairly nasty denigration of public education) started then, and the drift down of attainment in Pisa tests can also be tracked to the same time. Draw your own conclusions. My conclusion is if Pyne has his way and even more students go to private schools, our standards will just keep falling.

      On the bright side I agree we need better teachers, but that has nothing to do with unions, nor the ALP, who you may have noticed are not in power. It has to do with training, and treating teachers as highly skilled professionals. Higher wages is part of that.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:07PM
    • Gigondas, I would add on more factor in the denigration of state schools. The rise of selective schools which then captured the lions share of state school funding to the detriment of the rest in the system.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:15PM
    • noitall
      If Peta is handing out gold stars you would be getting one today.
      "Debt", "Waste" and "Unions" all in the one post!
      Full marks for deflection.
      Now can you post a comment that means something?

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:15PM
  • The Pulse @ 1:38pm:

    "A coalition of business, government and community organisations..."???

    I don't see one business in that group.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:47PM
  • Indeed, the asylum seeker made a terrorist threat to Australia.

    It is so right to be in control of our borders and have a planned refugee intake.

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    PH
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:46PM
    • christielle
      Lovely deflection. Peta would be proud of you.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:17PM
  • I want to know how many men are on the "Women on Boards Australia" board!

    Surely it would be 50/50?

    Commenter
    notlad
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:45PM
    • notlad
      With only 3 board members, it says a lot about their diversity that one of them is male (33%).
      A much higher percentage than Australian boards allow for women.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:53PM
  • Judith, the nut buyer would have to be someone very optimistic. Having seen two products trapped already he/she still thought third time luckey.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:43PM
    • Maybe someone hoping for a Kevin Rudd three-peat.

      Commenter
      Vacqueyras
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:11PM
  • Look out for a Senate Estimates C'tee hearing into Parliament's vending machines. This is serious folks!

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:36PM
    • Twistiegate.

      Haven't the Greens moved a motion to remove sugar-filled products from APH yet ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:12PM
    • They would only have an inquiry if the machine was installed between 2007 and 2013.

      Commenter
      Vacqueyras
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:21PM
    • Sinodinos must be in huge trouble!
      You can tell by the number of squaddies trying to deflect.
      Quick, pick any topic and make a comment. Anything but ICAC!

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:15PM
    • Obviously the definition of 'featured' comment includes ones that humiliate the poster's own scruples.

      Commenter
      pugwash
      Location
      earth
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:32PM
  • Obviously a very busy pariamentary day if we are talking about vending machine dramas!

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:36PM
    • Nope - all pure deflection from ''he whose name they dare not speak'' (Arthur Sinodinos and the IAC).

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:01PM
  • Does that vending machine happen to distribute meat pies ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:36PM
    • They'd best not be cold!

      Young Billy likes his pies HOT.

      Commenter
      LESTWEFORGET
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:49PM
    • If Shorten is lucky - he might get a pie without insulting the vending machine - oh and maybe some policies

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:17PM
    • Looking for a policy Hacksy?

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:24PM
  • The ABC again shows that it has no respect for the national interest. It makes me sick that 7.30 is public funded and puts out trash last night that is trying to make trouble for the government. How much did that show cost to produce?
    But, one of the consequences of the ABC siding with illegal boat people and people smugglers is that we get to see the real side of these wannabe economic migrants.....I don't want those type of people in our country. They literally made terrorist threats to Australia on that show.

    Commenter
    paul
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:30PM
    • not sure how reporting on them warts and all makes the ABC "siding with" them - it makes it unvarnished, unspun reporting. If that's not what you want go back to Murdoch

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:39PM
    • You may wish to be treated like a mushroom by this secretive, inept government but I don't. The ABC did an excellent job last night of trying to inform people of what is going on. The government doesn't want people informed, a common thread amongst totalitarian regimes, which hopefully we're not. Their pathetic argument about secrecy is a complete farce. In six months this government has been the most secretive in history. Marty Natalegawa said recently that Indonesia's relationship with Australia ended six months ago. What a great achievement for Tony. The Murdoch Press likes to present one sided garbage but I'd like to discover the truth. The ABC did their job, that's all.

      Commenter
      Lord Lucan
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:44PM
    • There are no illegal refugees. Anyone is entitled to claim refugee status at any time anywhere.

      Commenter
      david of Doubt
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:47PM
    • Well you are using your perception of the program to paint the picture your way.
      The ABC presented footage provided by one of the thwarted asylum seekers. It didn't try to portray this as the only reliable side of the story and it invited the government to respond.
      I think it is more to the national interest that the ABC or other media outlet present this sort of thing rather than relying on getting it from the government. What we do get from the government is only slightly north of zip and only what they think we ought to know. .

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:47PM
    • Instead of the Abbott government doing it, you should pull the blanket over your head, if you can't believe the truth of what happens to boat people.

