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Now gender census issues are discarded

Angus Taylor in parliament today. Photo: AAP
Angus Taylor in parliament today. Photo: AAP

Hello and welcome to Politics, covering all events in Parliament in Canberra.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has ruled out 20,000 printed census forms that listed issues of sex and sexuality after holding discussions with assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar's office.

Appearing before a Senate Estimates hearing on Thursday, David Kalisch, head of Australia's Bureau of Statistics, said "finally" the decision to end the new set of questions for his census test in the town of Wagga Wagga in NSW, and the city of Logan in Queensland.

Read on

Meanwhile, the Labor Party will ask police to investigate whether the office of Energy Minister Angus Taylor has forged a document used to attack Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore.

Greg Brown 23:00: Robodebt bungle massive

About 10,000 robodebt warnings were accidentally distributed because of confusion in the Department of Human Services.

Department Advisor Annette Musolino said about 10,000 debt warnings were sent to people in April before the bureaucracy ended.

She said the warnings were sent accidentally because of a "manual team error".

"The problem was identified within a few days and remedial measures were taken," Musolino told Senate Estimates.

Craig Storer, general manager of the customer compliance department, said debt recovery was "re-paused" and a special team was set up to notify people who were accidentally sent.

"Of the 10,000 debts issued, approximately 9400 were related to non-current customers that we could not contact in the last 12 months," he said.

“So we are sure these letters did not find the customer.

"From the phone line we set up, we received 247 calls from customers and were able to deal with their problems as they arose."

Michael Roddan 4:30 pm: Discarded Gender Census Questions

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has ruled out 20,000 printed census forms that listed issues of sex and sexuality after holding discussions with assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar's office.

Appearing before a Senate Estimates hearing on Thursday, David Kalisch, head of Australia's Bureau of Statistics, said "finally" the decision to end the new set of questions for his census test in the town of Wagga Wagga in NSW, and the city of Logan in Queensland.

"I had some talks with the minister's office on how to help them understand the nature of the consideration surrounding the decision," said Kalisch.

"They expressed a preference, but it was ultimately my decision," he said.

The census is scheduled for 2021, and questions about gender and sexuality were shortlisted alongside eight potential new topics on which Australians would be interrogated on census night.

Kalisch said the ABS has already asked Australians about sex and living conditions and that there may be some confusion within the "wider community" about separate gender issues.

Treasury assistant spokesman Stephen Jones said the move shows that the government is "doing politics" with the five-year census and that gay and transgender Australians have long been ignored by policymakers.

"Australians must be disappointed that their government is more interested in doing politics than doing the work that Australians expect and deserve," Jones said.

"Even after years of progress, there are still significant health and welfare disparities affecting Australia's LGBTI community," he said.

The 2016 census was marked when the online system was taken offline after a series of cyber attacks, known as denied service (DDoS) attacks.

The DDOS attacks meant that millions of Australians could not complete online census forms until later. The census is usually designed to be completed in a single night in order to capture a snapshot of the nation.

Analyzes from the Australian Cyber ​​Security Center and a Senate committee later found that contractor IBM did not test the cloud-based infrastructure recovery process.

After the cyber attacks, there was a fear that Australians would give false census information to protect their privacy.

In August, Sukkar confirmed that ABS chief David Kalisch would not have his five-year term extended in December. Kalisch has served as an Australian statistician since December 2014.

Greg Brown 4:10 pm: Work calls police for Taylor document

Labor will ask NSW police to investigate whether Energy Minister Angus Taylor's office forged a document used to attack Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore.

Opposition spokesman Mark Butler said Taylor declined to prove that he had downloaded a document sent to the Daily Telegraph on the Sydney Web site.

"It is a claim that simply does not stand the scrutiny and for which it will provide no evidence," Butler said.

“It is quite clear that Angus Taylor refused or refused to report to the NSW police, the Prime Minister clearly does not intend to make a reference to the NSW police.

“In the absence of any government action to clarify this and ensure that the public has a right to know what happened here, the Labor Party, through the shadow attorney general, will write to the NSW police seeking an investigation. about all the circumstances surrounding this subject. "

The document states that Mayor Moore's office spent more than $ 15 million on travel. Sydney city figures show that the city spent less than $ 300,000 on travel.

