DIGEST

The Informer: Discord among politicians - and they're not even back in parliament yet

Independent member for Warringah Zali Steggall. Picture: Keegan Carroll
Independent member for Warringah Zali Steggall. Picture: Keegan Carroll

Well, it didn't take long. The cross-benchers and the government have fallen out.

There is uproar, anger and accusations of "gagging" amongst the newly expanded crossbench and minor parties in 47th Parliament, with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese slashing staffing allocations to just one adviser each.

In a letter sent today, Mr Albanese said that in addition to the four staff members for their electorate offices, "I propose to allocate you one additional full-time staff member at the adviser classification"

The move affects the offices of independents and minor parties in the House and the Senate. Under the Morrison government, the staffing allocation was four.

The reaction has been blistering.

"Despite all these completely hypocritical words from Albanese that he wants to work constructively with the crossbench. He is essentially gagging us from holding him to account," the independent MP for Warringah Zali Steggall said.

"Let's just say, if you had any intention of dealing collaboratively or respectfully with the crossbench, you've just thrown it out the window."

Mr Albanese has other things on this mind as well.

Australia has been invited to a global security summit aimed at uniting nations against countries challenging the international rule of law, amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine and fears of escalating aggression in Indo-Pacific.

He will attend the NATO summit in Spain next week, before flying out to France in a bid to repair the relationship with French president Emmanuel Macron.

The former NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro is also going on a trip abroad - but with a little more controversy.

His appointment to an overseas posting that would make him more money than the Premier will be probed in a parliamentary inquiry next week.

The upper house Public Accountability Committee will examine the circumstances leading to Mr Barilaro's appointment as senior trade and investment commissioner to the Americas, beginning with its first hearing on Wednesday.

Be kind, remember.

He has helped launch a community-building exercise. He and his colleagues are calling it Australia's Kindness Brunch and it aims to restore the connections within communities - on our streets and in our neighbourhoods.

It's a simple concept: reach out to others and invite them for brunch on July 17 or 18. And just like throwing a stone in a pond, Mr Mackay said, the ripples of one act of kindness could become hundreds.

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This story Discord among politicians - and they're not even back in parliament yet first appeared on The Canberra Times.