Community Newsletter

Climate Security, Parliamentary Behaviour & Supporting the Warringah Community

27 September 2023

The last sitting fortnight was action packed in Parliament House, I hosted a number of events focused on climate action, pushed for greater integrity in politics and media and also had an opportunity to highlight some of the fantastic work being done in Warringah. 


Zali in Parli


Climate & Environment

Climate Security

In a sobering briefing, I hosted the Climate Security Leaders Group who together with the crossbench have been calling on the government to release a declassified version of the Office of National Intelligence’s Climate Security Risk Assessment, and to outline its strategy to address climate-induced national security threats.

The briefing outlined risks such as mass population displacement, food scarcity, the increasing frequency and severity of natural disasters, and the need to provide substantial aid packages to our Pacific neighbours as their countries are impacted by rising sea levels.


I proposed a motion to suspend standing orders and bring on a debate for the government to share its findings and strategy to protect Australia, however this was voted down by both the government and the coalition, with only the crossbench supporting the need for this important information to be shared with the Australian public.  You can read more about it here


Stop PEP11

Earlier this year, I reintroduced a private member's Bill to Stop PEP11, which provides a simple legislative solution to end the threat of oil and gas drilling off the coast of Manly, all the way to Newcastle. A necessary step since a request to grant the PEP11 exploratory licence was renewed following legal action when doubt was raised about the validity of the previous rejection by the Liberal government when Morrison’s multiple ministries were uncovered. 


Despite the Albanese Government’s vocal opposition to PEP11 when in Opposition, they did not support my Bill being debated during the notice period. A frustrating result, but I will continue to fight for PEP11 to be killed once and for all. Zali Steggall MP speaks on oil and gas drilling (PEP11) off the coast of Sydney


Sectoral Targets essential for climate action - but we need more than a plan to plan

In welcome news, the Climate Minister introduced a motion to get moving on pathways for sectors such as, agriculture, transport, waste and manufacturing, by referring them to the Climate Change Authority. And while a long overdue and important step, I am concerned that what has been called for is a plan to plan, when there should be no more delay. 


You can read more about my position here: Zali Steggall responds to Climate Minister's motion to move on sectoral targets 


Banning the Promotion of Pollution

During the last sitting I also hosted a briefing from Fossil Ad Ban to discuss regulatory options around the advertising of fossil fuels or fossil fuel burning products. The Greenhouse and Energy Minimum Standards (GEMS) Act requires certain products to include labels showing energy efficiency. You’ve probably seen the star rating stickers on your washing machine or fridge.


While GEMS is a good start it can go a lot further. I’ve written to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy to propose that the GEMS Act be extended to include gas heaters, gas stoves and petrol pumps as well as including emissions information on product labels so consumers can make climate-informed choices. 


I’ve also proposed that emissions information should be mandatory on advertising of certain high-emitting products to provide consumers with relevant information during the early stages of purchasing.


Integrity & Equality

Parliamentary Behaviour
As a member of the Parliamentary Leadership Taskforce I was very pleased to see the introduction of Parliamentary Workplace Support Service Bill (PWSS) and the PWSS (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill. These Bills are a result of the Set the Standard report, which followed the shocking findings of the Human Rights Commission's independent review of the workplace culture here in Parliament House, and across the country in parliament workplaces.  


The introduction of the PWSS is welcome, but it is just an interim measure. Ultimately, the Government and Opposition need come together so that we can legislate the implementation of the Independent Parliamentary Standards Commission as soon as possible. This body will have greater powers when it comes to regulating the code of conduct and consequences for any breaches. Zali Steggall MP speaks on Parliamentary Workplace Support Service Bill. 


Improving Question Time 
I also supported a motion by Adam Bandt to improve integrity of Question Time.  Disappointingly, but unsurprisingly, this was voted down by both the Government and the Opposition. 


Curbing the rise of misinformation and disinformation 
Freedom of speech is not a right to spread misinformation and disinformation. Legislation responding to the rise of misinformation and disinformation is very welcome, but it must get the balance right and should be consistently applied across all digital platforms. 


There is certainly room for improvement with this Bill, which I addressed in a speech in parliament as well as making a formal submission to the Government’s exposure draft

Higher Education
I was pleased to speak on the Higher Education Support Amendment because we need to ensure that higher education is accessible regardless of socioeconomic or geographic location. This bill addresses two of the five recommendations from the University Accord Interim Report, specifically to cease the 50 per cent pass rule which disproportionately disadvantages students from lower socioeconomic backgrounds and really was acting as a deterrent for young people completing and getting into their tertiary studies. It also includes expanding eligibility to all First Nations students including those in metropolitan areas like Warringah, not just those in regional communities, because it is important to support more Indigenous Australians are supported to complete tertiary education.


The Warringah Community

Small Business
On the local front, following the May budget, I wrote to the Treasurer about funding for local projects and met with the Treasurer to discuss a range of issues facing Warringah, including the ongoing struggles our small business community is facing. I followed this meeting up with a question in Question Time: Zali Steggall MP asks Treasurer about small business support

The Modern Awards
I continually get feedback from the community about the complexity of the current Awards system. So, I was pleased hear back from the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, following the crossbench’s requests for a review of the Awards system, and learn that the Honourable Justice Adam Hatcher, President of the Fair Work Commission, has issued a statement commencing and outlining the priorities for a review. I will keep you updated on how this progresses and invite your feedback on this important matter. 