      Commenter
      Tim
      Location
      Inner City
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:50PM
    • So, paul, you complain that the ABC is biased in favour of asylum seekers because it showed them to be ungrateful and aggressive. I'm struggling with the logic. Not sure you’ve thought this one through.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:51PM
    • I don't think the 730 report damaged the Governmen in actual fact it gave it a big tick. It highlighted how successful OSB is. The Australian navy saved these people's lives, rescuing them from a leaks boat and returned them safely to Indonesia. From my observation last night, the refugees interviewed looked more comfortable than the would be on Christmas , Manus or Narru.

      Commenter
      Grace
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:52PM
    • I don't think the 730 report damaged the Government in actual fact it gave it a big tick. It highlighted how successful OSB is. The Australian navy saved these people's lives, rescuing them from a leaks boat and returned them safely to Indonesia. From my observation last night, the refugees interviewed looked more comfortable than the would be on Christmas , Manus or Narru.

      Commenter
      Grace
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:54PM
    • @DavidofDoubt. Sure anyone can claim refuge. Just go to the Australian embassy in Jakarta and go through the process, or perhaps the Australian embassy in one of the other countries you passed through to get here. BUT, don't jump the fence and try and force your way in, because then you're entering illegally. If they were escaping persecution in Indonesia, then it would be reasonable for them to cross the nearest border. But they're not. They may not be settled in Indo, but they're out of danger and if they're that desperate for a home, they can even apply for Indonesian citizenship.

      Commenter
      BrisbaneBoy
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:14PM
  • Wow another rally, although they're a day late for St. Patricks Day in all that green.

    Whilst we know Pyne was a little inconsistent with his handling of the original negotiations with the States, everybody came out with either the same Gonski funding or more funding.

    So what on earth is Kate Ellis on about ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:27PM
    • They're "on about" the WA senate re-election of course. You know, education cuts, that sort of thing. You don't think they really give a gonski do you?

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:40PM
    • gee hacks I don't know - maybe you should ask Adrian Piccoli - he's of the same view

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:41PM
    • That simply isn't true. With that sort of misinformation and misrepresentation, you could be a politician Hacka (unless you are working for one!)

      Commenter
      david of Doubt
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:48PM
    • Which part do you claim is untrue David ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:52PM
  • 1.09 pm. ''This is a challenge for Mr Abbott.''

    Personally, I think you will find a lot of things are a challenge for Mr Abbott.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:17PM
    • You're right Jump - Abbott has many challenges. Shorten isn't one of them.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:30PM
  • Good to see Bill Shorten holds these standards so high (now)! Because I'm sure there is a lot more to come out of this inquiry...
    BTW Bill, I don't remember you insisting Ms Gillard rush to act on a certain member from Dobell....

    Commenter
    dRod
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:16PM
    • BS has different standards for different things. Commonly knows as being a hypocrite.

      Commenter
      paul
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:47PM
  • Interesting that the Liberal’s enthusiastic embrace of cutting that bothersome red tape (and not forgetting ‘green tape’- a linguistic confection nearly as outlandish as the term ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’, and as inherently contradictory as the term ‘Education Minister Christopher Pyne’) does not extend to the, and I quote, ‘failed pink batt scheme’. Now the LNP seems quite adamant that much, much more tape (blue tape, perhaps?) was needed to prevent fires and deaths. Make up your mind, Tony!

    (As an aside, my computer just asked me if I would like to add ‘Pyne’ to my dictionary. This presents me with a serious ethical dilemma.)

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 1:15PM
  • Did the Greens membership increase following the March in March thingy me bob? and what has Sarah got to say about the 9/11 threat? maybe she's still lapping the parliamentary pool and measuring the effects of climate change on the pool's water level?

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:47PM
  • No, I think you're off beat there, in all due respect, Ms Ireland.

    Crossing the floor is not a big deal for Liberals but for Labor it calls for suspension and being chucked out.

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    PH
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:43PM
  • The big question of the day is 'Did Bill Short-Term beat his PB in the pool? and do we have any photos of those strong ALPGreens women doing their thing in the medley event? after all they will need lots of speed to out swim those sharks they have to save and leave near our beaches.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:41PM
  • We should keep the offence to humiliate or intimidate obviously in the 18c, and take out offend/insult.

    I thought George Brandis and Tony Abbott had that sorted.

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    PH
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:34PM
    • christielle
      The evidence shows that Abbott and Brandis can't sort anything.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:43PM
  • Does Mr Massola sit in the Cabinet meetings and takes notes? Or does he just embellish and exaggerate everything?

    He must be very snoopy if he goes into the Cabinet to attend meetings!

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    PH
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:28PM
    • You're a bit naïve, christielle. Mr Massola doesn't have to go to the meeting. Some nice Liberal MP either officially or unofficially leaks it to him. It's how politicians play their little games.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:51PM
  • "Oh no! Someone's Tuesday has started in the worst possible way."

