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Federal Politics

Politics Live: March 25, 2014

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We leave you with the musical stylings of Rodgers and Hammerstein

There's nothing like it.

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce blew a kiss to some Rats of Tobruk who thanked her on a video message during a farewell reception at the Great Hall. Photo: Andrew Meares

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce blew a kiss to some Rats of Tobruk who thanked her on a video message during a farewell reception at the Great Hall. Photo: Andrew Meares

As we sneak a trout croquette and make for the hills, what have we learned today?

  • The Thomson saga 'aint over, baby (put November 24 in your diaries now);
  • It is OK to mock and insult. But not to intimidate and vilify;
  • Small talk can be awkward. Even if you’re the PM and G-G;
  • It’s back to the '80s, with the revival of dames and knights; but
  • Not back to the '90s (according to George Brandis, republicanism is so over).

 

That’s about it from Sir Andrew Meares and I. We’ll see you tomorrow for more live democracy.

Tomorrow morning, the G-G will lay a wreath at the War Memorial before flying back to Queensland.

We will then have a day of Vice Regal breathing time before Sir General Peter Cosgrove is sworn in on Friday.

 

And then a rockin official portrait is unveiled of Quentin-Bryce. Complete with purple suit.

Artist Ralph Heimans - who has previously painted the Queen and Princess Mary - is responsible.

 

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce helps to unveil her official portrait. Photo: Andrew Meares

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce helps to unveil her official portrait. Photo: Andrew Meares

Champagne is poured and Tony Abbott proposes toasts to both the Queen and then the G-G herself.

"God bless you."

"My friends, thank you," says the G-G, signing off.

 

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

The G-G says she has enjoyed a "brimming" diary during her time at Government House.

And has "boxes and boxes" of correspondence.

"Oh the letters!"

A little boy called Sean has been keeping her regularly updated on the baby cows at his farm.

(One is named after the G-G.)

QB talks about growing up believing that "everyone should be included".

And of her "strong conviction that women can and do make a difference".

 

The G-G takes to the lectern.

QB says that when she came to parliament five years ago, she felt the gravity of the role.

"Solemnity, impartiality, energy and a profound love of our country," she recalls.

She also says she wanted to be a "modern Governor-General".

Shorten says that Australians will miss the G-G's grace, elegance humour and kindness.

He also praises Michael Bryce, a patron of some 40 organisations.

"On a personal note, there are ten grandchildren who have loaned you and Your Excellency to the nation ... who will be thrilled to get you back."

Michael Bryce wipes a tear as outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce at a reception to mark her farewell. Photo: Andrew Meares

Michael Bryce wipes a tear as outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce at a reception to mark her farewell. Photo: Andrew Meares

Bill Shorten begins his comments with "Your Excellency" (not Mum).

He thanks Bryce for her service on behalf of a "grateful nation".

"You have been a trailblazer [as the first female G-G], but then again you always have."

 

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce on Tuesday evening. Photo: Andrew Meares

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce on Tuesday evening. Photo: Andrew Meares

"Dame Quentin Bryce, I salute you," says the PM.

The PM says that Bryce has been with Australians "in our joy and our grief", and notes that she has presented four Victoria Crosses.

"Your presence and your example has helped us to come closer to being our best selves."

 

 

The PM notes that despite Bryce's illustrious legal and academic career before taking office, she was not "stuffy" or "aloof".

He recounts how when the G-G visited Afghanistan, she gave a young soldier a kiss, saying:

"Happy Birthday, that's on behalf of your mother."

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce was accompanied by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to a farewell reception at the Great Hall of Parliament House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce was accompanied by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to a farewell reception at the Great Hall of Parliament House. Photo: Andrew Meares

The reception for Quentin Bryce has begun. And Tony Abbott has taken to the lectern.

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce was accompanied by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to a farewell reception at the Great Hall. Photo: Andrew Meares

Outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce was accompanied by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to a farewell reception at the Great Hall. Photo: Andrew Meares

It's not a formal event at parliament without some kind of macadamia dish.

The Abbotts wait for outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce to arrive at Parliament House on Tuesday evening. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Abbotts wait for outgoing Governor-General Dame Quentin Bryce to arrive at Parliament House on Tuesday evening. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Pulse has obtained the menu for Quentin Bryce's farewell at Parliament tonight.

It's all about canapés.

And it will please those in both the meat/no meat camps. There are even some dairy and gluten free options!

Cold canapés:

  • Poached chicken, mango and cucumber salsa topped with chilli flakes and crushed peanuts 
  • Crab and lobster salad on lemon blinis
  • Paperbark scented Parliament House cured salmon served with a macadamia nut and finger lime crumble in a Chinese spoon 
  • Crispy herb polenta topped with ratatouille vegetables

 

Hot canapés:

  • Mini slow roasted beef and potato croquette served with a saffron Hollandaise 
  • Lemon myrtle spiced petite lamb with garlic aioli
  • Smoked trout, potato and shallot croquette with a lemon mayonnaise
  • Mini vegetable parcels with a spicy tomato coulis

 

Sweet canapé:

  • Sable topped with custard and seasonal fruit

As we dust of our best outfits and await the arrival of the G-G, a word about Madam Speaker.

We noted earlier today that there was a bit of trouble brewing re: Labor and B-Bish.

Now Matthew Knott reports that Labor will introduce a motion tomorrow into the Reps on the importance of independence:

The motion will ask the House to endorse past statements by Coalition MPs – including Tony Abbott – on Speaker impartiality.

It will also ask MPs to endorse "a practice whereby the Speaker refrains from attending his or her party room".

(Bronwyn Bishop currently attends party room meetings ...)

No doubt this will do much to ease the tensions between Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke and Madam Speaker.

(Could the two be any snappier with each other at the moment?)

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke during question time on Tuesday . Photo: Andrew Meares

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke during question time on Tuesday . Photo: Andrew Meares

One other thought on all this, how does Quentin really feel?

The PM said that both she and Pete were happy to accept.

It's an interesting honour to end up with though, for a republican.

There's a big fancy reception in the Great Hall of Parliament House tonight, in honour of Quentin Bryce.

The PM, Bryce and Shorten will all speak.

And a painted portrait of the new Dame will also be unveiled.

It all kicks off at 6pm.

So what does Bill Shorten have to say about his mother-in-law's impressive new title?

"It's good to see the government has a plan for Knights and Dames – where’s their plan for jobs?," he says in a statement.

"I'm concerned the Abbott government thinks this is a priority – what about jobs, health and education?"

Timing is an interesting thing.

Like, why did the PM wait until 4pm on a Tuesday to tell the nation of this sensational dame/knight news?

We (and this is the royal we) would have thought the logical time for this announcement would have been just before or just after he called on the G-G this morning.

Besides, this way, there is much less focus on the government's important reforms to the Racial Discrimination Act.

Maybe we just don't understand the protocol.

 

 

"Bemusement."

That's what shadow A-G Mark Dreyfus says when asks for his reaction to the royal news.

"Even the arch-monarchist John Howard did not reintroduce these royal honours when he was in government for eleven and a half years," he told reporters in Canberra.

"It's an archaic and retrograde step."

So if the PM said there would be about four dames/nights a year and we have already spent two on Bryce and Cosgrove, who else gets the gong in 2014?

Cate Blanchett? John Farnham? Black Caviar?

(We know, we know, not Rolf Harris.)

George Brandis is on Sky News.

He says he thinks republicanism is a 1990s thing.

"[A] Paul Keating chic sort of movement, which is rather dated frankly".

 

Dame Quentin Bryce.

Governor-General Quentin Bryce on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Governor-General Quentin Bryce on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Reactions are mixed so far:

Nevermind about the Racial Discrimination Act, the FOFA stuff or orphans!

It's a Dame-Knight bonanza!

As has been raised in this presser, News Corp reported in December that the PM had ruled out bringing back knights and dames.

"It's true that some people have said to me: 'What about doing what New Zealand did','' he said at the time.

"But I don't think it would be practical to just rebadge ACs [the companion of the Order of Australia]. There was a rarity to their AC equivalent which made it easier for them to do this ...

"I don't think New Zealand is a relevant model here."

(As noted below, the PM argues that Australia's procedure for bestowing the honour will be different.)

Back in the day when we had dames and knights before, there were 12 knights and two dames.

There are now only two living recipients.

Former G-G Sir Ninian Stephen and Prince Charles.

The PM says that Australia is doing something different from NZ, which allows people to convert their companion awards into knight and damehoods.

He says that he made his decision over the past few weeks, while contemplating Quentin Bryce's departure.

He says that both Bryce and Cosgrove "carefully considered" the proposition and were happy to accept.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

This comes right in time for Wills and Kate and baby George's visit next month.

But the PM says that Australian knights and dames are an Australian order (not a Brit thing).

He points out that there were knights and dames in the Aussie order between 1976 and '86.

There are a few questions here about whether the honour goes to former PMs or MPs.

"It will be a very select honour," the PM says.

He reckons it will be directed to those who have accepted not sought public office.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Dame Quentin Byce.

So that's what the PM was talking to the G-G about today when they kicked the cameras out.

 

Why? Why did you want to do it?

"This is an important grace note in our national life," the PM says.

It will only go to those who are extraordinary and pre-eminent.

There weren't be very many.

Perhaps four a year.

 

The PM is in the Blue Room.

He is announcing a new (old) honour for Australia.

Knights and dames are back!

(Just like New Zealand)

The first new dame will be outgoing G-G Quentin Bryce.

The first new knight will be incoming G-G Peter Cosgrove.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

In the meantime, the Green Room discusses a Matter of Public Importance on financial advice.

Namely, "the government's attempts to wind back investor protections for consumers seeking financial advice".

This, despiate Mathias Cormann announcing yesterday that the Coalition had called a halt to the controversial watering down of Labor's Future of Financial Advice laws.

 

Hold on to your beanies ...

Back to the House.

Shorten's move to suspend standing orders - and bring on a debate about the government's move to cut assistance to children of ADF vets who have been killed or injured - was lost, 83 votes to 51.

It is up to Christopher Pyne to call an end to QT.

The PM was not talked out by QT.

He has called a presser for 4pm.

Blue Room, like.

Also at Pearce, Vice Chief of the Defence Forces Mark Binskin cautions the excitable media pack.

"We're not searching for a needle in a haystack. We're still trying to define where the haystack is."

The Defence Minister is asked if he backs the view that MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean.

"I am confident of that because its the best we've got [based on the information] to this point in time."

He then adds that: "everything we have, you know about".

While all this goes on, Defence Minister David Johnston is speaking from RAAF base Pearce near Perth.

He praises the international effort so far.

He will not speculate on a question about possible accommodation for families and trips over the crash area.

"To this point in time we have not successfully identified and recovered any debris from the aircraft ..."

"This is a soulless government," Shorten argues.

 

Bill Shorten gives this the thumbs down.

And moves to suspend standing orders.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott leaves the House as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten sought to suspend standing orders. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott leaves the House as Opposition Leader Bill Shorten sought to suspend standing orders. Photo: Andrew Meares

After a Dixer to Malc on the broadband in remote areas of WA, we have BS to TA

And he as an either/or for the PM.

I refer to the Treasurer's December comments that the government will have to make difficult choices in the budget. 

Which is more important: giving high income earners an extra $75,000 for the PPL?

OR

Giving $211 to the children of war veterans?

Why is the government prioritising cutting the payments of the children of war veterans, including orphans?

Tony Abbott begins ...

"Well Madam Speaker, this is a government that will repair the budget ... Some of the commitments that we made were quite tough, uncompromising commitments ... including savings that a lot of people wouldn't like."

He says that the Coalition "will not shirk the difficult decisions needed".

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Another Bowen number to Hockey.

I refer the Treasurer to his recent statements that there are $123 billion in cumulative deficit over the forward estimates. Can he confirm more than half this has occurred due to spending decisions or changes in economic assumptions made on his watch?

Hockey revs up.

"The hypocrisy of the Labor Party!

"The Labor Party got every number wrong, engaged in deceit and deception when it came to the budget.

"Our numbers are fair dinkum and we are being fair dinkum with the Australian people."

A Dixer to Assistant Infrastructure Minister Jamie Briggs on the ... mining tax ... provides the house with a sense of how the government is building a stronger and more prosperous WA without relying on the mining tax.

(I'll give you a wee hint. Keeping the mining tax is a bad idea.)

Chris Bowen pings one Joe Hockey's way.

And a meal is now being made.

I refer the Treasurer the PM's answer a moment ago, in which he said that official development assistance would reach 0.5 per cent of GNI when the budget returns to surplus and referred to this as "an aspiration".

If this is the case, why did the Treasurer's mid-year economic forecast say that official development assistance would reach this target in 2017?

Is this another example of the Treasurer cooking the books to artificially inflate debt and deficit? 

Hockey attacks right back.

"Every single number Labor published for six years was WRONG!"

AND

"The Labor Party cooked the books and the rest of Australia got food poisoning!"

(There is also a reference to mustard and horseradish.)

We hop through a couple of questions.

One, from Tanya Plibersek to the PM about overseas aid.

Another, a Dixer from exiled Science Minister Dennis Jensen to Sussan Ley on the Early Years Quality Fund.

During the latter, Labor's Matt Thistlethwaite is kicked out for an hour.

As is Kate Ellis.

And then Mark Dreyfus.

Childcare makes a lot of people angry.

 

And now, the moment we have all been waiting for.

The Dixer about Craig Thomson.

Victorian MP Sarah Henderson asks Pyne:

I refer to the sentence handed down against the former Labor member for Dobell, Craig Thomson, in the Melbourne Magistrates Court today ... what is the government doing to combat fraud, corruption, and other illegal activity in the union movement?

Pyne launches into a lengthy recitative.

"It's a great sadness that the once great party of Chifley and Curtin is now the party of Obeid and Macdonald and Williamson and Thompson."

(So clearly no worries about the Sinodinos-Obeid connection then.)

BS comes back to TA.

The Attorney-General today announced that the Abbott government wants to change laws which protect Australians from bigotry and hate speech. 

PM, why is removing anti-racism laws which of protected Australians for almost 20 years, such a high priority of the Abbott government?

The PM says that it is not the only priority. After all, there is the carbon tax scrap, mining tax scrap and cutting red tape!

He says the repeal of 18C was taken to the election.

"And now the Leader of the Opposition is choosing to play politics ... and attempt to try and engage in a bit of dog-whistling..."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

As Lisa Cox reports, the Senate has just voted against the repeal of the mining tax.

It was defeated at the second reading stage.

This comes after it voted against the repeal of the carbon tax last week.

Cue: a dixer to Hockey (from Don Randall) on abolishing the mining tax and how this will assist the economy and create jobs.

"From day one ... the Coalition has been opposed to the mining tax. What a horrible birth this tax had ... The problem is Labor spent the money they never got!"

Treasurer Joe Hockey during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Treasurer Joe Hockey during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

After a Dixer to Wazza Truss on supports to assist local councils with road upgrades, we are back to Mark Dreyfus and the PM.

Can the PM name which ethnic community organisations support the government's proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act?

(NB. Dreyfus is spearheading one of Labor's strongest QTs so far here.)

"Let's see what various community organisations say in response to the exposure legislation," the PM says. 

He then adds: "I know the migrant communities of Australia pretty well, and I know that they have voted for this country with their feet. I know that they have embraced our way of life, they have embraced our Australian system, and part of our system is robust freedom of speech."

Mark Dreyfus is back, with an "how well do you know you're own policy" question.

It quotes legal cases and everything.

Can the PM explain whether the following racist bigotry would be prohibited under the Government's proposal?  I refer to the case of Jones v Toben, in which Holocaust denier (Gerald Toben) stated there is serious doubt that the Holocaust occurred, that it is unlikely there were homicidal gas chambers at Auschwitz … . Is the PM aware these statements breached section 18C? 

