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Speech: Choice and Affordability Fund for Non-Government Schools

We have seen from Minister McKenzie's performance in question time today and from the stonewalling at budget estimates that the so-called 'choice and affordability fund' is exactly what we thought it would be when it was first announced. This is a bipartisan political fix for private schools that comes at the direct expense of public schools, public school students and teachers, which are grossly underfunded and most in need. This whole program is a farce.

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Speech: National Horse Register

A national horse register makes sense for animal welfare, for safety and for biosecurity. Animal advocates, safety advocates and the racing industry itself agree about the need for a centralised national register. We are just stuck on what model, who is included and how to pay. We definitely need national leadership, and I will continue to push for federal leadership in establishing a national register. Horses do not have lifetime tracking beyond the first movement.

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Question: No regulation of the $1.2bn fund for private schools

Senator FARUQI (New South Wales) (14:23): My question is to Senator Hon. Bridget McKenzie, Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation, representing the Minister for Education. Minister, at budget estimates the Department of Education indicated that there were no rules or regulations developed for the proposed $1.2 billion fund—the so-called 'choice and affordability fund'—for private schools, and that the figure was a decision by the government.

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Speech: Discrimination Free Schools

I rise to speak on the Greens sex discrimination amendment bill, the Discrimination Free Schools Bill 2018, and I do so very proudly. This is the reason I joined the Greens. We do not accept discriminating against people on any basis. We will not accept and allow discrimination on the grounds of sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, intersex status, marital or relationship status, pregnancy or breastfeeding.

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Speech: Industrial deaths

I rise on behalf of the Greens to speak on the report on the inquiry into the prevention, investigation and prosecution of industrial deaths in Australia. This inquiry was much needed because the safety of our workers is of utmost importance. We really must have zero tolerance for work related deaths. I started my working life as a civil and structural engineer, so I do know firsthand the dangers that lurk on construction sites, which are among the deadliest sites for workers.

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