The motion is: The need for the Abbott Government to immediately implement Country of Origin food labelling legislation to protect public health and Australian farmers. I acknowledge the good work the Greens have done in bringing this important matter before this parliament not only today, but for many years. There is no doubt that a crisis has developed around the country of origin food labelling matter, and the recent infections of Australian people with hepatitis A from imported and frozen berries has given a sharper focus to this matter. I still cannot understand why Australians would want to buy berries from overseas countries when you could buy fresh berries from Tasmanian or other Australian state. Perhaps people were fooled into thinking that the berries which came in a package branded with the name of Nanna's were from Australia.
I rise to briefly contribute to the debate on the Fair Work (Registered Organisations) Amendment Bill 2014. I have serious concerns about this bill. Firstly, I worry that this federal Liberal Party legislation, just like Campbell Newman did in Queensland, seeks to deliberately destroy and undermine basic civil rights. In this instance, it is the right to silence for working Australians, while potential white-collar criminals in the corporate world are allowed to enjoy the freedoms, rights and privileges of all who live in a democratic society. On page 75, in division 6, the offences section of the bill indicates that a person being questioned faces a penalty if that person fails to answer a question. Former Queensland Premier Campbell Newman would have been proud of that destruction of a basic civil right: the right to silence. My question for the Liberal Party is: if a banker were being questioned over a crime that had been committed within their organisation, would their right to silence also be suspended?
I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land, past and present. Why are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander babies dying at a rate greater than non-Indigenous Australians? Why are not Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living for as long as non-Indigenous Australians?
I recommend to members of the Senate—indeed, to all Australians—a BBC Radio documentary which examines 'The brutality and bureaucracy of Islamic State.' The introduction to the 30-minute radio report on ABC Radio National states
While Western countries urge their Muslim citizens to embrace the secular values despised by Islamic extremists, the self-declared Islamic State group is using brutality, bureaucracy and a steady cash flow to control their ‘Caliphate’ in Syria and Iraq.
I am grateful that Senator Moore, from Queensland, has submitted for discussion today's matter of public importance, which has told of the chaos, division, dysfunction and mistrust at the heart of the coalition government.
Today has been a historic day. A Prime Minister survived, by the skin of his teeth, a serious attempt by members of his own party to get rid of him. The only person to blame for this attempted political hit is the Prime Minister himself.
I believe that the current system and process Australia has in place to make a decision to go to war is a flawed process and could be improved. I also believe that the people involved in making a decision on whether to go to war, the current executive, are not capable of making sound decisions. However, after consulting with people who have risked all and served their country in Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe the Greens proposition contained in this bill goes too far and places unnecessary constraints on the executive. I believe that the constraints on the executive proposed by the Greens, as written in this bill, goes too far.
Today, 3 December, is International Day of People with Disability. The Minister for Disabilities has given me a badge to wear to advertise and celebrate this day. The badge reads: '3rd of December marks International Day of People with Disability, a United Nations sanctioned day that unites people around the world in celebrating the achievements and contributions of people with disability.' I wholeheartedly agree with this day and acknowledge the important valuable contribution that people with disabilities give to the world, Australia and the state of Tasmania because, after an injury and a long battle with government bureaucracy, I also carry a disability, depression and I have had to learn to cope with that, along with a back injury.
The Defence Amendment (Fair Pay for Members of the ADF) Bill 2014 is a critical and important piece of legislation, which deserves precedence and priority to the other general business of this senate. As the title of the bill indicates, if this legislation is passed by this parliament, it will guarantee that the men and women of our Defence Force receive a fair pay rise, rather than an effecftive pay cut in the near future, perhaps before Christmas.
Today I introduce the Defence Amendment (Fair Pay for Members of the ADF) Bill 2014. This is a very simple piece of legislation to solve a very simple problem.
An unnecessary pay crisis has developed for members of the ADF because this government has denied the men and women of our Army, Navy and RAAF a fair pay rise.
Indeed, the pay rise of 1.5% offered to our Diggers by this Government is effectively a pay cut because it fails to even keep track with the inflation rate.
I refer the senator to a letter to the Joint Commonwealth and Tasmanian Economic Council on behalf of 330 employees at the Boyer Paper Mill and the other 900 Tasmanians who rely directly on the mill's survival.