714 thoughts on “24 November 2018: Victoria Votes

  1. Und zo it seems the Chermans do not have a word for everything 🙂

    Some Words Defy Translation.

    There was a storm, Chancellor Angela Merkel said, but the type surprised some listeners.

    • Of course they aren’t.

      Whenever this pack of Lib-Lites stifle yet another debate I’m reminded of the way Windsor and Oakeshott always voted in favour of SSO motions because, they said they would not stifle debate.

      Allowing a debate does not necessarily mean you support whatever motion or bill is being debated. I think these women need to think on that.

  2. Richard Di Natale has been taking up valuable time with ridiculous speeches and fake outrage, doing his very best to prop up this hopeless farce of a government.

    • Have just had to stifle laughter at a friends outrage at the behaviour of parliament today. I answered the phone to her screech of outrage and an apology for telling me off earlier in the week when I observed that I half expected Mr Morrison’s government to shut parliament early because of Dr Phelp’s first bill. I will have to remind her to send her admonishing email to Mr Di Natale as well! *sniggers*

      She is finally agreeing with me that this particular iteration of the Liberal party is neither “liberal”, nor a “party” — for any usual definition of either word. I might finally get her to consider looking at ALP policies yet!

    • Curioz,

      I am confident that you restrained yourself from saying, “I told you so!” to your friend …

  3. Fecking spineless jelly back Labor rolls over then sits up and begs on the encryption bullshit.
    “I want to make sure that this Christmas, that I have done everything I can to keep Australians safe…that is what matters to me,” Bill Shorten says..

    If the government won’t agree to put the amendments through, Labor will still pass it.

    • Disgusting.

      Labor always passes whatever draconian security bills the government puts up, always using the “keeping Australians safe” excuse, which is wearing very, very thin now.

  4. Heavens to Betsy – if one is going to try vote-rigging, one should at least aim for a modicum of discretion …

    • I apologise for repeating myself … but did none of these gee-whiz super-marketing executives never play Monopoly when they were children?

      If they did, they’ve obviously forgotten the lesson: when it’s winner-takes-all, nobody else can pay rent …

  5. Yep –

    The government got what it wanted today – no passage of legislation to bring seriously ill people from Nauru and Manus Island, their rotten encryption bill passed by the Senate without amendment.

    The only thing they didn’t get was passage of their divestment bill. Just as well the parliament left early, or that too would have sailed through with Labor voting in favour.

    And people wonder why I vote independent.

    • Shorten will only change tactics when/if he becomes PM. It’s too late now. The vultures are circling. I do believe he’ll change a few things, not much, later.

  6. Fiona – from this morning –

    I did try to find out if the two Hasties were brothers, it seems not, although thre’s not much information to go by.

    David Hastie did his HSC at Hurlstone Agricultural High School. Andrew Hastie studied at Scots College where his father was, for a while, one of the head pooh-bahs.

    It seems unlikely parents would choose an elite private school for one child and a public school, even if it is a selective school, for another. Especially not when Andrew Hastie’s father and grandfather are both Sydney Grammar old boys.

    Andrew Hastie’s father is Peter Hastie the Creationist and Presbyterian minister, so you are right on that one.

    • Leone,

      Ah, I knew our super sleuth would sort it out (and yes, I knew who Andrew’s dad is)! I suspect there may still be a family connexion – perhaps a nephew, or a second cousin? Or – maybe – an under-performing son?????

    • There’s not much information out there on Dr David Hastie, except for his LinkedIn page, and that is probably carefully doctored.

      It’s very possible the two Hasties are related in some way but without looking at their family trees there’s no way to be sure.

