Speeches

Rural Fires Amendment (Bush Fire Prevention) Bill 2015

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.04 p.m.]: I address the House in support of the Rural Fires Amendment (Bush Fire Prevention) Bill 2015, with appropriate amendments that will be moved by the Opposition. Bushfires are one of Australia's most common natural disasters. Over the past half century more than 300 Australians have been killed, in the most horrifying way, as a result of bushfires. First, I pay tribute to all the lives lost to Australian bushfires and to the brave men and women of the Rural Fire Service [RFS], Fire and Rescue NSW, NSW Ambulance Service and their equivalent agencies throughout Australia. The Rural Fires Amendment (Bush Fire Prevention) Bill 2015 will legalise vegetation clearing near buildings, including farm sheds, under the 10/50 vegetation clearing scheme. This will allow the complete clearance of vegetation within 10 metres of a building and clearance of non-tree vegetation within 50 metres of a building.

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Budget Estimates and Related Papers

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [3.57 p.m.]: I want to talk about the failures of this Government in regard to its budget.

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Impounding Amendment (Unattended Boat Trailers) Bill 2015

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [4.37 p.m.]: I address the House on the Impounding Amendment (Unattended Boat Trailers) Bill 2015. There is very little doubt that this Liberal Government loves boats. We know that the Treasurer loves the view of sails over Middle Harbour in the morning, that the Premier's constituency chooses the more adventurous game-fishing boats, that the member for Drummoyne sees mooring spaces at a premium in his electorate and that the member for Miranda deals with productivity loss in her electorate as a result of people taking sick days off work to go fishing in the Georges River. It is ironic that a party room of members with so many boats in their electorates to look after still put their faith in a national leader who was elected to stop the boats. It gets better. It is not the responsibility of the State Government to stop boats, so the Government has taken the responsibility upon itself to stop boat trailers instead. I can see Premier Mike Baird's new slogan: Stop the boat trailers.

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Health Services Amendment (Ambulance Services) Bill 2015

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [10.48 a.m.]: I oppose the Health Services Amendment (Ambulance Services) Bill 2015. The hypocrisy of this Government is staggering. In the previous sitting week the Government pushed through new laws, which the Opposition supported, that introduce the offence of presenting as a paramedic when one does not have the appropriate qualifications. Yet today the Government has introduced a bill that divides paramedics into two categories. The people of New South Wales want to know why. Where does the Government stand? We know that the Government adores privatisation and that is what this bill is about—even though the Government knows privatisation will put at risk the quality of our State's emergency and ambulance services and paramedics.

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Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2015

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [1.11 p.m.]: I support the suggestion by the shadow Minister and member for Cessnock that we should separate the cognate bills. I support the Workers Compensation Amendment Bill 2015 but oppose the State Insurance and Care Governance Bill 2015. Australians have a proud history of being innovative and adaptive to change and we do so under the pretext of our robust Australian culture. The New South Wales Government knows this and certainly seems to believe in a fair go and equal opportunity. Indeed, the Government constantly says that but the Minister seems to have forgotten perhaps the most important part of Australian culture—that we look after one another.

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Fairfield Electorate Transport Access Program

Thursday, 06 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [12.55 p.m.]: I support the motion moved by the member for Fairfield on the application of the easy access program to railway stations in his electorate. Many of the railway stations in the electorate of Fairfield, especially Carramar, Villawood, Canley Vale and Yennora, are used by residents who live in the seat of Prospect. That includes the elderly, young families with prams—such as my wife, with our two children—and the mobility impaired. At the stations I have mentioned as well as at Fairfield and those in the electorate of Prospect, including Toongabbie and Pendle Hill, there is no easy access.

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Toongabbie Business Chamber

Wednesday, 05 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.56 p.m.]: The Toongabbie Business Chamber has recently been reformed. I had the pleasure on Monday night to meet and talk to the members of that chamber. I was accompanied by Michelle Rowland, the Federal member for Greenway, and the Mayor of Holroyd, Greg Cummings. Toongabbie has a small commercial centre that is built around its train station. It is home to many small businesses owned by hardworking families who go to work before sunrise and come home well after the sun has set every day. Many of those small businesses are owned and run by people who are working hard to give their families a better chance in life. This is a good story. But modern Toongabbie is not all about work; it is also about community.

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Eastern Creek Fire

Wednesday, 05 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [1.27 p.m.]: Today I congratulate the volunteers and professional firefighters on the amazing work they did in my electorate last week when a major fire ripped through a disused factory on Peter Brock Drive at Eastern Creek. The fire was only metres from the M4 and spread to nearby bushland. Up to 120 firefighters from the NSW Fire Service and 80 firefighters from the Rural Fire Service battled this blaze. It was declared a HAZMAT incident and large amounts of hazardous material were on site. In particular I offer my thanks to the Rural Fire Service volunteers from brigades at Horsley Park, Regentville, Schofields, Orchard Hills, Erskine Park, Plumpton, Eastern Creek and Wallacia. I also thank volunteers from Cumberland Support, Cumberland Group 2, group officers and fire control. They all did an amazing job. I also note that many of those volunteers helped in the Blue Mountains fire outbreak the following day and next weekend.

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Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Firearms Offences) Bill 2015

Wednesday, 05 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [12.49 p.m.]: I support the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Amendment (Firearms Offences) Bill 2015. The purpose of the bill is to establish and increase standard non-parole periods for a number of firearm offences. As members know, the Standard Non-Parole Periods [SNPP] scheme was introduced by legislation in 2002 as an alternative to mandatory sentencing. The SNPP scheme represents the non-parole period for an offence in the middle range of objective seriousness. Critics argue that the scheme restricts judicial discretion and makes sentence more complex. In fact, judicial discretion is retained and it is preferable to mandatory sentencing. I agree with that.

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Health Services Amendment (Paramedics) Bill 2015

Tuesday, 04 August 2015

Dr HUGH McDERMOTT (Prospect) [5.54 p.m.]: I am proud to support the Health Services Amendment (Paramedics) Bill 2015, which acknowledges the high level of clinical training required to become a paramedic in New South Wales and gives certainty to those who use paramedical services that they are getting the best possible care. I look forward to seeing this legislation being pushed at a national level so there is national registration for paramedics. Many people who are active in the NSW Rural Fire Service, as I am, or in the State Emergency Service or in other groups have worked with paramedics at the scene of car accidents and other unfortunate events and we have seen the quality of their care.

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