Standing up for Canberra
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Regions at the Ready Report: APVMA Relocation

Today Canberrans are vindicated. They are vindicated by the Select Committee on Regional Development and Decentralisation’s report, once again, once again, once again showing the relocation of the APVMA to Armidale for what it is: a blatant, shameless pork-barrel.

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Legal Safe Harbour Created by the Copyright Act

Australia's Copyright Act originally dates right back to 1968. It was developed before man set foot on the moon, it was developed during the Vietnam War, it was developed during the Cold War, it was developed before the election of the great Gough Whitlam, it was developed before colour television, before digital, before the internet and before feminism.

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Norfolk Island Infrastructure Grant Funding

Given the set-up that we have here in the ACT, I imagine that some would question why the member for Canberra is talking about this Private Member's Bill. The reason I do so is that Norfolk Island is part of my electorate. It is a great honour and a pleasure to have Norfolk Island as part of my electorate, and I get up there at least twice a year to talk to the community and hear about their issues.

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NBN: Understanding the Switchover

I met with NBN Co last week and in that meeting we talked about the experiences many Canberrans have had with their new NBN connections—the unexpected dropouts and the need to replace equipment, like fax machines.

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NDIS Cuts Funding to Those Who Need It Most

My community was one of the first in Australia to experience the benefits, the value, of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, when the trial began here in 2013. Since then, the full scheme of the NDIS has rolled out. It began rolling out in 2016. Many Canberrans have been on the NDIS for the last five years, through the trial to where we are today.

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Superannuation is a Guarantee, not an Optional Extra

Up until the mid-1980s less than 40 per cent of the working population had superannuation. That figure was even less for blue-collar workers and women; for them it was only around 25 per cent. This all changed in 1991 when Labor under Paul Keating, our great former Prime Minister and Treasurer, introduced the superannuation guarantee, a compulsory system of superannuation for Australian employees.

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Aged Care (Single Quality Framework) Bill 2018

My electorate of Canberra is the largest by population in Australia. I proudly represent a very large number of older Australians, older Canberrans and older people who look to government to make sure that as they live longer they also live better. At the last census more than 26,000 people in Canberra were over 65. That is 13.8 percent of my electorate.

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Canberra and the Stars

Last month, I took part in the Australian National University's Guinness world record attempt for the greatest number of telescopes pointed at once at the night sky. More than 285 stargazing parties were registered across Australia, with thousands of telescopes delivered across the country. We're not talking about cardboard telescopes; we're talking about good-quality, entry-level telescopes that you'd probably get from Australian Geographic shops to help Australians develop an interest in—perhaps even a love for—astronomy.

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Threats to Critical Infrastructure

The Australian Cyber Security Centre 2017 threat report noted that CERT Australia responded to 734 incidents affecting private-sector systems of national critical infrastructure within the 2016-17 financial year. This equates to a significant cyber incident occurring on these networks more than twice a day. In October 2017, the US-CERT released a report that stated:

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Endometriosis Finally in National Spotlight

I want to thank the member for Forrest for this motion and for her years and years of fighting to have endometriosis recognised by the leaders of our nation. And I want to thank her daughter, Kylie, for her courage. I want to thank the member for Boothby for reaching across the aisle to join with the member for Forrest and me in establishing the Parliamentary Friends of Endometriosis Awareness, which we launched last December.

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Inquiry into Australia's Antarctic Territory

As deputy chair of the Joint Standing Committee on the National Capital and External Territories, I welcome the opportunity to speak on the report from the inquiry into Australia's Antarctic territory. Australia has a long and proud history of involvement in Antarctica, having significantly contributed to shaping the region both through the Antarctic Treaty System and on the ground. 

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21st Century Technology and Ancient Copper Wiring Do Not Mix

I am here tonight to talk about NBN and the lack thereof, or the lack thereof of service. I got a letter last week from Rudi in Pearce, and I am quoting:

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Hands off Jobs in Canberra

The Turnbull government has made a hobby out of cutting jobs in Canberra.

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TNA Reconciliation Day

I would like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on, the Ngunnawal people. I wish to acknowledge and pay my respects to elders past and present, and the contribution they make to the life of this city and this region.

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2018 Boer War Day Commemoration

Thank you for your kind invitation to join you at this very special event. I commend the National Boer War Memorial Association for continuing to commemorate the anniversary of the Boer War.

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National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018

I rise to speak on the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018.

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The GDPR Might Affect Your Small Business

Once again, the Turnbull government has let Australian small businesses down when it comes to cybersecurity and cybersafety. 

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Is My Health Record Cyber Resilient?

Last week, the Turnbull Government announced the roll out of phase two of My Health Record. The roll out means every Australian's private health information will be stored online – unless they opt out.

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End the Cruelty: Ban Live Sheep Exports

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.

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We are in a Skills Shortage Crisis

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. 

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Dale's NBN Experience

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. 

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Canberrans Still Disappointed by the NDIS

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.

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All Cost, No Benefit: Decentralisation

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.

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The ACT (Planning and Land Management) Amendment Bill 2017

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 responsibilities it has.

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Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (Competition and Consumer)

I've spoken many, many times in this chamber about the experiences of my wonderful community here in Canberra with the roll out of the National Broadband Network under this government.

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