Process? What process? A brief history of federal veto powers
The Coalition — and Labor — are quick to use Commonwealth powers to override decisions they don't like, even those made by experts.The Coalition, despite masquerading for “can-do” capitalism and government that largely stays out of people’s lives, is quick to step in when there’s a decision it doesn’t like. But it’s not just the Liberals and Nationals. Labor has used its veto powers too.
After months of preparation, and a date finally set for the reopening of Western Australia's border, Melanie Davie and her young family had packed up their lives and were ready to make the move interstate.
But with the settlement of their Sydney home just days away, primary-school-aged children enrolled in school, and their car already in transit to WA, they have been left in limbo by the sudden change to the state's border plan.
"We're just in disbelief," Ms Davie said. "We've got nowhere to go."
Queensland opens up as state records 14,914 Covid cases
All domestic border restrictions will be removed in Queensland after the state suffered 14,914 new Covid cases and six deaths.Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that as of 1am on Saturday the rules around entering the state would be lifted for domestic travellers with restrictions on hot spots no longer applying.
WA Premier Mark McGowan announced on Thursday night that the February 5 reopening date would be put on hold indefinitely. He said it would be "reckless and irresponsible" to open the borders due to the threat of the Omicron wave affecting the rest of the country.
The Premier suggested a third vaccine dose target of 80 to 90 per cent would be required before WA would reconsider reopening to the rest of the world.
"Omicron is a whole new ball game, it is a new state of emergency," Mr McGowan said.
Sydney man Sean Matthews is desperate to get to Perth to see his father, Joe, who has a deadly and incurable lung disease called pulmonary fibrosis.
Mr Matthews had flights booked for February 5 to visit his father, who relocated to Perth from Ireland in 2020, and is devastated he can't see him after being separated since 2018.
Polono-Belarus border: several passers accused of trafficking of migrants arrested
"I was outraged and sad [when I heard the news this morning]," he said.
"I still can't fly within this country - it's madness. Especially after I've taken all the necessary precautions."
Mr Matthews says he's very close to his father and being separated from him during his serious illness has taken a heavy toll.
Video: WA to reinstate hard border with NT and Tasmania (9News.com.au)
A Sydney man whose 10-year-old son lives in Perth said he broke down in tears when Mr McGowan made the announcement on Thursday night.
The man, who has not been named to protect his son's identity, has shared custody that requires him to travel regularly to Western Australia, after his son moved to Perth with his mother several years ago.
However, since July, the man has not been able to see his son after the state stopped granting him exemptions to travel.
"Yesterday I made my booking to fly over and I told my son ‘guess what, I'm coming'," the man said.
Biden Keeps Trump Immigration Policies—and Stephen Miller Is Loving It
Moments after he was sworn into office, President Joe Biden made good on the first of dozens of promises he had made to immigrant communities on the campaign trail—bursting out of the gate with the repeal of some of the Trump administration’s most aggressively anti-immigration policies and the introduction of a vast legislative package that would create a path to citizenship for eight million people living in the United States. On that day,On that day, Biden looked to his pro-immigration supporters to be exceeding their highest expectations.
"Now I'm not too sure how to break it to my son today that I'm not. We are losing time with children we will never get back."
Mr McGowan said the eligibility for exemptions to enter the state would be extended to compassionate reasons, for WA residents, and for people with strong family ties to the jurisdiction.
People with exemptions will still be required to complete 14 days' quarantine.
But Ms Davie said it was not clear whether the family would be eligible for the exemption as they were not yet WA residents and had no family in the state.
"I would have at least thought that anyone who's ready to do the isolation should be allowed to go in," she said.
NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said he believed the stronger health system in NSW and the eastern states had enabled the rest of the nation to live with COVID-19.
"I know today that many people in NSW are hurting - that many people have shed tears today - because they haven't been able to be reunited with their families as a result of that decision," he said.
However, federal Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese backed WA's decision to keep its borders shut.
"Mark McGowan has always made the right call based upon health advice. And I support Mark McGowan's decision," he said.
"It is a difficult decision. I was intending to go to Western Australia on the fifth of February. And I know for many people, they were keen to go to visit loved ones. But the first priority of Mark McGowan has been to keep Western Australians safe."
Our Breaking News Alert will notify you of significant breaking news when it happens. Get it here.
Tajikistan says two dead after clashes with Kyrgyzstan .
Tajikistan said Friday that two of its citizens were killed and 10 injured during overnight clashes at its contested border with Kyrgyzstan, where a ceasefire is now in place. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan said they had reached a ceasefire early Friday following the latest lethal flare up at the pair's contested border. The violence that broke out Thursday evening was the bloodiest escalation between the countries since clashes that killed dozens last year.The Kyrgyz and Tajik frontier communities regularly clash over land and water supplies, with border guards often involved.