TA says that Toben's statements are offensive and wrong.

"What the government is proposing to do is to maintain the red light on inciting racial hatred, but we are removing the amber light of free speech which section 18C in its current form maintains. 

"We are also attempting to engage the community in this (for 30 days)."

The Coalition's Luke Howarth has a q for the T.

Will the Treasurer please outline the outlook for the coming budget. How will repairing the budget help everyday Australians?

Soon, Hockey is talking about how Labor pushed "a tsunami of spending" into the fifth year (of the four year budget cycle).

 

This is as zen as it gets.

Just me, or does anyone else find it strange that the word bigot is allowed through, but "hypocrite" in question time is a total no no?

In his answer, once he's allowed to have it, the PM says that "no one wants to see bigotry or intolerance in our society".

"The best counter to a bad argument is a good one. And the best antidote to bigotry is decency, proclaimed by people engaging in a free and fair debate."

The third Labor question on the race hate laws.

This time from Laurie Ferguson, who has the western Sydney seat of Werriwa.

The Attorney-General has today announced that the Abbott Government wants to give bigotry his blessing in Australia.

Is it the intention of the government to allow a person to publish or broadcast racially derogatory comments which offend, insult and humiliate?

Christopher Pyne does not like it. "It is not acceptable ... to call members of the opposition bigots."

Madam Speaker lets the question through.

"The Leader of the House is making a strong point but I believe there is a stronger one. In the interests of free speech, I will let the question stand."

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Madam Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

From here we flick back to another Dixer.

This time from Nola Marino (another Coalition MP from WA) to the Treasurer.

Will you outline the impact of the carbon tax on WA?

Joe Hockey ends up by saying that every time Labor comes to Canberra, "they do everything they possibly can to make life harder for the people of WA".

Western Sydney MP Michelle Rowland has the next question to the PM.

Today the Attorney-General has announced that the government wants to remove important protections against bigotry.

Is it the intention of this legislation to allow a person to be verbally attacked based on race on social networking sites?

TA replies that "of course none of us want to see bigotry".

He says the proposed laws contain very strong prohibition on any attempt to engage in racial intimidation.

He says the government is trying "in good faith" to get the balance right.

 

The first Dixer has zero surprises.

It is from Ewen Jones to the PM.

How much money would the average Australian family save in a repeal of the carbon tax?


The first question is not from BS but from Mark Dreyfus to the PM. 

Today you have announced that you want to give a green light to bigotry in Australia.

Is it the intention of the government to allow a person to be racially insulted and offended at a community event and have no recourse?

Christopher Pyne protests.

"I regard that as an offensive question."

But Madam Speaker says it only has an "offensive nature" and lets it through.

Tony Abbott says that he accepts that "this is a difficult issue".

He says the government wants to keep a "red light" for bigotry and remove the "amber light" for free speech.

Dreyfus heckles him throughout.

Tony Abbott begins question time with an update on the Malaysia plane search.

"This plane is lost in one of the most inaccessible parts of our globe," he says, but Australia is the best-placed country to assist.

He notes that he has spoken to PM Najib Razak.

And says that if relatives of those on board want to come to Australia, visa fees with be waived.

He suggests a condolence motion for tomorrow.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott updated the House on MH370 during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott updated the House on MH370 during question time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Before we head into the House for question time, a word from China correspondent Philip Wen in Beijing.

 

Kerry, what do you think about vegans?

Should we be able to vilify them?

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks with Kerry Stokes at an Asia Society function. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks with Kerry Stokes at an Asia Society function. Photo: Andrew Meares Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed the Asia Society function in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott addressed the Asia Society function in Canberra on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

While everyone else fights out the various merits of beef versus beetroot, the PM has given a lunchtime address to the Asia Society.

(Yep, he managed to free himself from the revolving door on the way in.)

He gave the speech ahead of his Asia mega-trip next month (China + Japan + Korea), during the long parliamentary break ahead of the budget.

"I want to say that the transformation of China is a watershed in human history," he told the crowd that included Kerry Stokes.

"Lifting hundreds of millions of people into the middle class in just a generation is perhaps the most spectacular advance in human welfare ever accomplished.

"I congratulate the Chinese government and people on this remarkable achievement of which they are justly proud and am pleased that Australian coal and iron ore has helped to make it possible."

We observed earlier that Labor had Tim Tams at their party room meeting this morning.

The Coalition got a chat about the economy.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott told his flock that Labor had left the nation's finances in "an absolute cataclysmic mess".

(The May budget is coming.)

Liberal MP Ken Wyatt is speaking on ABC 24.

He has previously threatened to cross the floor over changes to 18C.

He says he does not see today as a "win".

"It is a process that now enables further discussion to occur within the broader community."

Wyatt points out that he has 94 language groups in his WA electorate of Hasluck.

 

This is a link to the exposure draft on the Freedom of Speech Bill 2014.

In section 4, it notes that there are a number of exemptions to what vilify/intimidate means.

i.e. "this section does not apply to words, sounds, images, or writing spoken, broadcast, published or otherwise communicated in the course of participating in the public discussion of any political, social, cultural, religious, artistic, academic or scientific matter."

Said Dreyfus: "you could drive a truck through these exemptions".

BREAKING.

Andrew Bolt has endorsed the government's proposed changes to race hate laws.

''The government's proposals should permit us to ban what is truly wicked while leaving us free to punish the rest with the safest sanction of all - our free speech,'' Bolt has told Fairfax Media.

But Labor's Mark Dreyfus is not as pleased.

 

 

The Meat Free crew is having their own lunch in Sydney at Iku WholeFood while all this is going on.

 

 

The meat free function

The meat free function

Christensen's campaign has been organised in response to Meat Free Week, which encourages people to go vegetarian for a week.

Organisers are calling on people to go meat free for environmental, animal and human health reasons.

But the member for Dawson reckons this is an outrage when farmers are doing it so tough.

 

Coalition Queensland MP George Christensen is currently hosting a free meat barbeque at Parliament House.

This is part of his Free Meat Week campaign, where you buy meat and shout your mates to a free feed.

MPs from both sides are attending. And Matthew Knott tells us that the lines are long.

 

 

The barbecue outside parliament to promote meat eating.

The barbecue outside parliament to promote meat eating.

During all this, the PM managed to get stuck in a revolving door.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott became trapped in a revolving door on Tuesday. The media rushed and caused the door to slow so the PM had to push. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott became trapped in a revolving door on Tuesday. The media rushed and caused the door to slow so the PM had to push. Photo: Andrew Meares

There was a bit of a crush going in to the hotel.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

PM Tony Abbott has been stopped by reporters at a hotel in Barton near Parliament House ahead of a speech to the Asia Society.

He was quizzed about MH370.

"I understand that the loved ones of those on that plane may well wish to come to Australia in the coming days and weeks, they will find a welcoming country, that is more than willing to embrace them in this very difficult time," he said.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks with foreign media about MH370 on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks with foreign media about MH370 on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Apart from Craig Thomson and race hate there are also some other issues running.

  • A new Newspoll out today has Labor in front. Again. It leads the Coalition 52 to 48 two-party-preferred.
  • The PM's performance rating, however, has lifted slightly from 38 to 40 per cent who are satisfied. 
  • There is also a bit of a bunfight brewing between Labor and Madam Speaker. Tony Burke reckons question time has turned into a complete joke. Christopher Pyne reckons that Labor's treatment of B-Bish is approaching bullying.

 

 

 

As we grab some meat or some vegetables for lunch (depending on which camp you're in), a couple of notices.

Both houses are now sitting. The lower house is debating the Social Security Legislation Amendment AKA "Green Army" Bill.

The Senate is debating the mining tax repeal.

Craig Thomson is speaking outside court in Melbourne.

He says he looks forward to going ahead with the appeal.

"It is inappropriate for me or anyone else ... to be making comment in relation to this matter while it continues to be before the courts."

He says he would like to thank his family and friends.

And thanks both his current and former wives.

Um ...?

Earlier today, Labor held its weekly meeting in said caucus room.

Arnott's came to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

Packets of the biscuits have also been circulated around Parliament House.

(No, The Pulse did not get one ... we are making do with the free pineapple from yesterday.)

 

We are expecting shadow A-G Mark Dreyfus to hold a press conference from the Labor caucus room at 1.00pm, where he will respond to Brandis' exposure draft.

Back in Melbourne, Adam Cooper reports that Craig Thomson will walk free from court today, after lodging an appeal.

The appeal was launched immediately. And is against both the conviction and sentence.

Less than an hour after he was led into custody, Thomson returned to the dock, without his tie and jacket, and was granted bail.

His appeal will be heard on November 24 in the County Court.

Concluding his press conference, the A-G says the government will "hear what the community has to say".

 

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Other sections of the Racial Discrimination Act will also go.

This includes sections 18B, D and E.

18B relates to the reason for doing an act

Section 18D provides exemptions that protect freedom of speech. These ensure that artistic works, scientific debate and fair comment on matters of public interest are exempt, providing they are said or done reasonably and in good faith.

And 18E relates to "vicarious liability".

Brandis says the draft has been adopted "unanimously" by the Coalition Party Room this morning.

It comes after a very "long and thorough discussion ... and I want to thank my colleagues for their constructive contribution".

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

But "intimidation" will stay.

"To intimidate a person is to cause them to be fearful ... people have the right to go about their daily lives free of fear."

And "vilification" will be added.

"To vilify someone is to incite hatred of them ... to incite hatred is not an apsect of freedom of speech or intellectual freedom."

The A-G explains that in the new draft, the words "offend, insult and humiliate" are gone.

"You can't have a public discussion of an issue, particularly an issue about which people feel very strongly, I might say, without offending or insulting a person who has a strong contrary view," he says.

"In parliament ... we offend, and I dare say we insult each other every day ...

"Mockery is a legitimate part of public discussion ... you ladies and gentlemen of the press, mock politicians every day of the week and so you should."

"I have said all along, and Mr Abbott has said all along, that a properly worded section can achieve both objectives of protecting legitimate freedom of speech and freedom of public discussion about matters of race, while at the same time, containing protections against racial vilification and other unacceptable racist conduct," Brandis says. 

"This proposed amendment does both."

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis addressed a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis addressed a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

"The current language on 18C is unreasonably restrictive," Brandis explains.

He adds that 18C and related sections do not effectively or competently address the "vices" they are trying to address.

"It is one of the misconceptions in this debate that the Racial Discrimination Act prohibits racial vilification. It does not."

In the Blue Room, George Brandis announces that he will circulate an exposure draft on proposed changes to the Racial Discrimination Act for one month.

 

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis addressed a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

Attorney-General Senator George Brandis addressed a press conference on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares

As Jonathan Swan notes, section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, in its current form, makes it unlawful for someone to do an act that is reasonably likely to "offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate" someone because of their race or ethnicity.

Brandis’ interest in the race hate laws were motivated by a 2011 case involving News Corp columnist Andrew Bolt.

The A-G and PM have close relationships with Bolt, and believe he was mistreated by the courts when he was found to have breached section 18C for an article he wrote about light-skinned Aboriginal people.

We understand Brandis will be discussing the Racial Discrimination Act.

The government has been looking to make changes to the act.

Before the election, it pledged to repeal section 18C of the act "in its current form".

But while Andrew Bolt may be in favour, multicultural groups are very unhappy and indigenous Coalition MP Ken Wyatt has threatened to cross the floor.

 

As the legal and political worlds hop with news of Thomson's sentence, we are standing by for a press conference with Attorney-General George Brandis.

He has booked himself a spot in the Blue Room.

 

If you're wondering how we got here, with this Thomson sentence, Matthew Knott has prepared a timeline, starting from 2002 when Thomson was elected national secretary of the HSU.

 

In other former Labor MP news, things are looking up for David Bradbury.

The former Assistant Treasurer who lost his seat of Lindsay to Fiona Scott at the September election, has just got a gig in Paris for three years.

In an email entitled "some exciting news!" Bradbury writes that he has just been appointed as head of the tax policy and statistics division at the OECD. 

 

It has been a slog.

As Adam Cooper writes:

Thomson's sentence comes six years after the HSU first discovered the offending, five years after the then allegations were first aired publicly and more than one year after he first fronted a criminal court.

He went to trial before Mr Rozencwajg in December last year.

Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg described the former Labor MP's offences as brazen, arrogant and displaying a "sense of entitlement".

Last month, Thomson was found guilty of 65 charges of theft and obtaining financial advance by deception.

It has been reported that his lawyers have announced an immediate appeal.

The HSU has been quick to make a statement about Thomson's sentence:

"The sentence handed down today to Craig Thompson brings closure to the most difficult period in the national unions' history.

"Today brings to an end a long seven year wait by the Union to have Thomson brought to account for the misuse of Union funds.

Mr Thompson's criminal actions were a gross betrayal of the trust placed in him and today's sentence ensures he is punished for that betrayal."

Thomson faced a maxiumum five years in prison.

 

Court reporter Adam Cooper writes that the former member for Dobell showed no emotion as the sentence was read out.

Other than blinking rapidly as magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg handed out the sentence.

 

Craig Thopmson arrives at Melbourne Magistrates Court where he was sentenced to 12 months' jail with nine months suspended.

Craig Thopmson arrives at Melbourne Magistrates Court where he was sentenced to 12 months' jail with nine months suspended. Photo: Jason South

In breaking news, Craig Thomson has been jailed for three months for using union funds for his personal benefit.

This morning, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison spoke to to ABC Radio.

Here, he hit out at the ABC for repeating and recycling claims that Australian personnel had burned asylum seekers.

The 7.30 report was a "repetition of baseless claims, nothing more than that".

"The government stands by all its rejections of these insulting and insensitive claims," he said.

"I don't find what was said last night any more credible than what was said two months ago. Nothing's moved. I suggest the ABC should."

Last night, the ABC's 7.30 aired an investigation into claims by asylum seekers that they had been mistreated at the hands of Australian personnel.

The program spoke to 12 passengers who were on a boat where, earlier this year, asylum seekers claimed they had been deliberately burned.

In Monday's episode, asylum seekers claim there were other acts of mistreatment as well as the burning.

They don't vote yet, but their parents do. 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met students from Overnewton Anglican Community College in Melbourne after he farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met students from Overnewton Anglican Community College in Melbourne after he farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

As C1 was leaving the green and leafy grounds of Quentin's place at Yarralumla, Tony Abbott saw the kidz. 

He wound down the window and then jumped out to say hi.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met stundents from Overnewton Anglican Community College in Melbourne after he farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met stundents from Overnewton Anglican Community College in Melbourne after he farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

In much brighter news, the PM was able to surprise a group of school kids who are visitng Government House today from Melbourne.

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met students from Overnewton Anglican Community College in Melbourne after he farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met students from Overnewton Anglican Community College in Melbourne after he farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority has also issued an update.

"Due to rough seas, HMAS Success departed the search area early this morning ... the area is also forecast to experience strong gale force winds ...

AMSA has undertaken a risk assessment and determined that the current weather conditions would make any air and sea search activities hazardous and pose a risk to crew. Therefore, AMSA has suspended all sea and air search operations for today due to these weather conditions."

The Transport Minister adds that HMAS Success has not been able to find material that was "thought to be of some relevance to the search".

Truss adds that the weather is so poor in the search area that it is unlikely that aircraft will continue the search today.

Or even perhaps tomorrow.

Transport Minister Warren Truss has been speaking to reporters at Parliament House just now.

He says that PM Razak's announcement "does move the search to a new phase".

"It moves it to a stage where we are now investigating an accident."

Truss added that "new decisions" now need to be taken about the "future direction of operations" and that Malaysia needs to take control of investigations under the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.

 

You may have been reading some updates on the missing Malaysia Airlines plane this morning.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has announced that MH370 crashed into a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean, killing all 239 people on board.

