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tv   Australian Parliament Question Time Highlights  CSPAN  August 23, 2019 3:07pm-3:42pm EDT

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videos, pictures, audiotapes, and it creates a profile that is digitized, which will last forever. so when you go to the library of the future, you will not pick out a book about winston churchill. you will talk to winston churchill. narrator: sunday night at it :00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q and -- at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span's q and a. announcer: next, a roundup of events been the latest session of australia's parliament. political reporter annalise nielsen hosted the event looking at australian prime minister scott morrison and members of his cabinet answering questions on national security, detentions of undocumented immigrants, and relations with the u.s. from sky news, this is 30 minutes. ♪ annelise: hello, and welcome to question time wrap where we look at the first sitting fortnight of the new morrison government. in february of this year, the government introduced a bill
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that would allow the minister to exclude anyone from entering australia for up to two years if they were suspected of being involved in any terrorist activity. with a strong mandate off the back of their resounding election win, they moved to pass the bill. but they did ignore a number of key recommendations on the drafting of the bill from a powerful parliamentary committee. >> the labor of the opposition, much less lofty now, i suspect. mr. speaker. [laughter] we will say the answer. [applause] my question is to the prime minister and it goes to national security.
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does the prime minister doubt which side people are on when they support the unanimous position of a parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security? >> thank you, mr. speaker. i think he raised the role of the joint standing committee the joint standing committee on these matters does important work in the parliament. and when members come to that committee, they bring forward the positions of the various parties to address the national security issues that the countries face. what i have noted in my time in and this place is that it has always been those who sit on this side of the house who have always brought the stronger position. [members shouting] it is always on the side of the house, with the measures for the committee, that the matters have been thought to be more watered down. therefore, it is the state of the action of my government to ensure where the matters are ordered, we will always seek to remedy it. [members yelling] annelise: a visit to cambridge of poppelme minister
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and new guinea brought the issue of asylum-seekers into the spotlight. the prime minister asking australia to close their offshore detention facilities. >> thank you, president. my question is to the minister representing the minister of foreign affairs. the prime minister said that he would like to see offshore detention ended in papa new guinea, as soon as possible. and that he has requested your government provided timetable. >> order. i would like to hear the question. order on both sides of the chamber, left and right. order. [voices murmuring] senator kim please continue. , >> thank you. the prime minister has requested your government provide a timetable for ending offshore detention on manas island. what commitments has your government given to png government in the future of offshore detention and have you agreed to provide a timetable as
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requested by mr. maroapi. minister, after six long years, when will your political prisoners on manus island finally be given the freedom and safety they need and deserve? >> the minister representing the minister of foreign affairs -- minister of home affairs senator , reynolds. >> thank you very much. thank you, senator question. as i said to senator ken neely ly, you alsoeneal came for capitulating a falsehood. there is no detention center there. i would also note senator mckim that you were not detained in papa what new guinea -- papua new guinea either. senator mckim, i think there is nobody in detention in manus island. as i said again, to senator
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ly, we had a productive meeting today, senator corbin was there. we had very cordele discussions with the papua new guinea prime minister and ministers on the way forward including in manus island. again, i have nothing further to add because what he said is a falsehood. >> point of order. >> thank you. the minister has said she has nothing further to add, but a specific question i asked her was whether or not the australian government has provided a timetable as arapi, by themr. m prime minister and i ask you to , direct the question. >> you know full well i cannot direct the minister to any part of the question. you yourself said it was a question. the minister is being relevant. >> thank you, mr. president. and just to be clear i , completely reject the whole premise of your question because , there is nobody in detention on manus island. and in fact, you mentioned the
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six years, and who started those six years? who was it who actually put people in detention there in the first place? that was labor. we have worked tirelessly for six years because remember, under all of that, 50,000 people came by boat. 1200 people, that we know of, died a horrific death. so that was not us. we have worked tirelessly, internationally, and in cooperation with the png government to fix the shameful mess that you left. we are very proud of what we have done. and minister corbin reminds me that the prime minister today, manus wasng about , noting at how peaceful and beautiful manus island is, and in fact would welcome tourists manus, andto visit to see for themselves. >> your time has expired. senator mckim, a supplementary question. >> thank you, president.
