John Graham Speech: Voluntary Assisted Dying

John Graham is a NSW Labor member of the NSW Legislative Council

I support the Voluntary Assisted Dying Bill 2017. In the last week a prominent Sydney tabloid newspaper—the Sydney Morning Herald—published an article about this bill under the headline "A matter of life and death". I reject that description. This is not a matter of life and death. If it was, I would oppose the bill. If it was, I would choose life. If it was, it would come up against one of the most fundamental human instincts—to fight for life. Humans do rage against the dying of the light; we cannot help it. This issue is not a choice between life and death. It is a choice between death and a horrible death; between a sad death and a sad, painful death; between the tragedy of any death and the tragedy of a lonely death. Faced with that choice, I intend to support the legislation.

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Senator Louise Pratt Speech: Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017

Senator Louise Pratt is Shadow Assistant Minister for Families and Communities

It is high time to deliver marriage equality for our nation. We across the country have absolutely campaigned our hearts out and Australia is ready. We didn't need a postal survey to tell us that. We've long been ready and we've long had majority support for it in our nation—for a decade at least. So this place must now finally do its job. I have to say that, like thousands of other Australians, I was dismayed and hurt back in 2004 when the federal parliament, including my own party, entrenched discrimination in our nation's Marriage Act. Back then, the LGBTI community were starting to organise to seek to access marriage and test the Marriage Act through the courts, and we were doing that because the groundswell of support had begun back then.

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Senator Penny Wong Speech: Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017

Penny Wong is leader of the Opposition in the Senate

I rise to speak on the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017. Today is a proud day for Australia: a day of joy and a day of grace; a day for all Australians to be proud of themselves and of our nation, a nation that has shown itself to be as generous and as big-hearted as we had hoped; a day when the nation's parliament has an opportunity to reaffirm the Australian values of fairness and equality; a day when the nation's parliament can do what we have been asked to do, because this is exactly what Australians want. Australians have voted overwhelmingly in favour of changing the law to remove discrimination in our Marriage Act. Every state and every territory voted yes. The yes vote was higher than any national two-party-preferred vote in the nation's history. And it is the most conclusive national vote in the nation's history. Australians have made their views clear, and they want everyone to be treated equally before the law. The Australian people have done their part, and now it is our turn, as parliamentarians, to do ours.

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Why Labor for Aid

Michael Vaughan is a founding member of Labor for Aid, which is having launch events in NSW, Victoria, the ACT and Western Australia in the next month

On my first campaign I drove around with four “Kevin 07" flags sticking out the windows of my shabby second-hand car. Like many people, I was full of my hopes for a new Labor government, like our promise to ramp up Australia’s aid program to 0.5 per cent of our Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015. 

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Ending offshore processing is matter of gender and racial equality

Shannen Potter is NSW Young Labor Vice President

Thanks to the bipartisan policies of boat turn backs, offshore processing, and functionally indefinite detention of asylum seekers, thousands of refugees are currently suffering in inhumane conditions on Manus Island and Nauru. 600 refugees are facing life-threatening conditions without food or water after being abandoned on Manus Island. The policies of successive Labor and Liberal governments to deal with asylum seekers are causing people to die, and causing many more to suffer in conditions which no person ever should experience.

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