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

I rise in support of the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities, and Other Measures) Bill 2009. I support this bill because it will reverse the destruction of the established fabric of student life that was caused by the former government’s voluntary student unionism legislation. To start off with, it is worth considering what was attacked by that legislation when it was introduced by the former government in 2006.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Nation Building and Jobs Plan

I want to speak about the Rudd government’s Nation Building and Jobs Plan, which was rightly passed by the parliament last sitting week, and, in particular, the positive effects on employment thanks to the insulation component of that plan. The plan will see around 2.7 million homes become eligible for free ceiling insulation. This will create and support jobs across many sectors while reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by around 49 million tonnes. So on that score alone it is a very important measure, even before one gets to the economic stimulus effect.

Read more

House of Representatives speech- Whistleblower protection: a comprehensive scheme for the Commonwealth public sector

It is my pleasure to present the report Whistleblower protection: a comprehensive scheme for the Commonwealth public sector, which is the second report of the legal and constitutional affairs committee for this parliament.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Isaacs Electorate: Schools

I rise today to congratulate the terrific children who have been given the responsibility of being a school captain or holding a leadership role at the 49 primary and secondary schools in my electorate. Last week I was privileged to be invited to speak at special assemblies at two of these schools where I presented leadership badges and a certificate to each leader at these schools. On Monday I was at Maralinga Primary School in Noble Park with the principal, Peter Gray. It was a pleasure to meet the two new school captains, Rebecka Taseska and Hayden Bolin, who will no doubt display all the important virtues required of leaders in their final year of primary education.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Disability Discrimination and Other Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2008

I rise today to speak in favour of the Disability Discrimination and Other Human Rights Legislation Amendment Bill 2008. The amendments contained in this bill reflected Labor’s longstanding commitment to human rights. The enjoyment of full citizenship by all Australians requires the existence of a legislative framework to act as a shield against prejudice, against bigotry and against discrimination. The Disability Discrimination Act, which is one of the acts that are being amended by this legislation, was introduced by the Keating government in 1992 and it is part of this framework of antidiscrimination legislation built by successive Labor governments over the years in all spheres of government. This framework can be said to protect the rights of each and every Australian and help to ensure full participation of every Australian in civic and economic life.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008

Protecting competition in commercial markets is a matter which improves the welfare of all Australians. That is perhaps a self-evident statement but it is particularly important to remind ourselves of this at a time of global financial crisis, when shaken confidence in commercial markets and shaken confidence in trading practices needs to be bolstered in every possible way. This legislation, the Trade Practices Amendment (Cartel Conduct and Other Measures) Bill 2008, which is very long overdue, will go some way towards ensuring that people can have confidence in the competitiveness of commercial markets, ensuring that Australians and those overseas who trade with our country can have confidence that the kinds of collusive practices, price-fixing practices and cartel behaviour which the bill is directed at and which the bill will criminalise are investigated and prevented by Australian law. There is no doubt that protecting competition ought to be a basic aim of economic policy and trade practices law in this country.

Read more

House of Representatives speech- Defence Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2008

I rise to speak today on the Defence Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2008. As the House has heard from other speakers, this bill does a number of things which include amending the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 and the Criminal Code Act 1995 to recognise the red crystal as the third emblem of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and also providing that the joint facility at Pine Gap is a prohibited area.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Victorian Bushfires

It is with great sorrow that I rise to support this motion and offer my deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones, their property, their precious keepsakes or their businesses or who have survived but with injuries. The past four days have brought natural devastation the likes of which neither Victoria nor Australia has ever seen. At last count, 173 people have died and around 800 houses have been destroyed. Thousands of people seeking shelter have left their properties, and either their homes are still in danger or they are a pile of smouldering rubble where their lives used to be.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Foreign Evidence Amendment Bill 2008

The amendments in the Foreign Evidence Amendment Bill 2008 facilitate the process of adducing business records held overseas as evidence in Australian courts. By changing the Foreign Evidence Act, they will assist in the prosecution of persons who, by hiding money in the world’s shadowy places, seek to defraud the Commonwealth. They will add to the federal government’s arsenal against tax evasion, money laundering and organised crime. The amendments, by changing or making more simple the receipt of foreign business records by Australian courts, will ensure that Australia’s financial intelligence network—which includes the Australian Crime Commission, the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Federal Police and the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions—can continue to vigorously pursue investigations into tax fraud both here and overseas. Under the amendments, as long as the requirements of division 3 are met, foreign material relating to business records will be admissible in Australian courts. The court would not be required to consider any other rules of evidence under Commonwealth, state or territory law in relation to that material.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Mr Jack Pompei

I rise today to speak about Jack Pompei OAM—a man who touched many lives and helped shape our local community. Jack was born in Italy and came to Australia with his family at a very young age. They settled in Mordialloc in the 1920s and Jack never left the town until his death on 30 December last year. I feel it is important to talk about Jack today in this place for two reasons: to recognise his hard work in making our area a better place and to discuss why it is important that the campaign to rename Mordialloc Bridge in his honour is successful.

Read more