Hello, Russell Broadbent here – Member for Monash.
We hear a lot about our nation’s need to improve productivity, and last week, the government received the final report of the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce.
In short, the Taskforce recommends a plan to address the nation’s financial and productivity woes by, and I quote, unleashing the full capacity and contribution of women to the Australian economy.
As if they’ve been slacking off all this time!
In short, there appears to be a push for women to give birth to breed more taxpayers, then shove the baby into childcare so they can return to full-time paid work …the only work that’s seems valued in our society.
My friend Barbara said she couldn’t be any more productive if she tried!
She said “I work five nights a week as an emergency nurse, visit mum who’s in aged care an hour away from home, and help my son’s family with the grand kids in the afternoon. I’m exhausted! Her eyes then welled up with tired tears…This isn’t the way life is meant to be!” she said.
The implicit assumption that we can squeeze more productivity out of women to help pay off our national debt is a short-sighted, short-term fix at best and a gross miscalculation of the value of unpaid, but essential work, the majority of which is performed by women!
What value do we put on parenting, volunteering and caring roles? Or rather what’s the cost of not putting a value on these roles?
Over the past four years, people have been pummelled like never before. You don’t have to look far to sense the deep pain and suffering of so many people …in fact there’s a palpable sense of despondency that I’ve never seen before.
As a nation we can do better – we mustdo better.
Maybe the 243 billion dollars raised from the stage 3 tax cuts could help boost Australia’s productivity instead of boosting the bank balance of people that don’t need it?
That’s justice, as I see it!
Hello, Russell Broadbent, Member for Monash
When the pandemic arrived on our shores in early 2020, we didn’t know what to expect.
But did you know that Australia had recently updated its Pandemic plan in August 2019?
So, in fact, we were well prepared. This plan was founded on 100 years of pandemic experience and tailored to the Australian context.
But what happened next, was not in that plan. Large-scale lock downs and school closures, mass vaccinations and masking, all these were not in the plan.
Our pandemic plan was effectively tossed in the bin!
Australia’s response seemed to copy other countries or was based on advice from the World Health Organisation – the WHO. However, many of the actions taken were not always in the best interests of Australia.
Do you think an international body is best placed to make decisions for Australia? I don’t.
But that’s exactly what’s being proposed as part of 307 International Health Regulation amendments which would see a future health emergency potentially controlled entirely by the WHO.
How is that best for Australia?
Yesterday I wrote to the Minister for Health expressing concern as to whether the amendments have been appropriately scrutinised by the government.
Since 2012, Australia has allocated over $212 million to the World Health Organisation. And recently Minister Penny Wong announced the Government would provide a further $100 million over the next five years!
Why are Australian taxpayers funding the World Health Organisation to take control of our emergency health response? Surely Australia is capable of doing this ourselves?
Our own national interest must guide all future health responses.
And that’s justice, as I see it.
On Wednesday 29th of November (2023) the Prime Minister issued a formal apology to the survivors of thalidomide and their families.
This apology is welcome news for those who have suffered terribly because of a man-made tragedy involving a drug made for morning sickness during pregnancy.
On the 29th of November 1961 thalidomide was removed from sale in Australia after being linked to in utero death and significant birth defects including children being born without limbs.
That’s over 60 years ago! This apology is long overdue.
In 2019 a Senate report found that if the federal government had acted more quickly when the alarm was first raised, up to 20 per cent of survivors may not have been affected at all.
The apology to the thalidomide survivors acknowledges the devastating effects of this drug and how the drug safety system had failed both parents and children.
For too long parliaments, governments and drug safety regulators let these people down while they suffered the consequences of this tragedy.
My heart goes out to those families and individuals affected by this failure, and I offer my heartfelt condolences for the suffering it caused.
This was a dark period in Australia’s history, and we must learn from it.
It is the government’s responsibility to ensure that every, single, drug, approved for use on the Australian people is as safe and effective as it is claimed to be.
And that’s justice, as I see it.
