Categories ArchivesMarch 2015

Matter of Public Importance – Health & Education standard

I rise to contribute to this discussion on further cuts to health and education.   If Tasmanian Liberal members of this place had told the truth about the cuts they had planned to both health and education, it is likely that they would not be members of this parliament today. The people of Tasmania would not have voted for members of any political party who came to this place and advocated a cut in resources and funds to the University of Tasmania or additional health costs and charges being imposed on our sick, elderly and disabled people. The Liberal members of this palace, as well as the lower house three amigos, have gleefully been part of a disgusting, cowardly and dishonourable ...

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Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2015 standard

I rise to briefly contribute to the debate on the Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Amendment (Data Retention) Bill 2014. It is commonly known as the government bill which introduces the new metadata laws. I oppose this bill. The government has used the threat of a terrorist attack from Islamic State to grossly invade the privacy of every Australian. In an opinion piece in the Mercury newspaper Bruce Felmingham, the principal of a Tasmanian economic consulting firm, wrote: “There must be an exceptionally powerful argument for introducing such draconian laws in a pluralist, democratic society such as our own.” I agree with Mr Felmingham—and it is my view that the government has failed to make the argument for introduction of these ...

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Condolence Motion – Malcolm Fraser video

I rise to contribute to the condolence motion before the Senate following the death of Malcolm Fraser. The expression ‘lucky country’ has often been used as a term of endearment and a way to quickly describe why Australia is free, rich and beautiful. Often our nation’s critics, including the famous historian Donald Horne, who wrote the words ‘lucky country’, attribute Australia’s prosperity to our location in the world, our natural resources, our stunning environment and the powerful international friends who protect us. And, while there is truth in that argument, some critics give too little credit to the small number of politicians who have truly inspired and led the Australian people. If you agree that Australia is indeed the ‘lucky country’, ...

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Defence Amendment (Fair Pay for Members of the ADF) Bill 2014 standard

Today this Australian Senate is presented with an opportunity to debate and vote for the Defence Amendment (Fair Pay for Members of the ADF) Bill 2014. I know that many Australians, including up to one million voters nationwide, are influenced by how this government treats our Australian Defence Force and veterans’ families and will be interested in the contributions from senators in this chamber. This is simple private member’s legislation I had drafted before Christmas which links pay for members of the Australian Defence Force with pay for Australian parliamentarians or to the consumer price index, whichever is higher. 2nd Reading Speech – Defence Amendment (Fair Pay for Members of the ADF) Bill 2014 – 19-3-15 Division – Defence Amendment ...

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Higher Education & Research Reform Bill 2014 standard

For the second time since I have been elected to this place, I rise to speak to the Liberal and National parties’ Higher Education and Research Reform Bill 2014. Even with the government’s latest policy backflip, for the second time I inform this Senate that I will strongly oppose this legislation. The Abbott government have deliberately and slyly ambushed the Australian people with their proposed changes to university funding and proposed increases to university fees. It is a cowardly and callous pattern of political behaviour that has been repeated in other policy areas, including cuts to health funding which are designed to burn down Medicare; cuts to pensions by linking pension increases to the CPI; increasing the pension age to ...

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Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013, Building and Construction Industry (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013 standard

I rise to speak to the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Bill 2013 and Building and Construction Industry (Consequential and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2013. This is one of the most difficult bills I have had to consider while I have been in the Senate and, like the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014, I have serious concerns and reservations. It is clear that the intent of this bill is to target and punish unions and organised labour groups, while neglecting to impose the same set of rules and standards on corporate Australia. Building and Construction Industry Speech 05-03-2015

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Adjournment: Mr Tim McCombe OAM, Mr Ashley Johnston standard

I rise to regretfully inform Australia’s Senate that one of our great warriors and family man and veterans advocate, Tim McCombe OAM, died of a heart attack on 31 January 2015. He died at 1 am on Saturday morning at Bowral and District Hospital, New South Wales. Tim had worked tirelessly for veterans welfare since 1981. He was closely involved in the agent orange royal commission and every veterans issues since. His funeral, which I attended, was held on 14 February 2015. To read his eulogy, written by Graham Walker, on behalf of the Vietnam Veterans Federation of Australia, and the rest of the speech click on the link: Adjournment speech – Mr Tim McCombe OAM Mr Ashley Johnston 05-03-2015

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ADF Deployment to Iraq standard

I rise to speak to the motion before the Senate regarding the deployment of the ADF personnel to overseas conflicts. While I support the Greens motion to have a debate about the current military deployment, I do not support the Green’s proposal to change the way the decision-making process is made to send the troops overseas. All I propose to change is the decision makers, who have clearly made the wrong call in sending our troops back overseas again. Some people are having difficulty in grasping this following fact: despite all the terror attacks, despite the fact that our official terrorism alert is high, which means that an attack by an enemy is likely, we are at war.  Click for ...

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Death Penalty, Treason & Sedition. standard

Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (15:30): I move: That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Attorney-General to a question without notice asked by me in relation to treason and sedition charges. The Attorney-General, in answering my question without notice today regarding the laying of treason and sedition charges against Australian citizens who have clearly assisted or fought for Islamic State, shows that this Liberal- National government has gone soft on Australian citizens who choose to assist or fight for our enemy, an organisation that calls itself Islamic State, or ISIS. If the Liberal and National parties were fair dinkum about addressing the growing threat of Islamic Australian citizens who clearly are assisting the Islamic State organisation, then the ...

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Attorney-General standard

It is a pleasure to offer my support to this censure motion and vote of no confidence against the Liberal Party’s Attorney-General, Senator Brandis, for: (1) failing to defend the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, from malicious attacks; (2) seeking to obtain the resignation of Professor Triggs by facilitating the offer of an alternative role that would have required her to relinquish her position as President; (3) refusing to fully account for his conduct when appearing before a committee of the Senate; (4) undermining Australia’s commitment to upholding human rights; and (5) being unfit to hold the office of Attorney-General. Attorney-General Censure Motion – 2-3-15

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