There has to be a minimum entry standard for democratic institutions in Australia. Bigotry and racism should be beyond debate. This week Pauline Hansons One Nation and their fellow travellers showed they dont make the grade.
Hanson has long spouted racist, xenophobic bigotry, but this week the One Nation party proved just how low they are willing to go.
The revelations that her offsiders James Ashby and Steve Dickson travelled to the US, and attempted to raise funds for the party in exchange for a promise to water down Australia's gun laws were truly shocking.
In the past people have said ignore them. Dont give them oxygen and they will go away. I dont agree. Racism festers in the dark and private spaces. We have to shine a light on it. Argue against it point out why it is wrong. There can be no more to cuddling up to One Nation to get voter preferences - it is not an option.
We have to challenge the bigotry and racism of Pauline Hanson.
Im pleased the Prime Minister has finally buckled to pressure, but Im baffled that it took him so long.
It should have been immediately obvious to Mr Morrison that in order to put the national interest first, One Nation had to be last.
Australians have every right to be concerned this belated announcement is merely the result of a political crisis the Prime Minister has created for himself, not a decision based on principle or self-reflection.
Im also deeply concerned the LNP in Queensland and the Nationals appear to have been given a leave pass by their Prime Minister to do secret preference deals with One Nation.
I spoke about the issue on ABC yesterday, you can watch the segment here
This week Labor announced that we will ensure that the minimum wage is a living wage.
Labor wants the Fair Work Commission to have the toolsto determinewhat wage is required to provide a decent standard of living for low-paid workers.
A fair go for Australia means a fair wage for working people. Labor's living wage policy will directly benefit around 1.2 million Aussies, that's one in 10 workers.
I've long been campaigning for changes to laws that allow Australian ships to be replaced with foreign-flagged vessels.
This week we saw one of these vessels withlow-paid workers, operating in unsafe conditions, held in Port Kembla.
It's been loaded with coal, but isn't allowed to leave until concerns raised by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority are met.
Illawarra Netball is hosting a gala day tomorrow, to raise awareness about the need for updating local facilities for the sport.
Netball is the Illawarras most popular womens sport with over 3000 members of the IDNA.
The home of netball in the Illawarra needs significant upgrades to enable this key sport to continue to grow and to potentially host state and higher level competitions.
Players, spectators and officials deserve upgraded courts and facilities.
To celebrate Earth Hour this weekend the Southern Highlands Botanic Gardens are inviting the community toShaping a clean futurea special event being at the Gardens tomorrow night from 5.30pm until 9:00pm.
Part of the event is making the largest solar lantern display in the shape of footprint that has ever been attempted. Our target is to have 1500 solar powered lanterns that will form the shape of a giant footprint.