Speeches

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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'...The Australian welfare system has for decades, ramping up over time, achieved an enormous redistribution of wealth to provide a level of support for the welfare of individuals and families courtesy of the Australian taxpayers sharing a significant proportion of their personal incomes. The cost of the welfare system, our social safety net, is equivalent to 90 per cent of all personal income taxes paid in Australia. It is far and away the largest portion of federal government outlays, far bigger than expenditure on health, or defence or anything else.

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It is essential that the authorisation of any and all electoral campaigning material is clearly labelled as such. Lobbyist agencies, including unions, should not be able to trick the Australian people into thinking they are receiving campaign material from Government agencies.

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'Today I am wearing a tie that my five-year-old daughter gave me for Father's Day. While I was flying to Canberra yesterday, Father's Day, it had me thinking. Here we are in Parliament, all of us sharing a vision of making this great country of ours even greater for our children and for all future generations. Doing so requires us to focus on those things that matter.'

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'...I felt so desperately sorry for the Leader of the Opposition when he tried to present this MPI (matters of public importance) today. He struggled to characterise what the Labor Party stands for. Finally, he came out with a line suggesting that the Labor Party is focused on the Australian people. So this is a Labor Party who doesn't want the Australian people to have a say. This is the Labor Party who wants to deny the people a say in the plebiscite. The only focus they have on the Australian people is this: it's the money. They want the people's money. They're happy to tax them.

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'...When it comes to dealing with North Korea and ensuring the peace and stability of our region, I say to China: the United States and her allies, including Australia, are your real friends, and we need to work together to bring North Korea to its senses through economic and diplomatic means...'

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'...The climate is almost certainly changing, and we should do what we reasonably can to reduce emissions; however, the level of emphasis that has been placed on renewables in Australia and in other largely Western countries has been shown to be significantly and at times dangerously misplaced...'

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'...A form of restrictive censorship was recently recommended to the Queensland state Labor government, whereby children were not to speak about Christianity in the school play yard...'

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