Australia politics live news updates: parliament returns; anti-vaccine mandate protests to continue; 38 Covid deaths in Victoria and NSW
Daniel Andrews welcomes border reopening, announces free RATs for kids in childcare; anti-vaccine mandate protests to return to Parliament House; Victoria records 9,785 Covid cases and 20 deaths, NSW records 9,690 cases and 18 deaths; first sitting day of 2022 will see controversial legislation debated, and a statement of acknowledgement of bullying, sexual assault and harassment in parliamentary workplaces. Follow the latest updates live
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- Guardian Essential poll: voter anger cooling at Morrison government handling of pandemic
- George Christensen claims $10,000 a month for ‘e-material’ as he ramps up anti-vaccine mandate Facebook ads
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The defence minister Peter Dutton has told the Today show he is reserving his right to take legal action against former NSW premier Bob Carr, who doubled down on his claims that Dutton was the “mystery minister” who called prime minister Scott Morrison a “psycho”. Dutton said:
It was not me. I mean, every family’s got this crazy uncle that wakes up from the rocking chair and sort of in a startled way shouts out something and I just don’t know what is going on with Bob Carr. Is he the full quid or not? He’s a bizarre guy. He hasn’t produced any evidence. He’s now saying if it’s not me, then the person needs to come forward to prove my innocence. I just find it bizarre. But anyway, I just find it bizarre. But anyway, I think he has discredited himself.
He hasn’t produced any evidence and you can’t just make a claim and then back away from it. But that’s what he’s done. I think it’s embarrassing for him and I think most journalists frankly have treated him as a bit of a joke and this sort of relevance deprivation syndrome cuts in for a lot of former politicians as we’ve discussed on the show before.