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tv   Australian Parliament Question Time Review  CSPAN  July 20, 2017 3:23am-3:58am EDT

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eastern on c-span2 book tv. c-span where history unfolds daily. created as aan was public service by america's cable television companies and is brought to you today by your cable or satellite provider. parliamenta's completed a two-week session that included debates about terrorism, medical party finances and australia's relationship with the u.s. here is a summary of the session from sky news australia. it is a half-hour. ♪ >> hello, i'm david spews. we are sadly heavily focused here on terrorism.
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both the threat posed on our own borders but also what's happening around politicians are debating on what citizensken to protect at home and abroad. >> senator wong. >> thank you, mr. president. since senator last had to ask ministers question, there have been further horrific terror attacks around the world. these include attacks in manchester, london, kabul. the government is working to assist australians impacted by these attacks. >> thank you very much indeed,
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senator wong, for a very timely and important question. and of course i'm sure i speak on behalf of all members of this chamber in expressing our horror and outrage at the terrorist attacks that have occurred since the senate last met and in particular our grief at the news that australians have been among the victims both here in melbourne last week and overseas. it is a reminder to us that this is not a problem that exists on the other side of the world. it's not a problem that is not our problem. it is a problem that reaches out both in a familiar and hospitable city like london or in our own suburban streets to threaten and take the lives of australians.
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now, senator wong, i want to thank you and the australian labor party for the spirit of cooperation that you have shown over the past several years in supporting the government in passing the eight tranches of legislation of which we have built, which have been designed to make australians safe. and the point i would make to the senate is this, in none of those cases have we been reactive. in none of those cases have we been in the position after terror attack saying we have to rewrite our legislation. we have anticipated the need so as to avoid it, and as a result we have saved australian lives. with the work of this chamber, the work of the parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security, we have achieved that together. >> senator, brandon. senator wong.
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>> thank you, mr. president and thank the leader for his remarks and also could he advance on how the government are working with our partners specifically with these attacks? >> thank you, senator wong. we of course have a very close partnership at every level with nations and other nations as well to confront and defeat this common enemy. our most intimate partnership is with the like minded english-speaking democracies who meet in the five eyes community. there have been very close cooperation among the five eyes and countries, in particular in relation to the u.k. at an agency level. i will tell you, though i can't go into the details that they've
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been directly engaged in inisting in my five -- assisting mi-5 and the u.k. police in the investigation of the events that occurred at manchester and at london bridge. >> thank you, mr. president. turning now to our region, can the minister outline the steps being taken to ensure regional stability and regional security >> attorney general. >> thank you, senator wong. we've worked very closely with regional neighbors. in december 2015, australia and indonesia held the first australia and indonesia regional council on law in jakarta. and that regional council has met on three occasions thus far. most recently in jakarta earlier in the year and will meet again at a venue to be announced in australia in the second half of this year.
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now, agencies work with indonesian agencies in a close and collaborative way. but our cooperation doesn't merely extend to indonesia. this is a regional problem, and we work with regional neighbors. i recently spoke with the deputy prime minister of malaysia and discussed the matter with him as i did with the singaporean -- who visited australia recently. >> another issue dominating debate during the session has been political donations, particularly those from foreign sources. there's been great concern here >> there's been great concern here about some politicians drawing too close to chinese donors. >> thank you, mr. president.
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>> my question is to the leader of the government, senator brandis. our third recent reports that on the day china signed off on the agreement -- senator, was this conflict of interest raised to cabinet before or after the cabinet's deliberations over the china free-trade agreement? and if not, doesn't this just reinforce the case for a national anti-corruption watchdog? >> the attorney general rechting -- representing the prime minister, senator brandis. >> pity, he doesn't need any coaching from your. -- coaching from you. sorry, that was off the record. [laughter] senator, you should know better to ask about cabinet deliberations.
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the deliberations of cabinet are never the appropriate subject of a question because they may not be the subject of an answer. you know that, senator. now, i have -- i'm aware of these reports. i'm not aware of whether they are accurate reports or not. i'm merely aware of the allegation. but i can tell you, senator, knowing mr. rob as i do and having worked with him as a colleague and knowing him as a friend for many years, i regard mr. andrew rob as a person of greatest integrity, who has now left politics and is pursuing a career in the private sector as he is perfectly entitled to do. and i dare say, if mr. rob hasn't given the prime years of his career of public service in the parliament, he would be a very wealthy man, but he's not because he gave a period of , public service for over a decade.
