Rising Childcare costs

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: I rise to express my concern about changes that the government has made to childcare under the “National Quality Framework”. As of 1 Jan this year, childcare operators had to reduce their staff:child ratios from 5:1 to 4:1.  The impact of this has been to dramatically increase the cost of childcare to…

Condolence Motion for Sir Zelman Cowan

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I rise to add my comments to the condolences that we have heard today and yesterday on the passing of Sir Zelman Cowan on 8 December last year, the day that marked the 34th anniversary of his swearing in as Australia’s 19th Governor-General in 1977. Sir Zelman was a true giant in…

Support for CyberKnife Cancer Treatment

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I rise tonight to express my support for the introduction into Australia of a new cancer treatment called CyberKnife. This is a remarkable technology that has the capacity to save or improve the lives of hundreds of people who are suffering from cancer. In short, it provides a more targeted radiotherapy treatment…

Reducing Small Business Compliance Burden

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I rise to speak on the Excise Amendment (Reducing Business Compliance Burden) Bill 2011 to express my support for its measures. We on this side of the House understand two things in relation to small business. The first is that small business is indeed the backbone of our economy. It employs millions…

Mining Tax

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA: I rise today to also speak on the mining tax bills that are before us. I do not wish to go over all the material, which previous coalition members have spoken on, but I would like to associate myself with many of the comments that the coalition speakers made today and yesterday.…

Indigenous incarceration

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I rise to speak on Dr Leigh’s motion concerning the increasing incarceration rates of Australian citizens, and particularly those of Indigenous Australians. This issue is an important one. The figures quoted in the motion are alarming and should make all Australians, particularly policy makers, stop, think and reflect. The Australian incarceration rate…

Occasional Care childcare funding in Knox

PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA:  I rise today to again express my concern in relation to the Federal government’s decision to cut $12.6 million from the Take a Break program, which funds Occasional Care. In Victoria some 220 community centres that operate Occasional Care may now need to close down their programs. Thousands of parents will be…