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Awkward moment for Dom and ScoMo

Standing side-by-side in the Sydney seat of Bennelong, the pair were quick to acknowledge they didn’t always agree on everything but talked up their tough love relationship. “Neither of us are pushovers … but what we always agree on is the importance of the project or the task that we’re actually working on to achieve together,” the Prime Minister said.But a question on Mr Morrison’s previous comments that the state’s Independent Commission Against Corruption was a “kangaroo court” highlighted the chasm between the two men. “I stand by everything I said on the matter. I don’t believe the NSW ICAC is a model we should follow at the federal level,” Mr Morrison said.Asked if he agreed, the Premer walked a tight line. “I believe the Prime Minister and I are completely on the same page in relation to driving integrity in public office, whether that’s politicians or the public service,” Mr Perrottet said. But the reporter pressed back: “He calls it a kangaroo court.” “I accept we may disagree in relation to the operation of the NSW model,” the Premier continued. “But at its heart, what we both agree on is that there should be integrity agencies in place that ensure the best standards in public life.”“Ultimately, here in our state, the ICAC has played an important role in maintaining high standards in public office and in the public service.”Just last week Mr Perrottet said he believed Mr Morrison “absolutely” went too far in describing the NSW ICAC as a “kangaroo court”. “People are entitled to have their opinions, but when we do have opinions and we do raise concerns we need to do so in a way that doesn’t undermine confidence in our integrity agencies,” he told reporters at the time.It follows criticism from outgoing Commissioner Stephen Rushton who described people who used the term “kangaroo court” as “buffoons”. But Mr Morrison said he didn’t agree with the characterisation. “I don’t care if barristers and lawyers and others up there in Macquarie Street – not in the parliament but in the barristers’ chambers – disagree with me,” he responded. “They disagree with me all the time. I’ve never had much truck with them over the course of my entire political career. I’ll leave them to do what they do.”Earlier, Mr Perrottet also declined to repeat Mr Morrison’s criticism of Labor’s Help to Buy program in which a Labor government would help low and middle income earners purchase a house with shared ownership.Asked if he agreed with Mr Morrison’s claims the program is a “forced to sell” scheme, Mr Perrottet said it was important to be “open-minded” on housing affordability.“When it comes to housing affordability there is no doubt that this is a real challenge, not just here in our state but around the country,” Mr Perrottet said. “I’m open to all ideas in relation to how we can drive home ownership. We cannot have an Australia that can’t house its children.“There will always be different views in relation to housing affordability. I think it’s important that we’re open-minded. From my perspective, that is certainly the approach that we will take in our state.”

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