Olivia Caisley 3pm: Opposition QT energy shock

Labor used the final question period of the parliamentary week to launch an attack on Energy Minister Angus Taylor over a document he used to grill Sydney City Mayor Clover Moore about his travel expenses.

But the letter to Moore, who criticized the mayor of Sydney for "hypocritically increasing carbon emissions by spending more than $ 15 million on council money on domestic and international travel," has inflated its travel costs significantly.

The letter, which was later published in The Daily Telegraph, said Sydney city councilors spent $ 1.7 million on international travel and $ 14.2 million on domestic travel.

But the 2017/18 annual report available online shows that international travel costs were only $ 1,727.77 and domestic costs were $ 4,206.32 – far short of the minister's quote.

The Opposition used six questions to investigate the minister on numbers, but Mr. Taylor repeatedly denied that an alternative report with different numbers had been prepared by him or his cabinet.

"We need to know if the counterfeiting was tailor made because it looks exactly like that," opposition leader Tony Burke told parliament.

Taylor told parliament he was "warned" that the document was taken directly from the Sydney city website.

When asked by Mark Butler of the Labor Party where he got the "forged" document, Taylor said he "absolutely rejected" the premise of the question and "statements being sold by the opposition."

Scott Morrison also interrupted Labor questions about the National $ 1.3 billion drought plan, offering quick one-word answers.

When asked if he would not commit to a bipartisan response to the drought because he "can't even administer a bipartisan approach to the National Party?", The prime minister said "no".

Again, when asked if it was the Prime Minister or National Party bench that was "conducting the chaotic response to the government drought," Morrison said, "The Cabinet."

3:30 pm: Inquiry hockey offer in Russia

Australia's US Ambassador Joe Hockey has made an unsolicited offer to assist in the controversial White House investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, AAP reports.

US and Australian officials met six times to discuss the investigation, which was the subject of an unusual phone call between Scott Morrison and Donald Trump.

Earlier this year, Hockey suggested that he make a proactive offer to participate in the so-called Barr inquiry.

Australian Ambassador to the USA, Joe Hockey. Photo: Danny Moloshok
Australian Ambassador to the USA, Joe Hockey. Photo: Danny Moloshok

Foreign Secretary Frances Adamson endorsed her proactive approach.

"I would say Ambassador Hockey's approach to this … was exactly what I, as DFAT secretary, would expect him to do," Adamson told an estimated Senate hearing on Thursday.

"An investigation was launched, Australia had been mentioned by the president, the foreign minister had indicated our willingness to help."

"This is what he (Hockey) was doing, effectively saying that we are here, we are ready to help in any way you want," she said.

Hockey signaled his letter to the foreign minister before sending it in May and later met with US Attorney General William Barr to discuss the inquiry.

Adamson also clarified Trump's connection with Morrison to request a point of contact.

Asked why the US president called the prime minister directly, Adamson explained that it was simply because Hockey was absent at the time. The secretary also confirmed that she was the lead contact for Barr's inquiry, along with Hockey and she met Barr in Washington in September. Department officials declined to say whether Australia handed over the diplomatic cables to Barr's investigation, saying it would be detrimental to the ongoing investigation.

Barr is leading the investigation in a previous inquiry that looked at Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election. He is examining how the investigation of US Special Advisor Robert Mueller began.


Olivia Caisley 3.09pm: Taylor movement targets

The opposition industrial relations spokesman is seeking a motion against Energy Minister Angus Taylor.

"I excuse myself to make the following motion," says Burke. "The prime minister's statement in the House on Monday this week states that whether they are politicians, journalists, civil servants, anyone, there is no one in this country who is above the law."

"The reported provision of a document forged to the Daily Telegraph by the Minister for emission reductions was an attempt to influence the public duty of the Lord Mayor of Sydney."

“The conscious creation and / or use of a forged document in an attempt to influence public duty is a serious and accusable crime under New South Wales law, punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment.

“Failure to report knowledge of a serious and accusable crime is also a crime under New South Wales law, punishable by up to two years in prison.

