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 (4:30pm) —The Full Federal Court of Australia in its very recent judgement in the matter of Yvonne D'Arcy v Myriad Genetics has catapulted gene patents once more onto the political agenda since it is now clear, despite the lodgement of an appeal to the High Court, that this issue can only be definitely resolved through legislation to amend the Patents Act.
This decision is the reverse of the virtually identical case against Myriad in the US, where the US Supreme Court found in a unanimous 9-0 decision last year that genes, whether isolated or not, are products of nature and as such are not patentable subject matter.
Ms Parke (10:45am) — A recent report by Oxfam titled "Working for the Few" found that rapidly growing inequality is worsening poverty around the world. Oxfam noted that the richest 85 people in the world own as much wealth as half the world's population and observed that:
"This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems. Instead of moving forward together, people are increasingly separated by economic and political power, inevitably heightening social tensions and increasing the risk of societal breakdown."
Through the use of tax havens, the world's wealthiest individuals and corporations are avoiding their tax obligations on a scale so grand as to make all foreign aid combined appear trivial by comparison.
Ms Parke (1:44pm) — As it fights desperately against the outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), have said clearly to Australia and other countries that they don't want our money.
But they urgently need our assistance, our cooperation, and the application of our health resources and capabilities. Until recently MSF and other NGOs have been practically waging this battle alone.
Ms Parke (10:45am) — I wish to start my comments on this Bill by making reference to a case that came before the House of Lords in relation to the detention of foreign terrorist suspects indefinitely without trial under the UK's Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act, where Lord Hoffman, in a dissenting judgement, said:
"This is a nation which has been tested in adversity, which has survived physical destruction and catastrophic loss of life. I do not underestimate the ability of fanatical groups of terrorists to kill and destroy, but they do not threaten the life of the nation. Whether we would survive Hitler hung in the balance, but there is no doubt that we shall survive Al-Qaeda. The Spanish people have not said that what happened in Madrid, hideous crime as it was, threatened the life of their nation. Their legendary pride would not allow it. Terrorist violence, serious as it is, does not threaten our institutions of government or our existence as a civil community.
... The real threat to the life of the nation, in the sense of a people living in accordance with its traditional laws and political values, comes not from terrorism but from laws such as these. That is the true measure of what terrorism may achieve. It is for Parliament to decide whether to give the terrorists such a victory."
Tony Abbott made a speech to the IPA in 2012 in which he referred to the Coalition as the "freedom party". However, as Prime Minister Mr Abbott now believes that "the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift" and that "there may be more restrictions on some so that there can be more protection for others."
I do not support a number of key elements in this Bill, and I am aware there are further even more controversial Bills coming before the parliament in the near future.