Parliament has returned after a long five-week winter break, with fresh battlelines drawn over housing and welfare payments.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is resisting demands from the Greens for the government to do more on social housing and rents while also facing a battle in the Senate over Jobseeker.

Meanwhile, the parliament paused for a condolence motion for former Labor leader Simon Crean, who died suddenly aged 74 in June.

Stuart Robert’s replacement in Fadden, Cameron Caldwell, was sworn in as the Liberal Party’s newest MP.


The Labor leader who opposed sending Australian troops to the Iraq War has been remembered as a man of courage and “beloved son of the ALP”.

Leading the tributes while Mr Crean’s family watched on, Mr Albanese described the former minister as a “true parliamentarian” who never bought into “politics as a game”.

“Each sentence he spoke in this place was as fierce and bright as a lightning strike … perhaps one of the most striking illustrations of Simon’s character was the first of his Iraq speeches,” the Prime Minister said.

“He went to speak with our troops ahead of their deployment from Australia. Though he did not believe that Australia should be part of that war, he made clear to our troops that the respect and gratitude that he felt for them was deep and unwavering.

“It was a courageous act.”

Opposition leader Peter Dutton also joined the tributes. He said Mr Crean “did not mince his words” and did what “so many failed to do” during the Vietnam War.

“He separated the politics from the people who served their nation.”

Mr Dutton said the former Cabinet minister was “destined to lead” and said he would have been a great Prime Minister if he had been afforded the opportunity to lead.

Mr Crean served as Labor leader from 2001 to 2003.


Former prime minister Scott Morrison has returned to parliament for the first sitting day after the release of the robodebt royal commission report.

In a scathing 900-page report, Commissioner Catherine Holmes, a former chief justice of the Queensland Supreme Court, found Mr Morrison “allowed cabinet to be misled” and “failed to meet his ministerial responsibility” to ensure the program was lawful.

In a more than 1200-word statement, Mr Morrison rejected the findings completely.

“They are wrong, unsubstantiated and contradicted by clear documentary evidence presented to the commission,” he said at the time.


Peter Dutton has unleashed on Anthony Albanese for dangling a threat of a double-dissolution election, slamming him for being “tricky”.

The Prime Minister will this week reintroduce the Housing Australia Future Fund (HAFF) after a bitter stalemate with the Greens twice stalled the $10bn fund in the Senate.

Should the HAFF fail a third time within three months after it was first delayed, the government will have the option to call a double-dissolution election.

It means senator would be up for re-election with the House.

Mr Dutton slammed Mr Albanese for using the impasse for political advantage at a time when Australians were doing it tough.

Earlier on Monday, the Prime Minister said he’d rather not send the parliament to an early election.

“I just want this legislation to be passed,” he told ABC Radio Sydney.

An increase to the rate of Jobseeker is expected to be waved through parliament despite the Coalition turning up the heat and vowing to scrap the $40-a-fortnight boost.

Mr Dutton outlined the opposition’s proposal to scrap the increase in favour of doubling the income-free threshold for welfare recipients on Monday.

But despite affirming to fight the increase tooth and nail, Mr Dutton said the opposition would be pragmatic when push came to shove.

“We’ve been very clear. We’ll move that by way of amendment. The amendment won’t get up because we don’t have the numbers,” he told reporters at Parliament House.

“Ultimately, if that goes down as we suspect it will … then we’ll support the government’s increase of $40.”

Asked if he would repeal the increase should the opposition win the next election, Mr Dutton responded: “No.”

The government announced the $40-a-fortnight increase in the May budget.

It’s warned that the legislation must pass this week in order for payments to be in place by the September 20 deadline.


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By Rahul

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