Frequently Asked Questions

Why vote for an Independent MP

I am free to vote in your best interests. 
I consider each piece of legislation carefully and consult with Warringah to ensure I represent your views on issues. MPs in major parties are told what to say and how to vote. I can introduce legislation and amendments, especially on issues like lies in political advertising and climate policy. 
I get things done. 
In this Parliament, it is sensible centrist independent MPs like me who have held the Government to account on climate, integrity, mental health, domestic and sexual violence, aged care and disability reforms. I pushed the Government to amend the Sexual Discrimination Act to ensure sexual harassment is prohibited in all public circumstances. 
I hold the major parties to account on corruption and climate. 
I have already introduced critical legislation like the Climate Change Bills, Truth in Political Advertising Bill and seconded the Federal ICAC.

What have you achieved in Canberra?

I am a national climate leader in Parliament. 
I have rallied Australian business and society in support of the Climate Change Bills, which are endorsed by the BCA, the AMA and the AIG. They are on notice for debate and a vote, but the Government is blocking debate with its majority of one. I introduced a Bill to stop oil and gas exploration off our beaches in an area called PEP-11. Under pressure, the Government declined to grant the licence. I also introduced amendments to the Environmental Protection Biodiversity Act to ensure national environmental standards and protections, and am a leading member of the House Environmental and Energy Committee. 
I am working to restore integrity and trust in government. 
I introduced the ‘Stop the Lies’ Bill to make false claims and dishonest advertising during elections illegal, and seconded the call for a federal ICAC. 
I am a strong voice for women and gender equality.
I introduced key amendments to Government bills, as well as important changes to the Sex Discrimination Act, which were successfully adopted. 
I helped female Afghan athletes to come to Australia. 
I worked with Craig Foster, Human Rights lawyers, sportspeople and Australian ministers to help bring over 100 female Afghan athletes and their families to Australia. 
I am using my family law expertise as a former Barrister
As a member of the Joint Select Committee, I worked to investigate Australia’s Family Law System and deliver its final report to Parliament in December 2021.
For more on what Zali has done see Achievements

What have you done for locals?

My team has increased community grants to $133m.
My team has helped local groups and individuals apply for and win a record 330 grants worth $133 million to date. We’ve also called for increased government support for local businesses affected by COVID.
I have met with over 910 individuals, groups and businesses to hear how to best represent them.
As a member of the Harbour Trust Community Advisory Committee, I ensured it remained in Commonwealth hands to preserve North and Middle Head Sanctuaries. After listening to local concerns, I introduced the bill to stop PEP-11 and any future offshore gas and petroleum drilling off our beaches. 
My team have handled over 19,500 cases to date.
Cases are when my team assists a constituent with queries or problems. Assistance ranges from helping with NDIS and aged care plans and assessments through to tax and visa processing or appeals. 
My team has assisted Warringah residents through Covid.
This includes assisting over 300 Warringah residents with urgent travel permits to leave Australia during the pandemic, liaising with the community to provide adequate federal quarantine arrangements and a faster rollout of the vaccine. 
For more on what Zali has done see Achievements

Where do you give your preferences?

I am not allocating preferences. I am asking you to vote 1 for me and decide for yourself how you number the other boxes. I respect your right to choose and your personal preferences. You must number every box to ensure your vote counts.

Who do you support in the Senate?

If you’re supporting me for action on climate and integrity, then I encourage you to also vote climate and integrity in the Senate.

Do you support other community minded independent candidates in the House of Representatives?

I welcome strong independent candidates running for House of Representatives. We need more MPs prepared to collaborate and work on the big challenges ahead and vote with integrity on each issue.

What will you do in case of a minority government?

I am not engaging in speculation on what may happen after the election. I am focused on the campaign and winning the support of the Warringah community for the next three years. I will maintain my independence and consider all legislation on its merit. If I am re-elected, the people of Warringah are sending a clear message they support my call for stronger action on emissions reduction, integrity and more discipline with taxpayer money. That will be on my to-do list. 

What is your view on the advantages of a minority/balanced parliament?

  1. There can be significant benefits to power-sharing arrangements. Communities get more say on what the government does, and generally the crossbench is more interested in transparency and accountability than government is.
  2. Independents work for their local communities in a way major party MPs often do not. Independents don’t (usually) join ministerial ranks, which means they don’t use their backbench role as a self-interested springboard to higher office the way major party MPs often do.
  3. The NSW Government is currently a minority government, 1/3 State and Territory governments have been minority governments since WWII, they are so common no-one even speaks about it
  4. The 2010-13 minority government passed more legislation than any other Parliament and had the highest “productivity of parliament” – most bills passed per day.
  5. The existing Coalition is chaotic and governs with the Liberals and the Nationals holding them to ransom without any transparency on the conditions of the deal. The factional wars on the ALP side are no better.

