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Speech: Liberals' Tax Plan is a $158bn Mistake

I rise to speak on the government's disastrous $158 billion tax bill that is being rushed through parliament. This is a $158 billion mistake. This is a terribly irresponsible choice that the people of Australia will be forced to wear the consequences of for decades to come. How can this government look the 700,000 people barely surviving on Newstart in the eye and say: 'You know what? We can't afford to increase Newstart. We can't afford to support you, but you won't believe what we can afford to do for the very rich.' Shame on you.

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Question Time: Government Slashes Study Loan Repayment Threshold

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:40): My question is to Minister Birmingham, the minister representing the Minister for Education. Minister, in the last three years, your government has slashed the repayment threshold for study loans by nearly 20 per cent, in effect cutting the pay of low-income workers. Just this week, the government slugged another 136,000 Australians by cutting the threshold by another $6,000.

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Speech: Introduction of Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2019

I am honoured to introduce the Greens' Live Animal Export (Slaughter) Prohibition Bill 2019, because we know that the live export trade is inevitably cruel and causes untold animal suffering.

Animals are not mere cargo. They are living, breathing, sentient beings. The reality is that live export cannot be made safe for sheep, cattle or any animal. It is a business model that is simply incompatible with animal welfare.

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Speech: Human Rights in Sudan

I rise today to show my solidarity with the people of Sudan, who are demanding an end to human rights abuses and violence, and a genuine transition to democratic, civilian rule. In December last year peaceful protests broke out across Sudan calling for economic reforms and an end to the 30-year rule of the dictator Omar al-Bashir. This incredible social movement saw thousands of people put their lives at risk. Hundreds, perhaps more, were killed protesting against the government.

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Speech: The Department of Agriculture is a Failed Regulator of Live Exports

'The department has failed as a regulator.' This is the beginning of the draft report provided to the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources on 17 December 2018. Ten days later, when the final version was released by the minister, those words had been removed. Let's remember that the independent Review of the Regulatory Capability and Culture of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources in the Regulation of Live Animal Exports, known as the Moss review, was set up in response to the horrific abuse we saw on five separate voyages of the Awassi Express.

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Speech: Murray-Darling Basin & Political Integrity

Just a few weeks ago, I was out at Menindee to see firsthand the Murray-Darling Basin in ecosystem collapse. The Darling River, the Barka, is dying. The Murray-Darling Basin Plan isn't working and the government tells us: 'Everything is fine. Nothing to see here.' I saw stagnant rivers, cracked, dry earth and locals red hot with anger at the federal government and the New South Wales Liberal-National government for their role in the slow death of the Murray-Darling Basin.

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Speech: Rebuilding TAFEs

The Greens always have and always will stand for publicly owned and operated and publicly funded vocational training colleges and TAFEs. The two major parties have used vocational training and TAFE as a political football for way too long. We have had enough. Through their bipartisan commitment to so-called contestability funding, public TAFE has been gutted. The closure of these two colleges by the Queensland Labor government should be condemned.

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Speech: In Home Care Program

I brought this motion forward to draw the parliament's and the minister's attention to this important issue. Changes to the subsidy to the hourly rate of in-home child care now means that high-needs families are unable to get the child care they need to attend medical appointments, receive respite and go to work. Service providers are leaving the industry and carers are losing their jobs. As noted in the motion, we should recognise that although there are problems with the in-home childcare program some families with complex needs are facing a childcare crisis as a result of the changes.

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