“The Minister of Emission Reduction failed to explain his role or acknowledge the creation and / or use of a counterfeit document used in an attempt to influence Sydney City Mayor's public duty, and the minister declined to give direct answers to questions. simple about these crimes. "

Energy Minister Angus Taylor in Question Time today. Photo: AAP
Energy Minister Angus Taylor in Question Time today. Photo: AAP

Olivia Caisley 3.02pm: Energy Minister Highlight

Opposition spokesman Mark Butler attempts to grill Energy Minister Angus Taylor for the fifth time over Clover Moore's letter.

Butler asks if Taylor realizes that it is an offense not to notify NSW police of counterfeit documents "designed to influence public duty."

"Has the minister reported this to the police in New South Wales or does he seriously state that the document he provided to The Daily Telegraph is not a forgery?" Butler asks.

"If he makes that statement, will he provide metadata to support him, as Sydney has?"

Attorney General Christian Porter intervenes, saying that Mr. Taylor has answered the questions correctly.

“The minister has been absolutely straightforward in his responses to the [letter’s] origins, ”says Porter. "It may not have been the answer the members wanted, but the answer was provided."

Mr. Taylor comes back swinging. He reiterates that he rejects the premise of the Labor question and accuses Butler of trying to distract himself from internal violations of the Labor Party.

"They're all blurs and have no idea," says Taylor.

Olivia Caisley 2:15 pm: Butler tries again

Now is the fourth question from small business opposition spokesman Mark Butler about the fake document that inflated figures around the travel expenses of Sydney City Mayor Clover Moore.

“The minister maintains his claim that he downloaded the document from the Sydney City website in light of information released today by the city that metadata records have conclusively proved that the original documents had not been altered since they were uploaded to his site for almost 12 months ago? "

"I say again, I am advised," Energy Minister Angus Taylor begins, before being interrupted by the labor legislators who have begun booing.

"The document was taken from the Sydney City website and was available to the public," says Taylor. "I reject the bizarre suggestions and statements being sold by the opposites."

In a letter to Moore, Taylor criticized him for hypocritically increasing carbon emissions by spending more than $ 15 million on council money on domestic and international travel.

As reported in The Daily Telegraph, Taylor said Sydney city councilors spent $ 1.7 million on international travel and $ 14.2 million on domestic travel.

But the 2017/18 report currently available online shows that international travel costs were only $ 1727.77 and domestic costs were $ 4206.32 – far short of the amount quoted by the minister.

– With AAP

Olivia Caisley 2:44 pm: Angus under the bomb

It's the third consecutive question from small-business opposition spokesman Mark Butler, who asks again where Energy Minister Angus Taylor got the document, which puffed up the figures around Sydney Mayor's travel expenses. Clover Moore.

"The document was taken directly from the Sydney city website," says Taylor. "It was available to the public."

Olivia Caisley 2:40 pm: Taylor attacks "bizarre" statement

Small business opposition spokesman Mark Butler again approaches Energy Minister Angus Taylor and asks him where he got the fake document with fake travel expense numbers.

Taylor offers a slightly longer answer this time.

"I absolutely reject the premise of the question and the bizarre statements being made by the opposites," says Taylor.

Olivia Caisley 2:39 pm: Work chases paper trail

Small business opposition spokesman Mark Butler asks Energy Minister Angus Taylor if he can confirm that his office did not forge a document that used heavily inflated figures for Sydney Mayor's travel expenses, Clover Moore.

"Yes," Taylor says during a brief visit to the shipping box.

Olivia Caisley 2:32 pm: Albanian Bowls

Labor leader Anthony Albanese asks Scott Morrison if he believes politicians are above the law in Australia.

This comes after the prime minister told parliament on Monday, "If they are politicians, journalists, civil servants, anyone, there is no one in this country who loves the law," regarding a press freedom issue. .

Albanese asks if Morrison applies the same pattern to his own ministers.

Mr. Morrison gives a brief answer.

"It's a pretty obvious answer to that question," says Morrison. "No one is above the law in this country."

Olivia Caisley 2:27 pm: "No return to reckless work"

Labor lawyer David Smith asks Scott Morrison if he "becomes obsessed" with the job because he is trying to be distracted by the fact that the government's net debt "has more than doubled on his watch."

“The net debt of this government is now decreasing. We are surplus this year, ”says the prime minister, after“ six meticulous years to get the budget back on track. ”

"I'll tell you why I talk about work," says Morrison. "It's because they think we should never go back to the reckless Labor Party policies when it comes to the budget and many other things.

