Welcome to the last week of session in 2021 – and possibly until the next election.
Scott Morrison attempted another reset over the weekend and used the absence from parliament to make anonymous social media trolling the country’s biggest problem.
With the government trying Accuse Labor for failing to advance Commonwealth Integrity Commission legislation and Morrison attacks NSW’s Anti-Corruption Commission, Icac, while assisting former NSW Prime Minister Gladys Berejiklianwho he wants to run for the Sydney headquarters of Warringah, he wants away from chaotic topics.
After giving the usual “disagreement is death” speech in the party room last Tuesday, the prime minister is now addressing the rebellion in the coalition’s back yard as a good thing, because apparently they are not “drones” in the Liberal Party. Regardless, six of the seven MPs who crossed the floor did so because of public health actions that Morrison himself supported until recently. Or that it was Tasmanian liberals Bridget Archer who was spoken to, while Gerard Rennick was allowed to “negotiate” and offered a conversation with constitutional lawyers about his position.
But Morrison may not get his way when it comes to re-setting the agenda for what appears to be the third time this session – a new variant of Covid has found its way into Australia as the reopening picked up pace.
Morrison did the breakfast tv rounds this morning (not the ABC as far as I’ve seen it so far) and of course the hosts wanted to talk about it.
Australia went very, very quickly from “borders open” to “of course they are not open”. Here is Morrison on the Seven network:
First, let me emphasize that our borders are not open. The only country to which our borders are open are Singapore and New Zealand, otherwise only those who have very specific exemptions and those who are Australian residents and citizens come to Australia. We are not closing our borders to Australian citizens; in the case of India this was done only once and for a very short period of time.
Of course, it’s worrying and that’s why we’re getting all the information we can.
The national cabinet will meet either this afternoon or tomorrow to review the information available.
We bring you all the information how to get it – both to Parliament and to border changes. Mike Bowers is already on the way for you, and Katharine Murphy, Sarah Martin, Daniel Hurst and Paul Karp are on deck to bring you the latest Canberra news. The rest of the Guardian team is also available to share news from across the nation.
It will most likely be four coffee in the morning. Let’s see how it turns out.