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Motion: Make Early Learning & Childcare Free

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) the government has decided to scrap free childcare and begin forcing parents to pay expensive childcare fees again from next month,

   (ii) this move will force many parents to reduce their work days or remove their children from care,

   (iii) childcare is an essential service which should be universally available for everyone, and

   (iv) the move away from free childcare will disproportionately impact women;

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Speech: Childcare

I can honestly say that I would not have been able to complete my masters and PhD, nor embark on a career in engineering or academia, and then eventually state and federal politics, without access to affordable child care. When I migrated to Australia from Pakistan in 1992 and commenced my studies at the University of New South Wales, I pretty quickly realised that the available child care in my area was just unaffordable. It was too expensive. And that's how I got involved in a campaign to establish affordable student-centred child care at the university.

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Speech: The Black Lives Matter Movement

I rise to make a statement on Black Lives Matter and our work for justice. Over the last couple of weeks, a global antiracist movement has re-emerged to fight for racial justice and against police brutality and institutional racism. The Black Lives Matter movement has been led by black and Indigenous people and has been supported by people of colour and allies from all backgrounds. I was proud to join the huge rally at Sydney Town Hall.

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Speech: Black Lives Matter Protests

I proudly attended the Black Lives Matter rally in Sydney on unceded Gadigal land on Saturday 6 June. I attended the rally to show solidarity with the families of David Dungay Jr, George Floyd, and every black or Indigenous person who has died in custody. In wake of the huge rallies in the United States following the killing of George Floyd, Indigenous people in Australia asked us for support from across the community to call for justice for First Nations people and no more Aboriginal deaths in custody.

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Motion: Cancel Low-Income Countries' Debt

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (15:40): I ask that general business notice of motion No. 593, standing in my name for today and relating to the impact of COVID-19 on low-income countries, be taken as a formal motion.

The PRESIDENT: Is there any objection to this motion being taken as formal?

A government senator: Yes.

The PRESIDENT: There is an objection. Formality has been denied, Senator Faruqi.

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Speech: Taking Note of Response to Childcare Questions

I was deeply disappointed, but not entirely surprised, to see free child care scrapped by this government after just two months. Ending free child care is a huge mistake. Thousands of families have been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis and now have to make some very hard choices. Many stakeholders have come out to express their shock and disappointment with the transition package, the scrapping of JobKeeper or the end of free child care. These include centres, peak bodies, parent groups and the union movement.

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Question Time: Childcare

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:22): My question is for the Minister representing the Minister for Education in the Senate. Minister, free child care has hugely benefited thousands of Australian families. While the package rolled out certainly had its faults and needed to be fixed, it was a signal that the government might start to recognise child care as an essential service which should be free and available to all and not just for those who can afford it.

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Speech: Official Development Assistance Multilateral Replenishment Obligations (Special Appropriation) Bill 2019

I rise to speak to the Official Development Assistance Multilateral Replenishment Obligations (Special Appropriation) Bill 2019. The bill provides funds to existing and future official development assistance multilateral replenishment obligations. The Greens support this bill, but the government needs to do much more. We are living through a global pandemic with the entire world impacted. We are set to face, as a global community, social and economic consequences at a massive scale which will be felt ever more deeply in the global south.

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