Stricter security standards to protect Australian air travellers (28/05/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (12:26): The Aviation Transport Security Amendment (Screening) Bill 2012 is about safety and confidence, without which we would not have an aviation industry and consequently we would not have a tourism industry in this island nation, because aviation lies at the heart of our economic activity as an island nation. The aviation industry underpins our economic growth and provides a gateway to the wider global economy. The sector directly employs around 50,000 people, and a further half a million people indirectly. It contributes around $7 billion to our gross national product. Australian aviation, despite the protestations that the sky is falling in, has seen solid growth for the ninth year in a row, a fact that has obviously escaped the member for Paterson in his Chicken Little deliverance on this legislation. When I listen to the member for Paterson, I am reminded of the parliamentary cliche that never are so many angry words said as in the course of agreement. Continue reading

Matters of Public Importance: Member for Dobell and the Australian Constitution (23/05/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (16:39): I welcome this matter of public importance that has been brought to us today by the member for Lyne. I think, in an unusual precedent, it is supported by all members of this place. It is a measured and principled approach to matters of current public controversy and it enables members of this place to set out the proper role of parliament when questions are raised about another member of parliament, particularly when those questions go to potential criminal proceedings. Continue reading

Farewell to local Labor stalwart (21/05/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (13:52):  I want to draw the attention of the House to the sad passing of Joyce Elise Wheatley. Joyce died on Tuesday last week at age 74 after a long illness. Joyce was a Labor legend, a lifetime member of the party who moved to Kiama from her birthplace in Yass in 1965. She was a schoolteacher at Warilla High School for many years and bore the title 'mistress in charge of girls'. Continue reading

Improvements to anti-dumping legislation (15/05/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (10:37): I listened with interest to the contributions from the member for Hughes on the Customs Amendment (Anti- dumping Improvements) Bill (No. 2) 2012 and the Customs Tariff (Anti-Dumping Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2012. I welcome many of the things that the honourable member had to say, particularly his observations about geographic price discrimination within the federation. I can only hope that he will have the same enthusiasm as he did in the issue of geographic price discrimination for tradeable goods when it comes to geographic price discrimination for the sale of labour around the federation. Whilst I welcome the comments he has made on the sale of goods I know that his party, at least, has been a vociferous objector to the removal of price discrimination when it comes to the sale of labour around the federation. Indeed, the Liberal Party is a great defender of the rights of the states to have price differentials and even regional differentials for the sale of labour. Maybe that is a conversation I can pursue with the honourable member at another time when a more appropriate bill comes before this House. Continue reading

Matters of Public Importance: Budget supports regional Australians (11/05/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (16:38): After sitting through question time and then listening to the contributions from those on that side of the House on this matter of public importance, I will be heading back home to dust off my old CD collection. I am looking for a particular album from 2004 by an independent rock band known as Modest Mouse. I can see the member for Mayo over there giving me a smile. He is obviously a fan of their work, and particularly a fan of their 2004 album 'Good news for people who hate bad news'. That says it all about the mob over there: good news for people who hate bad news. They are the people who spend their entire time here trawling for misery. Continue reading

Delivering a fair and decent payment to new dads (09/05/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (17:07): I am pleased to speak on the Paid Parental Leave and Other Legislation Amendment (Dad and Partner Pay and Other Measures) Bill, but I must add it is a great shame that the time allotted for this debate could not instead have been allotted for the government to introduce into this House a bill which would have provided much needed assistance for families by helping with schoolkid expenses. Whatever led those opposite to object to our bringing that legislation into the House is probably best known to them, but it does speak very loudly about their priorities. Continue reading

Celebrating Illawarra's art culture (23/03/2012)

Red Point Artists’ Association: Members Exhibition opening speech (10/03/2012)I am pleased to be back here in Port Kembla with the Red Point Artists. The name ‘Red Point’ reminds us that the place existed before it was a port and an industrial hub. Indeed, Red Point was the name given to this place by the first Europeans as they sailed up the coast towards Botany Bay. It reminds us that this place has a rich history, which predates European settlement. A history of the Wadi Wadi people, who are the traditional owners of the land and to whom we pay our respects today. Continue reading

We remember Margaret Whitlam (20/03/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (18:239): Margaret Elaine Whitlam was a giant amongst Australian women, a colossus amongst Australian Labor women, a political leader and a trailblazer in her own right. I can think of no better words to open this contribution than those spoken by another trailblazer, another colossus, for Australian Labor women: Jessie Street. In an ABC radio program, in April 1944, she said: Continue reading

Australia missing 1.5 million voters (20/03/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (19:29): 2012 is the Year of Enrolment. I find it absolutely breathtaking that the member for Canning chose, in his contribution to this debate on the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011 and cognate Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Bill 2012, to celebrate the Year of Enrolment by seriously proposing that we disenfranchise the poor people who live in caravan parks and the people who fly in and fly out for their work. That is what he is seriously proposing. He stood up just a moment ago and objected to the electoral and referendum amendment bills on the basis that they would provide a vote for people who reside in caravan parks or people whose occupations are as fly-in fly-out workers. What a way to celebrate the Year of Enrolment! Continue reading

More infrastructure for the Illawarra (19/03/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (11:10):  It is my great pleasure to be seconding the motion by my colleague the member for Hunter on this important issue. Today we are engaged in two important arguments. The first is an argument with those opposite about the concept of the minerals resource rent tax. What motivates us is to ensure that we spread the benefit of the mining boom, that we spread the benefit of the resources boom beyond those mining regions and right throughout the country, that we spread it to every person in Australia who has a superannuation account, that we spread it to every small business and every large business around the country in the form of a tax cut, and that we spread it to those mining areas and elsewhere in the form of additional infrastructure—much-needed economic infrastructure—to ensure that we are able to get these commodities out of the mine heads and to the ports of our nation. Continue reading