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December 2022 Newsletter

What a year it has been! Together we have achieved so much and it has been an honour to represent the Mackellar community in Federal Parliament. I invite you to view this wrap up video of some of the significant achievements we have made together this year.

I’ve just returned from Papua New Guinea (PNG) where I joined colleagues from the Liberal Party, Labor Party and Greens on a Parliamentary delegation. The purpose of the trip was to build bilateral relations between our countries and learn more about how Australia can support improved health and education outcomes in PNG, as well as assist PNG’s emerging economic opportunities in renewable energy.


The final week of Parliament earlier this month was both hectic and historic. More than 61 pieces of legislation have now been passed in the first six months of the 47th Parliament as well as one censure motion. The 47th Parliament is proving to be both effective as well as collaborative in a way that many people have not seen in a long time.

The crossbench has been helping to lead the way by holding the Albanese Government to account and working with them to help improve legislation. It has been satisfying to see the Government listen and consult with me on major legislation and issues that impact our community, and I am looking forward to this consultative approach to legislation continuing in 2023. 

Our Electorate Office will be closed from 22 December until 9 January 2023. My warmest wishes for a wonderful festive season and a happy and safe New Year. 


Dr Sophie


Canberra Matters


Anti-Corruption Commission and Censure Motion

During the last sitting week, a censure motion was brought on by the Government after the handing down of Virginia Bell’s findings that former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s secret ministries were unnecessary and corrosive of public trust in the Government. The gravity of censuring the former Prime Minister for his utter disregard for the conventions of our democracy in the same week that we finally legislated the National Anti-Corruption Commission was not lost on anyone in the chamber. I supported the censure motion and believe Morrison’s disregard for transparency was a deeply concerning lurch toward authoritarianism. 

Stop the Lies Bill

Right now it is legal for political parties and politicians to lie in their advertising - this has to change. I supported Zali Steggall's Stop the Lies Bill along with my crossbench colleagues. As Zali said “Australians CAN handle the truth” and if it’s illegal for businesses to lie in their advertising - it should be illegal for politicians too.

Higher Education Support Amendment Bill

I spoke on addressing the GP crisis through the Higher Education Support Amendment Bill and suggested amendments to improve the integrity and transparency of the Bill. The Government supported my amendments to conduct a review of the Bill every three years to gauge whether it's achieving the desired result; you can read more on that here


Standing with the Baha'i Community

Mackellar is the proud home of Australia’s Baha’i House of Worship and a Baha’i community that has called Mackellar home for over a century. It was important for me to stand with our Baha’i community and call for an end to the Iranian Government’s persecution of people from the Baha’i faith. Follow this link for my full speech. 


Question to the Environment Minister

For our economy to be energy efficient, we need a circular economy that is based on an onshore recycling industry. This includes recycling of things like solar panels and lithium batteries. I used Mackellar’s question in Question Time to ask Tanya Plibersek, Minister for Environment and Water, how the government plans to create a circular economy. Watch the full exchange here.

Meeting the Norwegian Ambassador

Following my call to redesign the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax, I met with the Norwegian Ambassador Anne Grete Riise to hear about the creation of Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund whereby Norway’s taxation of their fossil fuel revenue has built up enormous wealth for the people of their country and future generations.

Voice to Parliament

In the Federal election this year I campaigned to support the Voice to Parliament so it was my pleasure to attend a briefing for the Voice hosted by Senator Pat Dodson, Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney and Attorney General Mark Dreyfus KC. 

Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill

I voted against the first draft of the Secure Jobs Better Pay Bill as it did not provide enough protections for small business. Whilst the Bill was being debated in the House of Representatives, I proposed amendments and also voted in favour of amendments proposed by crossbench colleagues that would provide greater protections for small business. The Bill was then subsequently amended in the Senate, following strong advocacy from the crossbench in particular Independent Senator David Pocock.


The changes that Senator Pocock secured to the Bill increased protections for small business, these include:

  • Raising the definition of a small business, which can be excluded from multi-employer bargaining, from 15 to 20 employees;
  • Making it easier for a business with 50 employees or fewer to opt out of multi-employer bargaining by putting the onus on unions to make the case for why that business should be included;
  • Giving the Minister power to designate which occupations are able to participate in the low-paid bargaining stream; and
  • Agreement to review the bill in two years’ time.

