Unemployment in the Illawarra

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:42): Today I call on the Prime Minister and the coalition government to take the situation of unemployment in my electorate of Throsby seriously. We have 9.4 per cent unemployment, nearly double that for young people. We have a crisis and it warrants the nation's attention. Before the election, the Prime Minister would jump from workplace to workplace with hard hat and fluorescent clothing, saying he had the ear of workers, he understood the needs of manufacturing and he had a plan for the future. We were promised a million new jobs. In the Illawarra, we are still waiting. Continue reading

Even Liberal premiers agree Tony Abbott's cuts to hospitals are hurting

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:51): When the Treasurer of New South Wales rises to her feet in the state parliament today, she will not have very many kind words to say about this government, because this is the government that is cutting billions of dollars out of schools and hospitals in New South Wales, and their state colleagues are on to them. We have seen in a leaked copy of the federation green paper that, on top of the cuts from last year's budget, this government is proposing to dump another $70 billion worth of cuts in public hospital funding over the next three years. Continue reading

Speaking On The Private Health Insurance (National Joint Replacement Register Levy) Amendment Bill 2015

The bill before the House, the Private Health Insurance (National Joint Replacement Register Levy) Amendment Bill 2015, is about the national joint replacement register. It is a bill that matters to all Australians but particularly those 100,000 Australians every year who have a joint implanted in their body.   Continue reading

National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2015

I rise to speak on the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2015 and to speak in favour of the following amendment. While not declining to give the bill a second reading, the House notes Labor's concerns about the potential unintended consequences caused by a lack of consultation during the negotiations for the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement.   Continue reading

Recognising The Republic of Macedonia

I am pleased to be here in the chamber today with the member for Gellibrand, the member for Cunningham, the member for Perth and many others across the political divide who support a rethink on our views towards the Republic of Macedonia. The Republic of Macedonia is a new country but with an ancient history.     Continue reading

Abbott Government Cutting Drug Treatment Funds

In the weeks before the budget, the government announced that it was launching a national strategy on methamphetamine and, in particular, ice.    Continue reading

Speaking on the Medical Research Fund Bill

Finally the parliament has before it, after a delay of more than one year, a bill which will establish the Medical Research Future Fund.   Continue reading

Speaking on the Private Health Insurance Bill

Following the member for Wakefield in a debate on any matter—and on private health insurance in particular—is always an intimidating task. I am very pleased that the member for Mitchell is in the chamber at the same time.   Continue reading

Abbott's schools funding cuts are hurting

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:42): Before the last election I visited Dapto high school and I asked them: what would the Gonski reforms, if fully implemented, mean to a school like this in my electorate? They were well prepared for the answer. They said that around $1.4 million in extra funding would flow to their school, the equivalent of about 16 extra teachers, which would enable them to have special needs teachers in every faculty, enable them to improve their teaching and their facilities for their autistic students, enable them to upgrade their facilities and enable them to provide more resources for their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students as well as other at needs students.  Continue reading

Marlene Cooper

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:42): In parliament today I pay tribute to Marlene Cooper, a passionate leader, community volunteer and advocate for people who are vision impaired or blind. Marlene is a formidable woman. A few weeks ago she called my office to put a rocket up us, saying, 'We want the National Disability Insurance Scheme in our region as soon as possible.' In her eight years on the Wollongong City Council access committee, she has trained over 600 council staff in accessibility issues and advised over countless plans and access issues.     Continue reading