Government action against illegal early release super schemes

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (16:05): We are debating a bill to amend our legislation in respect of superannuation. The Labor Party's superannuation policy has an important public policy purpose, and that is to build a pool of individual and national retirement savings so that individuals can retire with some dignity and some income security, and also to provide some relief for future generations in respect of pension payments and meeting the challenges of an aging demographic. In respect of this the government provides a tax concession on contributions and earnings for moneys going into the fund and the earnings of the fund. You would have to say that on any fair analysis the policy is working. We have over $1.4 trillion in retirement savings invested superannuation accounts around the country. This is close to the fourth-largest pool of superannuation funding anywhere in the world. Continue reading

I welcome the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (17:06): It is with great pleasure that I rise to speak on this historic piece of legislation. Indeed, today is a bad day for people who hate good news, as the member for Cowper just displayed in his contribution. Never has anyone found so much to oppose on their path to offering support. In my first speech to this parliament, I reflected upon the fact that before working here I spent many years working in the community sector. I spent many years working as a careworker for children with developmental disabilities . In that time I learnt firsthand at very close range the struggle that families engage in on a daily basis to provide some semblance of normality to their child with a disability, and their other children, when so much tugs in the other direction. I learnt so much from the young children themselves—perhaps more than I was ever able to teach them. Continue reading

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples Recognition Bill

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (10:56): I am very pleased to follow the member for Aston and commend him on the fine words that he said and pass onto him, his family and his friends our sympathy for the loss of their friend but also the loss to the nation of somebody who has been so active in this area—law and policy. There was something very poetic in an historical sense that yesterday, as the Prime Minister stood in the House delivering the fifth Closing the Gap statement on behalf of the Australian government, parliament and people, our friends across the ditch were celebrating Waitangi Day, a national public holiday. Waitangi Day celebrates the fact that in 1860 the people of Aotearoa commenced their first act of reconciliation by signing a treaty with their first people. Of course, we have no such treaty, and there is no proposition by this government in the current process to sign such a treaty. But we are embarked on a process of reconciliation, and the bill before the House today is an important reminder of that. Continue reading

Australian Government Announces Legislation To Establish the Australian Anti-Dumping Commission (06/02/2013)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (15:02): My question is to the Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Justice and Cabinet Secretary. Will the minister update the House on the progress in implementing the government's plan to strengthen Australia's antidumping regime and support our workers and manufacturers? Continue reading

Tribute to David Hamilton

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:53): I am very pleased that Labor legend and former Prime Minister Bob Hawke is here in the chamber today, as I rise to pay tribute to Mr David Hamilton, a Labor legend from my electorate of Throsby, who sadly passed away last month after a long battle with leukaemia. Dave was a steelworker, a passionate trade unionist, a steadfast party member and a loyal and supportive friend to us all. If ever there were a man who embodied the true spirit of Labor in the Illawarra, it was Dave. Continue reading

Opening of Stage 1 of Kangaroo Island, an expansion of Jamberoo Action Park (14/12/2012)

I would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the country where we are today. We pay our respect to them and their cultures and to the elders past and present. I am delighted to be here today. Beyond the enormous excitement of officially opening the world’s largest and biggest water ride and other great new facilities, today is about recognising the bright future of our region. Continue reading

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