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Key posts

  • Andrews believes Liberals distracted by Voice debate
  • Karen Andrews wants opposition to focus on cost-of-living
  • Dutton’s voter approval hits record low as he pushes No vote on Voice
  • Fox News reaches settlement with Dominion
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Andrews believes Liberals distracted by Voice debate

The Coalition’s outgoing home affairs spokeswoman Karen Andrews says the Aston byelection result was a low for the party, and she is concerned the Voice debate is distracting the party.

The Liberal MP announced yesterday she would quit the opposition frontbench and would not recontest the next election.

She told ABC Radio this morning she was surprised by the byelection result in the Victorian seat of Aston, which Labor won at the start of the month.

MP Karen Andrews believes the No vote on the Voice is distracting the Liberal Party. Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

“I was surprised, we lost that seat and that’s clearly not a good outcome,” Andrews said on RN Breakfast.

“I believe that was actually the low point for us,” she said.

The party needed to learn from the loss and focus on what challenges people were facing including repaying the mortgage, renting, property costs and supply chain issues for businesses.

“There’s lots of things out there, and I’m not playing the blame game at all in this, but there’s lots of things out there that every individual member of parliament should be focusing on to make sure that we’re getting the right solutions for the future,” Andrews said.

The MP was asked whether she thought the Liberal Party was distracted by the vote No campaign ahead of the Voice referendum.

“I believe so. It is clearly an important issue and I think everyone that I have spoken to has understood the significance of the issue,” she said.

The MP said the debate about the wording was important, and whether the Voice would make a difference to communities.

Andrews was also asked whether it was a risky strategy for Liberal leader Peter Dutton to focus on the No vote for the referendum.

“Well, clearly it can’t be our only strategy,” she said.

“The changes to the Constitution are important things to for us to focus on but let’s not lose sight of all the other issues that are important to Australian people, including those that are in our remote communities,” she said.

Karen Andrews wants opposition to focus on cost-of-living

The federal opposition must stop focusing on the Voice to parliament and switch to cost-of-living issues, according to the Coalition’s outgoing home affairs spokeswoman, Karen Andrews.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton made a series of changes to his frontbench on Tuesday, promoting four conservative-minded senators in a reshuffle prompted by the resignation of former shadow minister Julian Leeser and broadened by Andrews’ decision to stand aside before leaving parliament.

McPherson MP Karen Andrews, quit the Coalition frontbench on Tuesday, said the Liberal Party needs to shift its focus from the Voice debate to cost-of-living issues.Credit: AAP

Neither Leeser nor Andrews have given any indication they could quit early and trigger a byelection, but there are expectations in the Liberal Party that more MPs could quit for reasons unrelated to the Voice, including former prime minister Scott Morrison, triggering more byelections after the Coalition’s devastating loss in the Victorian seat of Aston.

More on this issue is here. 

Dutton’s voter approval hits record low as he pushes No vote on Voice

Labor has surged ahead of the Coalition in core political support by lifting its primary vote from 39 to 42 per cent over the past month, widening the gap between the two major parties after weeks of dispute on the cost of living and the Indigenous Voice.

The Coalition has suffered a fall in its primary vote from 30 to 28 per cent in an exclusive survey that shows it has lost ground on key verdicts from voters on leadership, competence and vision for the country.

Voters have also turned on Opposition Leader Peter Dutton: a savage swing has driven his personal approval rating to minus 28 per cent, down from minus 11 per cent a month ago and his worst result since he gained the job after the last election.

Read the full story on voter approval here. 

Fox News reaches settlement with Dominion

Fox Corp and Fox News have resolved a defamation lawsuit by Dominion Voting Systems, the judge in the case said.

The move averted a high-profile trial putting one of the world’s top media companies in the crosshairs over its coverage of false vote-rigging claims in the 2020 U.S. election.

The resolution, whose terms were not immediately disclosed, was announced at the 11th hour, with a 12-person jury selected on Tuesday morning (US time) and the case poised to kick off with opening statements that afternoon.

Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News for airing bogus claims of fraud has resolved. Credit: AP

Dominion sought $1.6 billion in damages in the lawsuit filed in 2021, with Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis presiding over the case in Wilmington.

Davis ordered a one-day trial postponement on Monday before another delay, apparently as the two sides hammered out a deal.

The deal spares Fox the peril of having some of its best-known figures called to the witness stand and subjected to potentially withering questioning, from executives including Rupert Murdoch, the 92-year-old media mogul who serves as Fox Corp chairman, and Fox CEO Suzanne Scott as well as on-air hosts including Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity and Jeanine Pirro.

The decision to settle also followed a ruling by the judge that Fox could not invoke free speech protections under the U.S. Constitution in its defence.

At issue in the lawsuit was whether Fox was liable for airing the false claims that Denver-based Dominion’s ballot-counting machines were used to manipulate the 2020 US election in favour of Democrat Joe Biden over Republican then-President Donald Trump.

Dominion argued that these on-air claims caused the company “enormous and irreparable economic harm.”

Fox News is the most-watched U.S. cable news network, according to Nielsen.


This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company.

It’s Wednesday, April 19. 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:

  • Chinese Australians feel positive about life here, but a survey found their views on AUKUS, Taiwan and Xi Jinping differ from the broader population.
  • As the treasurer readies for the budget next month, a government commissioned report calls for an extra $34 billion in extra welfare help.
  • Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Peter Dutton’s voter approval rating hits a record low according to new polling.
  • Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has been promoted to the shadow cabinet, and readers can read more about her rapid rise and views about the Voice here.
  • The Coalition’s outgoing home affairs spokeswoman Karen Andrews says the opposition should focus on cost-of-living issues.
  • NDIS Minister Bill Shorten announced a trial for children showing signs of autism as he outlined how the government would “reboot” the scheme.
  • In breaking overseas news, Fox News and Dominion resolved the defamation lawsuit about claims of voter fraud.
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