Categories ArchivesDecember 2015

Adjournment: Federal Assistance Grants, Pensions and Benefits, Veterans’ Affairs standard

In this last adjournment speech before Christmas I wish a very Merry Christmas to all the parliamentary staff who make working in this place a pleasure and safe. To the Hansard reporters, Senate workers, security personnel, cooks, cafe workers, Comcar drivers and coordinators and in particular the cleaners, who I support in their industrial actions, I wish you a very Merry Christmas. I also extend my Christmas greetings and best wishes to fellow senators and their staff. I have received warnings from members of Tasmanian local governments about the significant reduction in services to their rate payers brought about by the reduction in federal assistance grants. The correspondence I received in part reads: Federal Assistance Grants to Local Government have ...

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Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015 standard

I rise to contribute to the debate on the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia) Bill 2015. There are two questions that come out of this government legislation. First, should Australians who betray us by supporting our enemies be stripped of their citizenship, and should they hold a second citizenship? Absolutely. Second, should a politician and not a court make the decision to strip treasonous individuals of Australian citizenship? Absolutely not. The Vice-Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University, Greg Craven, put the argument best when he wrote on 4 June this year: By conferring a profoundly judicial power on a minister, it mocks the separation of powers. It would be swatted down like a bug by the High Court. As ...

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Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2015 Budget Measures) Bill 2015 standard

I rise to contribute to the in-committee debate on the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (2015 Budget Measures) Bill 2015. When the minister replies, I will seek clarification and confirmation on whether schedule 2, clause 9B has been omitted from the amended version of the legislation. It appears that the contested and controversial schedule 2 will be scrapped by this government. There are many nervous veterans who would like to hear the words from the minister, personally. I have no objections to schedule 1 and schedule 3 of the proposed government legislation. Schedule 1—$0.7 million over the next four years—will expand the range of services available under the Veterans’ Vocational Rehabilitation Scheme, the VVRS, and make changes to the way certain ...

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