COAG Discussions Focus On Terrorism, Federation And Taxation

The Council of Australian Governments met in Canberra and discussed a range of issues, including terrorism, reform of the Federation and the taxation system.

COAG

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, held a joint press conference following the meeting. He was accompanied by Premiers Baird, Napthine, Newman, Barnett, Weatherill and Hodgman, as well as the Territory Chief Ministers Gallagher and Giles. Felicity-Ann Lewis represented Local Government.

The State have agreed to introduce legislation to support federal laws covering the arrest, monitoring, investigation and prosecution of domestic extremists and returning foreign fighters.

COAG also agreed that the Federation and Tax Reform White Papers need to progress together. [Read more…]


Shorten Gives ALP Support To Iraq Commitment; Greens Opposed

The ALP has given support to the Abbott government’s commitment of fighter aircraft to the strikes against ISIL in Iraq, whilst the Greens have opposed the decision.

Shorten

The government announced today that Australia will provide up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in the international coalition supporting Iraq. [Read more…]


Abbott Government Commits Defence Aircraft To Coalition Airstrikes Against ISIL In Iraq

The Abbott government will commit up to eight Australian F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft to participate in airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced the decision at a joint press conference with the Defence Minister, Senator David Johnston, and the Chief of the Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, following a Cabinet meeting.

“This is not a decision the Government has taken lightly,” Abbott said. “Ultimately it is Iraq that must defeat ISIL, but it cannot do it alone.” [Read more…]


Senate President Announces Decision On Covered Visitors To Parliament House

The President of the Senate, Senator Stephen Parry, has announced that visitors who do not wish to be identified when visiting Parliament will be required to sit in the public galleries enclosed in glass that are normally reserved for school groups.

Parry announced the decision in response to a question from the Opposition’s Senate leader, Penny Wong. He said the decision was an interim measure, pending further advice from specialist agencies.

Visitors who cannot be clearly identified will be asked to be identified and to produce identification. They will then be free to move around the building but will be required to sit in the glassed enclosures in order to view parliamentary proceedings. [Read more…]


Truss And Shorten Address Parliament On Shooting Of Melbourne Teenager

The Acting Prime Minister, Warren Truss, and the Opposition Leader, Bill Shorten, have addressed Parliament on the shooting of a Melbourne teenager last night.

The 18-year-old, Numan Haider, was shot dead outside the Endeavour Hills police station. He had used a knife to attack an Australian Federal Police officer and a Victoria Police officer.

Media reports today say that Haider was also carrying a bigger knife and an Islamic State flag. The reports say police suspect Haider intended to behead a police officer and post the images online.

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Hansard transcript of statements by Acting Prime Minister Warren Truss and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

Mr TRUSS: Madam Speaker, it is appropriate that I should make a statement to the House regarding the incident at Endeavour Hills police station yesterday. At approximately 7.45 pm last night, one Australian Federal Police officer and one Victorian police officer were subject to an unprovoked attack from an 18-year-old man armed with a knife. The two officers were wounded in the attack; one received multiple wounds and was seriously injured. During the conflict, one officer fired upon the attacker and killed him. [Read more…]


From The Fringe: Sen. Jacqui Lambie’s Tirade Against Sharia Law

The Tasmanian Palmer United Party Senator Jacqui Lambie has delivered a tirade against Sharia Law.

Lambie

Lambie spoke today on the government’s National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014. [Read more…]


Melissa Parke’s Speech On Iraq; ALP Member Questions Commitment

Melissa Parke, the ALP member for Fremantle, has delivered a speech critical of Australia’s mission in Iraq against IS forces.

Parke

Parke began her speech by revealing that someone on Twitter had called for her execution for treason “because I had questioned the government’s rapid escalation of our new involvement in Iraq from a purely humanitarian mission to one where we appear to be joining the US in an open-ended fight against IS”.

Parke criticised the government for not engaging with the United Nations before committing special forces. She questioned whether other groups such as Hezbollah or the Syrian army might also be armed in the future. She warned against the “enormous danger” of moving too quickly and expressed concern about “the increased security risk to Australians everywhere”.
She criticised the Abbott government’s neglect of climate change “as a very serious national security vulnerability”. [Read more…]


Shorten Maintains Support For Abbott Government On Iraq; Also Outlines Conditions

The Leader of the Opposition, Bill Shorten, has reiterated the ALP’s support for the Abbott government’s “humanitarian” mission in Iraq, whilst setting out conditions for continuing support.

Shorten

Shorten responded in the House of Representatives to a Statement on National Security by Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

He said: “Labor fully supports Australia’s contribution to the international humanitarian mission to Iraq. We do not offer this lightly. Sending Australians into harm’s way is the most serious of decisions. Our support for the government on this issue is not a matter of jingoism or nationalism; it is a calculation of conscience and national interest.” [Read more…]


Tony Abbott Statement On National Security: “Balance Between Freedom And Security Will Have To Shift”

The Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, says “the delicate balance between freedom and security will have to shift” for “some time to come”.

Delivering a statement on national security to the House of Representatives, Abbott said: “Regrettably, for some time to come, Australians will have to endure more security than we’re used to, and more inconvenience than we’d like.”

He said: “There may be more restrictions on some so that there can be more protections for others. After all, Madam Speaker, the most basic freedom of all is the freedom to walk the streets unharmed and to sleep safe in our beds at night.”

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Transcript of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s Statement on National Security to the House of Representatives.

Statement to Parliament on National Security

Madam Speaker, because protecting our people is the first duty of government, it’s right that I should update the House on developing challenges to our national security.

I acknowledge the commitment of all MPs to keeping our people safe and I especially acknowledge the support that the Leader of the Opposition has given to the Government on this subject. [Read more…]


Abbott Says Federal Police Now Handling External And Internal Security At Parliament House

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has announced that the Australian Federal Police have taken over responsibility for the external and internal security at Parliament House.

Abbott reiterated his previous remarks on terrorism but little information on yesterday’s terrorism raids and arrests was forthcoming at his joint press conference today.

Abbott

Abbott was accompanied by the NSW Premier, Mike Baird, Acting Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police, Andrew Colvin, and NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione. They refused to say how many people were still under arrest and would not comment on whether any of those detained were involved in plans to attack Parliament House. [Read more…]