Closing the Gap

Today we're taking note of the Prime Minister's annual report on the Closing the Gap targets. I'd like to open my contribution by joining with the member for Cunningham in paying tribute to the life of the late Aunty Agnes Donovan. Unfortunately, neither the member for Cunningham nor myself can attend her funeral in Wollongong today because of our parliamentary responsibilities. We send our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Aunty Agnes. She was a much-loved elder within ourcommunity. Continue reading

Appropriations Bill 2017

Australia's a great country, but we really do face some big challenges, and now more than ever Australia needs a Prime Minister with a vision for this country and a vision for its people. But instead we've got a Prime Minister and a government which have completely run out of ideas. Not only have they run out of ideas; they are distracted and divided, and completely bereft of any vision for this country. They say one thing and they do exactly the opposite. Continue reading

Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Radio) Bill 2017

The Broadcasting Legislation Amendment (Digital Radio) Bill 2017, which is before the House, concerns radio services, digital radio services and the regulation thereof, services which have been providing access to news, sport, music and entertainment in Australia for well over 90 years. In fact, radio is the most ubiquitous medium in the country and will remain so for many years to come—it's in our cars and workplaces. One of the strengths of radio as compared to many of its competing media is that you can be listening to radio while performing many other functions, including driving a car. Continue reading

Australia Day Awards

I want to congratulate the Illawarra and Southern Highlands Australia Day award winners. In particular, from Shellharbour there was Kiki Cuda, who was the youngest ever winner of the Shellharbour Young Citizen of the Year at the age of 12, recognising her tremendous work for charity.  Continue reading

Criminal Code Amendment (Impersonating a Commonwealth Body) Bill 2017

The bill before the House, the Criminal Code Amendment (Impersonating a Commonwealth Body) Bill 2017, creates a new offence. I want to say at the outset that the bill is not necessary. It creates a new offence of impersonating a Commonwealth office or agency. We'll support the bill, but we argue quite strenuously that it is not necessary. There are already sufficient powers and offences within the Commonwealth Criminal Code to cover the offences, if they could be proved, that the member for Fairfaxcomplains so bitterly about.  Continue reading

Rural and Regional Australia

We've got to do something this year about growing inequality in this country. It's a problem. The Prime Minister is blind to it, but the rest of parliament should not be. If you live in rural or regional Australia, chances are you are doing it tough. If you're in the top 20 per cent of income earners, you probably live in the city. Continue reading

Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017

My boy Patty is a typical 10-year-old in most respects. He loves his mum and argues with his dad about the amount of time he spends playing computer games. He is desperately looking forward to the end of school in two weeks time. Of course I am proud of him. But on the morning of 15 November he gave me one more reason to be proud of him. After breakfast, he asked me, 'Can I call Raph?'  Continue reading

Local Jobs Matter

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam): A short time ago the member for Gilmore asked that I apologise for campaigning to save jobs in her electorate. I declined to do so. In fact, I invite her to join with me in defence of the 70 defence workers' jobs at the HMAS Albatross naval base in Nowra in her electorate.  Continue reading

Address to Fabians Political Donations Reform

**Check against delivery** Good evening. I think the institutions of our democracy are in need of an overhaul. This is not based on a dishonest proposition that once upon a time it was all good, but now things have gone bad. Continue reading


SYDNEY - THURSDAY, 21 SEPTEMBER 2017 Continue reading