La­bor set to go with turn­backs as Left shows signs of re­lent­ing

Boat deal is on hori­zon

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - ELLEN WHIN­NETT

A JU­VE­NILE salt­wa­ter crocodile en­joy­ing a re­fresh­ing dip, neu­rons in the hu­man brain and the fad­ing ten­drils of a long ex­ploded star — this year’s fi­nal­ists in the pres­ti­gious Aus­tralian Mu­seum New Sci­en­tist Eureka Prize for Science Pho­tog­ra­phy pro­vide a breath­tak­ing glimpse into the nat­u­ral world.

Justin Gilligan’s shot of a young crocodile BILL Shorten ap­pears to have cob­bled to­gether a shaky deal with the fac­tions, which should see his con­tro­ver­sial plan to turn back asy­lum- seeker boats passed into La­bor pol­icy.

While a num­ber of Left fac­tion del­e­gates de­clared they would vote against the pro­posal if a for­mal bal­lot arose, some Left hard­heads were con­sid­er­ing hav­ing their dele- bask­ing in the crys­tal clear wa­ter at Kimbe Bay off Pa­pua New Guinea was among three fi­nal­ists and seven highly com­mended im­ages vy­ing for one of 16 Eureka Prizes to be awarded next month.

Mr Gilligan, of NSW, was ex­plor­ing coral reefs when the smil­ing crocodile pre­sented the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for a close en­counter. gates ab­stain Right- aligned won.

Sev­eral se­nior Left fig­ures said they were fu­ri­ous with Mr Shorten and op­po­si­tion immigration spokesman Richard Mar­les for an­nounc­ing they would seek turn­backs, but did not want to de­stroy Mr Shorten’s lead­er­ship by caus­ing him to lose a vote.

Left power­bro­ker and Mr Shorten’s 2013 lead­er­ship ri­val to en­sure the Mr Shorten An­thony Al­banese, is un­der­stood to have had a blaz­ing row with Mr Shorten on Thurs­day night, with Mr Al­banese fu­ri­ous Mr Shorten had “ver­balled’’ him by in­di­cat­ing he would vote to sup­port turn­backs. He would not com­ment yesterday.

Mr Shorten and Mr Mar­les will to­day de­tail a range of hu­man­i­tar­ian mea­sures con­tained in the immigration pol­icy, to at­tempt to ease con­cerns within the party. These in­clude $ 450 mil­lion for the United Na­tions High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees, dou­bling the hu­man­i­tar­ian in­take to 27,000 by 2025, re­in­stat­ing the Refugee Re­view Tri­bunal, pri­ori­tis­ing get­ting chil­dren out of de­ten­tion and pro­vid­ing in­de­pen­dent over­sight of off­shore pro­cess­ing cen­tre.

The Left last night tabled sev­eral pro­posed amend­ments, in­clud­ing one to specif­i­cally ban turn­backs from La­bor pol­icy, and oth­ers which left open the pos­si­bil­ity of clos­ing the off­shore pro­cess­ing cen­tre on Manus Is­land and Nauru.

The fi­nal de­ci­sion on whether to for­mally op­pose turn­backs will be made at 8am to­day.

The de­bate has so far dom­i­nated the three- day La­bor na­tional con­fer­ence, which be­gan in Mel­bourne yesterday.

Sev­eral amend­ments were made to La­bor’s draft plat­form yesterday, in­clud­ing pro­pos­als to al­low ill peo­ple bet­ter ac­cess to medic­i­nal cannabis.

The party also agreed to seek to amend the Free Trade Agree­ment be­tween China and Aus­tralia to re­strict Chi­nese ac­cess to the Aus­tralian labour mar­ket, and pre­vent in­ter­na­tional com­pa­nies su­ing the Aus­tralian Gov­ern­ment over trade de­ci­sions.

CROC PAD­DLE: Justin Gilligan’s swimming crocodile im­age is a 2015 Eureka Prize pho­tog­ra­phy fi­nal­ist.

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