90s Statement: 76 Members for Banks

For years there has only been one member for Banks in this House. But now there are 76 of them! There they are, all over there: 76 members for banks—big banks! These are the members who, today, are arguing that $17 billion worth of tax cuts should go to the disgraced and ashamed big banks instead of to schools, which have had $17 billion cut from their funds. There are 115 temporary dismountable classrooms at public schools in my electorate. Schools are busting at the seams, but the coalition seems to think that the money is better spent on bonuses for big banks than on the schools and on teachers for those schools. Continue reading

Motion: Indonesia

I second the motion. Mr Stephen Jones then spoke in Indonesian— This underscores the importance that we place on government-to-government and people-to-people links with the Republic of Indonesia. Mr Stephen Jones then spoke in Indonesian— Continue reading

Illawarra Rail Line

The member for Cunningham and I would like to warmly welcome over 50 people who have made the long trip to Canberra from the Illawarra today to listen to Labor's budget reply speech. They have come because on Tuesday they listened in horror as the government handed down a budget which put the interests of big business ahead of the needs of battlers. Continue reading

Telecommunications (Regional Broadband Scheme) Charge Bill 2017

It's great to be in parliament talking about this critical national project. It's great to see members opposite celebrating the infrastructure project that they campaigned against when Labor was in government. I welcome the fact they are doing that today. I don't welcome the fact that they're using this as an opportunity to rewrite history, and I'll address some of those issues in the course of my contribution. Continue reading

Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Amendment Bill 2017

I commend the minister for his second reading speech and its content and brevity, and I'll do my utmost to match that in a bipartisan way. Labor supports the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Amendment Bill 2017. The aim of the bill before the House is to improve the governance, transparency and accountability of the National Capital Authority. Continue reading

National Party and the 2018 Federal Budget

The most expensive and elaborate Work for the Dole program in this country is the one that supports the 21 National Party MPs and senators in this place. They turn up, they collect their pay, but they don't do their job. For the last few years, they've been telling everybody who'd listen that they're for the farmer and against the supermarket, for the battler and against the banks, for the worker and against the occupants of the harbour-side mansion. Continue reading

Illawarra Rail

The Prime Minister has visited my electorate twice in the last three weeks, and we welcome the attention. He didn't come by train, and we all know his affection for catching a train. There's a very good reason for that. It's because his party—the government, in fact—have abandoned the rail commuters across the Illawarra and South Coast. Continue reading

Oscar Forman

I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to a great ambassador for the fantastic sport of basketball, NBL great—and one of Wollongong's favourites—Oscar Forman, who announced a week and a half ago that he was stepping down from his professional career as a basketballer. Continue reading

New Nationals Leader

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the member for Riverina as the new Leader of the National Party and I want to reflect on the leaders who've come before him. There was the great Jack McEwen. He was a cattle farmer. There was Doug Anthony. He was a dairy farmer. There was Tim Fischer. He was also a farmer. Was the member for Riverina a farmer? No. In fact, the only muster that the new Deputy Prime Minister has ever done was to round up the numbers against the member for New England. Continue reading

Broadband

While the Hatfields and the McCoys were slogging it out last week in National Party back rooms to work out who was going to be the next Deputy Prime Minister of this country, the small businesses in their electorates were struggling with substandard broadband from a second-rate NBN.  Continue reading