I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr Kat Lindley who gave me a very disturbing update about recent amendments to the WHO’s International Health Regulations. This means that in the event of another pandemic member countries would be expected to increase their surveillance of dissenters and censor their voices. Who in government signed Australia up to such dystopian measures?

Russell Broadbent here, your Federal Member for Monash.

Labor, The Greens, and Teals have got a real problem if they remain ignorant to the undeniable role that nuclear energy must play in our energy grid.

If the goal is to reduce emissions and reach net zero by 2050, surely nuclear is the obvious option.

Nuclear beats renewable energy, fair and square. Nuclear provides continuous and reliable energy. Renewables provide intermittent and unreliable energy.

The future of renewable energy is riddled with uncertainty. Investment in renewable energy projects has stalled because of their flawed business case and governments changing the rules, moving the goal posts. Yet still, the government of the day is persistent to focus on renewables only. And if the Government is so sure that the market does not approve of nuclear energy, just lift the ban and find out!

Labor’s obsession with renewables as a source for baseload power doesn’t stack up. Renewables can’t be a source for baseload power due to their intermittent output. It has already gotten to the point where state governments are paying for the continuation of coal-fired power plants because otherwise, we’d be in for blackouts!

In a country where we are wealthy in natural resources, we should surely have our energy security figured out. But the failed effort to conform with global standards of ‘sustainability’ will impose a negative supply shock on energy, on ourselves!

In the long run, we need to be thinking about sustainability in its former meaning – the ability to maintain productivity, and that is not possible if Australia is left in the dark.

That's justice as I see it.

The latest attack on the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer at the beginning of the Senate and House of Representatives each morning comes from the Greens.

Deputy Leader of the Greens, Senator Mehreen Faruqi believes in a ‘secular parliament’ with a ‘separation of church and state’, claiming that the Lord’s Prayer should no longer be read to start each sitting day.

This is one of the many times the Greens have attacked the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer in the Parliament.

The preamble of our Constitution says that us, the people, …have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God.

I feel obliged to reiterate what I asked of the late Bishop John Wilson in 2011:

This is what I said…

I want to recognise what he did when I asked him to write a preamble for a petition with regard to the Lord's Prayer, which we say every morning here in this parliament. His preamble draws the attention of the House to its practice. This is what he wrote about saying the Lord's Prayer at the beginning of each sitting of our parliamentary houses:

We therefore ask the House to take consideration of the following:

We the undersigned as citizens of Australia ask that the use of the LORD’S PRAYER BE RETAINED by Parliament as integral to good government and Australia’s national heritage.

The prayer acknowledges our shared and common humanity under a caring God, in a context of humility and respect;

It asks God to fulfil his just purposes for the earth;

It seeks from God the provision of our daily needs and requires by implication generosity on our part;

It confesses our need to be forgiven and to forgive;

It recognises the lure of corruption and our entanglement with evil, from which we need to be delivered;

Finally, it places our lives and actions in an eternal perspective.

Even for those who do not pray to God, the recitation of these words at the beginning of the Parliamentary day allows a few moments for quiet reflection on our shared humanity, our daily dependence on the good things of the earth, our need to forgive and be forgiven, the temptations of office, and the broader perspective against which our efforts must be judged.

Such a time is not wasted.

This was very important at the time because I believed that there was a threat in this parliament, and I believe there could be a threat today, to the recognition and moment of the Lord's Prayer. There are those who would like it removed from this House or both houses. That is not something we agree with and it is why many thousands of people signed this petition during the last parliament to cement this act of faith and quietness and, as John Wilson said, for those who do not pray, this time of reflection. It is something we can give back to the nation and ourselves, and I hope and pray that this parliament, the House and the Senate, will continue with the practice of using the Lord's Prayer every day that we come together to meet.

In speaking up, thousands of medical practitioners have bravely put their livelihoods on the line.

In the words of one: 'If the clinical sponsor can hide deaths and autopsy results, ignore a sudden adult death and cardiac event signal in the clinical trial, with the regulator waiving this along, what else can they hide?'

Russell Broadbent here, your Federal Member for Monash.

Labor governments of late seem to have a bone to pick with farmers. I’m not here for it, and neither are peak representatives from our Ag industry.

The National Farmers Federation have passed a ‘no confidence’ vote in the current Albanese Labor Government and they staged a walkout on the Minister for Agriculture during their post-budget breakfast.

You have to wonder - a Labor Government usually puts the working man first, well that’s what they are meant to do - isn’t that who our farmers are? Isn’t that who the people working for our farmers are? Workers?

