Stephen Jones - 2ST

Federal Election update for Whitlam

stephen jones may 22 2022

Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones has retained the seat the seat of Whitlam.

Mr. Jones leads Liberal Candidate Mike Cains two party preferred by 58.54 per cent to 41.46 per cent.

However there was a small swing of 2.7 per cent to Mr. Cains.

Below is a break up of the first preference count:

whitlam may 22 2022

Images: Stephen Jones via Facebook & Australian Electoral Commission

Official declaration for seat of Whitlam

stephen jones june 17 2022

The Australian Electoral Commission has officially declared Stephen Jones the winner of the seat of Whitlam today.

Mr. Jones received just over 60 per cent of the two candidate preferred vote ahead of Liberal Candidate Mike Cains.

He said he's looking forward to getting down to business.

"It's a great honour and I want to thank the people of this wonderful area for putting their faith in me once again,

"I pledge to serve you all to the best of my ability,"Mr. Jones said.

Image: Stephen Jones via Facebook

Stephen Jones reveals family tragedy during religious amendment debate

STEPHEN JONES FEBRUARY 9 2022

The coalition remains confident of passing long-awaited religious discrimination laws, despite opposition to the laws from within the government.

The coalition partyroom agreed to amendments to the bill on Monday, which would include a clause in the Sex Discrimination Act banning religious schools from expelling students based on their sexuality.

However, schools would still be able to expel transgender students in order "to avoid injury to the religious susceptibilities of adherents of that religion or creed".

Multiple moderate MPs within the coalition have expressed concern with the amendments, including Tasmanian MP Bridget Archer who said she would cross the floor on the issue.

Labor MP Stephen Jones gave an emotional speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, and said the bill should not be rushed through.

He paid tribute in the speech to his 15-year-old nephew Ollie, who took his own life earlier this year.

"He was gay, he was uncertain about his gender... but now he's gone and we're no longer able to love and support him on his journey through life," he said.

"It's about all of our kids, about the families of those kids, every child who's had the courage to swim against the tide, just to be who they are."

Referencing that speech, Liberal MP Dave Sharma said it brought to light "exactly the sort of thing I'm worried about", adding he remained concerned the bill was "out of step with community attitudes".

"Children are some of the most vulnerable parts of our population, struggling with deep and confronting things about their identity and who they are," he said.

"Having their lives made more difficult by people and institutions around them... to have a legal sanction for that sort of discrimination to take place, what Stephen and his family went through, is heartbreaking."

Liberal MP Angie Bell, who previously indicated concerns with the bill, said she would now support the discrimination laws, calling the amendments a "net gain for gay rights".

"What I'm prepared to do is move the dial forward through that change to the Sex Discrimination Act," she told the ABC.

"I will continue to advocate for all Australians, including transgender kids and transgender adults and teachers, to make sure that ultimately no Australian is discriminated against."

Labor's shadow cabinet and caucus will meet on Wednesday to decide its position.

However, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr has urged his federal Labor counterparts to oppose the amendments.

The first openly gay government leader in Australia said the coalition was attempting to use the discrimination laws as a wedge against Labor.

"If (Labor) wave it through without amendment and Liberal members are crossing the floor against their own government bill and Labor votes for it, that is problematic," he told ABC Radio.

Independent MP Helen Haines said Prime Minister Scott Morrison met with her last night to secure her support to pass the religious discrimination laws.

However, she said made it clear that she would not support the legislation as it stands and was a "firm no".

Despite the division in his own party about the religious discrimination laws, Mr Morrison appealed to the partyroom to "think about our team", and support the bills that would shield people from expressing their beliefs.

The coalition partyroom ultimately agreed to leave the question of broader changes to the Sex Discrimination Act, including the question of transgender student rights, to the Australian Law Reform Commission.

Debate is set to continue on the legislation in the lower house on Wednesday, but with at least 36 speakers listed it may not get to a vote until Thursday.

It then has to run the gauntlet of the Senate.

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Image: Federal Parliament 

Whitlam MP: Government should cover cost

stephen jones january 19 2022

Member for Whitlam Stephen Jones says the Federal Government must provide businesses with free rapid antigen tests.

For many it's the third year in a row they've lost trade over the Christmas/New period because of covid and the bushfires.

Mr. Jones said the Government has known since March last year, that the tests were going to be needed.

"We know there were a number of suppliers who were willing to supply them from as late as November, but they've stuffed this up,

"The reason the government is digging its heals in, is because they know there's just disaster after disaster, with lining up RATS."Mr. Jones said.