    Probably one of the Greens trying to push it back into the machine.

    Commenter
    SteveH.
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:20PM
    • @SteveH - perhaps it was one of the LNP - trying to push back the Sinodinos and LNP connections.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:28PM
    • Yes, it was probably a Green pushing it back. We can be sure it wasn't Fiona Nash.

      Commenter
      Vacqueyras
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:32PM
    • Hah. That was funny!

      It does, of course, make you wonder whether the Greens would have succeeded if Fiona Nash had not been dragging for dear life to get it out!

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:35PM
    • Maybe it was Scott Morrison thinking it was an asylum seeking packet of chips.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:51PM
  • It's funny how the ABC made a big deal of "unravelling the secrecy" of the towbacks. Is it really newsworthy?? A bunch of people who, in their own words "Got tired of waiting to be processed" decided to jump the queue. They're not in any immediate danger, they just don't like the waiting around bit. So, they pay their money and jump on a leaky boat, and then when they get caught, it's all about their rights and entitlements??? And then they complain about the conditions in the lifeboat??? The only reason they get put in those lifeboats is they have a history of sabotaging, destroying other boats so that we're forced to pick them up. I know that it's human nature to get angry when you're disappointed, but threatening a 9/11 on us? Nope, I vote that anyone trying to jump the queue by getting in a boat and trying to force their way in gets disqualified from being allowed to enter the country. ABC, stop showing us this stuff and let Morrison and our Navy/customs people do their thing. If we close the gates, then they'll stop coming in these leaking boats, which will stop the drownings and stop the people smugglers profiteering. Once they're in Indonesia, they're no longer being oppressed in their homelands and they can wait for their application to be considered.

    Commenter
    BrisbaneBoy
    Location
    Brisbane
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:19PM
    • Brisbane Boy - your reductionist spiel totally discounts the rest of the world and of how it expects humane treatment of asylum seekers.
      The fact that you and the LNP are suddenly interested in asylum seekers (after weeks of denial) shows me a clear deflection is afoot.
      Sinodinos, perhaps?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:31PM
    • But I want to know, and so do a lot of people. We can't have the Liberals continually lying to us and covering things up, just because it might embarrass them.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:36PM
    • Well said BB, also I wonder if the ABC reporter told them that the Navy did them a favour by sending them back safely, instead of ending up in PNG, because I don't think they realized they weren't coming to Australia anyway

      Commenter
      Tonys mate
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:41PM
    • Interesting that the guy had plenty of video footage of the boat & "conditions", yet none to back up his claims of violence etc....

      Commenter
      Details Details
      Location
      No fixed Address
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:48PM
    • Funny how these 'refugees' have the foresight to carry recording equipment but conveniently forget their passports and identification.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:04PM
    • @Jump. Do you not get the point at all? These guys admitted on film that they got tired of waiting to be processed so decided to come by boat to try to force their way in. Of course they would have been encouraged by the people smugglers, but still, why should they take precedence over those who go through the appropriate channels. And how were they mistreated? By being taken from a leaky boat and put into an unsinkable one and towed to port? Given that they had the ability to record the proceedings, where is the footage of abuse? And the threats? Really, if they're that desperate to come to Australia, do they really think that invoking 9/11 is going to make us welcome them. As for interest in the topic - who's trying to deflect? I'm commenting on a topical event - I haven't followed the other story you're referring to as it doesn't interest me as much as the illegal people smugglers do.

      Commenter
      BrisbaneBoy
      Location
      Brisbane
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:21PM
    • Nulla
      Is that all you have? "they destroy their passports"?
      Tired, old and disproved many times. But keep on rolling it out. It plays well to the bogans.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:26PM
    • steve,

      noticed a few "bogans" at the marches yesterday. Especially those with loud-speakers in their hands!

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:34PM
    • dRod
      Yes, Even the bogans are starting to wake up that Tony is just lying to them. Roll on 2016.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:11PM
  • Morrison is certainly a master of spin. Yes 89 days since a boat landed in Australia but plenty have made it to Australian territory. f the question was how many have made it to Australia then the answer would be very different indeed.

    Commenter
    Lance
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:14PM
  • Their are two important ingredients missing in the LNP line up Honesty and Brains.

    Commenter
    Crowey
    Location
    QLD THE POLICE STATE.
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 12:07PM
  • Every parliamentarian secretly hopes to be PM one day

    Commenter
    suzie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 11:53AM
    • Imagine Pyne!
      I can't.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:57PM
  • The attacks on the ABC are becoming more hysterical. The right wingnuts seem to think, as state-run media, the ABC should not dare run coverage critical of the Government, it should support every Government action, and it should help popularise Government leaders. It should be the Abbott Bolstering Commission, "supporting the home team".

