Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (17:46): It is with deep sadness that I join the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, the Minister for Defence, the shadow minister for defence, science and technology and personnel, the members for Herbert and Higgins, the Minister For Veterans' Affairs and the member for Greenway, whom we just heard, to honour another fallen sapper. I know that all our words are heartfelt as will be the words of those who will follow my speech about our fallen hero.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (18:24): The United Nations Security Council, the UNSC, is the powerful body of the United Nations with the power to authorise the deployment of troops from UN member countries, mandate ceasefires during conflicts and impose economic penalties on countries. The Security Council is comprised of representatives from 15 member countries. However, only five representatives are permanent. The permanent members are the countries of the United States of America, United Kingdom, China, Russia and France.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (21:04): Hurtling through the rough terrain of the Gobi Desert as a back seat passenger in a mining company's four-wheel drive vehicle, you do not get much opportunity to snap National Geographic style photographs. Such was the case early last month whilst in Mongolia as part of a five-person delegation from the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Regional Australia visiting that fascinating country.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (13:08): Every capital city, regional centre and remote one-horse town in Australia is immensely proud of its military heritage, and this is certainly so with Wagga Wagga in the Riverina. My progressive, vibrant home town is a tri-service centre and is renowned as the 'home of the soldier'. Every recruit soldier undertakes their initial training at Kapooka, south-west of the city, established in November, 1951.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (16:48): The Water Amendment (Long-term Average Sustainable Diversion Limit Adjustment) Bill 2012 amends the Water Act 2007 such that a sustainable diversion limit can be adjusted, give-or-take five per cent, without any formal notification to the community or to the parliament. Let us just think about that five per cent. It does not sound a lot but it could amount to the entire water used by the state of South Australia in any given year.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (17:14): It is a tragically sad turn of events that we again stand here to acknowledge the loss of another fine Australian soldier, a soldier who was in training to join his comrades in the fight against terrorism and the pursuit of freedom.
A tough price was paid in his training, and that was his life.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (18:12): The Riverina, as with the rest of the nation and beyond, mourned deeply on Friday, 12 October 2012, the day which marked the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Bali bombings. Tears were shed for lives cut all too short. Many prayers were said throughout the electorate and certainly throughout the nation and beyond. I attended the very moving national memorial service held here in the Great Hall to mark a decade since that dreadful day.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (20:55): October marks Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Monday, 22 October was Pink Ribbon Day. Breast Cancer Awareness Month originated in America in the 1980s and has grown to be the internationally recognised month for cancer awareness. The month and Pink Ribbon Day are a time to highlight the ongoing research into breast cancer which is helping to better understand the disease and provide improvements in its detection and treatment, patient care and health outcomes for people diagnosed with breast cancer.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (11:33): I rise to speak on this motion put forward by the member for Blair. I encourage him not to politicise this debate. It is all well and good to say that people on his side of parliament support a National Disability Insurance Scheme and support people with disabilities in employment opportunities. Certainly those wonderful measures are also supported by those on this side of the House and, dare I say, on the crossbenches too, because people with disabilities need all the support they can get.
Mr McCORMACK (Riverina) (10:12): The federal water minister says the nation has never been closer to a River Murray agreement after new modelling shows that increasing flows would dramatically improve environmental outcomes—so he says.