Proposed policies by the Labor Government will have a disproportionately negative impact on farming and food production in Australia. These policies include the Biosecurity Protection Levy (which has now been shelved) – the proposed tax on larger super balances including unrealised gains - and simply the absence of funding for Regional Australia from the Federal Budget handed down in May.

Regional Australia is the food bowl of our nation, and frankly – could be the food bowl for nations abroad. In other countries, they subsidise farming operations to get them going – whereas in Australia, they are being taxed for farming. We are blessed with some of the most productive land and great weather here in Australia, but our farmers are still doing it tough under a Labor government.

Our food does not come from Woolies or Coles - it comes from farmers and the people that work with them. And it is in the nation’s best interest to support all of them.

It’s not until you’ve got dirt under your fingernails that you understand how much we owe to our farmers or how much is owed by so many to so few, as Winston Churchill said.

That’s Justice as I see it.

In our follow up discussion, retired Doctor Julie Sladden further explains why she made the principled decision to refuse covid vaccination, and her personal journey towards reaching a state of wellbeing.
 
We chat about the overlooked health of our medical professionals, and the lack of accountability for the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA).
 
My earlier chat with Dr Julie Sladden received many comments, and it has been heartwarming to read so many words of support.

After nearly 25 years in this House, it comes down for this to me: it's a matter of common sense in our legislation. It's a matter of trust given by the Australian people to our politicians. It's a duty of care to the Australian people. We take something from our doctors in our legislation when they commit to first do no harm—I say to your nation. Net zero by 2050 for me is a plan and a future target, but there's no bridge—I see the minister—that is practical from now to net zero by 2050 to get you there. I would ask anybody to come to me and show me how, without destroying Australian manufacturing, farms, businesses and opportunity, you can take this country from where we are today to net zero by 2050.

Government members interjecting—

You're destroying manufacturing in this country. Manufacturing has been declining. I'd love it if the government's plan for manufacturing were true. It is not. It is not the future. You're not doing the best. You don't have a duty of care for this country. I say that to the Treasurer as well. Give me the plan that takes you from here to net zero and all the things that go on the bridge to get there without destroying all the benefits that coal and gas grew this country on.

Here's another dose of Monash common sense from Russell Broadbent. One thing that I have always held up very high, as the member for Monash—and, formerly, the member for McMillan, and the member for Corinella before that—is that I have a duty of care not only to the people that I represent locally but also to the nation. We are parliamentary representatives—and I have the greatest respect for every member of parliament who comes into this place with a view to putting Australians and their best interests first and having a duty of care towards them.

As to that duty of care, have you ever thought for a minute why there isn't already a nuclear plant here in Australia? Well, we have one—but a major nuclear power plant? There is one very good reason. It's because we have an abundance of natural resources in coal and gas.

How dare it be written, as it was in one of the newspapers I read on the weekend, that coal is the cheapest form of electricity! Coal powerfully grew the Hunter Valley. It powerfully grew the Latrobe Valley and gave Victoria an abundance of cheap power. We have so much gas underground in Victoria, it's nearly bubbling to the top by itself. But there's a moratorium in Victoria that says: 'We lack common sense. We are going to cut both our hands off in regard to energy so we can't use these amazing natural resources that we have.' If we don't address that, and exercise our duty of care towards the Australian people, we are going to end up having—not brownouts, but we'll be running out of power in some spots. So we'll just switch off Bendigo for a while, or we'll take the biggest business we can find and tell them: 'You're going to have to curtail what you're using at the moment. We're going to have to cut your gas down for a while, so you won't be able to operate that day. Can you agree with that?'

My wife had a day this week without power and she went through all the issues. I said, 'Look, I've got this fantastic battery boiler; you can put it onto the car, a six-volt battery, and boil yourself a cup of coffee.' Well, it worked, but it took an hour and a half to boil. I mean, there are restrictions on other, alternative methods of getting something boiled.

We get electricity when we boil water and put steam through a turbine. And what's the damning part? Where do people attack us? They come along and say: 'Look this pollution in the Latrobe Valley,' and they show a picture of steam coming off the cooling towers! Yes, you can see the smoke stacks as well. But what we desperately need to do is to make sure that those coal-fired power plants in and around my electorate are still there and pumping away. We've got to put energy into them and exercise ourselves as to looking after those power plants.

Dr Sladden is a retired doctor who was forced to make a big decision early in the pandemic - to remain unvaccinated and close her practice.

She said it was the only decision she could make in good conscience for her profession, for herself and her patients.

