Parliament

Filter Articles

Speech: Early childhood education and care

I rise to speak briefly on Senator Pratt's motion to refer to the Senate Education and Employment References Committee a reference about early childhood education. I want to say at the start that early childhood education and care is an essential service. It should be universal and it should be free. I say this not just from a rights perspective. There is a compelling case for free and universally available early childhood education and care because it has enormous benefits for children and enormous benefits for families. Of course, it has enormous benefits and is good for women.

Read more

Speech: Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020

 I rise to speak on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020. This bill amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to provide a new definition of academic freedom that enshrines in law principles of freedom of expression and substitutes the existing term 'free intellectual inquiry' in relevant provisions with the term 'freedom of speech and academic freedom' to align the language of provisions within the model proposed by Robert French.

Read more

Speech: Homelessness and housing

Mehreen Faruqi 24 Feb 2021

Tonight I want to talk about homelessness and housing. Over the last few decades, Australian governments have created a housing system that actively impoverishes people and makes inequality worse. Safe, secure, high-quality housing is a human right, not a privilege reserved for those who are able to afford to pay through their noses for it. Instead of ensuring everyone's right to a home, governments have implemented and persisted with policies that benefit big developers and wealthy investors, to everyone else's detriment.

Read more

Speech: Live exports

I rise to take note of the document Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997—Livestock mortalities during export by sea—report for the period 1 July to 31 December 2020. These latest numbers help to confirm that in 2020, despite it being the year in which so much of the global economy and global trade was disrupted, the brutality of the live export trade still went on. Nothing, it seems, will stop the Australian government from continuing to export sheep and cattle for profit.

Read more

Speech: International Women's Day

Mehreen Faruqi 23 Feb 2021

On 8 March, millions of people across the world will be marking International Women's Day. We will look back and reflect on how far we've come on gender equity. The sobering fact is that we will not see gender parity in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. On current tracking, it will take four to five generations to close the global gender gap. As a woman and as a feminist, that is unpalatable for me. We have fought very hard and we have won battles, many battles. But, when I think of what happens right here in my own workplace, reality hits me in the face.

Read more

Speech: Workers' Wages

 I thank Senator Walsh for bringing this matter of public importance to the Senate. Over the last 40 years, Australia has gone from being one of the most egalitarian countries in the Western capitalist world to one of the most severely unequal—one dominated by business interests. Key to the growth of inequality and precariousness in Australia has been decades of neoliberal industrial relations policy designed to smash the power of organised labour and reorientate workplace organisations in favour of maximising gain for employers and giving them more flexibility to hire and fire workers.

Read more

Speech: The Children of WorkChoices

This government is full of the ideological children of John Howard. A fundamental project of the Liberal and National parties is shifting the balance of power from workers to capital. At every turn they will privilege profits of corporations, of billionaires and of rent-seekers over the wellbeing of people and communities. Their policy agenda is the result of laziness, malice and an irrational obsession with free markets and competition. Decades of market-led policy, labour market deregulation and union busting have diminished the quality of work for so many people.

Read more

Speech: Global Solidarity and Human Rights Crises

It has become easier over the last 12 months for many of us to forget about, or at least deprioritise, the struggles of oppressed people across the world. With our borders effectively closed and the economic and health crisis having an enormous impact on Australian life, the world beyond our shores is easily forgotten. So today I'd like to reflect on global human rights injustices and fights for self-determination, equity and dignity. There are oppressed people across the world who continue their struggles.

Read more

Speech: Our manufacturing future

The Nationals claim to have a plan for manufacturing, but all this is is a plan for locking in a climate catastrophe and destroying the future of regional communities, for the corporate profits of your mates. What we need is industry powered by renewable energy, not oil and gas, where we make, re-use and remake durable, ecologically sustainable goods.

Read more