This report is for the future, not the past. It is worthy of notice by the Australian people and worthy of consideration by the Australian government. This report is about common sense, not common perceptions. People have very many barriers to overcome to access employment. The report is bipartisan, principled, professional, practical and passionate. Ideology played no part It is complete inasmuch as every recommendation is backed up by the evidence clearly articulated in the report. The voiceless and the troubled are our responsibility. We have heard you, and we have listened. Those workers at the coalface of the unemployed in this nation have our greatest respect and grateful thanks in that they are changing the lives of so many across this great south land. You are angels of the highest order, and I thank you for what you do. Each one of you knows who I'm talking to.
I particularly draw attention to two members of the committee: the member for Bruce, for his passion, his wisdom and his experience as a former public servant in navigating what was a most difficult place to navigate—and I thank him sincerely for the work that he did and the professional way he carried out his obligations—and the member for Mayo, who brought her lived experience working in this sector to the tables of the committee. The member for Bruce carried the load, and the member for Mayo brought her lived experience working in the social security sector.
I'm most appreciative of the secretariat for their professionalism and the way they went about supporting the chair of the committee, as well as those who were seconded from the department and all of the people who had any input into this excellent report. There is a dissenting report, which you can read; it speaks for itself. I'll leave that with the parliament.
Hello, Russell Broadbent here. Member for Monash
In response to my recent broadcasts highlighting the plight of suspended doctors, I received a very distressing call from a doctor who told me about some chilling trends emerging within Australia’s health care profession – stories of suppression, coercion, and an alarming violation of human rights.
For this particular doctor, their crime was daring to question the established norms and expressing their personal concerns and critiques of various healthcare practices on social media.
So, what did this doctor say that was so offensive? They said that ‘Vitamin D would enhance a person’s immune system.’ That’s right, they encouraged healthy eating and vitamin supplements.
The doctor's posts were well-referenced and connected to their sincere apprehension about the potential side effects of medical treatments, the impact of medicine on patients, and the general well-being of the community.
These social media posts triggered a relentless investigation by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency, AHPRA. While the doctor believed they were advocating for the community's welfare, AHPRA saw their posts as potentially harmful to public safety.
Not only that, their posts were then painted as conspiracy theories!
The doctor was dragged through the legal system where they faced cross-examination by a vociferous barrister who relentlessly accused them of opposing governmental perspectives and pharmaceutical mandates.
The doctor has been unable to work for more than two years, and the toll on their well-being and financial stability has been significant.
It seems the very essence of the doctor-patient relationship is under threat.
In a society that supposedly values free expression, individuality, and critical thinking, the suppression of doctors' voices is a very grave concern. It raises questions about the autonomy of medical professionals and the right to dissent in the name of public safety.
That’s Just As I See It!
I thank Dr Freelander for bringing this motion before the parliament and the Australian people. It's good to hear the expertise of the member for Higgins in the speech she just delivered to the House. The government must act to protect patient confidentiality and prevent genetic discrimination. Australia has a distinguished history of innovation in medicine—for example, the electronic pacemaker in 1926, ultrasound in 1961 and the multichannel cochlear implant in the 1970s, which my father's hearing benefited from. This innovative spirit is backed by our nation's global reputation for producing groundbreaking research. This reputation has been hard won over long decades through dedicated scientific inquiry, rigorous research and, above all, adherence to ethical principles.
In recent years we've seen increasing research in and accessibility to testing in the field of genetics. This field has the potential to help us take significant steps towards understanding the nature of genetically linked diseases—diseases like cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer's. In addition, this field has the potential to help us develop personalised prevention and treatment strategies, which would be a game changer for thousands of people across the world. Imagine for a moment, though, a patient who has had genetic testing done, whether it be for research or for personal preventative health measures, then being penalised by insurers for taking this step, through high premiums, lower insurance levels or not being able to access insurance at all. That becomes a deterrent to being tested.
