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Australian PM's office accidentally sends confidential document to journalists

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Pacific | October 14, 2019 12:41:41 PM IST
Sydney [Australia], Oct 14 (Xinhua/ANI): The Australian Prime Minister's office sent confidential talking points to the media by mistake, instead of sending the document to its own coalition's members of parliament (MPs).

The idea behind the document was to prepare the Australian government's Liberal-National Party coalition members for Monday's resumption of Parliament.

Instead of sending confidential talking points to their own members of parliament (MPs), the internal document was sent to journalists and news outlets across the country, including Xinhua.

Addressing everything from a rise in asylum seeker numbers, taxation, conflict in Syria, the Paris Agreement and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the email offered politicians strategic answers to tough questions that may be asked by journalists and opposition party members.

The 8,200-word document said that if asked about the International Monetary Fund (IMF)'s climate change report which claims Australia may not meet it's 2030 target, the talking points urge MPs to deflect and respond by saying "we'll meet our target without introducing a carbon tax... When Labor (opposition party) were in government and introduced a carbon tax, energy prices went up and industry threatened to take jobs offshore."

In another section of the document, the email suggested party members address fears of worker exploitation Down Under, after official statistics recently confirmed an all-time high number of asylum seekers have arrived in Australia by air over the past five years, by arguing "the exploitation of any worker in Australia is something we have zero tolerance for."

"Labor claim to be concerned about worker exploitation, but when they were last in government they decimated the Fair Work Ombudsman's funding by more than 20 million Australian (13.57 million U.S. dollars) dollars, cut their staff by 23 percent and had no policy to protect vulnerable workers," the document said.

While Prime Minister Scott Morrison is yet to comment on the matter, Attorney-General Christian Porter downplayed the gaffe, telling ABC radio Monday morning that "these things happen from time to time" in the modern world of politics. (Xinhua/ANI)

 
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