Feb 9, 2017

Six things that happened in Parliament yesterday that were more important than that speech

While the Prime Minister razzle-dazzled with a smoke-and-mirrors speech, there was a lot on the agenda that will actually have an effect on real people's lives.

Josh Taylor — Journalist

Josh Taylor


Headlines last night and this morning were dominated by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's "withering" attack on Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as a "social-climbing sycophant". The backbench and much of the press gallery lapped it up as the gloves finally coming off, but there were many more things worth paying attention to in Parliament yesterday.

Kicking the young and unemployed

Buried in the mild-sounding omnibus savings and childcare reform bill released yesterday, the government included a four-week waiting period before unemployed people under 25 are eligible to receive income support payments. This is one of those "zombie" budget measures from 2014 that last failed to pass the Senate in 2015, just days before Tony Abbott lost the leadership.

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21 thoughts on “Six things that happened in Parliament yesterday that were more important than that speech

  1. pinkocommierat

    The Youth Allowance pays less than Newstart and is also subject to a parental assets test except in special circumstances.
    The easiest, most honest way to be considered independent of your parents is to marry someone. You needn’t consummate it and you don’t have to live together, as the criterion states “you are, or have been, married or in a registered relationship.” People marry for money all the time and if you don’t want your church to form a negative view of you, you probably would have grounds for an annulment.

  2. Jimbo

    Good on you Jacqui Lambie. Ban the burqa, the symbol of women’s oppression. There is no place for it here. They should live where it is customary, although they did escape that place.

    1. Tinatoerat

      The symbol of women’s oppression is some bloke telling her what to wear.

    2. Peter Hamilton

      I’m in favour of VOLUNTARY burqua-wearing but those who would benefit us by this – and confining their media appearances to radio – are unaware how ugly their ideas are…

  3. Michael O'Donoghue

    Costa Georgiadis of ABC Gardening fame is one of those “citizens wear full face coverings without good reason in public”. We have all become very fond of him just he way he is. Let us hope there are no unintended consequences Senator Lambie.

    1. Jimbo

      Coster wearing a burqa would not have much support.
      Q”Let us hope there are no unintended consequences Senator Lambie.” I’m sure Jacqui will receive threats much worse than this.
      I feel sad for women I see on the beach wearing a burqa and they have small children with them. They are not permitted to enjoy the place like free people.

      1. Zeke

        Free people? I’m “not permitted” to go on a public beach like Bondi with no clothes. Free? You don’t know the meaning of the word. Do you think it is freedom to tell a woman what she can wear in public? Do you see the irony or not?

        1. Kerry Lovering

          There are lots of rules for what you can wear in public.
          You can’t go naked except in special places and nobody can wear a police uniform if they are not entitled to do so.

      2. Rosemary Jacob

        Perhaps if the critics of the burqa were to talk to some of the women who wear one they might find that they do not feel oppressed but actually liberated. Dressing immodestly is discouraged by Islam and I personally think it is not a bad idea! In the same vein, I would be much happier not to see simulated sex in so many films and TV shows. Those who want to watch porn are welcome but gratuitous sex as part of everyday entertainment is really unnecessary. And I am seriously NOT a wowser and reckon sex is one of the healthiest forms of exercise – after dancing, of course!.

    2. bushby jane

      Really? I hate his appearance.

      1. Jimbo

        I agree but it would be far worse in a burqa.

  4. Bill Hilliger

    Would like too see a ban on the sale of hoodies as well. Whenever there is something bad going down at a service station, a small shop, jewellers and on public transport more often than not the perpetrators are well hooded. I wonder if Jacqui Lambi has noticed this?

  5. Duncan Gilbey

    Re: Shayne Neumann’s “…Trump like powers…” quote.
    To paraphrase Godwin’s Law:
    “…if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Donald Trump.”
    I would have thought that there’s plenty of material with which to attack Dutton without making any such comparison.

  6. zut alors

    A welcome summary of developments outside the Question Time circus.

  7. Dog's Breakfast

    The proposed changes to youth unemployment allowances are particularly egregious, and another example of class warfare from those who shout ‘class warfare’ whenever they like. Disgraceful lack of empathy or awareness of reality.

    Hey Malcolm, do you know the current unemployment rate for under 25’s? Do you know how a kid gets a job when they weren’t born with a silver spoon up their clacker?

    No, neither do I, because mostly those jobs are taken by 457 visa holders.

    1. zut alors

      Meantime Lib Senator Ian Macdonald (Qld) is arguing to retain the infamous Gold Pass. They have no shame.

    2. klewso

      Any wonder Turbott’s cooked up this “Get Shorten” distraction?

    3. klewso

      “We’re” working on developing a generation more and more of whom will never be able to afford their own homes (forced/priced out by competition with asset rich investors after the same “assets” – how the hell ‘extra stock/housing’ won’t be swallowed up by investors first, I’d like Turnbull to explain);
      who’ll likely be underemployed, if they have a job, and no income security (let alone proper conditions) as automation slices and ices the work-place (a “brave new world” with all that leisure – and no money);
      who won’t be able to afford proper health/dental care;
      who are flat out feeding themselves –
      and what’s this Turnbull posse doing – beside circuses and bull-shit?

  8. AR

    Who is the bloke at the top of this pic (not the one by the Senate officer)?
    Good to see Gary, Scott’s Hair, is back on board, there is a lot of opportunity in this oncoming Parliamentary session for ambitious follicles.
    It is indicative of the dearth of talent that Talcum is still PM but the desperation is becoming so dire that Dunnittin, of all creatures, is seriously being considered.
    The rest is silence…

  9. graybul

    The employment of a face cloth designed to provide anonymity has not existed within Australian culture. Persons from many overseas cultures are welcomed here . . . .
    Being welcome mens that Australians acknowledge “difference” as part of adjustment. It does not mean pick or choose or, that the national culture must abandon important values embedded in the cultural fabric as a means of appeasing new members welcomed to our shores.

    Full face coverage (Burqa) conflicts with Australian expectations. It would be good if those of Muslim faith sought a consensus within their faith that acknowledged Australian cultural primacy on this specific concern?

  10. geoff burton

    What about a young married couple under 25 where one or both become unemployed and have the usual bills, mortgage to pay? Youth allowance was never intended for them. Clearly, for a young family there is no real safety net.
    The hypocrisy of it all just astonishes.
    Geoff Burton

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