Standing up for Canberra

Public service


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APVMA

At last some light is to be shone on the shameless and blatant pork barrel that is the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority relocation from Canberra to Armidale. I am absolutely delighted that a Senate references committee will investigate the Turnbull government's corporate Commonwealth entities location policy order, particularly the decision to move the APVMA from this great city —the nation's capital—to the Deputy Prime Minister's electorate.

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Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority

Most of the time in this House we present arguments both in favour of a proposal and in opposition to it. We review our proposal shaped by extensive consultation and collaboration between government and industry. This is not one of those times. 

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Defence Legislation Amendment (First Principles) Bill 2015

I rise today to speak on the Defence Legislation Amendment (First Principles) Bill 2015 and to express my and Labor's support. Labor supports the bill that enacts certain recommendations from the first principles review and will, ultimately, instil a stronger whole-of-organisation approach within Defence.

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Australian Cities

I rise today to speak about the city that I represent: Canberra, our nation's capital. Canberra has been my home for close to 30 years. I love this city and I love this community. The nation's capital is home to around 360,000 people, some of who are the most altruistic people I have ever met.

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Public Service Pay Negotiations

I rise to speak about the Public Service pay negotiations that have been dragging on for more than 18 months, creating uncertainty and stress for the 150,000 public servants across Australia.

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APS Enterprise Agreement Bargaining

I rise today on behalf of public servants in Canberra and right across the country who have been fighting this government for more than 18 months over their enterprise agreements. The employment minister's hardline approach to bargaining has not been productive at all. Close to 160,000 employees are still without new agreements, like the scientists at Geoscience Australia, who are responsible for fundamental tasks like being on early tsunami watch for Australia and its Pacific neighbours and who took part in strike action yesterday over the offensive deal they have been offered.

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MPI: Employment

We have heard from my colleagues this afternoon about the enormous impact that the Abbott government has had on jobs in this country and their failure to protect jobs and invest in jobs. We have heard from my colleagues from South Australia about the thousands of jobs that have gone in the shipbuilding and auto industries. We have heard from the Leader of the Opposition about the 800,000 who are now on the unemployed queue as a result of this government's complete disdain for workers and its complete lack of a jobs plan for this country. 

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APS job cuts

This morning I was alerted to some concerning statistics about how the Abbott government's Public Service job cuts are affecting Canberrans. The Canberra suburbs of Kambah, Greenway, Oxley and Wanniassa have been listed as the most at risk of mortgage default in the country. The list was compiled by consultancy firm Digital Finance Analytics, which mapped the postcodes across the country where people could face financial collapse when interest rates start to rise. 

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Gregson Edwards

It is with great sadness that I rise today to pay tribute to one of Australia's great public servants and public diplomacy professionals, my friend and mentor the late Gregson Edwards, who recently passed away just shy of his 70th birthday. Gregson began his career in 1963 as a bush journalist. He had a 30-year career crafting Australia's image abroad, representing Australia in missions around the world, including in The Hague, Beijing and Tokyo, as director of information for the new Australian Federal Police, and, ultimately, as director of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's overseas cultural relations program.

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Appropriation Bill (No. 1) 2015-2016

 The appropriation bills reflect the changes made in the 2015-16 budget. And what a budget it is. It is a budget that preaches spending, even though just 12 months ago Australia was facing a budget emergency. It is a budget that sees tax up, spending at global financial crisis levels, the deficit doubled and growth projections bordering on the heroic. It is a budget that repackages all the unfair elements of last year's budget. The $80 billion in cuts to schools and hospitals remains. The $600 million cut to ACT health funding remains. The $100,000 university degrees remain. The cuts to family payments remain. The GP tax by stealth remains. The $125.6 million cuts to child dental services have now been introduced, and there is another $1 million cut for the seatbelts in school buses. We have seen new modelling from NATSEM and ACOSS that shows the poorest Australian families will be hit by this budget. Nine out of 10 of the poorest families with children will lose out under the budget, while nine in 10 of the richest with children will benefit.

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