Standing up for Canberra
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Cuts to education will hurt Canberra schools

There are a lot of facts around school funding that are flying around at the moment.

Today, I want to use the opportunity of my 90-second statement to actually deliver the facts. The fact: under Labor's school funding plan, 80 per cent of the extra money went to public schools. That is because public schools teach the vast majority of Australia's poorest kids, Indigenous kids and kids with a disability.

 

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National Day of Action on Fair Funding for Schools

Today is the National Day of Action on fair funding for schools. As part of that campaign, I want to share extracts from a letter I was copied into last Friday from the ACT's Barnardos Mother of the Year, Selina Walker. The letter was sent to the Minister for Education and Training, Minister Birmingham. She writes:

 

 

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Send Me Your Speeds Roll Call

I want to thank all the Canberrans who have taken part in my Send Me Your Speeds Campaign.

Our combined efforts mean that we are finally, finally on the rollout map. But we need to maintain the pressure to get the rollout prioritised, particularly in those suburbs with appalling speeds. We need to ensure we avoid a patchwork of technologies—some slated for the same street.

 

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Statement on Endometriosis

I recently had the great honour of becoming an endometriosis ambassador—I made the pledge just recently. One in 10 women in the world suffer from endometriosis. One in 10 women largely suffer in stoic silence. They live with the misdiagnosis, the myths, the endless operations, the hysterectomies, the lost opportunities, the huge cost, the daily struggle to take control of their lives, the fear of infertility, and the dreadful, dreadful pain.

This is an insidious disease, and the problem is that no-one is actually talking about it. It is a disease that occurs when the tissue that is similar to the lining of the womb grows outside it in other parts of the body. This insidious disease costs the health, the careers, the futures, the fertility, the sex lives, the hopes and the dreams of 10 per cent of women in our community. Ten per cent of women out there are suffering from endometriosis. We have to break the taboo about this little-known women's condition that knows no boundaries and shows no mercy. As an endometriosis ambassador, I pledge to work with those one in 10 women in Australia, with those one in 10 women worldwide, to end the silence on Endo.

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The Public Service Belongs in Canberra

This continent was once a series of scattered settlements and colonies and states. Our forebears had the wisdom, strength and determination to bring it all together as one nation.

It was decided to make a new capital—Canberra.

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Turnbull Government turn their back on Menzies' Legacy

In The Government and the People—1939-41, Sir Paul Hasluck exposed the administrative heartache and headache caused by the dispersal of the Commonwealth Public Service, saying it 'wasted time and money, fretted men and hampered understanding, delayed decisions and led to conflict and duplication.'

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Decentralisation Motion

MEMBER FOR CANBERRA: I give notice that on the next day of sitting I shall move that this House:

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A two-state solution should be bipartisan

This morning I highlighted the bog ignorance of the Liberals when it comes to Australian history when I discussed their lack of respect for Sir Robert Menzies's legacy and vision for our nation's great capital, the city of Canberra.

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Condolence Speech on Jayson Hinder

This morning nearly a thousand Canberrans filled St Paul's Manuka to bid farewell to Jayson Hinder, a much loved and significant contributor to our community, who tragically died in a motorbike accident. He is an enormous loss to our community—to Canberra—and touched so many lives, which was evident at the funeral today.

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Decentralisation Motion

In The Government and the People—1939-41, Sir Paul Hasluck exposed the administrative heartache and headache caused by the dispersal of the Commonwealth Public Service, saying it 'wasted time and money, fretted men and hampered understanding, delayed decisions and led to conflict and duplication.'

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Send Me Your Speeds Roll Call

I want to thank the hundreds of Canberrans who have sent me their broadband speeds as part of my campaign to get Canberra prioritised for the rollout of the NBN. 

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Speech on Fair Work Amendment (Protecting Vulnerable Workers) Bill

I commend the member for Whitlam on that speech highlighting the exploitation that has been happening to workers in his electorate. There are scores and scores of examples of people being underpaid and exploited. Who would have thought that we would still be telling these tales in 2017? We are still hearing stories right across the nation of workers being exploited by unscrupulous employers. What has the government been doing about it? Very, very little.

