I’d like to start by acknowledging that we meet on the traditional lands of the Kaurna people. I pay my respects to their elders, past and present. I would like to acknowledge the family of Mavis Robertson – it is a great honour to give the address which bears her name.
Before turning to the substance of the bill, I would like to take a moment to look at the path it has taken to get here. When the Prime Minister used this bill is a trigger for a double dissolution election, he talked about how important and urgent the bill was. That is not borne out in any way by the path that the bill has taken.
The One Nation family holiday to the Great Barrier Reef is a joke. It is hilarious that Senator Roberts, who is so keen to insist on—so keen to demand—empirical evidence from others, is happy to conclude that the Reef is healthy based on a single dive. Now, where was that dive?
I rise to support the motion, and in doing so I want to place it in its proper context, which is that the government is most keen to have a debate about taxation and in particular have a debate about the GST and the role that a rise in the GST might play in plugging holes in revenue and in funding a cut to corporate taxes.
The Prime Minister has spoken about the need to undertake reforms to deliver long-term gains for all Australians, which may create winners and losers in the near term. It was a fairly clear statement about how he sees that dynamic.
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.
I wanted to start by thanking you all for the important work you do as delegates. I hardly need to say that the work you do as educators is important. But that work depends on the extra work you have all taken on to safeguard the working conditions of yourselves and your colleagues.