A small group of Lanyon High School students with their teacher Julie Collins were guests for the address by Tanya Plibersek, Opposition Deputy Leader, at the National Press Club. And as is the way with their age group they said yes to enjoying it but were reticent to comment on the content of her address. With most students, especially those who do the mandatory Canberra trip to see Parliament in session you do wonder whether we are teaching our students well on the machinations of government.

For the opposition every opportunity to put forward their alternative policies is made advantage of in this election year and will obviously increase over the coming months, and for this address the Labor offer of a new maritime boundary for East Timor was well received. That dispute, that makes a mockery of our protestations on China’s activities in the South China Sea, has been delayed for too long.

“The maritime boundary dispute has poisoned relations with our newest neighbour”, she said, but as an issue we hear little about whether the government will pick up the pace on a fair resolution.