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Address in Reply to Governor General Speech

Canberrans are used to bracing themselves whenever a coalition government releases a budget. In 1996, we lost 15,000 public servants here in Canberra and 30,000 nationwide, we saw Canberra go into an economic slump, we saw businesses close down, we saw local shops close down and we saw people leave town.

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A Budget of Cuts for Canberra

As usual under a coalition government, there is no good news for Canberra in this budget. On top of the 13,000 public servants that have already been axed, we saw thousands more jobs go last night: 1,200 just in Human Services, more than 400 in the ABS—that is 14 per cent of the agency—more than 200 in Immigration, more than 200 in Health and more than 150 in the AFP—the list goes on and on and on. Thousands more jobs are being cut on top of those 13,000.

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Budget Wishlist for Canberra

Tonight is budget night, and as the member for Canberra I have come up with a wish list for the Treasurer.

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Sino Australian relations in the age of Trump

In the early 1960s, in her 20s, my Mum would get on the train once a month to make a 38 kilometre journey to Melbourne’s Chinatown for a knob of fresh ginger.

She did so because she was a new bride and crazy in love with my Dad.

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Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017

I just want to congratulate the member for Cowan on that speech on the Social Services Legislation Amendment Bill 2017. Like her, I know from my own experience what it is like to do it tough. I was prepping for my contribution this afternoon, and as part of that process I was going through my first speech. In my first speech I spoke about the experience of my family—my working class matriarchy, my background: my great-grandmother, in a country house out in the western district of Victoria, bringing up 13 children on her own as a single mother. She was a domestic. 

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One in Ten Women Suffer from Endometriosis

 One in ten women have endometriosis. That is one in ten teenage girls missing classes at-school because of excruciating pain; that is one in ten young women being forced to take time off work for treatment and operations; that is one in ten women living in fear of infertility. Unfortunately, these girls, these young women, these women, largely suffer this insidious disease in stoic silence. 

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Global Gag Rule

As a former diplomat, I do not normally comment on matters internal to a particular country, but I felt compelled to do so today when I saw the motion that was put up by the member for Fenner. I commend him for putting this motion up because it is an issue that I know many Canberrans feel very strongly about, many Canberra women feel very strongly about, so I felt compelled to speak on this matter today. It is a matter I feel very strongly about too. I commend the member for Fenner for putting the motion forward.

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Section 18C Racial Discrimination Act

Multicultural communities around Australia are uncertain and they are anxious. They are uncertain about whether this government cares about them, and they are anxious that their basic human right to freedom from discrimination will not be protected anymore. They are scared about the message that this government is sending to bigots and racists across the country with its changes to 18C.

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Appropriations Bills 3&4

The Appropriation Bill (No. 3) 2016-2017 and the Appropriation Bill (No. 4) 2016-2017 are required to ensure the ordinary functions of government continue for the remainder of the 2016-17 financial year. As Labor has already stated, we will not block supply—we are still smarting from what happened in the seventies. 

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Last Veterans' Mission to Korea

It is a great honour to welcome the 'Magnificent Eight' to Canberra, my electorate, my home and our nation's beautiful Parliament House and wonderful capital. I would like to thank and commend the minister for this ministerial statement and for the opportunity to speak as well. The minister made this commitment when we were in Korea during the delegation in October last year.

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Australian Federal Police

AFP officers have not received a pay rise for two years and now 280 of them are facing pay cuts of up to 35 per cent of their wage. This from a government that prides itself on being tough on crime; this from a government that maintains it is a friend of law enforcement. This government is cutting $100 million from the AFP's budget, which is more than 10 per cent of the AFP's overall national policing budget.

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Riharna Thomson

Canberra lost a beautiful young woman earlier this month, and today I rise to pay tribute to her. Riharna Thomson was 22 when she passed away from injuries she sustained in a tragic accident: a fall while riding a horse in track work at Thoroughbred Park. I am sorry that I did not get to meet Riharna. 

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International Women's Day 2017

I would like to begin by commending the member for Newcastle for putting forward this motion. It is a very important motion. We still have to have a conversation about the situation facing Australian women, women in the region and women throughout the world. Yes, there have been some achievements made but there is still a lot more work that needs to be done. So I commend the member for putting this motion forward. 

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