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe says every moment in that sorry day yesterday revealed the government’s precarious hold on Parliament.
    David Wroe writes that the Morrison government has politicised encryption, all but daring Labor to look weak on national security. Labor has wriggled and tacked so many times it has been hard to keep track of where they stand. He describes yesterday’s events as a damning indictment on both sides.
    Katharine Murphy reckons Morrison may not have lost the vote, but his prime ministerial authority is waning.
    More from Murphy as she says Australia’s power companies have hit the roof over a last-minute inclusion in the Morrison government’s controversial energy package handing the Australian Energy Regulator power to regulate power prices, without judicial review.
    Parliament entered a reverse universe in Question Time yesterday. Everything was the wrong way around writes John Passant.
    Michelle Grattan thinks the government is all over the place. She says that In the topsy turvy Liberal universe, just when the right is trying to tighten its grip on the throat of the party, the government is haring off to the left, with this week’s legislation to allow it to break up recalcitrant energy companies.
    Jacqui Maley describes it as a day of high farce ending on a low note.
    Michael Koziol looks behind the refugee bill that plunged the Parliament into chaos yesterday.
    Simon Benson says Bill Shorten has softened Labor’s border-protection policy ahead of the party’s national conference.
    Phil Coorey tells us why there will be no come-from-behind miracle for Scott Morrison.
    The SMH editorial says that these new encryption powers need careful scrutiny.
    Michael Pascoe writes that There’s a golden opportunity for the Business Council of Australia to re-establish some economic credibility and fill the federal leadership vacuum. It can do so with a simple measure that would benefit the nation, BCA members and even the federal government heading into the May election.
    Scott Ludlam writes that national security is a government strength – so Labor will let them be reckless with it.
    Waleed Aly sys that it’s no wonder we no longer trust our institutions.
    David Estcourt and Nicole Precel ask whether or not the Liberals avoid an epic defeat.
    Jennifer Hewett says no expressions of goodwill Christmas sentiment could hide the vicious political party games ending the parliamentary year.
    Never mind de-encryption. The Australian Border Force is quietly slashing staff numbers at airports over the busy Christmas period and is believed to have suspended a fleet of boats supposed to protect the nation’s northern waters, in cost-cutting moves that insiders say threaten national security.
    Professor Patrick Mullins writes that when it comes to politics Australia is living through a decade of locums.
    Michael Galvin breaks down some of the reasons behind the Liberal Party’s loss at the Victorian election according to electorates.
    The AFR explains the Morrison government’s ‘big stick’ energy bill.
    The Morrison government has appointed six new deputy presidents with employer backgrounds to the Fair Work Commission, ­ignoring a recom­mendation by tribunal president Iain Ross and sparking Labor and union claims it has stacked the workplace umpire ahead of the federal election.
    This is a bit of a worry. Doug Dingwall tells us that the Defence Department doesn’t know how much it will cost to maintain its new multibillion dollar fleet of warplanes as officials wait for United States-based support to become ready.
    Professor Justin O’Brien explains why the whole world is watching to see what Commissioner Kenneth Hayne does next.
    Banks and other big companies would face unprecedented fines of billions of dollars rather than a capped $210 million for civil offences, under changes that Labor wants to make to a federal bill.
    Jacob Saulwick reports that the Cloud Arch, the wisp of inspiration to have framed Sydney’s George Street pedestrian and light rail boulevard, is for the chop: a victim of cost over-runs and the bogged-down process of building the tram line.
    The Morrison Government has piked out and closed the Lower House to avoid tackling Nauru. An important whistleblower bill will now be pushed back to February 2019.
    Controversial Chinese telco Huawei has been hit with a double blow after its chief financial officer – the company founder’s daughter – was arrested on United States criminal charges and a major UK telco vowed to rip its equipment out of its telephone networks.
    John McDuling writes that it looks like the Gillard government got it right when it barred Hauwei from supplying equipment for Australia’s multi-billion dollar national broadband network in 2012.
    US stocks extended an across-the-board rout, with the Dow suffering deep losses triggered by signs that a prospective US-China trade deal was in jeopardy.
    Stephen Koukoulas advises us to not fall for the spin – Scott Morrison’s budget surplus is no certainty.
    Western Sydney is thriving, but it bears burden of domestic violence.
    Richard Baker reports that a blockbuster inquiry into a West Australian Aboriginal charitable trust responsible for handling millions of dollars in mining royalties has prompted legislative reforms that could have national implications.
    Speaking at a clean energy conference, Malcolm Turnbull told his audience everything they wanted to hear, which turned out to be classic political misdirection, writes Giles Parkinson.
    Australia would have to reduce electricity sector emissions by 60 to 70 per cent in order to meet the Paris targets, a leading climate scientist says.
    Richo writes that the big exposure in Victoria is not the usual corrupt cop story.
    The encounter at George H W Bush’s funeral was a real-time illustration of the uneasy ties between the current occupant of the White House and his predecessors, suggesting Trump as a member-in-name-only of the Oval Office fraternity.
    Lawrence Douglas explains how Republicans are staging mini-coups across the US.
    Woolworths has denied dispatching a squad of online trolls to howl down users who post complaints on the company’s Facebook page. An investigation by The New Daily found more than 50 instances in the past two months where Woolworths customers were targeted by the same group of four users after making negative complaints about the supermarket giant.
    The UK is suspending its investor visas for the rich, closing a route to permanent residence and British citizenship that’s popular with Russian oligarchs and wealthy Chinese.
    Where does the stench end? Now it’s revealed that a Saudi-backed lobbyist paid for 500 rooms at Trump hotel just after the 2016 election.
    Mattew Dunckley reports that the Reserve Bank of Australia deputy governor Guy Debelle has warned that the Australian banking industry’s habit of acting as a pack could exacerbate the housing slowdown.
    Joanne McCarty dispassionately reports on the dismissal of Archbishop Philip Wilson’s conviction. She would have found it hard.
    At last! The number of children in Australia with full immunisation coverage has spiked, hitting a record high, according to new data.
    Lucy McCormack tells us about the fresh set of eyes that investigated the alleged murder of Lynette Dawson.
    Kate Aubusson reports that now the head of anaesthetics at Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH) has resigned after clashes between hospital operator Healthscope and anaesthetists who raised serious concerns about systemic failures that risked compromising patient care. Where’s it going to end?
    Despite the obvious disappointment of the Morrison Government, the nation can build an energy network reliant on renewables, while lowering prices. Martin Zavan explains.
    When will the AFL give up tampering with the rules of the game?
    According to Matt Cleary Fox edged Seven as Test cricket on Australian TV enters brave new era.
    Pig hearts could soon be tested in humans after scientists passed an important milestone by keeping primates alive for three months after transplanting the organs. Surgeons in Germany grafted pig hearts into five baboons and kept four of the animals alive for at least 90 days, with one still in good health for more than six months.
    And for today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” we have a 70 year old.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe’s been using ghosts quite a bit lately.