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minister you and the prime , minister have claimed the manus island to six years ago are not in detention. if there are no detention centers as you and the prime , minister claim, what was that place with guards on the gates, with wire on the fences, that people are locked up in each and every night, that i was denied entry to last week, and ultimately deported from papua new guinea for asking permission to enter? what exactly was that place? >> order. senator reynolds. >> senator mckim, no matter how much you scream in this place, no matter how disgracefully you act as a senator of this place, in another country as a guest of another country, cannot change the fact that they are no people in detention there on manus island. you have clearly learned nothing over the last six years about the consequences of your policy.
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we have spent six years working with a papua new guinea government, and again that was reinforced today, with what we are doing to clean up your mess. again i will say there is nobody in detention on manus island, and no matter how badly you behave in someone else's country as a guest of their country, that does not change the fact, as i have said several times today in this chamber. i categorically reject that in any way while i was on papua new guinea. i politely asked to enter the prison. i note the comments of new zealand prime minister who is -- has reiterated through a kind offer to accept 150 people per year from manus island. how can your government continue to reject that offer and deny desperate people the freedom and safety that they need and deserve? >> senator reynolds? >> thank you very much.
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i would say i completely reject the whole premise of your question. nobody is in detention in papua new guinea. the government of papua new guinea determines to enter the refugee transit center, and respective entry requirements. and if they denied you entry, that is a matter of the papua new guinea government. >> senator. senator mckim. >> thank you. perhaps the minister did not hear my final supplementary. but what i specifically asked was about the offer from new zealand. and this government's rejection of that offer. and she has yet to reply. >> senator kim, you did have a preamble to the question. i consider that to be part of the question. the minister is entitled to address that, and be relevant. much very , president. again, this is a matter for the
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government of papua new guinea. you went to a friendly nation, a country of which we have great connections with, and they denied you entry to a facility that is in their control. it is an issue for them. i have to say, reading a little bit about your conduct, i'm ashamed that somebody in this chamber went again to a friendly country, a neighboring country, and acted in a way as you did, senator mckim. that is something for your conscience, it is not something this government or anybody else in this chamber supports. >> the time for the answer has expired. annelise: press freedom in australia became a global topic when a french journalist and his tv crew were arrested in queens land filming ntu protesters. police accused the journalist and his crew of a blocking a railway line. >> thank you, mr. president. my question is do to the minister for foreign affairs, senator payne. after the arrest of four french
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journalists in queensland yesterday has the minister been , in contact with the french ambassador or attempted to see the gentleman concerned? further what actions will the , australian government take if an australian journalist was arrested in similar circumstances in france or perhaps hong kong? >> thank you very much. thank you for your question. yes, on the 22nd of july, the queensland police arrested seven people following protest activity at a port facility. the queensland police service said that the prisoners were due in the magistrates court on the third of september this year. any inquiries or queries relating to the circumstances of the arrest of course would be appropriately referred to the queensland police service. and any inquiries regarding consular support which would be extended to french national ones which will be addressed by a
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-- by france. >> supplementary question. >> thank you. further question for the minister, how will the government respond to the concerns of the international community regarding australia's press freedom after the , heavy-handed arrest of these four journalists? and can you answer the remainder of my first question, what would you do if it was an australian journalist in france? [murmuring voices] >> thank you very much. australia does [indiscernible] when they are traveling overseas in a broad range of circumstances. that is the responsibility of the department of foreign affairs and trade, and something veryonsular staff takes seriously. in relation to the matters of that, i presume they relate to an ongoing investigation being carried over by the queensland police service. i don't intend to comment on those details. >> a final supplementary question. >> thank you, mr. president. australia's international reputation has been called into question after the arrest of these four french journalists on
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the back of raids on our national broadcaster and raids on individual journalists. what will the government do to restore the faith of the australian citizens and the international community of our press freedoms? >> thank you very much, mr. president. as i said in recent weeks when i spoke at a conference on these matters in london, the australian government has asked , a very senior parliamentary committee, a parliamentary security to conduct , an inquiry into how law enforcement and intelligence powers do interact with protections for journalists and press freedom to ensure that we , do strike the right balance. the australian government has also directly invited media organizations to provide direct submissions to governments and engage with those organizations prior to those on the key issues of concern to them in the government. and the government is looking
