Inequality in Australia is worsening and I am passionate about halting this trend. Every one of us deserves the opportunity to meet our potential and contribute to our community. Removing barriers to participation is essential if we are to build a just society.
Last night, in the dead of night, at around midnight, the Senate passed a package of cuts that strips away almost two billion dollars from Australian families in the coming years. These are not families that can afford to have this money taken away from them. These are not well-off families. These are families for whom that money tied up in the Family Tax Benefit goes towards things like school fees, like excursions, like school shoes and, in some cases, putting groceries in the cupboard.
I rise to speak on the Plebiscite (Same-Sex Marriage) Bill 2016. In some ways, we are in the most amazing position in Australia in relation to marriage equality.
The lockout laws in New South Wales were put in place in 2014. They have three elements: 1.30 am lockouts; a 3 am cessation of liquor sales; and a 10 pm cap on takeaway of alcohol. Today the New South Wales government has actually released publicly former High Court Justice Ian Callinan's independent review of those liquor laws.
I take the opportunity this evening to continue my remarks earlier today in the MPI debate about the need for electoral donation reform. I think it is important to go through some of the details of the various policy needs and responses that we might consider in this policy area.
You have to wonder why we are here still having this conversation about a plebiscite on marriage equality when a majority of Australians support marriage equality, as has been demonstrated many times in much polling, but, more importantly, when a majority of parliamentarians here and in the other place also support marriage equality.
The motion before this chamber is very, very broad in scope. I commend Senator Leyonhjelm for his broad and thoughtful speech, which ranged across a wide range of policy areas and pieces of legislation, although I think he will be unsurprised to hear that in so doing I do reserve to my right to disagree with him quiet vehemently in some respects.
In March 2015 I addressed the John Cain Foundation in Melbourne, arguing the Labor should return democracy to the centre of our story.
As we renew, Labor need leaders. We need intellectual leadership, we need political and organisational leadership and as always we need parliamentary leadership.
In this context, women’s leadership is not only right and just and fair – it is essential.