    Perhaps to get closer to the Liberal ideal the ABC could model itself on some other state-run media operations. I’m thinking Pravda and People’s Daily. They don’t criticise the Government.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 11:40AM
    • The government just completed a independent review of the ABC coverage and they found that it wasn't biased either way. So please all those people who try and keep this myth going of ABC bias just look at their own review and start debating the issues being raised rather than trying to bury them.

      Commenter
      Lancde
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:03PM
    • G
      The funny part is that they spent the entire last parliament telling the ABC to stop supporting the government. Now they want the opposite.
      But then consistency was never a Liberal strong suit.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:40PM
  • It's good to see Tasmanians have voted to end the age of entitlement. Pity the electoral boundary bias in South Australia meant that 53% of voters didn't get the democracy they voted for.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 11:35AM
    • Just like the majority of voters who rejected Howard's GST?

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:24PM
    • They're voting for members of parliament, not democracy. Pretty simple really. And of course almost half did get the result they wanted.

      Commenter
      Dr Bombay
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:38PM
    • @Dr Bombay. To be a democracy, those members of Parliament had to be elected fairly (by merit) - not paid for by corporate interests.

      Commenter
      Louise Tate
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:01PM
    • Oh dear, more deflection.
      More entitlement for big business. More slave labour for big business. More destruction of forests.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:09PM
  • Scott Morrison has shown the world that Australia will not pander to criminal people smugglers and their terrorist partners. Threats of 9/11 are a result of Morrison doing an excellent job in defeating international crime.

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 11:26AM
    • Shouldn't he be wearing a Superman suit. Just a problem with the hair.

      Commenter
      Dr Bombay
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:39PM
    • EisE
      That's a great theory. Mistreat people until they lash out then punish them for lashing out.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 2:20PM
  • Is there a difference between Australia and Australian territorial waters? If it was a fishing boat it's Australia. Again Morrison using a play on words to dumb down the political argument.

    Commenter
    Tim
    Location
    Inner City
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 11:19AM
  • If Morrison has leadership ambitions then he needs to get out of the Immigration portfolio. That always ends up a poisoned chalice.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 11:05AM
    • No its politics 101. If one pollie is asked about political ambitions, they always respond "X is a good friend and has my complete support".
      X will need to watch her or his back.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:56AM
  • I think you mean Gillardesque, Ms Ireland, when talking about saying they are focusing on their current job, and not looking at the PM's job - remember the knifing?

    Commenter
    christielle
    Location
    PH
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 10:59AM
    • No, she meant Rudd, who everyone knew was undermining Gillard while he was saying it. But you go on hating Julia Gillard. You will be increasingly outnumbered as this mob continue to show just how much better she was as a Prime Minister.

      I should add, as much as I see the current Insulation Royal Commission as a reprehensible political pay-back, it will allow the rest of Australia to see how Rudd really behaved as a Prime Minister and why he needed to go.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:23AM
    • This gets dull.

      Yes I'm sure you remember with relish that Rudd knifed Gillard who knifed Rudd who knifed... I've forgotten who, just as the other lot remember that Abbott knifed Turnbull who knifed Nelson who ... you get the drift.

      In the end, though, it's completely irrelevant. We all know pollies knife each other, it’s what they do for a living and what they're good at. Unfortunately they’re also supposed to be running the country well, and that’s not happening now, as it didn’t happen too well before the current lot stumbled into power.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:55AM
    • I feel Gigondas that you don't realise the difference in knifing a sitting Prime minister... twice... to an opposition leader loosing a ballot. People tend not to care so much about who wins an opposition ballot but after they voted for Rudd and where about to remove him their choice was taken away. The fact that Labor did it twice shows that they still don't get it.

      Commenter
      Brettie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:47PM
    • No, I get that, Brettie, although I would say that I am definitely interested in who is elected as Opposition Leader, as they are one election away from leading the whole shebang.

      My point is that I’d rather the people running the country to be focused on running the country, not on political point-scoring. What happened two, three, five, ten, twenty years ago is interesting and may even be mildly relevant to what’s happening today, but it’s not the main game. The reflex you see here of meeting any criticism of one side with a dredge through to find a worse example of the other side doesn’t really answer the original criticism, it simply says ‘yes, but they did it first/worse’.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 1:04PM
  • Last nights Four Corners program had former Liberal minister Alexander Downer authorising spying by ASIS on East Timor, not the Labor Party. You'd never guess that with all the blame on here because the spying was exposed under Labor's watch. It was the Liberals who started it.

    Commenter
    Tone
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 10:56AM
    • Spying on East Timor was all during the Coalition's time in government. It was the spying on Indonesia's president SBY that was initiated by the Rudd government.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:10AM
    • Lewis
      OOPS. I think you meant to say it was Howard who authorised it.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:19AM
    • The difference is that the spying on Indonesia was done, at best, to determine the politics on the ground there and, at worst, as an act of crawling to the CIA and the NSA by our intelligence people.

