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Following visits to Curtin and Murdoch Universities, Melissa spoke about the Coalition's unfair higher education changes.More...
Ms Parke (9:00pm)—What I am to say today will likely not be popular in this place or indeed in the wider community. However, there comes a time when the injustices have so mounted up that plain speaking becomes a duty. This year is the UN International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. However, despite overwhelming support within the international community for a Palestinian state and for an end to the Israeli occupation and settlement building, as well as the blockade of Gaza, there has not been any positive change for Palestinians on the ground. Rather, recent events have left more than 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza dead and thousands more injured, while more than a million Palestinians—who are a proud, educated and enterprising people—are dependent on food aid and there is a massive damage bill to be picked up again by the international community. Meanwhile settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem continues apace, each build putting a further nail in the coffin of the two-state solution.
Ms Parke (1:33pm) — David Malcolm, who passed away on 20 October, will be remembered in Western Australia as one of its greatest sons — Rhodes scholar, State rugby player, fearless Queen's Counsel, highly respected and long-serving Chief Justice, Companion of the Order of Australia and Western Australian Citizen of the Year.
But as observed by my brother in law Chris Steytler, who served alongside David Malcom as a Supreme Court judge:
"The true measure of the man rests in the attributes that underpinned those achievements — intellect, energy, enthusiasm, compassion and a passionate belief in the rights of every individual.
Ms Parke (9:10am) — Madam Speaker, I am grateful for the opportunity to join others in paying respect to the life and work of Gough Whitlam, and I thank all those who have shared their reflections and tributes in the course of this condolence motion.
There is no escaping the fact that Whitlam is now not just a man and a Prime Minister, but a government, an idea, a symbol, an era, and a legacy. That's a lot of freight to carry on the frame of one person — and yet we know that here was a person who could bear it, and we mourn his passing.
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.