We have made it to the last joint sitting day until 11 May. Legislation that doesn’t get through the Senate today will just sit there until the budget is handed down. Simon Birmingham is about to have a very, very busy day.
Meanwhile, the Senate committee which was examining the sports rorts affair is set to hand down its report into the matter today. It feels like a lifetime ago but it’s only been a year – the committee was set up in February 2020.
We’ll bring you that when it is tabled.
Looking for a bit of a distraction, the government dropped its “we’re starting the 1b vaccination program, book in with your GP now” announcement to select media outlets on Wednesday – but it came as a bit of a surprise to several GPs.
Elias Visontay reported on the messy rollout yesterday. He and Chris Knaus spoke to industry insiders who said the Wednesday announcement had caught them by surprise – they were expecting the rollout to begin on Monday:
The Morrison government has been accused of rushing the launch of its national booking system without informing key platforms. Critics say the poor planning has wreaked havoc on GP clinic phone lines and forced doctors to refuse appointments to Australians who were told they were eligible.
And Australia’s security agency will no longer use the terms Islamic or rightwing extremism, Daniel Hurst reports:
Australian spy agency Asio is overhauling the language it uses to talk about terrorism, dumping terms like rightwing extremism and Islamic extremism, arguing such labels are “no longer fit for purpose”.
Mike Burgess, the director general of security, announced the changes as he revealed the average age of “ideological extremists” investigated by Asio was 25 and they were overwhelmingly male. He said a terrorist attack by such individuals in Australia “remains plausible”.
The new umbrella categories to be used by Asio from Wednesday will be “ideologically motivated violent extremism” and “religiously motivated violent extremism”. The shift follows repeated warnings by security agencies that the extreme rightwing threat in Australia is on the rise.
Islamic leaders have long been calling for a change to how extremist attacks are labelled. With rightwing extremism on the rise in Australia, we now have umbrella terms to describe terror attacks. *thinking face emoji*
We’ll bring you all of the day’s political news as it rolls on past us. You have Mike Bowers and his cameras in the halls, and Katharine Murphy, Paul Karp and Daniel Hurst with all the details. You’ve got me, Amy Remeikis, on the blog for most of the day. The rest of the Guardian is keeping a close eye on what is happening outside of these walls.
This week has been a very long decade. Longer still for a lot of people who have watched politics struggle to deal with a very human issue. For many, that has compounded the hurt. Just know that it’s not going away and it’s not being forgotten.
And again, we really hope to have you commenting back soon. We’re playing it very safe, because comments on the website and our social media pages have been judged by the courts as publishing. With some of the legal issues we are covering lately, it’s safer for you, and for us, to have comments switched off. Pre-moderating the comments on the blog is a huge undertaking and takes so much time, it doesn’t allow for a conversation to flow. We want to see you back below the line as soon as we can though.
I’m going to grab my third coffee – and then let’s get into it.