House of Representatives Speech- Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Amendment Bill 2009

The Nation Building Program (National Land Transport) Amendment Bill 2009 demonstrates the decisive response of the Rudd Labor government to the global financial crisis. Because of that global financial crisis, the global economy is in recession. It will contract by 1.5 per cent in 2009. And Australia is in recession. Our economy will contract by one-half of one per cent in 2009-10. These are the most serious global economic circumstances which Australia has been confronted with for more than 75 years. The Rudd government is acting now to boost demand, to support jobs through this recession and to build the foundations for our future prosperity through investment in critical national infrastructure, which is what this legislation is directed to.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech-Higher Education Support Amendment (VET FEE-HELP and Providers) Bill 2009

It is a privilege to be able to speak today in support of the Higher Education Support Amendment (VET FEE-HELP and Providers) Bill 2009, which is part of a large range of measures this government is taking in every sector of the education system. I was sorry to hear the previous speaker refer to the ‘so-called’ education revolution, because in truth there is an education revolution led by the Rudd Labor government, which is being felt in every sector of the education system throughout Australia. We have reforms taking place in early childhood, in the primary and secondary systems and in the higher education system. What we see in this bill is assistance directed at the VET system to provide fee help. Of course, VET FEE-HELP at present assists students who are studying diploma, advanced diploma, graduate certificate or graduate diploma courses by providing a loan for all or part of the tuition costs.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Iran: Baha’i Detainees

I rise today to support the motion urging Iran to respect the human rights of its Baha’i community. I acknowledge the members of the Baha’i community in the gallery today, who are part of the Australian Baha’i community, which has flourished here since 1920. The world watches with increasing apprehension the deterioration of religious freedom in Iran. The religious fanaticism of the Iranian regime has led to the execution of untold numbers of journalists, writers, trade unionists, gays and lesbians and other minority groups. Not least among these are the Baha’i, whose progressive traditions, such as the equality of women, do not sit well with authoritarian theocracy.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2009-2010

I rise to speak on the Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2009-2010 and cognate bills and start by setting out some of the key facts about the current economic situation, because those key facts are needed to frame any discussion of the budget and any discussion of the measures in the bills. First, we need to recognise that presently there is the most serious economic crisis that the global economy has faced in many years. Second, we should note that Budget Paper No. 1 outlines this in stark terms and includes facts like every advanced economy is now in recession, with the world economy expected to contract by 1½ per cent in 2009, and that global trade has collapsed. In 2009 it is expected to shrink by 11 per cent, more than in any other postwar period. We have an Australia in recession and we will have an economic contraction of half a per cent in 2009-10. Most importantly in terms of framing this budget there has been a collapse in taxation receipts. There has been a downward revision of $173 billion over the four years to 2011-12, including $90 billion in company taxation and $30 billion in capital gains tax.

Read more

Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Bill 2009

It is a curious position that we are faced with here in that the member for Farrer, representing those opposite, has now indicated—apparently basing her speech on the report of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs, which contains a section written by the Liberal senators who are members of the committee—that there are to be amendments moved in the Senate to the Evidence Amendment (Journalists’ Privilege) Bill 2009. We are told that we have to await those amendments to see what the detail is as to exactly how the Liberal Party proposes that the balance should be differently struck.

Read more

Nation-building Funds Amendment Bill 2009

I rise to support the Nation-building Funds Amendment Bill 2009. I think it is important that the context for this legislation and indeed the context for the budget that the Treasurer delivered last night be considered. We are experiencing the deepest global recession since the Great Depression and there are a few basic facts to be considered. The world economy will contract by 1.5 per cent. Other advanced economies are in deep recession. Australia is in recession. The economy will contract by 0.5 per cent in 2009-10. Unemployment is going to rise and the terms of trade are to fall significantly.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Native Title Amendment Bill 2009

Since the 1992 decision of the High Court in the Mabo case, it has been understood that the common law of Australia recognises a form of native title.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2009

This legislation, the Commonwealth Electoral Amendment (Political Donations and Other Measures) Bill 2009, implements longstanding Australian Labor Party policy to clean up electoral donations and the electoral donations and funding system. It implements longstanding Labor Party policy to reduce the perception of undue influence from private donations to political parties, and it imple-ments longstanding Australian Labor Party policy to introduce electoral laws which protect the integrity of the democratic process.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Akha People

I rise to speak on this motion moved by the member for Mallee which, among other things, calls for assistance in helping the Akha people work towards self-determination and for increased Australian aid for the Akha people. I acknowledge the many difficult issues facing this group, and I would also like to acknowledge the intent of the member for Mallee in moving this motion to seek to draw attention to their plight.

Read more

House of Representatives Speech- Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities, and Other Measures) Bill 2009

I rise in support of the Higher Education Legislation Amendment (Student Services and Amenities, and Other Measures) Bill 2009. I support this bill because it will reverse the destruction of the established fabric of student life that was caused by the former government’s voluntary student unionism legislation. To start off with, it is worth considering what was attacked by that legislation when it was introduced by the former government in 2006.

Read more


connect