JUVENILE DIABETES RESEARCH FOUNDATION

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (10:50): Can I also extend my welcome to our visiting former speakers in the Chamber today. I want to talk to the Chamber today about an issue that I and many of my colleagues across both sides of the Chamber have been pleased to support for a number of years, and that is juvenile diabetes. There is a fantastic program, the Kids in the House program, where young people who are living with juvenile diabetes come along to talk to MPs about the importance of research in addressing juvenile diabetes. Continue reading

2018 IMB BANK ILLAWARRA BUSINESS AWARDS

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (12:30): On Friday night I joined 650 locals, including all of my federal and state colleagues and many of my local government colleagues, at a fantastic local event. It was the Illawarra Business Chamber awards night. 'A little taste of Paris' was the theme for this year. It was a great event. I want to take this opportunity to congratulate some people who organised and put on this event. They do it every year. It's always a huge event on our calendar in the Wollongong area. I also want to acknowledge some fabulous businesses who did well. Many will go on to the state competition and awards as well. Continue reading

NATIONAL APOLOGY TO VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS OF INSTITUTIONAL CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (17:53):  On Monday we saw a national apology extended to the survivors and victims of institutional child abuse. Along with my colleagues, I want to take the opportunity to endorse and support the words of the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, which were significant, sincere and critically important in providing a national apology to those children. So many of those children are now adults, but too many did not make it to adulthood. In adding my voice, I want to indicate that I know I do that as someone who sits here representing my electorate; I echo of the voices of so many people across my electorate who want that sorry said on their behalf as well. I do it in that spirit. Continue reading

48TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WEST GATE BRIDGE COLLAPSE

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (16:53): I want to take the opportunity to support the comments made on this motion that was put before the House by the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition, in particular recognising the 48th anniversary of the West Gate Bridge collapse—an extraordinarily tradition occurrence that affected so many families so dramatically and, no doubt, for so long. There were 35 killed and 18 injured. The flow-on effects of that through a family and a community are significant. As I listened to our leaders speak about this in the chamber, it very profoundly reminded me of occasions in my own electorate where we come together to commemorate, sadly, the significant number of lives lost in work based disasters. That's why I wanted to endorse the sentiments that were expressed on the anniversary of his particular disaster. Whilst it occurred in Melbourne and not in my own state of New South Wales, I think the repercussions and the feelings that people are reflecting in supporting the motion occur in any area where we've seen this sort of terrible tragedy occur. I absolutely heartily endorse the comments of both of our leaders. Continue reading

MOBILE BLACK SPOT PROGRAM

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (17:20): Thank you and I thank the chamber for the opportunity to make a few comments in this debate. It is the case that we're having this conversation in the context of the most recent round, round 4, of the Mobile Black Spot Program having closed just last week. I have taken the opportunity to put submissions in to that website and also to write directly to the minister about the issues in my electorate, and I appreciate the opportunity to do that. Continue reading

LIBERAL CUTS TO AGED CARE ADDING PRESSURE TO FAMILIES

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (19:03): I would like to indicate, at the beginning, in speaking to these bills—recognising that we're dealing with two cognate bills—that I support the amendment that has been moved by the shadow minister, but I also indicate that I think, as many of my colleagues do, that, if that amendment is to not succeed, these bills need to be supported. That is because we are in a really critically important time for the aged-care sector. In my electorate, this is certainly one of the most pressing issues that I and my staff deal with on a regular basis. These bills before us, the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission Bill 2018 and the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018, are enacting some of the recommendations of the Carnell Paterson review of aged care. In particular, the first bill is establishing a new Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, intended to be operational from 1 January 2019. That will bring together quality assurance and complaints procedures in the aged-care sector. That's obviously as a result of the review. It's a worthwhile thing to do. Continue reading

LOCAL SUICIDE PREVENTION INITIATIVES RECOGNISED

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (16:39): Suicide rates in my region, very sadly, remain higher than the New South Wales average, with 40 to 60 suicides reported each year. I just want to take the opportunity today to talk about the very critical, important work that is being done by organisations and individuals in our region to address this problem. First of all, I want to acknowledge the Illawarra Shoalhaven Suicide Prevention Collaborative. This was established three years ago this month. It consists of representatives of more than 20 local community organisations, which include the local health district; the University of Wollongong; the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute; Grand Pacific Health; Lifeline Southcoast; COORDINARE, the south-eastern New South Wales primary health network; all four local councils and all education sectors. Continue reading

LIBERAL DYSFUNCTION AND DISUNITY AFFECTS LOCALS

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (10:29): It is increasingly obvious to all of us, I'm sure, in our local electorate offices that the dysfunction and the disunity that have been the hallmark of this government over recent times are having a direct impact on their ability to do their day job and deliver the services that our local constituents need. This level of dysfunction is having real impacts across a number of portfolio areas, and we are seeing it in our offices. In this section of the parliament, where we get to talk about the issues that our constituents are raising, I want to highlight just four of those issues, where my constituents are, quite honestly, at their wits' end with the incompetence of the government in their programs. Continue reading

SICKNESS AT THE HEART OF THE LIBERAL PARTY

E&OE TRANSCRIPTDOORSTOPPARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRATUESDAY, 18 SEPTEMBER 2018SUBJECT: Sickness at the heart of the Liberal Party. BIRD: I just wanted to come out this morning on the back of some fairly extraordinary contributions by Ann Sudmalis yesterday about the culture within the Liberal Party. Continue reading

BUILDING UP AND MOVING OUT

Ms BIRD (Cunningham) (15:15): I take great pleasure in commending this report to members of the parliament; to the government; as the esteemed chair of the committee said, to the departments that have contributed to it but also, we would hope, will work with the government to respond to the report; and, in particular, to all of those various organisations and individuals across the country who, through the period of time, took the time and effort to put submissions in and raise their issues. I won't canvass again some of the key issues that the chair of the committee, the member for Bennelong, has just addressed, other than to say I think the report brings together a very in-depth, well-considered proposition for the government to look at ways in which, at a federal level, we can go beyond the national planning of infrastructure—which is something that we believe is critically important—and take into consideration a national plan of settlement as well so that, across our great country, we can actually get better, more effective and more committed to looking at population growth and its disparity across the nation. Some places—including, clearly, our two major capital cities Sydney and Melbourne—are struggling under the pressure of that, while other places have potential that's being unrealised. Bringing those two things together—population settlement, whether it's internal movement or new arrivals, and infrastructure planning—in a way that fosters the opportunities across the nation is a really solid proposition, and there are a number of recommendations in this report that go to that issue. Continue reading