      The spying on East Timor was allegedly done in order to get a commercial advantage for a private Australian company with more financial resources by far than the country of East Timor that desperately needed the money.

      The Indonesian escapade was dumb. The Timor escapade was reprehensible and grossly immoral.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:27AM
    • Abbott stood up and defended labor when the Indonesian spying scandal hit. All those on the left wanted him to apologise not really understanding that to apologise would be to throw not only labor but the country under the bus.

      He acted with dignity and honour and in the best interests of Australia.

      basing your assertions on a 4 corners program that was always going to take the other guys side is all you have got.

      Even Martin Ferguson stood up for Australia. I don't expect ou or the other Abbott haters will do the same.

      Commenter
      Pragmatic prince
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:40AM
    • Yep, Tone. I watched that last night and just shook my head. Politics = lies.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:56AM
    • Wow, Pragmatic Prince. I will say it more plainly so that you can understand. A whole lot of Liberal supporters were blaming Labor on this forum. It had nothing to do with how Abbott responded, but you lot were blaming Labor, when the Liberals were just as much to blame. You're a shameless lot.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:32PM
    • Prag, Abbott did not stand up and defend Labor - show me a single reference where he did. What he did was defend the dumbo Australian intelligence community who screwed it all up.

      Reinvent the past all you like, but Abbott would sooner bite his right arm off than defend Labor for anything - right or wrong.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:37PM
    • WW, I didn't say he defended labor, what I said he didn't blame labor. He didn't throw them under the bus. Why is that hard for you to understand?
      He defended Australia's right to protect itself. I know you lefties like to think the worst and take everybody else's side except Australia's but Abbott rose above your childishness.

      Commenter
      Pragmatic prince
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:24PM
    • Prag, direct cut and paste from from your post:

      "Abbott stood up and defended labor"

      Apparently, it's my fault for reading what you said, rather than what you meant to say. Seriously, can't you even look a couple of posts further up before calling me out as mistaken?????

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:56PM
  • Now we have boat people threatening a 9/11 on Australia - March in March on a boat now?

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 10:48AM
    • A lot of people say bad things that the don't mean when they are majorly pissed off with their treatment. It's human nature. Why would asylum seekers be any different. Oh, I forget, they're not "one of us" so it's ok to marginalise them, right?

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:06AM
    • Ha ha EiE. What a fizzer that march was.

      But on the 7.30 report - having the f word broadcast three times was pretty average in front of the kiddies.

      The program backfired badly in its intent to embarrass the government. It showed a bloke physically threatening Navy staff, and referencing some pretty bad acts.

      It showed the character of some of these people, and how despite their resolve (the bloke had a couple of cracks at reaching Australia), the Navy are also resolute.

      That conditions on the boat were bad, yet the occupants safe, will likely deter others trying. And to the people smugglers - Australia is closed for business.

      We await part 2, although the three minutes given to the Tas / SA elections at the end showed the priorities of the ABC, compared to the 20 minutes the boat story played for.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:07AM
    • It's okay, the Left would love to import terrorists. Its a key plank in the Greens open-borders policy platform.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:09AM
    • Hacka,

      Backfire doesn't do it justice.

      Prime time largely left wing cosmopolitan audience saw, and heard, disgruntled "Asylum Seekers" whinging about a ride in a $50,000 orange boat ; threaten Australian politicians, deride the Aussie battler with profanities, and, just to top it off, a thinly veiled threat of another 9\11 attack.

      Even the uniocular Whyalla would be hard pressed to morally equilibrate this bit of ABC partisanship

      Commenter
      Louis Cypher
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:29AM
    • So you guys are just here to make white noise then? EiE what exactly is your post about?
      Hacka, if 730 was truly biased in favour of unmitigated immigration as you seem to suggest they could have just as easily edited out the parts where the Iranian fellow got angry about Australia and raised the spectre of 9/11. Wouldn't have been hard, and you'd have been none the wiser - instead they put it out there for everyone to judge, and you still claim their intent was to embarrass the government?

      Commenter
      frank
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:35AM
    • Agreed Hacka, the more media coverage these "asylum seekers" get the more I am happy with the decision that the government has made to take a tough stance.

      Agree with what Scott Morrison said about the air of entitlement. The fact that these people have chosen to travel to Australia several times when they know very well that we aren't accepting asylum seekers via boat just shows the indifference to our sovereignty.

      These are the people that the Greens and Labor want to have on our mainland that are willing to threaten terrorist attacks against us! I suppose we'd cop the same treatment when their tax payer funded entitlements end as well.

      As for Scott Morrison's future leadership ambitions - he has done an excellent job managing a very difficult portfolio that has a lot of media exposure and when the time is right should be rewarded. Why stoop to the ALP's level rewarding cut throat back room party tactics rather than success.

