The China free trade agreement will bring significant benefits for Australia and Labor wants it finalised.  But it's not yet the best agreement it can be because for some strange reason, the Government has not insisted that foreign workers are only used when it is clear Australians are not available for the job.

We've always ensured this by insisting companies, foreign and local, test the local labour market by advertising (and using other modern recruitment methods) the jobs in question.

It is entirely possible for the Parliament to put mandatory labour market testing in place without offending the China agreement.  I just don't understand the Government's reluctance because I don't believe the Chinese will have a problem with it.  They understand that it's natural that every country wants to give local workers priority.
It's now time to quickly fix the problem and to bed-down the China FTA. 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), created and funded by Labor, is the greatest social investment of our generation.

Labor understood that the old system of disability support was broken and needed to be fixed.
When the NDIS is fully rolled out in 2019-20, more than 460,000 Australians with severe or profound disability will be receiving the care and support they need to lead the kind of lives they can only now dream of.

For people with disability, their carers and families the NDIS will be truly transformational.
Already, more than 17,000 Australians with disability are getting the support they need through the NDIS at launch sites across the country.

Sadly, the current government is dragging its feet in signing the agreements with the states and territories that will see the full rollout of the NDIS around Australia.

People with disability, their carers and families have waited long enough for the NDIS. They deserve the certainty of knowing where the NDIS will be rolled out next.

Labor continues to urge the Federal Government to sign these bilateral agreements with state and territory governments. People with disability have waited long enough.

Young Australian researchers, innovators and scientists involved in the agriculture sector are invited to apply for a share of $240,000 in grants as part of the 2016 Science & Innovation Awards for Young People.

The Science & Innovation Awards for Young People in Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is a competitive grants program targeted at young Australians aged 18 to 35 to undertake innovative research projects that will benefit Australia’s agricultural industries.

A grant of up to $22,000 is available for each successful award recipient’s research project.
Applications are now open and close of 9 October 2015. For further information visit http://www.agriculture.gov.au/abares/conferences-events/scienceawards

Last week a group of students from Kurri Kurri Public School visited Parliament House. School visits to Parliament House are an important tool in educating our students on the benefits of living in a democracy and the working of our parliamentary system.

I always do my best to catch up with visiting school groups but unfortunately Kurri Kurri Public School visited Parliament House during a non-sitting week and I was in Roma for shadow portfolio responsibilities.  I trust our young students enjoyed the visit.

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