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forward to working with them in continuing a constructive dialogue. we are committed to ensuring that in our democracy, we strive -- we strike the right balance, the important right balance between a free press and keeping australia safe two fundamental , penance of our democracy which australians expect us to observe. annelise: earlier this year when legislation was being debated that would allow the evacuation of refugees from offshore processing to australia's medical treatment, confidential advice from australia's security agency was leaked. questions were then raised about why an investigation by the australian federal police was discontinued into that leak. >> thank you. my question is to minister representing the minister for home affairs, senator cache. when classified advised was linked in february, duncan lewis that when "classified advice is leaked, it undermines all that we stand for." given the strength of the director general's view, why did the afp discontinue its investigation? >> the minister representing the
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minister for home affairs senator cache. >> thank you, mr. president. y would know,neall the australian federal police conducted their investigations and carry out their operations independent from government. >> order. order. senator keneally, supplementary question. >> the commissioner said we do not actually convince an investigation because we saw the prospects of a successful investigation of prosecution were limited. but given foi documents released today indicated that only 10 people in the department of homeland affairs and the minister had access to this confidential advice, does the minister agree the prospects of the prosecution are limited? >> senator cache. >> thank you. again, i would refer to my previous answer. [voices murmuring] >> a final supplementary
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question. >> in response to the leaks, minister dutton said, "i have not leaked anything." the minister also said, "nobody is above the law and the police have a job to do under the law." that means only 10 people are left. will the minister now commit to reopening the investigation? >> senator cache. >> thank you. in response to that question, i would again refer to my answer to the initial question. annelise: for the first time since he lost the election, former opposition leader bill short and asked a question of the government in question time, now shadow minister for government services, he asked about accusations that welfare unfairlys are being targeted by automated debt-collection calls. >> i call the member forward. >> my question is to the minister for government services.
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minister, how many debt notices issued under the government's robo-debt program have turned out to be wrong? >> the minister for government services. let me think the shadow minister , mr. barton, let me think that shadow minister for his question. as you know, under the income compliance checking process , which is now checking and updating past income processes, we have since july 2015, recovered $1.9 billion of the 800,000 income compliance reviews since 1 july 2016 that have been finalized. 80% have resulted in a debt being collected. 80%. 80%. right now, across australia, as
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of the 30th of june, 2019, there are 1.54 million outstanding social welfare debts, with a value of just shy of $5 billion. this government like all , governments, has a lawful responsibility to collect where citizens have a mismatched what they said they had earned versus what, through their tax return they have been shown to earn. , that mutual obligation is something that has been around for decades and decades. governments of all persuasions over the last 20-plus years have sought to recover debts that have arisen because citizens have put forward an assessment of their income, and when their tax return came through, that was different. that difference has to be andthat difference has to be accounted for. that is a mutual obligation that citizens have with their government.
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so can i say, to all citizens who are receiving income support or indeed family assistance payments, regularly update ygovugh either the m application, through a telephone service, or a service center update the assessment of your , income. because when your tax return is returned, they will be met, they will be checked, and if there is any discrepancy at all, we have a legal obligation to contact the citizen concerned and seek to explain the deficit. this has been a process governments have done for over 20 years not just this , government, but many members have been part of that. from 2010, the member from mcmahon was the governor, that member did this program. following the member from mcmahon was the member for sydney also followed that
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process. following the member for sydney was the member for gordon. he also followed that process, as will subsequent members. we seek to do it compassionately and sensitively, but there is a lawful requirement. annelise: allegations of corrupt dealings that australia's crown casino were aired with allegations that they were trading favors with government officials including allegations that casino officials had a direct signed consulate faces the highrollers. >> call the minister from melbourne. >> the question is about the standards. yesterday, despite reports you are minister's lobby on behalf of the ground, you said there -- on behalf of the crown, you said there was nothing before you to warrant taking action. you opposed a parliamentary inquiry. the attorney general has
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referred the allegations to the law enforcement integrity commissioner. this will not to look into whether you ministers have acted improperly. given the stench from the allegations regarding these matters, can you assure the house that you have fully investigated, and that none of your ministers have lobbied on behalf of the crown, or is it a don't tell,t ask, about ties to the crown casino? >> going to hear members from my right. >> reflections on members, that is a reflection on all ministers here without identifying which minister he is reflecting on. and indeed, there were no allegations at the top that were raised in the media or otherwise. i think this is out of order. >> it is not up to me what was in or not in the media, only judge questions. i will not have a media summary in with me. with respect to his point of order, the practice makes very
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clear on reflection, they really have to generally be direct reflections on particular members of parliament. i think he would find precedent questions this nature have been , asked before. obviously, it was a long question. -- thell, 45 seconds' full, 45 seconds' worth i will , allow the question and obviously the prime minister has given the amount of preamble commentary, and the nature of the 45-second contribution that was not all the question. the prime minister has extreme latitude in how he wishes to answer it. and i call the attorney general. the state of attorney, the same latitude. >> there are two matters we can provide in response.
