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Motion: Indian Citizenship Act

Senators Di Natale and Faruqi: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act in India on 10 December 2019, which legalised the granting of Indian citizenship based on religion but specifically excluded muslims;

(b) expresses deep concern that the Indian Government has created the legal grounds to strip millions of muslims of the fundamental right of equal access to citizenship;

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Motion: Free TAFE and University

 I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) everyone has a right to education, whether you are leaving school, changing careers, retraining later in life or looking to gain new skills and knowledge,

   (ii) more than a million students will commence at, or return to, public universities and TAFEs around Australia this month,

   (iii) access to a world-class education shouldn't require going into large debts, but the average graduate today is saddled with more than $22,000 in study debt, and

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Motion: Narrabri Gas Project

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) Prime Minister Scott Morrison has signed off on a $2 billion deal with the New South Wales Government that would fast track the Narrabri Gas Project (NGP), which will extract gas from coal seams lying deep beneath the mighty Pilliga Forest,

   (ii) the NGP is fiercely opposed by local communities, farmers, and ecologists because it threatens the Pilliga Forest, the Great Artesian Basin, farmers' livelihoods, and food and water security, and

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Question Time: School Strike For Climate

My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Cormann. Your government has relentlessly attacked students striking for climate action. The Prime Minister said kids should go to school. The Deputy Prime Minister denounced anything that would disrupt schools. Even you, Minister Cormann, said that during school time kids should be in school. But because your government's inaction on the climate crisis has made natural disasters more frequent and intense, the bushfires disrupted the education of tens of thousands of students this summer.

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Speech: Sports Rorts

I rise this morning to note this government's disturbing and frankly despicable attempts to avoid transparency and to shirk accountability. Trust amongst people in our democracy is at the lowest it has ever been. Democratic satisfaction has actually plummeted in the last decade from 86 per cent in 2007 to just 40 per cent in 2018. I can bet that if we asked the community right now how much they trust democracy in Australia, it would be in freefall thanks to this Liberal-National government.

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Speech: Coronavirus Racism

I want to acknowledge the extraordinary work of the agencies and experts around the world who are managing the response to the coronavirus outbreak. I acknowledge in particular the loved ones of those who are no longer with us, and the medical staff caring for victims deserve our thanks. Despite the hysteria and terrible consequences of the virus, both medical and social, we can and will get through this.

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Speech: Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2019

I rise to speak on the Australian Research Council Amendment Bill 2019. This bill merely indexes the Australian Research Council's funding to keep pace with inflation. That's not good enough; frankly, it's pathetic. We need to make sure that our best minds are given the resources that they need to help us face the twin crises of the climate emergency and rising inequality.

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Speech: Support for Fire-Affected Small Businesses

The bushfire crisis has drawn unthinkable devastation onto our communities, our environment, our animals and our country—a crisis that we will, unfortunately, remember for years to come. Lives and livelihoods have been lost, along with homes, businesses and properties. It has been a tragic time, and it is hard to imagine the stress that small businesses in affected communities have also come under.

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Motion: Human Rights in Kashmir

Millions of Kashmiris are still under undeclared curfew. Free speech is being suppressed, with an internet blackout still in place, communications being monitored and journalists being intimidated. The human rights situation in Kashmir has drawn comparisons with Palestine. Kashmiris were not allowed to determine their fate when the British drew their arbitrary borders and have not been allowed to do so since. Self-interest and nationalistic rhetoric will never deliver justice to the people of Kashmir, who have suffered enough. Self-determination by the Kashmiri people is the only answer.

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