Australia news live: Albanese seeking legal advice after reports Morrison swore himself in to ministerial roles

PM seeking legal advice on former government’s power-sharing arrangement

Immigration minister Andrew Giles says Anthony Albanese is seeking legal advice on the legality of former PM Scott Morrison reportedly secretly swearing himself in as the minister for health, finance and resources during his time in office.

Giles, appearing on Radio National this morning, called the reports “absolutely extraordinary and quite shocking”.

the PM is seeking advice on legality of these revelations – do we know what the consequences will be?

“what we’ve heard is a repudiation of the cabinet model we’ve had in Australia for well over 100 years, it’s consquences frankly I’m not sure about”

@andrewjgiles (PART 1)

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) August 14, 2022

Those reports, published in the Australian newspaper and news.com.au at the weekend, said Morrison had sought legal advice from the then attorney general that two ministers could be sworn into the same portfolio, so Morrison could swear himself into the role via an administrative legal instrument.

The Australian reported that Morrison swore himself in as health and finance minister during the early stages of the pandemic, partly to safeguard against those ministers being struck down by Covid. Last night news.com.au reported that Morrison was sworn in as resources minister in late 2021, after a dispute with resources minister Keith Pitt over the PEP-11 fossil fuel development off the NSW coast.

Albanese is back from a week of leave and will hold a press conference in Melbourne at 10am. We’ve contacted his office for more information.

Key events

Meanwhile, Sydney Airport is once again in chaos with long queues and long waits.

Tamsin Rose

New South Wales Labor frontbencher Walt Secord has stood down from the shadow ministry after last week admitting he had been “too blunt and too direct”.

He released a statement on Monday morning saying he did not want to be a distraction from the “ important work that needs to be done” in implementing the recommendations from the Broderick report into parliament house culture that was released last week.

He said:

After long reflection and with more than 30 years in the Labor Party, I have asked NSW Labor leader Chris Minns to let me stand aside from the shadow ministry.

Chris, myself, and the NSW Labor Party have committed to adopting the recommendations of the Broderick review and working across party lines to make the NSW Parliament and NSW politics a workplace we can all be proud of.

I fully support the Broderick Review and the change it will hopefully lead to. But my remaining in the shadow ministry at this time has become a distraction from these major revelations and the important work that needs to be done.

The Guardian understands multiple former staffers made submissions to the Broderick review in relation to Secord’s past behaviour. They relate to accusations of bullying of staff outside of his own office.

Following it’s release last week, he said while he did “not have the same recollections from the staff in the former leader’s office – especially in relation to raised voices in the workplace”, he accepted “that I can be too blunt and too direct in a fast-paced workplace”.

Greens propose shutting down Victoria’s coal plants within eight years

Victoria’s last coal-fired plants would be shut down over the next eight years under a plan by the Greens which will be introduced to parliament this week.

The energy legislation amendment (transition from coal) bill 2022 is expected to be introduced tomorrow. It proposes that Victoria’s three remaining coal plants be shut down by 2030, ahead of the planned 2046 timeframe.

The Greens are releasing the bill alongside a climate policy package for the November state election. It is expected to be debated and voted on next month, with the party also pitching a job-for-job guarantee for coal workers.

Victorian Greens acting climate spokesman Dr Tim Read said the “writing is on the wall” for Victoria’s brown coal plants:

They’re old, unreliable and spew toxic pollution that is harming the health of local communities.

Under the bill, the deadline for Yallourn’s closure would be set for 2024, compared with the 2028 timeframe.

Loy Lang A would shut in 2027 under the legislation, as opposed to by 2045, and Loy Yang B’s closure would be shifted from 2046 back to 2030.

The Greens’ bill would also increase Victoria’s legislated renewable energy target to 100% by 2030, a move it says would be supported by a $10bn investment into renewables.

Along with the job guarantee for coal workers, the Greens want secure funding to 2035 for an independent Latrobe Valley authority.

Under their pitch, the authority would be tasked with the power plants’ closure, and developing new industries in the region including offshore wind, clean manufacturing, and mine site rehabilitation.

from AAP

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Industry minister Ed Husic will this week host a series of five roundtable meetings with science and technology leaders ahead of the federal government’s jobs summit, in a bid to kickstart what he called “brain regain” – or attracting Australia’s bright minds working overseas to return home, to combat the so-called “brain drain”.

Husic will host meetings on science and commercialisation, digital skills, advanced manufacturing, industrial unions and artificial intelligence this week, with a key focus on the worker shortages those areas are facing. The minister said those roundtables would help inform the Jobs and Skills Summit, to be held in Canberra in early September.

