Speeches

The year 2020 is coming to an end. As years go, this one has been an absolute shocker. A global pandemic hit. Lives were lost and livelihoods were shattered. It took a toll on businesses, families, schools and organisations. For those of us who have the privilege to serve, we see the best of it and we see the worst.

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Today I attended a briefing from the Australian Federal Police which was disturbing and confronting.

It was on the issue of online child sexual exploitation.

We all have a role to play to keep our kids safe online and the AFP have resources to help parents address this daunting task - go to ThinkUKnow.org.au or download my handy checklist below.

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The Australia-China relationship is under strain. As we tackle the challenges that lie ahead, it is important we do so from a position of strength. A part of that strength is our unity as a nation—unity that we require on three fronts.

1. Politically, the Liberal-National government and the Labor opposition should be as one when it comes to addressing the China question.

2. Unity between government and business.

3. Unity among the Australian people—in particular, with the Chinese-Australian community.

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At a time when participation in civil society has fallen dramatically in Australia due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s great to see that our Men’s Sheds are booming and playing a crucial role in supporting the mental health and well-being of our menfolk.

 

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All of us have some sort of love of the Olympics.  For some, it's the extravaganza of the event; for others, it's the great feats of human athleticism.  But we are interested in hosting the Games in 2032 not just because of two weeks of a sporting spectacular but because it offers two decades of benefits and opportunities - a decade in the lead-up to the games and a decade after.

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In addressing Parliament on Remembrance Day, 11 November 2020, I shared a story about one of my great uncles - Private William O’Brien (known as “Dinkum” to his mates) – who was killed in the Great War. So many Australian families have similar tragic stories to tell about loved ones who sacrificed their lives so we can enjoy ours. Lest we forget.


I think what we all know is that we are amidst a period of unprecedented uncertainty for those of us living today. That was the case before COVID-19. COVID-19 hit, and all of the complexities of the international political economy were accentuated. And here we are today. There is a need for us to do what nations do with foreign policy—that is, have an outward expression of who we are as a nation, of what we believe in. And what we believe in is best defined by what unites us.


Today, 30 October 2020, Australians across the nation joined two Sunshine Coast parents to honour the memory of their precious child. By starting the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, Bruce and Denise Morcombe have turned a tragedy into a message of hope. Their tireless work to keep Australian children safe from harm is truly inspiring. It was an honour to attend this morning's walk to kick-start the 2020 #DayforDaniel.


The Australian Parliament paused to remember Daniel Morcombe on 29 October 2020 and to pay tribute to his parents, Bruce and Denise. This Friday, 30 October is #dayfordaniel and so let us all reflect on the importance of child safety and commit ourselves to keeping all kids free from harm.


I rise today to pay tribute to young Australians, in particular, young Australians in the seat of Fairfax on the Sunshine Coast. We've all been hit by the COVID-19 in many different ways and Youth Unemployment rates on the Sunshine Coast is now 15.9%.

But beyond Government doing it's bit, beyond young people doing their bit, beyond businesses trying to employ, I want to encourage young people to have a go at starting their own businesses.


An independent analysis by the Federal Parliamentary Budget Office has uncovered irrefutable evidence which proves that the Queensland Government is spending half as much on infrastructure compared to the governments of New South Wales and Victoria.

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Donating a marquee is only a small gesture, but it's one that I've been happy to make to several organisations, including Hoofbeats Sanctuary, the Buderim Lions Club, the Maroochydore Surf Life Saving Club, the Marcoola Surf Life Saving Club, the Coolum Crusaders Soccer Club and Bli Bli United Football Club.


I had a great time recently,  throwing the footy around at the Maroochydore Junior Rugby League Club after donating a marquee in recognition of the important role the Club plays in our local community. 

Donating a marquee is only a small gesture, but it’s one that I’ve been happy to make to organisations including:    


Introducing the BOXER – the most lethal piece of equipment in the combat reconnaissance range. These 35-tonne state of the art vehicles were built by Rheinmetall at their brand-new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVEHCOE) which was officially opened by Scott Morrison in Redbank, QLD. Team Queensland - QLD's 29 LNP Federal MPs and Senators - fought for this world-class facility, which includes an advanced manufacturing workforce and over 450 employees. This is one of our greatest achievements.


The 2020-21 Federal Budget was handed down on the 6th of October 2020 and sends a clear message to all Australians that the Federal Government has their back as we embark on a job-led economic recovery.