Movember

movember

Movember – where blokes grow a moustache as part of encouraging people to provide donations to a good cause – is one of a number of similar sorts of activities which have flourished in recent; from World’s Greatest Shave (which raises money to fight leukemia) to Red Nose Day (which raises funds to help reduce Sudden […]

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Updates on Qld abortion law debate

There have been a few developments since I wrote my previous post about the uncertainty surroundnig Queensland’s abortion laws. A ‘technical’ amendment to the law was rushed through State Parliament giving the same protection for surgeons for medical abortions as currently exists for surgical abortions.  Both major parties managed to avoid having the amendment considered […]

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Abortion laws in Queensland

Queensland Parliament has no choice but to act on abortion laws The Queensland government has tried their best for a quite a few years to ignore the calls to change the state’s laws on abortion. However, whatever your views are on abortion, the issue in Queensland can no longer be avoided by the Queensland Parliament. […]

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Hearing the message on hearing

One of the interesting things about blogging is that you can never tell which posts are going to attract interest, or when.  Today I appeared on ABC Radio National’s Australia Talks, giving my views on the issue of hearing loss. This is the second time I’ve done an extended media interview on this topic in the […]

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Autism Awareness over breakfast

A Parliamentary Breakfast was held this morning to raise awareness of and support for autism. Breakfast functions arranged by community organisations are a regular feature at Parliament House. They are usually a straight-forward occasion, going for about an hour from 7.30, with a few speakers and some information about the topic. The speakers at this […]

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Hearing Matters

Over two years ago, I wrote a piece on this blog about hearing loss. I’ve raised it once or twice in speeches and in the Senate since then, but it’s still an issue which doesn’t have a particularly high public profile, despite the very large numbers of being affected – estimated to currently be about […]

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Euthanasia Bill hearing in Darwin

I’m in Darwin at the moment for Committee hearings into two separate private Senators’ Bills. One, introduced by Bob Brown, is aimed at restoring the right of the Northern Territory Parliament to legislate in areas relating to euthanasia. The other was introduced by me and is aimed at instituting a national system for providing compensation […]

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Success stories in Indigenous health

There have been a lot of reports highlighting the disgraceful situation with the health of many Indigenous Australians. It is important to be aware of this situation, but it can sometimes make the problem seem insurmountable, which can create a view that it’s all too hard. In a positive move, ANTaR (Australians for Native Title […]

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Close the Gap

A couple of weeks ago I attended the launch of the Close the Gap campaign – to eliminate the gap between the life expectancy and opportunities for Indigenous Australians and the rest of our nation. It was held at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney, and there was a big media contingent there in part due […]

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Wins on petrol sniffing

Just over a year ago I wrote about a Senate Committee inquiry into petrol sniffing. As my comments at the time suggested, I was uncertain how much value would come out of the inquiry, given the number of similar inquiries which had preceded it. However, it does appear to have been some significant steps forward […]

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It is indeed a Great Shave

I’ll be travelling all this week through various places in the Gulf and Cape York, so there may be fewer new posts on this site than usual. To fill the empty void in your life that this may cause, you might wish to look at sponsoring someone in the Leukaemia Foundation’s “World’s Greatest Shave”. I’d […]

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Down Syndrome

Amongst all my activities, I try to meet reasonably regularly with a range of community organisations to help keep me in better touch with some of the issues at community level. Even if there is no immediate issue I can assist them with, it is always useful for me to get a better understanding of […]

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Road Toll and driving restrictions

Changes are being made in NSW to laws governing P plate drivers –people who have newly acquired their driver’s licence. These include novice drivers being able to carry no more than one young passenger late at night, and an automatic loss of licence with a single speeding offence. This is an issue where the principle […]

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Drug testing on animals

When I talk about animal welfare issues, I often feel I am running the risk that I will be accused of being more concerned about (non-human) animals than about humans. This is doubly so when I talk about the use of animals in experimentation. It was therefore irritating, although not totally surprising, that the “Hands […]

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Selling Medibank private

As we move towards the last two weeks of Senate sittings for 2006, the government is adopting the traditional pre-Christmas practice of piling up a list of ‘urgent’ Bills which must be passed in the final fortnight. In the past the Senate was able to determine which of these Bills were really urgent and which […]

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