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.
I am very pleased to rise to support this motion moved by the member for Prospect, which seeks to ensure that the ChaldoAssyrian people of Iraq are constitutionally guaranteed the right to freely exercise their customs, religion, language and traditions.
I want to raise the very important matter of the Howard government's refusal to ratify the Kyoto protocol. Today, there has been a flurry of activity and debate in the House ahead of the Kyoto protocol coming into effect. I am pleased to be adding my voice, on behalf of the people I represent in the electorate of Calwell, to an issue that has wide-reaching implications for the entire world.
Australia has a proud heritage as a multilingual nation and although this language resource is not always apparent or indeed not always acknowledged by all, it is nevertheless the case that here in Australia we are uniquely placed to communicate with the entire world.
I rise tonight to speak in recognition of one of my local constituents, Mr Frank Churchill, who was presented with the Order of Australia Medal on Australia Day this year. Frank was born Francis Clive Churchill in September 1931 in Melbourne.
Wednesday, 16 February 2005 is a very important day in history. After 15 years of negotiation – the Kyoto Protocol – will finally come into force. From 16 February, 140 nations around the world will take action together to tackle climate change - the greatest threat to the health of the planet and the long term security of all nations.