      Commenter
      El Seano
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:36AM
    • Hacka, SA and Tas state elections are state-based. 7.30 is a national program. Of course they are not going to be given much time on a national program. There is national interest, but it is limited.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:46AM
    • @ Hacka. The show did reach its aims - YOU are talking about it.
      Same goes for the march - you opened your spiel on it, so clearly it was NOT a fizzer.
      Free support on two aspects - cheers.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:00PM
    • Hacka, yes the march was a fizzer.

      Any idea what the people were marching about? did they have anything in common other than they both hate Abbott?

      Commenter
      adrian
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:51PM
    • Adrian says "Has anyone worked out what these marchers are on about? did they have anything in common other than they both hate Abbott?"

      In the Pulse yesterday Hacka asked "Any idea what the people were marching about? "

      Can't the righties think of a new line of attack?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:19PM
    • More deflection by the squaddies

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:06PM
  • "Last night's 7.30 program showed footage of asylum seekers trying to get to Australia from Indonesia."

    What appeared to be confirmed cruel conduct is putting the asylum seekers in the orange boats (which is not the fault of the naval personnel but the government which ordered it).

    This from a Government that, when in opposition, blocked Labor plans to stop the boats because they were too 'inhumane'. There is never-ending hypocrisy from the party now in government. And it goes on with its white kid gloves treatment of Sinodinos, while any Labor person associated however indirectly with Eddie Obeid has been hung, drawn and quartered before the evidence is half out.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 10:48AM
    • I thought the program came very close to inciting resentment against the Iranian asylum seekers. Surprising from our ABC...

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:02AM
    • The moral equivalence of the Left is astounding. There is a vast difference between sending women and children to Malaysia to be whipped and the current Government's policy of returning illegal arrivals to Indonesia in high-quality and safe lifeboats.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:11AM
    • Nulla
      Whipped?
      Since when does Malaysia whip asylum seekers?
      Another LNP lie.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:22AM
    • What about "Children Overboard." Is there a moral equivalence to that, Nulla? The Liberals claimed that asylum seekers threw their children overboard, to win an election.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:32AM
    • Lewis, it certainly would have resounded well among the beat them up even harder class.

      But the ABC told it as it was from the asylum seekers point of view. It is a perspective that we need to see, whether it results in our hearts bleeding or wanting their heads to bleed. That is why we need the ABC.

      Nulla, there is a vast difference between the theoretical possibility of punishment by caning in Malaysia (which exists in Singapore as well) with the near certainty (proven by previous experience) of mental illness induced by long and uncertain periods of detention on Nauru, as proposed by the Liberals. You clearly think that it is more humane to impose serious mental illness on people or to set them into an enclosed boiling hot rolling orange hell on water than to open up the incredible unlikelihood that one or more of the asylum seekers would do something in Malaysia that would merit caning. Nice set of values there!

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:43AM
    • Note, WW. The above two posts did not address Sinodinos. Hence, today's script is deflect the involvement of the LNP with faux concern over asylum seekers.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:03PM
    • @ Nulla. You say there's a world of difference. Please explain as I am struggling to see it.

      Malaysia, non signatory to the UN refugee charter. Predominately Muslim country, has the death penalty and allows whipping as corporal punishment.

      Indonesia, non signatory to the UN refugee charter. Predominately Muslim country, has the death penalty and allows whipping as corporal punishment.

      Spot the difference. I sure can't

      Commenter
      Sambo
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:06PM
    • A couple of three word slogans for you today -

      Thomson, Slipper, Hypocrisy
      Henry, Gonski, Hypocrisy

      Both sow up the ALP beautifully.

      PS re asylum seekers I want to know what brand of phone they used for the filming 'cause my phone battery sure as hell won't last 9 days with use like that.

      Commenter
      andie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:11PM
    • @ Nulla.

      No wait, you are right. Now I get it.

      There is a big difference. The Malaysia deal would have meant that those sent back went safely by plane, as opposed to being set adrift at sea.

      Commenter
      Sambo
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:12PM
  • Sinodinos seems like straight shooter and probably another victim of the Obeid web.

    However, this is a bit of a test for Abbott. He can, like Labor did a few times, tough it out, or he could ask Sinodinos to stand down temporarily.

    In the case of the latter the Coalition would at least be able to claim the moral high ground. Labor are also treading on eggshells here.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 10:30AM
    • Probably another victim? Who gets paid a couple of hundred thousand dollars for a 100 hours work and does not smell a rat?

