Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (9.30 am)—At present, the main word being bandied about the Riverina, the electorate I represent, and more specifically the irrigation areas of that region, is ‘uncertainty’. There are a number of reasons for this. First and foremost is the dread unfairly foisted upon family farmers and regional communities due to the controversial guide to the Murray-Darling Basin Plan.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (8.32 pm)—‘He was just a lovely boy and very well known and liked around here. He was the kind of boy you’d wish your daughter brought home with her.’ They are words spoken about a departed friend from someone—a Kangaroo Island local—who was lucky enough to know him better than most; words spoken about an everyday, fun-loving Aussie bloke; words spoken about our latest, our 23rd, digger killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (10.23 pm)—I rise to speak on the Tax Laws Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011 and the Income Tax Rates Amendment (Temporary Flood Reconstruction Levy) Bill 2011. The best levy for any disaster relief is to have a surplus. The Rudd-Gillard Labor government had a $20 billion surplus when it came into government in 2007; it also had two infrastructure funds.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (11.44 am)—Everyone wants a healthy river system. We all want the health of the Murray-Darling Basin to be the best it can be. No-one wants this more than the regional communities who are totally reliant on the rivers in this wonderful area of Australia.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (4.07 pm)—This is about fairness, equity and assisting regional students to have the same opportunities as those who live in capital cities. If, as this government often claim, their focus is on regional Australia, here is the chance for the government to put action where their words are—real action, real policy and real hope for country students.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (6.35 pm)—For decades, Saturday nights have found many of us called to the television. The familiar sounds of sirens, flashing blue lights, theme music and the iconic pictures of two police officers walking towards the screen could only mean one thing: The Bill was starting. The Bill, an English police drama which ran for 27 years, was once Australia’s most watched television drama.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (12.20 pm)—When our service men and women leave this country to serve overseas, we know in our hearts and minds that it comes with an element of risk. In the past few weeks, Australians have seen the turmoil that serving our country can bring but also the celebration bestowed on a soldier for his courage and bravery illuminated in a time of battle.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (1.48 pm)—Regional Express Airlines, Australia’s largest independent regional airline, is based in Wagga Wagga in my electorate of Riverina. Following the September 2001 collapse of Ansett, regional aviation was provided assistance through the Enroute Charges Rebate Scheme that provides a rebate of en route navigation charges.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (9.30 pm)-On 8 February, the first sitting of parliament for 2011, the Prime Minister made a commitment to honour Australians who by their actions had helped save lives and volunteered during the recent national flood crises. I have been so touched- the Prime Minister said- by the stories of bravery, of courage and of mateship that I felt an obligation to honour these wonderful Australian traits.