"Australians know the mistakes Labor made when they were last in power."

Olivia Caisley 2:22 pm: Horse Industry Report 'Disturbing'

Andrew Wilkie, an independent crossbencher, asks Scott Morrison if he will recognize the “systemic failures” of animal welfare in Australia and establish an independent national animal welfare office.

This comes after ABC revealed last week that racehorses were being massacred across the country after they were no longer considered "useful."

The prime minister said he found the report "disturbing and disturbing."

"I have no doubt that Australians across the country were equally upset," says Morrison. “We are a country that takes care of our animals and, in particular, our farmers and all rural districts, who take great care of their animals and want to manage these issues to the best of their ability.

"The government, of course, will consider all its options regarding dealing with these issues."

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud adds that he is working closely with the Queensland government to review the sector.

Olivia Caisley 2:15 pm: Climate protesters removed

Five climate protesters have been escorted from the public gallery, while Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack is answering a question from opposition spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon.

He asked if Scott Morrison supports National's $ 1.3 billion drought plan, which leaked to the media last night.

"The whole ecosystem is collapsing, people are dying and blood is in their hands," the protester is heard.

McCormack jokes that he thought the interruption was his "parties of national colleagues cheering me on."

"The National Party always comes up with a series of policies because we care about the people of the region," says McCormack. "We care about the rural people, those who live in the country and on the remote coast of Australia, and are doing so with difficulty right now."

Olivia Caisley 2:15 pm: Short retort

Question time begins with Labor leader Anthony Albanese, who asks Scott Morrison to answer if his reason for not committing to a bipartisan approach to drought is because he “can't even manage a bipartisan approach to the National Party? "

"No," replies the prime minister.

Olivia Caisley 13:53: Equestrian Probe Pressure

Sports Minister Richard Colbeck opened the door for a parliamentary investigation into equestrian sport following an NSW Coronial inquiry into the deaths of young athletes Olivia Inglis and Caitlyn Fischer, and after an elite athlete was accused of raping another rider. .

Center Alliance Senator Rex Patrick, who has been pushing for closer scrutiny of the sport and its national body, Equestrian Australia, weighed the government's interest in an investigation at the Senate Estimates hearing on community affairs on Wednesday night. .

"I'm just wondering what options the government had available, I'm actually trying to understand the level of concern because my office was approached by a lot of people," said Senator Patrick.

"If you're interested in having a conversation about this kind of process, I'm open to having that conversation," Senator Colbeck said on Wednesday.

The exchange comes two weeks after Equestrian Australia decided to provisionally suspend the participation of accused and prominent rider Callum Buczak, after the international equestrian body temporarily banned the athlete from competing in light of the allegations.

The prominent event champion, who was accused of raping another rider in February this year, was allowed to continue competing for the national sports body because the alleged attack did not occur at an official event. Buczak vehemently denies the accusation.

Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer said at the hearing on Wednesday that she thought it was a "good sign" that the national body would follow the lead of the Equestrian Internationale Federation in issuing a provisional suspension.

"I think this is a good sign of an international body working in partnership with a national body to guide decision-making and will set a globally suspicious equestrian standard."

Palmer said Sport Australia has worked closely with national sports organizations, including Equestrian Australia, around safeguarding policies to improve responses to sexual abuse.

Earlier this year, Senator Patrick used parliamentary privileges to question how the body handled separate claims for sexual misconduct at a Senate hearing on community affairs.

The allegations end a tumultuous year for the national sports body, which in May led a coronal investigation into the deaths of two teenagers, and saw the entire board reconstituted in March.

In October, NSW State Deputy Judge Derek Lee delivered more than 30 recommendations to improve sport safety, finding the leap in which Olivia fell and died in violation of international equestrian guidelines.

1:10 pm: Assange blocks information for Oz employees

Julian Assange instructed the British authorities to stop disclosing any information about him to the Australian High Commission in London. Consular officials have written to the Wikileaks leader four times since the request was made on June 14, but have not yet received a response.

"The High Commissioner continues to look for Assange to offer consular assistance," Foreign Department Assistant Secretary Andrew Todd told a Senate hearing on Thursday.

