Standing up for Canberra
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Organ and Tissue Donation 2011

In speaking to this issue tonight, I want to consider how our reform agenda is progressing and what needs to be done to ensure that Australia is a world leader not only in transplant surgery but also in the number of organ and tissue donations that we are able to retrieve. It is a sad fact that many people are still unable to access this life-changing and life-saving surgery as we do not have enough organ and tissue donors. When I spoke previously on this issue, I noted that we were on the road to a record year. Indeed, that occurred in 2010, with 309 multiorgan donors who saved or improved the lives of 931 people. That is a 50 per cent improvement on the last 20 years, during which the numbers had flat lined at around 200 multiorgan donors. There were many more tissue donors who helped transform donors. Tissue donation is as important as organ donation. It helps sight to be restored and hearts to keep beating.

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Kidney Health Week 2011

This week marks Kidney Health Week, which is an incredibly important week in our diaries. Kidney Health Australia's campaign has been designed to be cheeky, they say, to get more exposure. The banner is 'Red Undies Week' and is aimed at drawing attention to the issue of chronic kidney disease. One in three Australians is at risk of developing chronic kidney disease.

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Donate for Life Week 2011

It is a great pleasure today to speak on this private member’s business. I have been involved in the organ and tissue donation sector for the last five years and, prior to becoming the member for Canberra, I was a volunteer director on the Gift of Life board for three years.

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Developments in ACT Health 2011

It was my great pleasure to be at the Calwell shopping centre last Saturday to see the opening of a new medical practice and meet with the community at my mobile office. The opening of the Calwell Medical Centre is thanks to the terrific and tenacious work of the local community, in particular, Con and Nick Tsoulias and the Doctors4Tuggeranong group. Doctors4Tuggeranong has been working with both the federal and ACT governments and doctors in the local community for more than three years to enhance the medical services available for people living in south Tuggeranong.

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World Osteoporosis Day 2011

I am delighted to be able to rise tonight in support of this motion on osteoporosis, and I commend the member for Hindmarsh for moving the motion. Like the speakers before me—and I imagine much of the House—I agree that osteoporosis is a significant health problem for Australians, particularly women. It is a pleasure for me, as someone who has a longstanding interest in women's health issues, to speak about it tonight.

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National Sorry Day 2011

I rise tonight in support of the Prime Minister's statements on National Sorry Day. In doing so I wish to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land we are meeting on, the Ngunnawal people. I also wish to acknowledge and pay my respects to their continuing culture and the contribution they make to the life of this city, this region and to my electorate. The 26th of May is a very important day for Australia and marks the day when we as a country recognise the wrongs that have been committed to our Indigenous people. It is the day that the Bringing them home report was tabled in this parliament, a report that detailed quite clearly what had occurred to the stolen generation and acknowledged the forced separation of Indigenous children from their families. It was a report that caused more than a few tears to be shed, both in this chamber and across Australia, both amongst the Indigenous community and the non-Indigenous community.

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Support for Immigration 2011

I am very proud to be able to stand here today in support of the member for Chifley’s matter of public importance on the need for a non-discriminatory immigration policy.

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Defence Housing as an Immigration Detention Facility 2011

I am pleased to rise tonight to speak against this motion by the member for Fadden because, text aside, this motion is not really about defence housing. It is a proxy debate. It is a base attempt by the opposition to play wedge politics and pit one section of the community against another. It is a continuation of the strategy we have seen from the coalition that has seen them propose stripping millions of dollars in funding to schools in Indonesia, which is against our national and economic security interests, against the future interests of thousands of Indonesian children and against the right thing to do.

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Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment Bill 2011

I rise today to speak in support of the Indigenous Education (Targeted Assistance) Amendment Bill 2011. In doing so, I am reminded of some comments I made at a recent event for Mabo Day. In honouring the life of Eddie Mabo, I stated that this country had come a long way in achieving a true reconciliation between Indigenous and white Australia.

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Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment Bill 2011

I am always bemused when the member for Farrer speaks. I am usually on after her and it is always an apocalyptic vision of what is going to happen as a result of legislation that is introduced by the government. The last time I followed her in a speech I think she was suggesting that public servants were going to be scuba diving in Lake Burley Griffin during their lunch breaks. I find that quite extraordinary, given that the winters in Canberra are not terribly conducive to scuba diving for about seven months of the year. Now I would just like to calm things down a bit and suggest to those here tonight that the world is not going to end and that the apocalypse is not coming.