There is also a report in Britain's The Daily Telegraph that the plane crashed in an "apparent suicide mission".

 

This morning, as per usual on a sitting week Tuesday, the Coalition and Labor have their party room meetings.

We are expecting the former member for Dobell Craig Thomson to be sentenced at the Melbourne Magistrates Court at about 10am.

The Chief of the Defence Force, David Hurley called on Quentin Bryce yesterday.

Tomorrow, before she leaves Canberra, QB will lay a wreath at the Australian War Memorial.

As Commander-in-Chief, the G-G has worked closely with the ADF. 

And recently presented the Victoria Cross to the parents of Cameron Baird, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2013.

 

 

Tony Wright has written about the outgoing G-G.

Who made 830 speeches during her five and a half year term.

That's one about every two and a half days.

Including weekends.

This is what happens when two people who have to small talk as part of their jobs talk to each other. 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

"Thank you very much Prime Minister, it has truly been an honour," Quentin Bryce replies.

"I've been inspired by the experience, they certainly have changed me in many ways ... I've been inspired by what I've learned, by what I've observed."

"I'm equally sure you've inspired [Australians]," the PM adds.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

"I think Australians will be very happy to see Peter Cosgrove come to Yarralumla, I think they'll be sad to see Quentin Bryce leave Yarralumla," the PM begins, in his first non-small talk comments.

"You've been a gracious and warm presence here ... I think that Australians expect the G-G to provide leadership above and beyond politics, to provide care, comfort, compassion, inspiration and I think you've done that remarkably well over the last 5 years.

"You'll be much missed and our very best wishes go with you."

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

Their conservation is being beamed live around the country.

(Hence it is perhaps a little stilted)

Anyway, it starts off with a chat about the weather.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce. Photo: Andrew Meares

On Friday, incoming G-G Peter Cosgrove will take up his post.

Hence, the conversation the PM and QB are now having on a couple of comfy white armchairs at Government House.

 

 

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

Prime Minister Tony Abbott farewelled Governor-General Quentin Bryce at Government House. Photo: Andrew Meares

The Prime Minister is making the short trip from Parliament House to Government House this morning.

Here he will make a final call on Governor-General Quentin Bryce before a dinner tonight in her honour. 

 

 

Hi there and welcome to Canberra on another day that is most gloomy weatherwise.

We are actually coming to you live from inside a sleeping bag.

Tony Abbott calls on the G-G to say sayonara as Labor leads the government in the latest poll.

Craig Thomson is due to be sentenced in Melbourne as Canberra debates something called FOFA.

Meanwhile, Coalition MP George Christensen fires up the barbies for a Free Meat Week lunch.

I'll have mine medium rare, thanks.

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Attorney-General George Brandis: 'People do have a right to be bigots'

24 Mar Attorney-General George Brandis has defended the right of Australians to be ''bigots''.

George Brandis releases planned sweeping changes to race hate laws

25 Mar Conservative columnist Andrew Bolt has endorsed the Abbott government's sweeping changes to race hate laws but Liberal MPs have already flagged concerns about exemptions in the proposed laws that apply to public debate.

Craig Thomson sentenced to 12 months' jail, nine months suspended

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25 Mar The Abbott government will reintroduce the honour of knights and dames of the Order of Australia to celebrate pre-eminent Australians such as outgoing Governor-General Quentin Bryce.

Sort comments by:
  • With a gluten, lactose and fructose modified diet, that menu sucks! Don't any of you people acknowledge fodmap modified diets? No? That's just the most bigoted thing I've heard all day!

    Commenter
    Steakface
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:24PM
  • What a joke on the Australian public. I would be more impressed if the present GG and the incoming GG refused the awards.

    Somehow I do not think they will. I could be wrong, but somehow eh!

    Commenter
    Tc
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:18PM
  • I knew it, If Shorten is Jaime 'kingslayer' Lannister, then Tony Abbott is 'Joffrey Baratheon', but poor Malcolm will always be Little Lord Fauntleroy.

    Commenter
    Game of clones
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:18PM
  • What's the bet John Howard gets the other knighthood

    Commenter
    stevek
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:10PM
  • And what have we learned today?

    • It’s always knight before the dawn.

    • If we didn’t know it before, its now clear this Government is all about a new old Order(s).

    • Never let an honour or a photo op with kids and babies, go by.

    • Today the Government has dealt with meaty subjects (steak/sausages anyone?) – and that means, along with other distractions (honours anyone?), the things that really matter to Australia and that could and do make a positive difference to ordinary Australians, were not.

    Until we sit again, its adios from moi (seeing as foreign stuff, such as British honours, are so back in vogue).

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:06PM
  • from the time he was a little boy he dreamed of the knights of mythology. Sir Lancelot. Sir Galahad. Sir Robin. The Knights Templar. And coming to the defence of his Queen or a damsel in distress in a tower guarded by a dragon.
    Now his dream can come true thanks to Tony Abbotts fuedal thinking government. Little John Howard will be a Knight.

    Commenter
    All little Piggies.
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:05PM
  • 5.59 Yum,Yum- how come us humble serfs didn't get an invo to the big gig"

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:03PM
    • Yeah. I want a macadamia nut and finger lime crumble in a Chinese spoon too.
      Bloody Dames & Knights. You saw them repressing me, didn't you.

      Commenter
      All little Piggies.
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:22PM
    • Could almost become a meat eater!

      Commenter
      Ruth
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:37PM
  • good to see labor moving on the speaker.
    Next dont show up to question time.

    Remove the platform from which these liberals pontificate their destruction of everything that makes us australian

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 6:02PM
  • Arise my loyal servants: Sir Rupert, Dame Gina, Sir John et al.

    Commenter
    Mark A
    Location
    Caulfield
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:53PM
    • And of course Sir Maurice Newman and Sir Dick Warburton for their service to the fossil fuel industry and the Prime Minister's fight against the findings of climate scientist from around the world.

      Creationism and the Royal Family forever.

      Commenter
      howardp
      Location
      Yass
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:15PM
  • Mr Abbott and also Mr Brandis, both have it right. Honour those who deserve recognition. Speak freely the truth, without fear of a minority led law which attempts to silence the majority for the beef fit of minority pressure group.
    I endorse and respect both Mr Abbott and Mr Brandis.
    Can not say the same about Craig credit cardThompson !

    Commenter
    Pistol Pete
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:53PM
    • So what's holding them back from freely speaking the truth regarding their policies then? Still working through their 75 point 'Be (un)like Whitlam' checklist from the IPN, but no coming clean regarding the fact that they are preparing to sell off our sovereign right to uphold our own legislation by signing up for the Trans Pacific Partnership, no questions asked, complete with Investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS).
      Tony will be a rich man consequently when the time comes. Most of us will end up much, much poorer. No entitlements for the general citizenry. Just for Tony and his ilk.
      Wake up Australia.

      Commenter
      Mrs Kensinton
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:35PM
  • Ms Bryce if you do this thing, you will spell the doom of the vice regal system in Australia.

    Commenter
    3217
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:51PM
    • What next? Hereditary titles? Capital punishment? Tony knows how to party like it's 1899.

      Commenter
      Innocent Bysyander
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:13PM
  • Every day Abbotts mob announce something to divide Australians. The most disgusting wedge politics I've observed.

    Did Abbott deliberately compromise our excellent GG Quentin Bryce because she is a republican, a thoroughly modern, highly intelligent woman who believes in gay marriage and is Bill Shortens mother-in law? I believe he is that vindictive particulalry after listening to the words she was expected to read in our parliament after he skulked into office.

    Brandis advocates bigotry, Morrison accepts cruelty and abuse towards refugees, Pyne rejects improved education for public schools, Bishop flirts with leaders known for profound human rights abuse, Bishop is a speaker of bias who shuts down debate.

    Personally I perceive Abbott as being vengeful, power-mad and unhinged.

    Commenter
    punch
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:48PM
  • What a joke on all Australians. Liberal overtones of the establishment surface to smother us all with a purple robe. Bill Shorten will be happy to bring the ALP closer to the hegemony of what it truly is just another bunch of forelock tuggers.

    Commenter
    LifeonMars
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:46PM
  • I don't remember the people giving you a mandate for this Tony? Furthermore it’s plain embarrassing that some Australians feel the need to reintroduce colonial gongs in this day & age. For years we have been encouraged to be proud of our nation’s independent place in the world. Our own “Order of Australia” system of awarding positive contributions by citizens has been a part of our individuality.
    Today’s move is evidence of just how out of touch this man is with modern Australia. Do we really need to create a new level of social elite? If so let’s make it a condition that politicians are ineligible for life.

    Commenter
    Pick-me
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:42PM
  • I guess the next step will be to call us “British Subjects”, like they did in the good-old-days.

    Commenter
    Tomaso
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:40PM
  • So what have I learned today. Thanks to Rod Steiger I understand the definition and application of "bigot" and that Brandis believes that being a bigot is OK.

    I have learned that the repeal of 18c and d will allow bullying ( thanks to Rod) that can harm and humiliate a second person or group. I also learned that it is OK to bully others within the safety of parliament without censure from the Speaker, if you are on the Right side ( pun intended).

    So, all the effort we have been putting into eradication of bullying and its worst consequences, from the workplace, the school and social media will come to nought because it will be legal in law and legally modelled by our parliamentary representatives.

    So what do we say to families who have lost loved ones to suicide because of bullying. Brandis has said Australians must "toughen up" so obviously illness and deaths arising from bullying are something this government accepts as a consequence of now approved behaviour. Bullying about racial or ethnic origins or characteristics is now allowed! It is OK and approved by the law of the land.

    No, mr Brandis, this is UN-Australian. We don't need a law change just so Bolt and his ilk can feel justified.

    No one condones bullying. We know the harm it can do. Nothing justifies the impacts on people that will arise just because people like Bolt earn their living by being outlandish and memorable without any responsibility for the consequences of what they say.

    Nor Mr Brandis do we condone your bad manners and you promulgation of bad manners, explained away by referring to a non- existent debate or the need for "free (to harm) speech".

    Commenter
    Tired of Spin
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:35PM
  • Ah Tony. I did but see him passing by, If you didn't laugh you'd have to cry. Tony has escaped from working as an extra on the set of Downton Abbey.

    Commenter
    John Winston Molehill
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:31PM
    • Snap.
      I was going to use the same line earlier wrote a comment but thought it too irreverant, but on reflection can we be too irreverant in this situation? So here goes:

      Abbott has today revealed a new 3 word slogan extracted (and condensed as per regulation 3 word limit for masses' consumption) from the immortal lines used by Menzies:
      "I, passing ,die" **

      **"I did but see her passing by, and yet I love her till I die"

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:18PM
  • So who does the drubbing, oops Dubbing?

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:30PM
  • Dame Anthony Abbott?

    Commenter
    Ruth
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:22PM
    • Damn Abbott.

      Commenter
      cycloniq
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:30PM
  • Knights and Dames? I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

    Commenter
    Sir Simon
    Location
    of Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:18PM
  • Gee Tony it would be nice if you and goose Hockey would actually start creating some jobs to replace all those you have lost.

    Commenter
    Karen
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:18PM
    • There's jobs in there you know, name plate engravers, silversmiths, sash designers, letterhead printers, sword smiths, more than I can think of.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:26PM
  • Dear Mr Abbott why don't you go back to Britain !!!

    Commenter
    Simone Hughes
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:16PM
    • Dare I say that dreaded word...how unAustralian of you Mr Abbott!

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:26PM
    • Britain is dead to him. He doesn't need them anymore. Prince Harry met his daughters several months ago and declined to marry any of them, so, basically, a pox on their house.
      And, would you believe, their head of government is a woman? Tony doesn't believe in that sort of thing, he believes in meritocracy.
      Oh, wait..

      Commenter
      Mrs Kensington
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:15PM
  • They have turned back the clock 30 years with the right to bigotry enshrined in law. Now they have turned back the clock 40 years with the imperial honours rubbish.

    Commenter
    cycloniq
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:15PM
  • The rest of the developed world must be laughing at the Australian government. What other government let's the head of another country recognise its citizens with awards ? Look at Britain broke horrible derelict and desolate.

    Commenter
    Ciaran
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:14PM
  • I don't think many people would stack up against Dame Elizabeth Murdock, she set a high bar.

    Commenter
    Tim
    Location
    Inner City
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:09PM
  • Sad day for Australia we really are a backward part of the British Empire!! No pride in ourselves!!

    An equal nation we are not!!

    Commenter
    Joe M
    Location
    South Yarra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:08PM
  • Get ready for Squires and Maids in waiting... the camp Squire Pyne and the old maids' Bishop and lets not forget the evil witch Credlin

    Commenter
    Tim
    Location
    Inner City
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:06PM
    • Well said

      Commenter
      Garry
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:25PM
  • Can't wait for him to bring back serfdom.

    Commenter
    GraemeF
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:06PM
    • He's trying hard.
      1) outlaw unions
      2) import cheap labour to take all available jobs.
      3) Tell people that the only jobs available are at $2 a day.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:35PM
  • I'm with Bill Shorten on this one:

    When are the Liberals going to focus on important issues, like JOBS??

    They still seem to be in their policies-for-mates mode. That can't be good for the country. It's going to take years for the next Labor government to clean up their mess.

    Commenter
    Jason
    Location
    Avalon
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:05PM
  • Make Craig Thompson a Knight for his contribution to lying and arrogance....
    Lets have a Robin Hood award too....

    Commenter
    wow
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:05PM
  • How embarrassing for Australia.

    Commenter
    Paddy
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:04PM
  • Now before we were rudely interrupted where were we?
    oh that's right 18c and bigotry.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:03PM
    • Indeed, acg. A distraction from, as Judith pointed out, the Racial Discrimination Act, the FOFA stuff and orphans. Sir Anthony will be highly displeased. Won't he?

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:17PM
  • i am surprised and disappointed that quentin bryce would accept such a title

    Commenter
    Nick
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:02PM
    • Yes, I find it hard to believe it too. Ah, cunning Abbott, you've done it again! Feels like a "gotcha" moment, especially given her recently expressed thoughts on a republic. I also wondered about his cunning when Malcolm of all people was given the task of wrecking a proper NBN.

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:24PM
  • Sir Tony (aka Sir Alfred E Neumann)?

    Commenter
    AW77
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:02PM
  • More Anglo pome crap. Will Abbott and the liberals ever believe they are Australian ?

    Commenter
    Kenny Williams
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:01PM
  • The wombat aristocracy is systematically putting the middle and working classed in their places. Next it will be mandatory forelock tugging to out betters.

    Commenter
    beachbob
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 5:01PM
  • 4.03 says it all, that pic, like the halo one are ripe for picking and some extra work.
    it's just a bad dream, surely.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:59PM
  • I can't wait for the dubbing of
    'Cur Lying Rodent' and his Dame.

    What's the betting?

    Commenter
    BillR
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:58PM
    • Probably the same odds of Sir Ol' Jellyback or Sir Messiah Pepsi Can BillR.....

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:14PM
    • I've got twenty pounds and ten shillings halfpenny to say it's in the bag.

      Commenter
      Pete
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:30PM
  • tomorrow distraction, sorry announcement ; australias national anthem reverting to 'GOD SAVE THE QUEEN'

    Commenter
    paff
    Location
    syd
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:57PM
    • Sorry, just waiting on the printers and the music sheets for the town hall pianists.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:06PM
    • Very witty. earlier today someone was saying that one well know media commentator on just about everything was putting down social media and bloggs. What this commentator fails to understand is that the people who blogg here are far more witty and intelligent than almost anything his commercial radio station has to offer !

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:20PM
    • And the free pictures of the Queen and Tony to adorn every home and public institution.
      Australia will enter a new era of prosperity. It will be a printing led recovery.

      And then Tony wakes up.

      When will Australia?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:43PM
  • The whole of Australia must be inside the Tardis or something. Better check the settings in case we end up back having to fend off dinosaur sized kangaroos in our tweed waist coats.

