Committee work is a big part of the job of a Senator. These are the three public hearings I have participated in this week – all for different inquiries.
This work is not highly visible to the public, but the process of inviting submissions, speaking to witnesses and using that evidence to draw conclusions and make recommendations can have a huge impact on public policy.
Public hearings are an example of Parliament at its best, even if they don’t receive the media coverage of the combative exchanges and theatre of question time.
I would strongly encourage any member of the public who is interested in the topic of a particular inquiry to follow the public hearings. Sound recordings are taken of all proceedings and some are also video-recorded. These can be watched/listened to live online at http://parlview.aph.gov.au or if you miss a live broadcast you can watch the recording later.
The Brisbane public hearing of the Stillbirth Research and Education inquiry is live now.
Early childhood educators walked off the job today and rallied for equal pay. Workers in early childhood education, a female-dominated industry, receive around 30% less pay than male dominated industries with similar skills.
As a former early childhood educator, former union official and now a Senator I have campaigned for better pay and conditions for early childhood educators for about thirty years.
I congratulate United Voice for continuing the fight for equal pay with this campaign. A Labor Government will make sure our industrial relations system has the power to fix the pay gap and ensure women are able to participate in the workforce on equal terms with men.
While Tuberculosis (TB) infections are at low levels in Australia, around 10.4 million people are still diagnosed with the disease worldwide each year.
Tragically, 200 people die every hour from TB around the world. That’s one every 18 seconds.
These deaths are avoidable and unacceptable.
We need to invest in preventing and treating TB, and this is the time to do so.
Better research and treatment options need to become available, particularly for those with drug resistant TB which need to take up to 14,600 toxic pills over 18 months to successfully treat the disease. If you laid these pills end to end they will stretch to almost twice the height of the Sydney Harbour bridge.
It was great to meet with members of @RESULTSAU who are working to eradicate TB and poverty more generally.
I was delighted to attend a ceremony at the Clarence City Council chambers today to induct new Australian citizens.
Congratulations on your citizenship. Thank you for choosing to call Australia home and for your contribution to the rich fabric of our multicultural society.
Congratulations Justine Keay – Labor Candidate for Braddon on your victory!
Braddon voters sent the Turnbull Government a clear message that they want more funding for schools and hospitals not a tax cut for the big banks. It was also an endorsement of Justine’s hard work in standing up for, supporting and representing her constituents.
I look forward to seeing Justine back in Parliament again as the Member for Braddon.
It’s on again!
The 5th annual Walk4BrainCancer Tasmania will start at Dru Point Bicentennial Park at midday on Sunday, 4 November 2018.
Get your walking shoes on for an inspirational 2km walk along the shores of North West Bay and raise vital funds for Cure Brain Cancer.
There will be merchandise for sale, musical entertainment, a sausage sizzle and a raffle.
Register online at https://www.walk4braincancer.com.au/…/129/w4bc-tasmania-2018 and encourage your friends and family to sponsor you. Every dollar counts!
Help us to improve the survival rates of a disease which kills more Australian children than any other.
Senator BILYK (Tasmania) (19:41): As many in this place know, I’m a passionate advocate for cancer patients and their families. We need to find better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancers of all kinds. I want to speak tonight just quickly about EX-MED Cancer, a best-practice exercise program for people with cancer.
As you can imagine, cancer has a serious impact on the health and wellbeing of cancer patients. The impacts include fatigue, cognitive impairment, accelerated bone loss, incontinence, dysfunction of other sorts and many others. For example, I personally have developed a bit of a hearing disability since my brain cancers. Years of scientific research has established that exercise is an invaluable medicine in the management of cancer, and evidence shows that exercise helps cancer patients counteract their cancer related fatigue and tolerate their treatments. Exercise minimises functional impairments, relieves stress and mental distress and is safe during and after treatment. Continue reading
Senator BILYK (Tasmania) (13:12): I rise today to contribute to the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse Bill 2018 and the National Redress Scheme for Institutional Child Sexual Abuse (Consequential Amendments) Bill 2018. The sexual abuse of a child is one of the most horrific and despicable crimes a person can commit. For many survivors the effects of this crime can be devastating and will usually last for a lifetime. These effects can include feelings of guilt, shame and self-blame, even though it is the perpetrator who should be held accountable. Child sexual abuse can also affect an adult survivor’s ability to be intimate with others and can lead to difficulty forming close relationships. Some survivors will experience flashbacks and painful memories during their lives and even during sexual activity, even if it’s consensual and on their own terms. Survivors can also struggle with self-esteem, which in turn impacts on other aspects of life, such as their relationships, career and health. A 2013 study by the Australian Institute of Family Studies found that the other effects of child sexual abuse include adverse mental and physical health consequences, substance abuse and risky behaviour. Even though some survivors, with support and treatment, go on to lead happy and fulfilling lives, they may still bear the psychological and emotional scars of the abuse they have suffered. Continue reading
Today, 15 June, is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.
According to COTA (Council On The Ageing) Tasmania, it is estimated that between 3,000 and 4,500 older Tasmanians are victims of abuse. The abuse takes many forms including emotional, physical, financial, sexual or neglect.
People unfortunately become more vulnerable to abuse as they grow older, and are often reluctant to report it, especially since around half of the abuse is perpetrated by family members. This is why preventing elder abuse is a responsibility of the entire community and we need to raise awareness.
Elder abuse can be reported via the Tasmanian Elder Abuse Helpline on 1800 441 169.