Progress in the field of genetic medicine should not come at the cost of breaching the fundamental principles of privacy and confidentiality for individual patients. We must ask ourselves: are we truly committed to improving the health of this nation? If so, are we truly committed to protecting the rights of our citizens to privacy, confidentiality and the protection of their medical information? These are fundamental human rights. Australia's international human rights obligations demand that we do not discriminate on the basis of genetics. Article 6 of the UN's Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights requires a prohibition on discrimination based on genetic characteristics. Article 25 of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities specifically refers to discrimination in the offer of life insurance. Meanwhile, Australia's Disability Discrimination Act 1992 prohibits discrimination based on genetic status. However, there is an exemption for insurers if an underwriting decision is based on reasonable data. How is that fair? How does that protect the confidentiality and freedom from discrimination of everyday Australians?
Australia is lagging behind our Commonwealth partners in numerous countries around the globe. Both Canada and the UK protect the genetic information of individuals more than we do and have taken significant steps to prohibit the use of genetic test results in life, income-protection, and critical-illness insurance. A review by the Geneva Association showed that 13 of the 20 listed countries protected the disclosure of genetic results to insurers in any circumstance. Australia is not part of that group. Who would have thought, in 2023, that Australia would lag behind the world on the protection of confidential patient information and the prevention of genetic discrimination? This nation needs to, first and foremost, protect the privacy of Australians, eliminate genetic discrimination and give people confidence to be tested so that they can participate in research and remove the barrier to Australia providing targeted health measures in future planning. The first action must be to remove the exemption of insurers in the Disability Discrimination Act 1992. Regardless, our Commonwealth, state and territory governments must work towards protecting the confidential genetic information and prohibiting genetic discrimination of the Australian people. I cannot make the case more clearly than I have today on behalf of the people of Australia. Big business may not like this, but I am still here about this nation's people.
Russell Broadbent here, Member for Monash.
Many of you will know that October is Vaccine Injury Awareness Month.
I want to share Michael’s harrowing story which started two years ago.
Prior to his AstraZeneca jab, Michael was a fit and healthy 33-year-old self-employed electrician.
But within days of being jabbed he was barely able to walk, had constant stabbing chest pains like a heart attack, and felt light-headed, numb and dizzy. He was diagnosed with myopericarditis.
Right from the start, Michael had been hesitant to submit to the jab. He was well-aware of the reports of adverse reactions including blood clots, heart, neurological, autoimmune complications and death.
Even medical practitioners privately cautioned him not get jabbed.
But in the face of harsh mandates and his request for an exemption denied by his doctor, Michael told me he literally had to ‘pick his poison’ or lose everything he’d worked for over the past ten years.
Let me be clear - coercion is not consent. So many people were forced to make similar decisions – but for Michael, his resulted in horrendous life-changing injuries.
Michael is still unable to work in his trade because of severe and constant chest pain.
With no support as promised by the government, Michael has been forced to sell his car to pay for his mortgage and ongoing medical expenses, and now spends most of his time writing emails to people like me searching for help.
But for Michael, it’s his interactions with the vaccine injury compensation scheme that’s been the last straw with onerous documentation demands, lengthy processing times and ludicrously narrow eligibility criteria.
All avenues that should be there to help the injured have failed him. He said these agencies are gaslighting him about his injury rather than addressing the failed systems.
Michael feels betrayed and abandoned by our government.
My heart goes out to everyone who has been injured or adversely affected by these Covid vaccines. You deserve justice and I’m sorry you’ve been let down in the most heinous and hurtful of ways.
That’s is just as I see it.
As the world erupts in death, despair and carnage, we still have regard for what is going on here in Australia. There are also people distressed here, not only about the world events.
Forty-eight per cent of Australians are suffering mortgage stress. Sixty-one per cent of Australians are under rental stress. Immigration into this country, at the level we're having at the moment, is having an enormous effect on the availability of housing for those people.
Remember: a third, a third, a third—a third of the people own a home; a third of the people are buying a home; and a third of the people are renting from those that can get a home. I'd say to you that, in these times, when people are using their disposable income to carry on at this time, that has to end.
