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Speech: PFAS Order for the Production of Documents

Communities around Australia are living with the toxic legacy of PFAS contamination in their water, in their soil, in and around their environment. People have already lost so much. They are at breaking point. The impacts have been financial, physical and mental. They are stressed and distressed at the lack of action. The government is really dragging its heels and it's extending the suffering of the people around Australia who are living around these sites. I think the lack of empathy the government is showing is really despicable.

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Motion: Review of Foreign Aid Program

I move the motion as amended:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that the Federal Government has announced a review of Australia's foreign aid program;

(b) notes with concern that:

   (i) Australia's foreign aid budget has been cut by 27% since its peak in 2012-13, and is well below the average for countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),

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School Testing Results Show Need for Increased and Better Targeted Funding

Australian Greens Senator and Education Spokesperson, Dr Mehreen Faruqi has responded to reports that Australian students are slipping in international testing standards by calling for more and better targeted education funding in Australia, especially for the most disadvantaged schools. She has also called on the Government to invest more in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

Senator Faruqi said:

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Speech: Student Financial Supplement Scheme

I rise to speak this evening about the ongoing impact of student debt on the community. I call on the government to forgive outstanding debt from the grossly unjust Student Financial Supplement Scheme. This scheme was a rort that targeted low-income and disadvantaged students from the start. For the government to continue to collect debts 15 years after its abolition is simply unconscionable. From 1993 to 2003, the Student Financial Supplement Scheme encouraged students, including minors acting without their guardian's authority, to trade in their youth allowance for a loan.

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Speech: Medevac Repeal Bill

I rise to speak to the Machiavellian named Migration Amendment (Repairing Medical Transfers) Bill 2019. We should actually call it the 'Denying people medical treatment bill', the 'Die somewhere else bill' or the 'Australia has lost the last shreds of its humanity bill'. I have said previously when we have discussed this that it boggles my mind that there are people sitting in this parliament who want to repeal a law that allows sick and injured people to receive the medical attention that they need.

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Speech: Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance

You lot are nothing but grinches working overtime to steal the joy right out of people's lives. Prime Minister Morrison has nothing but 'Bah! Humbug!' to say to people who are doing it tough this Christmas. We know that there are people who are struggling to put food on the table and who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads. And what is this government giving them for Christmas? Nothing, zilch, zero.

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Motion: Special Circumstances funding for Public Schools

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the Federal Government has announced $10 million in Special Circumstances Funding to drought affected schools, but has specifically excluded public schools from receiving this funding, and

(ii) more than 80% of students in rural and remote areas are enrolled in public schools and they are also deeply impacted by the drought; and

(b) calls on the Federal Government to establish a fund for government schools facing hardship as a result of ongoing drought conditions.

Question negatived.

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