Family Based Taxation

There is an old joke in economics about the country that gets rich by doing each other's washing. If I do my own washing, it is work and it is economic output but it does not count in a country's GDP. However, if I pay Bill to do it, suddenly the measured GDP of this economy will increase even though no more work or wealth has been created. A nation that did just each other's washing would not be a rich country; indeed, it would have no wealth at all. Read more

Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014

On the weekend I started reading Paul Kelly's book, the one he put out a couple of weeks ago, Triumph and Demise: The broken promise of a Labor generation. It is a bit of a yarn about the Labor Party. It is a sad book because it tells the story of the death of the modern Labor Party in some ways. It is continuing to be sad here tonight with the Labor Party seemingly opposing the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Bilateral Agreement Implementation) Bill 2014, given it is something that they actually supported for many years and given that it is something that is meant to be pro-business and pro-development. Read more

Road Safety and the Transport Workers Union

I would like to speak this morning about the trucking industry and its safety. I do so with some familiarity with the industry. My father-in-law is a truck driver. My uncle is a truck driver. I have seen firsthand how important safety is in that industry. It has a much higher fatality rate than most industries. The trucking industry has about 10 times the average fatality rate of any other industry. It is something that families always live with when they have members of their family in that industry driving long distances. Right now, my father-in-law is somewhere between Wagga Wagga and Lightning Ridge on another long-haul drive. Read more

Adjournment Speech on Rural Debt

I rise tonight to talk about debt, in particular rural debt, and drought—the two D's, if you like. When you have debt plus drought, you often end up with desperation, so you end up with three D's. Read more

Maiden Speech to the Senate

Mr President I am honoured to give my first speech in the Senate and I am honoured to have been elected by the Queensland people to represent them. I will do my best to serve their collective interests with courage, integrity and humility. Read more



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