I hope this newsletter finds you well and enjoying the warmer weather. It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks after the recent Budget and my team and I are now preparing to return to Canberra for the next sitting week. Ahead of what's going to be a busy month in Parliament, I wanted to bring you up to date with all that’s been happening.
You would have already seen my special ‘Budget newsletter’ and if you haven’t, you can watch my ABC interview here or read my media statement on the Budget here. However, the Budget was not the only item on our agenda in Canberra the previous sitting period.
Along with Kylea Tink and Zoe Daniel, I met with Georgie Dent from The Parenthood and heard about the challenges of providing cheaper childcare everywhere in Australia - including in ‘childcare deserts’ where there is just no childcare available. We also discussed the need for regulations to ensure the government subsidy is not negated by childcare services simply increasing their fees - as has happened before. I then supported the Government’s Cheaper Childcare Bill but fully intend to hold the Government to account in ensuring we have the workforce to sustain the increase in demand this policy will result in. You can view my speech here.
Regulating junk food advertising
I’m also excited that my proposed Private Members Bill to regulate junk food advertising is continuing to gain support. First, the Australian Financial Review reported on my campaign to bring Australia’s regulations in line with other countries in the developed world that are battling an obesity epidemic. Then, it was supported by 84 experts in the Food Policy Index report, released just a couple of days later. The report makes it clear that Australia is falling behind when it comes to addressing obesity - a health problem that costs our health system $11.8 billion a year and is a major cause of chronic health diseases. Read what I had to say here.
Banning Live Sheep Exports
I've had many constituents contact me with their concerns about live animal exports and the need to ban this practice. I was pleased to second the disallowance motion put forward by the Member for Clark for the Export Control (Animals) Amendment (Northern Hemisphere Summer Prohibition) Rules 2022, made under the previous government. These rules weaken the ban on live sheep exports to most ports in the Middle East during the hottest months of the Northern Hemisphere summer. You can view my speech here.
Disaster Ready Fund
I also spoke on the Government’s move to establish a ‘Disaster Ready Fund’ to help communities hit by climate fueled natural disasters. Please view my speech here.
The Big Mackellar Survey - closing soon
A big thank you to the 3,000 plus people who have already filled out the Big Mackellar Survey. What a wonderful response we have had - not just in the surveys but also the feedback my dedicated volunteers have been receiving at the Listening Posts that have been at shopping centres around the electorate. The survey closing date is Monday November 14 so don't miss your chance to have your say. You can fill out the hard copy survey delivered to you or fill it out online. I look forward to hearing from you.
I love meeting Mackellar residents and local business owners at my regular pop-up politics meetings. The last was on a grey and windy Friday morning at Collaroy before Budget week. It's a great way to get in touch and chat with me about the issues that are important to you. Watch out on socials for my next pop-up location.
Restoring Integrity Webinar
It was such a pleasure to take a deep dive into our progress on restoring integrity in politics with Dr Helen Haines MP and Anthony Whealy KC. We discussed a range of topics including the power of the crossbench to improve the long awaited National Anti-Corruption Commission Bill, the pros and cons of holding public or private hearings, whistle-blower protections, and how the ‘jobs for mates’ culture in politics perverts the decision making of governments. Most importantly, it was a fantastic opportunity to answer a range of insightful questions from our community ahead of launching my Private Members Bill, which aims to end the jobs for mates culture in federal politics. To view the webinar, click here.
Reverse Advent Calendar
Recently I met Cindy Lambert who is the coordinator for Reverse Advent Calendar (RAC), a wonderful initiative to help those in need. RAC flips the idea of a traditional advent calendar. Instead of opening a window each day in the lead up to Christmas and getting a small gift, a Reverse Advent Calendar takes the focus off receiving and promotes giving instead. For 12 days in November, families, individuals, community groups, schools and businesses place one item of non-perishable food or toiletries into a box each day. When the box is full it is then donated to local food relief agencies to be distributed as they see fit to people in need.
The charities RAC Northern Beaches is supporting this year are:
Cindy Lambert has left 60 boxes at the electoral office in Narrabeen (Shops 1&2 1239-1246 Pittwater Rd Narrabeen 2101 Mon-Friday 9am to 5pm) for constituents who would like to participate, to pick-up. When they are full, drop them back to us by 10th December. For more info contact Cindy on 0417 279 294 or [email protected].
Women’s Resilience Centre Gala Fundraising Luncheon
The Women’s Resilience Centre does amazing work supporting women in crisis on the Northern Beaches - yet they rely almost solely on donations. You can show your support by attending their gala fundraising lunch, Resetting Lives, at the Stranger’s Room, Parliament House, Sydney on November 18. Purchase tickets here.
The Collaroy Beach Ocean Swims
It's time to get out the goggles and head down to Collaroy for the Collaroy Beach Ocean Swims on November 13. The event has three swims over relatively short distances, 300m, 800m and 1.5km over reef patches that highlight the local marine biodiversity. For more information, see here.
Youth Mental Health First Aid Course
The Sydney North Health Network is offering a free Youth Mental Health First Aid course on December 2 that teaches adults about adolescent development and the signs and symptoms of common and disabling mental health problems in young people, including crisis situations. Learn how and where to get help when a young person is developing a mental illness, what help research has shown to be effective and how to provide first aid in crisis situations. To register and for more information, see here or call Liz on 0416191312.
Recognising the strength and sacrifice of families this Remembrance Day
This Remembrance Day, Defence Families of Australia (DFA) and Legacy Australia, with the support of RSL Australia, have teamed up to recognise and honour the strength, sacrifice and service of Defence families. As part of the RememBEARance campaign, those attending Remembrance Day commemoration events are encouraged to lay a small teddy bear beside their wreath to acknowledge veterans, current serving members and their families. See more information here.
Sophie in the news