Australia politics live: climate and referendum laws due for debate as parliament returns
Penny Wong has kicked off the week with an announcement the government is imposing Magnitsky-style targeted financial sanctions and travel bans “on a further 14 individuals and targeted financial sanctions on 14 Iranian entities responsible for egregious human rights abuses and violations in Iran”.
From the release:
Among those subject to Magnitsky-style human rights sanctions are four members of the Morality Police who were responsible for the arrest, detention and ill-treatment of Mahsa ‘Jina’ Amini.
Sanctioned targets also include senior law enforcement, political and military figures, including within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, involved in the violent crackdown on protests following the death of Ms Amini and the continued oppression of the people of Iran.
Australia is also joining partners to impose additional targeted financial sanctions and travel bans on 13 Iranian individuals and targeted financial sanctions on one entity involved in the production and supply of drones to Russia.
Iranian-made drones have been used by Russia to target Ukrainian civilians and civilian infrastructure.
This listing demonstrates that there will be consequences for those who provide material support to Russia.
Australia stands with the people of Iran and with the people of Ukraine.
Katy Gallagher says the government is “looking at payments” when she is asked about Sam Mostyn’s request that single parents remain on the single parent payment when their child turns eight (under changes made by the Gillard government, parents are moved on to the Jobseeker payment, with mutual obligations when their child turns eight)
It seems to be the one part of the interview where Gallagher moves out of the holding pattern. She doesn’t say yes, but she does make a point that payments are being examined by the government ahead of the budget.
That’s also because of the economics inclusion committee that David Pocock won as a concession as part of previous negotiations – it is going to give recommendations on Australia’s welfare payments and where they should be. The government doesn’t have to accept the recommendation, which is one of the biggest criticisms of the committee (I think everyone knows the payments need to be increased) but it will draw more of a spotlight on just how far behind social security payments like Jobseeker are from a liveable allowance.
There is then a back and forth over whether the government supports the union position on raising the minimum wage now that the fair work commission is looking at it again, so workers don’t go backwards given inflation.
At the election, Anthony Albanese “absolutely” supported a cost of living increase to the minimum wage.
Almost a year on, Katy Gallagher is not as absolute.
We support wage increases, particularly for low income workers. You’ve seen that since the beginning of this government. You won’t see that change. We will continue to argue for that. But the final submission needs to be finalised. And go through our processes.
As for a figure? Where, she will leave that to the unions. The government won’t be putting a number on it (although they didn’t put a number on it, officially last time either, at least in the submission)
Greens and Labor to find compromise on safeguards mechanism
The Greens want no new coal or gas projects in order to pass the safeguards mechanism. The government is not prepared to go that far. And so, what will the government compromise on?
Speaking to ABC radio RN Breakfast, the finance minister, Katy Gallagher, doesn’t say – but she does say that both parties want to see action. And so the thought is the Greens will compromise on no coal and gas and the government gives elsewhere.
We want this legislation through, it’s critical to meeting our 43% reductions target. It’s the policy that exists now. It’s about making that more effective. And the Greens obviously want, you know, some other additional commitments. And we’ll we’ll work through that over the fortnight.
Welcome back to parliament where it’s getting to the nub end of business ahead of the budget.
The government is focusing on getting the referendum machinery and safeguards mechanism legislation through the parliament, but neither is an easy ask.
Then there’s also the housing figure fund and more debate over superannuation tax concessions and the Aukus deal – it’s going to be an exhausting fortnight. There’s not too many sitting days left before the government switches to budget mode so the mood is a little tense, and that’s before you add in all the politics of the rising cost of power in what’s already a pretty tense rising cost of living situation. Plus, there’s the Aston byelection creeping up, which just adds a whole other level of performative outrage to almost every interaction.
Anthony Albanese is back in Canberra after his India and US trip and Peter Dutton is rearing to go, so it’s going to be exhausting for all of us.
As always, you’ll have the Canberra team with you to take you through the day and me, Amy Remeikis, on the blog.
It’s at least a three-coffee day. Ready?
Let’s get into it.