    Mark David loves to depict Morrison as a coal-loving cleric.

    Glen Le Lievre thinks things may have gone a bit far.

    David Pope takes the government onto summer recess.
    Jon Kudelka on Shorten’s gift to Morrison.
    More in here.

  8. The other day Labor MP Tim Watts tweeted this thread explaining why the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill 2018 (usually referred to as the AA bill or the encryption bill) was so bad.

    Labor spent hours yesterday morning explaining why the bill was rubbish, and how flawed it was. Mark Dreyfus criticised the government for proposing 173 amendments at the last minute, giving the joint committee no time to consider them. Then Labor voted to pass the damn bill!!!!!

    Labor’s tactic was to deal with those amendments in the Senate. That didn’t happen. Instead the amendments were referred to the joint committee, which will report back by 3 April next year. The bill was passed with Labor’s explicit support..

    So now we have a flawed act which threatens the IT industry in Australia, and a real mess for someone to clean up when the joint committee gets to present their report. That is due in the days before FauxMo is expected to call an election, and while everyone will be looking at the budget. The mess will remain until a new government is elected.

    (There is also the strong possibility FauxMo will see sense and call an election for early March as soon as parliament resumes in February, or maybe even some time in January.)

    I understand Labor could not make amendments because they would have meant the bill would have had to go back to the Reps, and the Reps had been sent home early, meaning everything would be delayed until next year, but I still don’t understand the rush to pass this thing.

    I just do not understand why Labor caved in on this bill, why they gave in to the government when there was no need. I don’t understand why passage of this bill could not have been delayed until next year. Just what is the danger looming over us this summer that needed fast action on a dodgy bill? From what exactly are we being kept safe? Were Labor strategists afraid of some huffing and puffing about Labor being soft on national security if they had voted against the bill or attempted to change it? I just don’t know. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

    What I do know – Labor’s cave-in has resulted in a lot of anger and possibly a lot of lost votes.

    • I don’t like the bill, but I will point out that 170 quickly written changes were passed in the HOR before it went to the Senate, to reflect the committee’s objections. These are now part of the law. There were 6 additional changes that Labor put up in the Senate to cover things that got missed that didn’t get passed, including a changed definition of systemic weakness, that got dropped. So its still bad but not as bad as it was the moment it arrived in the HOR.