Assange, 48, has been in prison in Belmarsh Prison in London since his sensational April 11 arrest at the Ecuadorian embassy, ​​where he has lived in asylum for almost seven years. He is fighting extradition to the US. Your next case management hearing will be on December 19 and a full extradition hearing is scheduled for February 25.


Olivia Caisley 1:15 pm: National 10 Point Drought Plan

Barnaby Joyce's 10-point plan to assist farmers in drought-affected areas includes the establishment of a Drought Committee in each county of a drought region that would be delivered to a drought fund to be disbursed for any issues that may be involved. clear with the drought requirements in that county. .

Read the full 10 point plan here.

Rosie lewis 12:35 pm: MPs reject bill

Liberal and Labor lawmakers rejected a government bill that would allow the Department of Home Affairs to set up and maintain facilities for sharing facial images and other identity information between government agencies and some private companies.

The powerful Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security, chaired by Liberal Representative Andrew Hastie, called for the Identity Correspondence Services Bill to be reformulated and built around privacy and transparency and subject to robust safeguards.

Click here for the full story.

Zoe Samios 12:10 pm: Southern Cross – Equal Conditions

The Southern Cross Media Group will look for opportunities to increase its presence in regional broadcasting, but has called for legislative changes to allow the company to compete with digital platforms.

At his Annual General Assembly, President Peter Bush said business believed in the "resilience" and "value" of regional radio, but said the regional television model faced challenges that needed to be addressed.

Click here for the full story.

Olivia Caisley 11:10 am: Dutton & # 39; working closely together & # 39; with Lambie on Medivac

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says he is "working closely" with crucial Senator Jacqui Lambie on Medivac repeal legislation as he attempts to reform the bill that allows asylum seekers to come to Australia. from offshore detention centers to medical treatment.

Speaking on 2GB radio on Thursday, Dutton said he was "working closely" with Senator Lambie on the bill he called "a coup" and a matter of national security.

Senator Lambie, who holds the crucial vote, has not yet indicated in which direction she will vote when the revocation bill arrives next month.

"I am working closely with Jacqui and she wants to consider a report that was made in the Senate," Dutton told 2GB. "The Labor Party is saying that there is nothing wrong here, nothing to see, keep the law as it is.

"Our people rightly said this is a bad law, it's a secret road to Australia, and if people needed medical attention they were already getting the old model."

Dutton said it was "unprecedented" that Australia would be forced to take people "even if they didn't need medical attention and were of bad character."

The paper says the laws, which facilitate the medical evacuation of refugees and asylum seekers to Australia, are working well and "need not be" repaired.

A week after Dutton used his legislative powers to prevent a father from accompanying his 21-year-old daughter to Australia for medical treatment because of her history of violence.

Rebecca Urban 11:00 am: Private schools can access the "subsistence fund"

High-cost private schools like Geelong Grammar would not be explicitly excluded from access to the federal government's $ 1.2 billion "Choice and Accessibility" fund, according to Senate estimates.

Department of Education officials Education figures were released about the fund, announced by Prime Minister Scott Morrison last year, revealing that guidelines drawn up before its start in 2020 did not define the eligibility of the school.

Senator Mehreen Faruqui of the Greens asked whether Geelong Grammar School, one of the country's most expensive schools, charging $ 42,792 a year for day students and more than $ 70,000 for boarding schools, would be able to access the "college fund." evasion".

"The guidelines do not set any eligibility criteria so that they do not exclude or exclude schools," said Department of Education Deputy Secretary Alex Gordon.

Instead, the fund's guidelines would be based on government priorities of school choice and accessibility, as well as support for drought-affected schools and student well-being, Gordon said.

Morrison's Choice and Accessibility Fund has been criticized over concerns about how the money will be distributed to the non-governmental sector. Not available for government schools.

Gorden said the guidelines will be publicly released in December.

Olivia Caisley 10.50: "Why Work Doesn't Support Border Law"

Peter Dutton during Question Time. Image: AAP.
Peter Dutton during Question Time. Image: AAP.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton accused Labor of not supporting a new border security law because of the party's ties to the CFMEU, a union he called the "modern day mafia".

O projeto, apresentado no parlamento na quarta-feira, visa proibir os ciclistas e traficantes de trabalhar nos aeroportos e docas da Austrália.

Mas, falando em 2 GB na quinta-feira, Dutton disse que o Partido Trabalhista quer "fechar os olhos" à legislação por causa dos milhões de dólares em doações que recebe do CFMEU.

