Speeches

'...Any senior official who undermines the interests of the nation that they represent is not worthy of office, and the Leader of the Opposition should have the courage to remove the senator from this parliament...'

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'...I rise to support the amendment put by the member for Deakin. To me, it addresses a deficiency in the bill where there's an embedded assumption that religious beliefs are more important than conscientious beliefs. There's an assumption in the bill that says religion is more important than conscience...'

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'...Changing the definition of marriage is more than a legal issue; it's a social issue—a social issue that holds great cultural significance. This is why I have been, from the get-go, so supportive of a plebiscite as the best process to resolve the matter...The Australian people have spoken, and what they've said in an overwhelming majority is that they want this parliament to legislate for same-sex marriage... I intend to honour the will of the Australian people and support legislation for same-sex marriage.

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'...The operating mechanism of the cashless debit card is simple enough: having 80 per cent of welfare payments to recipients quarantined to be spent in the best interest of welfare recipients and their dependants, and not used for the purchase of alcohol, drugs or gambling products.....

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'...As much as each and every one of us loves our children, so too did Bruce and Denise Morcombe love their child, Daniel, who in 2003, at the age of only 13, was abducted and murdered— and they've given their lives to education ever since. Tomorrow, I walk with the Morcombes for Day for Daniel. I carry a message from the Prime Minister, and, with the blessing of this House, I would also like to carry your best wishes to the entire Morcombe family...'

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'...I rise in the chamber today in enthusiastic support of the member for Tangney's motion acknowledging the commitment of the Turnbull government and the hard work of our law enforcement  agencies, health workers and support services in fighting illicit drugs, and in particular, crystal meth, or ice. New data from the ABS shows that 1,808 Australians died from drugs in 2016. While some were drug suicides, the vast majority were accidental overdoses...'

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'...the coalition government has created the environment for 825,500 extra jobs. Under the Labor Party's six years in office, do you know how many they created or enabled to be created? It was the opposite. There were over 200,000 extra people in the job queue. It is time that the members opposite turned on the lights, looked at the scoreboard and understood that there's only one side of this parliament that enables economic growth and job creation, and that's the coalition...'

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'...There are three key reforms in this bill. The first two seek to strengthen the integrity of the tax system, while the third goes to boosting the supply of rental properties in key markets. The housing tax integrity bill makes changes to the Income Tax Assessment Act to tighten existing laws and remove tax deductions relating to travel expenses for individual investors when visiting their residential investment properties...'

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'...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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