    • Maybe it just me being hypersensitive to the capabilities of the coalition rabble conjuring up something rotten had Labor not passed this dodgy bill. This mob of mongrels have spent 5 long years trying to ‘get’ Bill Shorten – and it sticks in their craw like an immovable lump of coal that nothing has worked. Shorten has their measure and he simply does not react. He and Labor were expected to take a stubborn stance and refuse to pass this bill and I’ll bet my last dollar that these mongrels have something cooking in their pot with which to punish Bill and Labor during the Xmas break…..whatever it is/or was you can bet was something nasty enough for happyclapper loudmouth scummo to have the opportunity to dispatch Bill and Labor in voters eyes and keep their filthy hands on the reins of power.

    • Janice – I thought that too. I would not put it past this government to cook up something that involved innocent people dying, just so they could prove we needed “protection” and Labor had denied that. With the AFP and Border Farce just branches of the Liberal Party protection racket anything is possible and no questions would be asked.

      I just hope Labor does the decent thing and amends this act when they win government. I’m afraid Labor’s past actions on national security don’t make me confident that will happen.

      At the same time as our farce of a government is telling us we need more protection they are actually cutting customs work at airports.

      I’d heard about these cuts a week or so ago, now the media have caught up. Travellers are no longer having their luggage properly checked. Now it’s just a case of saying you have nothing dangerous and no imported foods, the sniffer dogs do their thing and everyone is waved through. Or so I’ve been told by very surprised travellers coming back from overseas.

      What if a terrorist brought some explosive devices into the country while the government was engaged in cost cutting?

    • Leroy –

      Labor withdrew all their Senate amendments when Cormann moved to have the joint committee look at them. There were no Senate votes on any amendments.

      Richard Di Natale tried to move an amendment that was originally supposed to be moved by Penny Wong and was denied leave. Penny Wong said there was no need for the amendment to be moved because they had all been referred to the joint committee.

      Read the Hansard, if you like.

      The second reading debate starts here –

    • Shorten wants to eliminate any chance of being seen as soft on terrorism, especially if there is another “incident” in the next couple of months. He is aware the shock-jocks and the Murdock media could so easily spin it into something big especially with the MSM’s love affair with the LNP.

    • It’s really odd, the Border Force cuts at the same time FauxMo is telling us we absolutely had to have his crappy legislation passed before Christmas to keep us all safe.

      Not many media persons seem to have picked up on that.

  9. Tucked in at the end of the story:

    The National Security Agency breached Huawei servers years ago in an effort to investigate its operations and its ties to Chinese security agencies and the military, and to create back doors so the N.S.A. could roam in networks around the globe wherever Huawei equipment was used.

    Arrest of Chinese Executive Intensifies Trade War Fears

    WASHINGTON — As President Trump was arranging a trade truce with President Xi Jinping of China in Buenos Aires over dinner on Saturday night, his administration was coordinating the arrest of a top Chinese technology executive who was flying through Canada.

    White House officials, including John R. Bolton, the national security adviser who attended the dinner with Mr. Trump and Mr. Xi, knew of the impending arrest. So did a leading Senate Republican and Democrat. But it is unclear whether Mr. Trump knew of the arrest. And Mr. Xi was apparently never told at the dinner.

    The detention is a boon to administration officials trying to limit the global spread of Chinese technology, especially equipment that poses security risks, and to enforce sanctions with Iran. But the move threatens to upend sensitive talks to resolve a trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

  10. Hackers reveal British government’s interference in Spanish politics

    By Alejandro López
    6 December 2018

    Documents leaked by internet hackers of Anonymous reveal how a supposedly independent think-tank based in the UK is a government funded and controlled operation of misinformation and fake news.

    At the same time that the Western powers were accusing Russia of interference in democracy, the UK government and its intelligence services MI5 and MI6 were busily preventing the nomination of a Spanish official to Director of National Security, one of Spain’s top advisory roles. (See pic 1)

    Details of the operation carried out by the Integrity Initiative (II), a project launched in 2015 by the Institute of Statecraft, have been published by the web site CyberGuerilla.org. It is a trove of documents allegedly hacked from II, showing carefully worked out campaigns, costs and internal guidelines, as well as names of individuals cooperating with the network.

    Anonymous shows that the network:

    1. Is mainly funded by the UK government through the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).

    2. Cost £1,961,000 ($2.5 million) this year.

    3. Has received £168,000 in funding from HQ NATO Public Diplomacy and £250,000 from the US State Department.

    4. Is controlled by figures in the UK who manipulate “clusters” of politicians, high-ranking military officials, academics and journalists.

