62 Wray Ave
PO Box 1224
Following visits to Curtin and Murdoch Universities, Melissa spoke about the Coalition's unfair higher education changes.More...
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.
Ms Parke (1:30pm) – Deputy Speaker, there are currently 435 children locked in immigration detention in Australia; 327 on the mainland and 108 on Christmas Island and Cocos Keeling Island. There are also 167 children in detention on Nauru.
The reports from immigration detention centres show an environment of distress and despair, where mental health issues are rife. Children who have fled circumstances of fear and trauma now witness adults at the end of their wits, at the end of hope – who practice self-harm or attempt suicide. It is no surprise, but should be shocking, to know that children in our care are repeating these behaviours.