National Volunteers Awards 2012: Recognising our local heroes (05/12/2012)

Dapto Ribbonwood Centre – Wednesday 5 December, 2012 Good morning everyone and welcome to the Throsby National Volunteer Awards ceremony for 2012 – a very important presentation day when we acknowledge the efforts of several members of the local community who have volunteered both locally and overseas. Today being International Volunteer Day, I am delighted to be able to present National Volunteer Awards to these people to recognise the important contribution their volunteering efforts make to local and international communities. Volunteering connects us, strengthens our sense of belonging and creates positive relationships that build stronger communities. In fact, more than five million Australians contribute more than 700 million hours to volunteering every year and you are all a part of that great accomplishment. Continue reading

Private Member's Business: Charcot Marie-Tooth Disease (26/11/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (20:06): Sometimes when you read the motions on notice for private member's business it can read a little bit like a triage sheet at a major hospital in any capital city around the country. Against that background, it is a little bit surprising that the words Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease have never been mentioned in Hansard before—particularly given that it is the most common form of inherited neuromuscular disease. Despite this, awareness of the disease is extraordinarily low. That is why I am pleased to have brought this motion before the House and to make a few comments tonight about Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Continue reading

Support for the local live music scene (01/11/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:49): This week a group of music enthusiasts gathered in Wollongong for the second annual State of the Music Scene Forum. It was organised by a friend and colleague of mine, Mr Rob Carr. Like many ageing rock fans, I have mourned the closure of many venues where I spent my youth watching live music and seeing mates kick-start their careers in music and entertainment—great local bands like the Unheard, Man Bites Dog and Tumbleweed. Visiting Australian rock bands like the Divinyls, the Oils and Cold Chisel was an important cultural part of growing up in the Illawarra. Continue reading

Honouring our Indigenous servicemen and women (29/10/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (19:17): It is my great pleasure to speak on this motion, which recognises the service of Indigenous servicemen and women in our military forces in defence of the Australian people. Over 400 Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders served in the First World War, and in excess of 5,000 of them served in the Second World War and have served since then. During my contribution to this debate I will talk about Private Frank Archibald, who was born in Walcha, New South Wales, on 17 February, 1915. Continue reading

We have a proud history of egalitarianism: let's protect our worker's rights (29/10/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (12:36): I would like to start by commending the member for La Trobe for bringing this important matter to the House. I sat and listened with interest to the member for Hasluck in his contribution to this debate and, if he speaks on behalf of the entire coalition, I have to say that I welcome their sudden affection for the independence of tribunals and courts in general and for the independence of Fair Work Australia in particular. I know that there are at least two members of this House who would welcome that affection for the independence of those courts and tribunals. Continue reading

75th Anniversary of Dapto Greyhound Racing Club (10/10/2012)

I would like to talk about a local, national and indeed an international institution: the Dapto Dogs. Last week I had the great pleasure of attending a dinner to mark the 75th anniversary of the Dapto Greyhound Racing Club in my electorate of Throsby. My electorate office is only about 100 metres down the road from the Dapto Dogs, so I invite any honourable members of this place who visit the Illawarra—and a few of them have visited the region in the last few months—to attend with me on a Thursday night, around 7 pm. Continue reading

Clean Energy Amendment: Linking our scheme internationally (10/10/2012)

It my pleasure to be contributing to the debate on this important package of bills. The Clean Energy Amendment (International Emissions Trading and Other Measures) Bill 2012 and related bills will help modernise our economy and drive us towards a clean energy future. As with every contribution, I will start with a reminder about why we are doing it. We are not doing it out of some folly, as you might have been led to believe if you had listened to the member for Cowper's contribution. He spent a good 15 or 20 minutes, like some modern-day Don Quixote, in search of windmills to tilt at—and he has been doing that for about 2½ years now. Nothing is so sad as a man whose predictions of devastation have not been realised. Continue reading

Local advocacy groups win with Labor's Dental Health Reform Package (09/10/2012)

For over a decade now members of the Illawarra Dental Health Action Group have been campaigning for reform in dental care. The action group is chaired ably by Ms Alice Scott, a constituent of mine, who is a very active member of the community, not only in dental care but in a whole raft of other areas of community life. This group has been agitating not only for an improvement in existing services but in pointing out where local dental providers are not doing the right thing under existing government schemes, advocating on behalf of local community members, particularly members on low incomes who are attempting to get access to the public dental scheme, and, lobbying government, having come here to Canberra on several occasions with a bigger than life-size pair of teeth to draw attention to their cause. Continue reading

Congratulations to local Olympic champ Dave Smith (19/09/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (11:20):  The Illawarra region is a nursery for great sporting champions, including Olympic champions. I would like to take the opportunity today to extend my congratulations to one local champion: local kayaking champion and gold medallist Dave Smith, a member of the Australian men's K4 team that claimed gold in the 1,000-metre final by more than half a boat length. Dave is a resident of Warilla, which is a suburb of my electorate of Throsby in New South Wales, and is now fondly referred to by locals as the Warilla Wonder after a fantastic effort he displayed at the London games. It was a victory that was all the more sweet, I am sure, after narrowly missing out on a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. As Dave says, 'A few years and memories have been erased.' Continue reading

Summing up of debate on Marriage Amendment Bill 2012 (19/09/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (10:53):  I will be summing up the debate on the Marriage Amendment Bill 2012. I will start by thanking the many members who have contributed to this debate, at times a passionate debate and a very personal debate, as it often is in this space. The contribution from the member for Lyne typifies the quality of contributions we have had in this chamber. I listened very carefully to the member for Lyne's contribution. Many of the points that he raised have been raised by other speakers in this debate, and through the course of my summing-up I will reflect upon some of those. Continue reading