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Ms Parke (1:45pm (AWST)) — I take this opportunity, before the parliament rises for a significant period, to make some comments on the asylum seeker issue.
It is no great secret that I have not rejoiced in policies that were put in place on a bipartisan basis by the former government in relation to offshore processing, policies that have now been continued, expanded and made many times worse by the current govt.
On Monday, Melissa tabled a Notice of Motion calling for the government to cease its attacks on the national broadcasters — the ABC and SBS — and assure continued public funding for these vital services.
Ms Parke (10:23am) — I move:
That this House:
(1) notes that:
(a) since 1 July 1932 when ABC Radio first came on air, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), created by the Australian Parliament, has played an integral and essential role in serving communities from all corners of the Australian Federation;
Ms Parke — 11:50am — Deputy Speaker, I thank my colleague the Deputy Leader of the Opposition for this important motion.
In January this year, in my capacity as Deputy Chair of the UNICEF Parliamentary Association, I was fortunate to join the Deputy Leader of the Opposition Tanya Plibersek, Senator Hanson-Young and UNICEF Australia CEO Norman Gillespie on a visit to Jordan and Lebanon to see the situation of the Syrian refugees and to better understand the challenges faced by those countries who are now hosting millions of refugees.
I undertook this visit because it is one thing to receive briefings from aid organisations in relation to the world's largest humanitarian crisis, and it is quite another to witness it for yourself.
Ms Parke (1:24 pm) — Mr Speaker, I join my colleagues in congratulating you on your return to that important position in what will be an interesting and I hope productive time in this place. I return to parliament with the renewed privilege of representing the people of the Fremantle electorate. It is an enormous honour and also a heavy responsibility that comes with representative politics, for each of us elected to this place is charged with the task of making a difference for our own communities and for Australia as a whole. I said in my first speech that politics is about service, and that this service is both to the communities that we represent and to the set of ideals and values that draw us to this vocation. I have certainly reflected on that over the last three years and, as a federal member, I have done my best to come to grips with the difficulties involved in trying to give that service effectively and across as many areas as one would like. Not surprisingly the doing is inevitably harder and more complicated than the saying, and one of the most straightforward difficulties is choosing how to give priority to the literally hundreds of issues that arise in this work.