Independent MP Zali Steggall has suggested the Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen offset the emissions of the two jets they used to attend the same event.

On Sunday, Bowen was forced to defend using two separate Royal Australian Air Force jets to take him and Albanese to the NSW Hunter Valley to promote a renewables fund.

The two RAAF jets at the airport in Scone.

The two RAAF jets at the airport in Scone.Credit: 2GB

He claimed the airport couldn’t accommodate the PM’s larger jet and hence two smaller jets were needed to carry the politicians and their staff to the press conference.

Steggall told Channel Seven’s Sunrise that she “hopes they were offsetting the emissions of those two jets with companies.”

“I certainly hope, and I call on the minister for climate change to do that. As a lowly independent, we don’t get the luxuries of flying in the ADF jets,” she said.

Bowen said the RAAF advised the two jets were the most efficient way was to land at Scone airport.

The trip was aimed at promoting the government’s $1 billion Solar Sunshot scheme, Albanese and Bowen attended the event at the decommissioned Liddell Power Station alongside, Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic, Defence Industry Minister Pat Conroy and Hunter MP Dan Repacholi.

Speaking to ABC’s News Breakfast program, Finance Minister Katy Gallagher downplayed a report from the scrutiny of bills committee which condemned the government’s rushed deportation bill.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said she “wasn’t surprised” the committee had issues with the proposed ammendments.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said she “wasn’t surprised” the committee had issues with the proposed ammendments.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

Gallagher claimed that it wasn’t unusual for the Senate standing committee for the scrutiny of bills to flag issues, claiming that “most reports” raise some concerns:

I don’t think it’s a surprise that the Scrutiny of Bills Committee, which is a particular committee that looks at legislation and particularly about the technical drafting and where powers exist, has provided feedback on that bill.”

The bipartisan membership of the committee includes three labor senators, Raff Ciccone, Tony Sheldon and Jess Walsh.

The committee warned the proposed changes to the Migration Act prevent certainty in the law and may impact on the rights and liberties of the individuals affected.

The bill, which would give the government sweeping new powers to jail detainees fighting deportation and block foreign visitors from countries that will not take citizens back, will now go through an inquiry after it was blocked in the Senate by a union of the Coalition and the Greens.

The government is proposing to legislate voluntary digital IDs in a bid to cut down on the red tape required to establish one’s identity.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher joined ABC’s News Breakfast to promote the policy, explaining that 10.5 million Australians already have a MyGov ID in place, and that the move was simply to enshrine the option in the law.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher is overseeing the proposed reforms.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher is overseeing the proposed reforms.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“This is about enshrining it in legislation and hopefully providing people with a really convenient way of proving who they are without sharing all their information many, many times,” she said.

Gallagher said that the current system was unregulated, and that legislation would ensure privacy and allow the ID to be used “across the economy”.

“The idea is that you would provide your [identifying documents] and that would establish who you were. And then as you engage with other people that will be involved in the system, businesses, private companies, state and territory governments, you’d be able to access that, the myGov ID system, as a way of verifying who you are,” Gallagher said.

Independent senator David Pocock says the government is more willing to negotiate with the Coalition than the crossbench for legislative support.

In an interview on ABC’s RN Breakfast, Pocock said that Australia signalled at the last election that Albanese could partner with the crossbench on “ambitious action” like electoral reform and housing, but that he had instead shown a preference to deal with the Coalition.

Senator David Pocock.

Senator David Pocock.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

The crossbench is pushing the government on [progressive] issues, and instead [Albanese’s] choosing to try and deal with Peter Dutton, when I’d say that the Coalition has not shown a willingness to to work constructively with the government on difficult issues.”

Pocock also reflected on the need to avoid culture wars over potential changes to religious discrimination law, but warned there is still a significant risk of politicisation of the issue.

I get the desire to have bipartisan support and I think it’s so important that political leaders have this debate in a way that ensures that religious discrimination legislation doesn’t become a culture war [as] we’ve seen it happen in the past, and we know that some of the most vulnerable people in our community will suffer if that happens. But I haven’t seen anything to suggest that the coalition isn’t willing to use this to whip up fear.”

Australian home values have risen for a 14th consecutive month and have defied expectations of a slower rise as demand continues to outstrip supply despite the ongoing cost-of-living pressures and high interest rates.

Home values rose by 0.6 per cent across the country in March according to CoreLogic’s home value index. That helped accelerate the quarterly pace of growth, from 1.4 per cent in the December 2023 quarter to 1.6 per cent in the first three months of the year.

CoreLogic’s latest data, released on Tuesday, shows that housing values so far this year were rising faster than the pace of growth that was occurring at the end of 2023.

