Scott Morrison returns from Indonesia; ‘big stick’ energy laws to be debated; and home affairs department appears before Senate estimates. All the day’s events, live
Anthony Albanese was also asked about press freedoms yesterday – and why Labor is now pushing for change, when some of the laws in question were in place:
Well, the urgency is that what we didn’t see under Labor Governments was consecutive raids on journalists. What we didn’t see was the sort of attacks on media freedom and what we also wouldn’t have seen, to be frank, is a Prime Minister, who when first asked about this in London, basically said, ‘nothing to see here’. It is a dismissal as a Government that wasn’t prepared to protect media freedom. The Government needs to step up to the plate here. Labor’s prepared to. The Government should as well.
Scott Morrison was asked about press freedoms yesterday, while in Indonesia:
Well we are, and we have a process currently going on the way at the moment in a joint parliamentary inquiry. We’ve already acted to issue the Minister for Home Affairs’ guidelines and direction which I think both well codify what the processes are, and in fact improve them, and I think that’s been well received, particularly by groups like the AFP which are finding those instructions very very helpful. So I do think that’s an improvement, but we’ll still await the report from the inquiry.
But let me simply say this – my government will always believe in freedom of the press. It’s an important part of our freedoms as a liberal democracy. Also believe in the rule of law and that no one is above it, including me or anyone else, any journalist or anyone else. And the rule of law has to be applied evenly and fairly in the protection of our broader freedoms. And so I don’t think anyone is, I hope, looking for a leave pass on any of those things, I wouldn’t and nor should anyone else.”