    5. Clusters are said to operate in Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Norway, Serbia, and Montenegro.

    6. Its activities are carried under absolute secrecy via named intelligence services operatives in British embassies.

    The Integrity Initiative poses as “Defending Democracy against Misinformation,” but does exactly the opposite, spreading fake news against Russia in order to defend the national interests of the UK and its imperialist allies, influence Russian speakers in Europe and North America and “change attitudes in Russia itself”.


  11. Senegal Opens Museum of Black Civilizations—One of the Largest of Its Kind In the World

    he museum, dedicated to “decolonizing African knowledge” has been 52 years in the making.

    What began as an idea proposed by Senegal’s first president Léopold Sédar Senghor over 50 years ago, has now become a reality as Senegal has officially opened the Museum of Black Civilizations, one of the largest of its kind in the world.

    Senegal’s President Macky Sall inaugurated the museum earlier today in Dakar. The design of the building, which contains 14,000 square meters of floor space and a capacity for 18,000 exhibits, was inspired by circular traditional homes native to Southern Senegal, BBC Africa reports. Its size is comparable to the National Museum of African American History in Washington, according to Al Jazeera.

    The museum has been several years in the making, with leaders after Senghor putting investment into the arts on the back burner in the face of economic and political challenges. In 2011, President Abdoulaye Wade laid the foundation for the museum, but construction was halted due to a political transition, adds CGTN Africa News. The project was put into motion by Sall beginning in 2013, and has finally come to fruition through a $34 million investment from China—another indication of China’s ubiquitous economic presence across Africa.


  12. I’m going to show my ignorance here. This encryption stuff seems to me that you only have something to worry about if you are doing something wrong. I’m sure hackers will be able to do stuff with or without it.

    • I read the whole thread.

      I’d say this is blatant discrimination based not only on disability but also on skin colour. We can’t allow brown people (I’m assuming someone named Shubajeet is not white) into this country because in the eyes of our ever-so-Christian PM they might decide to stay here. The wheelchair is just a handy thing to use for this discrimination.

      How many white people who need wheelchairs have been granted tourist visas?

      I checked the government’s website for tourist visas. If this man has medical insurance he should have no problems. Someone could have offered him a medical exam, to make sure he was fit to travel, it seems no-one did.


      Tourism groups are promoting travel in and to Australia for people with disabilities, including those using wheelchairs. This goes against everything those groups say.

  13. tlbd

    I’m okay then, I don’t have a decryption key. Twitter seems to be a bit upset, maybe they should get rid of their decryption key and they’ll be fine too.

  14. The Australian technology industry is “incredulous to fuming mad” after the Government’s controversial encryption bill passed the Senate.

    Under the new laws, security agencies have greater powers to get at the encrypted messages of criminal suspects — in some cases they can demand companies build new capabilities to allow them access.


    • But as 90% of IT projects fail to complete on time and on budget the IT companies can easily fail to comply in a timely manner and still be within industry standards

  15. Interesting. The national executive may have a different idea …

    NSW Labor has officially disendorsed Emma Husar as the party’s candidate for the seat of Lindsay at next year’s federal election.

    The state administrative committee met on Friday and “resolved to withdraw its endorsement” of the sitting member, the party said in a statement.

    The NSW branch has referred the preselection of Labor’s new candidate to the national executive.


  16. When Labor party members arrive at their national conference in Adelaide later this month, they will be confronted with a series of large marble tombstone-like plaques bearing the names of all the people to have died as a result of a policy the partysupports.

    The plaques, by artist Alex Seton, are part of the All We Can’t See exhibition devoted to showing the horror of offshore detention, booked as part of the fringe event to Labor’s annual meeting at the Adelaide Convention Centre.

    The exhibition is based on the thousands of leaked internal reports from the Nauru detention centre, revealed by the Guardian in 2016.

    Seton’s works stand 1.5m tall in a largely unavoidable area of the venue, and bear the hand-engraved names of 12 dead men who were detained on Nauru or Manus Island.

    “Each of those men died because of us, and they didn’t have to,” curator Arielle Gamble told Guardian Australia.


    The Libs, of course, will copy this idea.

  17. The embattled Greens MP Jeremy Buckingham will face another internal challenge to push him out of the party this weekend, as in-fighting continues to grip the New South Wales branch.

    Buckingham has faced persistent calls to resign since a party aide, Ella Buckland, made allegations in 2011. Greens MP Jenny Leong made accusations in NSW parliament that Buckingham committed an “act of sexual violence” against Buckland, though an independent investigation was unable to substantiate Buckland’s claims and Buckingham strenuously denies them.

