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What a year 2023!

I want to wish you all a happy and safe holiday season. Summer is a special time in Mackellar. After 18 months as your federal MP, I am looking forward to hitting the beach and relaxing with my family. 

In 2024, I will continue to advocate for the issues you care about: tackling the cost-of-living pressures and the housing crisis, supporting small business, faster action on the climate crisis, protecting our environment and strengthening our democracy.

If you see me out in the surf, come say hi and have a chat!

Canberra Matters


What a year!

I have been working hard to shake things up in Canberra to deliver what I promised: a clean bill on integrity, health, climate, and the environment – and support for business. 

In October you may remember I introduced a Private Member’s Bill to protect our nation’s precious water resources from fracking. I urged the Government that this must be passed by the end of the year, to ensure projects in the Beetaloo Basin on the brink of approval get the federal scrutiny that they deserve. 

In very exciting news, the Government included the thrust of my bill in legislation that finally passed last week. This is a huge environmental win for the future of Australia. But the fight is not over. The Federal Government will now look at what these gas projects in the NT will mean for the huge aquifers nearby. We need to remain vigilant. Together, we need to keep pushing for a healthy, liveable environment for our future generations.  

I would like to share some quotes from those most impacted by this win. 

This is the biggest thing in my lifetime. Water keeps our culture and our identity strong. It connects all indigenous people - Ray Dimakarri Dixon Mudburra Elder

Today I am so happy. My country will be so happy too. I want to thank everyone for helping us get this water trigger. I am proud we went to Canberra for our young future and our country. I am happy they listened to us - Mangarrayi Elder Jocelyn James

This landmark reform will create a major new hurdle for gas companies, and most importantly safeguard the Northern Territory’s free-flowing rivers and aquifers from the dangerous impacts of fracking - Kirsty Howey executive director of the Environment Centre NT 

Read more here

Leonardo DiCaprio Shows His Support For The Forest Pledge:

In other exciting news, it seems our hard work behind the scenes on climate is paying dividends. 

I am thrilled to announce that environmentalist and actor, Leonardo DiCaprio has shown his support for my pledge to end native forest logging across Australia. We hope that with his support, alongside an incredible range of environmental organisations, leading scientists and former environmental ministers on both side of the aisle, that we can gain some momentum and end the logging of native forests for good. 

How can YOU help? If you visit The Forest Pledge website here, you can write to your MP using our template or share the pledge across your social media using assets provided.  

Mackellar Matters


Mackellar Connects to NBN:

This week it was announced that another 2500 households across Mackellar will have access to much faster internet services via the National Broadband Network (NBN).

The upgrades will allow constituents who live in Belrose, Bilgola Plateau, Frenchs Forest and Narrabeen to choose a much higher level of service. 
With so many people working from home post-pandemic, it's especially important that homes have reliable state-of-the-art internet connections.

To mark the announcement, the Minister for Communications Michelle Rowland and I visited the local Mackellar business, The Prysmian Group, which is one of Australia’s leading optical fibre companies. It was fantastic to visit this state-of-the-art facility and showcase how Mackellar is leading the way.

Team Sophie Beach Clean Up Crew:

Thank you to the amazing Team Sophie volunteers who were working hard to clean up the Styrofoam debris along Mona Vale Beach after the incident last week at Long Reef (see here). There are still plenty of small pieces tucked into the sand dunes along the Northern Beaches. If you have spare time over the holidays, please consider to 'take 3 for the sea' to help protect our marine friends! 

You can always join the Northern Beaches Clean Up Crew.

Grant Workshop for Community Groups:

Recently my electorate office hosted a grant application workshop for the community and not for profit organisations in Mackellar. This came after the great success of our business workshop. In this session, Sonia, our business engagement coordinator shared useful tips and resources for organisations to ensure they were confident and well equipped when applying for grants. 

We have so many incredible community groups across the Northern Beaches doing amazing work for our local community. As your independent MP I want to be able to assist these organisations however I can. 

If you missed this session, materials are on my website. See here.

The Give Hub Success:

Over 400 boxes - what a great success! Thank you to all of you who donated items for The Give Hub's Christmas food drive. Your support was overwhelming. Our office filled an entire van load of donations which will be given to local families who need it most these holidays. 

Gala dinner for Domestic Violence:

The Northern Beaches Domestic Violence Network’s gala was a wonderful evening and a chance to catch up with the fantastic hard-working community representatives, while raising money for a very important cause. The event marked the start of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence. Fifty-four women Australia-wide have been killed this year, allegedly at the hands of their partners or former partners. This has got to stop. The implementation of the Government’s National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children cannot come soon enough. Thank you to Rachael Jackson for organising this event and recognising the importance of this issue both at the national and local level. 

