Federal Politics

Politics wrap: March 20, 2013

So where do things stand?

1. The media reforms look shaky with a compromise plan to save central elements of the plan now resting with Craig Thomson;

2. Tony Windsor faces a fight to keep his seat of New England after Barnaby Joyce said he would seek National Party represelection for the seat;

3. The government backed away from its controversial anti discrimination laws;

4. The opposition is making hay while the sun shines and has reissued its lemon ad - the one that says all Labor leaders, no matter who they are, are duds.

I'm really enjoying everyone's feisty contributions. Thanks so much for joining me, Andrew Meares and Alex Ellinghausen.

Until the morrow.

 

And in some breaking news National Party Senator Barnaby Joyce has confirmed he will seek preselection for the National Party in New England - independent Tony Windsor's seat.

Chief political correspondent Mark Kenny has more details here.

The PM looks for the subtext in Julie Bishop's question.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard listens to a Julie Bishop question
Prime Minister Julia Gillard listens to a Julie Bishop question Photo: Andrew Meares

Bob Katter attempts to explains his amendments to the media reform package to Peter Slipper.

Peter Slipper and Bob Katter on the cross bench
Peter Slipper and Bob Katter on the cross bench Photo: Andrew Meares

Yes, Albo, I agree the press should be more heavily regulated.

 

Leader of the House Anthony Albanese talks with Greens MP Adam Bandt
Leader of the House Anthony Albanese talks with Greens MP Adam Bandt Photo: Andrew Meares
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"......there's nothing going on."

Kevin Rudd speaks with Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon
Kevin Rudd speaks with Chief Government Whip Joel Fitzgibbon Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
Andrew Meares dinkus 30 January 2013

I'll hand over to Andrew Meares for Photos Without Notice now.

A few minutes ago independent MP Andrew Wilkie responded to the pressure placed on him by the Greens earlier today (see 1.08pm).

Mr Wilkie will not be voting for any of the government's four remaining media reform bills.

"These reforms are rushed and poorly constructed....No reasonable person could expect quality decisions to be made in these circumstances," Mr Wilkie says.

"These reforms fail to give more rights to members of the community subject to media mistreatment and fail to comprehensively enhance the Australian Press Council. Moreover they're not accompanied by the essential supporting legislation."

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie comments on the media reform bill
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie comments on the media reform bill Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

And that's it for Question Time today.

Meanwhile, Kevin Rudd is engaging with constituents. On the topic of his favourite cup cake flavour.

 

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Speaks for itself really.

 

Anyone who is wondering why the government is asking itself so many questions about pensioners should be aware that today is the day pensions rise due to indexation.

The Opposition's front bench is Wayne Swan's "economic neanderthals".

 

Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison during Question Time.
Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison during Question Time. Photo: Andrew Meares

Christopher Pyne asks the PM when the government will stop counting votes and stop the boats.

The PM doesn't look too impressed by the tactic of linking every government policy to leadership.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time
Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time Photo: Andrew Meares

A word in your ear.

Independent MP Tony Windsor in discussion with Labor MP Kevin Rudd
Independent MP Tony Windsor in discussion with Labor MP Kevin Rudd Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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The deputy leader of the Opposition, Julie Bishop, asks the PM if she has had any discussion with any of the independent MPs about legal fees they may be incurring as a result of legal action.

"I have not had anybody raise with me the topic the deputy leader of the Opposition refers to," Ms Gillard says.

Hmmmm. That's an answer the Opposition clearly wants for a reason. What can it be?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time
Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Should I or shouldn't I?

Labor MP Kevin Rudd during Question Time
Labor MP Kevin Rudd during Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work we go.

 

 

Kevin Rudd arrives for Question Time
Kevin Rudd arrives for Question Time Photo: Andrew Meares

Question Time is focussing on the economy. No surprises there. The Opposition seeks information from the Government as to the size of the deficit and how long it might take to pay it back.

Opposition leader Tony Abbott wants to know why the economy is in debt when the global financial crisis ended four years ago.

Oh, it's over is it, asks the PM. That might come as a surprise to the people of Cyprus, Greece, Italy and the United States where things are still mighty rough.

"We actually deal with the circumstances of the real world including the circumstances of the Australian economy," the PM says.

The PM arrives.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time
Prime Minister Julia Gillard during Question Time Photo: Alex Ellinghausen
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