Standing up for

Member for CanberraShadow Assistant Minister for Cyber Security and Defence

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Since working on the Middle East desk in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the late nineties, I've been aware of the concerns of Australians about live sheep exports. Since being elected the member for Canberra, I've been inundated with Canberrans advocating for change to the live sheep export industry.

Canberra has a serious skills shortage crisis. Under the Abbott-Turnbull government the number of trainees and apprentices in Canberra has plummeted by 49 per cent—a cut in apprenticeships and traineeships of nearly 50 per cent. 

A member of my community who lives less than 20 kilometres from where I am standing here right now contacted me about the diabolical speeds he currently receives on ADSL2+. We're not even talking about the NBN here; we're talking about the retrograde copper based service currently existing in my community. 

My community newsletter, The Bulletin, has been hitting letterboxes in Canberra across the last two weeks. On the front page is a story about the NDIS forum that I hosted in March with the shadow minister for disability and carers. That forum was held in response to my office being inundated with distressed parents, families and friends who are dealing with the NDIS and the NDIA, particularly over the summer break.

There was plenty of bad news in this week's budget for Canberra, yet again. There were cuts to Public Service jobs in the thousands, yet again. There were cuts to our national institutions, yet again—more jobs gone from the National Archives and the National Library. And there is next to zero infrastructure investment—a mere 0.2 per cent investment in Canberra in infrastructure, after the paltry 0.004 per cent investment last year. It's an insult.

As the very proud and privileged member for Canberra, I am pleased to speak on the Australian Capital Territory (Planning and Land Management) Amendment Bill 2017 today. When the average Australian thinks about this city's development, the following names easily come to mind: Charles Scrivener, Walter Burley Griffin, King O'Malley, Lady Denman and Sir Robert Menzies. But there are very few who know the story of how the National Capital Authority, responsible for the planning and management of Commonwealth land in the Australian Capital Territory, actually came about and why it has the re...

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