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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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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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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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Motion: Narrabri Gas Project

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

   (i) Prime Minister Scott Morrison has signed off on a $2 billion deal with the New South Wales Government that would fast track the Narrabri Gas Project (NGP), which will extract gas from coal seams lying deep beneath the mighty Pilliga Forest,

   (ii) the NGP is fiercely opposed by local communities, farmers, and ecologists because it threatens the Pilliga Forest, the Great Artesian Basin, farmers' livelihoods, and food and water security, and

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Motion: Indian Citizenship Act

Senators Di Natale and Faruqi: To move—That the Senate—

(a) notes the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Act in India on 10 December 2019, which legalised the granting of Indian citizenship based on religion but specifically excluded muslims;

(b) expresses deep concern that the Indian Government has created the legal grounds to strip millions of muslims of the fundamental right of equal access to citizenship;

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Speech: Holden Closure Inquiry

Mehreen Faruqi 27 Feb 2020

The Greens support this matter going to an inquiry. Hundreds of workers at Holden are set to lose their jobs within weeks. We really need to look into the impact of this government's lack of future plans for our industry and manufacturing sector. Holden's shutdown should be a wake-up call to the Morrison government. We need to urgently deliver a coherent, forward-looking, clean and green industry, with decent jobs that value workers. Now is the time to ensure that Australia is on the path to be a renewables powerhouse.

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Order for Production of Documents: Australian Research Council

The Greens support this order for the production of documents, given the lack of transparency in the Morrison government and how they have politicised research grants. It is absolutely shameful. It wasn't too long ago that the Liberals inserted a jingoistic so-called national interest test for ARC grants. It wasn't too long ago that Senator Birmingham vetoed research grants that had gone through rigorous processes to be recommended for funding. During the election, the Morrison government used ARC grant announcements to try to gain electoral benefit.

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