    Commenter
    X-Ray Delta 1
    Location
    BRISBANE
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:56PM
    • Can't we go back to election day 2013 and change the result? Or does that defy the laws of time travel?

      Commenter
      Passionfruit
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:30PM
    • No it shouldn't break any laws of physics as the Government is about announce the repeal of those laws. All part getting rid of red tape and what not.

      Commenter
      X-Ray Delta 1
      Location
      BRISBANE
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:18PM
  • I've already commented but like Mark Dreyfus, I'm bemused. And amused. I think this is the funniest day in Parliament this year. So far. I think there will be many more outlandish moments from the Abbott government.

    Commenter
    Pluto
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:55PM
  • Oh wot? Time again for a jolly good application of the wire brush and Dettol oi?? Blimey - Our Queen will be pleased........

    Commenter
    Smack
    Location
    City of the Fallen
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:53PM
  • In days of old when Knights were bold
    And chivalry was king
    There was no silly carbon tax
    Or budget suffering

    The Dames wore white and did not fight
    And jesters packed the ring
    But since the days of Whitlam
    It's all gone way left wing

    Now Abbott's here, tradition's back
    And can we say how nice
    That the first cab off the rank today
    Is our Dame Quentin Bryce

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:52PM
    • Give it up Hacka. This is just tragically sad now. Every day a new surprise from this crackpot government.

      I feared it was back to the 50's with Abbott, but apparently that not far enough back for him. Middle Ages here we come!

      Commenter
      QED
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:28PM
    • Hacka
      Yes, budget suffering was saved for the poor in the days of old.
      Abbott wants it back that way again.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:39PM
    • Geez the luvvies really have their happy boots on today don't you.

      A bit of harmless pomp and ceremony and the carry on is like Abbott's declared war on the Romans.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:44PM
    • Hi
      Hacka
      First I applaud your poem. We are often on opposing sides, but in this I say yay to your creativity. Now I'm not opposed to this measure, but with the ver urgent budget emergency, jobs, health, orphans and education on the table can you understand why people aren't exactly in raptures over this bit of news?

      Commenter
      bridget
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:17PM
    • How droll

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:24PM
    • Harmless pomp? What about the Queen of No? Is she expecting her bit of pomp for being Australia's secret PM?
      Badges and jobs for the LNP mates now, huh. How pathetic.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:34PM
  • So this government of no consequence, meaning or direction have released their only plan for the future of Australia at 4:00 pm today. They intend on bestowing upon themselves and their former lackies Knighthoods. WOW after 6 months months in and this is all they have!!!!!!!!!

    Commenter
    Get Real
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:51PM
  • When this country needs really enlightened leadership for the 21st century we get this throw back to the 1950's.
    I can't believe it. It has to be a joke.
    What an embarrassment this country is.

    Commenter
    Wayne Bryant
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:51PM
  • Well now that we going back to being more British, maybe we could double our trade with the mother country and secure some jobs for Australians.

    Commenter
    Rod
    Location
    the Coast
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:50PM
  • 4 dames/nights a year? Well, if Judith could possibly make her light hearted comments with some year 12 grammar I would be more likely to agree. Four Dames/Knights.........

    Commenter
    Albervin
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:48PM
  • And the first Dame award goes to....you guessed it.... Andrew Bolt!!!!!

    Commenter
    Sam
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:46PM
  • Just preparatory work for Sir Anthony Abbott. Excuse me while I Vomit.

    Commenter
    John
    Location
    Townsville
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:44PM
    • centrebet latest; rupert murdoch 4 -1 gina reinhart 6 -1 john winston churchil odds on malcolm turnbull 75 -1 (and shortening) andrew bolt 8-1 any member of the national party 5 -1 martin ferguson 12 -1

      Commenter
      paff
      Location
      syd
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:53PM
    • i already have.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:55PM
  • Just great, here we go;
    Sir Rupert Murdoch
    Dame Bronwyn Bishop
    Sir Johnny Howard
    Dame Peta Credlin
    Sir Barnaby Joyce
    Sir Dr Ian Watt
    Dame Julie Bishop
    Dame Gina Rhinehart
    Sir Professor Clive Palmer
    Dame Julia Gillard (Abbott's bestie)
    Sir Warren Truss (all farmer pollies get kinghthoods)
    Sir Wally Wombat

    Commenter
    Sharron
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:39PM
    • Whatever just so long as it doesnt distract from the real business of Govt.... oh wait.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:43PM
    • What about me?

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:45PM
    • No worries Dame David Morrison

      Commenter
      tasch
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:47PM
    • Sir Alexander Downer
      Sir Peter Reith
      Dame Amanda Vanstone
      Sir Cardinal George Pell
      Sir Bob Santa Maria (posthumous)
      Sir Archbishop Mannix (posthumous)
      Dame Sophie Mirabella
      Sir Alan Jones

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:54PM
    • Tony A to self, in a moment of reflection:
      "So little time (one term), so many notables." Sigh.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:05PM
    • tasch- You've done your invitation to the investiture.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:07PM
    • Good list. What about Sir Andrew Bolt. If the recently retired Craig Tompson had gained about $10 million and was on the other side do you think he would qualify ?

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:11PM
    • There will always be Damn Julia Gillard.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:17PM
    • Sorry but that would actually be Lord Rupert Murdoch of the Dark Side.

      Commenter
      keef
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:22PM
    • Your list is pretty spot on - apart from Julia, she has too much class

      Commenter
      Mezzo
      Location
      ACT
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:28PM
    • Should read Sir Alex and ...er Down ...er ?

      Commenter
      Late as usual
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:39PM
    • Sorry, 'a country girl', you got it wrong. Surely Dame, not Sir, Alexander Downer. His garter would look handsome on his fishnet tights.

      Commenter
      MichaelP
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:53PM
  • It's not that novel really - i've been calling Mrs H Dame Hacka for years.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:33PM
    • Very good, know exactly what you mean.

      Commenter
      Rod
      Location
      the Coast
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:47PM
    • Only one letter adrift from the "Damn Hacker" I have been using to refer to her husband for some time.

      Commenter
      Abe
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:07PM
    • Hacka says "It's not that novel really - i've been calling Mrs H Dame Hacka for years." (sorry for reciting the comment - its for the benefit of the censor)

      That may or may not indicate a disconnect with reality ie Hacka is a person with a title and his wife gets the spin off an equally imaginary (or not) title. (apologies for the explanation - for the censor again - much less laboured in the first but censored go).

      If imaginary, that may in some explain the nature of many of your posts about the LNP.

      And it leads me to ask, is Mrs Hacka just a figment of Hacka's imagination?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:16PM
    • Lyn - a Dame is honoured individually. Mrs H would be Lady H if it was Sir Hacka (hmmm doesn't it have a ring to it ....)

      Now that Knights and Dames are back, perhaps you should read up on it rather than talking about people's imagination.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:53PM
    • Thanks H.
      You seem to confirm that neither of you have a title and Mrs Hacka is indeed a figment!
      Anything you want to confess about all your many comments hailing the LNP. Just imaginings despite the facts and evidence?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:40PM
  • Surely Sir John Winston will be next cab off the rank.

    Then there's Sir Kevin .... ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:31PM
    • What, Andrews.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:46PM
  • wow what a day and true conservatives to the fore. We need titles for the sirs and dames for our sake what about running the country instead of this backwards step.
    You will not distract from the errors by trying diversionary tactics Tony. Face up or move on to Malcolm quickly.

    Commenter
    lac
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:27PM
  • Knighhoods? What next, repealing the Australia Acts and returning Australia to full colony status? Oh well, at least this will speed up the Republic.

    Commenter
    Jace
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:26PM
    • Well now Dame Edner Everidge can be confirmed as a true Dame.

      Commenter
      Garry
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:51PM
  • Anyone with a true sense of Australian identity would reject a knighthood/dame(hood?) and opt for the distinctly Australian award.

    Are we so lacking in respect for own Country and identity that we have to wend our way back down the time tunnel to cling to the coat tails of an honours system long bereft of any meaning to your average Australian.

    Commenter
    tasch2
    Location
    Mornington Peninsula
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:25PM
    • Tacsh,
      I thought the exact same thing yet there we have the photo of the new beaming Dame.
      And Bryce is a supporter of a Republic, do away with all that old worldy malarky she implied in that speech that stirred up a bit of controversy. Was it just hot air or has she forgotten her principles?
      Perhaps a new homily is in Order - never let an honour go by.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:48PM
    • "Wend",hey don't knock the Wends, the Wendish, my paternal bloodstock, who were "boat people". Those damn boat people.

      Commenter
      A country hal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:01PM
  • Excellent! Next, pounds, shillings and pence, inches, feet, rods and perches!

    Commenter
    HJR
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:22PM
  • And now I've heard it all. This government has done nothing yet to improve the lives of ordinary Australians, but now Knighthoods back. Probably safe with Cosgrove and Bryce. But Dame Gina Rinehart. Sir Andrew Bolt. I'm waiting. This government is a throwback. Can't come to grips with the present so re-invents the past.

    Commenter
    Pluto
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:20PM
  • Well lets just hope Tony stops at 1976 and doesn't go back any further than the 'Dame and 'Knight' thing...however....
    Some have mentioned he's a 1950's man so I guess he could go back further and have the 'woman' of the house at home while the 'man' of the house goes off to 'work'?

    Commenter
    Lordy
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:19PM
  • Re the PM's announcement at the media conference of the new honours and holding the line on taking away what payments to kids of veterans.

    Just so long as the Government is tackling and targeting the big issues in society and the economy that will make a real positive difference to Australia.

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:17PM
  • You are going backwards in the polls, have announced no significant policies, the investment that accompanied the mining boom is being wound back rapidly.... yet Knights (and Dames) will be back!

    They are going to save us from who, the Chinese Dragon perhaps?

    Commenter
    Sambo
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:16PM
  • Won't be that long before we hear the words Sir John Howard. Another Coalition surprise and one of the hundreds of hidden policies, kept secret during the recent election campaign.

    What's the bet there will be no Sir Kev or Dame Jools ?

    Commenter
    Rod
    Location
    the coast
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:13PM
    • Bet odds on there will a gong for little Johny, looks like he is right behind this one.

      Commenter
      Garry
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:48PM
  • For those who are interested in history, my understanding is that Australian knighthoods were abolished by Labor when the Australian system of honours (The Order of Australia) was established (and the British system removed),. Then they were re-introduced by the Liberals (AK - Knighthood of the Order of Australia), then re-abolished by Labor. Just sayin' for the sake of history is all.

    Commenter
    Peter
    Location
    Kew
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:12PM
    • And they'll be abolished again when Labor gets in. Not even Howard was stupid enough to do this.

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:27PM
    • It's an ideological difference that will never change on either side. Plus, the haters will still hate and make disparaging comments about the politicians from the the side of politics they despise. That also shows no sign of changing, wither, eh, @Jace

      Commenter
      Peter
      Location
      Kew
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:43PM
  • I heartily welcome the new awards system of knights and dames. Great to see the country striding confidently forward into the Middle Ages. Feudalism here we come! Serf’s up!

    Commenter
    Gigondas.
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:12PM
    • @Gigondas:
      At last the upper class will be rewarded by elevation to a Knighthood. All hail Tony for this bold initiative. March in March? Not a chance. We will all be engaged marching backwards to our rightful place in history. God save the Queen. Oh please tell me its just a joke!

      Commenter
      JohnC
      Location
      Gosford NSW
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:29PM
    • well now i believe him.... he is a "no surprises government"

      Commenter
      paff
      Location
      syd
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:43PM
    • Rise Sir Edmund Blackadder! (Tony)
      Can't agree more - It is medieval times knights and dames and the Catholic Church owning $1.2 billion!

      Commenter
      Baldrick
      Location
      Wales
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:21PM
    • To be consistent with the new Order(s), it has been decreed that citizens will now be called peasants.

      Will the peasants now get restless and wake up to what they have elected?

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:21PM
    • Hurrah!
      I believe these awards augur a truly magnificent renaissance within our political system! Tony has triumphantly stepped forth with an auspicious ending of the age of entitlement. And what better way to do it.
      Section 18 what?

      Commenter
      Mrs Kensington
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:31PM
  • I actually and for one of the first times agree with Mr Abbott in this Knight-Dame situation. Even as a republican

    Commenter
    Lefty
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:09PM
  • Back to the past knights and dames, next up Sir John Howard. That's it the flag will be staying as is. Why says the young lady journalists. Another good question.

    Commenter
    Amro
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:05PM
  • Oh good grief so here comes Sir Johnny.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:04PM
    • I certainly hope not, A country girl.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:17PM
    • I'll wager on that and I'm not a betting woman.
      Not to mention Dame Janette for she ran a pretty tight behind the scenes show.
      Certainly won't be any lefties, indigenous or multicultural contenders.
      But then again Sir Andrew Bolt or Sir Arthur Sinodinus has a ring to it.
      Or what about Dame Sophie Mirabella?

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:35PM
    • ACG - I didn't know the Lefties went in for all that bourgeois nonsense

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:56PM
    • Smack it's not about L/R, its about Reps/Mons. You can mix the two and alternate you know.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:22PM
  • Abbott informing us that we are a welcoming friendly country, at press conference with Malaysian airways a Brasilian journalist is asking air Malaysia chief how are they going to send Chinese families to Australian when they will require a visa which isn't easy to get !!! Good question.

    Commenter
    Amro
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 4:00PM
  • So Tony really like’s to take from the poor and give to the rich. Wow!

    Commenter
    Tony the rich PPL
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:40PM
    • ?

      Commenter
      ???????????
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:05PM
  • Christopher Pyne claims to giving a 'Master Class'?
    Yes, but not for the context he has suggested.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:34PM
  • So Abbott and Co walk out to humiliate the Opposition? But they're silly enough to allow a number of old white men to fill their seats - that proves that these men are more important than addressing the needs of 1200 young children who have lost their parents whilst defending Australia?
    Who, really, is being humiliated here?

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:33PM
    • I noticed that the poster girls who sit behind the PM weren't allowed to leave though.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:46PM
    • Yes, tasch2. After the last two weeks, I'm starting to see that the sole purpose of Parliament in Australia is to protect the white, privileged, Australian male - at all costs.
      If Bronwyn Bishop, as Speaker, actually highlighted the Stealer's Wheel rule: 'Clowns to the left; Jokers to the right' - then I'd probably have reason to think otherwise.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:23PM
  • If shorten can hammer home the soul less government line he might get somewher. Focus on the cuts, the slashes.

    Commenter
    Daniel
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:24PM
  • Re: 2.13pm. Michelle Rowland's question to Tony Abbott.
    "Operation Sovereign Bigots''

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:20PM
  • I would love it if Mr. Hockey would tell about the great, visionary things that he is going to do for our nation rather than answering every dixer question with "The country has been stuffed up by Labor" - It is getting tiresome.

    Commenter
    BZ
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:16PM
    • Why narrow it down to just Hockey?

      Commenter
      Frustrated
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:38PM
  • Labor leads the government in the latest poll. Lets face it we have a government that thinks it has a God-given right to rule, but, in fact, will never be anything but an opposition.

    Commenter
    Pluto
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:15PM
    • Great comment!!! And back to the Opposition they will go!!

      Commenter
      Tired of Spin
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:24PM
  • Bishop says the Speaker can refuse a point of order before fully made, because she can make a presumption about where the question is going and what it is trying to achieve. If correct, that rule needs to be added to the bonfire.

    If BB is such a champion of free speech that just seconds before her slap down of Burke she asserted she was, she should allow him and other Opposition MPs finish making their point. This unfair and high handed treatment which she does not dish out to the Govt MPs, is what is leading to the rowdiness.