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the first is with respect to the statement i made earlier today. and that is that all of the matters that have been raised in recent days in the media have now been referred by me to the commission of law enforcement integrity, pursuant to section 18 of that act. and as i noted for the members' benefit this morning, in making that referral, i'm simply saying there are sufficient concerns that have been raised to allow for that precautionary referral to the commission of law enforcement integrity. he may decide to take further action by way of a full investigation. he may report back to me that there is not enough to warrant a full investigation. but that is the body that is best placed to make any investigation of questions that have been raised in the media. as to the broad nature of the issue you raised, i can say that with respect to the idea that there is some kind of favoritism or fast tracking, there are systems in place, i will say i
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am representing the minister of foreign affairs now, where a variety of passport holders, particularly referenced in the white paper on developing australia, are able themselves to access and facilitate quick visa processing. there is nothing new in that. that has occurred on both sides of the house. but if there are specific allegations the member wants to make, then perhaps he needs to make them. annelise: the government was forced to answer questions about the conservative political action conference, with labor and the greens accusing the government of supporting those with extremist views. a handful of former and current liberal mps speaking at the event alongside anti-islam , activists. >> senator warren. >> thank you. my question is to the minister representing the prime minister, senator korman. he is attending the conference, or cpac, first australian event in sydney next week. mr. korman is best known for inviting holocaust denier
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charles c johnson to the state of the union. mr. johnson is a man who has asked for help taking out a black lives matter activist and denied that over 6 million jewish people were murdered in the holocaust. does the prime ministers support members of his party room attending the cpac conference? >> the minister representing the prime minister, senator korman. >> thank you very much, mr. president. i'm not aware of the detail of the issue you raise, and i am not going to just take on face value the aspects of it. the interest -- the issue you raise is very serious. i think it is well understood that the coalition has a strong and proud record of being a supporter of israel. i would reject any implication -- so i would reject any implication in that question that we are anything other than that. beyond that, in order to deal with the question that you have raised with the appropriate level of sensitivity and accuracy, i will take it on
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notice. >> senator warren supplementary , question. >> the prime minister mr. morrison has said previously i will always be prepared for extremism and all of its forms. the member for hughes craig killian will be attending this event with mr. gates. will the prime minister callout that extremist when they stand next to each other on stage? >> thank you very much, mr. president. of course, the prime minister stands by his statement. but i do not accept the premise of the question that senator wong has asked. so as i have indicated in response to the primary question, i will provide an answer on notice. >> a final supplementary question. >> thank you. i again refer to mr. morrison's assurances that he "will always be prepared to call out extremism in all of its forms." given this will he guarantee no , current or former members of the parliament including craig stoker or former prime minister , minister abbott, will attend this conference? >> thank you very much. as i have already indicated, in
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response to the primary question, i will make sure i am aware of all of the facts before making an informed statement. think, -- i have already taken that question. -- annelise: member christina keneally demanded one of the speakers be blocked. she accused him of promoting violence against women and hate speech. >> thanks, mr. speaker. my question is addressed to the prime minister. is the prime minister comfortable with the decision to commit him to enter australia and allow government members to , share a public platform with has made many comments including remarks about , the scottish first minister that i'm certain he would agree , about being misogynistic and
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completely unacceptable? >> the minister for immigration. >> thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. in relation to the question, all applications to enter australia are dealt under the provisions of the migration act. and all noncitizens must make the character test. now of course the people who may , hold controversial views, any impact of those views must always be balanced against australia's well-established principles of freedom of speech. but i won't be making any comments about specific applications or cases. >> opposition, on the point of order. >> yes, mr. speaker on the point , of order, the question also went to weather the prime minister is comfortable with government -- >> the leader of the opposition will resume his seat. the leader of the opposition will resume his seat.
