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

Senate Election

Western Australian Senate Election - media conference 16 April 2014 Well good morning and thank you for joining me here this morning. While the count is continuing it is increasingly clear that the ALP will not hold its second Senate seat here in Western Australia. Clearly this is a difficult realisation for me and for the Labor Party. However, the prospective loss of Labor’s second seat at this election is most difficult for all those Australians who needed the insurance of a stronger Senate in order to hold back the Abbott Governments agenda. All of those who will be affected by Abbott’s cuts to education, to health, to pensions – and his attacks on working condition and penalty rates. And for all of us who will be affected by the Abbott government’s lack of meaningful action on climate change – damaging both the environment and our economy. Contrary to the statements of Senator elect Joe Bullock, it is ONLY Labor that can be trusted to look after working people and their families. Sadly for Labor to be reduced to just one senator out of six at the last senate election is a devastating blow to our capacity to do so. It is also a great personal blow it is a blow to progressive voters that I would be replaced in the Senate by someone who I have known over many decades to be deeply homophobic, to be anti-choice and  has recently emerged, to be disloyal to the very party he has been elected to represent. Continue reading

WA Senate Campaign Launch

I’d like to start by acknowledging that we meet on Nyoongah land, and pay my respects to elders past and present. Ladies and gentlemen, Friends of the Labor movement, It’s my  great honour to welcome all of you here today. Continue reading

Is Tony Abbott about to give WA old growth forests the chop?

Tony Abbott has deployed his old growth forest logging advocate to Perth today, Federal Labor has learned.  After saying this week that Australia has “too much locked up forest” in our national parks, Mr Abbott has deployed his Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture Senator Richard Colbeck to Perth. Senator Colbeck is a key advocate for removing World Heritage protection for some parts of Tasmanian forests. Continue reading

Western Australian Senate Election

The determination by the High Court on 20 February provides a fresh opportunity for the voters of WA to elect six senators to represent them in the Federal Parliament. A fresh opportunity to make sure every vote is counted. It’s also an opportunity for the people of Western Australia to vote for representation that will hold the Abbott Government to account. “We need a Senate that can hold Tony Abbott and Colin Barnett to account for their broken promises on WA schools, the NBN and much needed public transport infrastructure to ease congestion” said Senator Louise Pratt. Continue reading