    Bishop was dismissive and her snide asides to Burke were rude and disrespectful, when she told Burke "don’t shout", he explained there was noise and he was trying to make himself heard and she slapped him by saying "well most of it is coming from his side". Burke correctly noted that that does not mean he should not be able to make his point of order and speak loudly enough to be heard. He was clearly not shouting to be disrespectful.

    If Bishop was not so biased, rude and disrespectful to the Opposition MPs, there would be less noise from the seemingly justified outrage of the Opposition who are always on the end of her snide comments, disrespect, biased and many times incorrect rulings.

    She is trashing the office of the Speaker.

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:12PM
  • Very interesting to see that Kevin Rudd's replacement in the electorate of Griffith, has got herself kicked out of Question Time, yet again. Appears to lack self control, but there was some evidence of that before the bi-election.

    Commenter
    Four term Tony
    Location
    Whyalla
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:11PM
    • Yes 4TT, although our mate Champion seems like he's a reformed man this week.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:32PM
    • Yes "Very Interesting"! Sounds more like a serious case of "By-Election" Denialism to me.

      Commenter
      Immal
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:58PM
    • Four Term Tony, re your comment that the member for Griffiths in again being ejected in QT may show a lack control.

      You are no doubt correct. Her behaviour is not to be lauded, but it pales into insignificance against that of Pyne.

      He holds the title of most undisciplined member ever since 1901, having been ejected 43 times and twice suspended.

      Pyne - the complete lack of control freak.

      His justification - “A hung parliament is a very unique beast in politics and of course we had more numbers, we had more votes than Labor in the last parliament, so we quite rightly felt that the last government was illegitimately elected by independents sitting in conservative seats and we wanted to hold them to account and we did so. That’s quite different to the bad-mannered way that Labor behaved yesterday.”

      Just so long as he has a “good” excuse – and the dog ate my homework too.

      At least the Government is best at something – most creative excuses and most undisciplined.

      Commenter
      Lyn
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:30PM
    • Well if she gets kicked out a few hundred more times, she can be Speaker in the next Parliament - if the history of the current speaker is a model.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:11PM
  • labor wont forget how this speaker is running the parliament. We can look forward to many more years of not even trying to address the question. I miss peter slipper :) remember " the Prime Minister will return to the question" ? have not heard that for for a while.

    Commenter
    olryanlo
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:09PM
  • Gee the speaker of the house in New Zealand looks very charming, must be wondering what in hell is going on in Australia, they actually do things over there, gay marriage, talking about changing the flag they are way ahead of us.

    Commenter
    amro
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:04PM
  • each day I see pyne, hockey and the rest of the incompetent liberals it just reminds me how much I loathe kevin rudd for putting us into this position.
    He is the reason we are havign to put up with this and if I dont see his smug face for another 1000 years it will be a moment too soon.

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:04PM
    • Agreed, although I go back to Gillard and Co rolling Rudd in the first place before the 2010 election.

      It's quite nauseating to see the likes of Pyne, Hockey, Bishop(s), Abbott, Hunt at Federal levl and O'Failure, Newman, Barnett and Hodgeman at state level destroying this country.

      Really appalling state of affairs in Australian politics with a choice between dumb and dumber.

      Commenter
      daffy
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:17PM
  • OMG - Bowen raising with Joe the accuracy of budget forecasts.

    As Midnight Oil sang - "Short Memories".

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 3:02PM
    • The Coalition should be allowed to fudge the books because Labor did?

      Commenter
      Dags
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:07PM
    • Hacka - Like a song Swanny would never be comfortable with - Garry Numan's "Here In The Black"......

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:21PM
    • Hey. Hacka how's the CoA going?
      Won't get stale or mouldy from sitting on Hockit's desk for too long will it.
      How about April 7 or so?

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:44PM
    • Nice spin Hacka.
      Bowen isn't questioning the numbers. He is questioning WHY the numbers are getting worse when Hockey promised he was going to fix things.
      It is simply Hockey avoiding the answer - again with Bishop's blessing.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:55PM
  • I'm of an age where being follicly challenged comes with the territory.

    But I think when Abbott reaches my age he'll have less hair than "Soapy".

    Perhaps it's the cost of leadership.

    Commenter
    Jason of Gold Coast
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:59PM
  • this parliament is a certifed joke. Look at the way the liberals carry on with Bishop laughing along.
    This pompous attitude and disrespect will come back to bite so enjoy your time in the sun Joe and co..
    He who laughs last, laughs the loudest

    Commenter
    harry
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:56PM
  • Now I've seen it all. Bronywn Bishop - you have no shame.
    Your bias is beyond anything that could be deemed even remotely acceptable.
    You threw him out before you heard what he had to say?.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:54PM
  • You could knock me over with a feather: I just heard Madam Speaker call for silence on the Treasury Benches.

    I wonder whether she visits this site?

    Commenter
    Jason of Gold Coast
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:50PM
  • It's 12 months since Conroy was trying to ram through his media legislation restricting the freedom of the press, without even any debate or negotiation.

    It was quietly dropped while Crean sacrificed himself for Kev.

    I suppose we shouldn't expect the ALP to support anything making speech freer.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:33PM
    • Hacka
      labor's proposal was to make speech freer. The intention was to grant more freedom to more people by stopping Murdoch locking up the majority of it.
      The intention of your proposal is to grant freedom of speech to a few who can drown out the many.
      It is all quite consistent by Murdoch to oppose one and support the other.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:45PM
    • “If freedom of speech is taken away, then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.”
      ― George Washington

      “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it.”
      ― Voltaire

      One of the problems with defending free speech is you often have to defend people that you find to be outrageous and unpleasant and disgusting.

      Salman Rushdie

      Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/free_speech.html#8Luxvcw4xSvy5VXu.99

      Commenter
      vasttravells
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:45PM
    • Race hate sux - we should not tolerate hate speech
      “Hating people because of their color is wrong. And it doesn't matter which color does the hating. It's just plain wrong.”
      ― Muhammad Ali
      “Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.”
      ― Kofi Annan
      “Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”
      ― Eleanor Roosevelt

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:00PM
    • Steve - can you explain how restricting News Limited from speaking freely enhances free speech ?

      About 1 in 3 publications nationally belong to News, and no radio or TV.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:01PM
    • Steve
      Only a third of newspapers are owned by Murdoch/News and no TV or radio stations.

      Commenter
      Puzzled
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:08PM
    • vasttravells - thanks for the quotes. Can't quite but feel there are a whole bunch of asylum seekers who agree with what you are saying; and they have just had a humans rights investigation banned as well. I reckon the East Timor government might agree with the quotes as well. Seems like quote a few posters on this forum would like to see a copy of the Navy's report into burnt hands. And some people in the ABC might feel like saying Amen to the quotes as well. Freedom of Speech. Bit rich for you, Brandis, Abbot and Hacka to be preaching from the pulpit of free speech.

      Commenter
      Deafening
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:08PM
    • Mr Travels,

      Ironic that in a post about freedom of speech you must use the words of others to convey your opinion. What are your thoughts on Copyright?

      Commenter
      furthertravells
      Location
      Portsea
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:11PM
    • Steve,
      Conroys law was about percieved balance. If papers wanted to run a conservative argument they would also need to run the opposing socialist argument. This wold have effected the lefty media just as much as any. A climate change argument would have to be run with an alternate argument against climate change. Can you imagine the 'Green left weekly' being forced to publish a Lord Mockton article next to a Tim Flannery article....!? It was the thought police showing they didn't think things through. The government should never interfere with thought or expressions of thought.

      Commenter
      Cwitty
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:25PM
    • steve's not big on facts!

      He's big on rants!

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:32PM
    • Ahh white men, what hope is there I despair they don't know what it's like living with a different skin colour.

      Commenter
      Amro
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:39PM
    • Hacka
      No-one is suggesting restricting free speech - even from Murdoch.
      We just want balance.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:59PM
    • Puzzled
      He owns more than 1 in 3 papers. He controls 70% of the printed press.
      He controls 100% of our cable TV and he is seeking to buy into FTA TV.
      Too much control in one person equates to limited freedoms for the rest of us.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:01PM
    • Cwitty
      For your comment to hold water, we would have to have a "lefty media".
      We have a hard right media and a soft right media and a slightly right ABC.
      We don't have any "lefty media"

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:03PM
  • Is there a precedent for the opposition walking out of parliament in protest over a biased and intransigent speaker? Is there any appeal process whereby the head of state can be requested to examine the perceived bias and act if necessary by removing the speaker? This second point I assume can be done as the head of state can remove a Prime Minister.

    Commenter
    RTP
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:23PM
    • I have been asking this question a few times in these comments. I totally agree, if labor doesnt show up chances are it will work in their favor. They just need to time it right.

      Commenter
      harry
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:59PM
  • Madam Speaker not showing complete bias ... A day I never thought would happen

    Commenter
    Greg
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:22PM
    • That's a single instance - please don't extrapolate it across the year so far as the evidence is there to clearly show otherwise.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:50PM
    • Think you may have spoken too early!!

      Commenter
      hug48
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:54PM
    • After the great speech by Rachel Griffiths on Q & A last night about the standards of behaviour we should expect in question time and in parliament in general, she must be feeling it fell on deaf ears.

      Commenter
      tucky
      Location
      warragul
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:24PM
    • I can't believe that we are paying people to behave like this. Give me a benevolent dictator anyday. What a disgrace parliament is.

      Commenter
      tucky
      Location
      warragul
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:28PM
    • @hug48 - you are right ... spoke way too soon. At least the 'non-bias approach' now has 1 point on the score board ...

      Commenter
      Greg
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:38PM
  • As TA answered the question on 'bigotry did you check out Christopher Pyne's facial features? Totally upset are we Chris?.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 2:07PM
    • It sort of showed the fine distinctions of dumbness on the Government benches. Even the Speaker, for all her bias, realised what the LOH did not, which was the idiocy of smacking down for being insulting, a question about freeing up the laws to allows insults to flow from the poisoned tongues of the Kirribilli commentariat.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:30PM
  • Abbott: "I congratulate the Chinese government and people on this remarkable achievement of which they are justly proud and am pleased that Australian coal and iron ore has helped to make it possible."

    Err, Tone, “Between 350,000 and 500,000 Chinese die prematurely each year because of the county’s disastrous air pollution, says China’s former health minister?”

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:59PM
    • Pen - I don't really know where you are coming from with that one, but China's birth rate is around 12 births per 1000 people, so they are still well ahead of the birth to death rate ledger?

      Commenter
      Indeed
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:29PM
    • Indeedy Do - that response is inspired it's so callous - half a million people dying before their time because of pollution is ok, because they'll easily be replaced by the Chinese breeders. They're not cattle you know, although your logic infers they are on a par

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:46PM
    • Rod - I still don't know how the collation between Pen's statement & TA's came about? Was it that our coal & iron ore had directly caused the deaths noted?

      My own reply was one that births & deaths are a natural part of life, albeit the mode of deaths may not be considered normal, but it's still a part of life.

      Commenter
      Indeed
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:11PM
    • Indeed

      I strongly suggest that look up the toxicity in the atmosphere as a result of burning coal. How you can justify up to half a million people dieing by the unnecessary consequences of burning coal is beyond me. We live in year 2014 there is no reason to burn coal.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:02PM
    • There is nothin' like a Dame,
      Nothin' in the world,
      There is nothin' you can name
      That is anythin' like a Dame!

      Commenter
      Penof hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:27PM
  • So what's Bill got in store for us today - more questions about Arthur, more complaints about the umpire ?

    Or will he resort to asking something relevant, like 18c, the economy, repeal day ?

    Maybe he might offer something bipartisan, and recognise that we're approaching a century of days without a boat.

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:55PM
    • You presume the same behaviour from Shorten that we presume from Abbott - the wasting of time.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:21PM
    • gee hacky, i guess they are on point with 18c, and yet C Pyne doesn't like it?

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:23PM
    • Hacka
      There have been plenty of boats.
      Otherwise, Tony wouldn't be buying more of them.
      Or is "lifeboats" just a cover for Arfur's legal fees?

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:26PM
    • A question about Repeal Day???
      As though it warrants anything other than a sly chuckle.

      Here's a question for you Hacka:
      Who are you kidding?

      Repeal Day
      Pfffffft.
      What Abbott needs is a Get Real Day!!!!

      Commenter
      Master Blaster
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:29PM
    • The opposition is actually doing very well in QT without Bill.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:41PM
  • I love what Brandis has done with "vilify" !! In most dictionaries it means "to lower in estimation or importance; to utter slanderous and abusive statements against ".
    Brandis' definition:" (a) vilify means to incite hatred against a person or a group of persons". So now you need a third party to be around to either hate you or be goaded to hate you because of the abuse before you can take action under this provision. That should be easy - not

    Commenter
    rod steiger
    Location
    toukley
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:52PM
  • Photo @ 1:46pm.

    Wow! Is that a halo over Saint Anthony Abbott's head??!?

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:49PM
    • no it's a smoke ring from the kitchen

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:22PM
    • UFO hopefully, beam me up scotty (and set the controls for the heart of the sun).

      Mission accomplished

      Commenter
      wishful
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:47PM
  • 'The barbecue...to promote meat eating.'

    The Tories feast on meat whilst I'm having a cheese sanger for lunch.

    Life's unfair.

    Commenter
    Jason of Gold Coast
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:49PM
    • I'm glad I'm having a vegetarian meal much healthier all that beef pork and lamb is not good for you, by the look of some of those politicians they would do better without it.

      Commenter
      Amro
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:26PM
  • About time Tony raised the obvious bias of the Speaker of the House. Tony Abbott should be able to defend his actions and thoughts without hiding behind the Speaker, and if they stand up to the scrutiny then that's Labor's problem to deal with. However, its obvious to see how he evades the question and goes into vaguity, which are unacceptable to the Australian public as part of our constitutional right, and the duty of the members we vote to represent us.

    Commenter
    SteveII
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:43PM
  • Photo@12:59pm: "During all this, the PM managed to get stuck in a revolving door"

    Ah, this illustrates what we knew all long: TA going round in circles and getting nowhere

    Commenter
    stevek
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:37PM
    • Hahaha stevek,

      Reminds me of Julia "slipping up" a few times.

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:23PM
    • Tony is in the revolving door hoping that he exits in the 1950s.

      Knights and Dames - what complete and utter crap!!! How about Guys and Dolls??

      And as for Madam Speaker and her bias and behaviour, don't get me started.

      Commenter
      Grizwald
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:44PM
  • "this section does not apply to words, sounds, images, or writing spoken, broadcast, published or otherwise communicated in the course of participating in the public discussion of any political, social, cultural, religious, artistic, academic or scientific matter."

    Could George Brandis please tell us then any circumstance at all in which the provision could apply? I can see none.

    Commenter
    Whyalla Wipeout
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:34PM
    • And not one reply. Just shows what a fraud this amendment is.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 6:09PM
  • Brettie

    There is no reason that one cannot be installed in inaccessible places to crew and passengers, and certainly no reason why one was not installed.
    $keptic

    I am discussing something quite different to the black boxes, which in view are too limited for what they are supposed to do. For instance the depth of the Indian Ocean is beyond the range of black box signals.

    Tristan

    I understand that many planes already have what I am discussing.

    P.N.

    The people are dead and have been for two weeks, the most likely reason is depressurization and reasons why the lack of communication. In the few seconds before losing consciousness I suggest the crew tried to turn the plane around then the inevitable happened and the plane flew on until running out of fuel. Dead people do not require human rights. Finding the plane will cost billions and probably years with no guarantee of success. Let those on board rest in peace.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:30PM
  • After the recent grilling (seeing its meat week) of the PM by the high school kids from Newtown, if the PM had learnt from the previous interaction, the first thing he should have asked after winding down the window of C1 and before he made the decision to engage further, was "what electorate is your high school in - and please let a bloke answer?"

    Jokes/slurs aside, the PM does a good thing to stop and talk to the kids, while also being good publicity.

