Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (17:23): I am very pleased to contribute to this very important debate today. I want to focus on two or three areas of tax policy, and the first is the achievements of this coalition government. When it comes to tax, we got rid of the Labor Party's carbon tax. We got rid of that job-killing carbon tax for the good of households—so they had lower electricity bills, more money in their pockets and lower gas bills. We lowered the cost of doing business by lowering the cost of electricity; that was a great achievement and good for business. We got rid of the Labor Party's ill-thought mining tax, which was an attack on one of our most important industries. We came in promising to get rid of it and we got rid of it. We have focused on giving tax relief to small business—hard working men and women who employ millions of people and who go out and take risks. We said to them, 'We will give you a small business tax cut and a small business instant asset write-off.' 

 

 

Read more: MATTERS OF PUBLIC IMPORTANCE - Turnbull Government

 

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (18:48): I am pleased to add my voice in support of the Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance) Bill 2015 today. Before I get into some of the detail of the bill, I would like to go to the more general and important point about the motivations of the government in encouraging people into work, why that is so important, and why it is so corrosive, in my opinion, when we see creeping into parts of our community and our society an anti-work culture—a reluctance to work. This is not the overwhelming experience of Australians who are seeking work, but there are some who do not seem to have that willingness to work, and I think that that is a real concern.

 

Read more: COMMITTEES - Social Security Legislation Amendment (Further Strengthening Job Seeker Compliance)...

 

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (13:48): Again, I would like to bring to the attention of the Senate the issue of the need for reform in the area of adoption and out-of-home care here in Australia. It is an issue that I know that many in this place feel strongly about, and an issue that I and others refuse to put in the too-hard basket.

 

At the end of last year the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare released the Adoptions Australia 2014-15 report, and it was damning. The report shows we had the lowest number of adoptions on record last year, with only 209 Australian child adoptions recorded as finalised. Two-hundred and nine adoptions last year—that is all we could manage as a nation, and I think it is an unacceptable state of affairs and one that is desperately in need of meaningful reform.

 

It is time that we streamlined the adoption process across all states and territories. It is imperative that children in the out-of-home care system be placed in stable environments where they can experience the permanency they need in their early years. It is time we put the rights and welfare of children before the rights of adults.

Read more: STATEMENTS BY SENATORS - Adoption, Focus ACT, Australian Capital Territory: School Awards

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (15:18) Thank you very much Deputy President, I’m very pleased to join in this very very important debate, and I start by also commending the wonderful teachers we have here in the ACT, the wonderful schools we have here in the ACT, both in the government and non-government sector. I have had the privilege of attending some of these schools here in the ACT, along with my family members both in the public sector and the non-government sector and my kids now have the opportunities in these wonderful schools. So I commend the teachers here in Canberra and around the country, who do such an outstanding job.

Read more: Questions Without Notice: Take Note of Answers - 2 February 2016

 

Senator SESELJA (Australian Capital Territory) (19:20): I am really pleased to rise this evening to speak about a couple of events here in the ACT. We all know that 26 January is Australia Day but it is also Republic Day in India. Whilst it is important that we reflect on that day as Australia Day it is also important that we reflect on this significant day for our Indian residents, many of whom reside here in Canberra.

 

Though India became a free nation on 15 August 1947, it declared itself a sovereign, democratic and republic state with the adoption of its constitution on 26 January 1950. Its constitution gave the citizens of India the power to choose their own government and paved the way for democracy. We have much in common with our Indian friends. India shares our democratic political system and commitment to freedom. Whilst it is a republic, we also share some of the same British roots. We share interests, values and a great love of cricket. We have significant trade. We enjoy large flows of tourists and students. Australia is increasingly and importantly a net energy provider for the almost 1.3 billion citizens of India.

Read more: Adjournment - India: Republic Day, Small Business