ADDRESS TO ALGA NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY

I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, Nunawall people, their elders past and present.  I would also like to acknowledge and welcome other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are attending this event and pay my respects to their elders, and I extend this acknowledgement and welcome to all community leaders and guests present today, young and old. I’d like to acknowledge and thank Mayor David O’Loughlin and the board of ALGA for the invitation to address you and for our ongoing dialogue. Continue reading

Warrawong Centrelink and Medicare

Well, in a Melbourne Cup field of dumb decisions, this government's decision to close the Warrawong office of Centrelink takes the cake. I'm pleased to be standing here today with the member for Cunningham, Sharon Bird, calling on the government to stop this dumb decision going ahead. Why is it a dumb decision? Because Warrawong and the surrounding suburbs have some of the highest rates of unemployment of any area within the Illawarra. Continue reading

ADJOURNMENT DEBATE

I've got to say it would be downright un-Australian if every member of this parliament did not find themselves down at the Southern Highlands of New South Wales from 1 June right through 30 June to participate in Pie Time. It's Pie Time in the Southern Highlands. You're downright un-Australian if you don't get down there and have a pie. Continue reading

EXPORT LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (LIVE STOCK ) BILL 2018

The Export Legislation Amendment (Live Stock) Bill 2018 is about export legislation, it is about the treatment of livestock and it is about the conditions upon which we as a civilised society allow farmers and businesses who are engaged in sheep husbandry to export those animals overseas.  I want to note at the outset that the way in which we treat our animals—animals that are within our care—is an insight into our own humanity. Continue reading

ROAD VEHICLE STANDARDS BILL 2018

It's a pleasure to be speaking on the Road Vehicle Standards Bill 2018 and related bills. I've got to say I thought this bill was going to be non-controversial, and then I walked in on the member for Hughes's contribution. He always finds the capacity to introduce one of his wars into whatever legislation is before the parliament. Continue reading

COMMUNICATIONS LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (REGIONAL AND SMALL PUBLISHERS INNOVATION FUND) BILL 2018

Labor does not oppose the Communications Legislation Amendment (Regional and Small Publishers Innovation Fund) Bill 2017. However, the circumstances which gave rise to it coming before the parliament do require further scrutiny. Continue reading

Decentralisation

The Liberal Party's $150,000 man has given a harsh assessment of his own government's decentralisation agenda. The pricey hat from Tamworth has called BS on the decentralisation plan that he spent the last 12 months spruiking. He said that every regional town was entitled to shift a Public Service department from Canberra into their own backyard. Continue reading

NATIONAL REDRESS SCHEME FOR INSTITUTIONAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE BILL 2018

This week the Newcastle Magistrates Court convicted the Archbishop of Adelaide of concealing evidence of child sex abuse. Philip Wilson was the Bishop of Wollongong between 1997 and 2000. To my knowledge, he is the most senior Australian cleric to be convicted of such an offence. He should not be the last. Those who have covered up abuse and put the interests of their church and the reputation of their clerics above the suffering of abused children don't deserve the protection of either the congregation or the law. Continue reading

TREASURY LAWS AMENDMENT (PERSONAL INCOME TAX PLAN) BILL 2018

I rise to speak on the Treasury Laws Amendment (Personal Income Tax Plan) Bill 2018. There are two tax plans that are before the Australian people today. There's the Turnbull government's plan to provide an $80 billion tax cut to big businesses and then there is Labor's plan to oppose this because we believe that this money could be better used to pay down debt, and to invest in apprentices, hospitals and Medicare. There is the government's plan to give $17 billion to the disgraced and ashamed big banks in this country—a $17 billion tax cut—and then there is Labor's plan which sees the obscenity in giving the same amount of money to the big banks as this government has cut from school funding in its first two budgets. Continue reading

APPROPRIATION BILL 2018-19

A budget is a statement of the government's priorities. What we have in this budget is an example of how the government thinks it is more important to deliver $80 billion worth of tax cuts to the biggest companies in Australia while leaving our schools, our hospitals and our TAFE system struggling, unable to provide the services that Australians expect of them. And off the back of the best global and economic environment that the Australian government has seen in decades, we see a government that is making no inroads into net debt. Continue reading