Fair Work Legislation

The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (closing loopholes) was also introduced in the last sitting fortnight, with debate to resume on return to Canberra. It will touch on four key areas: Addressing the gig economy, making it easier for casual employees to convert to permanent, addressing labour hire and criminalising wage theft. I am seeking feedback from a broad cross section of stakeholder groups and would like to hear your feedback as well. Please email me at [email protected] if you'd like to share your thoughts. 

Aged Care
I also stopped to thank aged care workers in Warringah for the wonderful work they do. 


Youth at Risk

I spoke about two fantastic community organisations, Streetworks and Youth Up Front who are supporting at risk youth in Warringah.  I have also recently written to the Treasurer and the Attorney-General calling for the continued funding of these organisations, as prevention is key to breaking cycles of criminality and fostering a safe community.

View all of my Parliament Updates


I seek to represent the views of Warringah and welcome feedback. My approach to legislation is on my website as is my voting record.  Voting Record.


Out & About in Warringah

Student Referendum Q&A

Hugo and his classmates recently visited Parliament House and on returning to school had lots of questions about the Referendum, so Hugo reached out to invite me to join him together with Tony McAvoy SC for an informal Q&A to learn more.

Tony provided some great insights from both a First Nations Australian's perspective and through his years of work as a barrister. I was able to offer insights from the legislative and policy making point of view.


Living Seawall at the Spit

Congratulations to Sydney Institute of Marine Science (SIMS), Mosman Council, Mosman Environmental Foundation and the many supporters involved in the opening of the 12 metres of Living Seawall at Ellery Park, Spit Reserve.


SIMS have been doing amazing work in researching, understanding and protecting our marine environment and we look forward to the results of this latest instalment in Mosman. I encourage you to pop down and see it for yourselves.


Climate Justice Roundtable

Earlier this month I attended a Climate Justice Round table, hosted by Oxfam, to learn more about climate change loss and damage in the Pacific. Climate change is already affecting the Pacific and having profound impacts on the lives of Indigenous and remote communities.


Oxfam would like to see the Australian government stop subsiding fossil fuels and instead invest that $57.1 billion (over the forward estimates) into ramping up climate ambition/action at home and into support for our region. They are also calling for Government to immediately increase its funding for climate finance for adaption and mitigation in low-income countries as well as support for the Port Vila Call for a Just Transition to a Fossil Fuel Free Pacific.


Youth Ambassadors

Each year, I enjoy hosting the school captains of the high schools in Warringah for my Youth Ambassadors Program.


I started this program to hear first hand how I can best advocate for and represent the young people of Warringah and I am constantly impressed by their honesty, passion and fantastic ideas. Issues that resonated across the group this year included climate, careers and access to mental health resources.


We held our last session for the 2023 cohort earlier this month - and I wish them, and all year 12 students well for graduation and the upcoming HSC.


Grant Watch

Local Sporting Champions and Local Para Champions programs
The Local Sporting Champions program provides financial assistance for coaches, officials and competitors aged 12-18 (12-24 for Para Champions) participating in state, national or international championships. 
Round 3, 2023-24 is currently open until 31st October.


In Round 2 of the program, Warringah had 28 successful applicants sharing a total of $20,000 to assist with travel to their nominated championships.


For further details and to apply visit:
Local Sporting Champions 
Local Para Champions 


Active Kids Grants - Australian Sports Foundation (ASF)
Active Kids Grants are available for volunteer-run community clubs and organisations with members aged 20 or younger. Grants will be awarded in the form of free sports equipment and on-field or training uniforms, to be supplied by ASF partners HART Sport and ISC Sport. 


Applications close 29th September 2023.


Warringah for the Voice


Free Yes23 Merchandise!

It’s not too late to show your support for the Yes23 campaign. We have a range of free merchandise available which including badges, stickers, A3 posters, Uluru Statement posters and other information sheets.


You can also pick up free corflutes (yard signs) at the office or order them online here: Display Corflute - Yes.


Voice to Parliament - Your Questions Answered

There’s a lot of talk about the upcoming Referendum, both good and bad, and it can be hard to sort through the noise to get the facts. There’s a phrase I’ve heard which really resonates – “If in doubt, find out!”. 


Below are a number of ways you can find out more:


Manly Markets Stall – Sunday October 1
Our Warringah for the Voice volunteers will be at our Manly Market Stall from 9am to 4.30pm on Sunday October 1. Please drop past and have a chat to one of our friendly team. 

Common Questions and Answers
Please take a look at the Referendum FAQ page on my website


I have also taken part in a number of webinars which provide both information about the Referendum and respond to a number of questions posed by participants.

Webinar with Rachel Perkins
In August, I hosted a 30-minute webinar with Rachel Perkins,  Co-Chair of Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition, which you can watch on replay and hear the details about the Voice to Parliament and the Referendum without the hype.

Webinar with Chloe Wighton on Northern Beaches Mums
Last week Chloe, a Wiradjuri (Galari) woman and archaeologist joined me for a webinar on the Northern Beaches Mums Facebook Group to discuss the Referendum and answer questions from participants. 


Warringah Community Forum Recording
With First Nations experts: Dean Parkin, Director of Australians for Indigenous Constitutional Recognition; Tony McAvoy SC, Barrister and Member of the Government's Referendum Working Group; and Semara Jose, Co-Founder of Deadly Inspiring Youth Doing Good A&TSIC. 


You can find links to each of these webinars on my website.


The Newsroom

Sydney Morning Herald - Climate Security.

Sky News - QT chaos, Workplace Relations & the Referendum.

The Guardian - Misinformation and Disinformation.