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now, senator denutally, the government's position is very clear. following the match report of the joint standing committee of electoral matters into the topic, the prime minister announced that the government would move to ban foreign political donations. and that a matter that senator ron, the special minister of state and i have under review at the very moment. and the commission means more broadly to look at the law concerning foreign interference to see where that can be reformed. >> thank you. the time to answer the question has expired. atully? dan >> thank you, mr. president. what actions did minister rob
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undertake to facilitate the foreign investment review board approval that allows control over the port of darwin to the language group? attorney general. >> let me correct a fact that you assert wrongly, senator. mr. rob left parliament in the 9th of may, 2016. as a retiring member of parliament, he ceased to be a member of parliament in the 2016 election. so let there be no confusion , deliberate or accidental, about the time at which mr. rob ceased to be a member of parliament. now, the foreign investment review board makes decisions independently. its minister is the treasurer not the minister for trade and , development.
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so, i'm quite certain, senator, although i have no personal knowledge but i'd be quite concern because of the way in which these decisions are made, that mr. rob would have had no involvement. >> thank you. sen. di natale: thank you, mr. president. has the attorney general directed his own party to stop taking money from mr. wang jang mo, and if not, how can the parliament trust the government decision-making was made in the china free-trade agreement in the port of darwin was made in the public interest and not corrupted by illegal donations? >> attorney general. >> senator di natale, as a member of the political executive, i do accept some obligation in relation to over sight, and i can assure you,
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senator, that all of the liberal party -- and i'm sure the same applies to our coalition party -- all of our obligations in relation to accountability and disclosure are acquitted and fulfilled entirely. now that having been said -- >> point of order. senator di natale. --. di natale: >> i want to remind the attorney general of the question. >> that wouldn't be my role in any event. but what is my role as the attorney general is to prosecute the policies of the government , and those policies include reinforcement of the legislation to ban foreign political donations.
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we will be doing that, and we expect your support. >> while some remain weary in australia about drawing too close to china, there remains solid about the relationship with the united states. this is our most important military alliance and the government has once again emphasized that here in parliament. >> senator. >> thank you, mr. president. my question is to the minister of defense, senator pain. ne.senator pai the minister update the senate with the relationship to the united states. >> outlet to take this opportunity to briefly acknowledge the deep and long-standing interest of our colleague, senator beck has , today announced his retierm -- retirement from this place. and contributions.
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during the recent talks in sydney last week, we have of course affirmed our alliance with the united states is at the core of our defense and security arrangements. australia, is of course responsible for our own security, our own prosperity. there is no higher task for government. but we are stronger when we work with our partners and our allies to address these challenges. the strength of our alliance with the united states is based on shared values, including our strong commitment to the security, stability, and prosperity of the indo pacific region. our regional strategic environment is more uncertain than it has been in 75 years. these commitments and shared values were underscored during the meeting was withheld in sydney last week, but first under the u.s. administration. it is our premier forum for discussing strategic issues as our recent meeting was very timely given the strategic environment in which we find ourselves in this region and
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more broadly. the meeting with foreign minister julie bishop, jim mattis, and secretary of state rex tillerson again underscored the strengths of our relationship as we continue our close collaboration across a range of key foreign defense issues. the secretary for defense and i also focused on addressing the rising threat of violent extremism in our region. it's an issue i've raised repeatedly shared by the secretary of defense since i was appointed in this role. >> thank you. your time to answer the question has expired. senator? >> thank you, mr. president. will the minister update the we are working together to ensure regional security and stability? >> minister. sen. payne: thank you very much, mr. president. indeed, we are focused on measures to address violent extremists as i diverted to in my answer.
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but we are making a significant contribution to regional security. during this consultation, the secretary and i affirmed our joint commitment to fully implement the initiative in northern australia. it is a very valuable opportunity, mr. , to not only improve the capability of our own forces but also to improve our ability to respond to regional crises and deepen our defense engagement with regional ministries. we'll conduct approximately ten major exercise in that context engage a range of our regional neighbors. in 2017, we've also seen the commencement of the enhanced air cooperation initiative which will further increase our air cooperation out-of-the united states. >> thank you. your time to answer the question has expired. supplementary question. you, mr. president.
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mr., could you increase the australia's forces and those of the united states? >> minister. sen. payne: as allies we already , have a high level of operability that allows us to work seamlessly together in the middle east. and we're committed to further strengthening our interoperability and our close collaboration on defense technology. over the coming years, australia will continue to invest alongside the united states on platforms and equipment which will provide us with unparalleled cooperability in the years ahead. for example, to our shipbuilding submarine program, we work together seamlessly. later this month, we will commence the landmark australia -u.s. exercise in central queensland. over 30,000 troops, 35 ships and 150 aircraft all working together to increase that operability as required.
