Speeches

Criminal Procedure Amendment (Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot) Bill 2015

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.31 p.m.]: I support the Criminal Procedure Amendment (Child Sexual Offence Evidence Pilot) Bill 2015. This legislation does what all criminal justice legislation should do—that is, focus on the victims of crime. It focuses on not only assisting them as they give their evidence and go through the often harrowing court procedures but also helping them to eventually get justice for what has happened to them. It focuses in particular on those who are the most vulnerable part of the criminal justice system—children.

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Prospect Electorate Industry and Business

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.40 p.m.]: I am proud to represent New South Wales' largest commercial, industrial and manufacturing estate that forms a significant part of the electorate of Prospect. It is a centre for small to medium businesses and larger manufacturing, construction and food production companies supporting innovation and employment, and it is Western Sydney's future. Many of Australia's largest companies choose to do business in Wetherill Park, Smithfield, Pemulwuy, Huntingwood, Girraween and Eastern Creek. They do so because they will have large amounts of space and a skilled workforce that lives locally. These areas are serviced by modern and well-maintained roads and infrastructure and are close to the geographical centre of Sydney. It is important that industry is empowered by having access to efficient transport options for freight and to fast internet that connects to customers and suppliers as well as having effective public transport options so that tens of thousands of workers can get to worksites.

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NSW Police Community Engagement Day

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.08 p.m.]: On Saturday 17 October I had the pleasure to attend the NSW Police Force Community Engagement Day, which was supported by all the local area commands in the Prospect electorate, including Fairfield, Holroyd and Blacktown. The event was held in the grounds of Prairiewood High School. I congratulate, in particular, the Fairfield Local Area Command on organising the event and on its involvement. I also congratulate Fairfield Local Area Commander Superintendent Peter Lennon and Multicultural Liaison Officer Alex Sentana.

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Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Grant of Coal and Petroleum Prospecting Titles) Bill 2015

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [12.06 p.m.]: The speech of the member for Camden was certainly entertaining. It is with pleasure that I participate in debate on the mining and petroleum cognate bills—the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Grant of Coal and Petroleum Prospecting Titles) Bill 2015, the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Harmonisation) Bill 2015, the Mining and Petroleum Legislation Amendment (Land Access Arbitration) Bill 2015, the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum) Legislation Amendment (Harmonisation) Bill 2015 and the Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Enforcement of Gas and Other Petroleum Legislation) Bill 2015.

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Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.34 p.m.]: I oppose the Strata Schemes Management Bill 2015 and the cognate Strata Schemes Development Bill 2015. The Strata Schemes Development Bill does not protect the best interests of the people of New South Wales. It is retrospective legislation that breaks contracts so that property can be forcibly sold to developers. It is an economically reckless move that will push the New South Wales economy towards a bursting housing bubble and potentially a recession. On the other hand, the Strata Scheme Management Bill 2015 is a reasonably well-thought-through piece of legislation; it offers more rights to residents and holds potentially untrustworthy developers to account. It also reforms how strata committee meetings are conducted, bringing protocol into the twenty-first century. It is a shame that the bills are being debated cognately. If they had been introduced individually, I believe the Opposition would be able to support at least one.

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Parks Community Network Inc.

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.04 p.m.]: I commend the Parks Community Network Inc., a fantastic organisation based in the Prospect electorate that I am proud to represent. The Parks Community Network Inc. was established 21 years ago with the vision of alleviating hardship and need through direct benevolent programs in our community. Currently, it is engaged with local stakeholders to provide services in communities in Western Sydney for those suffering from poverty, distress, destitution, misfortune, loneliness and helplessness. The network also provides support and practical help to people in crisis and to disadvantaged communities, individuals and families through the development and coordination of community programs. I especially congratulate 2015-16 board members Jiajun Ding, Janet Youil, Jacqueline Harborne, Nalim Ram, Janet Thorley, Peggy Borwn and Fayez Nour. I also acknowledge the amazing work done in our community by volunteers Mathew Dillon, Sandra Fraser, Lubna Imran, Bin Hui Wang, Amira Isaa and Tatijana Colevska.

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Tribute to Curtis Cheng

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.24 p.m.]: Two weeks ago Curtis Cheng, a civilian employee of the NSW Police Force, was murdered outside his place of work. Mr Cheng was greatly loved by his family and was a well-known and respected figure at the NSW Police Headquarters in Parramatta. He was born in Hong Kong and later moved to the United Kingdom, where he was a student at the University of Bath. After graduating as an esteemed student in economics, he moved back to his home town of Hong Kong as a lecturer in economics—a field he was deeply passionate about. After finishing work as a lecturer, he decided to move to Australia. He was regarded as a financial expert and was a member of CPA Australia for 36 years. In 1997 he began work with the NSW Police Force, and continued to work there until his death.

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Electricity Supply Amendment (Energy Savings Scheme) Bill 2015

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [11.07 a.m.]: I speak in debate on the Electricity Supply Amendment (Energy Savings Scheme) Bill 2015. What a great Labor policy. I commend the Government on it. It is sensational. It is such a shame that the Minister is not here. There is a Nationals representative in the Chamber; the member for Upper Hunter is here. That is great to see. I love it when Labor legislation is presented by a Nationals or Country Party Minister. It shows that The Nationals have much more in common with the Labor Party than they will ever have with their Coalition partner. This week is the anniversary of the Labor Party in Victoria governing with the support of the Country Party. That is fantastic. This legislation has come from Labor policy. The measures in this bill will affect almost every household. As the Minister said, there will be savings in certain areas. That is really good. It is good to see that The Nationals are still in touch with their constituents. It is a shame that the Liberals are not. I commend the Government on this legislation.

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Energy Legislation Amendment (Retail Electricity and Gas Pricing) Bill 2015

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [4.45 p.m.]: I contribute to the debate on the Energy Legislation Amendment (Retail Electricity and Gas Pricing) Bill 2015. This bill aims to remove the capacity to re-regulate electricity prices from the Electricity Supply Act 1995 and the Electricity Supply (General) Regulation 2015, and to remove the ability to regulate gas prices from the Gas Supply Act 1996. When I spoke in a debate earlier today I congratulated the Government on some outstanding legislation. It was basically a rewrite of Labor Party policy from some years ago, which I was very supportive of. But this time I wonder what the Minister and the Government are doing. It is sad that we have gone from great policy earlier in the day to this piece of legislation.

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Anti-Poverty Week

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [6.30 p.m.]: This evening I speak on the matter of public importance, Anti-Poverty Week. Poverty has a crippling effect on our fellow Australians. Eliminating poverty is one of the greatest challenges the Government faces. It imposes a cruel punishment on innocent people. Many people in New South Wales receive high incomes but there are thousands of people who are not so lucky and who are living on or well below the poverty line. Sadly, more than 600,000 Australian children live in poverty. People sleep rough next to everything they own, either on the streets or in tents. Families live in cars and in improvised dwellings. Many of them are the victims of economic downturn, redundancy, domestic violence, abuse, mental illness, physical incapacity and other factors.

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