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.

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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.

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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.

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Condolence Motion For the Hon. Edward Gough Whitlam, AC, QC, House of Representatives

Gough Whitlam changed Australia for the better. There is no doubt that on any side of politics Gough Whitlam was one of the great leaders of our nation.

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House of Representatives- Freedom of Information Amendment (New Arrangements) Bill 2014

  Freedom of information laws are essential to Australia's democracy because they give the Australian public and media access to information about what the government elected by the Australian people is doing in their name. Labor has long championed freedom of information laws. The establishment of a Commonwealth FOI Act became part of Labor's policy platform in 1972. With characteristic farsightedness, Gough Whitlam first called for an FOI law in a speech as opposition leader. Though these laws were not passed for another decade, it is yet another example of the reforming vision that characterised Gough Whitlam's political work and which reinforces his place in history as one of the great leaders of this nation.

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Adjournment Debate, House of Representative, Australian Human Rights Commission releases its report into workplace discrimination against new parents

On 25 July, the Australian Human Rights Commission released its report into workplace discrimination against new parents: Supporting Working Parents: Pregnancy and Return to Work National Review.

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National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014, House of Representatives

The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No 1) 2014 stems from work which began under the former Labor Government in 2012. In May 2012 then-Labor Attorney-General the Hon Nicola Roxon MP asked the bipartisan Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (the PJCIS) to conduct a broad inquiry into potential reforms to Australia’s national security laws. The Labor Government released for community debate and consultation a National Security Discussion Paper which formed the basis for the PJCIS’s inquiry. 

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House of Representatives Speech- National Security Legislation Amendment Bill (No. 1) 2014

  I rise to speak in relation to amendments (3) to (10) moved by the member for Melbourne. The first group of those amendments is the omission of the first offence, which appears as part of the secrecy provision that is section 3P. The member for Melbourne said that his amendment protects whistleblowing. It does nothing of the kind. I have some knowledge of these matters, because I brought what is now the Public Interest Disclosure Act into this House last year. A scheme of whistleblower protection expressly confers protection on whistleblowers.

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House of Representatives Speech- Automotive Transformation Scheme Amendment Bill 2014

  I rise to condemn the government's Automotive Transformation Scheme Amendment Bill 2014. The Automotive Transformation Scheme is a legislative scheme that encourages investment and innovation in the Australian automotive industry. Since the Automotive Transformation Scheme Act passed through parliament in 2009 the ATS has provided co-investment to companies for the production of motor vehicles and engines, and for investment in eligible research and development and relevant equipment. The ATS was the cornerstone of Labor's New Car Plan for a Greener Future, which was announced in November 2008. This plan provided $5.4 billion of co-investment support from 2010 to 2020, with the ATS accounting for some $3 billion of that investment.

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House of Representatives Speech- Iraq and Syria 2014

Australia's involvement in Iraq should be defined and conducted with humanitarian protection as its primary and overwhelming objective. There is no doubt of the depth of the humanitarian crisis that is occurring now in Iraq. In Iraq 1.8 million people have been internally displaced and hundreds of thousands are in need of humanitarian assistance. The situation in Syria is also dire: 6.5 million Syrians are internally displaced and 10 million need humanitarian support.

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