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Incoming Greens senator, Lidia Thorpe, the replacement for Victorian senator and former leader Richard Di Natale, joined the party room (remotely) today. Victorian parliament will confirm Thorpe as the replacement this Friday, meaning she’ll be sworn in in budget week in October.

The Greens are currently trying to lobby the crossbench to refer two government bills to inquiries: the EPBC Act changes and the Jobs Ready Graduate package.

Both of those will require Labor, the Greens, Stirling Griff, Rex Patrick and Jacqui Lambie to stick together or risk watching them sail through with Coalition, PHON plus one more vote enough to pass them.

Their other projects are:

  • A private members bill for 14 days paid pandemic leave – possibly to be debated on Wednesday or Thursday; and
  • Amendments to the jobkeeper 2.0 legislation



The new Greens senator for Victoria, Lidia Thorpe.

The new Greens senator for Victoria, Lidia Thorpe. Photograph: Luis Ascui/AAP

All eyes on Jacqui Lambie

Morning all. As Amy flagged earlier, Labor is planning to vote against government legislation allowing the minister to prohibit items, like mobile phones, in immigration detention.

That vote is likely in the House this afternoon. The proposal will then go to the Senate. As things stand right now, the government doesn’t have the numbers to get this through, so the legislation has dropped down today’s batting order in the Senate.

Stirling Griff from Centre Alliance is opposed. “100%” he tells me.

Rex Patrick is also opposed. He tells me: “Immigration detention serves an administrative purpose, not a punitive purpose. In these circumstances the restrictions on detainee rights must be reasonable and proportionate.

“The government already has powers to deal with items of a criminal nature, or of concern, and with detainees breaking the law”.

So the Senate numbers make Jacqui Lambie the critical vote. Lambie’s office tells me she’s sceptical about the legislation, but is keeping an open mind.

Presumably the government has slowed down consideration this afternoon in an effort to get Lambie over the line.

Her office is being lobbied heavily by refugee advocates. As they say in the classics: watch this space.




Senator Jacqui Lambie.

Senator Jacqui Lambie. Photograph: Mike Bowers/The Guardian

Almost 75% of Australians support the establishment of a national integrity commission this year, new polling shows. The Australia Institute has just released polling conducted in June on the establishment of a federal integrity commission.

The results, broadly in line with previous polling, show strong support for such a body. Support was recorded among 74% of Australians. Only 7% opposed. The support was seen across all parties, and was 77% for both Coalition and Labor voters. Surprisingly, support was lower among Greens voters at 69% of voters.

The federal government has so far not moved to introduce draft legislation for its model of a federal integrity commission.

The attorney general Christian Porter said nine months ago that the draft legislation for its Commonwealth Integrity Commission would be released shortly.

It has been 20 months since the government’s consultation paper was first released.

Most recently, Porter said the Covid-19 response had delayed further action on the commission. Independent MP Helen Haines is planning to today flag an intention to introduce a bill to the lower house to establish a stronger anti-corruption body, called the Australian Federal Integrity Commission (AFIC).

Haines’ commission will be supplemented by other integrity measures.

Former Victorian judge David Harper, QC, said the Haines’ initiative improves the numerous failings of the federal government’s body, bringing with it a broad jurisdiction, stronger investigative powers, and an ability to hold fair public hearings.

“The Australian Federal Integrity Commission bill package named by Dr Haines in the House today signals to parliament the importance of bringing those principles to reality,” Harper said.

The Australia Institute’s polling used a representative sample of 1,012 people. The margin of error is 3.1%.

Read the original article at The Guardian

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