“These discussions will also include ways to increase the representation of women and people of diverse backgrounds in skilled occupations,” Husic said in a release.

“One of my priorities is on ‘brain regain’ – encouraging Australian researchers and innovators to return home. I am interested to hear ideas on how this can be best achieved.

Skills minister Brendan O’Connor and home affairs minister Clare O’Neil flagged potential raises to the skilled migration cap on Sunday. Husic said his priority was on up-skilling the local workforce, but that “managing appropriate skilled migration will also have an important role to play and will be on the agenda.”

“I can’t emphasise strongly enough that this is the start of engagement with these industry sectors. After the Jobs and Skills Summit I will continue the work with industry leaders to ensure we apply practical solutions to accelerate Australia’s pathway to high-skilled, high-value economy,” Husic said.

John Barilaro’s appointment should be scrutinised, Kean says

Matt Kean is now being asked whether former deputy premier John Barilaro is a victim. He says:

He’s applied for a job and that’s coming with a significant degree of scrutiny, as it should do. That’s part of the territory if you’re going to put yourself forward for those roles.

Kean is also asked for his reaction to news Scott Morrison swore himself into multiple ministerial portfolios, partly to cancel the PEP11 gas exploration licence off the coast of NSW.

He says he “congratulates” the former PM for making the decision to cancel PEP11 but Morrison should not have made the unorthodox ministerial arrangement a secret.

If he felt the need to protect the environment from offshore drilling for gas off Sydney’s northern beaches and he felt he needed to swear himself in as minister, that’s something I support.

For Kean it seems that when it comes to PEP11, the ends justifies the means.

‘There is no place for bullying’ in NSW parliament, Matt Kean says

NSW treasurer Matt Kean is speaking to told ABC Radio National, saying he broadly supports the recommendations of the Broderick report that found deep-seated issues with bullying and sexual harassment in the state parliament:

I want to make it clear from the outset there is no place for bullying or misconduct in any workplace. It’s clear the parliament has some serious issues to address.

Kean said he supported the aims of the report, including a ban on alcohol consumption within parliament:

What we need to see is the type of behaviour that’s been called out, stamped out. We’ve all got a responsibility to make sure the parliament is a safe place for everyone.

PM seeking legal advice on former government’s power-sharing arrangement

Immigration minister Andrew Giles says Anthony Albanese is seeking legal advice on the legality of former PM Scott Morrison reportedly secretly swearing himself in as the minister for health, finance and resources during his time in office.

Giles, appearing on Radio National this morning, called the reports “absolutely extraordinary and quite shocking”.

the PM is seeking advice on legality of these revelations – do we know what the consequences will be?

“what we’ve heard is a repudiation of the cabinet model we’ve had in Australia for well over 100 years, it’s consquences frankly I’m not sure about”

@andrewjgiles (PART 1)

— RN Breakfast (@RNBreakfast) August 14, 2022

Those reports, published in the Australian newspaper and news.com.au at the weekend, said Morrison had sought legal advice from the then attorney general that two ministers could be sworn into the same portfolio, so Morrison could swear himself into the role via an administrative legal instrument.

The Australian reported that Morrison swore himself in as health and finance minister during the early stages of the pandemic, partly to safeguard against those ministers being struck down by Covid. Last night news.com.au reported that Morrison was sworn in as resources minister in late 2021, after a dispute with resources minister Keith Pitt over the PEP-11 fossil fuel development off the NSW coast.

Albanese is back from a week of leave and will hold a press conference in Melbourne at 10am. We’ve contacted his office for more information.

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Reports Scott Morrison secretly swore himself in as minister labelled ‘amazing’

NDIS minister Bill Shorten has described as “amazing” reports that former PM Scott Morrison secretly swore himself in as minister for three different portfolios, claiming the former Liberal leader had a “messianic complex”:

If he felt the need to do it, why not tell people? Why be secretive?

This is about the constitution, our whole system of government. It’s a very unorthodox manoeuvre, and if you’re going to do things that are unorthodox, you really need to have a very good explanation and I haven’t heard one yet.

Shorten claimed Morrison “didn’t trust his colleagues”.

NDIS investigation to be launched after ‘millions’ taken in fraud

Minister for government services Bill Shorten is speaking to ABC Radio National, discussing his plan to tackle fraud in the NDIS.

A multi-agency investigative team will be set up after an investigation by Nine.

Shorten said “millions” had been taken from the scheme:

They may boast among themselves about how clever they are. The rest of Australia despises this. What we’re going to do is make sure the NDIS is only for the people who need it.

He also welcomed comments by Malcolm Turnbull in Guardian Australia this morning saying he will be voting yes in any referendum to establish an Indigenous voice to parliament.

