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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Backs Coal-Fired Power Station in North Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk Calls for Fairness Across National Market

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Backs Coal-Fired Power Station in North Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk Calls for Fairness Across National Market

The prime minister says the Liberal National Party opposition’s plan to build a coal-fired power plant would be deserving of a share in the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility’s $5 billion in funds.

“It would be a very worthy candidate for that,” Malcolm Turnbull told reporters in Brisbane.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Pauline Hanson Pleads Ignorance Over $995-a-Head Fundraiser

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Pauline Hanson Pleads Ignorance Over $995-a-Head Fundraiser

“It will give people an opportunity to actually spend some time with us and talk with us because people are very interested in One Nation and where we are headed because people are fed up with the major political parties,” One Nation leader Pauline Hanson said.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Defends ‘Religious Freedom’ Amid Gay Marriage Poll

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Defends ‘Religious Freedom’ Amid Gay Marriage Poll

“Churches are free to marry whoever they like,” Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday in Canberra according to a press conference transcript.

“As strongly as I believe in the right of same-sex couples to marry … Religious freedom is fundamental and it will be protected in any bill that emerges from this Parliament.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Believes in Religious Freedom

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Believes in Religious Freedom

Mr Turnbull promised “extensive” protections for religious freedom but made it clear this was up to parliament as a whole rather than the government.

“I just want to reassure Aus­tralians that as strongly as I believe in the right of same-sex couples to marry, as strongly as I believe in that, even more strongly, if you like, do I believe in religious freedom,” the Prime Minister said.

“Religious freedom is fundamental and it will be protected in any bill that emerges from this parliament.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: University of Sydney Entangles With Yes, No Camps Clash

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: University of Sydney Entangles With Yes, No Camps Clash

One of the participants of the No campaign event Francis, who declined to give his surname for safety reasons, said between 50 and 70 protesters formed a large crowd in front of their stall and used a megaphone to speak over them, throwing glitter and food products at their placards.

“They started throwing glitter at us, starting taking our own food, the hummus, and threw it on one of our members,” he said.

Police were forced to intervene after one man violently attempted to grab a “It’s Okay to Say No” sign from the hands of a member of the Catholic Society.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: EU Seeks Australia Trade Deals By 2019: Juncker President European Commission

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: EU Seeks Australia Trade Deals By 2019: Juncker President European Commission

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said there were “good chances” that the EU would agree the main elements of a new free trade with the Mercosur countries of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay and of an updated trade partnership with Mexico by the end of this year.

“And today, we are proposing to open trade negotiations with Australia and New Zealand,” Juncker told EU lawmakers.

“I want all of these agreements to be finalised by the end of this mandate. And I want them negotiated in the fullest transparency,” he added.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Approval Rating is Down

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Approval Rating is Down

Mr Turnbull’s approval rating is down, but because Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, has fallen much further, the Prime Minister has increased his lead over him as preferred prime minister. It’s not much at all – as we said, the glimmers are few, distant and dim. Of the states, NSW is relatively solid for the Coalition, with the two-party preferred vote split evenly between it and Labor.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia to Allow More Pacific Islands Workers, Patrol Fisheries: Malcolm Turnbull

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia to Allow More Pacific Islands Workers, Patrol Fisheries: Malcolm Turnbull

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull signed an agreement to allow 2,000 Islanders to work in rural areas over the next three years, adding to an existing seasonal worker program which supplies agricultural labor.

The micro-nations of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu will have first access to the scheme, which will allow workers to engage in non-farm work such as care of the elderly.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Chelsea Bond Queensland Depiction on Facebook of Indigenous Boy as ‘Trouble Maker’ Backfires

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Chelsea Bond Queensland Depiction on Facebook of Indigenous Boy as ‘Trouble Maker’ Backfires

University of Queensland indigenous studies lecturer Dr Chelsea Bond revealed she was the mother of one of the children pictured and hit out at the post on Twitter.

“On (indigenous Literacy Day) we learn how Education Qld imagines indigenous children,” she wrote, while posting an image of the ad. “Indigenous children weren’t named — they didn’t have to be. We already know that indigenous children are ‘troublemakers’. And just to make sure there was no confusion we made sure we used the ‘authentic aborigine’ to illustrate this.”

“Aboriginal children don’t need saving by white women. They are not your Jedda and nor are they your prop. They are our children. They are loved. They are human and they belong to us (not to you to use as you see fit).”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Court Obligates Australia to Pay Damages to Refugees

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Court Obligates Australia to Pay Damages to Refugees

Victoria State’s Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that the Australian government had to award the litigants AUD 70 million (USD 56 million) for detaining them illegally and mistreating them. The filing of the legal complaint marked the largest human rights class action settlement involving Australia.

