Statement on Sugar Industry Motion

I would like to indicate that the government cannot support this motion because it is a premature motion.  Read more

The Impact of Environmental Groups on Employment

Today, I would like to speak about jobs. I have been a senator for just over a year, and the most common issue that is raised with me is jobs. It is a tougher employment market, particularly where I live in Central Queensland in Rockhampton and surrounds. It has been difficult over the last few years, given the downturn in the mining sector.  Read more

National Competition Policy

This week marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the National Competition Policy agreements between the states, territories and the Commonwealth government, a landmark agreement for our nation.    Read more

Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman Bill 2015

I welcome the Greens' support for this measure, although I will make one comment on Senator Whish-Wilson's contribution. I know numbers are not the Greens strong suit, and they might not have noticed, but before the election the coalition—the Liberal and National parties—did not have the numbers.  Read more

Corporate Tax Avoidance Report

I want to start off by taking a slightly different emphasis from that of previous speakers on this report. I make the point that our tax system is often held up as the envy of the world.  Read more

Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption 2015

Unfortunately this is not question time but statement time, so I cannot ask Senator Lines some questions or get answers. But I would still like to put some rhetorical questions on the record. Read more

Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014

It is a great honour to stand up in support of this bill. It is an opportunity to support stronger regulations in what is a very important sector in our economy. Read more

Labor Silencing Views on Marriage

On this matter of public importance, I want to note up-front that this is a very personal and very heartfelt question for many people.  Read more

Family Tax System

I want to talk tonight about tax, and I want to start by complimenting the government on bringing forward a broad-ranging review into the tax system in their first term of government. Read more

National Integrity Commission Bill 2013

I was listening to Senator Wright, and I find it a remarkable contribution to say that somehow the issues surrounding the Australian Wheat Board and the oil-for-food scandal were not properly investigated. Read more


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