Following these changes, many of which I advocated for in the House of Representatives, the Bill passed the Senate. It was subsequently sent back to the House of Representatives where it passed 80 votes to 56. I voted in favour of passing the improved legislation alongside nearly every independent in the House including Dai Le, Bob Katter and Zali Steggall.


The goal of the legislation is to ultimately help increase the wages of some of Australia’s lowest paid workers – the majority of which are female. I, alongside the majority of all Australians, support increased wages for low paid, feminised workforces including nurses, aged care workers, childcare workers and teachers. 


Mackellar Matters


Tibetan Youth Day

My plan to return to Mackellar last Friday to attend events including the inaugural Tibetan Youth Day at the Forest High School was thwarted by the extra sitting day in Canberra. I was represented by team member Louise Hislop who attended this wonderful event. I fully support the Forest High School and Dee Why Public schools' efforts to raise awareness for Tibetan refugees and disenfranchised local youth in our community. 

Critical Minerals Summit

I was represented by my team at the Critical Minerals Summit co-hosted by PwC and The Australian newspaper. We are blessed in Australia to have not just the sun and wind for a booming renewable energy sector, but we also have the critical minerals needed to lead the world’s transition. There is a huge opportunity to learn from past mistakes and follow Norway’s lead. Our First Nations people must be included in this transition, and we must prioritise the sovereign wealth of our nation before the profits of multinationals.

MOWANA Safe Space to open!

Great news for the wonderful team from MOWANA Safe Space and all those who benefit from their support - they have found a premises from which to operate their drop-in centre for suicide prevention, servicing the Northern Beaches community. The address is: 7/8-10 Waratah Street, Mona Vale (above Bakers Delight). They will be open every Friday and Saturday 5-9pm starting December 16 and they will be open all day on Christmas Day. For more information check out their Facebook page.


Upcoming events


Community Batteries for Household Solar

In October, the Australian Government announced $200 million in grant funding for the Community Batteries for Household Solar Program, with $171 million to be administered by ARENA to support the deployment of community batteries across Australia. Expressions of Interest will open in early 2023.


As ARENA develops the funding application materials including guidelines, they would like to seek input from stakeholders, including the community. To help with this, they are running a public consultation webinar this Thursday 15 December. To register your interest, visit here.


Independent for Pittwater Campaign Launch Tonight!

My fabulous former Advisor Jacqui Scruby has announced as the Independent ‘Teal’ candidate for the State electorate of Pittwater. Jacqui is one of the most intelligent and hardest working people you will ever meet. She has a background as an environmental lawyer and ASX 200 company management consultant. Her campaign launch is tonight at 5.30pm at the Parkhouse in Mona Vale. To RSVP, visit here.


Pop Up Politics at Cottage Point this Friday

My final Pop Up Politics of the year is happening this Friday December 16. Please come and chat to me about the issues that concern you at the Cottage Point Kiosk, 1 Notting Lane, Cottage Point, from 10am-12pm.


Christmas Carols Mona Vale

The Rotary Club of Upper Northern Beaches invite you to join Rotary Carols on December 17, in the Mona Vale Village Park from 6.30pm

Christmas Carols Frenchs Forest

Lions Club Frenchs Forest invite you to join them on December 18 for Christmas Carols from 6pm at the Lionel Watts Oval, Frenchs Forest.

Women of Whale Luncheon 

The second Women of Whale Lunch is happening on December 20 at Dunes Whale Beach. Last year’s inaugural lunch was a huge success. The purpose is to celebrate active female surf lifesavers and to raise funds to attract, retain and develop more girls/women to surf lifesaving. Follow this link to book your place. 

Ocean Swim Series continues

Warriewood Ocean Swim - 17th December 2022

Newport Pool To Peak 2023 - 8th January 2023

Blackmores Billy Swim 2023 - 15th January 2023

Warriewood to Mona Vale Swim (& Family Swim) - 22nd January

The Big Swim: Palm Beach to Whale Beach - 29th January 2023


Get in touch

If there is an issue you would like to raise with me or something our electorate team can help you with, please email [email protected]. Also don’t forget to follow me on social media via FacebookInstagram and Twitter.