House of Representatives Speech- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

I want to take this opportunity to note the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights on 10 December. I wholeheartedly support the motion moved by the Prime Minister on Tuesday and debated yesterday. Today, I wish to reiterate the significance of the 30 rights enshrined in the universal declaration by the UN General Assembly.

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House of Representatives speech- Rudd Government

I want to thank the Leader of the Opposition for giving me the opportunity to talk about the benefits the Rudd government has brought to the whole of our country in its first year of office, and particularly to my constituents. It is ironic that we see in this matter of public importance raised by the Leader of the Opposition the term ‘dismal performance’, because the fact is that the only dismal performance in this House, in this parliament, during this year has been that of the opposition.

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House of Representatives Speech- Fair Work Bill 2008

I speak in support of the Fair Work Bill 2008. Last November the Australian people gave this government a mandate to tear up Work Choices. The laws which demonstrated the arrogance and the hubris of those opposite ultimately brought about their downfall. The coalition insisted that the laws were acceptable, yet they never gave the Australian public a chance to debate the detail of these laws prior to the 2004 election. They never took these laws to the Australian people. Instead they spent $121 million of taxpayers’ money to attempt to con the Australian people into accepting these laws after they were rushed through this parliament. They even stopped using the name of these laws, Work Choices, in government advertising. Work Choices became the law that dared not speak its name.

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House of Representatives- Petition: Political Asylum 2008

I present two petitions that have been approved by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Petitions. The petitions concern an issue on which a number of petitions have already been presented, and I note that the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship has previously responded to these and that his response was tabled in the House on 15 September 2008.

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House of Representatives- Migration Committee Report 2008

I rise to speak on the first report of the inquiry into immigration detention in Australia by the Joint Standing Committee on Migration. First, I would like to commend this report and the committee’s chair, the member for Melbourne Ports. It is a thorough, well-researched report that attracted support from both sides of politics and whose recommendations set the tone for a strong but fair approach to dealing with border protection and those who seek to come to Australia. The report draws attention to the Commonwealth Ombudsman’s investigations into the problems of past detention policies and makes a series of suggestions as to appropriate future policy

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House of Representatives- Australian Over-60s Cricket Carnival 2008

I had the pleasure of opening the Australian Over-60s Cricket Carnival on Sunday, 16 November at the Hogben-Meckiff Oval in Mentone in my electorate. I was there with Janice Munt, the state member for Mordialloc, and Bill Nixon, Mayor of Kingston. The carnival drew hundreds of participants from around Australia and even a touring English team, who took to the field in an over-60s test match against Australia. What could fire up of a group of Australian cricketers over 60 more than a test against England, where they could play out the rivalries of Bradman and Jardine or Ponting and Flintoff? It was very fitting that the match was played at the Stan Hogben and Ian Meckiff oval. Stan was a local cricket legend, and Ian Meckiff of course was a great Australian opening bowler. Ian came down to toss the coin to start the match.

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House of Representatives- White Ribbon Day

Tomorrow is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It is a day for all of us to stand up and say that violence against women is unacceptable. Violence against women can take many forms. It can be domestic violence in the home. It can be dating violence, experienced particularly by young women.

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House of Representatives- Customs Tariff Amendment (Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2008

The Customs Tariff Amendment (Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement Implementation) Bill 2008 and cognate bill give effect to the Australia-Chile Free Trade Agreement, negotiations for which were concluded on 27 May this year by the Minister for Trade and the Chilean Minister of Foreign Affairs. It was signed on 30 July by the Australian and Chilean foreign ministers. I had the pleasure of meeting the Chilean Foreign Minister, Alejandro Foxley, in July on the occasion of the signing and I was impressed by his deep interest in and knowledge of Australia and also by his pursuit on that visit to Australia of bilateral educational links between our two countries.

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House of Representatives- Isaacs Electorate: Carrum Downs Primary School

I want to speak about the recent 100th anniversary of the Carrum Downs Primary School in my electorate and the fantastic work that principal Cecilia Stone is doing to best prepare the school for its second century. I was fortunate to be invited to speak last week at the 100th anniversary assembly in front of teachers, parents, nearly 600 of the school’s current students and a number of former students, some of whom still live in the area. It was wonderful to see the school’s hall packed to mark this significant milestone, and it was a great touch that many of the students and teachers were dressed up in period clothing to recall how the very first students of Carrum Downs Primary School would have dressed. The school’s leaders, Adam Calvert, Jacob Dalton and Rathina Srinivasaragavan, spoke about the school’s history, and there was a beautifully prepared display of old photos and news clippings from throughout the school’s existence. One of them dated all the way back to 1914. There is one student who I would particularly like to mention, Amber Simson, who is in grade 6. At the special assembly I presented her with the 2008 Community Spirit and Leadership Award for her leadership qualities, which see her held in high esteem by fellow students, staff and the wider community.

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House of Representatives- Economy Adjournment 2008

Like the member for Hume, I want to speak about the $10.4 billion Economic Security Strategy that the Prime Minister and Treasurer handed down last week in the midst of the global economic crisis. Unlike the member for Hume, I want to applaud the package, not criticise it as so many of those opposite have.

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