Categories ArchivesSpeeches

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) standard

This is the third time I have risen to briefly contribute to the debate on the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014, and for the third time I will vote against this government legislation. In division 3, this legislation takes away fundamental civil rights from blue-collar workers—like the right to silence, the presumption of innocence and freedom of association. I cannot in good conscience support extraordinary legislation which specifically targets union members and blue-collar workers while ignoring white collar crime and criminals. If the government were at the same time to introduce extraordinary legislation to parliament, which applied the same standards to all workers, both blue-collar and white-collar workers, then they would have my support. For example: if the ...

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ADJOURNMENT SPEECH 09-11-16 standard

Previously, in the 44th parliament, the Senate voted to support my motion to establish a special investigation. The investigation focused on alleged human rights abuses including torture, sexual assault, abuse and sexual denigration during the Australian Army’s training of our special forces soldiers. I ask that all senators in the next couple of days once again support the re-establishment of this inquiry through a vote for the motion of which I have given notice. Over the next 20 minutes I will detail new evidence from Defence whistleblowers and official written replies from the Army which strengthen the need for this independent inquiry. Click here to read the full speech: full speech here

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Speech: National Rural Women’s Coalition – Leadership and Politics standard

Today I gave a speech to the National Rural Women’s Coalition in Canberra today. Please see below transcript: It was a brutal 10-year battle with the Australian Department of Veterans’ Affairs to try and obtain proper medical treatment and secure all my defence force entitlements that led me to a crossroads. End the suffering once and for all – or change it – for me and everyone who had suffered just as I had. When the former didn’t work – you will have to buy my book next year to read the details – I seized my second chance and I set my course to help myself, and the thousands of veterans who would prefer to face the Taliban again than ...

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SPEECH: Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016 standard

I rise to support the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016. I would have preferred if the question about gay marriage were put at the last election. The nation would have been saved a lot of time and money. However, I still believe that a national plebiscite is justified and needed in order to test the will or conscience of the Australian people on gay marriage. I also believe that this plebiscite will take away any doubt about how the Australian people feel towards gay marriage and will, therefore, lead to a quicker healing and acceptance of the outcome for those on the losing side of the debate. When it comes to gay marriage, even though I indicated before both previous ...

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MPI: Turnbull government standard

I rise to contribute to today’s matter of public importance, namely the continuing chaos and dysfunction from the Turnbull government. I do not want this statement to be true. I want this government to run smoothly without chaos and dysfunction because that would mean there would be a greater chance of this parliament successfully delivering for the people of Tasmania. But, unfortunately, the chaos and dysfunction seen in the Abbott-Hockey government has infected the Turnbull-Morrison government. That is probably because the original cause of the dysfunction, Mr. Abbott, still remains in parliament and has taken his political inspiration from Liberal leader Bob Menzies instead of Harold Holt. Perhaps we have not seen the dysfunction to the level where the Liberal ...

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Medicare: Government refuses to heed lessons of the election standard

I rise to speak to the matter of public importance and the government’s refusal to heed the lessons from the election and stand up for Medicare. On 9 July one of the world’s oldest and most respected current affairs and news magazines published an article which talked about the Turnbull government’s performance and the mandate it had won at the last double dissolution election. Senators—especially government senators—may like to reflect on what the Economist had to say: When Malcolm Turnbull sought a second term for his conservative Liberal-National coalition government by calling an early general election, he promised Australians a break from nearly a decade of dysfunctional politics and short-lived national leaders. The prime minister—Australia’s sixth in a decade—asked voters ...

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Speech: Dairy Industry, Economy, Donations to Political Parties, Aged Care standard

This is my first adjournment speech in the 45th Parliament. Deputy President, I congratulate you on your appointment.  It is great to see that girl power riding right along—good on you. I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to the elders both past and present. I also acknowledge the great sacrifice that the men and women of our defence forces have willingly given to this country so that we can meet safely here today.  I thank the people of Tasmania for their advice, trust and votes and for gifting me the great honour of representing them, once again, in this great Senate. It is a responsibility that I cherish and take ...

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Budget standard

I rise to contribute to today’s matter of public importance. If you are a banker or a politician, this budget will put a smile on your face because you are going to receive a number of tax cuts and benefits. However, if you are an aged pensioner, after the delivery of this budget—its official—the Liberals and Nationals hate you. And if you are an age pensioner who is sick and needs to visit the doctor, the measures in this Liberal budget regarding health and Medicare show that they really actually hate you. If this tricky budget, with $13B of Tony Abbot’s cuts to family welfare still embedded in it, is allowed to pass this parliament after a double dissolution election ...

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Cuts to the CSIRO standard

I rise to speak on notice of motion No. 1153 regarding cuts to the CSIRO.  I note that in December last year our Prime Minister, in a statement on his National Innovation and Science Agenda, said: Our businesses, universities and research organisations like the CSIRO are also among the best in the world. He also announced $1.1 billion to incentivise innovation and entrepreneurship, reward risk-taking and promote science, maths and computing in schools by focusing on our four priority areas, yet in the same breath the PM allows the CSIRO to shed 275 jobs Australia wide, undermining decades of incredible innovation.  This move will have a particularly devastating effect on my home state of Tasmania, with 35 scientists expected to ...

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Adjournment speech – Department of Veteran’s Affairs standard

Since 1999 there have been more than 250 veteran suicides that we know about.  This alone is evidence of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ maladministration. The Australian Peacekeeper and Peacemaker Veterans’ Association and I have been hosting rallies in the capital cities to strengthen our call for a royal commission into the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. On Sunday I was at the rally held in front of Parliament House in Melbourne and was approached by a veterans’ advocate. This advocate pointed out that the major health and welfare issue damaging the young veteran community in Australia was an adversarial, incompetent and bureaucratic process within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Their administrative processes are slow and ineffective and have created a ...

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