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

Reforms to revive our shipping industry (15/03/2012)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (16:46): A strong economy needs a strong shipping industry. Indeed, an island trading nation like Australia most certainly needs a strong shipping industry and a strong maritime workforce. It has been a part of our history and it is essential that it be a part of our future, but we have some unique challenges. Our geographic location, off the major trading routes and with dispersed trading ports, affects the economics of our shipping industry. We also have an ageing workforce. It is a highly skilled workforce. It cannot be replaced overnight. It is a workforce that cannot be turned on and off like a tap Continue reading

More Illawarra homes to be connected to the NBN (16/02/2012)

CONSTITUENCY STATEMENT TO AUSTRALIAN PARLIAMENT I would like to talk about the rollout of the National Broadband Network to the Illawarra, in particular to Dapto in my electorate of Throsby. It is about to be boosted with a further 8,100 premises and a new rollout to 8,300 premises in the suburb of Corrimal in the neighbouring electorate of Cunningham. Continue reading

Matter of Public Importance: the Economy and Jobs (16/02/2012)

Over the last hour, this House has been treated to a remarkable spectacle—the opposition drawing upon the learned authorities of Cromwell and Jerry Seinfeld to move a gag motion at question time. The reason they have drawn upon the learned authorities of Cromwell and Jerry Seinfeld to try to gag question time is that they did not want to talk about the economy. Continue reading

Private Member's Bill for an Act to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to establish marriage equality for same sex couples (13/02/2012)

Introduction Mr Speaker, today I introduce a Bill for an Act to amend the Marriage Act 1961 to establish marriage equality for same sex couples, and for related purposes. If enacted this bill will permit: A minister of religion, a person authorised under a state or territory law, or a marriage celebrant authorised under the Marriage Act 1961: To perform a marriage between same sex couples; To have that marriage recognised in Australian law; But will not require a Minister of Religion to solemnise a marriage where that is inconsistent with their religious beliefs. Continue reading

Asbestos Awareness Week - Speech to House of Representatives (13/02/2012)

I am pleased to follow the member for Gippsland and join the member for Page in speaking on this motion tonight noting Asbestos Awareness Week. I would also pay tribute to a couple of activists on this issue from my own electorate of Throsby in New South Wales, in particular our local branch member Jim David, who spoke very passionately on this matter at a branch meeting that I attended a few weeks ago and urged me to raise this matter in parliament. I do so willingly. Shirley Sheed, who is a local activist from Port Kembla and a very strong activist in the Asbestos Diseases Foundation of Australia has been putting her time and energy behind this issue for many, many decades. Continue reading

I say to business tonight: the ball is in your court (07/02/2012)

As the House adjourns and the member for Goldstein retires to contemplate how he will fill the $70 billion black hole in the opposition's proposed budget, I would like to make a few observations about governing in the interests of working people and the concept of a social compact between employer and employee and between government and business. Continue reading

Australia remembers Avoca (26/11/2011)

The small Southern Highland's community of Avoca shouldered a heavy burden during the two world wars, writes Stephen Jones MP, Federal Member for Throsby. IT IS AN HONOUR to be with you here today – as your Federal Member of Parliament but also representing the Minister for Veterans' Affairs, the Hon. Warren Snowden MP at the launch of this important book, Echoes of War in Avoca. Continue reading

Coal seam gas concerns must be taken seriously (03/11/2011)

Community concerns at the rapid expansion of the coal seam gas industry cannot be ignored. This week the parliament is seized of a package of bills which gives us the opportunity to revisit the way we are managing our natural resource bounty. Continue reading