Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill 2016

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (12:40): I would like to make some observations on what I would like to characterise as a well-meaning but ineffective bill. I would like to make a few comments first about how the original bill works. The bill is a bill to amend the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. It arises from recommendations of the O'Farrell review. The O'Farrell review is just the latest in a series of reviews which have inquired into this piece of legislation and the surrounding area of problem gambling in this country. I have been involved in some of them but not all of them. Continue reading

Statute Update (A.C.T. Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations) Bill 2016 (Second Reading)

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:20): Nothing gets the juices of parliament going more on its first day back after the break than the Statute Update (A.C.T. Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations) Bill 2016! The bill amends the Statute Update Bill 2016 to ensure that relevant Commonwealth legislation continues to apply to the ACT. Presently the applicability of the Commonwealth law in the ACT relies on the A.C.T. Self-Government (Consequential Provisions) Regulations following the establishment of self-government in the ACT in 1988. As you know full well, Deputy Speaker Mitchell, the ASGR made modifications to the application of as many as 47 acts. While some of the modifications made by the ASGR were subsequently incorporated into the relevant Commonwealth acts, 18 others were not. The bill will therefore make some minor technical amendments to those remaining 18 acts, across nine portfolios, to incorporate the modifications made by the ASGR. This has not been an issue before now because, while the text of some Commonwealth law does not refer to the ACT, a court currently reads that the Commonwealth acts apply in the ACT because of the operation of the ASGR. Continue reading

Centrelink Robo-Debt Debacle

  Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:39): Well, it is time for the human services minister and the Prime Minister to admit that their robo-debt system has been an unmitigated disaster. Over 40 per cent of the letters that have been sent out to people around the country have proven to be false. Government MPs know this to be true, because in electorates all over the country they have been in inundated with complaints from their constituents distressed about the Centrelink robo-debt debacle—real people who have done nothing wrong being treated like petty thieves over fake debt through fake leadership. Continue reading

Australia Day Awards, Mr Philip Yeo, OAM

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (17:09): We have built a prosperous and successful multicultural nation in Australia, one of the most successful multicultural nations in the world, and on Australia Day we recognise how the wonderful people in our community have helped to define who we are as Australians. I was very pleased that, on Australia Day this year, I was able to attend ceremonies and functions in Shellharbour, in Wollongong and in the Wingecarribee shire, in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. Continue reading

Grievance Debate: The Whitlam Electorate

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (19:09): There are many things that my constituents are aggrieved about: the pathetic broadband that is being rolled out through the suburbs relying on rotten and outdated copper technology, the seeming indifference of the government to the creation of full-time and decent jobs, the underfunding of schools in the area or the Prime Minister who seems to have a tin ear to what the needs and aspirations of people in regional Australia are. Continue reading

National Ethnic and Multicultural Broadcasters Council Conference

*** CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY *** Thank you Uncle Alan Madden for the welcome to Country. I acknowledge that we are on the land of the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation and pay my respect to elected past, present and emerging. Today I'm representing Michelle Rowland, Labor’s Shadow Minister for Communications who is sorry that she can't be here this morning. She sends her best wishes. Continue reading

The NBN - What planet is this guy on?

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:36):  A few moments ago, right there, the Prime Minister was bragging and slapping himself on the back and talking about what an amazing job he has done with rolling out the National Broadband Network. Well, I can tell you, right throughout regional Australia there are a whole bunch of people who were shaking their heads and saying, 'What planet is this guy living on?' Continue reading

Statement on equality

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (12:32): This motion has languished in the basement of parliamentary business for a couple of months—two months does not sound like a lot of time to most Australians but if you look at what has gone on over the last two months, it has been a very long time indeed. Last night I read the Prime Minister's speech on this motion. It was a good speech—a very good speech. There was not a word in there that I could not agree with. Sadly, it was very difficult, looking at the Prime Minister who gave that speech two months ago, who spoke most eloquently and passionately in support of this motion, to recognise the Prime Minister who has done very little in the last couple of days to confront the rising tide of bigotry, including bigotry in this place.   Continue reading


Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016, Treasury Laws Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Superannuation) Bill 2016, Superannuation (Excess Transfer Balance Tax) Imposition Bill 2016 Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:16): It is my great pleasure to speak on the Superannuation (Objective) Bill 2016 and related bills which concern the provision of superannuation, how it is taxed and how it is managed. I also rise to support the excellent amendment to this bill that has been moved by my friend the member for McMahon and spoken to most eloquently by the member for Rankin, who is in the chamber with us today together with the member for Kingsford Smith, who has spoken passionately about these issues.   Continue reading

The Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (11:50): The Migration Legislation Amendment (Regional Processing Cohort) Bill 2016, which would amend our migration laws so that certain asylum seekers would never be allowed to enter Australia, is not about securing our borders. It is not about the integrity of our immigration system. This bill is not about relieving the congestion in our cities. It will not improve our trains or our buses and it will not make the traffic flow. It will not help us to get to work on time. It will not give a pay rise to a low-paid worker, struggling to meet the rising cost of living. It will not make their jobs more secure and it will not help the jobseeker find a job. Continue reading