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the exercise platform is a very effective way of doing that. >> in this region, australia also has a very close relationship with japan. 14 points point in this relationship for many years has sore point ine this relationship for many years has been japanese whaling. >> my question is to the minister representing foreign affairs, senator brandis. last friday, the parliament of japan unanimously passed a bill regarding the implementation of commercial whaling. is the government aware of this bill, and if so, please adhave i -- please advise the senate if the government sees this as an escalation and what action are you taking in this regard? >> order on my left.
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the attorney general representing the minister for foreign affairs, senator brandis. sen. brandis: thank you very much indeed, mr. president. thank you for that question. on june 16, japan passed a new domestic law affirming the japanese government's responsibility to support special permit or scientific research, in short, public funding for whaling research. that legislation makes it likely that scientific whaling, for the purpose of obtaining knowledge to implement commercial whaling. the new law also included measures to include security provided by the japanese fisheries during the whaling season in response to the anti-whaling activities of activists. in particular, sea shepherd. i'm aware also, senator, of your observations that the japanese
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whaling is an assault on australia's interest on marine life and our territorial interest on our pursuit of a rules-based global order. now, the government is concerned about the recent passage of that legislation in support of so-called scientific whaling. the australian government does not consider that japan's whaling program is for the purposes of scientific research. nor are we convinced the program is consistent with the 2014 principles of the international 's 2014f justice decision or the international convention for regulation of whale. the australian government will continue its efforts to promote whale conservation and uphold the global moratorium on commercial whaling. >> thank you. senator wilson supplementary , questions. >> thank you, president.
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as noted by senator brandis, this whaling bill includes provisions giving the right for japanese government agencies to dispatch government vessels to prevent interference in whaling for organizations like the shepherd. -- like sea shepherd. >> attorney general. >> well, senator, i think i don't have a brief on that particular issue. i've told you that the government is disappointed with the law that was passed by the -- last week. in relation to the specific issue of the protection of the japanese whaling fleet as provided for as you say by the bill, i'll audit some specific -- i will get some specific
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instructions from the minister for foreign affairs and get back to you. >> thank you, minister. >> thank you, master. yesterday in senator paine's statement on maritime security and our trilatical defense with the u.s. and japan, she says both these governments share our commitment to a role-based order and strengthening our regional prosperity. does the minister consider that thumbing your nose at the international court of justice ruling that japanese whaling is , illegal, the commitment to a rules-based order -- >> thank you, senator wilson. the time for asking the question has expired. attorney general. >> well, senator, i can emphatically confirm what the senator told the panel yesterday. the relationship between australia and japan is a very important relationship for us and for them. we are strategic partners. we have common interests. we are lifelined as democracies. we are important pals in the
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east asian region. and both governments are committed to a rules-based global order. that is not to say, however, as senator wilson, that from time to time, friendly and like-minded governments, who share a commitment to roles based global order -- rule s-based global order will not , have differences. we do have a difference with the japanese government about whaling. we pont out to the japanese government firmly but civilly the position of the australian government. we contest the japanese government's position in international tribunals, including -- >> thank you. the time to answer the question has expired. >> for some years, in australia as we battle to get the budget under control one area that's been a target of , government cutbacks has been
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foreign aid. but the government insists it still is spending money where it counts, particularly in the region. >> can the minister please advise the senate to have the -- to how the 2017 budget supports the australia over seas assistance program. >> thank you. can i thank senator reynolds for her question? we have not only stabilized the assistance in this 2017 budget, but we have actually increased it. we recognize we have to live within our means. and that's actually in contrast with the opposite, mr. president. you cranked up your overseas development assistance. your spend first and then ask questions later approach. and in this budget our overseas development assistance will increase by $84 million to $3.9 billion.
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there will be a further increase in next year's budget to $4 billion. and then to deliver our budget surplus in 2020-2021, overseas assistance will stay at $4 billion for two years. now, we deliver targeted and focused overseas development assistance. we focus on affordable incomes with good international relations. for example, we would spend almost $4 million next year on protected crises and emergencies, a $60 million increase. and we know by addressing the isses and emergencies critical because these are the causes of extremism, of insecurity, and of economic instability. and we're also focused on providing stability in the middle east. our $100 million over three years for humanitarian support for stabilization efforts in
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, iraq this follows on our , commitment last year of $220 million to syria and neighboring countries for humanitarian needs and that's in addition to contributions we are making in somalia, in sudan, and in myanmar. 90% of our budget will continue to be based in our region to add to regional stability, prosperity, and security. >> thank you, master. senator reynolds. senator reynolds: thank you, mr. president. can the minister also explain the importance of australia providing overseas assistance to countries in our region? >> minister. >> thank you. our budget stands for fairness, opportunity, and security. responsibly supports a strong and prosperous and secure region especially in our , indospecific area. we know providing good aid , particularly in our region is , good for australia's national security interests.
