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Senator PRATT (Western Australia) (17:02): I commence by acknowledging the traditional owners, the Ngunnawal and Ngambri people, and paying my respects to elders past and present. It has been, for me, a great privilege and a considerable pleasure to serve the state of Western Australia in this place since 2008. There is no greater honour, in my view—no greater responsibility in our democracy—than for us to be entrusted by our fellow citizens with the duty to represent them, the opportunity to contribute to the legislation that protects their needs, serves their interests and shapes our great nation. I thank my fellow Western Australians for their trust and the opportunity given to me to serve them in both the state Legislative Council and the Senate. Today I pay tribute to the great many community, social justice, disability, local government, LGBTI, women's, environment and Indigenous organisations and advocates I have had the great pleasure of working with and supporting over the last six years. It has also been a great honour to work with Indigenous custodians who have welcomed me to their country around my state and around the nation. I have seen too much poverty, too much hardship in WA's Indigenous communities but also extraordinary resilience and leadership and great vision. I particularly want to thank all those Indigenous leaders and elders who have taught me so much about the Indigenous cultural economies that they have been working so hard to build and develop. In particular, I wish the ranger programs around our country well. I want to thank the Australian Labor Party for the honour of representing our party and advancing our values. All of us in this place know that we owe our capacity to make a contribution to a great many other people. So, first and foremost, I want to thank the members of the WA Labor Party and our affiliated unions for our shared values, our commitment and the many tireless hours spent together over many election campaigns. I thank EMILY's List, I thank Young Labor Women's Network, and I thank Rainbow Labor for their support. I thank the ALP branches around my state of WA and their members. I know how hard all the members of the party work to contribute and uphold our mutual values. Continue reading

Time to Fight Liberal Attacks on West Australians

This is an important time for Labor. A time for us to keep campaigning and reminding West Australians of what we have always known and always told them – that is it is only Labor that can be trusted with the household budget, with our workplaces, our health system, our hospitals, our schools, universities, jobs and opportunities. The West Australian public are now confronted with the truth of what we have told them. That we were right. The Coalition was lying all along. They outright lied and made false promises in not one but two election campaigns here in WA in the last six months.  Before these elections Tony Abbott promised no cuts to education, no cuts to health, and no changes to pensions, no cuts to the ABC or SBS and no new taxes. Tony Abbott broke every single one of these promises in this month’s Budget. Continue reading