Australia news LIVE: Labor takes on Dutton with plan to stem fake asylum claims; Qantas IT meltdown leaves coffins, animals on tarmac

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  • Labor takes on Dutton with plan to stem false asylum seeker claims
  • Congress paralysed as Republicans tussle over new House Speaker
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Immigration minister slams Dutton over asylum claims

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles says the government’s migration system is “fundamentally broken and being exploited”.

He appeared on Seven’s Sunrise program this morning where he said it was hurting people with genuine asylum claims, but also enabled bad actors and people traffickers.

The minister slammed Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, saying he was in charge of the system during his time as home affairs minister.

Immigration Minister Andrew Giles in parliament. Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“He [Dutton] neglected the immigration functions of national government and built-in lengthy delays, which have incentivised these bad actors,” Giles said.

He pointed to the decision to give people two-and-half- years before their claim was assessed.

“We’re ending that by ensuring that claims are processed when they come in, making sure the people with genuine claims get assessed quickly, so they can enjoy the benefits of refugee protection, but critically, taking away the incentive that is allowed the grotesque exploitation of too many people in Australia,” he said.

The minister said it was shocking that Dutton wouldn’t take responsibility when he presided over a record number of onshore asylum claims.

“This happened because we took away resources and haven’t paid attention to it,” Giles said, saying it would take years to get claims assessed and dealt with.

“We’re addressing every step of the process so the claim comes in, it’s dealt with … people with good claims get protection quickly and again, if it got bad claims then the incentives to stay here with those worker rights [are] taken off the table.”

Labor takes on Dutton with plan to stem false asylum seeker claims

Back in Australia, asylum seekers will face a stronger regime to decide their claims to stay in Australia under a dramatic shift in federal policy to act on concerns that some migrants are working for up to 11 years while waiting for their cases to be decided.

The new measures aim to stem a rise in false asylum claims in a system the government says is “dysfunctional” and harming genuine refugees, with Labor blaming Opposition Leader Peter Dutton for allowing the surge when he was responsible for border protection.

Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil and Minister for Immigration Andrew Giles.Credit: AAP

Dutton accused Labor of letting 105,000 asylum seekers into the country since it took office and described Prime Minister Anthony Albanese as “weak as water” on border policy, escalating the political brawl on migration and population ahead of the next election.

But experts dismissed the opposition leader’s key claim by noting that the Coalition had overseen the increase in asylum seekers in Australia to 94,260 over nine years to May last year, while another 10,416 arrived under Labor.

Learn more about the shift in policy here.

Congress paralysed as Republicans tussle over new House Speaker

Bitterly divided Republicans have lashed out at one another while they scramble to find a replacement for former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, demanding those who ousted him be held accountable and warning that the infighting could cost their majority at next year’s election.

And as the shockwaves reverberated in Washington, President Joe Biden has urged Republicans to quickly elect a new Speaker and admitted that “the dysfunction always concerns me”.

Kevin McCarthy speaks to reporters hours after he was ousted as Speaker of the HouseCredit: AP

Biden also moved to reassure allied countries that America remains committed to Ukraine despite the Republican conflict causing jitters that military aid to Ukraine could be upended.

Those concerns intensified on Wednesday when House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, a Trump ally who is overseeing the impeachment inquiry against Biden, became the first person to throw his hat in the ring to replace McCarthy.

Here’s more on this issue from Farrah Tomazin.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company.

It’s Thursday, October 5. I’m Caroline Schelle, and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • Treasurer Jim Chalmers says unemployment can be driven lower without putting pressure on inflation.
  • The Yes campaign is preparing a final-week barrage of text, social media and phone call reminders about the October 14 referendum to ensure apathetic voters have their say.
  • New laws forcing companies to publish their gender pay gaps have been backed by research showing the quickest way to bridge the divide is by measuring it properly.
  • Asylum seekers will face a stronger regime to decide their claims to stay in Australia under a dramatic shift in federal policy.
  • Coles is withholding pay from employees who refuse to clean up vomit, clean out trolleys or collapse boxes as part of protected industrial action.
  • Qantas’ freight division has suffered a catastrophic system failure that left dead bodies, live animals and perishable food unable to be collected from airports.
  • Independent MPs have proposed a small tax concession for landlords that could slash renters’ energy bills and cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • And overseas, the Philippines condemned the ramming of a fishing vessel in the South China Sea that left three fishermen dead.
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