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.
Earlier this year the New South Wales Liberal government faced a choice. It needed to purchase new trains, a contract that would be worth billions of dollars and hundreds of jobs. The Baird government had the option in that process to choose a consortium that promised to manufacture the cars in a new facility in the Illawarra—
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.
We have heard this afternoon that there are some senators in this chamber who are concerned about tobacco taxes taking money out of people's pockets. On the Labor side, we are more concerned about tobacco taking years off people's lives. We heard a quite moving testimony from Senator Bilyk about the very personal cost that came about from tobacco-related disease.
The Prime Minister was asked yesterday if he had a recommendation for young people who could not afford to buy a home. His response had 351 words but not a single recommendation. This, of course, is just one recommendation less than Mr Hockey, who once unhelpfully suggested that young people should just get a better job -