Private Health Insurance Amendment Bill

It is with great pleasure that I speak on the Private Health Insurance Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2014, because private health insurance is a matter of deep concern to the nation at large and to the, roughly, over 50 per cent of residents of my electorate who hold a private health insurance policy. That is slightly below the national average but important nonetheless. Continue reading

Statements by Members - NSW State Election

When the people of New South Wales go to the polls this Saturday, there will be an opportunity for them to cast a verdict not only on the performance of Mike Baird and his plans to sell off the poles and wires in this state but also on this Prime Minister, because it is Mike Baird in New South Wales who is collaborating with this Prime Minister to cut the funding from our schools.    Continue reading

Matter Of Public Importance - Indigenous Health

Today is the seventh anniversary of the first Closing the Gap agreement. I regret to say that it has not been met with happy news, because less than three weeks ago, when the Prime Minister stood at that dispatch box and handed down the annual Closing the Gap report, we took no joy in finding that five out of the seven targets that have been identified—targets which are aimed at addressing the gap in health, education and employment outcomes—had not been met. Continue reading

Speaking on the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015

The starting point for all MPs in considering matters such as this is that national security is the first obligation of any sovereign government. As such, it should transcend the day-to-day rancour of partisan politics. Continue reading

Time To Close The Gap

Tomorrow in my electorate, elders from the Dharawal tribe will be joining with their supporters throughout the region in celebrating and taking action around Close the Gap Day. Continue reading

Speaking On The 2014 Food Labelling Report

It is my great pleasure to speak in relation to this report: A clearer message for consumers. Before I make some observations about the contents of the report, can I associate myself and Australian Labor with the observations made by the member for Gippsland about the disposition of the company Patties. Continue reading

Royal Succession Bill

I would like to start by congratulating the Leader of the House and those responsible for organising the order of debate today, because today, being St Patrick's Day, the Australian parliament joins with others to amend the act of succession. As a Catholic of Irish descent, it gives me enormous pleasure to be debating the Succession to the Crown Bill 2015 on this day.  Continue reading

$100,000 Degrees? No Thank You Mr Pyne

It is a brave person who disagrees with the member for Lalor, the Opposition Whip, but I have to say that the education minister more resembles Basil Fawlty than Basil Rathbone. His performance on Sky TV yesterday is deserving of a Logie award.   Continue reading

90 Second Statement - Family Violence Must Stop

Like most members in this place, I meet regularly with community and police representatives in my electorate. Recently, I was horrified but not surprised to learn from the Lake Illawarra Local Area Command that, within the Illawarra district, there are 17 cases a day of domestic violence reported to the police. Continue reading

90 Second Statement - Healthcare in NSW

I wish the honourable member for Herbert and his colleague back home in his electorate all the very best. The tragic fact is this: in New South Wales this month, public hospitals are being forced to hold fundraisers to make up for the shortfall in funding that has been left to them by this terrible Abbott government.    Continue reading