Gambling reform

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  It is very easy as an Independent to take the moral high ground on gambling issues with some simple propositions, as the member for Lyne has outlined in this motion. But it is frequently more complex than what the Independents would have you believe. As the member for Lyne would be only…

Coastal Shipping Reform

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: I rise to speak against these shipping reform bills, the Shipping Reform (Tax Incentives) Bill 2012 and related bills. I do so because they are fundamentally protectionist in nature and will increase the cost of shipping, which will then flow through to almost every product in our society. It is important that…

Appropriations Bills

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: I also rise to speak on the appropriations bills before us. These appropriations bills, of course, form this year’s federal budget. They were not just a missed opportunity but irresponsible given the economic situation that we find ourselves in. Our high-level numbers still look reasonably healthy in unemployment and growth prospects, but these…

Aged care motion

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I rise also to speak on the Member for Shortland’s motion, which concerns the aged-care package. This motion concerns an important but challenging policy area—that of aged care. It is important because already one million people use or receive aged care services, and this will grow to about 3.5 million people by…

Murray Rose – Condolence Motion

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  We’d had legends before like Boy Charlton and Frank Beaurepaire and Fanny Durack, but they did not capture the public mood in the same way.  It was the right moment for a whole group of athletes and the right moment for Melbourne.  I don’t think Melbourne was ever the same again.” Journalist…

Death of Jim Stynes OAM

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  Today we lost a truly great Australian and, as Mike Sheahan said in today’s Herald Sun, ‘one of the most extraordinary figures in Australian life’—we lost Mr Jim Stynes. As the member for Flinders, who spoke just before me, so eloquently said, Mr Jim Stynes was not just a footballer, he was…

Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Maintaining Address) Bill 2011 and the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Protecting Elector Participation) Bill 2012

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: Australia is a truly great democracy. We are indeed one of the great democracies of the world, the longest continuous democracy on the planet despite our relatively short history as a nation. We have never had a coup. We have never had a revolution. When we have elections at the state and…