The Last Week for the Year- What a Week
History was made, just before 6:00 pm on Thursday 7 December.
It was a moment of extreme emotion for me, having met with members of the LGBTIQ community, including the irrepressible Rodney Croome, about the Dean Smith Bill, and the concerns that in the name of religious freedom and free speech, anti discrimination protections would be wound back.
Don't get me wrong, I support both freedom of speech, and religious freedom, but not a return to the past where discrimination against the LGBTIQ community was institutionalised.
Two things strike me as I recall the day and its aftermath:
The first an image of my friend Linda Burney, hoisted aloft by Warren Entsch in the joy of the occasion. Lucas Coch/AAP surely should get image of the Year for this effort:
The second, a Tweet; which also had great emotional impact on me, as it speaks of the small things we can do in our role, which can have big impact:
History; and I was there.
Thank you Bass for putting your faith in me.
A Busy week in Parliament
It is always very interesting returning to Parliament after a break, in this case a break of more than a month.
There are extensive building works under way at Parliament House. I have so far spoken on the legislation which has been introduced by the government to facilitate its ongoing attack upon the union movement and union members. It is quite clear that the government did not have a mandate for their extreme anti union legislation.
I have also spoken about very important legislation which has been introduced by the government, supposedly to assist housing affordability. My speech on this issue highlights the fact that the government will not achieve what it wants to do, in fact the effect of the legislation may be to drive up prices and worsen housing affordability.
I have had some very interesting meetings and events with health themes – I know how important Medicare and the Launceston General Hospital is to our community. There is a recurrent theme about disadvantage within communities and poor health outcomes – something that Labor is arguing hard to address through further health funding and preventive health measures to provide a practical response.
It was also great to welcome constituents to the House, they were able to see me deliver speeches in the Federation Chamber, and also in the main chamber
It looks like a fairly standard weekend. There is a Meet the Candidate event in Launceston on Friday night, followed by events throughout Saturday.
I am celebrating the migrant community with the Equatoria Community Association National conference which is based in Launceston on Saturday morning. I am giving a speech on migration from South Sudan to Australia to give some of the historical context.
I have two bowls club openings in the afternoon, these are always interesting for the extravagant display of food produced by club members.
Unfortunately it looks like I will miss parkrun this week and will need to get a run in on Sunday instead.
24 hours as an MP …
On Wednesday morning I travelled to George Town to an event at the George Town Neighbourhood House. I presented an award to one of the legal literacy volunteers who had seen over 200 clients. Congratulations to Simone Lowe from the Neighbourhood House for what she contributes to her community.
I then visited Tamar FM and was interviewed on air by Kevin Ellis. We discussed cost of living increases, energy, policy uncertainty and the importance of social capital in supporting regional communities.