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It is a great honour to be speaking today on his Holiness Pope John Paul II. Some 57 per cent of my electorate observes the Catholic faith and I know that the life and work of Pope John Paul II meant a lot to them.
As of February this year there were 6,550 temporary protection visa and temporary humanitarian visa holders in Australia. The majority, some 3,980, are from Iraq, followed by 1,853 from Afghanistan. And there are about 800 TPV cases still waiting for a primary decision to be made.
I am very pleased to speak to the report on workplace participation. I was Deputy Chair of the Standing Committee on Employment, Workplace Relations and Work Force Participation during the 40th Parliament but, unfortunately, the federal election was called while the draft report was being considered.
Today I rise to speak about Drug Action Week, which is being held across Australia next week. Like many parents, and indeed many of us here, I am concerned about the harmful effects drugs can have on our children, particularly on young children.
I rise tonight to pay my respects to one of my constituents, an elder of the Gunung-Willam-Balluk clan, Norman Hunter, who passed away on 16 May at the age of 61, after a long illness.
This is the fourth budget I have spoken to since coming into this place as the member for Calwell and it is by far and without doubt the most unfair and the most misdirected of all.
Many people in my electorate—in fact, over 6,000—are presently on disability support pensions, so the government’s proposed changes to the disability support pension and welfare-to-work policy are of great interest and concern to me and to those constituents.
Tonight I want to speak about one of my constituents, Mr Gary Marshall, who is an extraordinary and creative man. He has devised a cigarette butt disposal unit known as smokers poles, or SPs.