CoreLogic’s latest data, released on Tuesday, shows that housing values so far this year were rising faster than the pace of growth that was occurring at the end of 2023.Credit: Oscar Colman

Late last year, it looked like property values were plateauing but CoreLogic research director Tim Lawless said while values were rising faster than at the end of last year, the trend in quarterly growth was still much slower than in the middle of last year when values were rising by 3.3 per cent.

Read more on this story here.

A committee including three Labor senators has condemned the government’s rushed migration legislation, warning it prevents certainty in the law and may impact on the rights and liberties of the individuals affected.

Last week, the Albanese government suffered a humiliating defeat to pass their latest deportation laws in the Senate as the Greens and Coalition teamed up to vote against the legislation.

The bill, which would give the government sweeping new powers to jail detainees fighting deportation and block foreign visitors from countries that will not take citizens back, will now go through an inquiry.

The Senate standing committee for the scrutiny of bills has a bipartisan membership including Labor senators Raff Ciccone, Tony Sheldon and Jess Walsh, Liberal senators Dean Smith and Paul Scarr and Greens senator Nick NcKim.

In their report from Wednesday, the committee noted there had recently been a number of significant changes to the legislative framework for migration.

Here’s an extract from the report:

Such rapid changes prevent certainty in the law, which is of concern noting that the changes in this bill … may have a significant impact on the rights and liberties of the individuals affected.”

While the procedure to be followed in the passage of legislation is ultimately a matter for each house of the Parliament, the committee reiterates its consistent scrutiny view that legislation, particularly legislation that may trespass on personal rights and liberties, should be subject to a high level of parliamentary scrutiny.”

Misbehaving politicians could be docked up to 5 per cent of their salary or suspended from federal parliament if a law creating a powerful new body charged with investigating allegations of misconduct is passed.

Former sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins’ November 2021 report, Set the Standard, called for the creation of the commission.

Former sex discrimination commissioner Kate Jenkins’ November 2021 report, Set the Standard, called for the creation of the commission.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

A leaked document outlining the punishments for MPs and senators found to breach parliamentary standards also recommends that some complaints remain secret, as the body would have the power to enforce confidentiality agreements. The document was drafted by a cross-party parliamentary working group charged with designing the new system.

Read the exclusive story from Olivia Ireland here.

An Israeli airstrike on Iran’s embassy compound in Syria killed a number of people including a top military commander, Iranian and Syrian state media said, stoking tensions between the longtime adversaries.

Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari condemned Israel and vowed revenge for the strike “at the same magnitude and harshness.”

Iranian Ambassador Hossein Akbari condemned Israel and vowed revenge for the strike “at the same magnitude and harshness.”Credit: AP

Mohammadreza Zahedi, a high-ranking Iranian general linked to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was among those killed, according to the reports. The Guard Corps said the attack also killed a second general and five officers.

Read more on this story here.

Bloomberg

The owner and manager of a cargo ship that rammed into Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge before it collapsed last week filed a court petition on Monday seeking to limit the two companies’ legal liability for the deadly disaster.

The “limitation of liability” petition is a routine but important procedure for cases litigated under US maritime law. A federal court in Maryland will ultimately decide who is responsible – and how much they owe – for what could become one of the costliest catastrophes of its kind.

Singapore-based Grace Ocean Private owns the Dali, the vessel that lost power before it slammed into the bridge early last Tuesday. Synergy Marine, also based in Singapore, is the ship’s manager.

The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

The Dali container vessel after striking the Francis Scott Key Bridge.Credit: Bloomberg

Their joint filing seeks to cap the companies’ liability at roughly $US43.6 million ($67.2 million).

The companies filed under a pre-Civil War provision of an 1851 maritime law that allows them to seek to limit their liability to the value of the vessel’s remains after a casualty.

A report from credit-rating agency Morningstar DBRS predicts the bridge collapse could become the most expensive marine-insured loss in history, estimating total insured losses could be $US2 billion to $US4 billion.

AP

Three people were killed and another person was injured in an avalanche that rumbled down a mountainside on Monday afternoon at Riffelberg by the Swiss ski resort of Zermatt, police said.

A spokesperson for police in the southern region of Valais had no immediate details about the identities of the people caught up in the avalanche.

Ski resort Zermatt sits beneath the Matterhorn.

Ski resort Zermatt sits beneath the Matterhorn.Credit: iStock

It was also unclear whether more people could be missing, with police saying in a brief statement that search operations had been halted for Monday.

Access to the area, which had a lot of snow, was difficult, Valais police said. The avalanche occurred just after 2pm local time.

Reuters

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