Categories ArchivesJune 2015

Excise Tariff Amendment (Fuel Indexation) Bill 2015, Customs Tariff Amendment (Fuel Indexation) Bill 2015, Fuel Indexation (Road Funding) Special Account Bill 2015, Fuel Indexation (Road Funding) Bill 2015 standard

I rise to register my strong opposition to the package of four bills including the Excise Tariff Amendment (Fuel Indexation) Bill 2014 and affecting fuel excise. The Bills Digest describes this bill, the Excise Tariff Amendment (Fuel Indexation) Bill 2014, and the three associated bills as providing ‘for the reintroduction of biannual indexation by the consumer price index of excise and excise equivalent customs duty for all fuels except aviation fuel, crude oil and condensate’. If this bill passes the Senate, Tasmanian motorists will pay more for their fuel. For that simple reason, I cannot support this legislation. At a time when the average price of fuel in Launceston, Hobart, Devonport, Ulverstone, Burnie et cetera is 10c to 15c a ...

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Asylum Seekers standard

I support the Greens’ motion to refer a matter, relating to the alleged bribery of people smugglers by Australian government officers, to a Senate committee. I have my differences with the Greens’ policy on climate change but I give credit where credit is due. This is an important motion, which I support. There is a grave allegation that the Prime Minister of Australia and his government have authorised a $30,000 cash payment to Indonesian people smugglers. This issue is not about stopping the boats; this issue is about whether a crime has been committed by the Australian Prime Minister and his Liberal cabinet colleagues. Has the leader of our nation committed a crime by authorising and ordering cash payments to ...

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Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 standard

I rise to briefly contribute to and oppose this proposed legislation before the Senate, the Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 1) Bill 2014. The technical description of the bill’s purpose is: The purpose of the Labor 2013-14 Budget Savings (Measures No. 1) Bill 2014 (the Bill) is to amend the Clean Energy (Income Tax Rates Amendments) Act 2011 and the Clean Energy (Tax Laws Amendments) Act 2011 so that both Acts have their future operative provisions repealed. Both Acts have provisions already in operation and these would not be repealed. However, the simple explanation is this: if this bill passes, we will be taking money away from low-income earners—the Australian battlers—and I can assure you, Mr Acting Deputy President, ...

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Defence Legislation (Enhancement of Military Justice) Bill 2015 standard

I rise to speak on the Defence Legislation (Enhancement of Military Justice) Bill 2015. As you may be aware, I served in the Australian Army as a military police officer and worked within the Australian military justice system. I am aware of its good parts and its failings. I am happy to support this legislation because I believe overall it will improve the system of military justice. However, I maintain that in order to truly reform Australia’s military justice system, which has failed tens of thousands of victims of abuse since at least the 1960s, a royal commission into defence abuse must be established. The perpetrators of abuse must be held to account, and the victims must have a chance ...

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Disallowance of Instrument standard

I rise to support the disallowance motion, because I support Australians working in Australian jobs. I rise to support the disallowance motion because, unlike the Liberals and Nationals in this place, I want to protect every Australian worker’s job. By supporting this disallowance motion, senators have a choice to send a clear message to the Liberals and Nationals in this place, that we will not put up with their sneaky and sly attack on the wages and conditions of Australians. The intent of the change to the regulations, introduced by Assistant Minister Cash, is to reduce the current income threshold under the Migration Act, from $250,000 to $180,000. This will make it easier for employers to hire overseas workers rather ...

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Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme Bill 2014, Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2014 standard

On Monday, 24 November, I rose to oppose the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme Bill 2014 and the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool Payment Scheme (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2014. The Senate defeated the government’s legislation by one vote. By one vote, more than 10,000 Australian workers with intellectual disabilities had their court-recognised entitlements for back pay protected. Seven months later, this government has now brought back to the Senate essentially the same bill with the same intent: namely, to steal about half of the 40 per cent of the back pay owed to 10,000 Australian workers with intellectual disabilities. Which prompts the question to Prime Minister Abbott and the Liberal and National Party members of this place: what ...

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Adjournment: Asylum Seekers standard

It has become apparent that we have a Prime Minister and cabinet ministers who think that they are above the law. By his own disclosures, the Australian Prime Minister could be a party to people trafficking, because he authorised payment of $30,000 to people smugglers—international criminals—to take asylum seekers to Indonesia. There is the possibility that, because we have a Prime Minister and cabinet ministers who think they are above the law and refuse to answer questions in parliament, it may take a change of government and a royal commission for Mr Abbott and his Liberal Party friends to explain under oath to a judge why we should not view those who have assisted murderers, rapists and human rights abusers ...

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Matters of Public Importance: Education Funding standard

I rise to participate in the matter of public importance discussion titled ‘The Abbott government’s plan to abolish universal access to free public education’. I congratulate Senator Moore for raising this matter. Despite the education minister rejecting the proposal in the government discussion paper to make wealthy parents pay to send their children to public school, it is clear that this option floated in the federal government discussion paper, which considers a radical overhaul of the nation’s education system, is on Minister Pyne’s and Prime Minister Abbott’s list of things to do. This plan to make wealthy parents pay to send their children to public school’s is just another attack on a fundamental Australian social right, namely, an attack on ...

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Social Services Legislation Amendment standard

I rise to speak to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015, a piece of legislation which is being rushed through this parliament without a proper public hearing. I would like to commend the Labor Party’s Senator Moore on her contribution to this debate. Senator Moore’s speech rang the alarm bell on this piece of government legislation which will take more than $4 billion from our pensioners and older Australians over the forward estimates. I understand that the government may have the numbers to win the vote on this piece of legislation, with Greens support, and I am very disappointed with that. I feel sorry for the hundreds of thousands of elderly, sick and disabled Australians ...

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Renewable Energy (Electricity) Amendment Bill 2015 standard

No other state in Australia uses as much renewable energy compared with non-renewable energy as Tasmania. A 2014 Report from the Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics shows that in 2012-13 out of a total of Tasmania’s 3,136 Mega Watt installed capacity – 2,630 Mega Watts were from renewable Hydro Power. In 2012-13 Tasmania had no electricity generated by either Black or Brown Coal fired power plants – however the rest of Australia (excluding Northern Territory) relied on Black and Brown Coal to produce almost 29,000 Mega Watts of electricity. This sum of 29,000 Mega Watts of electricity represented more than a half of Australia’s total installed electricity generating capacity of 56,079. Mega Watts Today more than 95% of ...

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