Shorten said Turnbull had “shut the debate down” on the voice in the past as he was “battling the conservatives in his party”:

It’s great that Malcolm’s on board with this. Hopefully that signals other people are thinking about the issue. It’s not a Labor or Liberal issue, it’s a question of whether we want to see First Nations people on the nation’s birth certificate.

Shorten was also asked about revelations Scott Morrison had himself sworn in as health minister and energy minister in a “unorthodox” power-sharing arrangement within his government.

Ravi the red panda’s great escape

A seven-year-old red panda named Ravi escaped his enclosure at Adelaide zoo on Friday, sparking a two-day search that ended when the animal was found up a tree in the nearby Botanic Park, dining on figs.

ABC News reports that zookeepers spent the majority of yesterday trying to convince Ravi to climb down with offers of treats but were eventually forced to use a tranquilliser dart and blankets to catch him.

Ravi, who only arrived at Adelaide zoo last week, has now been returned to his enclosure with zookeepers reviewing video footage to work out how he got out.

Weather warnings for WA and Victoria

Western Australia is in for some wild weather this morning. The Bureau of Meteorology has issued a severe weather warning as a cold front approaches the west coast.

A Severe Weather Warning has been issued for parts of western #WA. A cold front approaching the west coast will combine with a moisture laden cloud band to produce heavy rainfall that may lead to flash flooding and impact road travel from late Monday in the warning area. pic.twitter.com/zC1XVusDRP

— Bureau of Meteorology, Western Australia (@BOM_WA) August 14, 2022

A major flood warning has been issued for the Moe River in Darnum in Victoria and minor flood warnings for the Latrobe River at Rosedale.

Josh Butler

Josh Butler

Alleged Canberra shooter to appear in court this morning

A 63-year-old man has been charged with three weapons offences, including unlawful possession of a firearm, after a shooting at Canberra airport yesterday that forced the grounding of planes and the evacuation of the terminal for several hours.

The man was arrested at the airport yesterday after allegedly firing five shots into glass windows of the building.

ACT police said:

Police will allege that the man arrived at Canberra Airport at approximately 1.20pm before sitting on seats near the southern check-in desks on the first floor. At about 1.25pm he drew a firearm and deployed a number of shots into windows of the building.

No injuries were reported and police said they were confident the man was operating alone. He was taken into custody and overnight was charged with discharging a firearm at a building, unlawful possession of a firearm and discharging a firearm near a person causing alarm. He will appear in a Canberra court this morning.

Police yesterday could give no immediate information on the possible motivations of the man or what sparked the alleged shooting.

ACT police are urging any witnesses who haven’t already spoken to police to call Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

Good morning

And welcome to another Monday morning Guardian Australia live blog.

A 63-year-old man has been charged with three weapons offences, including unlawful possession of a firearm, after a shooting at Canberra airport yesterday that forced the grounding of planes and the evacuation of the terminal for several hours. The man was arrested at the airport yesterday after allegedly firing five shots into glass windows of the building. Police yesterday could give no immediate information on the possible motivations of the man.

A second US delegation arrived in Taiwan yesterday for a two-day trip including a meeting with President Tsai Ing-wen. The delegation is being led by Senator Ed Markey, who is travelling to the region as part of a wider tour of the Indo-Pacific. The second delegation in a matter of weeks is likely to spark a reaction, with the Chinese embassy saying in a statement that it shows the US “has spared no effort to stir up confrontation”.

I’m Royce Kurmelovs, taking the blog through the day. With so much going on out there, it’s easy to miss stuff, so if you spot something happening in Australia and think it should be here, you can find me on Twitter at @RoyceRk2 where my DMs are open.

With that, let’s get started …



Source link

Latest

Biden Confirms He’ll Run For President Again In 2024: Report

President Joe Biden reportedly told the Rev. Al Sharpton...

North Korea fires ballistic missile over Japan into Pacific

Pyongyang’s fifth test in 10 days comes after South...

McDonald-Tipungwuti contemplates AFL return

Retired Essendon forward Anthony McDonald-Tipungwuti faces a long path...

Covid has left a third of young people feeling life is out of control – study

More than a third of young people feel their life is spiralling out of control, according to findings released to the Guardian ahead of...

‘We gave up so much’: how Covid changed young people’s lives

In the next phase of the Guardian’s Covid Generation series, young people across the UK reflect on how the Covid pandemic changed their...

‘It’s just not worth it’: why employers still can’t get staff back to the office

‘You haven’t been in the office this week. Why?” The worker in question hadn’t expected such an email from his boss. Based in Asia...