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Archive for September 2010

Broadband in Gungahlin

This story from IT News has more detail on the fast broadband rollout for Gungahlin residents.

Doorstop on IMF, GST, Mining Tax, Julia Gillard, Poker Machines

A transcript of my doorstop this morning is over the fold.

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Working Together

On 21-22 September, I was one of 32 new members of parliament who met at Parliament House for a training session. Over two days, we learned about everything from parliamentary procedure to the computer system, and had a chance to mix socially with new members from all sides of politics. Among the class of 2010 are Ed Husic (the first Muslim to sit in the House of Reps) and Ken Wyatt (the first Indigenous person to sit in the House). Like others I met, they’re both impressive people, who will bring new skills and perspectives to the policy debate.

Being in the Federal Parliament is a rare honour. On the first morning, we were each given our ‘number’. Mine is 1078, meaning that I’m the 1078th person to sit in the House of Representatives since 1901. It sends a chill down your spine when you realise that you’re part of a legacy that reaches back to great figures like Deakin and Curtin, Hasluck and Hawke, Killen and Daly.

I learned a great deal from chatting with my fellow new MPs, and the friendly interchange among us gave me hope that the Opposition may be able to put aside petty bickering to help pass an important legislative agenda over the coming months. Julia Gillard’s to-do list for just this week includes measures to establish a National Preventative Health Agency, set up an Australian Civilian Corps, and strengthen ASIC’s investigative powers.

Both sides of politics have a duty to get on with the business of governing in the national interest. The Australian people don’t want squabbling on the floor of their national Parliament – they want politicians of all stripes to roll their sleeves up and get to work.

(cross-posted at the ALP blog)

Schools and Growth

My AFR op-ed today is on education and productivity. Full text over the fold.

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Gungahlin NBN Consultations

Jon Stanhope, Kate Lundy and I have put out a media release on the 13 October public consultations for the Gungahlin NBN rollout.

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The benefits of taking rocks out of our harbours

Here’s the full text of the speech I gave on trade at the recent GAP National Economic Review conference.

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New MP training

I was in new MP training at Parliament House yesterday, and the sessions continue today. A few impressions:

Territory Rights

With Gai Brodtmann and Kate Lundy, I’ve put out a statement today on the issue of ACT political rights and euthanasia. Full text over the fold.

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Pensions Up

Good news today for nearly 30,000 Canberrans, who receive an increase in their pensions thanks to twice-yearly indexation. With my colleagues Gai Brodtmann (the member for Canberra) and Senator Kate Lundy, we’ve put out a media statement providing more details. Full text over the fold.

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Trade Talk

I’m speaking in Sydney tomorrow at the NSW Parliament House. The event is the National Economic Review 2010, being organised by Global Access Partners. I’ll be speaking on international trade – why Australia has benefited from taking rocks out of our harbours, and what the future might hold.

Office Works

I’m delighted to report that I’ve appointed all the staff in my electorate office. I’ll have five people, with two of them job-sharing. It was an arduous process, since there were 80 applications, and I could happily have staffed several electorate offices with all the talented people who put in applications. But in the end, I’ve made my decisions, and I think the office will work out extremely well.

Rick Youssef, who worked for Annette Ellis for several years, will be my office manager. My other staff are Lyndell Tutty, Shobaz Kandola, Alex Cubis and Ruth Stanfield.