Dutton fighting a one-armed battle
SORE and nursing a busted arm more injured than first thought, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton yesterday trudged back to hospital as Labor shot down proposed national security laws.
Mr Dutton, wearing a cap, a polo shirt and jeans, was heavily bandaged and looked tired as he was snapped slowly walking into St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital in inner Brisbane, where he met with his surgeon almost a week after rupturing and detaching his bicep and tendons from the bone.
It is understood he injured himself when, while fixing a fence, he stretched out to lift a timber rail.
It is believed he will meet with doctors again next week, raising questions about whether he will be present for this year's last sitting of parliament.
The timing could not be worse for Mr Dutton who, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, wants key national security laws passed next week.
It comes as Labor still threatens to refer Mr Dutton to the High Court over claims he could be in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution because he owns childcare centres.
Attorney-General Christian Porter slammed Labor yesterday for refusing to sign-off on the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) Bill, which will make it easier for law enforcement agencies to access encrypted messaging.
Parliament's Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security committee member Mark Dreyfus yesterday told Mr Porter that Labor did not believe laws would be strengthened by the Bill and accused the Government of interfering in its processes.
"For the first time in more than a decade (the committee) will not reach bipartisan agreement on a report on a national security bill," Mr Dreyfus said in a letter to Mr Porter.
"Labor's position is that an interim version of the access bill should be passed, to give the agencies the powers they said were necessary now, on an interim basis, while the committee continued its scrutiny of the access bill."
Mr Porter accused Labor of putting the "left wing of his party" ahead of laws requested by terrorism-fighting police.
"Labor has sought to render the Bill ineffective by taking serious criminals, frontline state police and encrypted messaging services out of its scope."