House of Representatives Speech- Australia’s Foreign Relations

In the Deputy Leader of the Opposition’s matter of public importance motion there is an almost palpable desperation to create some kind of relevance for the Liberal Party. They are almost bereft of coherent policy on foreign policy or international relations, as we have seen with the small assistance the member for Ryan has attempted to provide with his claim to have an interest in international relations—which, I regret to say, is usually manifest in his spending more time overseas than he does in Australia. In the speech she has just given, the Deputy Leader of the Opposition shows her failure to understand the broad strategic foreign policy framework which the Rudd government has worked so assiduously to create in the two years since the last election. What we have seen in the last two years since the election of the Rudd government is a renewed commitment to multilateralism and, with that renewed commitment to multilateralism, a regaining of the respect of the nations of the world for Australia’s position in the world.

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House of Representatives Speech-Intelligence and Security Committee Report

Yesterday there was tabled in the House the report of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security concerning a review of the relisting of Hamas Brigades, PKK, LeT and PIJ as terrorist organisations. In every case they are relistings, these being organisations that have been proscribed for quite some time.

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House of Representatives Speech- Intelligence and Security Committee Report

First I will deal with Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, or the brigades. The brigades are the armed element of the military wing of Hamas. While the brigades are an integral part of Hamas, they also operate independently from, and at time at odds with, Hamas’s stated aims. Hamas, through the brigades, seeks to destroy the state of Israel and establish an Islamist Palestinian state in the existing Gaza Strip, West Bank and Israel. It will not enter into peace talks with Israel, and its leaders have stated Hamas cannot live with an Israeli state.

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House of Representatives Speech- Isaacs Electorate: Building the Education Revolution Program

The Rudd government’s education revolution is ensuring that local students in our community in my electorate of Isaacs have better facilities, higher standards of teaching and greater opportunities to excel at school. The announcement last week that a trades training centre will be established in Frankston is another example of the difference that the education revolution is making in communities locally and across the country. The trades training centre is to be known as the Frankston School and TAFE Alliance for Regional Training, or Frankston START, which will be owned and managed by 13 government, independent and Catholic secondary schools in our area.

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House of Representatives Speech- Border Protection

It is very sad to see the Leader of the Opposition, the Leader of the National Party and the member for Farrer continuing with their campaign of drumming up fear and hysteria around the country. It is a campaign that they have been attempting to wage now for several weeks. It has echoes of their disgraceful campaign in 2001 and the other disgraceful campaigns they waged in government—and I can give direct testimony of the disgraceful campaign that was waged in my electorate during the 2007 election campaign.

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Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts Committee Report

This report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts, Managing our coastal zone in a changing climate, is an important contribution to the national debate on climate change. It was a privilege to be a member of the standing committee in its inquiry and to participate in the report, which the House should note is a bipartisan report. I commend the member for Throsby for her role as chair of the standing committee and the member for Moore for his role as deputy chair of the committee. Before I note some of the key features of the report, I would like to thank the very hardworking secretariat, who assisted in the production of this report. I thank the secretary to the inquiry, Julia Morris; the research officers for part of the time of the inquiry, Sophia Nicolle and Adrienne Batts; and administrative officers Kane Moir and Jazmine Rakic, who also served for part of the time of the inquiry. Most particularly I would like to thank the inquiry secretary, Dr Kate Sullivan, who was with the inquiry for the entire time that it was conducted and who worked tirelessly, putting in some extraordinary hours, I would have to say, in the production of the report. I pay direct tribute to her because the high quality of the report is in no small part due to her efforts as well as, of course, the efforts of all members of the committee.

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House of Representatives Speech- Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 [No. 2]

The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme, which is contained in Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme Bill 2009 [No. 2] and related bills, is a means to a low-carbon-emissions future; it is a means to a low-carbon-growth trajectory for Australia. The Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme is not an end in itself. Anyone listening to some of the contributions to this debate from those opposite, including the hysterical contribution we have just heard from the member for Hughes, could be forgiven for thinking that it was an end in itself to introduce in Australia a carbon pollution reduction scheme—which is of course an emissions trading scheme, no different indeed from emissions trading schemes which have been introduced already in a number of countries, notably in the United Kingdom, where there has been a carbon trading scheme in operation since 2004.

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Isaacs Electorate: Noble Park Centenary

Noble Park is 100 years old this year, and over the last two weeks our community has enjoyed some wonderful centenary celebrations. The primary event was a well-attended community festival, starting on the evening of Friday, 16 October with the opening of a historical exhibition at the Paddy O’Donoghue Centre in Buckley Street, Noble Park. This was followed by a day of community celebrations on Saturday, 17 October, starting with a march of community groups, led by former mayors, down Douglas Street, through the Noble Park shops. I had the honour of marching with the former mayors. The day was filled with music, food and cultural events, reminiscing and meeting old friends. There was also a wonderful Noble Park Centenary Ball at the community centre on the preceding Saturday, 10 October which was attended by many local community groups and, notably, the other local federal member, the member for Bruce and Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, whose electorate takes in the northern side of Noble Park, and state member and Minister Tim Holding. The weekend was a great time of enjoyable reunions for many old Noble Park families who came for the celebrations.

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House of Representatives Speech- Climate Scientists Australia

Many members and senators would be aware that today eight world-leading scientists from Climate Scientists Australia visited Parliament House. Those scientists are all leaders in their respective fields: Professor Dave Griggs and Professor Neville Nicholls from Monash University, Professor Nathan Bindoff from the University of Tasmania, Professor Matthew England and Professor Andy Pitman of the University of New South Wales, Professor Lesley Hughes of Macquarie University, Professor Roger Jones of Victoria University and Professor Will Steffen of the Australian National University.

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House of Representatives Speech- Australian National Preventive Health Agency Bill 2009

The Australian Labor Party committed, in opposition, to making the prevention of chronic disease a priority for our country’s health system. In opposition, the then leader of the opposition and now Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, spoke about the need for the Commonwealth government to invest a great deal more in prevention in order to ‘help deal with the rising incidence of chronic diseases’, ‘help prevent Australians from getting sick in the first place’ and reduce ‘their need to end up in hospital’. In the course of the election campaign in 2007, the Australian Labor Party outlined a number of promises, including making prevention a focus within the health system by developing a national preventive healthcare strategy and by broadening the focus of Australian healthcare agreements between the Commonwealth and the state and territory governments so that they included a preventive healthcare partnership.

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