Australia to discuss travel bubble with Singapore as leaders meet ahead of G7

Original article by Paul Karp, Daniel Hurst
The Guardian Australia – Page: Online : 10-Jun-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong on 10 June. A proposed quarantine-free travel bubble between the two nations will be on the agenda, although the two leaders are expected to make a commitment to implementing such an arrangement rather than agreeing to a firm start date. The issue of China is also likely to be on the agenda, including China’s growing military presence in the South China Sea and the increasing strategic competition between the US and China. Morrison will then attend the Group of Seven leaders’ summit in the UK, where he will have guest status.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, SINGAPORE. PRIME MINISTER’S OFFICE, GROUP OF SEVEN (G-7)

PM calls for back-up over China

Original article by Phillip Coorey
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 2 : 9-Jun-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will use a Perth USAsia Centre speech on 9 June to call for an overhaul of the World Trade Organisation amid the growing trade tensions with China. Amongst other things, he will urge the reinstatement of the WTO’s binding dispute settlement system, arguing that it is the most practical way to address "economic coercion". Morrison will shortly attend the Group of Seven leaders’ summit in the UK.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION, GROUP OF SEVEN (G-7)

Australians divided over PM Scott Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 and all related issues

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 21-Apr-21

New research by Roy Morgan shows that 51% of Australians disapprove of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 and all related issues. A majority of younger Australians under 35 years of age, women, people in capital cities and Victoria, as well as supporters of the ALP and the Greens disapprove of Morrison’s handling of the pandemic. However, there is majority support for Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 related issues among Australians aged 65+, people in country areas, the States of NSW, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania, and L-NP supporters. Australians who disapprove of Morrison’s handling of COVID-19 and related issues have consistently brought up the ‘bungled’ vaccine rollout and the perception that he is always ‘passing the blame’ to the states and others for anything that goes wrong and taking credit when it is the states that have done the greater part of the job dealing with COVID-19. For the 49% of Australians who approve of the way Morrison is handling COVID-19 and all related issues the main reason is that Australia is in a better position than just about anywhere else in the world, and this is a marker of the PM’s good handling of COVID-19.

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ROY MORGAN LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

China talks only if no conditions

Original article by Greg Brown, Rosie Lewis
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 25-Jan-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is happy to meet with China’s leaders to discuss how the strained relationship between the two nations could be improved, as long as there are no conditions attached. The Chinese embassy released in 2020 a list of 14 grievances that China has with Australia; Morrison says that if they are to be the conditions then any meeting will be a long time coming. He says that the relationship between Australia and China has been changing for some years, "not over any one thing but over time". Morrison says he is confident new US president Joe Biden will support Australia in its handling of the China relationship.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

PM rejects election drive as Labor clears deck for early poll

Original article by Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 4 : 6-Jan-21

A recent newspaper article has claimed that most Coalition MPs are expecting a federal election to be held between August and November. However, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on 5 January that his view on the government going full term had not changed, with Morrison noting the election is not due until 2022. He said he had enough to do in 2021 in dealing with the pandemic and helping the economy to recover to think about an election. Having recently shelved former leader Bill Shorten’s controversial franking credit policies, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has arguably put Labor on an "early election footing"

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Julian Assange’s lawyers fear offer to return to Australia would result in extradition

Original article by Samantha Maiden
Herald Sun – Page: Online : 6-Jan-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange could return to Australia if a US appeal against a UK judge’s decision not to extradite him to the US fails. However, lawyers for Assange claim the US could simply seek to have him extradited from Australia if he chose to return to the country of his birth, and they have called on Australia to ask the US to drop its case against him entirely. Were Assange to be extradited to the US at some point, he would be facing charges that carry a maximum penalty of up to 175 years in prison.

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WIKILEAKS

PM powerless on border closures, defends slow rollout

Original article by John Kehoe
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 5 : 6-Jan-21

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he hopes lower numbers of COVID-19 cases in Sydney in recent days could see border restrictions between Victoria and New South Wales "eased as soon as possible". However, he has conceded he does not have the power to stop premiers and chief ministers closing their borders for health reasons. Morrison rejected criticisms that the federal government was taking too long to rollout a COVID-19 vaccine, saying that the Therapeutic Goods Administration needs to rigorously examine vaccine testing data, while vaccine batches in Australia will also need further testing.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

PM tells Google and Facebook: You’re bluffing

Original article by Andrew Tillett
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 8-Sep-20

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has told Facebook and Google that he does not give into coercion. The two technology companies are unhappy about federal government plans to make them pay news publishers for their content; Facebook has threatened to pull Australian and international content from its Facebook and Instagram platforms in response to the code, while Google has stated it will have to cull news content from search results. Morrison said he is happy to call their bluff on the issue.

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GOOGLE INCORPORATED, FACEBOOK INCORPORATED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

Maurice Newman demands ABC apologise over Tex Perkins obscene gesture at NY Eve performance

Original article by David Ross
The Australian – Page: Online : 2-Jan-20

Former ABC chairman Maurice Newman has accused the public broadcaster of breaching its charter during its New Year’s Eve coverage. The ABC aired footage of singer Tex Perkins making an obscene gesture towards Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Newman said the ABC should apologise for the incident, while Liberal senator Eric Abetz said both Perkins and the ABC should apologise for what occurred. A spokesperson for the ABC said it had no prior knowledge that Perkins was going to make such a gesture, while it noted its New Year’s Eve coverage had help to raise more than $2 million to help communities affected by the bushfires.

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AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION

Bushfire toll tops 1000 homes; PM rejects reckless response

Original article by Bo Seo
The Australian Financial Review – Page: Online : 24-Dec-19

Prime Minister Scott Morrison toured bushfire-affected areas of New South Wales on 23 December, as the Rural Fire Service advised that 829 homes in the state have been destroyed and another 333 have been damaged since the current bushfire season began. The RFS has warned that more homes are likely to be lost. The RFS adds that some 3.41 million hectares across the state have been burnt so far in the bushfire season. At least 86 homes have also been lost in South Australia’s Adelaide Hills. Morrison contends that stricter carbon emissions reduction targets would not have prevented the bushfires.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, NEW SOUTH WALES RURAL FIRE SERVICE, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY