Speeches

'...There are few more contentious issues to be had around the topic of international trade than the issue of dumping and the measures governments right around the world have exercised for a century or more to combat it ... Dumping - when a company sells a product for a certain price at home and then exports it to another market and undercuts the domestic price significantly, thereby 'dumping' it into the other market.

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'...there's a new entrant that has come in the online gambling space of the lottery: Lottoland. And it concerns me. I started hearing about this player earlier in the year. A petition has since been given to me, which I've subsequently handed to the relevant House standing committee. Lottoland is a foreign online gambling business that manages players' bets on the outcome of lotteries overseas. What concerns me is that I've been advised that Lottoland, in contrast with existing operators, is based in Gibraltar, which is a tax haven, and apparently it pays no Australian taxes.

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'...This motion, unfortunately, seems to be more mindless nonsense from the Labor Party. They simply cannot face the reality when it comes to meaningful, sensible, responsible action on climate change or the delivery of secure and affordable power. As we know, the Turnbull government is getting on with business. We are putting the reliability, security and affordability of energy at the top of our agenda—that's for families across Australia and for businesses across Australia...'

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'...Today I join with my colleagues to congratulate the government on its highly focused and targeted approach to mental health funding in the 2017 budget to broaden the scope and accessibility of mental health services and help to address this disturbing figure. This government has consulted with the sector, asking those delivering mental health services on the front line where the service gaps are.

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'...There is no environmental ground to be opposing the Adani mine, as those opposite like to claim. At the end of the day, we should also be reminded the Great Barrier Reef has periodically faced challenges, from cyclones to crown-of-thorns starfish and other bleaching events, but there is no evidence to suggest that any of these events are due to man-made carbon dioxide, let alone coal. Vast sections of the Great Barrier Reef have been written off before and yet have recovered.

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'...This bill will help restore such principles by bringing back the faith and trust that all Australians should have in their workplace representatives. Unions are often said to be fighting for the integrity of their members, of the system. But the problem is that they have given very little thought to their own integrity. That is why this bill is so important—essential, in fact. This bill is a commitment that the government gave to the Australian people in 2016, a commitment that is backed by recommendations of the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

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'...To the vast majority of us, nuclear science can seem incomprehensible. Say the word 'nuclear' in Australia and thoughts of nuclear weapons will be immediately invoked in many people's minds. It will immediately trigger debate and, for some, concern. But people rarely think of the more benign and beneficial aspects of nuclear research.

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The Buderim Foundation is a community philanthropic, not-for-profit up in my seat of Fairfax on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. Its operating model is simply this: it receives donations and bequests; it invests those funds, generating income; it then takes that income and redistributes it to needy not-for-profit groups in the community.

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'...The Labor Party seem to not understand that when money goes up, when you get more of something, that's actually not called a 'cut'. Nevertheless, does the government need to ensure that universities are more efficient? Absolutely, we do. The Labor Party used to agree with the same principle. There are indeed economic benefits to this bill. Indeed, this bill is a microcosm of the great challenge that Australia faces to maintain the core values and responsibilities of our society at a time when our public finances are indeed in peril...'

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I am pleased to present you with my 2016/17 Annual Report for Fairfax.

My first year as the Federal Member for Fairfax has been both challenging and rewarding.

While I am proud of the achievements highlighted, I am also very conscious that delivering tangible outcomes ultimately comes down to united and effective team work. Thank you for being part of that team.

I am very grateful for your support over the past year and look forward to working with you in 2017/18.

Yours sincerely

Ted O'Brien MP

 

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'...I did want to stand up today and make comments regarding the reaction that a photo posted by the Prime Minister when he was at a footy match triggered last Saturday. He was watching the Swans play Essendon and, as he sat there, in his left arm, he cuddled his granddaughter Alice. As he kissed her on the forehead, as any loving grandfather would, a photo was taken. The Prime Minister also had, in his right hand, a beer...'

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'...As we all know, the world today is in a situation of increased volatility. The uncertainty that is gripping us both politically and economically is throwing up a set of challenges that have led to the Turnbull coalition government investing in a capital program that is the largest recapitalisation that our Australian Defence Force has ever seen. This government is looking at a spend of $200 billion—that's with a B—out to the years of 2026-27...'

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'...Today, the task of maintaining our national security is even more complex and more demanding of vigilance and specialist skills than ever before. There are more people on the move right now, globally, across national borders, searching for everything from permanent resettlement either with or without controlled parameters to travel for brief periods for business, for pleasure and maybe even for mischief, than at any other time in human history. Technological change is speeding up every aspect of that intermingling, together with the immense tensions it creates.

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'...How about the Queensland state Labor government? It is another Labor government that has a 50 per cent renewable target. This is the Palaszczuk Labor government, which continues to price gouge consumers so that it can rip out dividends from the power generating companies, which are government owned, to cover its own fiscal mess...'

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'...Bloomhill Cancer Care has been operating in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast now for 20 years. For 20 years they have been helping to care for and support people who are suffering from cancer...the federal government has said to the Queensland state government: 'Don't give us that $165,000 a year (for the Sunshine Coast Medical School). Don't give us that money. Don't alleviate the Commonwealth. Give that money instead to Bloomhill. It's Bloomhill that needs the financial support...'

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