Australia politics live: Burney excoriates Dutton for ‘disinformation, misinformation and scare campaigns’ on voice | Australian politics

Linda Burney pushes back on Peter Dutton’s ‘disinformation, misinformation and scare campaigns’

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Indigenous Australians minister, Linda Burney, has blasted Peter Dutton for spreading “misinformation and scare campaigns” about the Indigenous voice.

Burney spoke on the constitutional alteration right after Dutton, who made claims about the voice being a “reckless roll of the dice”, invoking George Orwell’s Animal Farm and alleging the body would divide Australia.

We have just heard in one speech every bit of disinformation, misinformation and scare campaigns that exist in this debate.

She said constitutional recognition was overdue for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, noting gaps in education, life expectancy and justice outcomes.

It isn’t good enough. Something has to change, for the better.

She said the voice would help deliver better advice to the government for better policy and outcomes.

Burney gave a special shoutout to senator Pat Dodson, the special envoy on reconciliation, who is away from parliament at the moment dealing with health issues: “we’re all thinking of you”.

She also noted that the government was committed to regional and local voices, noting there would be a process to “plug” the national body into those smaller local bodies.

Key events

We are back to the normal order of things with opposition deputy leader, Sussan Ley, taking the second opposition question.

Ley asks:

One year ago, the prime minister promised a $275 cut to electricity bills but power prices have increased. One year ago he promised cheaper mortgages but since then interest rates have risen 10 times. One year ago he promised no new taxes but he is already at the resources sector with a gas tax, the agricultural sector with a farm tax and Australian truckies with a truck tax. Why do Australians always pay more when Labor breaks its promises?

Once again, the $275 cut was for 2025, but honestly it is just screaming into the abyss at this stage.

The RBA controls interest rates.

And the rest of it – sigh.

Oh no – the first dixer is on the Quad and the G7 meetings.

Which were also a press release.

Right on time – the LNP social media accounts release this:

Anyways, there is a byelection coming in July.

Question time begins

Arthur Johnson, a veteran of World War II, is in the gallery – he turns 100 next year, and receives a special shout-out from the speaker, Milton Dick, and a round of applause from the chamber.

And then … it is in to question time, where, after a condolence motion and moment to honour a veteran, the tone is immediately lowered.

Peter Dutton opens with:

It is only been a year under an Albanese government and middle Australia is hurting, the typical Australian family, [is] at least $25,000 worse off as the cost of living worsens. This is despite personal promises from the prime minister before the election of cheaper power, cheaper mortgages and [that] Australians would be better off. Why do Australians always pay more when Labor breaks its promises?

Albanese responds with a version of a press release on the Labor government’s achievements in the first year – which he will repeat in just a moment with the first dixer.

Bet.

In-person voting back for Australians overseas during voice referendum, AEC says

If you are living overseas and want to vote in the upcoming voice referendum, you will have as many in-person options as you did before the pandemic closed borders and polling places.

The AEC has announced that “in-person voting services for Australians overseas at the time of the 2023 referendum will return to pre-pandemic levels”.

From the statement, Australian electoral commissioner, Tom Rogers, said:

… the return to pre-pandemic overseas voting services will be enabled again by the long-running partnerships between the AEC, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Austrade.

The reduction [made] to in-person polling places during the pandemic was unavoidable for a range of operational and COVID-19-restriction-related reasons in many overseas locations.

I’m pleased to say the environment as it stands will mean the number of overseas voting centres open in cities across the world for the referendum will return to pre COVID-19 levels.

Labor MP Meryl Swanson is getting a national audience for her 90-second statement, with the ABC switching over to QT a little earlier than usual.

Question time will be delayed for condolence motions – Tony Staley, a former Liberal minister in the Fraser government, died earlier this month.

Anthony Albanese and Peter Dutton will deliver speeches in his memory.

The 90-second statements are underway in the house, which is effectively an airing of the grievances for the opposition.

LNP MP Ted O’Brien is still trying to link an increase in power prices and groceries to the Labor government.

Good times.

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Solicitor-general’s advice on voice is that it will ‘enhance Australia’s system of government’

In the House, Linda Burney pointed out that critics of the voice referendum were seemingly putting aside the legal advice of the solicitor-general, who backed the amendment as legally sound.

The solicitor-general’s advice was that the voice “would enhance” Australia’s system of government and “rectify a distortion” in the existing system.

And yet this is not enough for those hellbent on dashing the hopes of a people.

Not enough for those hellbent on stoking division. Not enough for those trying to play politics on an issue that should be above partisan politics.

The government believes we have the right amendment.

Burney encouraged all politicians to back the referendum.

Let’s get this done together.

