Wild Rivers

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: Earlier today we rightly reflected upon the life of Dame Margaret Whitlam, who tragically passed away quite recently. In doing so, we also reflected upon the life of her husband, Gough Whitlam. When you think about Gough Whitlam and some of the enduring images of his tenure as Prime Minister, one of those…

Classification Amendment R 18+

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: I rise this afternoon to speak on the Classification (Publications, Films and Computer Games) Amendment (R 18+ Computer Games) Bill 2012. I would like to say at the outset that this is a bill which I have spent considerable time thinking about, and I have had great difficulty in coming to a…

90 Second Statement on Education

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  One reason for the decline in the number of students studying maths and science is a paucity of maths and science teachers. So it is a great concern to learn that stifling bureaucracy is preventing some truly outstanding graduates from teaching maths and science. Let me give you three examples. Firstly, Justin…

Voluntary Student Unionism

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: This year students went back to university to discover that a condition of continuing their studies was a compulsory student services and amenities fee of up to $263. They did not have to pay that fee last year because it was voluntary, as it was for the six years before that. This…

Preschool and Child Care policies

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  This evening I would like to raise two issues which concern young families. The first is the policies relating to preschools, which are causing three-year-old preschools across Victoria to close down as we speak. The second is childcare centre policies, which are putting up the costs of child care right across Australia.…

Appropriations Bill – Cost of Living

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I also rise to speak on the appropriations bills which are in front of us. I would like to use the opportunity, if I may, to discuss three important national issues which are confronting my electorate. My electorate is in suburban Melbourne. It is very much a middle income electorate, 15 or…

Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, Canberra: I rise to support the Social Security Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory Bill 2011 and the Stronger Futures in the Northern Territory (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2011. This is important legislation because it concerns the most disadvantaged people in our society of Australia, and that…