Right. We're back onto the Senate debate over the foreign relations bill. The lower house has rejected a Senate amendment which would subject ministerial decisions to judicial review. Now we'll get another vote in the Senate 1/
Looks like Jacqui Lambie has switched her vote, so the Govt has the numbers to pass the foreign relations laws in full. Labor will continue to vote in favor of the judicial review mechanism but seems likely to lose the vote (if those numbers hold) 2/
And that's done. Govt wins the vote, so the Senate does not insist on its judicial review amendment. It hits the cutting room floor. Full laws now passed. In quick time too: the bill was first proposed only in August. Quite a significant shift in policy in only a few months
To be clear- substantive bill had already passed, so today's debate was on consequential amendments only. Still, we now know the shape of the new laws. Govt insists there are sufficient avenues for review. But Labor/Greens argue insufficient checks on Ministerial power

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More from @stephendziedzic

9 Dec
OK. India's External Affairs Minister @DrSJaishankar is about to speak to @mfullilove at @LowyInstitute and I'm going to live tweet. Please mute if you don't care about India's foreign policy (you should though you numpties, it's stupendously interesting) 1/
Jaishankar was previously the head of MEA (comparable to @dfat Secretary) before becoming Minister. Fullilove asks which job is more satisfying. Jaishankar doesn't quite answer but says the ministerial role gave him a "broader" view of both domestic and international politics 2/
Now to Jaishankar's new book "The India Way." He says the core ideas he's exploring in the book are "multi-polarity and re-balancing." A "new architecture" is being built as power shifts. But countries are now far more interdependent. This creates "constrained competition" 3/
Read 17 tweets
7 Dec
Contributions to the China debate from @DaveSharma + @TimWattsMP Both have written briefs for @ChinaMattersAUS Sharma says Aust should remain "resolved and patient." Also says security agencies should recruit more Chinese Australians which means overhauling security clearances 1/
Sharma says the Islamic community in Australia has been a "great resource" when it comes to fighting attempts by Islamic State to radicalise citizens - "we need to have the same level of cooperation with Australia's Chinese communities" 2/
Sharma says Taiwan should be invited to join the CPTPP. He also wants Australia to try and coax the Biden Administration back in 3/
Read 6 tweets
4 Dec
Thread. I briefly interviewed China's Deputy head of mission Wang Xining on his way out of the @MarisePayne speech. Some interesting elements. The Deputy suggested the PM over-reacted by responding so angrily to the tweet by @zlj517 1/
When asked about the barrage of attacks on Australia in state media Wang Xining denies those outlets are "manipulated" by the state and suggests they just reflect the anger of Chinese people. Yes, the first claim is patently false (though the anger towards Aus might be real) 2/
When asked about the notorious "14 grievances" from the Chinese Embassy Wang Xining attacks the Australian media, saying the way the list was presented was a "media concoction." He says it is not a definitive list of demands, "just some examples of what we disagree with" 3/
Read 7 tweets
3 Dec
Right. So the Foreign Minister will soon give what has been pitched as a major foreign policy speech in the @dfat building. Diplomats from every country have been invited. US Ambassador Arthur Culvahouse Jr is here, as well as China’s Deputy Head of Mission
Payne says Australia has “agency and influence” in the emerging era of strategic competition. She stresses the existing order is not static but says changes should be negotiated through discussion, not the use of power 2/
Payne stresses the importance of regional powers like Indonesia, Japan, India. Gently chides media and commentariat for focussing solely on the contest between the US and China. Says Australia has a vision for the region which is “open” and “inclusive” 3/
Read 8 tweets
3 Sep
There's a hearing in Canberra on Australia-Pacific Island relations. Labor MP @JulianHillMP asks @dfat officials if they agree with this study, which estimates up to 1.2 million people in the Pacific could be pushed into extreme poverty by COVID-19 1/ abc.net.au/news/2020-04-0…
Grim. Officials from @dfat so that analysis is "pretty solid" and "realistic" although it will depend on how governments and donors respond to the crisis. 2/
Now @dfat is asked about the 300 million dollar loan Australia made to PNG. Officials confirm we have suspended repayments, with repayment of the principle delayed until 2024 3/
Read 15 tweets
2 Sep
The @dfat Secretary Frances Adamson and the @CDF_Aust are both speaking on "the nature and relationship of diplomacy and security" during the pandemic. Will live tweet. 1/
Adamson says covid-19 has catalysed a "re-think" of how the Department works 2/
Adamson runs through all the things @dfat has done during the pandemic, including sourcing ventilators and "vital supplies of personal protective equipment to keep Australians safe: 30 million gloves, 1 million pairs of goggles, and 200,000 surgical gowns" 3/
Read 9 tweets

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