      Of course, it's possible that in Liberal world that happens all the time.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:49AM
    • Typical Hacka
      Forgive and forget if it is a Liberal committing a crime.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:53AM
    • Actually, WW, $200K is about par for board chairmen's pay and board positions are part time jobs unless they are also executives of the company. It may well turn out to be BS but the explanation is plausible.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:55AM
    • Lewis, you may well be right. But how do you justify these sums being spread around at the big end of town? This is a scandal in itself (and I know that ex-Labor politicians have their fingers in the same pie).

      Meantime, Sinodinos's political party goes around demeaning workers on no more than $50k a year (four years to get what Sinodinos gets for 100 hours of buggerall effort) for daring to ask for 50 cents more an hour to compensate for having highly reflective tins shining in their eyes!

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:34AM
    • A victim? $200k for 100 hours a year and he knew nothing? Does he also go by the name Seargent Shultz?

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:42AM
    • Hacka

      This is the guy who is alleged to have been one of the brains behind Howard's success.
      And he came to Canberra as one of the bright lights of the Abbott government in waiting.
      And you are telling us he was some sort of innocent abroad deceived by some dodgy labor pollies.
      Nice try.
      What he was sucked in by was the prospect of a $20 million payday.
      Never stand between a Tory and a bucket of money.

      Commenter
      Rhm
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:52AM
    • WW I suggest you look into the money Union heavies get for sitting on the superannuation boards etc.

      Commenter
      andie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:15PM
    • Good point Andie. Martin Ferguson shows that greed is a big driver whichever side of politics you start out on.

      The problem is that the Liberals, while filling their bank accounts to bursting, are pretending that greed and immorality are only on the left. Lets look at the whole Directors rorts - from the biggest businesses to the Super funds (retail and industry).

      But don't just say look over there to distract from the stench where you are standing.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:47PM
    • Hacka "Sinodinos seems like straight shooter and probably another victim of the Obeid web."

      Why do you assume Sinodinos or any other pollie is a straight shooter? Very naive or just deflecting.

      The general evidence does not justify that as a default position if you do not have personal knowledge. There have been so many pollies especially of late, who are not straight shooters, the informed default position must one of suspicion that pollies personal agendas and their self interest are being prosecuted ahead of everything else at every chance.

      Who are these other "victims" of the Obeid web?

      Perhaps they exist and I am sure you can tell us who they are, so excuse my ignorance but I am unaware of any other "victim" and it appears that those others involved with Obeid (not making allegations about Sinodinos here) are likely up to their eyeballs in it.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:36PM
    • Steve- I just noticed that you did not even read Hacka's comment.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 5:10PM
  • When is the pollies vs press gymnastics comp? Am looking forward to seeking Christopher Pyne and Tony Abbott demonstrating their backflip skills

    Commenter
    AW77
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 10:21AM
    • Shorten has the triple backflip down pat. It goes Rudd-Gillard-Rudd before he lands on his face attempting to handspring over the Royal Commission.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:49AM
    • I hear they've perfected the triple Gonski.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:52AM
    • This mob are pretty good at The Trojan Horse.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:01AM
  • Don't tell me the ALP and their media masters are doing a witch hunt?

    Commenter
    enough is enough
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 10:21AM
    • Seems like you meant to say, ICAC and Fairfax running a witch hunt - the same people who have (rightly) been doing over the ALP for the last few years?
      Where are you seeing the ALP's involvement in this one, exactly? A comment assuming innocence from Albo and a statement from a spokesman that he expects the PM to deal with it?

      Commenter
      frank
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:49AM
    • Witch hunt by Labor - never. Peta Credlin and co have exclusive rights from witch hunt international to conduct all witch hunts in this country. Just look at their Royal Commissions!

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:50AM
    • EisE
      Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Media Masters?
      Another attempt to deflect, deflect deflect.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:55AM
    • Yeah those HSU trials, witch hunts on poor Thommo and Willo.

      Commenter
      enough is enough
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:00AM
    • So, can you justify your original statement or not? Either one is fine.

      Commenter
      frank
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:12AM
    • It's funny how ICAC is now a witch hunt. How come it wasn't a witch hunt before EisE?

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:26AM
    • EIE comments “Don't tell me the ALP and their media masters are doing a witch hunt?”

      Then Frank responds by asking “Where are you seeing the ALP's involvement in this one, exactly? A comment assuming innocence from Albo and a statement from a spokesman that he expects the PM to deal with it?”

      EIE’s response is “Yeah those HSU trials, witch hunts on poor Thommo and Willo.”

      Another commenter responds to EIE’s first comment “EisE Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Media Masters? Another attempt to deflect, deflect deflect.”

      EIE, no comment has alleged that the HSU trials were a Liberal witch hunt, so your unnecessary attempted refutation that this was so, is just a strawman deflection.

      As per Frank's query, where are Labor's fingerprints on the Sinodinos matter?

      Who are these media masters of Labor?

      I thought the LNP and supporters say its masters are the Unions?

      I think you are confusing Labor for the Libs regarding "media masters".

