House of Representatives Speech- Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2013

I would like to thank members for their contributions to the debate on the Crimes Legislation Amendment (Law Enforcement Integrity, Vulnerable Witness Protection and Other Measures) Bill 2013. This bill delivers on Australian government priorities to combat corruption, protect vulnerable witnesses and victims, and strengthen Australia's response to people smuggling. It contains a range of measures that will improve powers to investigate corruption within Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, support victims and witnesses during criminal proceedings, and contains new measures to deter people smuggling. These measures include removing references to wrist X-rays as a prescribed procedure for determining whether people-smuggling crew are minors and clarifying that the prosecution bears the onus of proof in establishing age where age is contested during a prosecution.

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House of Representatives Speech- Isaacs Schools 2013

I call on the Victorian Liberal government to sign up to Labor's National Plan for School Improvement. In this year's federal budget, Labor delivered necessary reform to our education funding system. Labor has also delivered the National Disability Insurance Scheme through DisabilityCare Australia—a reform that will go down in history as one of the most notable reforms on record, bringing equality of care to people with a disability, regardless of how they acquired that disability. It is good that Labor's historic DisabilityCare policy has not been opposed by the Liberal Party.

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House of Representatives Speech- Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill 2013

I thank honourable members for their contributions to the second reading debate on the Privacy Amendment (Privacy Alerts) Bill 2013. I thank the member for Stirling, the member for Greenway and the member for Hindmarsh for their support. I also note the support that has been expressed for this bill by Microsoft, OzHub, the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, Electronic Frontiers Australia and Choice.

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House of Representatives Speech- Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 2013

I thank honourable members for their contributions to this important debate, and in particular my colleague the Minister for Regional Development and Local Government. The Constitution Alteration (Local Government) 2013 will make a small but important amendment to the Constitution by including an express statement that the Commonwealth can grant financial assistance to local government. This would include assistance for community and other services.

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House of Representatives Speech- Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013-2014

This budget creates a fairer, smarter nation. Within the Attorney-General's portfolio, I am making sure that our expenditure gives all Australians a fair go under the law. From the royal commission to legal aid, community legal centres, new judges for the Federal Court through to national security, Labor is building a fairer, smarter and safer country.

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House of Representatives Speech- Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013-2014

I am very happy to provide a direct answer, as always, to the question of the member for Stirling. To put the question in some context, it is important to note that all irregular maritime arrivals being considered for release into the community, either on a bridging visa or into community detention, are subject to ASIO security checks. These checks are undertaken to identify the visa applicants or visa holders whose entry into or continued stay in Australia may present a risk to national security, and ASIO provides advice to DIAC in respect of security as defined in the ASIO Act. Threats to security can include politically motivated violence, espionage, foreign interference and threats to Australia's territorial and border integrity. ASIO does not provide security advice in respect of criminal matters.

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House of Representatives Speech- Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013-2014

I thank the member for Morton for his question because, like the member for La Trobe and the member for Greenway, the member for Morton has a past in the legal profession as well as in the teaching profession. I know of his current closeness to a number of community legal centres that serve the people of his electorate. He understands, as does the government, the important role played by community legal centres. That is why government funds 138 community legal centres across the country. That is why in this budget you will see an increase for community legal centres across the country and why in the review of the national partnership that is now taking place close attention is going to be made to the outcomes of that review with a view to continuing the very effective funding that goes to community legal centres to enable them to provide the services they provide to people across Australia.

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House of Representatives Speech- Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013-2014

  I thank the member for La Trobe for her question. I know of her very longstanding interest in the legal assistance sector through her own work as a lawyer. Access to justice for every single Australian is for Labor a non-negotiable feature of our democracy. Only with decent legal assistance can we ensure that there is access which is truly available to everyone in this country. Without it our legal system cannot look after those who often need the most help: the sick, the elderly, our Indigenous communities, families and children in crisis.

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House of Representatives Speech- Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2013-2014

  I thank the member for Greenway for her question. I know of her longstanding interest in this area. The member for Greenway is quite right that no geographic area is immune—anywhere in Australia.

I wish we could say that that was the case—that we will meet that deadline—but this has been described as likely to be one of the longest and certainly largest royal commissions or inquiries ever conducted in Australia. But that is because the problem is on such a scale that, as the member for Greenway has rightly said, it has left no part of Australia untouched. Our government is going to do everything that it can to make sure that what has happened to children in the past is never allowed to happen again. That is why the Prime Minister announced late last year this Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. As a government we are committed to making sure that this royal commission has the resources to do its job properly.

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26th Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture - Australian National University, Canberra

Realising Labor Values – The Moral Arc of Australia 


26th Lionel Murphy Memorial Lecture

AUSTRALIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY, CANBERRA

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