There is now less than 20 minutes until the first question time of the sitting. Prepare yourself now.

Linda Burney pushes back on Peter Dutton’s ‘disinformation, misinformation and scare campaigns’

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Indigenous Australians minister, Linda Burney, has blasted Peter Dutton for spreading “misinformation and scare campaigns” about the Indigenous voice.

Burney spoke on the constitutional alteration right after Dutton, who made claims about the voice being a “reckless roll of the dice”, invoking George Orwell’s Animal Farm and alleging the body would divide Australia.

We have just heard in one speech every bit of disinformation, misinformation and scare campaigns that exist in this debate.

She said constitutional recognition was overdue for Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, noting gaps in education, life expectancy and justice outcomes.

It isn’t good enough. Something has to change, for the better.

She said the voice would help deliver better advice to the government for better policy and outcomes.

Burney gave a special shoutout to senator Pat Dodson, the special envoy on reconciliation, who is away from parliament at the moment dealing with health issues: “we’re all thinking of you”.

She also noted that the government was committed to regional and local voices, noting there would be a process to “plug” the national body into those smaller local bodies.

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie is one of the MPs attending the event at the Press Club.

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Dutton warns ‘The voice will re-racialise the country’

Back in the house again for a moment and Peter Dutton’s speech against the voice is hitting all the major threads that the No campaign has been circulating, claiming the proposed Indigenous consultation body is “a symptom of the madness of identity politics” and alleging it would go against the spirit of the national anthem.

It will have an Orwellian effect where all Australians are equal but some Australians are more equal than others.

If the voice is embedded in our constitution, there will be little to rejoice for when we sing the second line of our national anthem ‘for we are one and free’. Instead of being one, we will be divided in spirit and in law.

The voice will re-racialise the country.

Assange’s WikiLeaks US document release was ‘right for the time’, Stella Assange says

If Stella Assange could go back and time and advise Julian not to use the documents related to the US actions in the Iraq and Afghan wars, would she?

Assange:

I think we need to recognise that we are in a much worse situation in terms of press freedom, the public’s right to know, citizens right, than we were in 2010 when WikiLeaks published about the Iraqi and Afghan wars and the publications that Julian is now being prosecuted for.

Those publications, that moment in time, represented probably press freedom at its strongest, internet freedom at its strongest.

And since then we have seen a series of legislative moves across the Five Eyes and elsewhere as well to stop that kind of thing in different ways and also to limit citizens freedoms in different areas.

I think the publication – it was right for the time and Julian was not prosecuted, he was not indicted until 2017.

So, we’re in a much worse position now than we used to be and that is why it is so important to reverse course because it is not just Julian, the implications of this case mean that we are diverging from this protection that used to exist and unless we are just going deeper and deeper into a far removed [place] from where we used to be, from press freedom at its strongest, from our citizens freedom at their strongest and at the same time, it is not just our freedoms that are being limited – it is that the state has become enormously more powerful through surveillance tools and so on.

Our rights as citizens, our rights as the public, we need to defend those because that’s all we have and then of course the ability to speak the truth, to publish the truth is central to that.

Free Assange signs tied around tree trunks outside the National Press Club of Australia
Stella Assange: Our rights as citizens, our rights as the public, we need to defend those. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

Paul Karp

Paul Karp

PM&C deputy secretary questioned over using PwC for future government consulting contracts

The department of prime minister and cabinet is giving evidence at Senate estimates, revealing they project they will spend $2m on consultants this financial year, down from $2.3m last year.

The Greens’ Barbara Pocock is asking about whether the department have any contracts with PwC (no) and whether it has considered banning it after the scandal of its use of confidential information to advise clients on tax avoidance.

David Williamson, a deputy secretary, said:

We haven’t imposed a ban on PwC. However, one of the criteria for procurement is ethical behaviour, and certainly we’d bring that to bear when considering PwC and anyone else …

We certainly take processes regarding procurement and integrity very seriously. At a whole of government level, the treasury is doing further work.

They are mainly dead-batting questions – any further questions about consequences for PwC will be best addressed to treasury.

Stella Assange: ‘This is the closest we have ever been to securing Julian’s release’

Stella Assange is asked about quiet diplomacy and whether that is enough and says:

Australia is the United States most important ally, that is clear. Maybe this was not the case 10 years ago.

It is important to recognise that Australia plays an important role and can secure Julian’s release.

Julian’s life is in the hands of the Australian government. It is not my place to tell this government how to do it, but it must be done.

Julian has to be released.

I place hope in Anthony Albanese’s will to make it happen. I have to. This is the closest we have ever been to securing Julian’s release. I want to encourage and do everything in my power to help that happen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *