House of Representatives- Offshore Petroleum Amendment (Greenhouse Gas Storage) Bill 2008

I rise to speak in support of the Offshore Petroleum Amendment (Greenhouse Gas Storage) Bill 2008, the Offshore Petroleum (Annual Fees) Amendment (Greenhouse Gas Storage) Bill 2008, the Offshore Petroleum (Registration Fees) Amendment (Greenhouse Gas Storage) Bill 2008 and the Offshore Petroleum (Safety Levies) Amendment (Greenhouse Gas Storage) Bill 2008. These bills create a new class of offshore titles that provide for the transportation by pipeline and the injection and storage in geological formations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases such as methane.

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House of Representatives- First Home Saver Accounts (Further Provisions) Amendment Bill 2008

I rise to speak in favour of the First Home Saver Accounts (Further Provisions) Amendment Bill 2008. This is a bill which, among other changes, amends the First Home Saver Accounts Act by, first, establishing a scheme for dealing with unclaimed money; secondly, making amendments to secrecy and information sharing between the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission; and, thirdly, dealing comprehensively with family law situations. These amendments further implement the government’s election commitment to introduce first home saver accounts. This commitment is an innovative response to the housing affordability crisis which is besetting our country. It was a crisis which the previous government was unable or unwilling to respond to. It can be recognised that the solution provided by the First Home Saver Accounts legislation is not a complete solution. There is no single solution to the housing affordability crisis, but as part of a larger package of measures that are being undertaken by the Rudd government this measure will help reduce the impact of the housing affordability crisis on working families.

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House of Representatives- British Pensions

I congratulate the member for Kingston for bringing this matter to the attention of the House. Until it was terminated in 2001, Australia’s social security agreement with the United Kingdom benefited thousands of Australian residents who have lived and worked in the United Kingdom. The agreement honoured significant contributions made by many Australians and Australian residents to the United Kingdom’s national insurance system. Many voluntarily gave up salary throughout their working lives in good faith that their contributions would be protected in retirement.

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House of Representatives- MIGRATION LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL (NO. 1) 2008

The Migration Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2008 seeks to clarify and improve the effectiveness of the Migration Act, the Australian Citizenship Act, the Australian Citizenship (Transitionals and Consequentials) Act and the Customs Act. There are a range of amendments proposed by the bill; I want to speak to only a few aspects of those amendments.

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House of Representatives- Charter of Human Rights

In this year’s budget, the Rudd government provided for a national consultation on the recognition and protection of human rights and responsibilities. This will fulfil Labor policy, and it is particularly appropriate that this provision be made this year, which in December will mark the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That declaration is part of Labor’s human rights legacy because of the large part played in its drafting by HV Evatt, later Labor leader and then President of the United Nations General Assembly.

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House of Representatives- Speech on Uranium Sales to India 2008

The rise of Asia, in particular China and India, is one of the defining features of the 21st century. It is an exciting development for Australia, for the region and for the world. India has turned outwards and is engaging at an intensity not seen in the second half of the last century. Although India still faces many challenges, its liberal democracy, free press and independent judiciary as well as vibrant civil society give enormous reassurance that it can overcome the challenges that it faces. What we are seeing is remarkable. The commercial genius of Indian entrepreneurs is being released, with stunning results. India has established rates of economic growth of seven to eight per cent per annum. One can only applaud this incredible transformation that we are watching unfold: the return of India to the centre of global industry and commerce. India’s rise will inevitably make it a strategic power. It has begun to focus on Australia’s area of traditional diplomatic interest, East Asia, as a market and as a key area for its security interests.

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House of Representatives- Speech on Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment Bill 2008

I rise today to speak in favour of the Telecommunications Interception Legislation Amendment Bill 2008. This bill is a demonstration of the Rudd government’s commitment to the rule of law and accountable government, albeit that, on its face, the legislation is of a fairly technical nature. The bill clarifies the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act 1979 and the Surveillance Devices Act 2004 to address what could be described as legal uncertainties arising from the 1992 decision of the Federal Court, which is quite some time ago, in a case called Hong Kong Bank Australia Ltd v Australian Securities Commission.

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FAMILY LAW AMENDMENT (DE FACTO FINANCIAL MATTERS AND OTHER MEASURES) BILL 2008

I rise to speak in support of the Family Law Amendment (De Facto Financial Matters and Other Measures) Bill 2008. This bill gives effect to the referral of powers by Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania to the Commonwealth to legislate on de facto relationships. It is also legislation that gives effect to longstanding Labor policy. It is an excellent use of the referral mechanism that is contained in section 51(xxxvii) of the Commonwealth Constitution.

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FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK LEGISLATION AMENDMENT BILL 2008

I rise today to support the Financial Framework Legislation Amendment Bill 2008. This bill amends a number of acts, namely the Financial Management and Accountability Act, the Albury-Wodonga Development Act, the Public Service Act, the Reserve Bank Act and the Defence Home Ownership Assistance Scheme Act 2008. The amendments in the bill will provide clarification of the operation of the law in the area of public financial management as well as correcting typographical errors and providing consistency in a range of areas.

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NATIONAL GREENHOUSE AND ENERGY REPORTING AMENDMENT BILL 2008

I rise to speak in favour of the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment Bill 2008, which demonstrates the Rudd Labor government’s commitment to tackling climate change. Greenhouse emissions are clearly changing the world’s climate and we must ensure that scientists and planners have the accurate data and information they need to find efficient and effective solutions. The information that this bill deals with will be critical in facilitating policymaking on greenhouse and energy issues.

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