Speech in Parliament on Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act

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.

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Speech in Parliament on Land Clearing

For the past few months, environmental groups have joined the farmers’ lobby and other stakeholders in negotiating the shape of NSW’s conservation laws with the state government. 

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Speech in Parliament on the Rental Crisis

I rise to address Australia's rental crisis. 2.7 million Australian households rent. They are the forgotten face of Australia's housing affordability crisis. They are forgotten in our national conversation and, unhappily, they are forgotten by the Turnbull government. 

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Speech in Parliament on violence against women

Domestic violence is once again on the public agenda. I am glad that we are talking about it, but I am saddened that we have to talk about it. I am saddened and horrified by the tragedies that occurred late last week that wrenched our attention, once again, to a problem that is ordinarily in society's peripheral vision. It is something we are aware of but do not look at.

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Speech at Labor’s 2015 National Conference on tax transparency and fairness

I spoke at Labor’s National Conference about tax and tax transparency: If people and companies want to use contrived structures to avoid tax, they should be prepared to publicly defend their decisions.

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Address to the John Cain Foundation on Labor's democratic promise

In March 2015 I addressed the John Cain Foundation in Melbourne, arguing the Labor should return democracy to the centre of our story.

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Vale Gough Whitlam

The election of the Whitlam Government in 1972 precedes my birth. However the decisions of that government shape both the country I grew up in and the party I joined.

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Address to 2014 National Labor Women’s Conference on women’s leadership

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. 

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Address to 2014 NSW ALP State Conference on taxation

Australia is a relatively low taxing nation, and over the last ten years, Commonwealth revenue as a share of GDP has fallen significantly. Labor in government kept tax revenues below the levels inherited from John Howard, and made tough choices to fund new promises. However, the community has high expectations of the services they'll receive from government, and the call on our budget for services like health care is expected to rise. 

I spoke about this issue at last weekend's NSW ALP State Conference, arguing that we need an honest conversation with our community about the services they want, and their willingness to pay for them.

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Address to the NSW ALP Conference on Labor's enduring purpose

On Saturday, the NSW ALP Conference debated a proposal to replace Labor's socialist objective. I made a short speech, defending the core principles of social democracy, and the enduring importance of our history.

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