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Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Amendment Bill 2011

I rise today to speak in favour of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, but before I go into any detail about that I just want to take issue with the overblown comments that were made by the member for Farrer with regard to her concerns about the off-site recess element of this bill. She suggests that people go scuba diving at lunch and so therefore she had an objection to elements of this bill. She maintained that that element of the bill defies common sense. Her comments defy common sense. I cannot believe that she said that. It shows a complete distrust and a misunderstanding of Australian workers and of Commonwealth employees and people who would be covered under this scheme.

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Customs Amendment and Drug Detection Bill 2011

That is 15 minutes of my life that I am not going to get back again, and that is 15 minutes of my life that my colleague is not going to get back again. I am reflecting on how much time the member for Indi actually focused on the Customs Amendment (Serious Drugs Detection) Bill 2011, which is the reason we are here today. It was quite an extraordinary little performance that one, but it is pretty indicative of the bile, venom and nay-saying that is typical of the opposition today. Every opportunity that they get they use to kick down everything that we are doing, to nay-say what we are doing, to flip-flop all over the place on climate change. You are just wreckers. Admit it, you are just wreckers.

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Electoral Referendum (Provisional Voting) Bill 2011

I rise today to speak in favour of the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Provisional Voting) Bill 2011. I do so because I fundamentally believe that what this bill will achieve is the correct and moral thing, despite the way that the former speaker was outrageously construing it. It is a fact that in the 2007 federal election over 27,000 votes were rejected at a preliminary scrutiny because of issues over the provision of identity. In 2010, more than 28,000 votes were eliminated—hardly the small number that was suggested by those opposite today. What concerns me about this figure is that, in a later examination of the votes, it was found that the name was in fact on the roll in over 12,000 cases.

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Combating the Financing of People Smuggling Bill 2011

The Combating the Financing of People Smuggling and Other Measures Bill 2011 is part of the government’s commitment to tackling the financing of people smuggling and terrorism. Over the last two budget cycles, the government has invested almost $2 billion to fund a strategy to combat people smuggling and to enhance border protection. This bill presents measures to enhance the current provisions relating to money laundering and counter-terrorism financing in the alternative remittance sector. It also introduces measures to enhance the sharing of information between the Australian intelligence community and the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre or AUSTRAC.

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Law and Justice Legislation (Identity Crime) Bill 2011

The Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Identity Crimes and Other Measures) Bill 2010 [2011] is a significant piece of legislation that contains amendments to a raft of measures relating to the administration of justice in Australia. The bill inserts new offences into the Criminal Code on identity crime, it corrects a drafting error in the Criminal Code, it includes the Victorian Office of Police Integrity in the definition of an enforcement body in the Privacy Act, it allows for the delegation of powers and duties to certain persons and provides legal immunity for the director and staff to carry out the functions under the DPP Act, it streamlines the process of alcohol and drug testing under the AFP Act, it expands the range of conduct for which the AFP commissioner may make awards, it improves the operation of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act, it establishes a more consistent approach to the restrictions placed on the disclosure of sensitive AUSTRAC information and it reframes the administration of justice offences in part III of the Crimes Act to bring them in line with the Criminal Code. It is quite an in-depth bill, as that probably outlines, and it covers a vast array of areas.

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Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011

Tonight I speak in favour of the Cybercrime Legislation Amendment Bill 2011. Earlier this year I had reason to speak on the identity theft provisions of the Law and Justice Legislation Amendment (Identity Crimes and Other Measures) Bill 2010 [2011] and in particular on the growing problem of the online theft of personal information. It is for similar reasons that I speak on this bill tonight. Indeed, I revealed earlier this year that I was a victim of online identity theft when I was planning a trip to a conference in the United States a couple of years ago. I was told by my travel agent— and I do not use this travel agent anymore—that I had to get a visa to go to the States. That surprised me at the time, given that I had worked in Foreign Affairs and was aware of the relationship we had with the US. I thought we had agreements in place so that for short stays we did not have to obtain visas. Being the person I am, I found a site purporting to provide me with such a visa. I applied, paid $60 and got an ID code to show the officials when I arrived at the fabulous Los Angeles airport. However, my initial instincts were correct and when I arrived in the US there was no need for the visa, so it was a completely spurious concept and a completely spurious visa. I was completely scammed and have not seen my money since.

