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Speech: Choice and Affordability Fund for Non-Government Schools

We have seen from Minister McKenzie's performance in question time today and from the stonewalling at budget estimates that the so-called 'choice and affordability fund' is exactly what we thought it would be when it was first announced. This is a bipartisan political fix for private schools that comes at the direct expense of public schools, public school students and teachers, which are grossly underfunded and most in need. This whole program is a farce.

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Speech: National Horse Register

A national horse register makes sense for animal welfare, for safety and for biosecurity. Animal advocates, safety advocates and the racing industry itself agree about the need for a centralised national register. We are just stuck on what model, who is included and how to pay. We definitely need national leadership, and I will continue to push for federal leadership in establishing a national register. Horses do not have lifetime tracking beyond the first movement.

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Question: No regulation of the $1.2bn fund for private schools

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:23): My question is to Senator Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation, representing the Minister for Education. Minister, at budget estimates the Department of Education indicated that there were no rules or regulations developed for the proposed $1.2 billion fund—the so-called 'choice and affordability fund'—for private schools, and that the figure was a decision by the government.

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Speech: Discrimination Free Schools

I rise to speak on the Greens sex discrimination amendment bill, the Discrimination Free Schools Bill 2018, and I do so very proudly. This is the reason I joined the Greens. We do not accept discriminating against people on any basis. We will not accept and allow discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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Speech: Industrial deaths

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak on the report on the inquiry into the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia. This inquiry was much needed because the safety of our workers is of utmost importance. We really must have zero tolerance for work related deaths. I started my working life as a civil and structural engineer, so I do know firsthand the dangers that lurk on construction sites, which are among the deadliest sites for workers.

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Speech: On Palestine, Morrison wants to be a mini-Trump

As we get closer to the election, it becomes more and more obvious that the Prime Minister is trying to reinvent himself as a mini-Trump. After his party voted to support a white supremacist motion, he is now floating the idea of moving Australia's embassy to Jerusalem. This puts him in fine company with the far right of the Senate, with Senators Anning, Leyonhjelm and Bernardi. How deeply hollow, empty and nasty are the politics of the Liberal Party? Let's be clear: this is a deliberate strategy by the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, to pander to the extreme right.

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Speech: The Liberals peddling white supremacy in the Senate

What the coalition government did yesterday was shameless and it was shameful. You knew exactly what was in the motion; you had it for three whole weeks! So don't try to give us this rubbish that it was an administrative error. Senator Pauline Hanson's motion was exactly about white supremacy, and you knew that. You just don't give a damn!

Now that you've had a little bit of a backlash, you're trying to backtrack. How low can the Liberal-National government get in this parliament?

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Speech: Warragamba Dam

Right now in the parliament of my home state of New South Wales sits a bill that would devastate national parks. The New South Wales government is proposing to raise the Warragamba Dam wall by 14 metres, which would inundate up to 4,700 hectares of national parks and 65 kilometres of wild rivers. This will cause irreversible damage to the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. At least 25 threatened species are known or are likely to occur within the area that is at risk of inundation.

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Speech: The horrifying TPP

I rise to speak on the Customs Amendment (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership Implementation) Bill 2018 and the related bill, and associate myself with the comments made by my Greens colleagues. How is it that, time and time again, we come to this place and see bill after bill that the people of Australia never asked for and do not want? The sway that vested interests have on this government is truly horrifying; and I am even more horrified that this piece of legislation comes here with bipartisan support.

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Speech: legalised discrimination against LGBTQI+ students and teachers

Last week I thought I'd woken up in the 1950s. The Ruddock review into religious freedom recommended that the ability for religious schools to legally discriminate against LGBTQI students and teachers be entrenched in federal law. We already know the horrific consequences that such laws have for people in our community. Young people in all schools are receiving the very public message that they are not accepted. LGBTQI students feel they have to live their teenage years in silence and hide their identity for fear of being expelled.

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