Standing up for Canberra

Law and justice


Filter:

Protecting the Racial Discrimination Act

Today I join my colleagues to call on the Abbott government to rule out any further attempts to water down protections against racism in section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Read more

National Children's Commissioner Bill 2012

The Human Rights Commission Amendment (National Children’s Commissioner) Bill 2012, which establishes a National Children's Commissioner in Australia, fulfils a longterm commitment by Labor to appoint a national advocate for children. I underscore the comments of the previous speaker in saying it is an achievement of which we are very proud. The new commissioner will focus on promoting the rights, wellbeing and development of children and young people, advocating for their rights on a national level. The National Children's Commissioner will ensure the voices of children and young people are heard in the development of Commonwealth policies and programs, an incredibly important initiative. The new position will begin from 1 July this year or on royal assent, whichever is later. The National Children's Commissioner will join the six existing commissioners at the Australian Human Rights Commission: the Human Rights Commissioner, the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner, the Age Discrimination Commissioner, the Race Discrimination Commissioner, the Disability Discrimination Commissioner and the Sex Discrimination Commissioner.

Read more

Statement on Mabo 20th Anniversary 2012

Sunday, 3 June marked the 20th anniversary of the Mabo native title High Court decision. As the Prime Minister stated some weeks ago, this was a sublime moment in the life of our nation. The Mabo decision, as it has affectionately become known, had a profound impact on Indigenous land rights, extinguishing the terra nullius myth that had been in existence for so many years. It is a case that has gone down in Australia's legal and cultural history as a turning point in our nation's story. When the High Court of Australia handed down its historic judgment, it accepted the claim of Eddie Mabo and other claimants that their people had occupied the island of Mer for hundreds of years before the arrival of the British. This was a landmark decision, finding that the Meriam people were entitled, as against the whole world, to possession, occupation, use and enjoyment of the lands in the Murray Islands. The decision overturned the idea that Australia was terra nullius—a land belonging to no-one—at the time of colonisation. It had profound implications for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander land rights movement nationally.

Read more

Crimes Legislation (Slavery and People Trafficking) Bill 2012

The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Slavery, Slavery-like Conditions and People Trafficking) Bill 2012 is a significant piece of legislation that provides much-needed amendments to the Criminal Code, most critically in the areas of slavery-like practices, forced marriage and organ trafficking.

Read more

Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Bill 2012

It gives me great pleasure to speak on the Electoral and Referendum Amendment (Improving Electoral Procedure) Bill 2012 today. The right to vote is a very precious and valuable entitlement. It is the cornerstone of our democracy and a right we must cherish and respect. As a woman I am acutely aware of the value of the right to vote because it was so hard fought for by my sisters of the past. Over the centuries people have fought and died for the right to vote. It is a very fundamental, valuable and precious right, but I am concerned that it is not cherished as such. I am a strong supporter of the right to vote and a strong advocate of compulsory voting.

Read more

Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Protection) I Bill 2012

The Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 will amend the Privacy Act 1988 to put into operation over half of the recommendations in the Australian Law Reform Commission's report 108, of 2008, called For your information : Australian privacy law and practice.

Read more

Marriage Amendment Bill 2012

I support this bill. I support it because, after much thought, I am convinced that it is an argument about justice that all should be equal before the law. So, in good conscience, I can make no other choice. I make this decision even though many people I know and some that I love violently disagree. I respect and understand their choices. I ask them to respect and understand the choices of others.

Read more

Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Protection) II Bill 2012

The reforms in the Privacy Amendment (Enhancing Privacy Protection) Bill 2012 will improve responsible lending and reduce levels of indebtedness and defaults. In another significant amendment, the bill will provide new powers for the Australian Privacy Commissioner to handle complaints and to provide a wider range of enforceable remedies to consumers and direct government agencies to perform privacy impact assessments.

Read more

Gambling Reform Committee 2012 - First Report

As the Deputy Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform I have the pleasure to speak on the tabling of the committee's third report today. The focus of the reports is the prevention and treatment of problem gambling.

Read more

Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament 2012

There is a deep disillusionment among many parts of the Australian community at the moment that currently wishes a pox on all our houses. Recently, I attended the triennial conference of the National Council of Women of Australia and was presented with a petition calling for: A more civil and dignified approach to parliamentary debate at the federal level and for greater respect to be demonstrated to the office of the Prime Minister.

Read more