The speeches remembering Gough Whitlam continued this week – there are some great stories. Importantly these speeches help explain how Labor Governments change lives – you can watch them all here.BEST:
This week, Bill Shorten launched Labor’s campaign against Tony Abbott’s plans to saddle students with a debt sentence. You would have seen the ads on TV and online. Here’s Bill in the Parliamentstanding up for students – check out the website where you can see how bad these plans are for students.
It wasn’t only Bill speaking up, across the entire Caucus people stood up to speak out against $100,000 degrees – watch here.
“These aren’t the droids policies you’re looking for.” We’ve gone from the dark arts to the dark side this week, with Shadow Environment Minister Mark Butler suggesting Greg Hunt used Jedi mind tricks on Clive Palmer. It’s the only logical explanation as to why they’ve done a deal that pays $2.55 billion to big polluters without any penalties for increasing emissions. Move over Voldemort, Darth Vader is coming.
Childcare matters. It’s Children’s Week and United Voice members, the union representing early childhood educators, were in Canberra talking about the importance of quality in our early childhood sector. The first five years in a person’s life are the most important for development. There were huge reforms to early childhood when we were in Government and Kate Ellis was the minister. It’s another legacy we need to fight to defend.
“It not even midday and Toney Abert already told I swear about a hundred lies.” This is one of more than 5000 tweets from the @Rudd2000 parody Twitter account, which this week launched a book. Tim Watts gave a speech about it.
Bowser bandit. He campaigned against petrol prices before the election – now he’s going through the backdoor and putting them up. So when the PM stood up we held up copies of the Herald Sun Bowser Bandit headline. Tony Abbott looked very unhappy and then Bronwyn Bishop was unhappy too and demanded the attendants collect every sign. I’m starting to think she doesn’t like us.
“There will not be deals done with independents and minor parties under any political movement that I lead.” That’s what Tony Abbott said before the election. After the election he did a deal with the Greens to make debt unlimited and now he’s done a deal with Clive Palmer to bring in his fraudulent “Direct Action”, which will pay $2.55 billion to big polluters without any penalties for increasing emissions. The PM refused to say whether any of Clive Palmer’s companies would benefit.
When the Government cuts the wages of truck drivers, it’s not just an issue for the trucking industry, it’s a safety issue for everyone on the roads. Labor Members made sure that road users were represented in standing against these unfair changes and supporting safe rates – watch here.
The worst thing about the Government’s second so called “Red Tape Repeal Day” is not its content, but its hype. About the most interesting thing that happened this time around was the Government claiming $420,000 in regulatory savings by updating grammar in old legislation. That’s no exaggeration. $420,000 was claimed as the saving by removing commas, deleting hyphens and correcting a spelling mistake made in 1995. Ed Husic described it as “spring cleaning with a cotton bud,” I’m hopeful it will lead to a punctuation-led recovery.
This was extraordinary, last week I wrote about Barnaby Joyce misleading the Parliament. When the official Parliamentary record, Hansard, was checked, it turned out it had been doctored to make it look like no errors had been made. As you’d expect from this Government, Barnaby claimed it was all someone else’s fault and blamed his staff.
I’ll admit from the start this wasn’t the biggest event of the week. The Chamber often gets called a ‘bear pit’ a ‘boxing ring’ or even a ‘children’s sandpit,’ but the Liberal Member for Corangamite came up with a new idea this week when she tried to turn it into a café. She wandered into a division with an “extra strong, extra hot” skim-milk coffee, and when the Speaker told her to dispose of it, came up with the cunning plan of hiding it behind Christopher Pyne’s boots. Just odd.
Parliament will be back in three weeks.
PS: This week’s song of the week is dedicated to Barnaby Joyce’s approach to the Parliamentary Hansard – here’s David Bowie with Changes.