I rise to speak to the Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015, a piece of legislation which is being rushed through this parliament without a proper public hearing. I would like to commend the Labor Party's Senator Moore on her contribution to this debate. Senator Moore's speech rang the alarm bell on this piece of government legislation which will take more than $4 billion from our pensioners and older Australians over the forward estimates. I understand that the government may have the numbers to win the vote on this piece of legislation, with Greens support, and I am very disappointed with that. I feel sorry for the hundreds of thousands of elderly, sick and disabled Australians who will be adversely affected by the passage of this bill.
Read more 0f the speech at the link: Social Services Legislation Amendment (Fair and Sustainable Pensions) Bill 2015 - 22-6-15
No other state in Australia uses as much renewable energy compared with non-renewable energy as Tasmania.
A 2014 Report from the Australian Bureau of Resources and Energy Economics shows that in 2012-13 out of a total of Tasmania’s 3,136 Mega Watt installed capacity – 2,630 Mega Watts were from renewable Hydro Power.
In 2012-13 Tasmania had no electricity generated by either Black or Brown Coal fired power plants – however the rest of Australia (excluding Northern Territory) relied on Black and Brown Coal to produce almost 29,000 Mega Watts of electricity.
This sum of 29,000 Mega Watts of electricity represented more than a half of Australia’s total installed electricity generating capacity of 56,079. Mega Watts
Today more than 95% of Tasmania’s electricity comes from carbon-free, renewable Hydro electricity which - unlike wind and solar – is able to power heavy industry with a reliable base load power – 24 hours a day – whether the wind is blowing or the sun is shining.
Put simply when we turn the power switch on in Tasmania we don’t pollute the environment with any CO2 – so why should our Businesses, Industries and Families be hit with more expensive electricity because of main land RET penalties?
To read more of the speech, click on the link: RET Speech
When you reflect on the 2015-16 budget, it is timely to remember what Dr. Martin Parkinson, former Treasury secretary, was reported as saying in The Australian Financial Review on 2 May 2015: ``… there isn't and never was a fiscal crisis, even though … the government faces a decade of deficits.''
I want this budget to succeed. I want confidence to return to consumers and the small business sector. I want more jobs created and I want job security to return to those Australians who are lucky enough to have employment. However, the 2015-2016 Prime Minister and Treasurer's budget is an attempt to repair the great social and economic harm which was unnecessarily caused by the Prime Minister and Treasurer's budget of 2014-15. With this budget, the arsonist who burnt down the house in 2014-15 has now returned with some flowers and chocolates—and an application for a builder's licence.
My question is to Senator Brandis, the spokesperson for the Abbott government in this place today. I refer the senator to section 99 of the interim report of the Hayden royal commission, which examined a confidential or secret report. As the senator is aware, the Commissioner examining organised crime, union and/or political corruption wrote:
``It is necessary for that volume to be confidential in order to protect the physical well-being of those witnesses and their families. This is unfortunate, because the confidential volume reveals grave threats to the power and authority of the Australian state.''
I rise to speak to this motion to take note of all answers given today, and I wish to take note of the answer given by the senator representing the Prime Minster, Senator Brandis, to a question without notice I asked today relating to a secret or confidential royal commission report examining organised crime, union and/or political corruption.
I rise to support 100 per cent Senator Xenophon's private members' bill, the Food Standards Amendment (Fish Labelling) Bill 2015. I congratulate him for putting forward this important legislation. Unlike the cowardly Nationals in this chamber, I will not only 100 per cent support the intent of the legislation; I will 100 per cent reflect that by support on the floor of this Senate and gladly stand on the side of the chamber which supports this bill and the Australian fishing industry. I will vote to put my state and fishing industry first. Unlike the Nationals, whose vote on this legislation will show that they have gone from being the bush's blue heelers in this place to becoming—as of this morning, after listening to Senator Williams's gutless speech, which tried to have two bob each way—the Liberals' poodles. And they are poodles missing a vital part of their male anatomy.
I rise to contribute to the Construction Industry Amendment (Protecting Witnesses) Bill 2015.
This is one of a number of Bills before this Parliament and Senate which will have a significant impact on the Australian Building and Construction industry.
I’ve spent many hours hearing from both employers and union leaders whose members work in the Building and Construction industry.
I rise to contribute to this discussion on further cuts to health and education. If Tasmanian Liberal members of this place had told the truth about the cuts they had planned to both health and education, it is likely that they would not be members of this parliament today. The people of Tasmania would not have voted for members of any political party who came to this place and advocated a cut in resources and funds to the University of Tasmania or additional health costs and charges being imposed on our sick, elderly and disabled people. The Liberal members of this palace, as well as the lower house three amigos, have gleefully been part of a disgusting, cowardly and dishonourable campaign to ambush the University of Tasmania and every other Australian university with a 20 per cent cut to their funding.
My question is to the minister representing the Treasurer, the finance minister. I note that the Abbott government struggles to find budget savings which do not target Australia's aged pensioners, and that increasing the retired age to 70 or altering pension indexation rates in favour of the government still has not been ruled out by the Treasurer. I also note that the Abbott government struggles to ensure the banks and large financial corporations are made to pay their fair share of taxes and properly contribute to the government revenue. Given that France, Italy and many other European countries have lessened the burden on their ordinary taxpayers and created new revenue schemes by introducing financial transaction taxes, which target banks and large financial corporations, apart from not wanting to upset people who donate generously to the Liberal Party, can the minister explain why his government will not introduce targeted financial transaction taxes in order to help repair the Australian budget?