    Commenter
    Lyn
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:29PM
  • 1:06, Keeping with the dictionary definitions theme- define 'unconvincing:

    Pollies on the barbie wearing white business shirts and ties, all with matching aprons.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:20PM
  • Re: "A new Newspoll out today has Labor in front. Again. It leads the Coalition 52 to 48 two-party-preferred."

    So, for the millionth time the electorate jumps aboard the oligarch roundabout to nowhere in the pursuance of change?

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:07PM
    • Pen, I appreciate your distaste for what you call 'the oligarch roundabout', but history has been pretty consistent that it usually takes an immediate and highly threatening environment to get off that roundabout, and we find that they go to people who promise quick and attractive solution and give us huge restrictions on our rights and freedoms and, if left to fester, totalitarianism.

      So, unlike you, I have to stay committed to the roundabout. However unproductive in the short term and damaging in the long-term, it has still proven itself time and again less awful in every way than the alternatives.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:23PM
    • Pen - it's because of the phrase, "a change is as good as a holiday", & most of us like holiday's ;-)

      Commenter
      Indeed
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:39PM
    • @Pen & WW - that you two have to have such a conversation in 2014 Australia is undeniably scary.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:52PM
    • Whyalla Wipeout

      I suggest that you visit Switzerland.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:01PM
  • 'Attorney-General Senator George Brandis on Tuesday. Photo: Andrew Meares'

    I don't think I'm ready for my close up, Mr.
    DeMille.

    Commenter
    Jason of Gold Coast
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:03PM
  • "Tony Burke reckons question time has turned into a complete joke" The biggest joke is Tony Burke - he abuses the point of order procedure and should be expelled more often.. It is plain that the Labor whingers cannot handle the same treatment that they dished out to the Coalition when they were in Government. If ever they hope to get back into Government they have to toughen up.

    Commenter
    noitall
    Location
    Beacon Hill
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:02PM
    • No, it is the Speaker who abuses the point of order procedure. She lets Pyne make long-winded and irrelevant speeches that often do not even lead to a point of order and shuts up anyone on the Labor side before they can get two words out (and that is after waiting minutes for the call).

      Sadly, the Speaker acts as though she is just another government minister, whose job it is in question time to dump on the Opposition. Unsurprising as she still attends the government party meetings.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:40PM
    • he said, beating his chest

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:56PM
    • noitall
      No it is not the same treatment.
      Burke is only seeking answers.
      It is Bishop who is abusing the privilege of the Speakers Chair

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:59PM
    • Whyalla Wipeout-He wiped himself didn't he? Craig Emerson I mean. The Labor speakers Jenkins, Burke and the Labor backed Slipper acted in the same manner. Leader of the then house, Anthony Albanese used to try and humiliate the opposition with smart arse antics when he refused their requests to table documents.
      rod steiger- Yeah why not-my name is Virgil Tibbs-In the heat of the night!!
      Steve- It is exactly the same treatment. Burke is seeking answers in a disorderly and rude, at times, manner. Bill Shorten has also been rude at times-on one occasion he was called out by the leader of the house and he told the speaker that he would desist-he has not done so.

      Commenter
      noitall
      Location
      Beacon Hill
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:49PM
    • The joke is Bronwyn Bishop. There has never been such a biased, incompetent speaker. Parliament is unworkable with her in the chair. The Coalition also showed their extreme bias by failing to follow the very long held convention of appointing a member of the Opposition as Deputy Speaker. Apparently conventions don't apply to them.

      Commenter
      Lord Lucan
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:45PM
  • Before putting the Navy on the pedestal of saintlihood, try googling "Navy bastardisation". Whilst this may be caused by a small percentage of Navy staff it would indicate that over the years Navy staff have performed questionable actions and then tried to cover them up. I am not saying that the claims are true, but I am not discounting them on some false preface that the Navy is Holier than all.

    Commenter
    arj
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 1:00PM
    • THe crews manning the OSB boats are not just navy. They are also army and airforce. It was noted that the asylum seekers who identifed staff they claimed caused them stress or harm were wearing camo uniforms. The program mentioned that these uniforms are usually worn by army or airforce personnel.
      But you are right: being a member of the armed forces does not place you above suspicion or scrutiny.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:28PM
    • It does not matter how ethical and decent an organisation is, and how many members of that organisation respect those ethics and behave with decency, there will always be a few evil souls who look for an opportunity to reveal their darker side safely. It is human nature.

      By refusing to do a proper investigation of clearly detailed allegations (whether they have any truth in them at all), Scott Morrison and the Government are sending a clear message to every creep, bully, animal and just plain ratbag lurking in the darkest recesses of the navy to come out and play because their political masters will provide them with both shield and sword to do your worst.

      That is the real danger to our society by the Government's refusal to investigate. 'We asked the navy and they said no' is just not good enough in a democratic society.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:31PM
    • "Navy bastardisation".

      I think that's fair comment, though you should understand that service in the ADF is no teddy bear's picnic.

      One has to develop coping strategies in what is a very macho profession, where you are trained to kill.

      Unfortunately some can't.

      Commenter
      Jason of Gold Coast
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:32PM
    • stevek, our navy personnel wear camo when on operations out at sea.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:40PM
    • Lewis
      The trick was Morrison's very careful statement that Navy personnel did not do it.
      He was careful not to say Armed Forces personnel.
      Why was he so specific?
      Perhaps Hacka can tell us.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:30PM
  • @Hacka, I'm disappointed that I apparently won't have the opportunity to debate you. Probably it's cozier in your basement.

    "95 days is evidence"? Do you have empiral proof of that? Or, as I suspect, you have simply accepted what you are told by the Minister? Anything done in secret usually ends up obscuring what actually happens so the Govt can say that something else entirely different happens- it's all for political point-making, not for the good of the Australian public nor for the good of those affected in these incidents. Transparency is an unknown quality for this Govt- witness the Arthur Sinodinos affair.

    Secret operations usually aren't what they appear to be no matter what the Govt says- witness the wiretaps situation with Indonesia. It was illegal, it antagonized what was Australia's friend but could now potentially be the country's biggest enemy, and it showed how underhanded Australia could be in the advancement of its own interests.

    Did the Australian people vote for that program? No, because knew we might get our collective rears kicked by Indonesia, just when the country is trying to achieve some solution to the asylum seeker situation (but of course, those asylum seekers will never end up in Australia thanks to the forward-thinking Coalition Government).

    The whole Sovereign Borders program costs too much, achieves too little, and makes Australia look heartless and racist to the rest of the world (we're an island continent yet our refugee intake is one of the lowest in the OECD and we make it hard even for those who get in). We all know where this is going- White Australia II, here we come, with Hacka as chief cheerleader and apologist for the Govt.

    Commenter
    sydneybob1
    Location
    Armidale
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 12:50PM
    • sydneybob1 - as far as the costs of OSB go you can thank Rudd for the large number of asylum seekers in facilities.

      As far as proof of no boats goes - well i'm happy to believe Morrison. If your claim is he's not telling the truth, then i would suggest the burden of proof is on you to produce some evidence.

      As to your suggestion that OSB achieves very little, well it's a long way to achieving the objective sought by Australian voters - to stop the boats.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:04PM
    • Hacka
      NO
      You can blame Abbott and his allegiance with the Greens to stop any Labor action on asylum seekers.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:03PM
    • steve,

      So the Liberals (and Greens?) are responsible for Kevin Rudd opening the floodgates?

      Interesting take steve.....

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:27PM
    • steve,

      "Abbott and his allegiance with the Greens"

      hahahahaha, I'm sure nobody has told SHY or Milne they had an allegiance with Abbott.

      The Greens formed government with Labor steve! That's why we have a carbon tax! The "great negotiator" Julia gave them their carbon tax and then got screwed on border protection.

      Commenter
      notlad
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:35PM
    • dRod
      No, the gates were opened by the High Court declaring Howard's actions illegal.
      Liberal sided with the Greens to stop any action by Labor to address the problem.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:47PM
    • notlad
      Julia was never "screwed on border protection".
      That is because our borders have never been threatened since World War II.
      Julia was screwed by Tony who would not agree to reasonable measures to address people smuggling.
      He saw his chance to win government and cynically took it.
      Unfortunately, too many suckers actually believed his lies.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:09PM
    • steve,

      There you go again re-writing history. Kevin Rudd opened the borders! The High Court ruled on his trying to then shut them.

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:35PM
    • dRod
      Stop ignoring history.
      The 2004 Al Masri case effectively found that it was illegal to hold people in detention if they weren't found to be refugees, and you can't deport them without the permission of the recipient country.
      Perhaps that is why Morrison is not processing them. because as soon as he does, he has to release all of them.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:31PM
  • '...where he will respond to Brandis' exposure...'

    I'd prefer not to be further exposed to "Soapy".

    Commenter
    Jason of Gold Coast
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 12:49PM
  • 18c Now we really see what this Govt is made of, and it's not pretty.
    How can this be of benefit to a multicultural and cohesive society?
    Well it simply can't. Watch them come out of the woodwork.
    I trust Dreyfus has a bit to say.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 12:37PM
  • Sad to see Ms. Bryce leaving office.

    She carried out her duties in a proper and dignified manner, always immaculately groomed, sometimes controversial.

    Why we have to have a retired general replacing her is beyond me.

    Why not someone in the mould of a Frank Brennan or even Ms. Blanchett, Mr. Rush?

    Commenter
    Jason of Gold Coast
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 12:31PM
  • Brandis has sought to ease some of the fears of community leaders by retaining a sanction against "intimidation". However, he has rather sneakily redefined the meaning of "intimidate". He has reduced this word to mean simply "fear of physical harm".

    I am sure there is a dictionary on his much-discussed bookshelf.

    Commenter
    Abe
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 12:13PM
    • Abe,

      He may be using the same dictionary Labor used to re-define Misogynist!

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:23PM
    • here's a definition of intimidation which is not all about violence, eg "browbeat"

      in·tim·i·date (ĭn-tĭm′ĭ-dāt′)
      tr.v.in·tim·i·dat·ed, in·tim·i·dat·ing, in·tim·i·dates
      1. To make timid; fill with fear.

      2. To coerce or inhibit by or as if by threats.

      [Medieval Latin intimidāre, intimidāt- : Latin in-, causative pref.; see in-2 + Latin timidus, timid; see timid.]

      Synonyms: intimidate, browbeat, bulldoze, cow2, bully1, bludgeon
      These verbs all mean to frighten into submission, compliance, or acquiescence. Intimidate implies the presence or operation of a fear-inspiring force: "It [atomic energy] may intimidate the human race into bringing order into its international affairs" (Albert Einstein).
      Browbeat suggests the persistent application of highhanded, disdainful, or imperious tactics: browbeating a witness.
      Bulldoze connotes the leveling of all spirit of opposition: was bulldozed into hiring an unacceptable candidate.
      Cow implies bringing out an abject state of timorousness and often demoralization: a dog that was cowed by abuse.
      To bully is to intimidate through blustering, domineering, or threatening behavior: workers who were bullied into accepting a poor contract.
      Bludgeon suggests the use of grossly aggressive or combative methods: had to be bludgeoned into fulfilling his duties.

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:46PM
    • @ dRod, that would be the MacQuarie Dictionary, who incidentally changed the definition themselves.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:52PM
    • Abe, it will not be up to Brandis or anyone else other than the courts who will define intimidation in regards to any legislation.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:20PM
    • Lewis, the courts will interpret the relevant Act.
      This is from the draft amendment released by Brandis this morning:

      (2) For the purposes of this section:
      (a) vilify means to incite hatred against a person or a group of persons;
      (b) intimidate means to cause fear of physical harm:
      (i) to a person; or
      (ii) to the property of a person; or
      (iii) to the members of a group of persons.

      Commenter
      Abe
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:38PM
    • Lewis, Brandis has defined it very strictly - the courts can only deal with intimidation which falls under the Draft Bill definition:
      "
      (b) intimidate means to cause fear of physical harm:
      (i) to a person; or
      (ii) to the property of a person; or
      (iii) to the members of a group of persons.
      "
      The Parliament makes the statutes, the Courts enforce the statutes - Courts can't go on a frolic and invent another definition if it's defined in the statute

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:43PM
    • dRod
      More lies
      Really? Can you please find a fact.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:04PM
    • Abe & Rod, I hear you but I still think that magistrates can & do a lot of creative interpretations. For example, a judge can rule that the statute has specified some definitions but not neccessarily ruled out others.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:25PM
    • i cannot imagine a court judgement, which goes outside the parameters of intimidation defined as fear of physical violence perpetrated on property or persons, surviving an appeal

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:08PM
  • 11.47am. The government will hear what the community has to say.
    Can you please provide the details as to HOW the community can have it's say?
    Many people are interested in providing feedback to the government.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:54AM
    • Submissions can be made until 30 April 2014 at s18cconsultation@ag.gov.au.

      Commenter
      The Mod
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:12PM
    • Me too! I have some feedback for George, although I doubt my feedback will have the same weight as Mr Bolt's.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:14PM
    • Thanks Mod, I'll be writing.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:27PM
  • I am deeply ashamed of what this Abbott government is doing 'in my name' - and in the name of Australia.
    Half of the Australian public did not vote for, nor legitimate this government.
    I hope that politicians are the first recipients of these breathtakingly stupid changes.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:42AM
    • Well if it's any condolence Jump you are by no means alone.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:00PM
    • ": big-ot
      a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially: one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance "
      Really? Brandis supports a person like this? truly a strange rhetoric to employ if you want to persuade punters that removing the race hate laws won't harm anyone

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:11PM
    • That's right, but at least half did vote for them, so get over yourself.

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:12PM
    • Rod,

      That description could easily apply to those on these blogs that battle the Labor vs Liberal battle day in day out!

      Commenter
      You Got
      Location
      Nothing
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:20PM
    • Half voted for the LNP, but many of those were brainwashed by the Murdoch press.

      Amazing how Murdoch who isn't even an Australian citizen gets to effectively get hundreds of thousands of votes. I only get one vote!

      Commenter
      Casa
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:50PM
    • Actually more than half of the Australian voting public gave preferences to the Coalition at the last election.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:53PM
    • Jump - "Half of the Australian public did not vote for, nor legitimate this government."

      It's not much of an argument if you go by the previous election results that led to the ALP governing from 2010-13? Remember, they did a lot in our name too, most of it was at the whim of minorities & the legislation of a heap of red tape tripe.

      Casa - you forget the turmoil that the ALP created itself prior to the last election? That cost them at least 200k votes, to which my 1 was in there too, though it went to an Indie.

      Commenter
      Indeed
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:13PM
    • not intentionally preferenced by the voters Nulla - their primary vote would have gone through a maze of minor parties - although aptly named - "Australian Shooters and Lifestyle Party" , "Citizens Electoral Council of Australia", "No Carbon Tax Climate Sceptics Party", "Smokers Rights Party", Shooters and Fishers Party, "Family First Party" , " Rise Up Australia Party" , "Outdoor Recreation Party (Stop the Greens) Party" One Nation", "Christian Democratic Party", "Coke in the Bubblers Party" ...
      a vote for them was a vote for Abbott

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:28PM
    • dRod. "I" have to 'get over myself'?
      Pot. Kettle. Black.
      I state my heartfelt shame on what is occurring in this country and you think that entitles you to an ad hominem verbal spit?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:29PM
    • Although I am a LNP supporter, I am against the change as it will be seen as divisive and give the left yet an issue to wedge the LNP with. It's also good law as currently stands - but only if it is implemented in the spirit it was written.

      The real issue is judicial activism and how unfairly Bolt's case was heard. His article should have fallen into the fair comment exemption, especially given he was arguing for greater equality not discrimination. Sure his tone in the articles was very sarcastic, but not at all discriminatory or racist. Instead of changing the legislation there should be a judicial panel review of these decisions to ensure this does not happen again.

