ABC Interview: Skybridge Whistleblower and NBN safety issues

E&OE TRANSCRIPT RADIO INTERVIEW ABC AM THURSDAY, 25 MAY 2017   SUBJECTS:  Skybridge Whistleblower and NBN safety issues Continue reading

Australian Education Amendment Bill 2017

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (16:45): This is a sad day. It is a sad day for the parliament and a sad day for the country because today the government has asked the parliament to approve its plan to downgrade the aspiration for Australian students, their education and the country—like the government abandoned its plans for jobs and growth in last week's budget. It is a very sad day indeed. Continue reading

Ann Sudmalis needs to fight for Gilmore Schools

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:45): A few moments ago this parliament was entertained by a shameful attack on the member for Cunningham by the member for Gilmore. The reason for this attack? The member for Cunningham was sticking up for schools in her electorate and students throughout the country—something that the member for Gilmore should be doing herself. I know that the member for Gilmore is very fond of 'fudge analogies'. Well, I call on the member for Gilmore to stop fudging the figures when it comes to school education. We know that the cuts in education are harming students across the country and in her electorate. In fact, $19 million is being ripped out of the schools in her very own electorate because of decisions of her government. Nowra East Public School will lose $1.3 million. Bomaderry High School will lose about $650,000 and Bomaderry Public School will lose $736,000. These are not wealthy areas; they are some of the poorest areas on the South Coast. Continue reading

Mobile Blackspot Program Politicised

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (19:33): It is unparliamentary to refer to a person in this place as a liar, and out of deep respect to you, Deputy Speaker Coulton, and the rules of this place, I will not do it, but the persistent indifference to the truth that has just been displayed by the member for Durack and the mover of this motion, the member for Capricornia, really does test the patience of every Labor member of the House. They persistently show their ignorance when it comes to the engineering requirements of mobile phone telephony in this country when they peddle the lives and indifference to truth about how this program has been rolling out and about Labor's contributions to mobile black spot funding in the past. Continue reading

Workers need higher wages

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (16:32): Today I am calling on the government to schedule a debate in this House about wages. If they will not do it, I will, because wages growth in this country is at an all-time low. At 1.9 per cent in 2016 and less in the last quarter, wages growth is barely keeping pace with the cost of living. That is, wages are going backwards and this government does not have a plan to do something about it. There is no good news in this budget for the average Australian worker. In fact, you have never seen a more pessimistic outlook from this government—nearly 95,000 fewer jobs in the economy at the end of the forward estimates and wages looking anaemic. Continue reading