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High court rules against government's attempt to deport Aboriginal Australians – politics live | Australia news











No major explosions in today’s Coalition party room meeting, but there were rumblings about constitutional recognition.

The Liberal senator James McGrath sought assurances that the party room and the appropriate backbench committees would be consulted before the government reached a final landing on the recognition of Indigenous people.

(This is not very subtle code that a number of MPs are currently unhappy with the way Ken Wyatt, the responsible minister, is handling this particular issue). I gather two other senators voiced objections: Amanda Stoker and Dean Smith.

According to colleagues, Stoker expressed opposition to recognition per se. Smith was concerned that the debate around the issue was distracting from practical issues.

Scott Morrison assured MPs they would be consulted, and he indicated he wanted the process to be like the one Christian Porter has pursued in relation to religious freedom. Wyatt spoke, and indicated that recent comments he made about the timetable for a referendum had been misrepresented in the media.

Government MPs tell me there would have been more dissent on the recognition issue today but the word had gone out to keep it nice in today’s party room. Which I gather it largely was.

People tell me Matt Canavan also made a plea that MPs allow the feasibility study for a new coal-fired power plant at Collinsville to run its course, but the intervention didn’t generate any responses.

That fight is playing out in public. Possibly there was no appetite to bring it into closer quarters










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Anthony Albanese has addressed caucus this morning, talking about the Coalition’s internal tensions after yesterday’s Nationals’ boilover.

“If you look like you are more concerned about yourself than the country then the country will punish you,” Albanese said.

“Our team is united, coherent and determined. They are a mess. If you can’t govern yourself, you can’t govern the country.”

He criticised Morrison’s response to the parliamentary defeat, accusing the prime minister of trying to spin the tactical defeat that saw renegade MP Llew O’Brien elevated to the role of deputy speaker against the will of the government.

“When you have been defeated like that you take it on the chin and move on. To try to spin it as a win says everything about Scott Morrison. It was all about spin and marketing, not a plan.

“Scott Morrison has no plan for wages growth, no plan for productivity, no plan for aged care, no plan for education outcomes that are falling, no plan for broadband, no plan for climate change and no plan for energy.”

On climate change policy, Albanese said the “test” for the government was whether it allowed the Collinsville coal-fired power station to go ahead with government assistance.

“The last new coal-fired power station came into operation in 2007. The test for the government when they talk about building Collinsville is whether it is going ahead. The proponents say it can only go ahead with a massive indemnity against climate risk,” he said.

As for Labor’s climate policy, Albanese said the party did not need “to fit the timetable of the government or of commentators”, saying he would be focused on the election cycle. ”Our plan will need to focus on jobs, lower emissions and cheaper prices,” he said.

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