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Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Page: 121


Mr Dutton: to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Building and Construction Industry (Improving Productivity) Act 2016 in relation to the Building Code, and for related purposes.

Mr Porter: to present a Bill for an Act to amend the law relating to family assistance, social security, paid parental leave, veterans’ entitlements, military rehabilitation and compensation and farm household support, and for related purposes.

Mr Wilkie: to present a Bill for an Act to amend the law in relation to the recovery of debts from payments made under the social security and family assistance law, and for related purposes.

Mr Hart: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) poverty is an ongoing and serious problem in Australia;

(b) recent figures by ACOSS found that 13.3 per cent of the population is living below the poverty line of 50 per cent of median household income;

(c) Tasmania has the highest proportion of Australians living in poverty;

(d) poverty among Australians is on the rise and is a consequence of structural inequality;

(e) despite Australia’s extensive and well-targeted social safety net, over 2.5 million Australians continue to face serious financial hardship, impacting their quality of life;

(f) the gap between rich and poor in Australia has been steadily rising. Since 1975, earnings have risen three times as fast for the top tenth of wage earners as for the bottom tenth;

(g) poverty is associated with worse health and education outcomes and a higher risk of exposure to both violence and prison; and

(h) the government’s cuts to welfare payments and inaction on housing affordability and equitable tax reform are likely to increase Australia’s poverty and inequality levels; and

(2) calls on the Government to explain to the House how it intends to reduce inequality and poverty in Australia.

Mr Hayes: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) children in conflict zones around the world are in danger and live in fear within their schooling environments as schools are being attacked or occupied by military forces;

(b) classrooms are being used to house munitions and sports fields are becoming battlefields, denying children their right to education;

(c) 57 countries have already endorsed the Safe Schools Declaration to protect education in armed conflict situations; and

(d) the Safe Schools Declaration aims to build an international community committed to respecting the civilian nature of schools and to develop the best practices for protecting schools from attack and military use; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) work with governments internationally to discourage the military use of schools, and promote security force policies and practices that better protect schools;

(b) consider Australia’s participation at the Safe Schools Conference to be held in Buenos Aires on 28 and 29 March 2017; and

(c) condemn attacks on schools and education, particularly the recent incidents in Nigeria, Syria and Yemen.

Mr Leeser: to move:

That this House:

(1) acknowledges the Order of Australia is the highest national honour awarded to Australian citizens for outstanding contributions to our country or humanity at large;

(2) notes that since being established by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1975, there have been more than 30,000 recipients of awards in the Order of Australia;

(3) recognises the almost one thousand recipients of awards in the General Division of the Order announced in the Australia Day 2017 Honours List who come from an array of fields including science, education, governance, business, community service and sport; and

(4) congratulates all the recipients of awards in the 2017 Australia Day Honours List.

Ms Plibersek: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes the Government’s failure in school education policy, including:

(a) a cut of $30 billion from schools (Budget 2014-15 Overview, 13 May 2014, page 7), breaking an election promise to match Labor’s funding plan dollar for dollar;

(b) a proposal to cut all federal funding from public schools; and

(c) tearing up agreements negotiated by the previous Labor Government, that required states and territories to:

   (i) maintain and grow their funding for schools, in return for increased Commonwealth funding; and

   (ii) improve teaching quality, literacy and numeracy; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) urgently share a detailed plan for future funding of our schools, including the funding each state, system and school will receive from 2018 onwards;

(b) reverse the cut of $30 billion from schools;

(c) explain why they tore up agreements that required states and territories to increase funding for schools as Commonwealth contributions increased, and improve teaching, literacy and numeracy; and

(d) prioritise funding for disadvantaged schools and introduce a proper students with disabilities loading, so all schools and students have the resources they need for a great education.

Mr Thistlethwaite: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes:

(a) that Australians live by the water. Being in and around water is part of our nation’s culture and our identity, but this regular exposure to water brings risks that can be fatal;

(b) that so far this summer in Australia 69 people have drowned on our coastline, in our pools and waterways, and paramedics report responding to 225 drownings or near drownings in November and December 2016;

(c) that in 2015-16, 280 people drowned in Australia; a 5 per cent increase in drownings from 2014-15;

(d) with concern that there is no national approach to swimming and water safety education in Australia:

   (i) the water safety education Australian children receive depends on where they live and in some cases on their parents income level;

   (ii) not every Australian child is receiving the necessary instruction in swimming and water safety; and

   (iii) in some states and territories there is no swimming and water safety program at schools; and

(e) studies have consistently shown a concerning trend in children starting secondary school without the ability to swim. Research shows that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students are less likely to achieve identified benchmarks for water safety competence compared to non-indigenous students and this is also the case for children not born in Australia; and

