Children and Young Persons Out-of-Home-Care

  I support the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Amendment (Auditing of Out-of-Home Care Providers) Bill 2017. I thank the member for Bankstown, the shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, for introducing such an important bill into this place. When the New South Wales Treasurer paraded the 2017-18 budget as the envy of the Western world earlier this year, quarterly statistics showed that fewer than one in three of the record nearly 86,000 children reported to Family and Community Services [FACS] as being at rick of significant harm were receiving a face-to-face assessment from a case worker—sobering statistics.  Continue reading

Marriage Equality Postal Survey

I am delighted to speak, along with my colleague, the member for Summer Hill, and other progressive members of Parliament, on this matter of public importance and to celebrate the overwhelming endorsement of marriage equality by the Australian community.   Continue reading

Blue Mountains Love Magazine

It is fortuitous that today I draw the attention of the House to Blue Mountains Love. Earlier this year independent Blue Mountains publisher Just Pressed celebrated relationship diversity with the launch of Blue Mountains Love, the region's only wedding magazine, which went on sale on 14 February—on Valentine's Day. Continue reading

Blue Mountains Croquet Club

Earlier this year I had the pleasure of attending the official opening of the Blue Mountains Croquet Club's new independent lawn at Peter Carroll Field in Leura. The lawn represents the completion of a very difficult stage for the club, and was based on a 2014 Community Building Partnership Grant.   Continue reading

Health Practitioner Regulation Amendment Bill

 I contribute to debate on the Health Practitioner Regulation Amendment Bill 2017. As others have noted already in this place, many of the objects and changes within this administrative bill relate to paramedics. The bill recognises paramedicine as a separate, registered health profession, and harmonises some other aspects with the laws of other States and the Commonwealth as a consequence of national-State-Territory accreditation agreements. I am particularly interested, however, in the workplace conditions of paramedics and the impacts on patients of poorly resourced and poorly supported paramedics and hospitals.   Continue reading

NSW TAFE

I stand again today in support of TAFE, its students, its future and my TAFE teacher colleagues. A speech given at a recent Teachers Federation conference deserves to be on the public record in Hansard. As defenders of TAFE we have but one job ahead of us and that is to save TAFE. It is beyond comprehension that anyone who has watched the gutting of TAFE over the past five and a half years could defend the policies and decisions of both State and Federal governments—that is, unless you are the Assistant Minister for Skills. Recently the Minister was reported as stating, "TAFE is doing better than ever under a Liberal-Nationals budget." Yes, I know, you just cannot make this stuff up. Continue reading

Higher School Certificate Exams

I contribute to the debate on this matter of public importance, the Higher School Certificate. The HSC begins next week and the term usually associated with exams is "good luck". My contribution will be about what I hope for every one of the students entering this stressful time. Continue reading

Blue Mountains Major Events Funding

I take note of failures by the New South Wales Liberal and Nationals Government to deliver on its election promises in the Blue Mountains. The Berejiklian‑Barilaro Government makes much of its alleged devotion to regional New South Wales, but as a member of this Parliament who represents an electorate that straddles the city and country divide, I can report for the benefit of the members that the so-called devotion of Government to regional communities is superficial and politically expedient.  Continue reading

Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment

I speak in debate on the Government's hastily drafted patch-job legislation, the Environmental Planning and Assessment Amendment (Sydney Drinking Water Catchment) Bill 2017. Earlier today I read a story in the Sydney Morning Herald which outlined the absolute lack of legislative activity by the Berejiklian Liberal Government. It struck a chord because so many weeks in this place have been wasted by this Government and we have deliberated on such an insignificant volume of legislation. Continue reading

Voluntary Assisted Dying

I note that the New South Wales Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017 will soon be debated in the Legislative Council. This bill strikes at the heart of so many in our community. There is nothing more fundamental than a person's right to treatment, palliative care and support when dealing with a terminal or life-changing illness.  Continue reading