Speeches

Fuel security vital for our island nation

At the moment, people go to the supermarket and the shelves are stocked and they go to the petrol station and they fill up their cars. Or if they’re fortunate enough to be able to travel from one part of Australia to the other, they go to the airport without really thinking that if there was to be an interruption to our fuel supply, that all of that would grind to a terrible halt in very, very, very quick time. And it would affect everything – the economic and social impacts of that would be hard to anticipate. And the risks of that occurring are not small.

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Liberal-National Government taking Australians for mugs

It’s an instalment of economic mismanagement, and social and environmental neglect that is entirely consistent with the style and substance of the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison, dot dot dot government, now into its eight year, now into its third term focused on nothing other than manipulating and spinning and fear mongering its way into another term. Don’t let them do it to you. Don’t let them do it to Australia.

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Morrison’s vaccine roll-out shambles

We need to get Australia vaccinated. It is the key to our recovery. It will make us safer from the serious risk that remains; it will help Australians return home; and it will mean, in due course, that we can open up for people to go to and from Australia.

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Screen industries key to Australian jobs’ future

The circumstances of the pandemic have emphasised many of Australia’s strengths, and one of them is as a place where screen productions of the highest quality can safely happen. We can make more of this in future, but only if we enable it. For a long time, we’ve needed a balanced producer offset for film and television without cutting one to meet the other, and thankfully the government has abandoned its plan to cut the offset for film. We need strong and fair local content requirements both in Australia and especially for the streaming services that derive billions of dollars from Australian consumers. And there has to be proper funding for Screen Australia and for our national broadcasters, which of course this government has scandalously cut time after time despite promising that would not be the case.

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Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

All of us who get to argue in this place for environmental and heritage protection know that we do so on the foundation that is laid through community activism—local people, traditional owners, action groups, preservation societies, history buffs, bushwalkers, artists and amateur naturalists, one and all. It is local people who make the case for protecting the things we will share.

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Private health insurance income thresholds

As far as public goods go, in my view, it’s what comes first. When you think of the great public goods like education, our environment and public health, I think most people would agree that health is what you need to achieve first and foremost. So you want the best quality of care, and Australians have a right to expect that.

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Forgiveness, coexistence, non-violence keys to Israel-Palestine peace

The airstrikes followed from the rockets, but are not justified by the rockets, just as the rockets followed from the bullets in the Al Aqsa mosque, and are not justified by that violence. The airstrikes are wrong, the rockets are wrong, the displacement and oppression of Palestinians is wrong. The illegal settlement of their land is wrong, and the existential threats to Israel are wrong.

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Independent mechanics must have ‘right to repair’

It benefits the 23,000 businesses that operate as independent motor vehicle maintenance outfits and repairers. It supports the 150,000-plus workers that are engaged in that sector. But, ultimately, it really benefits Australian consumers and households, because it means that car owners have more choice when it comes to getting their car repaired or maintained.

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India needs support in face of terrible COVID crisis

Knowing the gravity of the humanitarian disaster that India faces. It was a bad mistake, to threaten with prison Australians who simply want to come home. What’s really important to say, though, to the people of India, and to all Australians with Indian heritage, is we acknowledge the terrible crisis you’re confronting. We’re with you and we will get through this together.

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Ocean protection of vital importance

Australians understand the literally vital importance of healthy oceans for us and for our fellow human beings around the planet. Our oceans produce the oxygen we breathe, they regulate our climate, they provide seafood that can be sustainably fished, and they sustain an incredible range of biodiversity that we have a duty to maintain and to protect. This government has weakened ocean protection, failed to improve the position of endangered marine species, squibbed the opportunity to reform the EPBC Act, refused to take climate change seriously, and been complacent about the waste crisis that sees tonnes of plastic going into our waterways and, ultimately, the sea.

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