      (Note apologies to any reader for the recitation of the preceding comments but the moderator needs these for context of to approve for publication, having been first rejected without the context)

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:14PM
  • Seeing those pics of pollies in budgie smugglers so early in the morning has given me quite a turn. Bolt-like, I demand an apology from the SMH.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 9:40AM
  • Wonder if the Government will stand by their principles and suspend Sinodinis whilst he is under investigation.

    It could give them a further excuse not to release the Commission of audit, he is probably the only one capable of understanding it.

    Commenter
    tasch2
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 9:40AM
    • Under the Liberal Party philosophy that you are guilty until proven innocent in a court of law, Sinodinos should be history.

      But there are different rules for the Liberals and for everyone else, because they are born to rule. How dare you even consider rising above your station in life.

      Commenter
      Jennifer
      Location
      Carlton
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 9:55AM
    • Good question, tasch2. Of course the words 'principles' and 'Government' are rarely found so close together in a sentence.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 9:58AM
    • not smart enough to avoid ICAC though. I await the relentless excruciatingly embarrassing inquisition but eventual non-prosecution - the way of all ICAC

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:27AM
    • Well noted, Rod Steiger. In my view the ICAC process is flawed. It is not a court of law but has over reaching power to infer wrong doing without actual evidence. Obeid, MacDonald, & co are now with trashed reputations but no one has been charged. I doubt if anything out of ICAC can now be admissible in a court of law.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 10:46AM
    • tasch2
      No. You have to understand Liberal politics.
      When ICAC pursues a Labor politician, they call for dismissals.
      When ICAC pursues Liberal politicians it is a witch hunt.
      It is hard to keep up with the hypocrisy.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:30AM
    • Ethical principles in politics are what applies to the other side. Any perceived error on one side can always be excused by, "Well it was worse when the other side were in government" and so on ad nauseum

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:50AM
    • Get ready for a lot of 'look over there, evil unions!'

      Commenter
      pugwash
      Location
      earth
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 4:34PM
  • Look the ABC have been accused of a few things of late, but in terms of upsetting voters, that picture of Greg Jennett in budgie smugglers, well, well, it may have been finally too much for me.

    Good win though Gallery.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 9:38AM
  • eww
    near naked pollies ...

    Commenter
    rod steiger
    Location
    toukley
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Yep, the whole thing is fairly disgusting. Two groups of people who will do anything for a bit of attention. And we're supposed to believe that the adults are back in control. Can't see it really.

      Commenter
      Puto
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:29AM
    • I'm hearing you. Double-gross. Old mens legs are never attractive.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 11:42AM
    • Jump, I'm hurt by that accusation. Then again, on reflection (i.e. I needed a mirror to see them), maybe you're right.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:44PM
  • What about a Belly Flop competition between Pollies and Journos next time?

    Commenter
    Sarah of Carnegie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 9:25AM
  • About a month ago I wondered why the LNP pollies and their comically indiscriminating cheer squad suddenly stopped mentioning the word ‘Obeid’. After all, it seemed like a perfect blunt instrument with which to bash the bloodied Labor corpse- with alleged crimes on the face of it far more serious than their other favourite fevered delvings into the murk-filled past (Gillard/AWU and Thomson/HSU). Why the silence?

    But in the last month all has become clear. Enter senior Liberal Arthur Sinodinos and his mates Michael Photios, Paul Nicolaou, ChrisHartcher , Tim Koelma and Nick Di Girolamo. Strange bedfellows, indeed.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 9:19AM
    • These are NSW politicians. They are just as crooked as each other.

      From TheAge:
      "The inquiry heard that Nick Di Girolamo, a prominent Liberal Party fund-raiser and Obeid associate, transformed Australian Water from a not-for-profit venture into a commercial operation charging exorbitant ''administration costs'' to Sydney Water. This included $75,636 in donations made by AWH to the Liberal Party.

      The inquiry also heard that Liberal Party Senator Sinodinos stood to make up to $20 million as a director of Australian Water Holdings if the deal went through.

      Commenter
      Tone
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 9:52AM
    • @Tone - the problem is that they come from the NSW Libersal party from which Abbott came from. Just look at the way he treated the travel rorts and you can see he has the one rule for us and one for the rest down pat. Is this what Hockey meant by age of entitlement?

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 12:11PM
  • Guess who won the press vs pollie swimming match. I don't know but could you tell us if there were any crocs

    Commenter
    stevek
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 18, 2014, 9:12AM
    • Didn't notice any crocs just a few slippery eels.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:36PM
    • Cwitty and R. Steiger

      Electricity prices can never reduce or stop increasing as 45% of generator costs go into grid expansion to accommodate population growth of 1 million every 2.59 years. In comparison the carbon price effect is low it is nothing in comparison.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      g
      Date and time
      March 18, 2014, 3:44PM
Comments are now closed