"O Partido Trabalhista não apoiará o projeto de lei através do parlamento por causa de suas ligações com as bicicletas, que são as maiores distribuidoras de drogas em nosso país", disse Dutton. “E, no entanto, o Partido Trabalhista quer fechar os olhos. Por quê? Porque eles estão recebendo milhões de dólares por ano do CFMEU. "

As leis atuais permitem que o governo faça verificações de antecedentes das pessoas que solicitam cartões de identificação marítima ou de aviação, mas apenas para verificar se elas representam um risco à segurança.

O novo projeto ampliaria essas verificações para incluir se uma pessoa tem condenações anteriores por crimes relacionados a gangues ou crime organizado.

Dutton apresentou um projeto de lei semelhante em 2016, mas foi bloqueado pelo Trabalho.

“Sr. Albanês, acho que precisa se levantar e dizer que John Setka é uma pessoa terrível e esteve nos tribunais mais vezes do que você pode contar. Claro que ele está fora do Partido Trabalhista agora. Grande coisa, existem dezenas atrás dele no CFMEU que são tão ruins quanto e ele precisa se levantar porque, no momento, a ilegalidade, é como uma máfia moderna. "

Mas Albanese na quinta-feira se distanciou do notório chefe vitoriano, dizendo que estava "satisfeito" por John Setka não ser mais um membro trabalhista porque seus valores "não estavam de acordo" com o partido.

"Setka está fora do Partido Trabalhista, é isso que eu pretendi alcançar, é sobre isso que tenho controle", disse Albanese.

He said he made no apology for Labor’s relationship with the CFMEU, explaining his issues were with Mr Setka and not the union itself.

“The fact is if you removed the construction union from construction sites, what you would see is more exploitation, more workplace deaths and tragedies, more wage theft.”

Mr Albanese first moved to expel Mr Setka in June and Labor’s national executive was poised to bar him at a meeting on Friday.

Mr Setka pre-empted that by submitting his resignation to the Victorian ALP on Wednesday, having withdrawn a planned court action.

Olivia Caisley 9.50am: ‘Raise drought fund or lose government’

Barnaby Joyce. Picture: Kym Smith.
Barnaby Joyce. Picture: Kym Smith.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has warned the Coalition could lose government if it doesn’t deliver a big drought stimulus package before the next election.

Sky News reported on Thursday the Nationals have demanded an extra $1.3 billion in government stimulus for drought-affected communities as part of a 10 point plan that would see councils in drought zones given $10 million each.

“If this drought keeps going you are going to have to go ahead with extra funding otherwise you just won’t be in government,” Mr Joyce said on Thursday.

Click here for the full story

Olivia Caisley 8.00am: ‘I’m pleased Setka’s gone’

John Setka in Glenelg in Adelaide. Picture: Morgan Sette.
John Setka in Glenelg in Adelaide. Picture: Morgan Sette.

Labor leader Anthony Albanese says he is “pleased” John Setka has been forced out of the Labor Party, declaring the notorious Victorian CFMEU boss’ values “weren’t in line” with the party.

MAIS: Crossbones, cobras at Fortress Setka | PoliticsNow: Setka ‘doesn’t have ALP values’

Mr Setka’s lawyers on Wednesday notified the ALP legal team that he was withdrawing a legal appeal against being expelled, ahead of Friday’s meeting of the party’s national executive, which was poised to tear up his membership.

“He’s out of the Labor Party and that was what I sought to achieve. That is what I have control over. His values aren’t the same as Labor’s values. We respect women,” Mr Albanese told Nine’s Today show on Thursday.

“John Setka of course pleaded guilty to two very serious charges. One of harassment and one of breaching an order to stay away from someone and we have circumstances here whereby I made it very clear that the direction I want to take Labor in is an inclusive party.

“It’s one that shows respect for people and that’s why John Setka isn’t welcome to stay as a member and I’m pleased that he has gone.”

The calls for Mr Setka’s dismissal began in June when Mr Albanese moved to tear up his ALP membership following public outrage over offensive remarks Mr Setka allegedly made about antidomestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty.