What was the $100,000 donation issue about?

In Summary -
• At all times total donations were declared. 
• AEC returns are regularly amended by parties. 
• The AEC has confirmed it is satisfied with the amended declaration and the matter was resolved without issue and publicly disclosed over a year ago.
The Facts - 
Firstly, all money was declared, nothing was ‘hidden’. Secondly, there were 8 legal transactions from a trust that the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) then characterised as one donation. Warringah Independent Ltd did not split the donation. Thirdly, individual adults are allowed to make their own donation, and there are no restrictions on multiple members of a family making donations. 
Warringah Independent Ltd rectified its return to the AEC as soon as it was made aware of the error. The AEC has confirmed it is satisfied with the amended declaration and the matter was resolved without issue and publicly disclosed over a year ago. 
I understand that many Australians may have invested in fossil fuels in the past. I welcome the support of people now wishing to see robust action on climate. My track record makes it clear that the fossil fuel industry has no influence over my decision making and representation of Warringah. 
The real issue with donations is the $68 million* in unexplained money received by political parties in the past financial year and influence donations have on government policies and allocation of government contracts. 
I support greater transparency of political donations and have seconded Helen Haines’ Bill to increase transparency.
(Information is current at April 2022. *source: Centre for Integrity)

Do you take money from Climate 200?

I am supportive of the work of Climate 200 and have shared my experiences and learnings with them and with other community independent groups. I hope to encourage other strong Independents to enter into politics. 
I did not receive any money from Climate 200 for the 2019 campaign. For the 2022 election, I have received over 1800 donations including from Climate 200 - support for which I am incredibly grateful.

What is your voting record?

As an independent I consider each legislation on its merits and consult to ensure I represent the views of the Warringah community. See how I vote here. 

Have you bought an EV yet?

My transport has been carbon neutral for over 2 years. My Parliamentary car is a Subaru Hybrid, which I offset with Greenfleet. My private vehicle is a Hyundai Kona EV. I offset my house and family footprint with Greenfleet.

Do you have solar panels?

Yes, I’ve had solar for over 2 years. I also use 100% renewable energy, have switched away from gas heating and plan to do the same with hot water. I also have Ethical Super. Under my leadership, Warringah has accelerated its uptake of rooftop solar PV and transition to reduce emissions. 

What is your electric bus about?

My electric powered Team Zali campaign bus is testament to the fact that climate change is a top order issue for me and the people of Warringah. With transport accounting for nearly a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions in Australia, and road transport accounting for 80 percent of those emissions, it’s time to accelerate the uptake of electric vehicles. See my 5 Steps to Net Zero including a plan for transport emissions reduction. 

The campaign bus is rented from Electromotiv until Election Day and powered by local business Colormaker with 100% renewable energy. 

What is your policy on transgender women competing in sport?

I strongly believe the current protections in legislation and in the codes of the various sporting bodies provide adequate guidance and protection for athletes of all genders and allow for discretion at the community sport level which is important for the mental and physical health of all citizens. Sport Australia has an established diversity policy here and Sport NSW have also established a useful set of guidelines available here

The Sex Discrimination Act allows for the exclusion of someone on the basis of sex or gender where strength, stamina and physique are relevant. This provides governing bodies with sufficient discretion to balance fairness and inclusivity in sport. 

What is your view on power prices?

I believe that the Government’s inaction on climate change and transition to clean energy is putting upward pressure on power prices.

Power prices have gone up 131% this year because of the Government’s support of unreliable aging coal and gas fired power plants.

The States with more renewables did not experience significant price spikes.

What is your view on the security pact between the Solomon Islands and Australia?

I am concerned about this development and I believe that more should have been done by Australia diplomatically and through practical assistance over the last decade to build our influence in the Pacific.

Australia needs to step up its aid program broadly and specifically in the Pacific. The current government has undervalued aid as an instrument of diplomatic influence.

We also need to demonstrate leadership on climate change to show that we are listening to Pacific Island nations about their concerns over their greatest existential threat.

Finally the politicisation of national security in this election campaign is jeopardising the safety of Australians and it is gravely disappointing that the Government is putting political gain ahead of our safety.

What is the New Economy?

The new economy is one that is dynamic and future focussed:

  1. Supports inclusive and sustainable growth, through a focus on environmental, social and governance practices
  2. Unleashes innovation through investment in research and development, enhancing opportunities for start-ups and tech firms as well as new skills in the workforce
  3. Promotes the circular economy through supporting innovative approaches to supply chains and waste management
  4. Returns to a focus on budget discipline, ensuring that government programs have clear performance indicators, are rigorously assessed, transparent and effective. For more details see here