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Speech: One Nation (and others') racism on migration

I did ponder a bit whether speaking on this matter of public importance was worth it, because it clearly seeks to divide us. But, to be honest, I have had it up to here with One Nation, so I will have my say. This MPI is just another way for them to define who should be in Australia, who is deemed as 'one of us' and who is deemed as the 'other' because of what they look like or where they come from. Let me make one thing crystal clear: when One Nation talk about changing the composition of our migration program, we know what you mean.

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Speech: Retain the Rate of Youth Allowance & JobSeeker

I rise to support the call to retain the rate of the jobseeker and youth allowance payments. A return to the old rate of the jobseeker and youth allowance payments, below the poverty line, would be a colossal moral failing. The Liberals must be forced to confront the fact that they are considering thrusting hundreds of thousands of Australians back below the poverty line in the middle of a crisis. This must not be allowed to happen. We must retain the rate.

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Motion: Everyone Deserves a Home

Mehreen Faruqi 13 May 2020

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) housing is a human right and everyone deserves a home,

   (ii) the COVID-19 crisis has demonstrated how broken our housing system is, with decades of marketisation leading to extraordinarily unfair and inhumane housing outcomes for the community, and

   (iii) we must ensure a home for all during and after this crisis;

(b) calls on the National Cabinet to take leadership and put in place:

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Expansion of ASIO powers unjustified

Nick McKim 13 May 2020

The Government’s latest attempt to expand ASIO’s powers is cynical and unjustified, the Greens say.

“Yet again, Peter Dutton is trying to increase powers of security agencies without even trying to explain his reasons,” Greens Justice spokesperson Senator Nick McKim said.

“Nor has he tried to give any possible justification for the need to interrogate children as young as 14.”

“To use the pandemic as cover for the increased scope of the surveillance state is dangerous and cynical.”

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Greens call for Federal Parliament to sit in June

The Greens will introduce a motion in the Senate calling for Federal Parliament to sit in June to strengthen democracy and address ongoing issues of national importance.

“The Covid crisis response and the plan for recovery demand more transparency in government decision-making. The Senate Covid Committee plays a critical role, but is no substitute for full parliamentary oversight," said Senator Larissa Waters, Greens Senate Leader and spokesperson on Democracy.

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Speech: The Pandemic's Impact

I rise to speak on the pandemic, its impact and our future. The coronavirus pandemic is having some of its greatest impacts on people on low incomes, temporary migrants and women. It has exposed the vast gap between the wealthiest in our society and people barely making ends meet. It has exposed the crushing weight of inequality that many in our community bear.

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Govt’s money for wildlife disingenuous

Greens Spokesperson for the Environment Senator Sarah Hanson-Young responded to the Federal Government’s announcement of $150million for Bushfire Recovery for Species and Landscapes:

“This announcement is much more about trying to win a by-election than anything to do with helping the environment and wildlife.

“If the Government cared a bit more about protecting koalas than they do protecting their seats in parliament, we might have faith they have a plan for bushfire recovery.

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Motion: Introduction of Fair Work Amendment (COVID-19) Bill 2020

I move:

That the following bill be introduced: A Bill for an Act to amend the Fair Work Act 2009, and for related purposes.

Question agreed to.

I present the bill and move:

That this bill may proceed without formalities and be now read a first time.

Question agreed to.

Bill read a first time.

Second Reading

I move:

That this bill be now read a second time.

I seek leave to table an explanatory memorandum relating to the bill.

Leave granted.

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Motion: Higher Education

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) successive governments have cut university funding, leaving the sector reliant on international student fees to fund education and research,

   (ii) the Covid-19 crisis has highlighted how vulnerable the government has left our tertiary education system, and

   (iii) the Government has allowed casualisation and insecure work to run rampant at universities, to the detriment of students' learning, staff well-being and research excellence; and

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