Rory Walsh of the law firm said, “These detainees came to Australia seeking refuge, compassion and protection, which were all denied to them by successive Commonwealth governments.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Western Australia Liberals Vote in Favour of Financial WAxit

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Western Australia Liberals Vote in Favour of Financial WAxit

The non-binding so-called “WAxit” policy motion, put forward by the Brand division, called for the establishment of a committee “to examine the option of WA becoming an independent state within the Commonwealth”.

But after hot debate today, the motion was amended to becoming “financially independent” as suggested by state president Norman Moore.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia, East Timor Reach Agreement on Maritime Border

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Australia, East Timor Reach Agreement on Maritime Border

Australia Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said the agreement was a “landmark day” in the relationship between Timor-Leste and Australia.

“This agreement, which supports the national interest of both our nations, further strengthens the long-standing and deep ties between our governments and our people,” Bishop said. Australia earlier this year agreed to allow East Timor to

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: The Case for Welfare Card Takes Center Stage

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: The Case for Welfare Card Takes Center Stage

Bill Shorten said he could see pluses and minuses with the welfare card:

“The one thing I know about trials is they have to be genuine trials. We have to make sure that the community supports it. We have to make is that you are if people are suffering from addiction there is all the support to help them break the cycle of the addiction, as opposed to just the heavy-handed terms of this card. Labor is going to wait until we see all of the results. We’ve got an open mind but the community has got to want to support it. What I don’t want to see is genuine people who are down on their luck being treated with hard measures just to get a headline in the big cities.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Would WAxit Happen?

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Would WAxit Happen?

WA would also be left to compete on its own in international sport, potentially pitting it against Australia in events such as international cricket and football World Cup qualification.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Western Australia Becoming Independent State Within Commonwealth?

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Western Australia Becoming Independent State Within Commonwealth?

Liberal Party life member Rick Palmer, who is leading the push, said the issue was on the conference agenda because of a belief that WA was being badly treated by Canberra and other states.

“My view is the federation is not working the way it is supposed to,” Rick Palmer said.

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Federal Government to Launch Welfare Crackdown on Asylum Seekers

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Federal Government to Launch Welfare Crackdown on Asylum Seekers

Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said the crackdown was in line with the Government’s stance on immigration.

“We’ve got a very firm principle that anybody who arrives by boat will not be granted access and permanent residency in Australia” he told Sky.

“They came to Australia for a reason, that reason has now been accomplished and now they need to return.”
Government ‘making these people destitute’

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Tony Abbott Binge Drinking Steals Spotlight

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Tony Abbott Binge Drinking Steals Spotlight

Former prime minister Tony Abbott admitted, “I was sober in the morning. But our country is still dealing with the debt and debt hangover of the former Labor government’s spending binge. That’s what we should be focused on, not the fact that Peter Costello, Kevin Andrews and I had three or four bottles of wine over dinner. I don’t think that anyone has ever accused me of not being a knockabout Aussie.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Urges Respect as Same-Sex Marriage Campaigns Turn Nasty

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Turnbull Urges Respect as Same-Sex Marriage Campaigns Turn Nasty

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urged restraint from both sides.

“You cannot ask for respect from the ’No’ case if you’re not prepared to give respect to the ’No’ case.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Yvette D’Ath Says Rules Are Rules After Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik Denied Entry to Brisbane Bar

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Yvette D’Ath Says Rules Are Rules After Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik Denied Entry to Brisbane Bar

The boss of the city’s economic development board, Brisbane Marketing, said he understood the need for safety but the reported incident with the Danish royal was “not a good look” for the city.

“It’s certainly not the headlines that we want going around the world,” chief executive Brett Fraser told ABC Radio Brisbane.

“Indeed, we do a lot of work to position Brisbane as a destination of choice worldwide for business, for leisure. Headlines like that certainly don’t help us.”

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AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Melbourne Darebin Council Decides to Dump Australia Day Ceremonies

AUSTRALIA POLITICS: Melbourne Darebin Council Decides to Dump Australia Day Ceremonies

David Schulz said it was not council’s business to be changing Australia Day celebrations.

“Australia Day is January 26 and it should remain that day. They’re doing it without proper consultation and they’re just making decisions for us. I’m definitely worried about a domino effect, once two councils do it, others will just follow their lead.”

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