(2) calls on the Government to:

(a) implement the National Swimming and Water Safety Framework (the Framework) and ensure every child has access to water safety and swimming education by the time they complete primary school. Every child should be given access to instruction in swimming and water safety in accordance with the Framework;

(b) conduct a parliamentary inquiry to investigate why many Australian children are not receiving adequate swimming and water safety education consistent with the Australian Water Safety Strategy and what measures it can adopt to improve access to swimming and water safety education;

(c) establish a national water safety education fund to provide support to the states and territories, water safety organisations and communities to ensure access to swimming pools, accredited trainers and water safety education for schools in communities which lack such facilities and services; and

(d) provide water and surf safety messages in foreign languages via tourism operators, flights, hotels, tours across Australia highlighting the importance of swimming and water safety on beaches, rivers, lakes and swimming pools.

Ms T. M. Butler: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes the decision of the Fair Work Ombudsman not to fund the work of the Queensland Working Women’s Service (QWWS) and its vulnerable workers;

(2) recognises that the QWWS has:

(a) been providing free, specialist information, advice and representation to vulnerable women about work related problems since 1994;

(b) assisted thousands of women to access information, advice and advocacy in relation to employment matters or concerns, including over 4,000 specialist advisory sessions to vulnerable workers during 2016; and

(c) negotiated over $770,000 by way of settlements for outstanding entitlements or compensation for alleged breaches of industrial and discrimination laws for clients during the 2016 financial year; and

(3) recognises the important work that the QWWS has been providing to vulnerable Queensland women for over 20 years.

Mr B. K. Mitchell: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that;

(a) it has been 41 days since the opposition formally requested that the robo-debt system be suspended while it was fixed;

(b) the Minister for Human Services says that the system is working well despite reports of innocent people being targeted, Centrelink staff at breaking point and widespread concern outside this place;

(c) the robo-debt system has seen hundreds of people issued with debt notices which are either false or grossly inflated; and

(d) the robo-debt system is due to target Age Pension and Disability Support Pension recipients this year;

(2) condemns the Minister for Human Services for his failure to respond to growing community concern and calls from welfare groups to act; and

(3) calls on the Prime Minister to intervene to halt the system and fix it before age pensioners and those with disabilities are terrorised for debt they may not owe.

Mr Shorten: to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Commonwealth Electoral Act 1918 to improve donation transparency and accountability, and for related purposes.

Mr Champion: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) On 20 October 2017 General Motors Holden will end automotive production at the Elizabeth plant; and

(b) on 3 October 2017 Toyota will end automotive production at the Altona plant; and

(2) acknowledges the devastating impact the end of automotive production in Australia will have on:

(a) workers and their families;

(b) the communities around Elizabeth and Altona;

(c) support industries;

(d) the national economy, and in particular the economies of South Australia and Victoria; and

(e) Australian manufacturing as a whole.

Ms McGowan: to present a Bill for an Act to amend the Infrastructure Australia Act 2008, and for related purposes.

Ms McGowan: to move:

That this House:

(1) notes that:

(a) for more than eight years, regional communities in northeast Victoria have been frustrated by significant engineering failings on the Wodonga-Melbourne rail line;

(b) in 2016 the trains were on time 79.7 per cent of the time, with the rate dropping to 55.2 per cent in November, the train now takes half an hour longer to get form Southern Cross to Albury than 10 years ago;

(c) the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) maintains that it is meeting performance obligations under the terms of the 44 year lease agreement with the Victorian Government and under its charter;

(d) the ARTC has spent $134 million on remediation works that have not improved passenger rail services, with trains regularly slowed or replaced by buses; and

(e) the current arrangements are not meeting the need for reliable passenger rail services, instead regional communities are viewed as freight corridors; and

(2) calls on the Australian Government:

(a) as the sole shareholder of the ARTC, to update the ARTC Statement of Corporate Intent to ensure that passenger services and the transport needs of regional communities are considered core business;

(b) to direct the ARTC to release and review the current agreement between the ARTC and the Victorian Government for the Wodonga-Melbourne rail line, giving due consideration to the passenger rail services and the transport needs of regional communities; and

(c) to develop a long-term plan for passenger rail services that meets the economic, social and environmental needs of regional Australia.

Mr Katter: to present a Bill for an Act to amend the law in order to prevent non-First Australians and foreigners from arrogating for their personal benefit First Australian culture, and to stop the sale of art, souvenir items and any other cultural affirmations that exploit and thereby deprive First Australians of the rightful benefits from their culture, and for related purposes.