    A motion will be moved at the Greens NSW state delegates council this weekend, likely on Saturday, to remove Buckingham from the party. The Greens NSW standing campaign committee will move the motion of no-confidence, which has been seen by Guardian Australia.

    “The Greens NSW has lost confidence in Jeremy Buckingham MP as a representative and spokesperson for the party and, therefore, determines that he should no longer be a Greens NSW candidate for the 2019 NSW state election,” the motion reads.

    “[State delegates council] therefore requests that Jeremy Buckingham MP steps aside and vacates his position on the ticket.”

    The motion also calls for a significant overhaul of Greens structures and complaints handling, guided by a “formal and independent review” that would focus on its capacity to deal with harassment and bullying. The review would begin on 1 January 2019 with a budget of $20,000.


  18. More on Emma Husar –

    Bill Shorten calls time on MP Emma Husar’s career as she vows to launch legal challenge against ALP

    I think Labor is doing the right thing here. You cannot have a candidate go into an election campaign while in the middle of a messy defamation court action, or about to begin one, and that’s without the added problem of the audit of her expenses. It would suck the oxygen out of the campaign.

    Ms Husar said she would not run again, Labor moved on, then she decided she would run and expected her party to drop plans and support her.

    Regardless of whether or not she is innocent of all the accusations made about her she really needs to stand down and sort out her court case before she begins to think about being a candidate again. Running as an independent would also be a mistake, for the same reasons. Better to wait a few years then run.

    I will be very disappointed if Labor backs down on this and endorses Ms Husar.

    • I’m inclined to agree with you, Leone.

      Back in the day when I was pretending to be a solicitor, I would always advise my clients who were thinking litigiously to think again – carefully – and to consider the depth of their pockets and the resilience of their minds.

      I hope Ms Husar has had really good legal advice. I also hope the ALP supports her morally, if not financially. What she has endured was and remains disgraceful, and is a prime example of a relatively easy way to intimidate any member of parliament.

  19. I’ve had absolutely no chance of keeping up with political developments this week. Completely snowed under. I’ve got a rough idea of what’s been going on, and I note there’s been a lot of criticism of the ALP for going along with the encryption legislation (and other commentary on it explaining why the ALP either couldn’t have done anything about it or why it was a smart move by them in the main). I can’t argue either way at the moment, because I don’t know enough about it.

    But what I can say is that, if the Morrison government have made any gains from what’s happened, it won’t matter in the longer run. They’re so spectacularly inept that they’ll have no trouble turning it all into an own goal. I don’t say that lightly, or even optimistically. That’s their recent history. They’ve been terrible at everything since the Morrison coup, even worse than they were prior to it. They don’t know the first thing about propagating a media campaign. And they’ve got so much going in internally that coordinating a consistent message is way beyond them.

    I take it their big idea was to wedge the ALP on national security and then spend the entire summer claiming the ALP are soft on terrorism. They can’t do that now, so all their messaging is going to be horribly muddled. I think that even if they had wedged the ALP they’d screw up the media assault anyway. In which case my take is that Shorten should probably have stood firm and not waved the legislation through. But he’s a careful man and he’s still taking the small target route.

  20. Annastacia Palaszczuk has lashed out at the federal government after it announced an inquiry into land-clearing laws following the recent bushfires.

    “If you want to know what caused those conditions, I’ll give you an answer – it’s called climate change,” the Queensland premier told reporters. “It is only the LNP who could watch Queensland burn and then blame the trees.”

    The federal parliamentary inquiry will look at all states and territories and how their laws on vegetation and land management affect farmers.

    But Queensland’s laws, introduced in May to stop broadscale land clearing, will be in the spotlight amid claims they exacerbated blazes that raged across the state for two weeks.
    “If Queensland’s laws are locking up agriculture’s potential and making fires worse, we need to know about it,” the federal agriculture minister, David Littleproud, said as he announced the inquiry on Friday.

    But Palaszczuk said her government’s land-clearing laws had changed nothing in terms of what farmers could do to protect their properties from bushfires.

    She said every candidate at the next federal election must reveal their stance on global warming, so voters would know if they were supporting climate change deniers or not.

    Under Queensland laws, farmers and landholders can still establish fire breaks without a permit but some other clearing activities require permits.

    Rates of land clearing soared in the years after the LNP scrapped restrictions in 2013, making Queensland a global hot spot for deforestation.


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