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Blockade Australia protests disrupt Sydney; abortion rights in rural areas ‘dire’; Australia stagflation risks grow; Russia strikes Kyiv

Australia’s finance minister has hit out at critics of a decision to reduce parliamentary staffers for the crossbench, refuting the suggestion crossbenchers “do more work” than other MPs.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese informed the crossbench on Friday he had cut their staffing allocation to a quarter of what it was in the previous parliament, leaving them with only one adviser each to work through reams of legislation.

Finance Minister Katy Gallagher.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Katy Gallagher said it was common for Labor frontbenchers in opposition – including then opposition leader Albanese – to bring their electorate staff to Canberra for parliamentary work.

“It’s up to the member or senator to determine how they use their staff. But staff attached to that person have to do a range of work, and they work hard,” she said.

“I just don’t cop this line that well, you know, ‘it’s because they do more work’. Every…

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