Speech - Senate Chamber - BDS

The response of the Chairman of the ACCC to the Senate's motion concerning the anti-Israel BDS campaign against Max Brenner chocolate cafes is disappointing.

I also note that this motion was opposed by Greens Senators.

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Speech - Senate Chamber - Tasmanian Timber Workers

By leave, I move: That the Senate take note of the letter from the Leader of the Opposition in the Senate.

The coalition has a very proud and long history of supporting timber workers, especially Tasmanian timber workers.

So when the Greens, through their increasingly faltering leader, moved their ill considered motion asking about Coalition support for the Tasmanian timber industry, we on the Coalition side were of course very happy to oblige and support the motion.

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Reply in the Senate Chamber to the Greens Motion on the Intergovernmental Forest Agreement

Yes, the opposition does oppose the intergovernmental agreement, as does the fine craft and design sector of the industry in Tasmania, as does the Tasmanian Minerals Council, as does the Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association, as does Timber Communities Australia (Tasmanian Division), as does the Tasmanian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, as does the Tourism Industry Council, as does the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania and as does the Greens donor, the AMWU, and the Australian Workers Union.

If we as a coalition have to side with the trade unions and the business interests and the small sector of this industry then we are proud to stand with them shoulder to shoulder.

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Condolences - Nancy Grace Augusta Wake, AC, GM

I regret that I did not meet Nancy Wake, but I am glad that I did not meet Nancy Wake in the first 16 years of my life.

She once famously said, 'I killed a lot of Germans and I am only sorry I didn't kill more.' Nancy Wake was Australia's most decorated servicewoman and one of the most decorated allied servicewomen of World War II. She was a true heroine in every sense of the word. Her courage and resourcefulness in a wartime France saved thousands of allied lives.

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Speech to Sydney Institute - Green Light for Senate Chaos

The Senate post 1 July 2011, its implications for Australia, and the Greens as a political party

As of the 1st of July Australians will be relying on the House of Representatives to block the excesses of the Senate … Who would ever have thought?

I am sure our Founding Fathers never envisaged such an outcome. Nevertheless it is a good reminder how a bicameral system provides vital safeguards.

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Productivity Must Be ‘Front and Centre’ In Australia's Workplaces



Australians know something is very wrong with the productivity of their nation when a command economy offers to show us how to do business here in Australia…

…and, that was the humiliation to which our nation was subjected when our Prime Minister - the architect of the new workplace regime was in China recently. There we had China ‘offering’ to build our infrastructure.

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Gillard Government Censure Motion

I move:

That the Senate censures the government for its gross deception of the Australian people by introducing a carbon tax after specifically ruling out such a measure during the election.

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Tribute to Corporal Benjamin Roberts-Smith, VC, MG

Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith received his Victoria Cross for:

… the most conspicuous gallantry in action in circumstances of extreme peril as Patrol Second-in-Command, Special Operations Task Group on Operation SLIPPER.

In an early morning raid on a Taliban stronghold near the village of Tizak in Afghanistan, Corporal Roberts-Smith and two other special forces soldiers were lying in a horribly exposed position just 20 metres in front of an insurgent machine-gun post. According to one report, he was part of a force of 25 up against 100 Taliban. From the cover of a small pile of rubble, Corporal Roberts-Smith saw gunfire tearing up the ground around his friends and realised that they would soon be killed. He stormed the machine gun, drawing fire away from his comrades, silencing it at point blank range. He then moved on to silence another machine gun and then moved on in company to silence a third.

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Condolences - Australian Natural Disasters

That greatly loved poet who captured so much of that which is unique about our great country, Dorothea Mackellar, summed up Australia’s capacity to deliver brutal weather events in her moving tribute My Country, penned some 100 years ago. In that renowned poem she talked of Australia’s ‘droughts and flooding rains’. She spoke about our country’s terror, of ‘flood and fire and famine’. That word picture of our country by Dorothea Mackellar 100 years ago has rung especially true this summer for many Australians. While she may not have specifically mentioned cyclones, I am sure that those who were confronted by Cyclone Yasi will say it was appropriately covered by the descriptor ‘terror’ in the second verse.

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Condolences - Corporal Richard Atkinson

Last Wednesday at about 9.30 am, Australia lost one of its finest in the cause of freedom. Another one of our finest was seriously injured in the incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with him for a full and speedy recovery.

Corporal Richard Atkinson’s life was cruelly cut short, but his memory will live on not only in the hearts of his family but also in the heart of a thankful nation. Anyone who saw the pictures last week of 22-year-old Tasmanian Corporal Richard Atkinson and his fiancée, Dannielle, could not help but have been affected by the pathos of a young life so abruptly ended, and with it many dreams and aspirations. Corporal Atkinson leaves behind his fiancée, Dannielle, to whom he was engaged only one month before his deployment and with whom he had planned a trip to Italy. He also leaves behind his parents, Ross and Kate; brother, James; and sister-in-law, Sumah, who are all, deservedly, so very proud of him.

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About Eric

Eric Abetz has been a Liberal Senator for Tasmania since 1994 and has served in a range of Leadership, Ministerial and Shadow Ministerial roles.

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