Speeches in Parliament
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (10:00): Hallett Cove is one of the beautiful suburbs in my electorate, in Kingston, and indeed the Hallett Cove foreshore is a special community resource that allows families to gather along the Hallett Cove Beach. I have been working with the local community to look at what more we can do to make the Hallett Cove foreshore an even more attractive place for local residents. In 2015, I worked with the Lions Club of Hallett Cove, and that led to the construction of an Anzac memorial on that foreshore. There are some wonderful, moving Anzac Day commemorations that occur at that centre.
SPEECH: Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Veteran-centric Reforms No.1) Bill 2018 - Second Reading
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:38): Today I rise to speak on the Veterans’ Affairs Legislation Amendment (Veteran-centric Reforms No. 1) Bill 2018. This bill, which comprises eight schedules, seeks to provide greater support for our current and former ADF members by addressing several recommendations from the Senate inquiry into suicide by veterans and ex-service personnel. We do owe a debt to those who put their lives on hold in service of our country. When individuals enlist with the Australian Defence Force they undertake a commitment to our country and place their health and wellbeing on the line in service to our nation. In return, we undertake a commitment to look after them and their families both during their time in the ADF and after. This commitment is about more than just their physical health; it is about taking a holistic view of the member and their loved one. For those whose service has had a greater impact on them, we have a duty to care for them and their family now and into the future.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) ( 15:37 ): I f you listen to the minister, what becomes very, very clear is that he has no long-term vision for the future. He denies the absolutely core issue here: we need a long-term plan that reduces our carbon pollution and that provides reliability, bipartisan support and a system that will sustain us into the next 20 years. Instead, he's cobbled together a number of initiatives that he tries to package up as a true climate change policy. But there is none. There is no climate change policy. For 10 years, I've sat in this House watching the Liberal Party and the National Party be wreckers when it comes to a long-term energy policy—a policy that will provide stability, but a policy that will reduce our carbon pollution and that will sustain households and businesses into the future. A policy for the future. There has been none from this government.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:55): I would like to talk about early education in this debate because early education is a critical part of what government should be getting right and what government should be doing. We know that, if you give children the best start to life, then they will go on to reap those benefits for many years to come. Early education has always been a big passion of mine and continues to be in my role as shadow minister for early education and childhood development. We're hearing a lot from the government about their childcare package and, unfortunately, while there is some good news for some parents, missing from this debate is the benefit for children.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (10:00): I rise today to acknowledge and thank all of those who donated to my recent Christmas appeal. For many of us, Christmas is a very joyful time of the year—a time spent with family, catching up with friends, giving and receiving presents and eating a little bit too much food. But it is important to remember that, for those Australians who can't put food on the table or presents under the tree, Christmas is an incredibly difficult time.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (15:48): It was interesting listening to the assistant minister at the table, because in one breath she said, 'There've been no cuts; there've been no changes—nothing to see here,' and then, in the next breath, she says, 'Look, we changed the system because Labor's system wasn't right.' Well, it's time the assistant minister called it for what it is. The truth is that the government ripped up the agreements with the states and territories when it came to school funding. They ripped them up. And they got into government and said, 'We will not honour this,' despite having, at the election in 2013, run with: 'We will match Labor dollar for dollar.' Of course, when they got into government they ripped it up.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (13:58): Parents and families in South Australia should be very worried by the Minister for Education and Training's politicking today in South Australia. In a clumsy attempt to insert himself in the South Australian election campaign, the minister has selectively used data to attack four-year-old preschool attendance rates and, worse, use this data as a cover to crab-walk away from his earlier support to fund preschool for three-year-olds. This comes less than a week after the minister quoted the lack of quality data as justification for not providing a long-term funding commitment for a four-year-old preschool program.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (19:01): I am so pleased to be here today to be part of making marriage equality law in this country with this Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017. Over five years ago I voted yes for marriage equality in this parliament. At the time I said that my belief in fairness, equality, compassion and the importance of striving for a world without discrimination meant that I had no choice but to vote for a change to the Marriage Act to ensure same-sex couples had the right to marry the person they love. For me this sentiment is as true today as it was back in 2012. While marriage equality did not become law in 2012, this week, five years or more later, we will finally see the law changed to allow two people who love each other to make a lifelong commitment to each other, and this commitment will now be properly recognised in Australia's law.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:19): I rise today to note the sad passing of Timothy Nicholas Deslandes, loving husband to Moira Deslandes, dad to Ann, Michael, Luke, Clare, Amelia, Zoe, Melody, Will and Alex, and grandpa to Archie. Tim was taken too soon. He died recently, on 19 October, aged only 59. But what Tim did with the years he had made a huge contribution to our local community and to many.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (12:10): As foreshadowed in my speech on the second reading, I would like to say that Labor will be supporting all of the government's amendments to this bill. Obviously, one of the amendments that we are very, very pleased about is the amendment relating to the Veterans' Review Board. This is, I think, an important amendment that addresses the concerns of the ex-service community and apprehensions that were discussed during the Senate Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Legislation Committee process.