Matter of Public Importance - Childcare

 I, too, at the start of my contribution would like to recognise the hard work and commitment of those involved in the childcare sector. They were pretty tense times a few months ago. We clearly and rightly recognised the workers on the frontline of our health system at that time, continuing to be there in response to this coronavirus crisis. But there were other crucial sectors as well that contributed to keeping all Australians safe, and our childcare sector was an essential one because, without those types of services, the healthcare workers that we essentially need couldn't continue to do their jobs. Read more

Australia-India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership

My question is to the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator Birmingham. Can the minister outline how the Australia-India comprehensive strategic partnership will benefit Australia economically, especially regional agricultural and mining communities in their post-pandemic recovery? Read more

Paid Parental Leave Amendment (Flexibility Measures) Bill 2020

I really have missed this place. I've missed the chutzpah that comes from this chamber. I've missed in the last three months the hypocrisy that is given with a straight face so often in this chamber. It's something I haven't had to experience too much in the last few months back home in north Queensland, where you don't really get away with that kind of stuff. You don't really get away with two-faced statements like we just heard from Senator O'Neill. Read more

Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth into diversifying Australia's trade and investment

I want to make some brief remarks on this proposed inquiry. I recognise the good faith with which this inquiry is being brought forward. I think many of the issues that have been raised here do deserve examination, and I will come to those. But I do want to briefly put on the record the reasons I won't be supporting this specific inquiry. Some of them go to the substantive issues that have been raised through this debate. I will come back to ones that I think do deserve inquiry and investigation by this parliament and its committees. Read more

Australia's agricultural sector and resources supporting economic growth

My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management, Senator Ruston. Can the minister outline how Australia's agricultural sector and other critical rural and regional sectors such as resources are supporting economic growth during these difficult economic times resulting from the coronavirus pandemic? Read more

Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020

I rise to support this bill, the Privacy Amendment (Public Health Contact Information) Bill 2020, and to commend the government for their timely rolling out of these protective measures that are supporting the good outcomes that we have seen so far in our fight against the coronavirus. I think we in this country can take pride in having established a record of firsts when it comes to taking action against the virus.  Read more

Take Note of Answers - COVID-19

Before I get to the substance of my contribution, taking note of the questions asked by the opposition today, I too would like to commend the government and all governments around Australia—indeed, the entire Australian people—for how they have responded, combined and acted over the past two months. It's perhaps becoming too easy to forget that two months or so ago, when we left this place and basically suspended at least normal operations of the parliament, we had our cases growing at well above 20 per cent a day. Read more

Matter of Public Importance - Climate Change

I think the introduction of this motion from the Australian Greens is a classic example of hoisting yourself on your own petard, because it's the Australian Greens coming into this chamber criticising other political parties for not doing adequate costings. This is a party that regularly proposes policies which are uncosted—which have no basis in what they would cost—and it is now claiming that we are doing the same and criticising us for doing the same. Read more

Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition) Bill 2018

The Galilee Basin (Coal Prohibition) Bill 2018 demonstrates that the Greens are the John McEnroe of this parliament. They cannot cop an umpire's decision. They cannot cop the decision of the umpire when it comes to doing environmental assessments. They always like to call on the umpire's decision when it goes in their favour. When the umpire makes a decision to restrict a project or stop jobs being created under our environmental laws, the Greens will very quickly point to that and say, 'See, that demonstrates what we have been saying, and it should be adhered to.' Read more

Matter of Public Importance - Fossil Fuels

I always try to find redeeming features in people. You always try to be fair to people, even those you disagree with, and I certainly have my disagreements with the Greens political party. But everybody in life will have some qualities that shine through and mark them out from others, and there's no doubt the Greens have the gold medal in exaggeration and outlandish statements. Read more



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