Koalas: speech to the Federation Chamber
29 October 2020
Ms BUTLER (Griffith) (10:18): Stopping extinctions is crucial to preserving Australians' very special way of life and to make sure that icons like the koala don't disappear forever. National icons like the koala are at risk, as are many, many more species. Australia is a world leader in extinctions. It's not a very good distinction to have. Labor doesn't want to see a future where our children can only read about koalas in the history books, but that's the path we're on as a nation right now.
Scott Morrison has some dodgy mates: speech in the Matter of Public Importance debate
29 October 2020
That was a bizarre contribution from the assistant minister, who seemed to spend more time talk about the member for Shortland than defending his own government's record. But how can he defend his own government's record? They have no record to defend. The Prime Minister spent a week campaigning for the LNP in the Queensland state election, including attending an LNP fundraiser with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Queensland opposition leader, but at the same time he claims he hasn't had time to establish a national integrity commission. The Prime Minister has got time to help his LNP and other mates in Queensland, but he doesn't have time to establish a national integrity commission. He has time to rack up a trillion dollars of debt, but no time to make sure his government leaves no one behind. He's had time to send out 50 press releases in four years since he personally announced, when he was the Treasurer, the establishment of the National Water Infrastructure Loans Facility, and that facility was abolished a couple of weeks ago without having written a single loan. They wrote 50 press releases; they wrote zero loans. This is a government that produces nothing for Australia but media releases, photo ops and announcements.
Local issues, plus water and environment: speech in the Appropriations debate
20 October 2020
One of the things I was really disappointed about in this budget was that it didn't address an issue that has been a gaping wound in my electorate for many, many years, and that's a piece of Commonwealth owned property which is a former Red Cross hall at Greenslopes, right across the road from the Greenslopes Private Hospital. This is Commonwealth owned property. It's a hall. It's an asbestos risk. There are fences up and there is shade cloth around the fences. It's been like this for years, and I've been lobbying the government over that entire time to get it fixed. There are signs up saying, 'Asbestos' and, 'Brittle roof'. It's a really dangerous thing and it ought to have been fixed years ago.
Properly fund public services: speech in the second reading debate of the Services Australia governance bill
08 October 2020
That was a masterclass in buffoonery from someone who clearly doesn't understand the connection between the importance of staffing these services properly and the effect that the services have on the lives of our constituents—that is, the people who we not only claim to represent but do represent. So let me, for his information, explain some of the experiences that people in my electorate have had when they have had to rely on public services during the coronavirus pandemic and recession.
Condolence on the death of the Hon Susan Ryan AO
07 October 2020
It's an absolute pleasure to follow my very good friend the member for Kingston, who is of my vintage. We were students together in the 1990s. She and I knew each other then, and we were both very interested in higher education policy, so it's quite nice and fitting to follow her in the condolence debate in respect of the passing of the Hon. Susan Ryan AO, someone who made an indelible mark on my friend Amanda's life, on my life and on the lives of many people around Australia, particularly many women and older people around Australia. I want to offer my sincere condolences to Susan's friends, to her family and to all of her fellow Australians, who in fact are suffering the loss of this person, who was a great leader and a woman of great courage.
Why is the LNP backing One Nation and the Greens party? Speech to the House
07 October 2020
Mr Speaker, you probably remember, as most people here do, the occasion on which One Nation in the Senate moved a motion inspired by a white supremacy slogan, 'It's okay to be white.' You also probably remember that the Liberals and the Nationals ended up voting with One Nation in relation to that motion, which they later apologised for. Perhaps not content with that as an example, the Queensland Liberals and Nationals are going one better by encouraging Queenslanders to vote for parties like One Nation and the Greens ahead of Labor in every single seat at the state election at the end of this year.
Speech to the Murray Darling Association
15 September 2020
There are so many interests in the million square kilometres making up the Basin. The river system is called upon to provide water for human need, agriculture, cultural purposes, spiritual purposes, tourism, recreation, community life. The Basin is home to over 30,000 wetlands, 100 of which are recognised as nationally important due to environmental, heritage or cultural significance. It makes up about 41 per cent of the total gross value of Australia’s agricultural production. 2.1 million people living in the Basin, and another 1.3 million people living outside it, rely on the Basin for drinking water.
Opposing the government's environment bill
03 September 2020
The Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020 amends the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, known as the EPBC Act, which is the primary piece of Commonwealth environmental legislation. The EPBC Act contains a statutory requirement to review the operation of the act every 10 years. The second of those 10-yearly reviews is presently underway. The government appointed Professor Graeme Samuel AC, one of Australia's most experienced regulators, to lead that review.
Thanks to our Covid 19 legends: constituency statement in the Federation Chamber
02 September 2020
Today, in one of the opportunities that we get to speak in this parliament about our constituents, I wanted to speak about some very important constituents, and those are the people who've been working on the front lines throughout the COVID crisis this year.
Environment and jobs motion
31 August 2020
I regret to say that Australia is in the middle of a jobs crisis and an environmental crisis, and the Morrison government is failing on both counts. Never has that been made more starkly clear than in the most recent Auditor-General's office report, Referrals, assessment and approvals of controlled actions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. This is perhaps the most damning Auditor-General report that anyone in this place has seen for some time.