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


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


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


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

West Dapto Jail

The New South Wales government has a plan to build a jail in West Dapto, one of the biggest urban development areas in New South Wales. It's the wrong plan for the wrong jail in the wrong place. On Saturday I chaired a meeting organised by Anna Watson MP, the member for Shellharbour. Over 300 angry residents attended that meeting. There was nobody speaking in support of the jail. Continue reading

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