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Defending the Public Service - Adjournment Speech (August 2011)

When I was seeking election in August last year I made a promise to my community that I would be a strong advocate for Canberra and for Canberrans. Today I keep that promise to defend them against the outrageous attacks on their livelihoods from those opposite. I am, of course, referring to the disgraceful and unnecessary attacks by the member for North Sydney on those people employed in the Public Service.

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Defending the Public Service - Constituency Statement (September 2011)

Today, I once again rise to defend the Public Service from irresponsible, unwarranted and ad hominem attacks. Some weeks ago I chastised the opposition for its continued attacks on the independence and integrity of the Public Service. Today I wish to speak about comments made by the Leader of the Australian Greens political party, Senator Bob Brown. Two weeks ago, on 8 September, the ABC reported comments from Senator Brown in which he stated that Immigration staff should be sacked for the content of their advice. Specifically, he was quoted as saying:

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Women and Superannuation 2011

Tonight it was my great pleasure to attend the inaugural oration by the Prime Minister to celebrate 15 years of Emily's List Australia. The Prime Minister's speech tonight inspired me to continue to advocate for one of my very strong passions: ensuring that Australians, especially women, make adequate plans for their retirement.

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International Women's Day 2011

The eighth of March 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day. This day is a celebration of the great achievements of women throughout the world and throughout our history, from women's suffrage to reproductive rights. It is because of the work of giants past that I am able to stand in this chamber and speak today. In this place, I carry the dreams, the work and the sacrifice of others and I want to thank them. A century ago, it would have been novel and perhaps inconceivable that women would stand in this great chamber, and it is thanks to many famous and not so famous women that I can.

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Women in the Work Force 2011

Research is increasingly showing that greater gender diversity in organisations can boost performance, yet women remain underrepresented on Australian boards. While women make up 45 per cent of our workforce, they hold only 10.9 per cent of positions on ASX 200 boards, according to Women on Boards, and 87 ASX companies still do not have a woman on their board.

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National Association of Women in Construction Awards 2011

It was my honour recently to attend the National Association of Women in Construction ACT chapter's awards for excellence. The women who won these awards are tenacious, highly skilled and inspiring. They are women who have confronted what is, in a way, the last frontier—and it still is a man's domain. I would like to honour all of the women who received awards that night, in particular Michelle Tifan, who received the future leader award. Michelle works for ActewAGL in Canberra. She started her career as a scientist and moved into a trade at a later stage because she was more interested in pursuing that career. She is an incredibly inspirational woman. These are amazing trail-blazing women, some of whom have had tough fights and struggles to be recognised in the industry. And we need more of them.

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My First Speech

Thank you, Mr Speaker, and congratulations on your recent appointment.

Without Canberra there would be no Australia. To borrow the words of Sir Henry Parkes: ‘The crimson thread of kinship runs through us all.’ 

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Corporations and Other Legislation (Trustees Companies) 2011

I rise today in support of the Corporations and Other Legislation Amendment (Trustee Companies and Other Measures) Bill 2011, which continues this government’s commitment to ensuring that business in this country operates, as much as possible, under one regulatory regime. This bill amends the trustee company provisions in chapter 5D of the Corporations Act to make them more effective by facilitating the consolidation of the industry through voluntary transfers. There are currently 11 such trustee companies in Australia that provide a range of services, such as estate planning, administering deceased estates, managing the financial affairs of people unable to look after their own interests and managing charitable trusts and foundations.

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Business Names Registration I Bill 2011

As a former small business owner I am absolutely delighted today to be able to support the Business Names Registration Bill 2011 and the other associated bills. Over a century ago the colonies that made up this country agreed to join in one federation. There were many reasons for this, but chief amongst them was the need to streamline and make commerce easier between the states and to ensure that businesses from one state were not unduly prevented from trading in another state. It is for this reason that I continue to be amazed that after over a century of Federation we are yet to achieve one national economy and that businesses are discouraged from engaging in trade between the states. In so many ways we continue to operate eight different economies with their own rules and regulations. They are often more at odds with one another than in cohesion with one another.

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