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Speech: COVID-19 Vaccination

COVID-19 has exposed many structural inequities in Australia and internationally, from economic insecurity to wildly unequal access to health services. In 2021, the global vaccine rollout has come sharply into focus. Australia has the means to acquire and distribute a life-saving vaccine amongst our population. Make no mistake: this is a privilege. But what we are seeing on an international level is rich nations making strides towards full immunity while poorer nations are left behind. Australia is complicit in this.

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Motion: Government must name and challenge racism

I move:

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

(i) on 15 March 2019 an Australian man walked into two mosques in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand, and killed 51 innocent Muslims,

(ii) the New Zealand Royal Commission inquiry into the attacks confirmed that the massacre was driven by an 'extreme right-wing Islamophobic ideology',

(iii) two years on, Australia has grappled neither with being the country that raised the Christchurch killer, nor with the resurgent threat of far- right extremism and neo-fascism,

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Question: Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques on 15 March 2019

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:16): My question is to the Minister representing the Prime Minister, Senator Birmingham. Yesterday marked the two-year anniversary of the far-right terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, when an Australian man killed 51 innocent Muslims. On 9 December 2020, following the publication of the New Zealand royal commission report, I asked you, Minister, whether the Prime Minister had read the report and how the government intended to respond to it.

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Speech: Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2021

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak to the Fair Work Amendment (Supporting Australia's Jobs and Economic Recovery) Bill 2020. I can tell you that, unlike the title of it, there is absolutely nothing fair about this bill. This bill seeks to suppress wages and erode working conditions for all workers, especially those who are the lowest paid, through a suite of measures designed to further shift the balance of power from workers to business.

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Speech: Early childhood education and care

I rise to speak briefly on Senator Pratt's motion to refer to the Senate Education and Employment References Committee a reference about early childhood education. I want to say at the start that early childhood education and care is an essential service. It should be universal and it should be free. I say this not just from a rights perspective. There is a compelling case for free and universally available early childhood education and care because it has enormous benefits for children and enormous benefits for families. Of course, it has enormous benefits and is good for women.

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Speech: Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020

 I rise to speak on the Higher Education Support Amendment (Freedom of Speech) Bill 2020. This bill amends the Higher Education Support Act 2003 to provide a new definition of academic freedom that enshrines in law principles of freedom of expression and substitutes the existing term 'free intellectual inquiry' in relevant provisions with the term 'freedom of speech and academic freedom' to align the language of provisions within the model proposed by Robert French.

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Speech: Homelessness and housing

Mehreen Faruqi 24 Feb 2021

Tonight I want to talk about homelessness and housing. Over the last few decades, Australian governments have created a housing system that actively impoverishes people and makes inequality worse. Safe, secure, high-quality housing is a human right, not a privilege reserved for those who are able to afford to pay through their noses for it. Instead of ensuring everyone's right to a home, governments have implemented and persisted with policies that benefit big developers and wealthy investors, to everyone else's detriment.

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Speech: Live exports

I rise to take note of the document Australian Meat and Live-stock Industry Act 1997—Livestock mortalities during export by sea—report for the period 1 July to 31 December 2020. These latest numbers help to confirm that in 2020, despite it being the year in which so much of the global economy and global trade was disrupted, the brutality of the live export trade still went on. Nothing, it seems, will stop the Australian government from continuing to export sheep and cattle for profit.

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Speech: International Women's Day

Mehreen Faruqi 23 Feb 2021

On 8 March, millions of people across the world will be marking International Women's Day. We will look back and reflect on how far we've come on gender equity. The sobering fact is that we will not see gender parity in our lifetime or our children's lifetime. On current tracking, it will take four to five generations to close the global gender gap. As a woman and as a feminist, that is unpalatable for me. We have fought very hard and we have won battles, many battles. But, when I think of what happens right here in my own workplace, reality hits me in the face.

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