Thursday, 17 February 2022
Electorate of Solomon, Young Australians, COVID-19, Indo-Pacific Region
In this adjournment debate I want to touch on a couple of local issues and some regional, national and international issues—so I'll be moving quickly! I am so proud to live in the place that I do and to represent the people of Darwin and Palmerston.
A divi sion having been called in the House of Representatives—
Sitting suspended from 12:35 to 12:52
I was talking about how awesome my electorate of Solomon is—greater Darwin, Darwin and Palmerston. My key focus is to make sure that Territorians have good, secure jobs and also have great infrastructure in terms of roads—and I'll have more to say about roads in the lead-up to the election. I also want to make sure they have good health services, including First Nations health services, and good social infrastructure and sports infrastructure. Unfortunately, although some commitments for sports infrastructure were made to our electorate by the federal coalition government, not a dollar has come to Football Northern Territory for new change rooms for women, for example. I want the government to honour the commitments that have been made. When it comes to cultural infrastructure, I'm a big supporter of the Larrakia Cultural Centre down at the waterfront, which is going to be amazing.
Touching on a couple of national issues, I want to congratulate the member for Hunter, Joel Fitzgibbon, for his fine service to our party and to this parliament. He gave an excellent and honest valedictory speech this morning in the House of Representatives. As he does, I too believe that we need to use to the full the capacity of our young people in this nation. There is nothing as dispiriting for young people as to be born into intergenerational unemployment. We need to give them all the support that we can. People struggle for all sorts of reasons. It's not always their fault that they can't get into employment. We need to give young kids all the help that we can.
I am a big fan of the idea of a national youth scheme, which could be a national community service scheme where we get young people to do residential training so they can learn how to do first aid or fight a fire—generally get some good life skills—and then they're placed in the community. They might find work in a seniors home, they might find work in surf lifesaving, they might go off and join the military or they might be backing up our local fireys or paramedics.
I'm excited that Disaster Relief Australia will be launching in my electorate in the next few weeks. I see them being a great organisation for training young Australians and giving them some good life skills to send them on their way.
I want to thank Territorians for their ongoing work during the pandemic. It has been a difficult time. I also welcome the arrival of the Novavax vaccine, and I hope that it will provide an option for those who have not been willing to get vaccinated to this point.
We will need to reconcile as a community and as a nation. We'll need to bring the country together. That's what I see will be federal Labor's role after the next federal election—to reintegrate people and reconnect people—and I look forward to being part of that. It's going to be very exciting.
I'm passionate about our relationship with the Indo-Pacific region, and I want to thank the Labor leader for giving me the job of leading the Indo-Pacific trade task force during this term. I'm very focused on this work, from the subcontinent through ASEAN and into the Pacific. In particular, tomorrow morning, I'll be speaking at Charles Darwin University in Darwin, opening an 'understanding Indonesia' conference. I'm passionate about seeing a peace park established in Bali to remember the 88 Australians and others who were killed in the Bali bombing, the twentieth anniversary of which is coming up.
The bombing of Darwin 80 years ago—it's great that the Labor leader will be coming to Darwin. I look forward to connecting with Territorians out and about this weekend for that important commemoration. (Time expired)