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This week saw federal parliament wrap up for the year with a somewhat shambolic conclusion.To summarise the year in Australian politics on a very warm day around Australia I was joined once again by the Political Editor of the Unshackled Michael Smyth.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison began the week having to deal with some strange interventions from former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and his son Alex. Turnbull in his first Facebook post in months demanded a branch vote on Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly’s preselection, an outspoken critic of his then energy policy. The NSW Liberal State Executive ignored this extreme intervention and re-endorsed all federal sitting members in the state. Turnbull then went on to claim a March election was what he and Morrison agreed, not May as his most likely . Turnbull also reaffirmed his support for the National Energy Guarantee at the NSW Smart Energy Conference. His son Alex’s twitter activity came under scrutiny after he donated to a left wing activist group Sleeping Giant’s Oz and tweeted about Australian columnist Janet Albrechtsen’s sex life.

Despite both parties agreeing that religious schools shouldn’t be able to discriminate against gay students they could not agree on the exact legislation before years end.  Labor does not agree with schools being allowed to implement teaching activity and rules upholding their faith, believing it to be a backdoor to further discrimination. There is also disagreement in the Morrison Government over this issue so he proposed a conscience vote. Labor wants to wedge the Coalition on this issue to claim credit for the reform when they arrive in government.

The Morrison Government shut down the House of Representatives to stop Labor and the Greens passing legislation to mandate asylum seekers to be flown from our offshore centres for medical treatment. This legislation is focused on children on Nauru however there are only 10 children left there. Labor is risking our border security so close to election as once children arrive here they won’t be going back to Nauru.

Despite shutting down the House it still managed to pass its legislation allowing authorities access to encrypted messaging services for terrorism and organised crime investigations. The Coalition claimed Labor by being concerned about civil liberties is running a protection racket for terrorists. Police and security agencies always want more power, like with the metadata retention laws, this won’t be the last time we will asked to give up our privacy by government.

The Turnbull Family Meltdown
Gay school student protections in limbo –
‘Whatever it takes’: Scott Morrison vows to avoid losing historic parliamentary vote – Sydney Morning Herald
Government could be spying on your messages as part of new security laws – Daily Mail Australia

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