Australia news LIVE: Rift over treaty deepens among No campaigners; Church seeks exemption for religious belief in misinformation bill

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  • Dutton rules out putting money towards treaties if Voice voted down
  • Five Americans freed by Iran in prisoner swap
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Dutton rules out putting money towards treaties if Voice voted down

The divide in the campaign against the Voice over signing treaties with First Nations people has deepened, with Opposition Leader Peter Dutton dismissing the prospect one day after a leading No campaigner backed the idea.

Dutton ruled out spending billions of dollars on treaties if he secured government and told voters he wanted to spend money on practical outcomes instead.

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton said treaty negotiations would only make money for lawyers rather than helping Indigenous communities.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

But supporters of the Voice highlighted the split as proof the No side was “all over the place” on whether the defeat of the Voice would clear the way for treaty negotiations, as No campaigner Warren Mundine suggested on Sunday.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has assured voters that a decision on the Voice to parliament is “not about a treaty”, despite comments from some Indigenous leaders who want the advisory group to clear the way for treaties.

Dutton said treaty negotiations would make money for lawyers in the big cities rather than helping Indigenous communities.

Here’s the full story. 

Five Americans freed by Iran in prisoner swap

A US-bound plane carrying five Americans freed by Iran left Doha on Monday as part of a prisoner swap for five Iranians held in the United States and the transfer of $US6 billion in Iranian funds, marking a rare deal between the long-time antagonists.

“Today, five innocent Americans who were imprisoned in Iran are finally coming home,” US President Joe Biden said in a statement shortly before the US detainees descended the stairs of a Qatari jet in Doha to be embraced by US diplomats.

From left, Emad Sharghi, Morad Tahbaz and Siamak Namazi, former prisoners in Iran, walk out of a Qatar Airways flight in Qatar.Credit: AP

The White House confirmed a plane carrying the five, along with two US family members who left Tehran with them earlier, was en route to the United States, where they were to be offered medical treatment by the US military as they adjust to freedom.

Separately, Iran’s state-owned Press TV said the five Iranians held by the United States and charged with committing crimes had been freed, an apparent reference to their being granted clemency, and that two of them had landed in Tehran.

The other three are not expected to return to Iran.

Read more from Reuters here. 

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company today.

It’s Tuesday, September 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:

  • The divide in the campaign against the Voice over treaties with First Nations people has deepened, with the opposition leader dismissing the prospect, a day after a No campaigner backed the idea.
  • Bonuses and pay rises could be withheld from employees and managers behaving poorly as part of an armoury of tactics bosses can use to prevent workplace sexual harassment and discrimination.
  • Catholics and Muslims have raised the alarm about the potential for Labor’s new online misinformation laws to restrain the teaching of religious doctrine on issues such as euthanasia.
  • Former prime minister Scott Morrison says the book he is writing about his religious faith will be marketed to Christians in Australia, the United States and around the world.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese with Noel Pearson in Summer Hill on Saturday.Credit: Steven Siewert

  • An Australian-made drug for a rare bone marrow cancer is set to become a global blockbuster after US regulators gave it the green light.
  • The first NSW Labor’s budget since 2010 will focus on boosting housing supply, reforms to assist renters and support for first home buyers.
  • In Victoria, the premier sought to justify a possible tax on short-stay accommodation given providers like Airbnb have taken over a greater share of the rental market.
  • And overseas, London’s Metropolitan Police said they received an allegation of sexual assault following media reports about comedian and actor Russell Brand.
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