Last night I attended an important forum organised by the NSW Parents’ Council and held at the leading girls’ independent school Abbotsleigh, located at Wahroonga in my electorate of Bradfield.
The purpose of the forum was to discuss likely changes to the model for funding independent schools, which the Gillard Labor Government looks likely to introduce following the report of the Gonski Review into independent school funding.
Last night I attended the Minerals Council of Australia Annual Dinner.
Prime Minister Gillard spoke – and she said something I agreed with. The business leaders in the room, she observed, spent much of their time dealing with risk and uncertainty. So too must national leaders. The problem of climate change is a classic example of leaders needing to deal with risk and uncertainty.
The fact is that there is plenty of uncertainty facing policy makers in Australia – and around the world – about climate change and how to respond. Let’s consider some of those uncertainties – and their cumulative impact.
On Saturday I was very pleased to attend the annual general meeting of Girl Guides NSW & ACT held at the Girl Guides Glengarry state training and activities centre located in North Turramurra in my electorate of Bradfield. I am also pleased to note that Commissioner of Girl Guides NSW & ACT Ms Belinda Allen is a constituent of mine in Bradfield. For nearly 100 years the Girl Guides have shown a commitment to volunteering, to participation and to the empowerment and engagement of girls and young women.
According to Treasurer Wayne Swan, the key point about the 2011-12 budget was a ‘return to surplus.’ In fact, this claim is highly misleading. Swan is budgeting for a deficit of $23 billion in 2011-12; a surplus will only be achieved a year later. Even then it will be a wafer-thin $3 billion – not much in comparison to the cumulative deficits totalling more than $150 billion which Swan will have delivered in the four preceding years.
Yesterday I was very pleased to bring Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton into my electorate of Bradfield. We visited Hornsby Hospital, where we were shown around by Dr Richard Harris, Chair of the Medical Staff Council. We were joined on the tour by Mr Matt Kean, the recently elected Liberal member for the state seat of Hornsby.
I’ve just had the extraordinary privilege of spending a couple of days in Broome with soldiers of NORFORCE – a specialised Army unit, comprising both regular and reserve soldiers, which carries out surveillance and other key functions in Australia’s remote North. This was part of a program under which Parliamentarians join Defence force units in locations around the country – indeed around the world – to observe and in some cases participate in their work.
Has Australia ever had a federal Treasurer as underwhelming as Wayne Swan?
Reading Swan’s latest effort – a speech he gave in Queensland today entitled ‘The 2011 Budget and a Tale of Two Booms’ – is nothing short of depressing.
On 24 February 2011, Prime Minister Gillard announced that her government would introduce a carbon tax, probably as early as 1 July 2012.
Since that time we have seen some rather nonsensical claims about what Gillard has done.
It is not true that she has drawn a dividing line between the major political parties about how seriously they are engaging with climate change.
Both sides of politics are committed to reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions to five per cent below 2000 levels by the year 2020. This was the basis of the policy which the Liberal Party took to the 2010 election, and it remains our policy.