House of Representatives Speech- National Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

I support the National Broadcasting Legislation Amendment Bill 2009. It reflects the fulfilment of a longstanding commitment on the part of the Australian Labor Party to ensure the independence of the ABC and SBS, the two national broadcasters. It is a commitment that Labor has been repeating for a very long time and it is a commitment that Labor has expressed many times in the face of attacks on the independence of the ABC and SBS by the former government.

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House of Representatives Speech- Climate Change 2010

The scheme that has been announced today by the new Leader of the Opposition is simply a continuation of the delay and denial that we have become accustomed to in this area from the opposition. To those elements of delay and denial the opposition has now added the element of deception. We had delay for 12 years. There was delay on the part of the former government to even truly engage with the fact that there is dangerous climate change occurring, delay on the part of the former government to ratify the Kyoto protocol, delay on the part of the former government to engage with the serious attempt that is being made worldwide to deal with what is accepted to be a grave problem that faces the entire planet.

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House of Representatives Speech- Health Insurance Amendment (New Zealand Overseas Trained Doctors) Bill 2009

Since coming to office in November 2007, the Rudd government has paid close attention to reform of the health system and that close attention has taken the form of innovations in relation to primary health care and preventative health care, and a great deal of consultation and listening to the community. Since the release of the national health report by the Minister for Health and Ageing in the middle of the year, we have seen the Prime Minister at very many hospitals throughout the country, sometimes in the company of the health minister and sometimes with other ministers. It is an indication that the Rudd government, from the Prime Minister down, is listening hard to what Australians have to say about the need for reform of the health system.

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House of Representatives Speech- Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Bill 2009

The Bankruptcy Legislation Amendment Bill 2009 contains a set of timely and practical reforms. I want to concentrate in particular on the provisions which will increase the minimum debt for a creditor’s petition to $10,000. Before doing so, though, it is worth making some general comments about the nature of the bankruptcy system.

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House of Representatives Speech-Trade Practices Amendment (Infrastructure Access) Bill 2009

I support the Trade Practices Amendment (Infrastructure Access) Bill 2009. This bill is in the great tradition of Labor governments’ concern for infrastructure in this country. It continues on from a substantial number of reforms that have already been made by the Rudd Labor government to infrastructure and to the system of regulation of infrastructure in Australia. This bill demonstrates perhaps better than most how the Rudd Labor government, in its focus on infrastructure reforms, is continuing reforms from the Hawke and Keating Labor governments.

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House of Representatives Speech- Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2009

The Liberal and National parties have an obsessive hatred of all things union, and that obsessive hatred drove them to inflict major damage on student services in higher education when they abolished compulsory student union fees in 2005. I support the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities) Bill 2009 because it provides a framework for reversing the trail of destruction left by the previous government’s voluntary student unionism legislation—perhaps I should say ‘so-called voluntary student unionism legislation’. In particular, this bill will help reverse what has been noted as the ‘lessening of vibrancy and diversity’ on university campuses and will give essential service delivery back to students. The legislation fulfils the election commitment the Rudd Labor government gave from opposition to rebuild essential services and amenities on university campuses. It is an election commitment which we have already attempted once to honour with legislation that passed through this House in February and was rejected by the Senate in August.

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House of Representatives Speech- White Ribbon Day 2009

I would like to congratulate the member for Lyne for moving in this chamber what I consider to be a very important motion. This motion is timely as this Wednesday, 25 November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women also known as White Ribbon Day. White Ribbon Day started in Canada in 1991 on the second anniversary of the massacre of 14 female engineering students at the Ecole Polytechnique in Montreal and it has since spread around the world. It was an attempt to come to grips with the horrific violence of that and other events and also with the violence and abuse that many women experience every single day of their lives. It was a recognition that for gender based violence to be eliminated men need to take responsibility for that violence and to work to prevent it.

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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- 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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