Isaacs Electorate: Manufacturing

It is important to recognise the efforts of manufacturers in my electorate of Isaacs, in the south-east of Melbourne. It is fitting to do so this week, which is National Manufacturing Week. It has become all too common to downplay the important role that manufacturing continues to play in the Australian economy. Manufacturing exports were worth over $87.1 billion last year and the sector was responsible for almost 40 per cent of business expenditure on research and development. A strong manufacturing sector is critical to the current and future prosperity of our nation. All of this is particularly true for the south-east of Melbourne, which is the manufacturing hub of Victoria and a key manufacturing centre for the country.

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Condolences for the Hon. John Norman Button

John Button was a very important figure in Victorian Labor politics and indeed on the national stage. It is a mark of John Button’s stature that the tributes to him flowed from leaders and former leaders of all major political parties and from people of all walks of life. All acknowledged his role in reforming the Australian economy. All acknowledged his commitment to the Australian manufacturing industry. Many of the tributes recounted his achievements through his life—and we have heard during the debate on this condolence motion that kind of acknowledgement.

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APPROPRIATION BILL 2008-2009

The Commonwealth budget is an opportunity for a government to lay out a path forward for our nation. It is an opportunity for the government to address the challenges that our nation faces now and in the future. This budget demonstrates to the Australian people that this is a government which will fulfil its commitments on education and skills, its commitments on climate change and the environment, its commitments on infrastructure and its commitments on health. It is a budget which does so in a fiscally responsible manner. The budget has delivered a surplus of 1.8 per cent of GDP. Together with the Prime Minister’s five-point plan to tackle inflation, this budget demonstrates that Labor is the party of fiscal responsibility and economic reform. It is a budget in the Labor tradition, which delivers for the people of our Isaacs electorate. It delivers for working people, for seniors, for pensioners and for those doing it tough.

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EXPORT MARKET DEVELOPMENT GRANTS AMENDMENT BILL 2008

I rise to speak in support of the Export Market Development Grants Amendment Bill 2008. This bill forms an important part of the Rudd government’s commitment to a whole-of-government approach to supporting Australian companies in the global economy. This commitment stems from deeper values held by the Australian Labor Party and from its view of Australia and what our nation can be. The Labor Party believes in a prosperous, fair Australia supported by an open, outward-looking economy—an economy where Australian companies that want to invest overseas and export their goods and services are not held back but are instead encouraged and supported.

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TAX LAWS AMENDMENT (2008 MEASURES NO. 2) BILL 2008

I rise to support the Tax Laws Amendment (2008 Measures No. 2) Bill 2008. Like the member for Blair I feel bound to comment on the extraordinary contribution made by the member for Bowman, the previous speaker from the opposition, to this debate. The member for Bowman managed to say nothing about the bill before the House and spent his time railing against imagined faults in the budget announced last night. By contrast, the member for Blair has addressed the bill and I propose to do the same thing.

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HIGHER EDUCATION SUPPORT AMENDMENT BILL 2008

I rise today to support the Higher Education Support Amendment (Removal of the Higher Education Workplace Relations Requirements and National Governance Protocols Requirements and Other Matters) Bill 2008. This bill is an important step in overturning the regressive and mean-spirited agenda of the previous government. The introduction of the higher education workplace relations requirements and the national governance protocols themselves represented very directly one of the worst elements of the former government’s policies. They represented the ideological commitment to what was, in reality, an unfair workplace relations system. They represented unwarranted interference in the running of important national institutions and they represented very directly the willingness of the former government to use every Commonwealth power to further the government’s ideological attacks on perceived or imagined opponents, which, in this case, were universities and trade unions.

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FAMILIES, HOUSING, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (EMERGENCY RESPONSE CONSOLIDATION) BILL 2008

There is no watering down in this legislation. I rise in support of the Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and Other Legislation Amendment (Emergency Response Consolidation) Bill 2008, and wish to say straightaway, in response to the repeated suggestions that were made by the member for Murray—suggestions that were also made earlier today and on Monday night in this House by the member for Warringah—that the legislation waters down the Commonwealth response in respect of the present difficulties being faced by Aboriginal communities in the Northern Territory, that those suggestions are wrong.

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CROSS-BORDER INSOLVENCY BILL 2008

I am pleased to speak in support of the Cross-Border Insolvency Bill 2008. The purpose of this bill is to give effect to the model law of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, UNCITRAL. The enactment of the model law in Australia should encourage other nations, particularly our neighbours and trading partners, to adopt this reform. Enactment of the model law in other countries will enable Australian creditors to pursue more easily corporate miscreants such as the infamous Christopher Skase.

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Isaacs Electorate: Surf-Lifesaving

I rise to speak about some of the unsung heroes in my electorate of Isaacs. These are the fantastic men and women who volunteer as lifesavers on the magnificent beaches in my electorate from Mentone to Carrum, along Port Phillip Bay. Isaacs has seven lifesaving clubs: Mentone LSC, Mordialloc LSC, Aspendale LSC, Edithvale LSC, Chelsea Longbeach SLSC, Bonbeach LSC and Carrum SLSC.

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Isaacs Electorate: Friends of Braeside Park

I want to pay tribute to the work done in my electorate by the Friends of Braeside Park.

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