ANZAC Day 2020

As the sun rose this morning, like thousands of other Australians I stood in my driveway to #LightUptheDawn and honour our ex-servicemen and women in war, peacekeeping and peacemaking operations, including those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Lest we forget.

Public Service Announcement

To minimise the risk of spreading COVID-19 I will be putting the following measures in place until further notice:

– From Monday, 23 March only two staff will be working in my office at any given time. Other staff will be working from home.

– Staffing restrictions may cause a delay to community printing requests. If you email a printing request to Leanne please also Cc Daniel (daniel.hulme@aph.gov.au).

– No events or meetings will take place in the office board room.

– No constituents will be allowed beyond the reception area unless specifically authorised by me. Anyone given permission to enter the office will be asked to sanitise their hands before and after entering.

While I am sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, these measures are in place to protect the health and safety of my staff and the general public. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

Just for a reminder – here are some basic steps you can take to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases (see image below).

Riveaux Road Bushfire Memorial Opening

I joined my Parliamentary colleagues Julie Collins MP, David O’Byrne MP & Alison Standen MP and the Geeveston Fire Brigade today for the opening of the Riveaux Road Bushfire Memorial BBQ Area.

Federal Labor Member for Franklin Julie Collins assisted the Brigade in securing a grant to allow the memorial to be built.

There was a delicious sausage sizzle, and an artist from Launceston donated two of her paintings which depicted the bushfire, recovery and hope.

The memorial is a wonderful tribute to the many amazing volunteers who helped fight the fire and provide assistance to people affected. During a crisis like the 2018-19 Tamanian Fire Season, we rely on people like the volunteers of the Geeveston Fire Brigade who are willing to spend time away from their jobs, businesses and loved ones to keep our community safe. I cannot thank them enough for their service and sacrifice.

Men with Heart Exhibition

Last night’s Men with Heart Exhibition featured the stories of men through photography and video. It showed a positive expression of masculinity, and the potential of men to contribute to a safe, strong and resilient community.

It was a pleasure to meet Karadi Aboriginal Corporation’s Mens Program Co-ordinator Michael Paxton, who was featured in the exhibition.

Congratulations to Tasmen- Mens Wellbeing and Project Manager Anthony Burrows on a successful exhibition and thank you for inviting me.

Cuts to Equal Remuneration Orders

Thank you to Lyndon Stevenson from CTST – Community Transport Services Tasmania for coming to visit me to discuss impending cuts to Equal Remuneration Order supplementation.

An Equal Remuneration Order (ERO) can be made to ensure men and women receive equal pay for work of comparable value. In 2012, Fair Work Australia made an ERO in respect of the Social and Community Services award. The Commonwealth, state and territory governments all increased funding to community services to take account of the increased pay rates under the order.

ERO supplementation in Commonwealth grants is due to cease on 1 July 2021. Unless the Government extends this funding, organisations like CTST will be forced to reduce the services that vulnerable Australians rely on.

I asked questions in Senate Estimates about how community services will be impacted by this cut and I am expecting detailed answers to be provided on notice.

International Womens Day

Today is International Women’s Day with the theme “An equal world is an enabled world”. This means gender equality is an issue for everyone, because it helps economies and communities thrive to the benefit of all.

In Australia we still have a long way to go to achieve gender equality. For example, the gender pay gap remains close to 14% and women are disproportionately the victims of domestic and family violence.

It is up to everyone to do what they can to achieve a gender equal world – to fight bias, challenge stereotypes, celebrate women’s achievements and actively work towards equality.

Seafood Industry Australia Pledge

Tonight Senator Carol Brown and I signed the pledge committing to putting the best Australian seafood on our table.

It is important we do this in a way that actively cares for Australia’s oceans and environment and work with others to do the same.

Happy Birthday Medicare

On 1 February 1984, Prime Minister Bob Hawke introduced Medicare, providing basic health care for all Australians.

The Liberals never truly supported Medicare, and it has been under attack by successive Liberal governments. As a result of the current Federal Government’s cuts to health the cost of seeing GPs and specialists has skyrocketed across the country, and so have emergency department and elective surgery waiting times.

Labor created Medicare. We have fought to protect it for the past 36 years and we will continue to do so.

Happy birthday, Medicare.

Australia Day 2020

Every year on Australia Day I like to spend the day acknowledging and celebrating what is great about our country.

This morning I attended Kingborough Council’s citizenship ceremony where I had the honour of reading the oath affirmation and Minister’s message. It gives me a great sense of pride that so many migrants choose to call Australia home, and that in doing so they contribute so much to our already rich cultural diversity.

The rest of the day was spent at A Day on the Beach, Kingston Beach where I held a stall, had great conversations about local issues and judged the sandcastle competition with Alison Standen MP and Helen from First National Real Estate Hobart & Kingston. I am proud to have served as Patron of this event for about 10 years now. A Day on the Beach is a fitting celebration of sport, the community and the Australian way of life and I am pleased to see its continued success.

I wish everyone a happy Australia Day!