When questioned whether Labor would continue to take millions of dollars in donations form the CFMEU each year, Mr Albanese said the party would continue to be affiliated with unions and that construction workers weren’t responsible for the actions of Mr Setka.

Mr Albanese defended Labor’s links to the unions as a “good thing” and said he would continue to support such an affiliation.

“The fact is that if you removed the Construction Union from construction sites, what you would see is more exploitation, more workplace deaths and tragedies, more wage theft, you would see increasing problems in those workplaces that need unions,” Mr Albanese said.

“Workplaces need unions and the Labor Party makes no apology for the fact that we stay connected with working people through our affiliation from trade unions.”

Olivia Caisley 7.30am: Veterans officially recognised

The contribution of veterans will be officially recognised through an Australian Defence Force Covenant.

The laws, which cleared parliament on Tuesday, will also allow veterans and their families to get lapel pins, cards and other artefacts to recognise service in the nation’s armed forces.

Scott Morrison welcomed the introduction of the new Veterans Lapel Pin on Thursday, saying it would be an opportunity to acknowledge and show respect to the hundreds of thousands of men and women who have served our country.

“The lapel pin recognises the service and sacrifice that has given us the country we have today, and is protecting it for the future,” the Prime Minister said.

“It provides a way for the community — employers, businesses, community groups, veteran or sporting organisations — to acknowledge this.

“Our Government delivers more than $11 billion in annual support for veterans and their families, but we can never do enough. We are committed to setting Australia up to support the veterans of today and tomorrow.”

““Our government is committed to putting veterans and their families first,” Veterans’ Affairs Minister Darren Chester said. “The new lapel pin is a simple way we can demonstrate our respect for our veterans and say “thank you for your service on a daily basis”.”

Labor MP Luke Gosling, who is a veteran, welcomed the move to increase recognition of Australians who have served.

Olivia Caisley 7.16am: ‘Cancel school holidays’

Scott Morrison has shared details of an unusual request he received from a young primary school student from Caloundra in south east Queensland.

According to a video on the Prime Minister’s Twitter profile, 5-year-old Jude asked for school holidays to be cancelled because he loves learning and being in the classroom.

“I love getting letters from kids. They say the greatest things and this letter from Jude, aged 5, is a cracker,” The Prime Minister wrote on Twitter. “He wants me to cancel all school holidays because he loves school so much. Good on ya Jude.”

In a video accompanying the Tweet, Mr Morrison assured other students he wouldn’t seek to cancel school cancel holidays, but congratulated Jude for his enthusiasm.

What’s making news

Notorious Victorian CFMEU boss John Setka has been forced out of the Labor Party, having dropped a legal appeal against Anthony ­Albanese’s move to have him ­expelled over his treatment of women.

Australia will meet its Paris emissions reduction targets if it continues its current ramping up of renewable energy deployment, which has been among the fastest in the world.

Richard Marles has leapt to the defence of Anthony Albanese’s leadership of the Labor Party and condemned the strategies and electoral failure of Bill Shorten.

A controversial proposal from the peak body for farmers to offer “exit packages” for farming families has been attacked by MPs from both major parties, as key stakeholders search for new ways to help Aust­ralians living in drought.

New Treasury secretary Steven Kennedy says he is “cautiously optimistic” about the Australian economy strengthening and is calling for patience in evaluating any positive impact from the government’s flagship tax-cut package on consumer spending.

Scott Morrison assured the “brave and courageous” alleged sexual abuse victims of Malka Leifer he has not forgotten them, as he ramped up Australia’s fight to extradite the former Melbourne school principal from Israel.

Liberal Party federal director Andrew Hirst has called for shorter pre-polling periods and fewer early voting centres, and condemned “appalling and illegal behaviour” in the lead-up to the May 18 election.

There have been more than 230,000 assessments under the so-called robodebt scheme where the government has found there is no debt or the amount owed must be reduced, while 169 welfare recipients were already dead when a potential debt was identified.

Dennis Shanahan writes: The good news for Anthony Albanese’s Labor leadership is that Richard Marles is defending him. The bad news for Anthony Albanese’s Labor leadership is that Richard Marles is defending him.

Alice Workman’s Strewth: It pays to be in power. Especially if you’re one of the 52 people in Scott Morrison’s so-called “Star Chamber” lucky enough to score a secret taxpayer-funded pay rise. Her Sketch is here.

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