Speeches

Ted O'Brien MP speaks with Chris Kenny from Sky News about the status of the House Standing Committee on Environment and Energy's Inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia.


I was delighted only a few weeks ago to attend the launch of RideScore Active Schools on the Sunshine Coast. Full credit to We Ride Australia, who have championed this program. The federal government is tipping in about $225,000. We're working in collaboration with the Sunshine Coast Regional Council, with the state government, with Stockland at their new development and a range of other partners but, in particular, We Ride Australia.

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Did you know that every single day there are about 30 people across this country who survive due to surf lifesavers saving them? On 27 October this year, three surf lifesavers from the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club were on roving patrol. They were Robin Smith, Taylah Kouvaras and Abigail Green. They spotted a motionless body on the edges of the Maroochy River, they had no time to reflect; they acted. This person was blue and motionless, so they performed CPR. Thankfully, they were also able to use a defibrillator.

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Regardless of whatever policy changes come from a royal commission, what is needed—not just from people in politics but across civil society—is a cultural shift for how we treat our elderly.

I was delighted when the preliminary report was tabled, that the Prime Minister said:

"But I want to stress again that what we really need to establish above and beyond everything else is a culture of respect for older Australians."

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Over five years ago, on the Sunshine Coast—Australia's most entrepreneurial region—we started a not-for-profit group called Generation Innovation that wraps those needs around young 15 to 25-year-olds—young people who want to have a go and who want to take an idea to market. We do that in a way that brings together business executives who are working on the Sunny Coast. We wrap that support base around the young people. We let them thrive and we let their ideas move forward. 

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It is vitally important that we take the inspiration from the Morcombes as far more than just turning a tragedy into a message of hope, but as a call to arms: that each of us have a responsibility to take care of children. Tomorrow, on this side of the parliament and across the aisles, we'll be wearing our red badges in memory of Daniel on the Day for Daniel.

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The Sunshine Coast is one of those unique places in Australia where the values of the past and the opportunities of the future coexist. And, within the Sunshine Coast, where better reflects that uniqueness than the town of Nambour? Nambour has a heart and it has a soul. It's due to its people, who truly possess a sense of pride which is second to none. Nambour has had its challenges.

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Drugs in this country are a problem, as they are in so many other countries. They are a problem, particularly in regional areas. I was delighted last week to open a community facility for women which is being run by a group called WHO, We Help Ourselves. 

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STUFFit. That's the name of a fantastic film festival run out of my electorate in Fairfax: the STUFFit Student Film Festival. It is for year 7 to year 12 students to show their wares. This year it was, yet again, managed perfectly—well done to St John's College for doing just that. It was held at the Majestic Cinemas in Nambour.

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I'm here to ask our Minister an important question about the Land 400 program. This, of course, is part of a recapitalisation of Australian defence forces of over $200 billion. The Land 400 program is close to my heart because I'm a Queenslander. We know that the Land 400 phase 2 project was won by a company called Rheinmetall, which has domiciled itself in Queensland. This was a $5.2 billion procurement spend on 211 combat reconnaissance vehicles—the best in the world.

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As we continue to explore the possibility of the Olympics for SEQ, let us do so with bold ambition, with pragmatism and knowing we put the community first. Any investment has to be investment for the long term, regardless of an Olympics.


There are many people who come to Australia and love and respect our country. And there are many who don't. It is the aim of this bill to better identify those who seemingly don't and to remove them before it's too late. While the purpose of this bill, the Migration Amendment (Strengthening the Character Test) Bill 2019, is not specific to terrorism, it will, however, embolden our efforts to mitigate the risks of terrorist attacks on our soil, here in Australia.

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I stand in this chamber today to thank God and to thank the Queensland Police Service, the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services, the Rural Fire Service and the countless volunteers and organisations across the Sunshine Coast for everything they did to combat a wall of fire that blazed across the northern end of the Sunshine Coast.

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The public hearings for the Standing Committee on Environment and Energy’s inquiry into the prerequisites for nuclear energy in Australia have commenced and I had the pleasure of speaking to Peter Stefanovic from Sky News about the process on 30 August 2019.


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2019 School Leavers Guide

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