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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Coalition a government of inequality, inaction, unfairness

People expect their government to put its shoulder to the wheel of achieving positive change, to achieving greater fairness, and to achieving greater equality. This government has failed to manage the economy. It’s less strong and less fair, and they’ve failed to step up to any of the transformative challenges.


Time of reckoning for gender equality

People in my community, especially women, are rightly saying, enough is enough. It is time for all of us, but especially for men to listen to those who have suffered prejudice, harassment and worse, to reflect without defensiveness or anger or deflection and to change and to support change.


Coalition’s harmful energy policy blackout

This government has gone out of its way to cut support, to gut programmes, to play games to indulge in ridiculous scare campaigns around electric vehicles. They’ve subjected Australia to an energy policy blackout. They have been a stinking pestilent wet blanket on energy policy in this country.
And what does that mean in the end? It means higher prices. It means higher emissions. It means no innovation and fewer jobs.


Young people engaged in political conversation

It’s always a privilege to speak with school students about politics, it’s always been important and I think it’s now more important than ever that young people take an interest in problem-solving and decision-making, and how we do those things to the highest standard with the greatest degree of inclusion, how to be involved in how to make change, because that is what politics is about.

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