New Vaping Laws - BIG Community Win:

The Federal Government has finally cracked down hard on vaping laws. As of January 1st, 2024, the importation of disposable single use vapes will be banned across Australia. This is great news for our local community. It was one of the biggest constituents concerns we received from parents and schools. The new laws will mean all those new ‘convenience stores’ that have popped up near schools, parks and bus stops will no longer be able to prey on school children and young people by selling nicotine laced e-cigarettes. See here.

Diabetes Committee Trip to Cairns:

This month, I visited Yarrabah near Cairns with the Parliamentary Committee on Health, Sport, and Aged Care for the inquiry into diabetes. 

We heard many testimonies on the trip, including GP, Dr Jason King, from the Gurriny Yealamucka Health Service. His strong message was that for rates of diseases like diabetes to be addressed, the social determinants of health must be addressed. For example, in Yarrabah, food and water security is a big problem. Access to drinkable tap water is often limited and a bottle of coke costs less than a bottle of water. 

With two-thirds of adult Australians above the healthy weight range and diabetes rates climbing – this societal problem requires a societal response. As a former GP, this is one of my biggest health concerns and something I will continue to work on and advocate for. 


It was an honour to speak at the Women in Super end of year luncheon on Wednesday 13 December and be “in conversation” with the ABC’s talented interviewer, Sarah Kanowski. Because caring duties often fall to women leading to time-out from the workforce, women retire with around 30% less than their male counterparts. As a result, women over 50 are the fastest growing group to face homelessness. I spoke on the panel mostly of my transition from a GP and a mum worried about climate change to deciding to make a tangible change, to get involved and run for Parliament. 

Volunteers Thank You:

I wanted to say a BIG thank you to all the incredible Team Sophie volunteers for their tireless efforts and dedication this year. I am so grateful. As your independent community representative, I am here because of you, and here to listen to our shared concerns and collective ambitions for Mackellar. The spirit of Mackellar is strong. If you would like to sign up to volunteer in the New Year, click here

Surf Clubs Going Solar:

My team has been collaborating with the Surf Life Saving Clubs Sydney North Branch to champion our local clubs' journey to install clean solar energy. Surf clubs are such fantastic volunteer run institutions on the beaches and transitioning to clean energy is not only good for the climate but will help keep the clubs financially viable into the future.

I am excited to announce that during 2024 we'll be working with interested clubs to connect them with key subject experts in our community to help the club committees in exploring and installing solar energy in their operations. Watch this space for more news and ways to help our surf clubs power onto renewables. 

Business Survey:

It’s been a tough few years for small businesses across the country. Small business is the backbone of our community providing thousands of jobs in our region. Your contribution to our economy is crucial and I want to see your business thrive. 

I want to hear from you as a business owner. I’m looking for your input to inform my 2024 Federal Budget submission. Help me to help Mackellar businesses prosper by having your say. Please complete this short, 3-minute survey to ensure I focus on the issues that matter to you.

To have your say - click here.

Constituent Wins

After a four-month delay, a local constituent was able to access his pension after our team contacted Services Australia. The constituent's pension was in his account three days after our office's intervention - Mackellar constituent. 

"Thank you for your comprehensive and informative response. Once again we are very grateful to have Sophie represent us in our, as you stated, unique and precious community"Mackellar constituent 

“I do believe that Dr Scamps support in the matter has been instrumental in escalating the process”  - housing and homelessness advocate after securing affordable accommodation for a constituent who was at risk of homelessness

Public Announcements

Northern Beaches Council Summer Safety Guide: 

Summer is such a special time, but it's crucial we stay safe. The Northern Beaches Council has developed a 2023 Summer Community Safety resource package to support the local community over the summer break. Key highlights are how to keep your home fire-safe and cool over summer, and how to stay safe at the beach. You can view it in full here

Grant Opportunity:

The Australian Government is inviting community organisations to apply to deliver projects under the Family and Communities Program. These grants aim to support equity and opportunity for Australian communities through local community-driven solutions that build self-reliance and empowerment. Click here for further details. I am happy to provide letters of support for worthy projects that benefit the community. 

Thank you again for a wonderful year and I hope you all have a joyful and peaceful holiday break - Sophie 

Sophie in the Media

St George and Sutherland Shire Leader

December 6

Hughes MP Jenny Ware says Parliamentary Friends of Autoimmune Diseases group is a beacon of hope

Capital Brief

December 12

Treasury emails fuel concerns over 'haphazard' board appointments to Labor's $15b NRF

Women's Agenda

November 28

Parliament House lit up in orange to mark 16 days of activism against gender-based violence

The Tawny Frogmouth

November 27

The Forest Pledge

The Guardian

December 5

Labor and Greens strike deal to establish nature repair scheme

Pittwater Life

December 1

Pledge to end forest logging