Categories ArchivesSeptember 2015

Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 standard

I rise to oppose the Fair Work Amendment Bill 2014 and to make a brief contribution to the debate. As this government legislation stands now, I cannot support it, because, as it reads, it creates the potential for undermining and lessening Australian workers’ rights and the safety of workplaces. Specifically, the areas of the bill with that potential are part 4, ‘Individual flexibility arrangements’, or IFAs, where the legislation creates the possibility of overtime rates, penalty rates, allowances and leave loadings being taken away from vulnerable workers; part 8, where it limits the right of entry of union representatives into workplaces; and part 9, about employee termination, where the Fair Work Commission, or FWC, is not required to hold a hearing or conduct a conference when determining ...

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MPI: Defence Personnel standard

Today’s matter of public importance is an exciting opportunity for Prime Minister Turnbull to show the Australian people that he is different from the old PM and that he truly cares for the men and women of our defence forces. As most people will recall, the former Prime Minister liked getting his photo regularly taken with members of the Australian Defence Force. But, despite his apparent affection, the former PM betrayed and used our diggers when he failed to deliver a fair pay rise to them. This injustice was partly remedied after an extra pay rise was reluctantly offered to our defence community, but only after a big public backlash and my threat to block all legislation until the Australian Defence Force received a fair ...

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Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Bill 2015 standard

I rise to oppose the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank Bill 2015. The main purpose of this bill is to facilitate Australia becoming a founding and substantial financial member of the Australian Infrastructure Investment Bank. The title of his bank and legislation is fundamentally misleading. It is not Asia that has established his bank; it is China. China announced its intention to establish the bank in October 2013 and is driving this project. If China had chosen not to project its economic power into Asia and the South Pacific through the establishment of this bank, this debate would not be happening today in our parliament. Upfront, if we are to be honest, it should be called the ‘China and Other Countries ...

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Statement on the interview of Senator Lambie’s son standard

Today I referred journalist Stephen Drill to the Press Council of Australia for investigation after he interviewed and posted a video of my son for the Herald Sun and other Murdoch media websites. Unlike Mr Drill, my purpose in publicly disclosing controversial personal information about my son was to protect and persuade him to voluntarily accept ice detox and drug rehabilitation, because we do not have involuntary detox in this country. It was a risk; however, I felt I had no other option open to me because he was in grave danger. It worked. Early last week, my son contacted me and agreed to treatment, which I immediately organised with the help of a barrister and the staff of Teen Challenge, a national organisation that ...

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Adjournment: Trade with China standard

For reasons which will become obvious as my speech tonight unfolds, the information I am about to disclose to the Australian Senate would never have been spoken about by members of either the Liberal-National or Labor parties. Australia has a very complicated relationship with China and, to quote the ancient Chinese curse, we ‘live in interesting times’. On 31 August this year, the same day when three major Australian industry groups launched a campaign to generate public support for the China free trade deal and when finance minister Mathias Cormann was reported in the Australian Financial Review as saying: ‘People in Western Australia, perhaps more so than other parts of Australia, very well understand the importance of the trade relationship ...

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