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Senator Lidia Thorpe: First Speech to the Federal Senate

I acknowledge the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples who are the traditional custodians of the gathering place, on which this Parliament was built.

I am a proud Djabwurrung Gunnai Gunditjmara woman and I live on Wurundjeri Country. I stand before you today on the shoulders of my ancestors, who fought and died for our country.

Their resistance, knowledge and strength over thousands of years has guided me to this moment and I carry their spirit with me in this chamber.

It’s an honour to be the first Aboriginal person elected to the Senate to represent Victoria.

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Speech: Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020

I rise to speak to the Australia's Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020. The Greens will be opposing this ill-thought-out overreach by the government, which comes before us after a rushed and insufficient consultation process. Senator Rice's contribution and dissenting report to the limited inquiry into this legislation reflect the broader terminal issues with this legislation. I want to highlight the impact it will have on the work of our universities.

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Speech: JobMaker Hiring Credit Bill - Consideration of House of Representatives Message

The Greens have a very strong position that the Senate should insist on its amendments to this Economic Recovery Package (JobMaker Hiring Credit) Amendment Bill 2020. We've been here for the last two days debating the JobMaker hiring credit scheme which, in the legislation, is no scheme at all. There have been members who have stood up—many members over the last two days—and spoken about the bill. And many on this side have expressed their deep concerns about the bill and the implications of the bill.

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Speech: Funding education to create jobs

The Greens support this motion. With hundreds of thousands of jobs lost and more than a million people unemployed and already stagnant wages, it's clear that we need massive investment in secure, sustainable and rewarding jobs if we are to rebuild after this crisis into a just society. This can't be done without generational investment in education and training to equip people in communities with the skills that they need. Whether you're just leaving school, you're between jobs in a recession or you're looking to retrain, you have the right to a world-class education.

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Speech: University wage theft

Over the last few months I've been participating in the Senate inquiry into unlawful underpayment of employees' remuneration, otherwise known as wage theft. This inquiry is soon going to focus on wage theft in Australian universities. Following the series of investigative pieces published by the ABC's national education reporter, Conor Duffy, and in response to my own questions to the Fair Work Commission, I have referred 13 universities to make submissions and give evidence to the inquiry. Most of them have now made written submissions.

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The deaths of Dede Fredy and Xiaojun Chen

The Greens support this motion and we express our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of Dede Fredy and Xiaojun Chen. They died at work in a gig economy, which overwhelmingly means insecure work, low pay and utterly diminished industrial rights for workers. Three-quarters of delivery riders earn below the minimum wage. Many gig economy workers are migrants and on temporary visas and are vulnerable to exploitation and wage theft. Our employment laws don't protect workers.

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Speech: The horse racing industry

I rise to speak on an animal welfare matter that has captured the country's attention this fortnight. The 2020 Melbourne Cup claimed the life of Anthony Van Dyck, the latest victim of a race that supposedly stops the nation. This death was heart-wrenching, but sadly no surprise at all. This was not a freak accident or an unforeseeable outcome. This is just the brutal reality of horseracing. The cup has killed seven horses since 2013, including Verema, Admire Rakti, Araldo, Red Cadeaux, Regal Monarch and The Cliffsofmoher. These horses are just the tip of the iceberg.

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