Federation Chamber – Stronger Communities Program

Over the past few months, I've been able to work closely with many of the not-for-profit organisations and community groups that work within my community in Bass. Under the Stronger Communities Program, Bass, like every electorate, will benefit from $150,000 worth of funding both to help deliver social benefits and to improve community participation. Working with these groups to identify potential projects has emphasised to me yet again the enormous potential of our northern Tasmanian community and the fantastic work that is already occurring.

House of Representatives – Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) 2017

I'm delighted to have the opportunity to speak on the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017 that we have before us in the House today. This moment has been a long time coming, and I'm so pleased and proud the time is now here to deliver marriage equality to all Australians.

As a number of members have already said in this place, particularly the member for Gellibrand, there is a considerable level of frustration at the fact that all of us here in this chamber are presenting speeches on this issue, but it's very important to me to explain why it is that I am making my contribution here today.

Federation Chamber – End of Year Message

Thank you Deputy Speaker, as this may well be the last week of sitting for 2017, I would like to take this opportunity to briefly consider the highs and lows of this year.

The Low must have been the 1st of July, where more than 700,000 Australians had their penalty rates slashed by the Turnbull Government, whilst at the same time; a fortunate few received a tax cut.

Time for wine rebate fix

In Federal Parliament today, Member for Bass Ross Hart MP has argued that the Turnbull Government’s attempt to mitigate the effects of  their heavy handed reform of the Wine Equalisation Tax (WET) rebate, is not sufficient, nor will those efforts come in time for our local wine industry.

The Turnbull Government introduced their Wine Australia bill which is intended to mitigate some of the unfortunate consequences of their decision to reduce the WET rebate from $500,000 to $350,000, with the wine tourism and cellar door grants program.

Federation Chamber – Australian Grape and Wine Authority Amendment (Wine Australia) Bill 2017

The intent of the Australian Grape and Wine Authority Amendment (Wine Australia) Bill 2017 is to mitigate some of the unfortunate consequences of the Turnbull government's decision to reduce the wine equalisation tax—the WET—rebate in their 2016 budget. In the 2016 budget, the Turnbull government announced two major changes to the WET: the reduction of the rebate cap from $500,000 to $350,000 and a declaration that only wine producers with a financial interest in a winery can claim the rebate.