I would like to take this opportunity to thank the voters of the federal electorate of Calwell, who have given me the privilege and the honour to represent them in this place for a second term. It is difficult to believe that three years have passed and that I now no longer have the cover of being a new member.
I want to raise two incidents regarding our multicultural community that show how those with extreme views on both sides of the debate often hijack the issue with their misguided words and actions. In yesterday’s Herald Sun, journalist Andrew Bolt delivered another instalment of his well-known views about this country’s diversity.

Today I rise to speak in support of the private members motion of the Member for Throsby, which calls on this house to support the current system of annual wage increases to Minimum Award rates by the Australian Industrial Relations System.

This motion acknowledges the alarming growth in the ranks of working poor and the detrimental effects this can have on households due to the majority of working poor being totally reliant on minimum award wages.

Can I take this opportunity, Mr Speaker, to congratulate you on your appointment and to wish you well in a job that no doubt has its moments. Today is World AIDS Day and it is an opportunity for us in this House and elsewhere to reflect on the devastation that HIV-AIDS continues to cause to people around the world.
This Friday marks the annual Jeans for Genes Day, a day which is very well known to all of us for promoting the recognition of rare genetic disorders and for raising awareness about the need to conduct research and find cures for people who suffer from rare genetic conditions. Image
I thank Maria for inviting me to speak about the career of my father, the late Rt Hon Arthur A. Calwell, after whom this Federal Electorate is named. Because of the amazing level of misrepresentation of him and some contemporaries I trust you will agree that it is important to mention relevant facts. Image
Government cuts to Community Settlement Services Scheme funding

My grievance this afternoon is about the recent round of Community Settlement Services Scheme funding for 2004-05 and, in particular, the shock defunding of two organisations, the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women's Coalition and the Victorian Arabic Social Services.

Maria call on Government to abolish tyre material import tax levy

Last Friday I visited the South Pacific tyre factory in my electorate and had discussions with management as well as representatives from the Australian Tyre Manufacturers Association about the issues facing Australia's tyre industry.