Tonight I am calling for bipartisan political leadership to recognise the Republic of Macedonia under that constitutional name. It is unfortunate that in Australia we are expected to use the anachronistic name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, in formal address. The constitutional name of the republic is the Republic of Macedonia. One hundred and thirty-five countries have recognised Macedonia under its constitutional name, including the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Canada, Russia, China, India, Indonesia and many others in our region.
The antecedents for the use of the anachronistic name go back into history. The Republic of Macedonia declared its independence from the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 17 September 1991. It is well known that Greece objected to Macedonia's application to join the United Nations under its constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia, leading to the country being admitted to the United Nations under the provisional name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1993. Since that time negotiations to resolve the naming dispute have been held under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General, but no agreement has been reached.
Tonight I want to talk about Australia's natural gas reserves and how they can be best used to generate Australian jobs and provide energy to Australian homes. In a few short weeks, parliament will be over and we will return to our electorates. The campaign for the 2013 election will begin in earnest and debate will be joined on the issues around which the next government will be formed. Elections are always a crowded place for discussing detailed policy, but one issue that is worthy of an important national debate is how we best use our bountiful reserves of natural gas to advance the national interest.
Australia is a leader in the supply of natural gas to world markets. Growth in Australian gas and LNG development is set to continue for many years. The Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics reports that our LNG exports reach 20 million tonnes, worth $12.4 billion in 2011-12. We will be the third largest exporter in the Asia-Pacific region and the fourth largest in the world. Exports are forecast to exceed 23 million tonnes this year as Western Australia's Pluto facility reaches its full capacity.
Seven major LNG projects are under construction representing more than 60 million tonnes of additional capacity and investment in access of $175 billion. When these projects reach capacity, Australia could be the world's No. 1 LNG exporter by around 2017. Yet more gas projects are in the planning, including the Equus project off Western Australia and the Arrow and Browse projects in Queensland.
Australia's rapid rise in the global LNG production is due to a number of factors: strong demand from our Asia-Pacific trading partners has seen new projects underwritten by some of the world's largest supplier agreements with customers in Japan, China, Korea and India.
Sports fans around the country have voiced their outrage at the proliferation of gambling advertising in our sports broadcast. I have been one of the MPs who have been pushing for reform. I welcome the Prime Minister's announcement to introduce new rules that restrict sports bet advertising. It is a big step in the right direction, which sends a clear message to the broadcasters, the sporting codes and corporate bookmakers. From the beginning of the game to the end, promoting live odds is canned. The TV bookies have been kicked out of the stadium. The banners and logos and other promotions will no longer flash across our screens. Some of these measures go further than my private member's bill which was focused on advertising during children's viewing times. This is welcome. It may well not be the last word on the matter. Bookmakers and broadcasters must make these changes happen immediately or parliament will step in.
Of course if we want to see sport on free-to-air TV, we have to have some advertising. But corporate bookies, broadcasters and professional codes are now on notice. Gambling and professional sport can coexist but we cannot have a model professional sport or free-to-air broadcasting that is dependent on gambling revenue for its viability. The greatest threat is not from government but from viewers. If broadcasters fill the remaining slots during the broadcast with gambling ads, they will see sports fans walking away from their TV sets. If that happens, other advertisers will wonder why they are paying good money for empty chairs seats.
The very rare Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma accounts for around five to 10 out of every 100 brain tumours in children. Penny's interest in funding came after the tragic passing of a young Australian boy named Talin Hawkins from a diffuse pontine glioma. Talin's plight drew a huge amount of interest through social media and really increased awareness of the disease and has inspired activists like Penny to fight for a better deal for kids who are affected by this rare and usually incurable cancer.
So Penny came to me with a request. She asked that I raise this matter in parliament to increase awareness and ensure the government is injecting as much funding as we can into the research of childhood brain cancers and diffuse pontine gliomas.
Because they are very difficult to treat, the outcome for pontine gliomas is very poor. After diagnosis, the survival time is on average only nine to 12 months. To try and improve the outcome, doctors have used higher amounts of radiation and even chemotherapy to kill the tumour cells—but we need to achieve better results. In an exciting breakthrough last year, oncologists from the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia grew Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma cells in the lab and found a drug that was able to kill them in a test tube. Following this, I wrote to the health minister to ask what we can do to increase funding in the area of childhood brain cancers and make sure this lifesaving research is able to continue. I am happy to report that, through the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Australian government has made significant investments in the research of childhood brain cancers. During the period of 2000 to 2011, the NHMRC has provided over $33 million for research into brain, eye and nervous system cancers of which $19.9 million specifically targets childhood brain cancer. In 2012, the NHMRC also awarded additional grants as to brain cancer to the tune of $7.1 million.
This is a commitment we are determined to see progress as a government and I have been advised by the minister that funding will continue at this level. I have relayed this good news to Penny and hope to keep working with her and other activists to progress the cause and raise awareness and funds in the Illawarra.
I am pleased to be speaking on a bill about Australian jobs. The Labor government supports the Australian Jobs Bill 2013. It is good Labor legislation. I follow the member for Hughes who opposes the bill, because that is what the coalition does—they say no. In his 15-minute dissertation on all things except the matter before the House, we never heard one skerrick on policy about what the coalition would do if they were to sit on this side of the House and deal with the challenges that are currently confronting the manufacturing industry in this country. There is a very simple reason for that: they do not have a policy except to say no.
