Labor to challenge laws passed by citizenship bunglers

LABOR yesterday threatened to challenge decisions made since the last election by ousted Nationals Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash, with deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek declaring several new laws are "under a legal cloud".

Ms Plibersek also slammed as "reckless" Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's decision to keep Mr Joyce and Ms Nash in cabinet in the midst of the dual citizenship storm.

Seizing on the uncertainty in the Turnbull government, she tried to cast doubt on the entire legislative agenda of the government since its first parliamentary sitting week of 2016.

Former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce takes stock of events in a Tamworth hotel yesterday.
Former Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce takes stock of events in a Tamworth hotel yesterday.

"Every decision made by both Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash since October last year is under a legal cloud," Ms Plibersek said, indicating her party would take its time to work through each legislative item.

"Labor regrets that the Prime Minister chose to keep two of his cabinet ministers, Barnaby Joyce and Fiona Nash, in their positions, after they had chosen to refer themselves to the High Court. It was reckless judgment from the Prime Minister and a decision with serious consequences."

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Picture Kym Smith
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Picture Kym Smith

Without Mr Joyce in parliament, Labor leader Bill Shorten will look at reintroducing laws that missed out by one vote, including a Banking Royal Commission and a move to try to overturn the Fair Work Commission's decision to cut weekend penalty rates.

Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek.
Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek.

Labor will also consider challenging some of the major announcements Mr Joyce and Ms Nash made, particularly water infrastructure investment decisions and a ban on prawn imports.

Mr Joyce finds favour with supporters while beginning his by-election campaign yesterday. Pictures: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian
Mr Joyce finds favour with supporters while beginning his by-election campaign yesterday. Pictures: Lyndon Mechielsen/The Australian

 

"I think one of the extraordinary revelations of this afternoon is that Barnaby Joyce thought himself ineligible. He said he was prepared for this outcome, and yet day after day in the Parliament he's been voting on legislation, some legislation that's passed only very narrowly," Ms Plibersek said.

Parliament sits for only four days before the December 2 New England by-election.

News Corp Australia


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