Higher Education Support Amendment (Demand Driven Funding System and Other Measures) Bill 2011

I rise to speak on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Demand Driven Funding System and Other Measures) Bill 2011. The bill does four things. Firstly, it removes the restrictions on the number of undergraduate Commonwealth supported places that Australian universities are able to offer. Secondly, it abolishes the student learning entitlement. Thirdly, it requires universities…

Believe it or not, economists have been wrong before

PUBLISHED IN THE PUNCH:  In this country we are blessed with some outstanding economists. But can they be collectively wrong? The Gillard Government thinks not. They claim that no economist is backing the Coalition’s Direct Action Plan, which therefore proves that it is the wrong policy. Case closed. Gillard’s claim is false: there are economists…

Gambling Your House Away

ARTICLE IN THE ROWVILLE-LYSTERFIELD COMMUNITY NEWS: As an MP, you sometimes get constituents in your office whose stories blow your mind and set you on a course you never expected. This was the case when a young, unemployed Wantirna man came to see me in early March. The young man was given $80,000 in credit…

Youth Suicide

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  As a member of parliament you sometimes have stories told to you by constituents which are utterly heartbreaking and literally have you in tears in your office. This was certainly the case when Mr Praveen Ranjan came to see me with his brother last Friday. He informed me that in mid-May he…

Online Gambling

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I would like to raise an issue that I have recently had brought to my attention that I believe needs to be addressed by the Northern Territory parliament or, if it fails to do so, then by this parliament. The issue relates to online gambling and specifically the ability of online gambling…

Development in Knox

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  My electorate of Aston in outer eastern melbourne is a beautiful electorate, made up of suburban family homes and leafy streets. It is the nature of the suburbs which makes it so attractive for families. But the nature of the community is under threat by medium- and sometimes even high-density housing that is getting…

Coptic Christianity in Egypt

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  Coptic Christianity in Egypt is one of the most remarkable religious and cultural traditions of the world. This ethno-religious group reaches back 2,000 years to the time of the apostles. The Christian Copts once formed the majority of Egypt’s population. Today they are a vulnerable minority in a predominantly Muslim country. Last…

The Carbon Tax Challenge

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: There is a manufacturing business called Vicpole in Bayswater on the edge of my electorate. It is a very successful business which has been manufacturing for over 20 years now. It manufactures street poles, street bollards and other street furniture. It employs about 40 people, many of whom have been working in…

Federal budget 2011-12

I rise to speak on the Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2011-2012, Appropriation Bill (No. 2) 2011-2012 and Appropriation (Parliamentary Departments) Bill (No. 1) 2011-12, which implement the Gillard government’s budget for this year. I note the passionate comments of the member for Berowra, who spoke just before me. In my address this evening I want…