I am pleased to speak about this bill today because it demonstrates the importance that Labor attaches to the manufacturing industry. As members of parliament—and I see the member for Cunningham in the chamber as well—the member for Cunningham and I represent the areas of Illawarra, and in my case the Southern Highlands as well, and the manufacturing industry is very important. Still over one in 10 jobs in our electorates comes from manufacturing. Manufacturing is critically important. From anywhere in the Illawarra you can see the Port Kembla steelworks, an iconic part of the Illawarra landscape. The blast furnace and smoke stacks are an ever-present part on our horizon. Manufacturing is critical as an employer but also critical in terms of generating wealth and economic opportunities within the region.
This has been a difficult budget to frame with uncertainty in the world economy, where Eurozone countries have significant debt and double digit unemployment in some countries, with unemployment in some countries well above 15 per cent, with youth unemployment close to a quarter of some youth populations and the unemployment and uncertain outlook in the United States. When we look to some of our major trading partners where we have traditionally looked for growth opportunities, certainly there is significant uncertainty there as well. So there is a difficult global environment and a difficult domestic environment in which to frame a budget, with a drop-off in projected revenues of over $16 billion over the budget period.
Within this very difficult environment to frame a budget and to ensure that we keep the Australian economy moving forward, I think the Treasurer has to be commended for the job that he has done. Australia stands alone in the developed world, with record low unemployment with a five in front of it, interest rates at a historic low and low inflation. The economy still continues to grow, but we know that the growth is both fragile and uneven. There are many areas throughout the nation that are not enjoying the benefits of the boom in the resources sector, particularly in areas that have a higher than average exposure to trade and to the impacts of the record high Australian dollar.
The way we deal with animals in our care speaks volumes about our values. That is why every parent teaches their children the importance of caring for their pets. It does not always follow that people who are kind to animals extend that affection to their fellow human beings, but it is one insight into our humanity. That is why I have expressed more than a little concern in this place and elsewhere about the treatment of livestock in the live export trade. As custodians of these creatures we have a duty of responsibility.
When we apply these values to the subject of live animal export we are found wanting. If ever we were able to turn a blind eye to this issue, the internet extends our gaze and our television can bring it into our lounge rooms on an all-too-frequent basis.
In recent times we have been shocked at footage of barbaric treatment of animals in slaughterhouses around the world. We cannot distance ourselves from this horror, as we are critical links in the supply chain that ends in this misery. It is not just the end point of the process because, when we export livestock to another country, we know that it is done for a purpose: the animal will be slaughtered for food for others. I have no quarrel with this.
Over the past 48 hours this House has been joined in a fierce debate over proposals for media reform. The member for Wentworth has been strident in his attacks on these proposed reforms, and his defence of the principles of freedom of speech has been a spectacle to behold. I share his passion for a free, robust and independent media. I also understand the value of a right of reply. On 9 August 2006 the member used parliament to set the record straight on what he claimed to be a misrepresentation by the media. He said in this place:
I was misrepresented in a number of media outlets, including AAP, the Telegraph, the Australian and the Financial Review. It was attributed to me that I had said that petrol was not an issue in my electorate or that people were not complaining about petrol in my electorate.
He then used parliament to set the record straight.
As a parliamentarian, he is able to use the Australian parliament to respond to any allegation of misrepresentation by the media. This is a great privilege. Very few Australians enjoy the same privilege. That is why having an effective system for handling complaints of misrepresentation by the media, such as the Press Council and ACMA, is critical. All Australians have the right to have their complaint of misrepresentation dealt with in a fair and reasonable way, not just parliamentarians. We do not have this at present—hence the media reforms before the parliament.
I like to watch basketball, football and soccer. When I cannot get to a game, I like to watch it at home on television. Generally speaking, when I watch a game at home I like to do it with my family. But what offends me is that I can no longer do this without the incessant promotion of gambling—from the live odds to the game outcome to exotic bets on just about anything that goes on throughout the game, like the next try. I think I am in union with most average football fans when I say: enough is enough.
I am not against gambling. Next Sunday I will be attending the local racetrack with a lot of my friends and colleagues. When I do that, I will have a bet. I will probably be the same as the majority of other adults who walk through the gates next Sunday at Kembla Grange: we will be having a punt on the races. It would be a very rare adult who walked through the gates to go to the local racetrack who did not have a bet. But it is very different when we go to the football. It is not yet the case that the majority of people who go to the football have a bet on the outcome of the game. It is not yet part and parcel of the culture of going to the football. It is part and parcel of the culture of going to the races.
Since 1 July last year, 133,500 extra jobs have been created. That is almost 20 each hour. There have been 118,546 new companies registered. That is more than 20 every hour. Company share prices have grown strongly, with the S&P/ASX 200 index up 25 per cent. The economy grew at an annual rate of 3.1 per cent, and Australia has retained one of the lowest unemployment rates in the developed world, at 5.4 per cent. I understand that this is devastating news for those opposite, who hate good economic news. But it is good news for the people in my electorate and it is good news for Australia.
I listened with great interest to the member for Aston's contribution to this debate, because the debate has at its centre the policy to reduce carbon emissions. I should say that, if you are going to have a policy to reduce carbon emissions, it is not a bad starting point to actually believe that carbon emissions are having an impact on climate change. Many on that side of the House do not seem to believe that. I actually respect and listen very carefully to the member for Aston's contributions because I learn a lot from him. I particularly learned a lot from him when I read the article that he wrote in the Australian on 27 February 2007. Members sitting alongside the member for Aston might want to listen to what he had to say before he came to this place. He had this to say: