Tuesday 28th June 2016 – Legislative Council

By Rebekah Andrews

9:33am- The bill for Mental Health Organisation is being read for the first time in the Legislative Council

9:35am- The bill focuses on mental health in primary and secondary schools, and on removing stigma.

9:38am- “1 in 4 Young Australians experienced a mental illness.”

9:42am- The government is proposing a class, where mental illness will not be mentioned, but will instead focus on mental health, “matched to the maturity of the year level”.

9:46am- “Stop them from turning to such fatal means of help.”

9:49am- The opposition argues that there was an “obvious lack of understanding when writing this bill.”

9:52am- “Psychologists are there to help students” who may be suffering already, argued the Government against the Opposition, who say that the compulsory sessions that the government’s bill proposes, may lead to students self-harming in order to get out of the session.

9:55am- “We should not sit by and watch our friends and family continue to suffer with mental illness.”

9:57am- Government says we should be thinking of the greater picture, instead of focusing on small issues within mental illness.

9:58am- The opposition argues that one 30 minutes session isn’t enough, and that sessions should not be made compulsory.

9:59am- “So that other people can also feel supported. It will help.”

10:01am- “Educating them at the same level as Secondary schools, is not what is required.” the opposition says about mental health education in Primary Schools.

10:03am- “We want what you want.” The opposition says to the government.

10:07am- “This will be tackled before it progresses into a diagnosable  illness.”

10:09am- “The stakes are too high. We can no longer stand with what we are doing.”

10:10am- The opposition asks whether some aspects of the bill are overkill.

10:12am- The bill includes support for teachers, in order to adapt their teaching style when children with mental health are involves.

10:14am- The Opposition argues that the government hasn’t taken small schools into account, when including two psychologists per school into the bill.

10:16am- “Everyone, I would argue, has something to discuss.”

10:17am- “The whole point of this bill is to be proactive, not  reactive.” Says the government.

10:18am- The i’s have it, and the bill will now be considered in the Committee of the Whole.

10:20am- The opposition argue amendments be made to the bill, the government says they have “misunderstood the bill entirely.”

10:22am- The committee have agreed to the same, with amendments.

10:25am- The bill is now being read for a third time.

10:26am- And the bill has passed in the Legislative Council, for Youth Mental Health Organisation.

By Maggy Liu

10:52am – The bill for Compulsory Cultural Literacy in school is being read!

11:00am – The refuters pick up that not all cultures can be taught during school as that’s an impossible task but the sponsor wants to focus on the larger issue here of being more culturally accepting in our globalising world.(R)

11:02am: “As a society we should be more culturally literate” but it is “too time consuming for school” instead there is so much  that needs to be learned during school. Instead, this should be the job for the parents. (R)

11:06am: Teachers spend years learning subjects before they can teach them, can they really learn multiple cultures with rich histories in 12 hours? Does this affect the quality of what is being taught? (R)

11:12am: At the beginning of Youth Parliament we acknowledged the elders of this land past and present yet we know nothing about these people…shouldn’t we try to change this? (S)

11:20am: “how do we change this culture? through this bill.” (S)

11:25am: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” is already being taught in school (R)

11:27am: The sponsor counters the point that the children are not the problem but the parents by suggesting that teaching children will help “break the cycle” of cultural illiteracy within families. (S)

11:31am: “Let’s be the change we want to see in Australia.” (S)

11:45am: “we must look forwards to the next generation to embrace [cultural sensitivity], and this bill gives them the chance to do so.” (S)

11:55am: The bill passed 35 – 19!

By- Kim Koelmeyer

12:01: Debate for the the Sustainable Hunting Reform Bill 2016 is about to begin, our participants are filing in

12:03: The bells ring, participants take their seats.

12:06: The Sponsor stands to deliver her speech.

12:09: The bill aims to restrict hunting to relieve the pressures on native waterbirds, that are already suffering from climate change. (S)

12:11: The sponsor hopes to inspire a cultural change around hunting through the implementation of their bill.

12:12: “It’s all an emotional argument… we need to have reason as well.” (R)

12:15: “The fact is: this is a metropolitan solution to a regional matter.” Refuters offer a strong opposition.

12:17: The chamber erupts into laughter from the refuters passionate speech.

12: 18: Restricting hunting will trickle down to children, and give shooting the reputation it deserves: it is more than a game. (S)

12:24: Is the government for hunting, or against hunting? (R)

12:28: For us to consider this bill properly, we have to consider issues beyond lead… this is over-legislation. (R)

12:31: Sponsors call for alternative community-based activities other than hunting.

12:36: Is 10% really going to make a difference? (R)

12:36: “Did you know that ducks are actually pests to farmers?” The chambers erupt at the refuter’s statement.

12:37: “What is the cost of a life?” “How careless can you be to just kill?” Sponsors deliver an emotional point.

12:39: “How many people in this chamber know a damn thing about farming?” (R)

12:41: The opposition says that CCTV will disrupt the serenity of wetland environments. “You know what disrupts serenity? Bullets.” Great rebuttal by the government.

12:45: Why ducks? Why doesn’t the bill aim to protect chickens, a similar type of bird? (R)

12:46: We don’t need hunting as a food source anymore. Our society must move on from the outdated ideas of the opposition. (S)

12:48: The chambers are filled with protest at the refuters anecdotal rebuttal.

12:53: The bill passes the committee stage with amendments.

12:55: A division is called to determine whether the bill proceeds to the third reading.

12:59: The bill is defeated with a slim majority of 25-29 at the third reading.

1:02: Gracious in defeatthe sponsor thanks the parliament for the opportunity to present the issue.

By Netania Lim and Jamal Ben Haddou

1:47pm: Back in the Legislative Council for a debate on drugs testing at music festivals.

2:02pm: The war on drugs is not working.

2:02pm: 7 deaths from ice at recent music festivals is “too much.”

2:06 -By targeting events we address a number of different drug users…If our bill was implemented a long time ago we would have a beacon of education

2:07– The opposition has hit back.



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