In parliament last week I took the opportunity to formally thank the Country Fire Service for their heroic actions during the bushfires in South Australia earlier this year.
The Abbott Government's systematic attack on services for people with hearing impairments is continuing unabated and draws into question the Government's commitment to helping people with disabilities.
I visited the Australian Hearing Hub at Macquarie University last week with Shadow Minister for Human Services, Senator Doug Cameron. We went to hear first-hand the challenges facing deaf and hard of hearing Australians and the great work organisations based at the hearing hub have been doing to assist these people.
People with hearing impairments make outstanding contributions to Australian life. Just this week Drisana Levitzke-Gray, who is deaf, was announced as the Young Australian of the Year for her work advocating for the rights of deaf children.Read more
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The recent South Australian fires have been devastating to local communities and have caused a high loss of property and displaced many families.
My gratitude goes out to the Country Fire Service (CFS) and other emergency services in helping to defend life and property.
Given the devastation caused by the bushfires the following government departments and services can be contacted for assistance:
SA Bushfire Recovery hotline 1800 302 787
Insurance Council of Australia 1800 734 621
CFS hotline 1300 362 361
The Commonwealth and the South Australian Governments are providing assistance through the jointly-funded Natural Disaster Relief and Recovery Arrangements.
Should you wish to make a donation to the Bushfire Emergency Relief Fund please click here to be directed to the official website.
My thoughts go out to all that have lost property, pets and livestock during the bushfires.
Please contact my office if I can be of any assistance.
December is an exciting month as we prepare for Christmas, school children get a summer break and families get to spend time together.
It’s a great time to pause and reflect on the year that has been. For me it’s been an exciting year. The highlights have been meeting many constituents from Wakefield and standing up for them in Canberra, getting married and being appointed the Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Health.
Unfortunately not everything about 2014 was positive, with the Abbott Government budget and Joe Hockey’s attacks on working families directly impacting families here in Wakefield.
I am worried about what plans Abbott has in store for 2015. That’s why I am standing up against these attacks and will keep fighting for the people of Wakefield in 2015.
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On Remembrance Day, I had the honour of participating the in the Adelaide Remembrance Day Ceremony and laying a wreath at the Adelaide War Memorial.
Remembrance Day this year marked the 97th anniversary of the Armistice which ended the First World War (1914–18).
It is tradition that each year on Remembrance Day Australians observe one minute’s silence at 11 am, in memory of those who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts.
Vale Gough Whitlam.
We mourn the loss of Gough Whitlam, former Prime Minister of Australia (1972-1975) and Labor Leader (1967-1977).
Gough redefined Australia through his relentless pursuit of social justice, the effects of which are still felt today. He left a legacy of accessible education, affordable healthcare, and indigenous recognition in Australia.
Bill Shorten and much of the Labor caucus gave condolence speeches on Gough's legacy.Read more
Today I announced two new grants under the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program.
The Stanley Flat Soldiers Memorial Hall has been granted $6,106 to hold an Anzac Centenary March and Commemoration Day.
The Saddleworth and District Historical Society has been granted $1,000 to fund a new display for its Anzac Memorabilia.
The Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program assists and encourages communities across Australia to undertake their own Anzac Centenary projects that commemorate the service and sacrifice of Australian servicemen and women in the First World War.
I congratulate the two most recent recipients and thank all applicants, noting that the quality of the applications was outstanding.
The Anzac Centenary is a solemn event in the life of our nation. It’s an opportunity for our community to pause to remember and respect the sacrifices made by all those who have defended Australia and its values.
We will remember those who fought to defend liberty, justice, mateship and democracy. The sacrifice of veterans to defend these universal values is evident with the great cost borne by soldiers, their families and the community.
These grants do this in a practical way and give the local Wakefield community the opportunity to honour the service and sacrifice of all those who have worn our nation’s uniform.
More information concerning the Anzac Centenary Local Grants Program can be found at www.anzaccentenary.gov.au
A summary of all grants provided in Wakefield can be found at http://www.anzaccentenary.gov.au/documents/approved_grants/sa_wakefield.pdf
On Monday I spoke in parliament on the importance of Australian Hearing.
The Liberals are thinking about privatising this service, despite it helping Australians in need since World War II.
Also, watch the speech I gave in parliament below:Read more
I had the pleasure of attending the Clare Show on the weekend.
It was a great experience and I had the pleasure of meeting His Excellency General the Hon. Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd) Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia.