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Motion: Investment in Early Learning

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) the number of children using early learning services has risen over the past 10 years, from just below 35% in 2009 to nearly 45% in 2018,

(ii) there is inequity in access to early learning services–children living in remote areas, children who live in economically disadvantaged areas, children from Indigenous backgrounds, children from non-English speaking backgrounds, and those with disability are under-represented in early learning services,

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Speech: Wildlife carers

I rise today to make an urgent plea for change. There are many things that these horrific bushfires have forced a rethink on—on this government's appalling, destructive and selfish lack of ambition to tackle the climate emergency; on how this government was warned of the bushfire crisis we just saw and did nothing. But tonight I want to highlight the need for Australia to draw a line in the sand and say that we will do everything in our power to save our wildlife.

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Speech: Condolences motion on bushfires

The bushfire crisis has wrought havoc and destruction on our communities and on our country. People have been lost, homes have been lost, livelihoods have been lost, and millions upon millions of animals have died and masses of their habitat destroyed. It has been a tragic and devastating time for us and, of course, for people across the globe who have been watching.

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Motion: NSW Bushfires

I move: That the Senate—

(a) notes with deep concern that:

   (i) over a hundred fires continue to burn across New South Wales,

   (ii) data from the New South Wales Department of Environment shows harmful pollutants in Sydney's air are already over three times worse than at any moment in the past five years during bushfire season,

   (iii) the toxicity of the air in some parts of Sydney is the equivalent of smoking between four and ten cigarettes a day,

   (iv) particle pollution can trigger heart attacks, strokes, lung cancer and asthma attacks,

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Speech: Islamophobia

Muslim women have a right to be safe in our communities. We have a right to socialise and to be in public wherever and whenever we want. We have the right to wear whatever we bloody well want to. We have the same rights as any other person, but too often we are denied those rights because of the risk of violence, harassment and intimidation.

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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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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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