We, as a nation, have to have regard for those people that have gone off interest loans to variable loans—and they will go from two per cent to perhaps seven or eight per cent, which is an enormous drag on their funding, up to sometimes $1,500 a month and more for those who have borrowed more.
We need to pay very careful attention to what is happening in our nation. We may have a per capita recession at the moment. Let's pray we don't go into a full blown recession.
In speaking on this grave motion, I'd like firstly to identify with every word the member for Gellibrand said. I thank him for the way he represented his community and the people of Australia in the address he's just given to the parliament.
There are no words to describe the horror that Australian people felt on hearing the news of the Hamas attack on the people of Israel. A terrorist organisation was sent to kill as many people as possible, with absolutely no care for age, for frailty or for youth. It's an attack that seems, in Australia, incomprehensible to us as a nation. I saw how it affected my own family and community—how distressed they were. I know they would have all gone and projected themselves into the situation in that kibbutz where people went to bed the night before and woke up to gunshots at their front doors and in their homes. We saw the killing of innocent people, young people in their absolute prime at a youth get-together for people who wanted to dance and sing. Each one of us thinks of our own grandchildren, friends and family. That could have been us. Who knows where the next attack will come from?
But there are two perpetrators of the pain and death that's happening in the Middle East at this time. Hamas have not only attacked Israel in such a heinous way but, worse than that, have purposefully attacked the Palestinian people. They use children in kindergartens as their shelter. They use sick people in hospitals as their shelter, knowing that the leadership of Hamas will not be attacked if they use that cover. Hezbollah are the same.
I have been to Israel on two occasions at behest of the government of the day, so it was incomprehensible to me that there could be a break in the defences as there were. That's because I know the ability of the Israelis to protect their borders. I've been to their borders and I've stood there and seen firsthand when they point out where Hezbollah and Hamas are. Using the Palestinian people in this way, virtually as human sacrifices for their bent and twisted cause, confronts us in this country, where we're so used to freedom of movement and freedom of activity—freedom of everything. It's not possible that anything like that could happen; but it has, and I think the response of this federal government has been totally appropriate.
As the member for Gellibrand said, people are dancing on the graves of those poor people who have fallen. Our sympathy goes out to them and to those who have been kidnapped or injured. Can we possibly put ourselves in the place of how they feel, where an Israeli father says to the world, 'I'd rather my daughter be dead than kidnapped?' He said, 'Yes, she's dead', and he went on to explain how horrific Hamas can be with hostages. They're holding those hostages, and we've seen a Hamas fighter standing there with toddlers in his arms. That brought tears to the eyes of many around me.
I stand with Israel, as this nation does. I stand, especially, knowing that there are Palestinians even in this country who wish for the end of the state of Israel. That is not going to happen. They have every right to respond to protect their border and to protect their people, and that's what they will do with all the force needed. But the tragedy of that is that Hamas will use thousands and thousands and thousands of Palestinians who will be sacrificed for their aims, without any care whatsoever of their health, wellbeing or safety.
This is happening right now as we speak. As we speak, the Israelis are prepared to go into the Gaza Strip, probably one of the most heavily populated areas in the world, with few opportunities for those people to escape from the Israeli incursion. None of us can understand what we would be doing, what decisions we would be making now if we were in the shoes of those in Israel and in Palestine. How would our heartache and consideration be if it was one of us? How would you think and feel if it was your wife, your father? A friend said over dinner on Friday, 'Two of my cousins have been called up by the Israeli army, and they have easily gone.' The way he said it was, 'My family is about to sacrifice these two young men to the cause.'
The Israelis have put together more than 300,000 men and women, reservists called in. As we stand, Australia will do its best, and, I believe, the government will do its best to support wherever we need to support, whatever we can do. There will be humanitarian aid from this country for the peoples of Israel and the peoples of Palestine. But let me say: we will fight with every breath and every energy we have against antisemitism and Islamophobia, because this nation is better than those demonstrations we saw last week in Sydney. We're better than that, and Australians will always stand up for the right—the right for people to speak out, yes, and the right to be heard in that freedom.
