Straight from the Senate - Issue 30
5.00pm | August 27, 2017
1. Last week I spoke with community members and students at The University of Sydney about the importance of enrolling to have their say in the upcoming postal survey on marriage equality. LGBTIQ Australians deserve our support.
2. On Monday I spoke to the Diversity Council Australia about the need for action to smash the glass walls dividing women and men’s labour in this country, if we truly wish to tackle the gender pay gap. You can read my speech here.
On Thursday Tanya Plibersek MP, Deputy Labor Leader and Shadow Minister for Women, Catherine King MP, Shadow Minister for Health and Medicare, and Sharon Claydon MP, Chair Labor Medicare Caucus Committee, hosted a policy roundtable with health experts to discuss what our country needs to do to improve women’s health. The health of women and girls is a priority for Labor.
Labor is leading a Senate Inquiry into the Government’s proposed citizenship changes. A Senate inquiry on Wednesday heard of how the changes will make migrants lives more complex, insecure and difficult. Witnesses told the hearing about the belonging and community that comes from citizenship.
The proposed changes mean permanent residents will have to wait much longer until they can become citizens - a perverse change which prevents people already living permanently in Australia from pledging themselves to our country.
The changes also introduce a university level English language test.The hearing heard that migrants who have undertaken the Government’s own English language course still won’t have the required skills to pass, and many Australians wouldn’t either!
The government’s citizenship changes are unfair, irrational, and risk damaging our cohesive, multicultural, democratic society.