Speeches

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.


I welcomed the Hon Trevor Evans, Assistant Minister for Waste Reduction and Environmental Management to the Sunshine Coast on 30 September 2020 to announce a $20,000 Communities Environment Grant to support their work.


I have been questioning the Qld Labor Government's infrastructure spend for years and I asked the Parliamentary Budget Office to analysis the figures.

The result?

Irrefutable evidence of a massive infrastructure cut.


What does it mean to be an Australian? on 23 September I had the pleasure of congratulating our newest Australian citizens at citizenship ceremonies here on the Sunshine Coast. To witness 192 people from 43 different backgrounds was truly inspiring. Each and every one of them is now a bonafide Aussie and we’re a stronger nation for it. Congratulations and welcome!