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Newsletter 20th Feb: Getting to the root of the problem

The momentum continues to grow with another busy and successful week under our belts. I’m beginning to resonate with the saying ‘a week is like a year in politics!’

Simon Holmes a Court’s address at the National Press Club was inspiring and beautifully explained the role of Climate 200 in levelling the playing field in what is a ‘David and Goliath’ contest. Community Independents must run professional campaigns to have a real chance at winning, and over 8,000 people across Australia have donated to Climate 200 to help make that happen. I loved Simon’s powerful analogy of "hacking at roots versus branches." We have run out of time to hack at the branches and need to get to the root of the problem; the lack of political leadership and the will to act on the critical issues of our time, climate change, lack of political accountability and the persistent gender divide and disrespect. 

It was so heartening to see three Liberal MP’s, John Alexander, Bridget Archer, and Celia Hammond, call for a multi-party group led by independent MP Helen Haines and involving the government and Labor, to work out a compromise proposal for a Federal Integrity Commission - an example of constructive collaboration. Putting aside ideology and working together to find solutions to the problems that exist is the way that politics should work. I really feel the momentum is with us in our quest for greater integrity and accountability in politics.


This week, I met with the Australian Democracy Network who, after years of research and broad consultation, have developed their Framework for a Fairer Democracy which will inform my own integrity and transparency policies. I am also being briefed by the Hon. Anthony Whealy QC, Chair of The Centre for Public Integrity, to understand what we will need to do to become a healthy democracy. On that note, we are currently reviewing our donation disclosure practices and hope to go above and beyond what is required of us by the Australian Electoral Commission, whilst respecting the very real privacy concerns of the community members who want to donate. 

This week was jam-packed and a hive of activity. I’m excited to say we opened the doors of our campaign office at Collaroy. I would like to especially thank Helen Wheeler and Marina Barker and other community members who gathered to sew bunting. It’s already decorating our office and will be visible at all our future events.

Yesterday, Independent supporters from Mackellar walked alongside those from Warringah in an event co-hosted by Zali Steggall and I. It was a great morning in which we shared stories and support for one another and both Zali and I were humbled by the support we received. There is a real momentum for change on the Northern Beaches now and I have real hope we can emulate Warringah, and turn Mackellar Independent in 2022. I look forward to more events like these and urge you not to miss them.


Here's the week in pictures and podcasts

Joining acclaimed filmmaker and environmentalist, Craig Leeson on a panel hosted by young people, who are learning that they have the power to make real change.


I spoke to Michael Lester at Radio Northern Beaches about the power of Independents giving voice to local issues. You can listen to it here.


Meeting with the Australian Democracy Network


Discussing evidence-based research and the impact of climate change on our health with @doctorsfortheenvironment


I joined climate activist, Daniel Bleakley in his Tesla, to record a podcast that I will share soon.


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