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[murmuring voices] for the information of those asking questions, the practice makes it clear that the prime minister can refer any question to any minister. annelise: australia's relationship with the u.s. took center stage with the u.s. , secretary of state mike pompeo visiting australia for talks. it is there that australia was asked for strategic support in the strait of hormuz. thus, the prime minister did rule out out any kind of missiles being based in the north of australia. >> thank you, mr. president. my question as to the minister of defense. minister, this weekend, you will be attending the australian-united states on foreign affairs. can you update the senate on the importance of a defense relationship with the united states? >> miniter of defense, senator reynolds. >> thank you, mr. president and
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also thank you senator fossett. thank you for your support to this important alliance we have. mr. president, the australia-united states alliance is the cornerstone policy of australia's national security. the alliance is about assuring our defense and security interest in shaping a peaceful and prosperous region in our area. our alliance continues to be a contributor to peace and stability in our region and also , globally. this sunday, i will attend the australian-united states ministerial meeting the 34th , such meeting. the foreign minister and i will host the u.s. secretary of state and also the secretary of defense. this provides a timely opportunity to discuss critically-important issues, including our defense capability relationships. australia has afforded unparalleled access to the most advanced technology, equipment, and intelligence all central to , maintaining the effectiveness of our australian defense force. for example, the air force is the only air force outside the
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united states committed to ,perate the aig 18 growler electronic attack aircraft. it also facilitates closer industry strengthens the australian industrial base, a key objective of this government. australia is also a key partner in the joint strike fighter program. allows us to acquire leading edge capability and provides the opportunity for australian companies and workers , like quickstep, which is developing critical components for the joint strike fighter, to enter that lucrative u.s. market and supply chain. this means more australian jobs. these are just some great examples of the benefit of our alliance with the united states. >> supplementary question. >> thank you, mr. president.
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can you up date us on how the unitedces in states and australia are working together around the globe, and in our region? >> defense personnel from australia and the united states continue to work together side-by-side around the world, as we have now for over 100 years, to pursue our shared values and shared interests. workingiddle east, together to provide security and stability to the people of iraq and afghanistan. having recently visited the region, our people are doing work with our partners in the u.s. to make a real difference to the lives of many hundreds of thousands of people in the middle east. have a deployment to the middle east, to afghanistan. this deployment represents the
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australian commitment to stability in the united states and our commitment to working with the united states for global peace and security. >> final supplementary question. outline any can you other ways australia the united states are working together to ensure australia's national security? >> for over 50 years, australians worked with the united states to support national security and global strategic capability. we have joint facilities across australia, facilities such as pine gap in the northern territory. the facilities also, like the australian defense satellite communications station, in my home state of western australia, which hosts a u.s. mitt communications system, manned by both ads and u.s. forces. this station is
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receiving u.s. project funding in recognition of the important role intelligence plays in ensuring the safety of both u.s. and australian personnel deployed overseas. australia's defense intelligence relationship is one of the most tangible manifestations of the depth of our alliance with the united states. >> this ends this episode of question time wrap. thank you for your company. ♪ campaignl have live 2020 coverage this afternoon. south bend indiana mayor and presidential candidate pete buttigieg is holding a town hall meeting at nashua community college in new hampshire expected to start at 6:35 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can follow all our coverage online on and listen with the free c-span radio app. and a, a night on q theoretical physicist and author
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of "the future of humanity" talks about achieving digital immortality. >> digital immortality takes everything known about you on the internet, your digital footprint, credit card records, movies you see, wines you buy, countries you visit, videos, pictures, audio, and it creates a profile which will last forever. so when you go to the library of the future, you will not take out a book about winston churchill. you will talk to winston churchill. >> sunday night at 8:00 p.m. on c-span's q and a. andp next, data privacy protecting children from online predators. the senate judiciary committee looks at ways tech companies can regulate their platforms to protect younger users.


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