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Following visits to Curtin and Murdoch Universities, Melissa spoke about the Coalition's unfair higher education changes.More...
Federal Member for Fremantle, the Hon Melissa Parke MP, today condemned the WA Liberal Government's eleventh-hour announcement of drastic cuts to chaplaincy funding in public schools across the state.
Sprung on public school principals just this week as they bring Term 4 to a close and finalise planning for the 2015 school year, the reduction and shift of funding could see 16 public schools across the Fremantle electorate lose their chaplains or secular social workers.
"I of course recognise that the provision of faith-based chaplains in public schools is a conflicted issue for the many people committted to the separation of church and state, but depriving schools of social work expertise will place an unfair burden on already stretched teaching and school administrative staff," said Ms Parke.
Ms Parke (4:05pm) — Speaker, the first Budget of the Abbott government wasn't just unfair, it was also mean-spirited, short-sighted and incredibly counter-productive.
It was a Budget that gave tax breaks to big business and put money back in the pocket of big polluters.
It was a budget that took money from families and pensioners; that cut funds to renewable energy innovators, the CSIRO, and the Climate Change Commission.
It was a budget that hammered the young unemployed, denying them any support for a period of six months, while seeking to gift six month's salary in parental leave to people on one-hundred thousand dollars a year.
Ms Parke (6:45pm) — I want to thank the member for Fowler just now for reminding us that it is International Human Rights Day next week on 10 December and for once again honouring and speaking up for the victims of human rights abuses and persecution in Vietnam. Australia is now home to many people who fled from Vietnam as refugees. It is therefore appropriate that I take this opportunity of the grievance debate to speak on two bills that are presently before the Senate, as I was absent from the parliament when they came before the House of Representatives: firstly, the Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill 2014 and, secondly, the Migration Amendment (Character and General Visa Cancellation) Bill 2014.
The Migration and Maritime Powers Legislation Amendment (Resolving the Asylum Legacy Caseload) Bill goes further in the government's quest to put pointless, unprincipled and harmful obstacles in the way of asylum seekers and to undermine Australia's international humanitarian obligations. It goes further in allowing the exercise of power to occur without scrutiny, review or even compliance with international law.
Ms Parke (4:08pm) —Today is World Aids Day. This year's global World AIDS Day theme is: "Getting to Zero: Zero new HIV infections. Zero discrimination. Zero AIDS related deaths."
Today we recognise the tireless efforts of individuals and organisations working to combat the spread of HIV, as well as showing support for those living with the virus.