This section contains a selection of speeches prior to 2010 and more comprehensive additions from the resumption of Parliament in 2010. Full collection of speeches can be found on ParlInfo

Opening Statement on Christchurch



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Speech to the Senate on the Australian and Israeli relationship

The announcement by the Prime Minister to investigate the possibility of relocating the Australian embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv is to be applauded. Every sovereign nation has the right to determine the capital and its seat of government. Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East that abides by the rule of law, is slighted by elements of the world community not recognising its designated capital. It would be like countries saying to Australia, 'We don't recognise Canberra—for whatever reason—and, therefore, we will place our embassy in Goulburn.' No slight on Goulburn. I'm sure it's a great city and town in the state of New South Wales—Senator Molan agrees, so I'm glad I have that support in this debate. It is important to recognise that a sovereign nation has the right to determine where its national capital will be. So I'm delighted that there is now a move within the world community to right this wrong. It is a move that has been discussed for a long time, and countries as diverse as Guatemala, Paraguay, the Czech Republic, Romania, Honduras and, indeed, the United States have engaged in this discussion.

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Speech to the Senate in support of Small Business

  Small business is the backbone of the Australian economy. Small business provides the jobs and wealth our local communities rely on. So it's an absolute delight to be part of a government that is seeking to assist small business to do even better within our community. In doing even better, they will employ even more people. So this is about ensuring that the Australian small business sector has the opportunity to flourish and grow, and, in doing so, provide even more job opportunities for the people of Australia.

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Speech on the Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation) Bill 2015

The Restoring Territory Rights (Assisted Suicide Legislation) Bill 2015 deserves to be defeated. It deserves to be defeated on a number of grounds. Firstly, the bill displays a sad misunderstanding of our constitutional arrangements. Secondly, it shows a complete disregard of the general basic ethical foundations of our society, where every single life is valued. Thirdly, it shows a disregard for the sensitivities of our Indigenous community, especially in the Northern Territory.

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Speech to the Senate - Marriage Bill

Marriage as a social unit pre-existed the nation state and parliaments. It is common to all cultures. It's very rationale was about the best way for raising and socialising the next generation, providing the certainty and stability of their biological parents and the diversity of a female and male role model. In its variations between cultures, the 'man, woman, children' element of marriage is the common denominator. It is not about the adults, but the potential children. It is 'other' focused, not 'self' focused. As even the atheist philosopher Bertrand Russell opined, it is through children alone that sexual relations became of importance to society and worthy to be taken cognisance of by a legal institution. Our own Australian Law Reform Commission noted that marriage in Indigenous communities is a central feature of traditional Aboriginal societies, and the union was considered to be strengthened by the birth of the first child. So, here, too, we have marriage and raising children inextricably interlinked.

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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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