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Australia politics live: Hollie Hughes defends Morrison’s ‘blessed’ comment about disability at leaders’ debate

Hollie Hughes defends Scott Morrison after people with disabilities express hurt and disbelief at PM’s comment about his children; Anthony Albanese judged winner of face-off by slim margin; Victoria records 11 Covid deaths, NSW records 16 deaths. Follow all the day’s news live

Q: But senator, I do want to take you up on that. This was the debate we were having in the dying days of the parliament, and all the national security experts and veterans in the field say it was unhelpful and that the ALP was anything other than supporting Australia’s policy, so why are you continuing this line of attack?

Simon Birmingham:

The Labor party have created the points of difference in the way they expressed themselves and the language they used. When last in office, let our investment in our defence forces whittle away to the lowest share of the economy. We brought it back to 2% of the GDP, and having that credible investment is what has enabled us to strike new defence pacts and partnerships with countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, making us a credible partner for defence and strategic investment in areas of artificial intelligence, in missile equipment and investment, and the nuclear-powered submarines.

I think we have seen a Labor party, who when China were making decisions to apply trade sanctions and tariffs against Australia, Labor seemed to want us to reach a compromise with China rather than to stand up for Australia.

Anthony Albanese spoke at the National Press Club not that long ago – he suggested we should negotiate or settle some of the points with the Labor party – sorry, with China. Well, ultimately, we have to stand up for Australian interests.

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