      Lesson for the left leaning judges - when you take a partisan position against the legislature, exercising judicial activism to shut down debate on anything you disagree with and call it racist - you will soon find that the definition of racist is changed through legislation - to our wider detriment. While I disagree with Bolt's sarcastic tone, I did find he was making a point about inequities in indigenous policy making which should have been addressed and argued in a civil manner, not shut down by the left.

      Brandis' (well intentioned) gaffe here risks totally misrepresenting Bolt's articles, which weren’t bigoted (although sarcastic and humiliating). Bolt was arguing to address the inequities in indigenous policy making.

      The left’s highly ideological, fanatical almost religious approach to difference of opinion. In 1633 Galileo was found guilty of holding a false doctrine. He went down on his knees and both abjured and condemned his own errors. He swore never to argue such doctrines again. It was thus definitely confirmed that the sun did rotate around the earth. Power over wisdom.

      Commenter
      JoniWalker
      Location
      CBR
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:44PM
  • So, Brandis now thinks bigotry is ok, and fine by him ?. So, if someone, a bigot, now racially abuses or grossly insults a black person, that's now ok by him is it ? This LNP regime cant go much lower than this.

    Commenter
    Piesnchess
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:31AM
    • George Brandis does not think bigotry is OK, and it is mischievous to suggest he does.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:12PM
    • really David Morriset? Brandis said "People do have a right to be bigots. In a free country people do have rights to say things that other people find offensive or insulting or bigoted." So now, "if a bigot, now racially abuses or grossly insults a black person, that's now ok by him." Not saying Brandis is a bigot, just that he supports them, bizarrely

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:23PM
    • Passing a law doesn't stop someone from being a bigot. What I think these changes seek to do is provide protection against the actions of bigots where it goes beyond a certain standard of behaviour to become intimidation or vilification. If you really want free speech, as evidenced in this blog, then you have to accept that at times you might be offended by someone else's point of view.

      Commenter
      Fair go!
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:29PM
    • Brandis said explicitly that "people have a right to be bigots" , his own words, so I rest my case. Far from being your "mischevious" I have called it spot on, he does indeed think its ok to be a bigot, end of story. Sorry you cant handle the truth on George.!

      Commenter
      Piesnchess
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:02PM
  • Does Thomson face any punishment for misleading parliament for 3 years?

    I can still see his quivering bottom lip whilst he pointed at those opposite for accusing him of those atrocities.

    Commenter
    dRod
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:28AM
    • Yes, he was voted out. The electorate spoke; any misleading of parliament is now history,

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:59AM
    • atrocities? I would reserve that for serial killers or war criminals - let's get a bit proportinate drodd - you're starting to scream a little like C Pyne

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:05PM
    • dRod,

      Misleading parliament.

      That's why Arthur Sinodinis quickly stood down, the day before he was required to make a statement in parliament about what he knew about the Obeid's family involvement in Australian Water Holdings.

      And why Tony Abbott refuses to say in parliament whether Bill Heffernan warned him about Sinodinis' involvement in AWH.

      Abbott also pledged last year that "party officials will be banned from lobbying his government."

      Sinodinis was hired by AWH because of his links to the Liberal party, and his purpose was to open lines of communication between the government and AWH.

      Clearly Sinodinis was a lobbyist.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:21PM
    • Tristan,

      Thanks for pointing out neither Sinodinos nor Abbott have misled parliament, but clearly Thomson did. So, my question remains, is there any "legal" punishment for misleading parliament?

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:18PM
    • dRod,

      Hate to point out the bleeding obvious, but Sinodinis timed his withdrawal to cowardly avoid making a statement in parliament.

      And politicians like Abbott are useless when they fail to answer the questions directed to them in parliament.

      So why can't Abbott confirm whether Bill Heffernan warned him about Arthur Sinodinis' involvement in AWH?

      Bill Heffernan, involved in a stoush with NSW Liberal Chris Hartcher, also reported Liberal slush fund EightByFive - the subject of the next ICAC inquiry immediately after AWH.

      Sinodinis will be appearing before the EightByFive corruption inquiry as well, I hear.

      Then fighting off a lawsuit by aggrieved AWH investors who claim they were given a different set of financial statements and misled by directors.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:48PM
    • Tristan,

      I know you like a rant, but really you are not addressing my question. It had nothing to do with anyone other than Thomson who did mislead parliament.
      Interesting you point out investors were given false results. I wonder if Sinodinos had been given false results? I guess time will tell. If he's guilty of fraud etc, he should be punished accordingly.
      As for the ridiculous expectation that Tony Abbott is going to answer the question of when he knew about Sinodinos, just cast your mind back to how many times Julia Gillard was asked the same question regarding Thomson, AWU, Williamson etc. That question won't be answered.

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:17PM
    • "As for the ridiculous expectation that Tony Abbott is going to answer the question of when he knew about Sinodinos...."

      dRod,

      No one's asking for Abbott to give up his first born.

      Abbott's is merely being asked to answer a question in parliament because he is Prime Minister.

      And if Abbott does answer.

      Truthfully - it'll reveal Abbott's poor judgement.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 5:17PM
  • Mr. Bandis - the right to be a bigot in private (i.e. you are free to think whatever you want) is okay - but to act on those thoughts (in any public manner) - becomes racism. Not sure how or why that simple understanding is too difficult for you.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:20AM
    • It's not that simple.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:14PM
    • Correct David, thats why the LNP luvvies are unable to say anything of substance about it.

      Commenter
      tasch2
      Location
      Mornington Peninsula
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:55PM
  • I wonder if the ALP will be requesting Thomson pay them back the moneys they used to defend him?

    Commenter
    notlad
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:15AM
  • David Bradbury got a job? There is hope for the long-term unemployed in Australia then.

    Hope he can cover up his Julia Gillard tattoo.

    Commenter
    Nulla
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:15AM
    • I'd of thought the Admiral would have been a shoo-in for more Byron-esque profile shots looking out to sea to complete his modelling portfolio.

      Commenter
      Smack
      Location
      City of the Fallen
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:27AM
    • Haha,

      I wonder if Swanny will follow him, then France will be "getting a surplus" real soon.

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:31AM
    • Where, on a cruise liner out of Darwin?

      Commenter
      onboard
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:34AM
  • 9 minutes (2 posts) covering Morrison's refusal to take responsibility to investigate NEW allegations.
    14 minutes (6 posts) to 'beat up' Thomson's 3 month jail sentence.

    Totally into collecting ''public data'' at present - since no one is noticing the trends.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:10AM
  • Does anyone know who is paying for the sea and air search? Please don’t tell me that it is me because Malaysian Airlines did not fit the plane with an independent tracking device. What would it cost: a rechargeable battery, a location device like those in mobile phones, $10 worth of electronic parts, and a circuit board, all up cost no more than $200,00.

    Commenter
    Pen o hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 11:07AM
    • and the pilot/hijackers would have turned that off too

      Commenter
      Brettie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:21AM
    • Brettie

      Read my post again, I stated an independent tracker. This means it would be independent, Brettie. Like independent.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:00PM
    • I did Pen but once you put it in it could be disabled. If you mean a tamper proof one then that may be what now has to be be installed...but the airlines will drag their feet

      Commenter
      Brettie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:09PM
    • Pen

      Hopefully, and in time, the Black Box will be found and shed some light on what occurred.

      Unfortunately, a disaster such as this is sometimes required to facilitate change Sad, but true. Hence, cost is of little consequence.

      Commenter
      $keptic
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:22PM
    • Pen of Hrba,

      Someone needs to invent it first.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:26PM
    • That's not a very Human-Rights-Based-Approach (hrba) asking how much money it was costing with the searching of MH370

      Commenter
      PN
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:43PM
    • Anyway, now that it has gone from a search operation in our search & rescue zone to an aircrash investigation that's the end of Australia's lead role. Back to you Malaysia.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:13PM
  • while I understand that this forum board has a far left tilt to it... I was wondering if one of our hard left posters could clear something up for me concerning immigration to this country..... what is it that the refugee advocates actually want? is it a completely open border where we take everyone and anyone who wants to come to this country? (as the Marxist child senator SHY wants) or is it an orderly influx.... if the hard left want an open border what do they suggest in the way of housing , feeding and providing money to these people....?
    would love to find out....

    Commenter
    vasttravells
    Location
    melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:50AM
    • Your question should be answered AFTER you have read the statistics surround ALL countries and their refugee processing procedures.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:12AM
    • I can tell you one thing, housing, detention centers and processing refugees onshore would provide jobs for Australians and would be 1/2 the cost of doing it overseas. We'll find out in May how much the immigration budget has blown out due to the LNP extreme policies, but they do some thing sneaky like spread the cost over three departments and not give a total dollar figure. You know if sea levels are rising how will Australia act to our Pacific neighbors? It's not looking good.

      Commenter
      Tim
      Location
      Inner City
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:15AM
    • Let's start with your initial statement: it's wrong. It's only because the slippery slope you appear to be standing on is tilted to the right.
      The answer to your question is 'respect and decency'. Why are these people being treated so poorly and their only 'crime' was to try to seek a better life.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:16AM
    • I am not of t he hard left, but someone who reserves my opinion to be dependent on the subject matter at hand, whether left or right. It appears to me that other than those of SHY persuasion, most of the left ONLY voice an opinion which is opposite to that of the right ( regardless of what policy that may be). If Mr Abbott was to implement a policy to allow all foreigners unconditional free entry, then those of the left would say this policy is far too generous, and our border control should be tightened.

      Commenter
      Pistol Pete
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:16AM
    • vasttravels, the good news is I've already partially cleared that up for you. Read my post at 9:05.

      You imply that anybody who criticises the current policy is in favour of 'open borders'. This is flawed logic. I find the current policy abhorrent, as I found Labor’s policy abhorren, not because I want open borders, but because it is dehumanising, cruel and demeans our nation. There needs to be a bipartisan approach that takes the political heat out of the equation, and finds a way of stopping the flow of boats by working with the Indonesians. Not insulting / antagonising them would be a good start.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:19AM
    • hmmm as someone who is neither far left leaning or far right leaning, but likes to think for himself rather than blindly follow a party, I disagree with the current governments stance on asylum seekers. Not advocating for open borders, just humane treatment of fellow human beings. Both the ALP and the LNP have failed on asylum seeker policies because they are intent on using it as a political football. And we as a nation have failed as we have bought into the xenophobic messages and 3 word slogan. Malcolm Fraser (hardly a left leaning person) at least had and has the gumption to put political point scoring aside on this.

      Commenter
      Deafening
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:23AM
    • this column might appear to have a far left tilt to it if you're used to news published under General Pinochet - News of the World maybe

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:25AM
    • Seeing your mate Brandis now believes bigotry is fine and ok, I fully expect things to just get worse and worse for refugees, via the alan jones, Andrew bolt set.

      Commenter
      Piesnchess
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:28AM
    • I've yet to read a Marxist or " Hard Left" comment here, that I've noticed anyway.
      If you want the adjective "Hard" though you'll find a few here on the "Hard Right".

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:42AM
    • putting aside the ridiculous name calling and assumptions I thank people for there response.... I understand the humanitarian aspect but I suppose I am asking more about numbers and our capacity to handle them.... with very few of our local countries taking any asylum seekers... (ie china, Indonesia, phillipeans) is it up to Australia to take all that end up in this part of the world....do the labour/greens supports on this board realize the amount of people that will turn up if we declare that we will take everybody?

      Commenter
      vasttravells
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:47AM
    • while ignoring the name calling and assumptions I thank you for your replies.... whilst I understand the humanitarian issues when it comes to refugees the issue im trying to understand when its comes to the hard left is just how many do you want to take...the current government upped the legal intake whilst trying to stop deaths at sea.....if we declare we are open again does the hard left understand just how many would come?

      Commenter
      vasttravells
      Location
      melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:57AM
  • vasttraells

    Lots of advice, but interesting to see that few could adequately answer your question.

    Jump, for someone who is so ashamed, perhaps you could assist more, other than have a look over there for your answer.

    Commenter
    $keptic
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 12:26PM
    • vasttravels
      Your problem is that you are assuming it is an all or nothing argument.
      If Abbott had allowed the Malaysia solution. Or if Abbott had allowed processing in Indonesia. Or if Abbott had allowed the expert panel to do its work, there would be no problem now.
      But once you have created a problem, it is very easy to scare the masses into believing your proposed solution.
      Even if it punishes the innocent.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:53PM
    • Woops that was meant to be to vasstrellis.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:51PM
    • Not being from the hard left but here's my take.
      Cease 457s et al - not increase (I think we have enough Singers, Dancers, Photographers, Park Rangers, Firefighters, Mechanics, Hairdressers, Fingernail Painters etc)already out of work. Drastically reduce immigration, return refugee intake to Labor Govt levels and process quickly to avoid mental health issues, process onshore. Regional Immigration centres established.
      Once processed ensure training and recognition of their education/skills.
      Return to a humanitarian approach, something "boat people" have not been afforded since before Howard.
      (Sorry can't respond, away for a couple of hours).

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:48PM
  • 10.38 am. @ Scott Morrison. Covering your eyes so you don't see something is NOT an effective strategy. Perhaps if the government researched the photos of those service people the asylum seekers identified, and did their analysis from there?
    Saying, ''LA LA LA - I'm not listening'' is not effective government.

    Commenter
    Jump
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:48AM
    • Very accurate Jump.

      Commenter
      Lance
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:29PM
  • Well there you go, it is official: crime pays. Three months in prison for spending $23,000. that belongs to others. It works out at almost $100,000 a year income.

    Well done, Craig you came up smelling of roses. .

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:47AM
    • Did he pay back the money to the Labor Party that was spent on his legal costs?

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:08AM
    • And Gillard protected him for so long, knowing what was going. Typical shameless politicking and typical selfish acts.

      HSU is trying to get their $400K back so forget about Labor getting back anything !!!

      Commenter
      blah
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:38PM
    • Pen
      At that rate though, Sinodinos may never see the light of day again.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:06PM
    • Sarah
      The bigger question is who is paying for Arfur's legal team. About $10,000 a day in total.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:07PM
    • Blah
      How is kicking him out of the Party "protecting" him?
      Why has Arfur not been kicked out of the party?
      I think Labor took a lot more action than Liberal ever will over their own people.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:09PM
  • Nothing against QB at all and she has done a good job. The problem with her staying is the simple fact that the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition (at least for now) is none other than her brother-in-law!

    Transparency of government would be against her continuing to be GG.

    Commenter
    MVF
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:31AM
  • Thank Havens and the great Lord she is gone...GONE...hooray!

    Perhaps now the budget will return back to some surplus...

    Good riddance...Be gone now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Commenter
    Voter
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:29AM
    • What on earth are you talking about Voter?

      Commenter
      I'm not giving my name to a damn machine!
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:38AM
  • The government gives $1.44 million to anti-slavery organisations. No problem with that at all- a small amount of money for a very good cause. But, small as it is, it’s six times larger than the piddling $250 000 refused to the ‘orphans of servicemen’. This, Joe told us, was ‘money we don’t have’, and ‘we would have to pay for it with borrowed money’.

    Perhaps Twiggy could have a word with Joe?

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:26AM
    • Who is 'Twiggy' ?

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:45AM
    • Twiggy Forrest is a billionaire mining magnate who, to his credit, is fund-raising in aid of anti-slavery / people trafficking organisations. He could teach our other billionaire mining magnates a thing or two about social responsibility.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:03AM
    • Okay, thanks :-)

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:22AM
    • Gigondas - a comment in Fairfax yesterday described our darling Gina as Australia's biggest welfare recipient (as far as getting 'hand outs' from the government). I'd never heard of Twiggy before today, so I think I will look into his story. He sounds like a nice bloke. Cheers.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:03PM
  • The Pulse @ 10:16am.

    "They dont vote yet, but their parents do." ...and they may just have a salami sandwich or two.