Her oath ‘to first do no harm’ was front of mind as she put the needs of her patients and the community above all else.

Following her discussion as part of a panel on Spotlight’s After Covid special, Gigi Foster shared her insights and filled in some gaps…

I have the greatest respect for the member for Bean—and he knows that—as I have respect for every member of parliament in this place. However, the member for Bean has completely missed the point. This motion is not about the government's response to aged care. This motion is about older people, their place in Australia, respect for older people, living life to its full as an older person and older people being given the opportunity to participate actively within the confines of the nation. As the motion points out, the number of Australians over 50 is going to increase exponentially over the next 10 to 15 years. I happen to be one of that group.

I was asked on radio this morning, Deputy Speaker McKenzie—and you're not going to like what I'm about to say—'Do you think the Liberal Party are ageist?' and I had to answer, 'Yes, they are.' But I should have said—and I didn't get a chance—that it is because they reflect the rest of the Australian community. The Australian community say to people like me: 'We're old and we're retired, so why aren't you old and retired?' Because I don't feel old and I don't feel like retiring. Why? It was never about my performance. As one elder and former leader of the party said, 'He's too old and he's been there too long.' There was no question about performance. Then I was asked about President Biden's age, and I said: 'It's nothing to do with President Biden's age. It's about his competence.' It's nothing to do with his age. There are plenty of people of that age who are still working on their farms, still working as doctors and specialists in their field. It's only Catholic priests now who are told that they've got to retire at 75. It used to be 70, but they ran out of priests.

I say to you, Deputy Speaker, that this motion by the member for Mayo gives an opportunity for Australia to grow up and recognise that older Australians have a place in the future—not looking to the past the whole time but a place in the future. The member for Mayo calls for a minister for older Australians. Wouldn't that be a turn-up—that we actually recognise that this major bulk group in the community deserves some attention, rather than saying, as the member for Bean said, that it's all about aged care and how we're going to look after them? No. They are looking after themselves quite well, thank you very much—overall. I know there are people doing it hard. There always will be, and we do our best to accommodate them. But, overall, older Australians have done well. They've worked hard. They've put a nest egg together. They have good superannuation. They have opportunities for pensions if they need them. And if they've paid off their house and they're not paying rent—I had one pensioner saying: 'What are you on about? Myself and my husband are doing quite well on the pension.' But they own their house, and they probably have a conservative lifestyle. I remember the mum of one of my friends saying, 'What are these people on about?'—she had been on her own for years—'I save money on the pension.'

I suppose it just depends on your lifestyle, how you operate and how you go. But this should be an exciting time for people, when they turn 50. One of our great popstars said this morning, 'I'm turning 40, and I'm excited to launch myself into the next stage of my life.' I'm saying that people turning 70 should be launching themselves into the next stage of their life, in an exciting way, in a futuristic way, in a way that says, 'I want to be part of this great nation, this great south land, this amazing place, and I want to take leadership roles and I want to be recognised for the experience and the ability that I have and the wisdom that I have learnt over many, many years, which will keep younger people out of the trouble that they would have headed for if they had kept going down the track they were on.'

This motion is a good motion, which recognises people in Australia over 50, over 60, over 70, sometimes over 80 and over 90. In fact, my aunty, who lives in your electorate Deputy Speaker McKenzie, died within two weeks of her 102nd birthday, and at age 95 she went on a six-week fishing and camping trip with her son. Not bad. Good on you, Aunty Glad.

Russell Broadbent here, your Federal Member for Monash.

I have been concerned for a long time about the rush to renewables and the impacts it will have on our energy security.

The energy markets have already indicated that in times where solar and wind are not actively producing, the price of energy skyrockets.

The Labor Government is pushing for a larger proportion of our energy supply to be sourced from renewables. These renewables are intermittent sources of energy which have proven to be costly, and as we will soon find out to be unreliable – as suggested by peak bodies and government authorities.

The NSW Government is set to extend the life of the Eraring coal-fired power station because they expect blackouts in NSW otherwise.

The Australian Energy Market Operator has been forced to bid for emergency supplies because of rushed closing of coal-fired power stations, and the delays in the new and unreliable renewable projects. And the Minister for Climate Change & Energy believes that emergency supplies are just our ‘interim reserves’.

In order to replace coal, we would have to build more capacity than the amount of coal in the system because of the intermittent nature of the renewable energy – talk about being unproductive.

Let’s power our nation sustainably – and when I say sustainably, I refer to its original meaning: the ability to remain productive over the long term.

That's justice as I see it.

Russell Broadbent MP
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