After more than a decade in the Parliament, George Brandis resigned as a Senator on Wednesday.
A victim of the cabinet reshuffle last December, Mr Brandis will become the next High Commissioner to the United Kingdom.
In his valedictory speech that traversed many topics, Mr Brandis called upon his colleges to return to the classical forms of liberalism and keep a watchful eye on further attacks on Australia’s institutions.
This was no doubt a subtle elbow to the ribs for the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who took responsibility for several security organisations off the Attorney General’s Department.
Mr Brandis listed his two greatest achievements in office – the passing of the Same-Sex Marriage bills and the newly created counter Terrorism legislation.
The same sex marriage legislation has hit the lower house and is expected to pass this week.
During a second reading debate, members can speak for up to 15 minutes as the House considers any bill.
As you can imagine, many members are using this time to share stories from their electorates as well as their reflections on the whole debate. The House has extended its sittings for the week.
The amendments to add religious and freedom of conscience protections are set to fail, mainly because Labor has bound its members to vote no to all of them.
We’ll keep you in the loop when the bill is passed. Attached are two graphics, showing the strongest results from the survey.
Australians have voted ‘YES’ to changing the law to allow same sex couples to marry.
With response rate of just under 80% ,the survey has more authority than the Brexit vote (72%), the Irish same sex referendum (60%) and the poll that elected Donald Trump (56%).
So where to from here? From today, it’s now a battle for the marriage bills.
The Turnbull government will allow Senator Dean Smith to put up a private members bill for debate. It is expected that it will almost certainly pass. Using a private members bill will by-pass debate in the government party room.
Senator James Patterson has put up his own bill that includes additional protections for business owners to refuse services for same sex marriage celebrations. It is expected that this bill will not pass, but elements of this bill will try to be amended into the Smith bill.
Senator Dean Smith will kick off the debate in the Senate tomorrow.
The pressure is on Bill Shorten today to reveal key details about donations made to GetUp! when he was leader of the Australian Workers Union.
Its been revealed that GetUp! relied on large donations from the AWU and the Registered Organisations Commission is investigating whether the decade old donations were made legally – with approval from the board of the AWU.
The investigation has ignited a furious debate in parliament, after the Federal Police raided the offices of the AWU yesterday.