    Commenter
    Lewis
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:19AM
  • I am sorry to see QB go, she has been the perfect G.G. and a credit to the office. We could not have done better than to have Quentin her charm and dignified manner in all things and all times was a pleasure to see.

    I wish Quentin all the best for the future knowing that the office of G.G. will be the poorer without her grace, charm and dignity.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 10:10AM
    • Agreed, what a woman!
      And what an amazing life.
      Bye QB.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:26AM
    • Yes but the Government coffers will be increased as they will no longer have to pay for her (undoubtedly expensive) clothing. Don't think I ever saw her in the same thing twice!

      Commenter
      Catherine
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:45AM
    • Our first lady Governor-General did a good job, but on at least one occasion she was blatantly political in her comments, and her comments on same-sex marriage, in defiance of Commonwealth law, tradition and common sense, were quite disgraceful.

      Commenter
      David Morrison
      Location
      Blue Mountains
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:10PM
    • Catherine, a public role of that nature requires an elegant wardrobe for functions. I doubt anyone would've been impressed had she turned up in jeans and a jumper (I would've but that's another story).
      When last suit shopping with my husband they can run pretty pricey themselves.
      Will you take issue when our tax dollars go on suits and ties?

      Commenter
      bridget
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:21PM
  • How democratic is the process where the PM/ govt tells us as to who represents us to the Queen....so anachronistic it makes my blood boil....

    Commenter
    shemp
    Location
    melb
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 9:53AM
    • How democratic? Not very. But a republic is a long way off. Like the Liberals and gun reform, and Labour and market deregulation, in Australia the opposite side has to lead major reform to make it work. The current crop of troglodyte Liberals love their monarchy too much.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:21AM
    • Agreed....off with their heads.
      Long time till we get a Republic though.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:36AM
  • The large and finely woven net that is ICAC ...
    ICAC Act
    "8 General nature of corrupt conduct
    (1) Corrupt conduct is:
    (a) any conduct of any person (whether or not a public official) that adversely affects, or that could adversely affect, either directly or indirectly, the honest or impartial exercise of official functions by any public official, any group or body of public officials or any public authority, or
    … (2) Corrupt conduct is also any conduct of any person (whether or not a public official) that adversely affects, or that could adversely affect, either directly or indirectly, the exercise of official functions by any public official, any group or body of public officials or any public authority and which could involve any of the following matters:
    (a) official misconduct (including breach of trust, fraud in office, nonfeasance, misfeasance, malfeasance, oppression, extortion or imposition),
    (b) bribery,
    (c) blackmail,
    (d) obtaining or offering secret commissions,
    (e) fraud,
    (f) theft,
    (g) perverting the course of justice,
    (h) embezzlement,
    (i) election bribery,
    (j) election funding offences,
    (k) election fraud,
    (l) treating,
    (m) tax evasion,
    (n) revenue evasion,
    (o) currency violations,
    (p) illegal drug dealings,
    (q) illegal gambling,
    (r) obtaining financial benefit by vice engaged in by others,
    (s) bankruptcy and company violations,
    (t) harbouring criminals,
    (u) forgery,
    (v) treason or other offences against the Sovereign,
    (w) homicide or violence,
    (x) matters of the same or a similar nature to any listed above,
    (y) any conspiracy or attempt in relation to any of the above.

    (4) Conduct committed by or in relation to a person who was not or is not a public official may amount to corrupt conduct under this section with respect to the exercise of his or her official functions after becoming a public official."

    Commenter
    rod steiger
    Location
    toukley
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 9:49AM
  • Oh that explains why all the news crews where there outside the courts this morning at 7 am. Craig Thomson is sentenced today. I hope they jail him.

    Commenter
    Sarah of Carnegie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 9:34AM
    • Agreed, Sarah. $24000 is a substantial theft. White collar criminals should get the same treatment as your standard crook.

      Mind you, $24000 is probably less than the cost to the taxpayer of a medium-sized Liberal wedding.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:53AM
    • Yes $24,000 is about a quarter of what a good Liberal member would pay his wife with public monies to do no work. I doubt whether the Attorney General will prosecute that case as he has more pressing concerns protecting the rights of bigots and racists.

      Commenter
      Ted
      Location
      Hawthorn
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:34AM
    • I look forward to your equally strong condemnation of Sinodinos.
      He is accused of taking a lot more than $24,000 from taxpayers.

      Commenter
      Sarah
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:57AM
    • Doesn't matter who they are or which side of the fence they come from if Sinodinos is found to have acted inappropriately then I hope he dealt with appropriately.

      Commenter
      Sarah of Carnegie
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:07AM
  • The ever glamorous Quentin Bryce never fails to disappoint. Loving her pink outfit today.

    Commenter
    Sarah of Carnegie
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 9:30AM
  • So another woman (Quentin Bryce) is moved out of power in Australia. That just leaves Julie Bishop.

    Well, I confess I am overlooking Bronny Bishop who seems to be the most powerful person in Federal politics, working daily through her quota of Opposition MPs to toss out. Only the most rusted-on of the LNP cheer squad belives she is acting impartially

    Commenter
    stevek
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 9:15AM
    • I very much doubt if even the rusted-ons believe that. I think they're cheering her bias. I like Bronnie. I think she's very entertaining & enhances the circus atmosphere of question time.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:51AM
    • Clearly, Lewis, you think it is right for our Parliament to be a joke and circus. The fact that Dolores has made it look like a Harry Potter story does not make it right for me.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:53AM
    • Lewis it is only a circus because she actively encourages the clowns on her right to spout nonsense in response to serious questions - she acts like a naughty grand aunt emboldening her grandnieces and nephews to misbehave , and she actually laughs at their disorder- a woeful excuse for a Speaker

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:00AM
    • Totally agree with that analogy to describe B Bishop, rod.
      It is spot on because it demonstrates that what is happening in our Parliament, is happening with HER intent...

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:14AM
    • WW & RS. Right or not, our parliament is a joke and a circus & Bronnie presides over clowns to her left AND right.

      Commenter
      Lewis
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:22AM
    • Yeah she's biased, just like Anna Burke was. Suck it up lefties, you enjoyed it, now you're getting a taste of your own medicine.

      Labor didn't exactly get off to a good start with all these comparisons to Dolores. Maybe she should have a 15 minute rant about mysogyny?

      Also for all the fuss about conduct in parliament, I don't see any criticism from you lot directed at Nick Champion who gets kicked out every day or two for being a clown.

      Commenter
      adrian
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:38AM
    • Adrian,

      I wonder how long it will take before the Liberals finally desert Arthur Sinodinis and whether they will accept his tainted vote if he rejoins parliament.

      Commenter
      Tristan
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:23PM
    • 'Well, I confess I am overlooking Bronny Bishop...'

      It's best if she's overlooked.

      Commenter
      Jason of Gold Coast
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:54PM
    • f you think there is any comparison between the current occupant of the Speaker's chair and Anna Burke, who was a decent, patient and fair Speaker in most difficult circumstances - including putting up with the most appalling behaviour from the woman now occupying the Speaker's chair and Christopher Pyne in the same position that Tony Burke is now in - then you need to do a very close reading of Hansard for the last four years.

      There is no comparison. Anna Burke respected Parliament; the current speaker treats it as the Opposition is Cinderella and she is the stepmother looking after her ugly daughters on her right.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:12PM
  • Between BBQ's and repeals, Aunty's been up to her old tricks. Running part 2 of the "special investigation" into border protection, the ABC tried the burnt hands story, yet again.

    There was no real new "evidence", and Morrison belted the allegations out of the park on AM once again.

    Is this the end - will the ABC accept defeat, or will they continue to belligerently pursue what appears baseless ?

    Commenter
    Hacka
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 9:08AM
    • Thank goodness we have you as the epitome of impartiality Hacka.
      You make it sound like the ABC are manufacturing this story. They presented first person reports by those who were onboard the boat.
      The Australian government has simply written of these reports as baseless and unsubstantiated without ever speaking to any of them. An inquiry is warranted.

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:25AM
    • Oh Hacka,
      How predictable is your rant? "Aunty up to her old tricks"
      Get a life. The ABC is not there just waiting for the LNP to stumble. The LNP manage to do that very well all by themselves.
      But you continue to defend the indefensible because you are a rusted on relic of the Howard years.
      Maybe you could put some of your efforts to real debate, discussion and a vison for the future of this country. I have not seen one idea, vison or policy tack coming from your extensve contributions to this service.
      You are a disappointment..........

      Commenter
      ASK
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:35AM
    • Wow, Hacka, that sounded word for word like Scotty's press release.

      Commenter
      Whyalla Wipeout
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:51AM
    • Hacka, you are so good at selective hearing. I heard the same interview on AM this morning with Minister of Cruel and Unusual Punishment Morrison and he didn't "hit it out of the park"- he whiffed by using the same old line about "I believe what is told to me by the Defence Forces which carried out the operation". He is giving members of the Defence Forces who may have committed offences (we don't know because the Govt refuses to make any information publicly available under the "oooh it's secret" policy) but the video does make for troubling viewing.

      Does the end justify the means, Hacka?
      Does anything go as long as Minister of CAUP can say that no boats have arrived in so many days? Well, it looks like he hasn't been telling the truth. The boat did arrive on Australian territory and was towed to Indonesia, a bit of a sore point with that country.

      There are first hand accounts of what happened, only they are the voices of those who were on the boat and saw what happened. How best to put this all to rest? Have an inquiry and make those ADF personnel tell what happened. But that would violate the secrecy with which this whole operation is run so that's out, right? It's a convenient excuse for potential abuse and cover-up. And the Govt wouldn't be able to get away with the contemptuous treatment of the Australian public without the support of people like you, Hacka. You'll believe anything the Coalition says. But if it's proven to be false, would you be bold enough to admit your mistake? Probably not. That takes courage.

      Commenter
      sydneybob1
      Location
      Armidale
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:51AM
    • hacky, will this charade of a government accept that an independent inquiry into these allegations with full disclosure from the Navy and Customs is the only way to remove the smear that has tainted these organisations through the mendacious weasel words of Scott Morrison?

      Commenter
      rod steiger
      Location
      toukley
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:54AM
    • I agree Hacka, whilst the Australian Navy and Airforce are doing exceptional work in the remote Indian Ocean, the ABC has tried to resurrect an unsubstantiated and uncorroborated smear against the Australian Navy.

      Commenter
      Nulla
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 9:59AM
    • Seriously Hacka, what piffle. The 7.30 report ran a story that used the first hand account of some asylum seekers. How can you seriously make a defence for the government on this? They've stuck their collective fingers in their ears and sung,
      ''La la la , I'm not listening''.
      As fun as that may be, it is not an effective way to run the Australian government.

      Commenter
      Jump
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:00AM
    • I put this challenge to you, Hacka. I'll be happy to debate you in public on the merits of Operation Sovereign Borders and the impact it has had on the perception of Australia (according to recent reports from travellers, Australia is considered a fairly unfriendly and racist country).

      We simply don't know how effective the operation has been, however, the results may have been tainted by actions that don't fall under Marquis of Queensbury rules or even rules of common human decency.

      And you belittle organisations such as the UNHCR which criticise the tactics used by the current Government? It only happens that we hold the head seat on the UN Security Council in that august organisation. Given our actions to the north, we have Buckley's chance of getting even a back row seat ever again. Way to set a good example, Mr PM.

      so I'll debate you but you'll have to come out of your mum's basement to make an appearance. Back to you.

      Commenter
      sydneybob1
      Location
      Armidale
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:13AM
    • NO-ONE should be above suspicion, from the PM to the cleaners and everyone in between.

      We may NOT believe the claims but they MUST be investigated, its the right thing to do!

      Commenter
      shemp
      Location
      melb
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 10:26AM
    • Hacka
      When will Morrison move to clear the Navy's good reputation by releasing the Navy's video?

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:00AM
    • Nulla
      On the contrary, we have dozens of asylum seekers with much the same story and evidence of burns on one side of the argument.
      And we have Morrison offering no comment and no evidence on the other.
      Despite the fact that all Navy and Customs boarding patrols carry and use video to record their actions.
      There is plenty that Morrison could do to prove his case.
      The fact that he is not producing anything points to guilt.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:15AM
    • Damn freedom of speech. How dare a news outlet broadcast a story that contradicts what Mr Morrison or Peta Credlin declares is the truth! Someone being interviewed who was an eye witness to events, what a drop in reporting standards! Geez hacka, I am with you on this, the ABC should just drop searching for the truth and trust the infallibility of your good self and Peta.

      Commenter
      Deafening
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:30AM
    • Not sure how many of you saw 7.30 last night, but it sounds like many of you would believe the asylum seekers before the Navy.

      The Navy have investigated the claims and found them to be baseless. Whilst some of you seem to want a written, public 1,000 page report, it's a bit hard to work out what that would achieve. Or more simply put - some of us trust the government, generally speaking.

      sydneybob1 - we do know how effective the campaign has been. 95 days is evidence.

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:13PM
    • "The Navy have investigated the claims and found them to be baseless"

      Nor do we take the word of those operating under 'OSB' as gospel.
      Apparently that 'investigation' did not include interviewing the asylum seekers involved.
      What was the investigation:
      "Did any of you guys harm or intimidate the asylum seekers'
      "No sir"
      "OK, That settles the matter"

      Commenter
      stevek
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 1:32PM
    • Hacka
      More lies. Really?
      The naval investigation was never released. So, unlike you, we have no idea what it really says.
      Morrison's very careful comment was that it exonerated Naval personnel.
      Now that we know the accusations were against personnel in cammo outfits, perhaps we can see what the investigation said about army and ai force personnel.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 2:18PM
    • Steve - you're quick to accuse people of lying, but maybe, just maybe, it's a comprehension issue at your end.

      Where, for example, was it claimed that the investigation was released ?

      Commenter
      Hacka
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 3:16PM
    • Hacka
      Need to brush up on your reading skills.
      I wrote that the investigation has not been released.
      But I am more than happy for you to leak your copy.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:57PM
  • The asylum seeker debacle has been wrongly framed as a political debate. When are we going to understand that it is not Labor problem, and it is not the Liberal problem? It’s Australia’s problem. It’s your problem and my problem.

    The two major political parties have got us into this mess. They’re so intent on gaining/holding power that they are willing to do and say anything to appeal to the xenophobic views of a number of swinging voters in a number of swinging seats. And it’s not just the last 12 months- remember the Tampa?

    What’s the answer? I wish there was an easy one. But the obvious first step is for both Labor and the Liberals to stop the pathetic tough-guy posturing (yes, I’m looking at you, Scott), to get behind closed doors and find a bipartisan solution for the good of the nation. For a start we should develop effective behind the scenes cooperation with Indonesia, which may well have been on the way before the spying scandal and the subsequent boof-headed (un)diplomatic response by a tyro government.

    Commenter
    Gigondas
    Location
    Date and time
    March 25, 2014, 9:05AM
    • Gigondas
      For every complex problem there is a simple answer that is inevitably wrong.
      Unfortunately, simple people love simple answers and the Liberals are nothing if not simple.

      Commenter
      Steve
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:05AM
    • hear hear Gigondas

      Commenter
      qldisfubar
      Location
      qld
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:10AM
    • Well said and so to should CC be a bipartisan issue.
      Impossible to have anything bipartisan these days.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:29AM
    • Love the way you try to be "neutral" at the beginning of your post, to only end up showing your real colours at the end....

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 11:29AM
    • dRod, I'm happy to point out boof-headedness on both sides. You're obvously one of those 'my side never wrong; other side always wrong' people.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:00PM
    • Yes Gigo, your posts are always very balanced!

      Commenter
      dRod
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 12:21PM
    • Thank you dRod. One tries.

      Commenter
      Gigondas
      Location
      Date and time
      March 25, 2014, 4:24PM
Comments are now closed