The Informer: Dutton key to bring Liberals back to 'sensible centre'?

Peter Dutton, who is almost certain to be named Opposition Leader on Monday, may have a public reputation as an arch-conservative and national security hawk, but some moderate Liberals believe he may be the key to bringing the party back to the 'sensible centre'.

"[He is] inversely popular because colleagues like him almost as much as voters tend to hold him in disdain," Mark Kenny writes.

Mr Dutton may be joined by former agribusiness banker David Littleproud, who is challenging Barnaby Joyce for the Nationals leadership.

"Australians want a calmer, moderate and more respectful political debate which is focused on policies, not personalities," Mr Littleproud said on Facebook.

Former veterans affairs minister Darren Chester is also in the running.

As new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese finished his first week in the role, he has promised not to renege on Labor's previous support of tax cuts for people earning up to $200,000 a year.

This is despite a budget still under strain from COVID-19 spending and a slew of expensive election promises.

COVID-19 is still impacting the lives of Australians, with deaths on the rise. The nation reported 58 deaths and almost 34,000 new cases on Saturday.

There are currently almost 315,000 active COVID cases around the country, with more than 2700 patients recovering in hospitals.

Meanwhile, a Sydney Harbour island is returning to First Nations ownership - but will have a makeover first.

The NSW government has committed $43 million to repair Me-Mel, or Goat Island.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said it was a "personal priority" of his to repair seawalls and buildings, improve wharf access, upgrade services and remove contaminants like asbestos over four years.

During her trip she visited Xinjiang, where China is believed to be holding ethnic minority Uighurs in concentration camps.

She said she urged Beijing to review its counter-terrorism policies to ensure they comply with international human rights standards, but was not in the country to investigate their human rights policies.

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Peter Dutton with wife Kirilly Dutton. Picture: Keegan Carroll

Peter Dutton with wife Kirilly Dutton. Picture: Keegan Carroll

This story The Informer: Dutton key to bring Liberals back to 'sensible centre'? first appeared on The Canberra Times.