SUBJECTS: Labor’s commitment to Darwin Toy Library, Labor’s National Preschool and Kindy Program
MEL LITTLE: Amanda Rishworth MP who joins me on the phone now. Hi Amanda.
AMANDA RISHWORTH, SHADOW MINISTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION AND DEVELOPMENT: Hi Mel, how’s it going?
A Shorten Labor Government will give our ADF members choice to select their issued boots for service - our ADF members aren’t one size fits all, and their boots shouldn’t be, either. Our military personnel are our most critical ADF capability. It is vital they are well equipped to perform at their best and deliver on their mission. ADF members work day in, day out, in their kit and, like us, our ADF personnel are not one-size fits all.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (12:54): I rise to speak on this motion today and to thank everyone who has spoken in this debate—importantly, highlighting the issue around veterans' employment and what we can do better when it comes to supporting veterans to gain meaningful employment after their time in service. This is an issue I have been discussing for some time. It's an issue I have spoken about with veterans in most places around Australia. It's one of the significant issues that comes up. I have often talked about it as an issue—and not necessarily because veterans don't have the skills and experience. There is a lost-in-translation piece, where veterans do find it difficult to explain and summarise the skills that they've gained within the ADF, and employers don't necessarily always know how to interpret them
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:13): On Friday, I met with Prith Chakravarti, who lives in one of Adelaide's southern suburbs. I was very disappointed to learn that Prith had been approved for a level 3 home care package in 2016. He was reassessed in 2018 and once again told that he needed a level 3 home care package. But, disappointingly, he still has not been able to access the money that goes along with this assessment.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:40): This week, we've heard a lot of fantasy from those opposite. For example, how the chaos and dysfunction within the Liberal coalition government are not affecting the governance of this country. We know it is, and the Australian people know it is. Of course, we have also heard fantasy that having 10 sitting days in the next eight months is just business as usual, normal business of the parliament. Of course, we know that is absolutely not true as well. But probably the biggest fantasy we've had today has been espoused by the Minister for Women, who said the Liberal government was the natural government for women. Well, this is from the same minister who declared the day before that the Liberal Party was anti-women.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (10:24): 1,799: that is the number of residents who have been in touch with me about problems with the NBN since the Liberals were elected in 2013. This number includes people who have waited unacceptable periods of time to be connected. In particular, there are those residents who are still waiting to be connected due to the government's bundling of the HFC rollout. In my electorate, there are 4,500 homes that have been impacted by the delay. Most of those homes will now be waiting until 2020 to be connected. David from Sheidow Park has been impacted. He said: The ongoing delay of the rollout of the NBN to Sheidow Park is extremely frustrating. The NBN currently finishes at my back fence. My mobile has a faster connection than my house!
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (13:29): It's wonderful to have Anna from Merici College in Canberra in the chamber today. She has joined me as part of Girls Take Over Parliament. One of the issues that Anna prepared before she came on her day is an issue that interested her after she spent some time looking into it, and that is: how is it that young children can form a mindset based on gender stereotypes? This is reflected in many things in their lives, including some things as simple as choosing toys which are tailored specifically to boys or girls.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (16:12): Over my time as the member for Kingston, I have fought many fights to improve roads in our community, including the most recently-improved road, South Road, from Seaford to Aldinga. We will enjoy that road going all the way to Sellicks. Then there is the duplication of the Southern Expressway, a road, which, under the Liberal government, went one way and now it goes two ways. All residents in southern Adelaide deserve roads that cater to the needs of their community.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (09:53): I rise today to speak on the annual statement to parliament on veterans and their families. As shadow minister, it's an absolute privilege to spend so much time with veterans right around this country, listening to their stories but also listening to their concerns. As the minister has done, I want to recognise the sacrifices made by those currently serving, those who have served before and their families that support them. We must ensure that they know we value the sacrifices they made and continue to stand with them and their loved ones. To do this, governments and communities must ensure that veterans and their families are supported during their service, through transition to civilian life and beyond.
Ms RISHWORTH (Kingston) (10:46): Today I rise to speak on the Veterans' Affairs Legislation Amendment (Omnibus) Bill 2018. This bill is designed to streamline several internal processes which will assist both the Department of Veterans' Affairs and individual veterans in accessing entitlements. Of course, Labor is always supportive of improvements which make it easier for veterans to interact with the department, and of changes which improve the timeliness of claims. When it comes to delivering public services and public goods, we need to constantly look at how we can improve the experience of those we seek to serve. When I talk with veterans around this country, what I hear is that many veterans, especially those who have been clients of the Department of Veterans' Affairs for some time, are very happy with the service that is provided. But it's clear that, for some of the veterans trying to put in a claim or be part of the new system, it is not always easy. They find it difficult at times. Anything that we can do to make this process easier for them is critically important.