House of Representatives Speech- Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2014-2015

What a dreadful and disappointing budget was handed down by this government on 13 May. It is a dreadful and disappointing budget because it is filled with lies and broken promises, and it has been so seen by the people of Australia right across the country. Parents, young people, pensioners—anyone that uses the services the government provides can see now what they got when they elected the Abbott government in September last year. Just as the bunting around polling booths said, 'He wins, you lose,' now Australians can see just how right that prediction was from the Australian Labor Party. Tony Abbott did win the election and Australians lost in so many ways.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Community Legal Centres

The Attorney-General, Senator Brandis, said in an interview published on 17 April that he was 'a John Stuart Mill man'. He said that he has been a fan of free speech since he entered politics. Senator Brandis is a very selective fan of free speech. He is a fan of untrammelled speech for hateful demagogues but he is not a fan of informed public debate—precisely what John Stuart Mill actually intended freedom of speech to foster.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Budget 2014

On 13 May this Liberal-National Party government delivered a deeply unpopular budget. Pensioners, young people, students, parents across my electorate have made this very, very clear to me since 13 May—in fact, people across Australia, because I have been to some other places other than my electorate in the couple of weeks since the budget. People in Bendigo, people in Castlemaine, people in Mornington in Victoria, people in Sydney and people here in Canberra have all made it very clear to me just how deeply unpopular this budget is. It is probably for that reason that an unnamed Liberal was quoted in the media today as describing this budget as 'a stinking carcass around the neck of this government'. And well might that description have been given to this budget, because for a whole range of reasons this budget has deeply disappointed Australians. It has deeply disappointed Australians because of the number of broken promises that we find in this budget. It has deeply disappointed Australians because of the unfair and uneven pain that this budget inflicts on so many Australians. And it is deeply unpopular and bitterly disappointing to Australians because of the wrong choices that this budget is full of.

Read more

Address on the Federal Budget to the ALP Victorian State Conference Dinner - Melbourne

Address on the Federal Budget to the ALP Victorian State Conference Dinner  

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- South East Melbourne Manufacturing Forum

I want to thank representatives of the research, local government and industry sectors for contributing their views at the South East Melbourne Manufacturing Forum in Dandenong on 1 May. My colleagues—Senator Kim Carr; the member for Chisholm, Anna Burke; and the member for Hotham, Clare O'Neil—and I hosted the forum at the city of Greater Dandenong's new civic chambers to respond to local concerns about the impact of the closure of the Australian car industry on manufacturers across south-east Melbourne. Unlike the government, which has no plan and no ideas for the manufacturing sector, Labor cares and Labor is listening.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014, Amending Acts 1901 to 1969 Repeal Bill 2014, Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 1) 2014

I have a question for the member for Kooyong. By way of preface to that question, I feel I should point out that I have had occasion to look at several of the 1,120 amending acts that are to be repealed by the Amending Acts 1901 to 1969 Repeal Bill, one of the three bills before the House. One of those acts, No. 180, is the Statute Law Revision Act 1934. This act happens to be the first statute law revision act ever put through this parliament. As the member for Kooyong's great predecessor, the then Mr Latham, the Attorney-General, said in his second reading speech introducing the bill, the practice of using a statute law revision bill had been in place and had been actively pursued in England since 1861. He referred to no fewer than 37 occasions where similar acts had been passed by the British parliament. He also said, on the first statute law revision bill passing through this parliament:

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014, Amending Acts 1901 to 1969 Repeal Bill 2014, Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 1) 2014

I rise to speak to the Statute Law Revision Bill (No. 1) 2014 and the Amending Acts 1901 to 1969 Repeal Bill 2014. My colleague the member for Watson has spoken on the other bill before the House, the Omnibus Repeal Day (Autumn 2014) Bill 2014. Statute law revision bills are a routine piece of housekeeping undertaken by this parliament. They correct typographical and grammatical errors, they update language and they repeal spent or obsolete provisions. They are a completely unremarkable, largely clerical, practice which, in this country, dates back to before Federation. Commonwealth governments of both political persuasions have tended to introduce one or more such bills each year.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Marriage (Celebrant Registration Charge) Bill 2014, Marriage Amendment (Celebrant Administration and Fees) Bill 2014

The Marriage Amendment (Celebrant Registration Charge) Bill 2014 and the Marriage Amendment (Celebrant Administration and Fees) Bill 2014 are bills which reflect the implementation of a 2011-12 budget decision of the Gillard Labor government to introduce cost recovery for Commonwealth registered marriage celebrants in Australia.

Read more

House of Representatives Speeches- Deregulation 2014

For some time now we have been subjected to a numbing barrage of platitudes on deregulation from the Prime Minister and the member for Kooyong. In opposition, their trite slogans were more like those of an overenthusiastic Young Liberals branch meeting or an American Tea Party rally than of a party with pretensions to become the government of the Commonwealth of Australia. And of course, most of this sloganeering has been based on nonsense suppositions of a kind that were the stock-in-trade of the Abbott opposition and that, very sadly for our nation, continue to be the stock-in-trade of the Abbott government. The truth of the matter, demonstrated by numerous independent reviews and studies, is that Labor governments are not in any sense prone to overregulation.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Employment, Isaacs Electorate: Chobani

Jobs have been under attack in this nation since the Abbott government came to power. In just the last four months we have seen appalling job losses announced at Qantas, Holden, Toyota, Forge Group, Alcoa and Sensis, to name only a few of the larger companies. In total, there have been more than 14,000 lost jobs announced just among those larger companies that report, and the flow-on job losses may be two to three times those figures, particularly in those parts of the manufacturing sector impacted by the loss of our automotive industry. The national unemployment rate has not been this high in a decade. It continues to rise, and the Abbott government has no plan.

Read more