Remembering 9/11


September 14, 2021

Tania MAXWELL (Northern Victoria): I rise to reflect on that horrific day in America 20 years ago known as 9/11.

A day that still ignites incredible sadness as each anniversary passes. To all who have been impacted by that tragedy, my heart goes out to you.

I think most Australians will remember exactly what they were doing at the time those planes hit the Twin Towers (in New York) and the other planes crashed into the Pentagon (in Virginia) and on the ground (near Shanksville, Pennsylvania).

This horrendous attack was committed by terrorists wanting to control and feel superior, wanting to show the world what they were capable of, by taking innocent lives.

Terrorists in our country have also wanted the same for us, and I take a stand here today to implore our government to hold those responsible for crimes of terrorism. Those incarcerated should remain in prison, to prevent a 9/11 happening in our country.

IMAGE: Flight 93 memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania. [NPR/Tim Lambert]

Outbreak response shows Shepparton’s resolve

Ms MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (09:15):

It was just over a year ago when I spoke in this house about the incredible community response to a COVID-19 outbreak in Shepparton.

This community faced another significant challenge in recent weeks with an outbreak that put approximately one third of the town into isolation. The disruption to essential goods and services was severe, and the health service, supermarkets and other suppliers battled with staffing shortages.

I pay tribute to the team at Goulburn Valley Health, led by chief executive officer Matt Sharp. I know in previous discussions with Mr Sharp and other leaders that our regional health services have worked closely together in planning and giving operational support to each other. I thank and acknowledge Greater Shepparton City Council and the myriad local groups and businesses that pulled together to help the community response: the local Red Cross, GV Cares—Greater Shepparton Lighthouse Project, Shepparton Food Share, Rumbalara, Food Link and Shepparton Family and Financial Services.

Finally, to other members of the community, from local businesses, friends, neighbours and strangers who pitched in where they could to check in and help, I say thank you. This was another gold standard response from one of our regional communities, and I could not be prouder.

Passport cancellation disrupts paedophile traffic

Member statement

August 5, 2021

Ms MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (10:44): I am proud of Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party protecting the lives of innocent children as the passports of registered paedophiles are cancelled by the federal government.

In 2017 Derryn Hinch successfully negotiated with the federal government a plan to ban passports for registered child sex offenders and refuse applications. It was a world first, and since this time almost 1000 child sex offenders have been denied passports. The sexual abuse and exploitation of children happens around the world for the filthy and perverted gratification of a large audience.

The substantial extent that Australian citizens are involved in child sex tourism is disgusting. These offenders live among us, and while the pandemic has interrupted international travel throughout COVID, the dirty trade of child sex abuse has exploded further online. It is a war on multiple fronts with thousands upon thousands of young victims.

It is disturbing that nearly 350 warnings were sent to overseas police forces about Australian paedophiles who were travelling overseas during 2019. This important work to protect children must continue, and I am proud our party was involved in such a significant step to circumvent the travel of paedophiles to particularly vulnerable countries.

Vale, Barraport’s John Piccoli – sculptor

Member statement

Barraport’s John Piccoli was a farmer and sculptor whose work in Boort has been enjoyed by many people.

Ms MAXWELL (Northern Victoria) (10:26):

I rise to pay tribute to the life of John Piccoli of Barraport, fondly known as the ‘Spanner Man’.

I had the great pleasure to meet John and his wife, Sonia, during a visit to Barraport on April 6. I was very grateful for the time they spent with me, along with the Loddon Shire mayor Neil Beattie, to give me a personal tour of John’s work on display through the grounds of their property.

John Piccoli contracted polio at the age of eight, spending three years in hospital, and he was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Despite the physical constraints, he successfully farmed his family’s third-generation property until retiring and embarking on his famous artistic journey.

John showed me his workshop and his abundant collection of spanners, from which he formed the most incredible sculptures. I was amazed by John’s capacity and creativity in crafting his work without drawn plans and using blocks and pulleys to manoeuvre himself. Spanner sculptures have become a significant tourism drawcard for Boort, to the enjoyment of many thousands of people.

John struck me as a humble man who was proud of his family and his work. I offer Sonia and his family and friends my condolences.

Members Statement- Benalla Volunteers

Northeast Victoria is still recovering from the 2019-2020 bushfires which devastated many farming properties and is still having an impact on these farming community’s livelihoods.

Members Statement- Telehealth rural mental health

Recently published research, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, has detailed major barriers that Australian children and their parents face when seeking help for common mental health conditions.

Members Statement – Etsy

I add my voice today to the nearly 37,000 petitioners calling for retailer ‘Etsy’ to stop facilitating the sale of child-abuse themed merchandise through its online platform.

Members Statement- Mansfield Autism Statewide Services

Mansfield Austism Statewide Services (MASS) provide assistance for 300 families from across Victoria. Since 1968 this service has provide a ‘wrap around’ model of care to support children with autism and their families by building skills of independence through a strengths based approach.

Members Statement- Northern Victoria Award Winners

There are great people achieving great things in my electorate of Northern Victoria and today I want to acknowledge some of them.

Speech- Statement on Petition

Thank you, I rise to speak on the petition I tabled yesterday following the stalking-related murder, three weeks ago, of 23 year old Celeste Manno at her Mernda home.  Celeste’s death is another devastating case, among far too many recently in Victoria, of a woman taken absolutely senselessly from our society.