I recently heard about a new organisation set up to help protect the health of children. The Children’s Health Defense Australia has been set up to address the staggering rise in chronic disease in our children. They report that nearly half of all children have some kind of allergic-type disease, and autoimmune diseases are on the rise. But even more alarming are the levels of mental health disorders in our young with up to 40% suffering depression, anxiety, or panic disorders.
And with around 1 in 5 children having a learning disorder – we have to ask ourselves: what is happening to our children?
This pattern of ill health in our children has been developing over the decades. However, the recent Covid pandemic struck a significant blow to the health and wellbeing of our children through lockdowns, masking and separation from family members. Never before have our young paid such a price due to government enforced policies. And the evidence is coming out. A recent major study from the UK reported that lockdowns harmed the emotional development of almost half of their children. This information does not bode well for Australia.
With any inquiry, or future pandemic plans the costs to our young, Australia’s next generation, should be paramount.
And that’s justice, as I see it.
Hello. Russell Broadbent here, Federal Member for Monash.
Recently a local newspaper reported the staging of a ‘silent protest’ in one of our community parks. It included around 300 bamboo stakes in the ground, each holding a laminated page with the story of an Australian who had suffered an adverse event after a covid vaccination. This ‘silent protest’ has been seen in other parts of the country and is known as ‘the forest of the fallen.’
Now, I don’t know whose stories were told that day, but over the past 2 years I have heard the stories of hundreds of people who have suffered terrible, life changing health events after they took the Covid injection. Many of these people have had medical professionals confirm their condition was caused by the jab.
You only need to take a look at the TGA’s database to see the horrific number of adverse events and deaths that have been reported since these jabs were rolled out. Just to put it in context, there are more reports for these injections than for all other vaccinations for the past 50 years combined.
In locked down Western Australia most people received the jab before covid arrived. So, you would expect that any health consequences could be clearly seen. And they were! The Vaccine Surveillance Safety Report from 2021 revealed the adverse events following immunisation were reported at almost 24x the rate (per 100,000 doses) for all other vaccines combined. The report refers to this as and I quote an “exponential increase.”
I have to ask, why are the Australian government and the TGA not looking into this? Why is this not being reported in the media? Meanwhile our healthcare system groans under the strain, and injured Australians continue to suffer.
According to Coverse, a Patient-led group that supports injured Australians, less than half of those affected have been able to get support from their employers or the government.
I ask, is this how we look after our people? I thought Australia was better than this.
We need to step into the silence on this issue and raise our voices to make sure injured Australians are heard and able to access the help they need.
And that’s justice, as I see it.
Hello. Russell Broadbent here, your member for Monash.
I want to talk about the Aussie dream…work hard, save up and buy your own home.
We’ve heard it all before – the big backyard, white picket fence, and of course plenty of space for the kids to play cricket in the summer.
But the big Aussie dream is in danger.
Robert Gottliebsen’s recent article in The Australian paints a dire picture for our nation’s housing future.
Our current financial environment, as Robert puts it, is making it ‘impossible for ordinary Australians with good jobs to buy dwellings.’
He says that the current policies put in place by APRA are causing severe issues for those looking to purchase their own home.
In response to unlimited bank credits dished out in recent years, APRA has now forced banks to calculate over the interest rate being charged when assessing home loan eligibility.
These regulations, which were implemented at a time when interest rates were low, are now creating a bigger problem than the one they tried to fix.
The average income earner can’t even pass the ‘risk test’ to access finance.
So, the next logical option for them is to rent.
But guess what? There are no houses available!
The Government must focus on increasing housing supply to address this crisis. Otherwise, more and more families will be left homeless.
The great Aussie dream was once a reality for many. But now it’s just that…a dream.
And if we don’t wake up soon, it will become a nightmare for our nation.
That’s justice as I see it.