Home Virus safety Australia news live updates: Victoria records 1,275 Covid cases and four deaths; 176 cases, two deaths in NSW | Australia news

Australia news live updates: Victoria records 1,275 Covid cases and four deaths; 176 cases, two deaths in NSW | Australia news

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It was a promise at the last federal election, but with only months remaining of this term of the Morrison government it is only this week bringing its religious freedom bill to parliament.

Parliament gathers for what could be the final sitting fortnight before Australians go to the polls.

Labor frontbencher Chris Bowen said his party wants to be constructive on the bill, but it has yet to see it.

“The government has now been in office three years,” Bowen told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda program.

“It was a big issue at the last election. Here we are at five minutes to midnight, three years of fiddling around and nothing.”

But government frontbencher Stuart Robert insists the government has been consulting extensively and widely on the issue and is now able to bring it forward.

However, the final result may not please everyone.

“No one gets everything they all want in public policy, I think that’s a given on all sides of debate,” Robert told Sky News.

“There always different voices in a debate, you have always got to try and find balance that can be really difficult.”

But Bowen says the religious freedom bill is not the only issue the government has dragged its heel on.

There was also the promise of the integrity commission, which Bowen said the prime minister has been fiddling around on, but again done nothing.

But Robert said the government continues to consult extensively about an integrity commission, as it is in terms of an Indigenous voice to parliament, also promised at the last election.

“We’ve always said we want the voice to be something that is a bipartisan agreement, we want something that Australians can embrace,” he said.

He said Indigenous Australian minister Ken Wyatt is doing an extraordinary job working through 51 Indigenous Australian peak bodies to try and bring something to the table that everyone agree with.

“The election is still a good six months way, so there is plenty of time for us to move forward on what we took to the Australian people three years ago,” Robert said.

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