Community Newsletter

A huge fortnight in Federal Parliament

4 September, 2020

It’s been a mammoth fortnight in Canberra where Federal Parliament met after a two-month hiatus. The biggest announcement from our team is the relaunch of the Climate Change Bill. We had to delay the introduction of the Bill due to COVID-19 but I’m happy to say that we plan to reintroduce the legislation in November. 

To support the Bill, please sign up here


On our last sitting day we saw an appalling display from the Federal Government as they showed disdain for both the environment and the Parliamentary process – ramming through controversial legislation without proper debate. The Government’s Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Amendment (Streamlining Environmental Approvals) Bill 2020) was heavily criticised by numerous environment groups.

The legislation will negatively impact environmental protection and biodiversity conservation in Australia and did not reflect recommendations of the Samuel review – which is still yet to be completed. I therefore prepared and circulated amendments that sought to make positive changes to stop water resources being mismanaged and contaminated by coal mining and coal seam gas developers.

My amendments also implemented the recommended National Environmental Standards which would be strong safeguards for the environment.  But the Government not only cut short debate, they over-rode the proper Parliamentary process and prevented me from even moving my amendments.

Many long term Parliamentarians in the Opposition were left dumbfounded by this move. Most shocking – and disappointing - was the conduct of some Coalition members in the Chamber – laughing and chuckling as longstanding Parliamentary process was ignored and environmental protection done away with. I would be surprised if this is how people expect to be represented, especially the people of Mackellar, North Sydney and Wentworth where I know they care about the environment. Their members were there, laughing.  

To watch what happened click here and to read my statement on it click here


Important legislation that was passed during this sitting fortnight includes extending the JobKeeper and JobSeeker schemes that will help Australians during the COVID-19 crisis until March next year.

In Parliament I had the opportunity to speak on a range of issues that are important to Warringah. This fortnight I spoke on:

•    Calling for greater government support for community housing
•    Opposing oil drilling off the coast stretching from Newcastle to Manly 
•    Calling for the government to learn from the mistakes of the Summer bushfires as we enter warmer months 
•    The government’s travel restrictions have had a significant and adverse impact on many people’s lives
•    I asked the Prime Minister Scott Morrison whether his government will implement a transparent and economic merit-based assessment of projects and prioritise jobs and Australia's future over support for gas and coal projects
•    Supporting local mental health services particularly through COVID-19 
•    Speaking about my experiences and observations as a delegate on the Environment and Energy Committee’s trip to India last year 
•    Acknowledging the work of Warringah local Jack Berne for raising money for Australian farmers 

I spoke on the following legislation after consulting with various groups and most importantly the Warringah community. Hearing your feedback on legislation is so important to me and my team.

•    Supporting my crossbench colleague Helen Haines on the need for community energy
•    Supporting a bill to help vulnerable and disadvantaged families 
•    Opposing the Higher Education Support Amendment which raises the cost of some university courses
•    Opposing the Migration Amendment Bill which will prohibit items, including mobile phones in immigration detention centres
•    Speaking on the long term impacts superannuation can have on women and their retirement savings
•    Supporting the extension of the JobKeeper wage subside scheme
•    Supporting a motion to prevent exploitation of Indigenous Art and Culture
•    Supporting the Aboriginal Land Rights Amendment as ethical legislation: 
•    Supporting the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting Amendment:


We have a range of grants that have opened on our website

•    Supplementary Volunteer Grants 2020
•    Sport Infrastructure Grant (Northern Beaches Council)
•    Recipients of Energy Efficient Communities Grant - solar 2020 for community organisations
•    COVID-19 Domestic and Family Violence Funding - as a result of COVID-19, domestic, family and sexual violence services have had to respond to changes in service delivery, complexity or demand of their programs.  Frontline organisations experiencing increased demand in services as a result of COVID-19 can apply for this grant. 
•    The Primary Schools Grant 
•    The Secondary Schools Grant 
•    RISE - funding assistance for cultural and creative organisations seeking to restart, re-imagine or create new activities and events including festivals, concerts and tours.
•    Funding to the live music sector, with a focus on small to medium venues that support high quality original Australian live music that is professionally staged. It aims to revive business ventures in local suburbs, building the capacity for a sustainable live music scene with strong community roots.


The submission period for community feedback on the Draft Concept Master Plan for the former Manly Hospital site has been extended until this Sunday September 6.

The Draft Concept Master Plan focuses on health and wellbeing-related uses, a mix of open and community spaces, neighbourhood-scale shops, food and drink facilities, and developing an adaptive re-use strategy for the existing heritage buildings.

The NSW Government announced in November 2018 that an Adolescent and Young Adult Hospice would also be located on a portion of the site.

Feedback is being sought prior to lodging the planning proposal with Northern Beaches Council for approval. There will be an opportunity for further consultation at that stage and I will keep you informed of those future opportunities to have your say.

To find out how to submit your feedback and view the Draft Concept Master Plan, please visit here


The following Senate Inquires are now available to make a submission to:
•    Higher Education Support Amendment (Job-Ready Graduates and Supporting Regional and Remote Students) Bill 2020. 
•    Recycling and Waste Reduction Bills
•    Clean Energy Finance Corporation Amendment (Grid Reliability Fund) Bill 2020

For the full list of inquiries click here

Mosman Council’s upcoming Climate Action Forum 8 September 6 - 7.30pm

This is a free virtual event presented by Mosman Council where you can hear from special guest speakers and government leaders on climate resilience and how we can respond to climate change. 

Speakers include: NSW Minister for Energy & Environment, Member for Hornsby, Matt Kean; Felicity Wilson MP, Member for North Shore; Councillor Carolyn Corrigan, Mayor of Mosman; Professor David Schlosberg, Professor of Environmental Politics at the University of Sydney and Director of the Sydney Environment Institute; Professor Ruth Irwin, Team Leader Sustainability Mosman Council and myself.

Hope to see you there!

In the mean time, my team and I are constantly working to find solutions for you, your family and friends and our general community.

You can keep up to date at our website and get in touch by emailing [email protected] or calling the office on 9977 6411 if you have concerns.

Please forward this on to your network of family and friends in Warringah.

Stay safe,