Speeches

Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment Bill 2016

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 11:01 ): I speak in debate on the Crimes (Administration of Sentences) Amendment Bill 2016. As we are all aware, prisons are filled with convicted criminals. Sadly sometimes these criminals continue to commit crimes from within the prison, often on fellow prisoners but also on prison guards and staff. The victims within prisons deserve access to efficient and transparent justice. Very rarely are members of this House given the opportunity to see legislation introduced by the Minister for Corrections. Nonetheless, it is pleasing to see some promising legislation in this portfolio. Supporting magistrates and prison officers is something that I agree with, and I am sure the same can be said for all members of this House.

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Industrial Relations Amendment (Industrial Court) Bill 2016

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 11:43 ): I speak in opposition to the Industrial Relations Amendment (Industrial Court) Bill 2016. Industrial relations is the key area of difference between the major parties in New South Wales politics. It is an ideological split that is witnessed every time this Chamber sits. It is in fact within the DNA of the Liberal-Nationals Coalition to do everything within its power to crush the rights of workers and make a mockery of the industrial relations system in New South Wales. They continue with this today. This bill is no different. It reflects the slow death of the Industrial Court following the vicious industrial relations reforms of the former O'Farrell Government in 2011. Following those reforms, the Industrial Court was restricted in its scope and operational responsibilities. The Baird Government now wants the Supreme Court to take responsibility for all matters relating to industrial relations law that are not handled within the Federal jurisdiction and subject to the jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission. This is a lessening of workers rights by stealth.

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Building Professionals Amendment (Information) Bill 2016

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 20:58 ): I join in debate on the Building Professionals Amendment (Information) Bill 2016 to point out that, after being asleep at the wheel, the Baird Government has finally decided to introduce legislation that would address concerns raised by the statutory review of the current Building Professionals Act 2005. Although a number of issues were raised by the statutory review, this bill deals with only one issue—information sharing. In 2014 the Baird Government commissioned a statutory review into the Building Professionals Act. The review was led by former Treasury Secretary, Michael Lambert. One year ago, in October 2015, 10 priority areas for reform were identified.

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Social and Affordable Housing NSW Fund Bill 2016

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 17:03 ): I speak in debate on the Social and Affordable Housing NSW Fund Bill 2016. New South Wales has a social and affordable housing crisis. Public housing waiting lists stretch beyond 20 years in the electorate of Prospect alone, with approximately 10,000 people—women, men, children, the elderly and the disabled—on this list. Steeply rising property values have almost destroyed the commercial viability of private rentals to tenants subsidised by the New South Wales Government. Therefore the need for the New South Wales Government to invest in social and affordable housing should not be underestimated. Under this bill, the Government aims to deliver some 3,000 new social and affordable houses to reduce the waiting list for social housing properties by providing capital for community housing providers to build, maintain and own properties.

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Education and Teaching Legislation Amendment Bill 2016

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 19:09 ): As part of my participation in debate on the Education and Teaching Legislation Amendment Bill 2016, I note that the Baird Government is again refusing to admit its underinvestment in education—but this time, by blaming the teachers. This bill aims to rename the Board of Studies and Educational Standards to become the NSW Education Standards Authority. The bill will develop a charter of responsibility with an annual statement of expectations handed down from the Minister. In some respects, one may say that the statement resembles a military order. The bill also provides for creation of a new board comprising 12 members, who will include six members representing educational sectors and groups, and six members who will be cherrypicked by the Minister.

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Jessica Chionna, WorldSkills Australia Finalist

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 15:58 ): Today I congratulate Jessica Chionna, a sheet metal fabrication apprentice and finalist at WorldSkills Australia, the country's biggest trade competition. Jessica works at IAC Acoustics, Smithfield, a fantastic local business that is a leading Australian manufacturer of high‑performance silencers, acoustics, exhaust systems and thermal insulation blankets for the marine, mining and transport industries. Jessica is forging ahead in what is traditionally a male-dominated industry. Her ambition is to one day own her own manufacturing workshop. I congratulate Jessica for her achievements and I wish her the best of luck at the finals. I thank IAC Acoustics, Smithfield, for supporting our local community with jobs and world-class products.

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Bishop of Parramatta Student Excellence Awards

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 13:28 ): The annual Bishop of Parramatta Awards for Student Excellence recognising the religious and academic achievements of year 12 students across the diocese of Parramatta were presented at St Patrick's Cathedral on 8 September 2016. The awards acknowledge the contribution of one year 12 student from each Catholic secondary school towards their school and local community as nominated by their principal. Episcopal Vicar for Education and Formation Very Reverend Chris de Souza, EV, and Executive Director Greg Whitby presented the awards on behalf of the Bishop of Parramatta, the Most Reverend Vincent Long van Nguyen, OFM. From the Prospect electorate, I congratulate Angelica D'Souza from Nagle College at Blacktown South and Pierre Saba from St Paul's Catholic College at Greystanes. May the Holy Mother bless them, their families and our Catholic schools community.

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Fair Trading Amendment (Commercial Agents) Bill 2016

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 16:39 ): The Fair Trading Amendment (Commercial Agents) Bill 2016 seeks to repeal the Commercial Agents and Private Inquiry Agents Act 2004 and amend the Fair Trading Act 1987. Essentially, the bill seeks to change the commercial debt collection system in New South Wales so that licences will no longer be required for debt collectors, especially those who undertake face-to-face debt collection. Currently to get a licence both the debt collection agency and the agent must be licensed. Licensees must undertake prescribed training, be fingerprinted and be considered as a fit and proper person as defined by the Act. Considering the nature of the work, the current regulatory framework is very reasonable. Without doubt this legislation raises serious concerns, especially relating to its impact on the debt collection process and face-to-face collection in particular.

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Fairfield Hospital

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 15:51 ): I draw the attention of the House to Fairfield Hospital, its fantastic staff and its support services. It is one of the most outstanding small hospitals in metropolitan Sydney, and services people to the south of the electorate of Prospect and the electorates of Fairfield, Mulgoa and Cabramatta. That is a large area to service. The hospital has 220 beds, and as such is classified as a B1 health facility. It services some 32,000 local residents, and staff perform 7,000 surgical procedures and deliver 1,800 babies each year. In addition, the hospital deals with 34,000 emergency department presentations, which is a significant number for such a small hospital. It also deals with more than 200,000 outpatient presentations.

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Wentworthville Tamil Study Centre

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT ( Prospect ) ( 13:26 ): The Wentworthville Tamil Study Centre, also known as the " Tamil school " is a wonderful organisation in the Western Sydney community. Each Saturday, more than 650  students take part in Tamil language classes from pre-kindergarten to year 12 , using the classrooms at Girraween Public School. In fact, about half of the Girraween Public School population are also students of the Tamil Study Centre. The Tamil Study Centre is doing a remarkable job at fulfilling its mission of rendering educational, cultural and social services to the Tamil community ; empowering Tamil children to communicate fluently in Tamil with their parents, teachers and peers; providing opportunities for Tamil children to learn and understand the Tamil culture through drama, dance and music; encouraging youth to develop leadership skills by conducting annual speech competitions and performances ; and enhancing education of Tamil children using state  of - the - art technology. commend the Centre's committee for providing such a wonderful service. In particular, I thank the secretary, Mr Partheepan Gunaratnam, for inviting me to Kalai Vizha, t he centre's annual cultural festival. The Tamil community is an important part of Australian society, and I am proud to represent them in the New South Wales Parliament.

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