So the time is right to make a transition. The community overwhelmingly wants that. A majority of people in the Senate wanted that. A majority of people in the House of Representatives actually want that. We know that that's the case. Yet, when the bill came down to the House of Representatives, the government wouldn't allow it to be debated or voted upon. That is the kind of thing that causes young Australians and old Australians alike to throw their hands up in the air, scratch their heads and say, 'What is going on?'
Mr Wilson (10:11am) — I'm sorry to be here again speaking about the week-in, week-out frustrations and despair that people in my electorate of Fremantle experience when dealing with the mess that is Centrelink. Sadly, that's a by-product of a government that doesn't value our social safety net and doesn't value the people who work to ensure that the safety net supports those in trouble, those who need assistance and people who face disadvantage.
It's estimated that modern slavery could be the circumstances that face somewhere between 5,000 and 10,000 people in Australia. Worldwide, it affects more than 40 million—some estimate close to 50 million. It is sobering to think that more people are trapped in slavery today than there have been at any other time in human history.
Mr Wilson (7:50pm) — I represent an electorate and community with a live and vibrant tradition of welcoming visitors from near and far. Fremantle, or Walyalup, has been a meeting place for thousands of years. More recently, as a port town, over the last couple of hundred years, it has been a place of arrival for migrants and travellers alike. It is a phenomenally beautiful place on the Swan Coastal Plain, on the Indian Ocean coast, on the banks of the Derbarl Yerrigan.
We need change so that WA gets a fairer deal. It is intolerable, despite the importance of having horizontal fiscal equalisation, when a state like Western Australia falls down to a share of 30c in the dollar. It's particularly intolerable when that happens countercyclically, and that's what did happen in Western Australia. We found ourselves receiving some 30c in the dollar precisely at the time that we were going into recession.