House of Representatives Speech- Federal Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2014

The Federal Courts Legislation Amendment Bill 2014 implements several minor changes to the Federal Court of Australia Act and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia Act. Supporting the federal courts and, of course, also now the federal administrative tribunals is an important responsibility of the Commonwealth government and particularly of the Commonwealth Attorney-General. It was not always so. It is difficult to imagine now that the Commonwealth had no court of general federal jurisdiction until well into the seventh decade after Federation, when the Federal Court of Australia first sat in 1977. For more than half of the life of our nation we made do with a unique innovation of the Australian Constitution: the 'autochthonous expedient'—the ability of the Commonwealth Parliament to invest federal jurisdiction in the courts of the states.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Bill 2014

  The Acts and Instruments (Framework Reform) Bill updates and consolidates the arrangements for the registration, tabling, scrutiny and repeal of a range of Commonwealth instruments. The bill implements the recommendations of a statutory review of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 in 2008 led by a committee comprising Mr Anthony Blunn AO, Mr Ian Govey and Professor John McMillan AO. The bill makes a number of reforms to the arrangements for delegated legislation under the Legislative Instruments Act 2003, which sets out a comprehensive regime for the registration, tabling, scrutiny and repeal of legislative instruments. It consolidates the Acts Publication Act 1905, which deals with statutes, and the Legislative Instruments Act 2003 into a new legislation act. It integrates the database of Commonwealth acts and the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments into a single Federal Register of Legislation. It provides that Commonwealth instruments which are not legislative in character and therefore not captured by the present Legislative Instruments Act be registered on the Federal Register of Legislation as a new category of 'notifiable instrument'. Finally, the bill makes various other technical changes to consolidate the handling of Commonwealth instruments.

Read more

Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (No.1) Bill 2014

This is now the third time that I have spoken to national security legislation in this term of the Parliament. My approach, and Labor’s approach, has been consistent on each occasion. 

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Indigenous Legal Assistance

  It seems longer, but it was just 14 months ago that this government took office. On 7 September 2013 newly elected Prime Minister Abbott addressed the Australian people to claim victory in the federal election. He said:

In a week or so the Governor-General will swear in a new government. A government that says what it means, and means what it says. A government of no surprises and no excuses ... and a government that accepts that it will be judged more by its deeds than by its mere words.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Seniors: Health Care

I recently held four seniors morning teas in my Isaacs electorate as part of Seniors Week celebrations. I find these events an excellent opportunity for me to talk to seniors in the Isaacs community and to discuss issues that matter to them. This year I held morning teas in Chelsea, in Carrum Downs, in Mentone and in Noble Park.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014

The Corporations Legislation Amendment (Deregulatory and Other Measures) Bill 2014 amends the Corporations Act 2001 and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001. Items 1, 2 and 10 of the schedule to this bill amend the Corporations Act 2001, and their intent is to better balance the rights of shareholders to raise issues with a company and the costs of companies that have been required to call and hold a general meeting. It would repeal the so-called 100-member rule which creates an obligation on a corporation to hold a general meeting at the request of 100 or more shareholders.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Treasury Legislation Amendment (Repeal Day) Bill 2014

The Treasury Legislation Amendment (Repeal Day) Bill forms part of the government's repeal day stunt. The government makes a lot of grandiose claims about their deregulation agenda. We have heard feverish talk of a 'bonfire of regulations'. The government claims that they will achieve savings in compliance costs of up to $1 billion dollars from their repeal day theatrics.

Read more

Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014, Australian Parliament House, 30 October 2014

The Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Foreign Fighters) Bill 2014 (‘Foreign Fighters Bill’) is the second national security Bill brought forward by the Government in this Parliament.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Medicare Locals

I stand to condemn the government on its abject failure to keep its pre-election promise to maintain and support Medicare Locals as a deliverer of primary healthcare services across Australia. I also condemn the government for its failure to provide staff of Medicare Locals with sufficient guidance or information about the future of Australia's primary healthcare services sector and about the employment prospects in the primary healthcare sector once the government closes the 61 Medicare Locals next year.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Omnibus Repeal Day (Spring 2014) Bill 2014, Amending Acts 1970 to 1979 Repeal Bill 2014, Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 2) 2014

The Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 2) 2014 is the second introduced by the government this year. The parliament has introduced such bills with regularity since 1934. They are, as the Bills Digest notes, a matter of 'housekeeping'. These bills correct drafting errors, update cross-references and remove spent or obsolete provisions. These bills serve a worthy purpose—they maintain the tidiness of the statute book. This is an ongoing task for this and other parliaments.

Read more