LAUNCHING THE PARLIAMENTARY FRIENDS OF GUN CONTROL
Parliament House, 19 September 2018
I’d like to thank parliamentary colleagues from all sides of the Parliament for joining us tonight to launch the Parliamentary Friends of Gun Control, particularly my co-chair John Alexander. Welcome back Tim Fischer, it’s terrific to have you here. I also welcome the extraordinary Walter Mikac, CEO of the Alannah & Madeline Foundation Lesley Podesta, and public health experts who have joined us here for this important event.
In 1996, I was a summer clerk at the Sydney law firm of Minter Ellison. Each of us were assigned a mentor. Mine was an energetic, charismatic 28 year old by the name of Zoe Hall. I couldn’t have gotten a better mentor. Zoe was somebody who kept on reaching out to say ‘how are you doing’, offering little bits of advice. And then she took a holiday to Port Arthur and became one of the victims of the Port Arthur massacre.Read more
A MESSAGE OF REMONSTRANCE
House of Representatives, 18 September 2018
For the first time in its 29-year history, the Australian Capital Territory Legislative Assembly has brought to this parliament a message of remonstrance, and it does this asking that the ACT assembly have removed the bar to it having the deeply difficult conversation about voluntary assisted dying.
It was 21 years ago that this parliament took that power away from the ACT assembly.Read more
THE GOVERNMENT HAS RUN OUT OF LEGISLATION IN THE SENATE
House of Representatives, 18 September 2018
It is a pleasure to be debating this bill. I note for the benefit of the House that the only reason we are now in the House debating this uncontroversial tax bill is that Labor voted to stop the filibuster in the Senate.
Twice the government in the Senate voted to keep on filibustering this piece of legislation. There is one very simple reason for that, which is that the government has run out of legislation in the Senate.Read more
WE'LL KEEP ON CAMPAIGNING FOR THE AIS
Federation Chamber, 17 September 2018
Founded in 1981, the Australian Institute of Sport has been a vital part of our nation's sporting prowess, responsible for training some of our sporting legends, among them Michael Klim, Cadel Evans, Sam Stosur, Petria Thomas, Anna Meares and Michael Milton.
And yet the Australian Institute of Sport is now under threat due to staffing cuts and neglect. Since the coalition came into office, the number of Canberra based staff has fallen from 173 to 140. The institute has lost 70 sports specialists, and executives have indicated that there are more losses to come.
Several sports bodies avoid the institute altogether, and many refer to it as a ‘ghost town’.Read more
HORSE AND SPARROW ECONOMICS
House of Representatives, 17 September 2018
Before they called it trickledown economics, there was a term known as 'horse and sparrow' economics.
The idea of horse and sparrow economics was that, if you want the sparrows to eat better, you just have to feed the horses enough and eventually there'll be enough left on the road for the sparrows.
That is fundamentally the way in which the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government thinks about economic policy.Read more
AUSTRALIANS DESERVE BETTER THAN MORRISON
Federation Chamber, 13 September 2018
According to a survey by Travel Leaders, Australia is the world's No. 1 travel destination.
So, you'd think that promoting Australia to the world would be the easiest job going. But there's one chap who was sacked in 2006 by the Howard government as the head of Tourism Australia in a unanimous decision of the board.
Don't feel too sorry for him since this chap was reportedly fired from his $350,000 job because tourism minister Fran Bailey couldn't stand his ego.Read more
THERE WAS A HIGHER SHARE OF WOMEN IN THE LIBERAL PARTY ROOM TWO DECADES AGO THEN THERE IS TODAY
Federation Chamber, 10 September 2018
The Prime Minister du jour said some questionable things during his first fortnight, but I draw attention to just one comment. Speaking to a football coach over the weekend, he invited the man to Canberra to 'give the boys a bit of a rev up’.
Let me repeat that: 'the boys.'
I'm here not to talk about sport but to talk about gender equity and what message that comment sends to girls and women in Australia who are contemplating a parliamentary career.Read more
LABOR SUPPORTS SENSIBLE, BROAD BASED TRADE LIBERALISATION
House of Representatives, 10 September 2018
Labor has a strong tradition of supporting sensible, broad based trade liberalisation.
It was the Whitlam Government that instituted a 25 per cent tariff cut in 1973 and the Hawke and Keating governments that reduced tariffs in 1988 and 1991. The net impact of that was to make the Australian economy more competitive and to put thousands of dollars back into the pockets of regular Australian households. Indeed, if you go to a department store now to buy a pair of kid's shoes, you'll see sticker prices that are similar to where they were 30 years ago. If you go to buy a bottom-of-the-range new car, you'll find sticker prices not that different from 30 years ago. Trade liberalisation has benefited households and has the potential to create jobs.
But trade liberalisation has to be done right. Labor's commitment to trade liberalisation is a strong, multilateral one. As they say in trade, ‘bigger is better’, not only with respect to the number of countries engaged in agreement but also with respect to the breadth of the trade agreement. High-quality agreements generate greater benefits.Read more
KEYNOTE ADDRESS, CUSTOMER OWNED BANKING ASSOCIATION REGULATORY AFFAIRS SUMMIT
National Gallery of Australia, 22 August 2018
Thank you, Michael [Lawrence], for that introduction. As a member for the ACT, welcome to those of you who are not Canberrans to the best city in Australia (as rated by the OECD). I acknowledge that we're meeting on traditional lands of the Ngunnawal people and pay my respect to their elders past and present.
At the outset I wanted to say a few words about where the Australian economy is tracking. I’ll begin, because I'm a natural optimist, with the things that look positive. The Reserve Bank recently noted that there has been a broad pick up in global growth in 2017 which has largely carried through to 2018. Chinese growth is increasingly consumption driven, East Asian semiconductor trade is healthy, European machinery investments has been strong. In the United States and Japan and Germany and in Britain, unemployment is in a multi-decade low. Forecasts for global growth have been revised up for 2018 and 2019.
For Australia, commodity prices remain solid. Analysts are a little concerned about the medium term outlook. Some of that turns on the changes that China is making around managing local production to improve urban air quality. A good thing for the air in their cities, but it may have knock on effects on our iron ore exports.
If you're a business, global interest rates are now as low as they've been since 3000 B.C., according to analysis done by the Bank of England. So that's the upside. That's my Edward de Bono ‘yellow hat’ analysis.Read more
WE TERRITORIANS WILL KEEP UP THE PRESSURE TO HAVE OUR DEMOCRATIC VOICES HEARD
House of Representatives, 20 August 2018
I move that this bill be now read a second time.
Twenty-one years ago this parliament restricted the rights of territorians to have their voices heard through their elected representatives on the issue of voluntary assisted dying. Back then, they said that these parliaments were too immature to be given the power of voluntary assisted dying. They said that no state had done it and a territory shouldn't be the first. Today, those arguments are gone. Victoria has now legislated on voluntary assisted dying. The whole notion that there might be some mass migration of Australians towards a territory that was the first to legislate on euthanasia — that argument is out the window.
And parliaments have grown up. Back in 1997, when Kevin Andrews passed his private member's bill, the ACT assembly was just nine years old—just a kid attending primary school. Now it's grown up, left home and shown itself to be a mature debating chamber. Yes, the ACT is a unicameral assembly, but so is Queensland. The ACT has a bigger population than Tasmania. A 30-year-old mature assembly has tackled complicated issues, from light rail to infrastructure investment, from innovation to higher education. This is a parliament that has shown itself to be fit to handle a difficult challenge such as voluntary assisted dying.Read more