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and oda contributes to poverty reduction and stability. and australia will benefit if citizens in our region are healthy, they are well-educated, and are making an economic contribution in our own countries. and if our neighboring countries are stable, they are well-governed and open to trading tunlts. and overseas development assistance complements the other steps the government is taking to ensure we live in a safe and prosperous region. >> thank you, minister. senator reynolds final , supplementary question. senator reynolds is the minister : aware of any further development assistance? >> minister. >> in the 2016, election you promised to increase the aid budget by $800 million over four years. your deputy leader has
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previously promised to increase foreign aid by almost $20 million. where were you going to get the money for that? you boasted of almost double. that was at the time you were pursuing the -- >> order, order. [crosstalk] >> your promises cannot be trusted. as soon as the u.n. security council vote was over, you cut your aid budget by $5.7 billion. >> order, order minister. >> point of order. senator brandis. sen. brandis: mr. president, i'm left to take a point of order but throughout this question time as yesterday, as usual, senator wong has been yelling throughout every government answer. yelling throughout every government answer. she observes the chamber, deserves you, mr. president, and those colleagues who are answering questions the common courtesy which she has
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conspicuously failed to show. >> i would remind all senators it is disorderly to interject. senator. >> thank you, mr. president. and under the -- government, $750 million was diverted. this was to pay for your border production. this made you the third-largest recipient of your own aid budget. >> thank you, senator. the time for answering your question has expired. >> and finally, on a happier note, the government was welcoming a royal visitor in australia to help promote the games. >> the members of banks. >> thank you, mr. speaker. my question is to the minister for defense personnel. will the minister update the house on the progress being made for australia to host the invictus games in 2018? how has the government provided support for our defense members to participate in this international event? >> the minister for defense personnel.
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>> thanks, mr. speaker. and can i thank the member for his question. and i know he is a strong advocate of serving defense personnel and our veterans. mr. speaker, today, i had the great honor of announcing our team for the invictus games this year. they will travel to toronto. i did that with the co-captains. peter.d it is incredibly moving that today is the seventh anniversary of the tragic black hawk accident where we lost three commandos in that accident. and during the press conference we paused -- and i know i speak , for all members of the house -- in remembering those brave commandos who lost their lives
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seven years ago. >> here, here. >> but it is also truly inspirational, mr. speaker, because three of the commandos who were involved in that accident seven years ago were announced as members of our invictus games team who will go to toronto in october, including peter, who is one of the co-captains. and mr. speaker, we deal with issues in this house, and we deal with trials and tribulations of life as they confront us. about emma and peter and see the inspiration , they are going about to make sure that team will go to toronto and represent us as a nation is something i know when i speak for all members of this
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place, is nothing short of what is great about this nation. >> here, here. >> mr. speaker, we also spoke about australia hosting the invictus games next year in sydney. for those of us who were lucky enough to be there, i know there were members from both sides of the house that were there when prince harry came over, to begin the countdown for the games being hosted in sydney. the prime minister was there and spoke eloquently following prince harry and thanked him for his initiative in starting the invictus games, and what it has led to in recognizing those defense members, current and those veterans, who will participate, not only in toronto but in sydney. , and can i say, mr. speaker, the competition for these spots is ferocious and is fierce. and i was lucky enough to have a
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go at the wheelchair rugby two weeks ago. and i can tell you, they do not mess around once they get on the sporting environment. [laughter] >> every single one of those members who will represent us this year will do our country proud. and i know i speak for all members when i say we wish them the very, very best. >> that is often can the -- that is all. i'm david spews. look forward to seeing you next session ofhe next the australian parliament. ♪ across the park now and in this community, it is hard to believe this was once a thriving and booming business district. .here were stores a lot of people did a lot of business here. they did not have to leave the community. before you knew it, a glass was broken. looting occurred, fire started,
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and it was not just black folks. >> join us for an american history tv special on the 50th anniversary of the 1967 detroit riots. live, sunday, starting at noon eastern on c-span3. congressman mike johnson represents louisiana's fourth just are in the northwest part of the state. as part of our freshmen profile interview series, we talked to him about his political career and what he hopes to a publishing washington. this is 10 minutes. we are talking with representative mike johnson of louisiana, the fourth district. things for joining us. >> thanks for having me. >> my background is in constitutional law,

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