Prime Minister Gillard's address to the ACTU Community Summit on 'Creating Secure Jobs and a Better Society'

The topic you are here to discuss, creating secure jobs, has moved to the centre of national debate this week. For Labor people, that’s a development we welcome. We want more jobs and more secure jobs for all Australians. We want more skills, more apprenticeships, more training for young Australians. We want more Australian workers to fill the skilled jobs our economy creates. This is exactly what the Australian people expect the Australian Government to stand for.  It is exactly what I will fight for. For this Labor Government, it’s a debate we are ready to have. Continue reading

Prime Minister Gillard's speech on the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill 2012

Speaker, this Parliament is the gathering place of our nation’s representatives. But we stand on land that was, from time immemorial, the gathering place of the Ngunnawal people. So I speak here today, as I always do, in a spirit of friendship and respect for the First Australians, and with honour to Elders past and present. I’m also conscious that on this special anniversary, we acknowledge the courage that enabled Kevin Rudd to offer the Apology and the generosity of spirit that enabled Indigenous Australians to accept it. We are only able to consider this Act of Recognition and constitutional change because the Apology came first. Speaker, the Constitution of our Commonwealth came into force on January 1, 1901. It was the start of a new century and a new year. Alfred Deakin wrote that “Never on this side of the world was there a New Year’s Day with such high expectations.” Those expectations were high because with the Constitution had come Australia’s birth as a nation. But not all our people shared those expectations. In the decade of deliberation that created our Constitution, there were conventions and debates across this land. But there is no record of any Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander person taking part. Indigenous people did not ordain our Constitution nor contribute to its drafting. They had no opportunity to vote for it, and yet all were affected by what it said and what it failed to say. They were affected by provisions that even by the standards of the time seem questionable and strike us now as harsh and inhumane. But they were also affected by the “great Australian silence” which fell upon our founding document. Because among the 128 sections of the Constitution, there is no acknowledgement of Australia’s First Peoples. No mention of their dispossession. Their proud and ancient cultures. Their profound connection to the land. Or the unhealed wound that even now lies open at the heart of our national story. Continue reading

Illawarra Mercury - Letter to the Editor on false NDIS claims

The Australian Lawyer’s Association were wrong to suggest (Mercury, February 11) that the Federal Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) legislation will leave some people worse off. The purpose of the NDIS is to ensure those with severe disabilities have access to vital support services, regardless of how they acquired their disability. It does not absolve any third-parties from being held financially responsible for any disabling injury they may have caused.   It remains the case that the Commonwealth or State act on behalf of individuals and seek private compensation from those at fault, while at the same time providing direct financial support. This is the most effective use of taxpayer dollars. The NDIS is about improving disability services and providing better access for all Australians. Nobody will be left out or be “forced into the legal system” to reap these benefits. It is a better and fairer system and I know it is strongly supported in the Illawarra.

Blog: These Grubs Defile Our Trust - Get Rid Of Them

It’s been an awful week in sport and politics. Yesterday Justice Minister Jason Clare hauled the boss of every major sport to Canberra to tell them and the nation that graft and corruption was rife in sport. Drugs, physicians, trainers, players, gaming, organised crime gangs -  the lot.  As we heard of match fixing in multiple sporting codes we shook our heads in disgust.  Steve Blocker Roach, who was no on-field-angel in his day, summed it up pretty well on the front page of the Illawarra Mercury “if there’s 100 players, entire teams, whatever, found guilty .... we don’t want them in our game. “ “Throw them out.” Continue reading

PAC Backflip a Disaster for Southern Suburbs

Federal Member for Throsby, Stephen Jones has today criticised the backflip of the NSW Planning Assessment Commission over the Calderwood Development. “While I don’t normally weigh into matters that are a State responsibility, this one is different,” Mr Jones said. Continue reading

'Closing The Gap' Prime Minister's Statement to the House

Speaker, On behalf of the nation, I present the fifth annual Closing the Gap Statement. I am here today because the Indigenous and non-Indigenous people of this country have decided to walk the path of Reconciliation together. Because the workers of Wave Hill said no and the voters of 1967 said yes. Continue reading

We Need To Work Together For A Stronger, Better Region (31/01/2013)

  My vision for our region we need a strong economy with a vibrant community at its centre.   Continue reading

Building A Strong Local Economy To Create Jobes & Opportunities For All (31/01/2013)

Our Values and Achievements Nationally the task of Labor in government is to build a strong yet fair economy. We are doing this: through record investment in rail, roads, ports and communications infrastructure; by creating the conditions for business to grow and; by instilling fairness in our workplaces. Continue reading

Building a Vibrant Community: A Great Place to Live Learn and Play (31/01/2013)

Our Values and Achievments Over the last four years we have focussed on traditional Labor priorities: increasing pensions, injecting more money into education, health care, training more doctors and nurses and increasing superannuation. We’ve seen this translate into some great results locally: Continue reading

Prime Minister Gillard's Address To The National Press Club "The Work Of 2013" (30/01/2013)

New years bring new reflections and new work to do. So it is as we get down to business in 2013. Today, I intend to do three things: To take stock of our nation’s position; To outline the action needed to shape our future; To detail a plan for this year. Continue reading