As we head off for a wheatgrass shot, what have we learned from this parliamentary day?
- It takes three daughters to make a feminist dad;
- So Tony Abbott is a feminist;
- The Coalition has a Plan A for Qantas;
- The government is not in the business of revealing personal information about people. Unless they are an asylum seeker; and
- Labor loves WA. Like, seriously enough to create a whole frontbench position in its honour.
That's it from Andrew Meares, Alex Ellinghausen and I.
We'll be back tomorrow (that's a signature policy).
The latest on the AEC comes ahead of a parliamentary hearing tomorrow.
The Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters will continue its investigation into the lost WA ballot papers.
It will take evidence from Mick Keelty for an hour in the morning.
A hearing with acting Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers is planned for next week.
This talk has come just in time.
Giving a talk about democracy and what ails it at Australian Parliament House lunchtime this Friday. All welcome. pic.twitter.com/TRyrEO7MaL— Alex Oliver (@AlexKOliver) March 4, 2014
The AEC has also just released a statement announcing it will make a payment of $2,000 each to 44 candidates endorsed by political parties who stood for the West Australian Senate last September.
"Defective administration resulted in the need to hold a new WA half Senate election," the AEC says.
(Eighteen other candidates have already had their money refunded as they had achieved 4 per cent or more of first preference votes.)
Woe is the AEC.
In an exclusive story from Jonathan Swan, we learn that the Australian Electoral Commission faces two more audits after the bungled WA Senate vote.
There has already been one investigation by former AFP commissioner Mick Keelty.
But there will be one further audit examining the "transport and storage" of ballot papers last year.
And another to examine whether the AEC changed its processes as promised after a damning report in the wake of the 2007 federal election.
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And that's gotta to be worth a wink.
I'm the shadow parliamentary secretary for Western Australia.
Who the hey is 'Madam Seeker'?
Trust me, Cory.
I find your views about families just as weird as you find mine.
There's this French word I know that is really appropriate right now.Back to top
Sorry we're late.
The cat ate our debt guarantee.
The time being 4.38pm, we now present PHOTOS WITHOUT NOTICE.
The Senate is also debating a matter of public importance of its own.
"The failure of the Abbott government to adequately responsd to the Manus Island incident."
I suppose by their very nature, MPIs don't tend to be on very cheerful subjects.
When you think about it, $425,000 is not that much given all the speeches you have to make and hands you have to shake.
And all. That. Small. Talk.
Apart from more debate on the carbon tax repeal (in the Senate) and a whole bunch of questions on Qantas (in the House), what else has been happening in parliament today?
A pay rise for the Governor-General for one.
The House today passed a bill to increase the G-G's salary from $394,000 to $425,000.
This will take effect when Peter Cosgrove is sworn in, later this month.
(It needs to pass the Senate, but has bipartisan support.)
Liberal frontbencher Jamie Briggs told the chamber it was a long-standing practice to link the G-G's salary amount to that of the chief justice of the High Court.
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Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews - who has recently authored a book about modern marriage and was praised by Bernardi this morning - was also in QT today.
FYI, he has a website for said book - Maybe 'I do' - right here.
"The greatest threat facing the western world is not climate change or global warming," Andrews writes.
"It is not the continuing financial crisis. Nor is it the threat of radical Islam. The greatest threat is within. It is the steady, but continuing breakdown of the essential structures of civil society – marriage, family and community."
Coalition MP Ewen Jones has called in to Fairfax Radio in Canberra about his response to Cory Bernardi's views about family structures in the Coalition's joint parties meeting this morning.
The most important thing about families is "whether the children are loved, whether the children are cared for and respected," Jones says.
He says the view that the only way to bring up a child properly is in a traditional family is "something from the 1950s".
Jones says he was a single dad for a few years when his first marriage broke down.
"My daughters are now 21 and 19. And they are beautiful, responsible ... fantastic human beings."
While this debate continues (the Coalition's Luke Hartsuyker is now talking about a hand up vs a hand out for Qantas), we bring you a picture of Stephen Jones. Taking his place on Labor's frontbench this afternoon.
Labor seizes the opportunity at the end of question time to bring on discussion about a matter of public importance.
Namely: "the national interest in maintaining aviation jobs in Australia".
Bill Shorten tells the House that the "real issue of this issue" is that the government wants "to turn the spirit of Australia into the ghost of Australia".
At 3.10pm and 23 questions, the PM calls an end to QT.Back to top