Zali

Independent success in demanding change

26 March, 2021

This fortnight in Parliament we have been demanding change. Change from the Prime Minister to put an end to the toxic culture that is able to thrive in Parliament House and in Australian politics more broadly.

That change should have started with the Government supporting the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill that I introduced to the House. That Bill sought to amend the Sex Discrimination Act to ensure that sexual harassment was prohibited in all forms – particularly by ensuring that MPs and other statutory appointments are covered by the Act – so they too are both liable for and protected from sexual harrassment. Unfortunately the Government did not recognise the urgency of this measure and would not bring on debate.

At the end of the fortnight, there was some progress – and consensus – when the House of Representatives unanimously supported my amendments to ensure that any participants in the Independent Review of Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces can maintain both their privacy and confidentialtiy AND their right to access important documents in any future remedies they wish to pursue. I thank the Government, and Minister Birmingham in particular, for his collaborative approach to our discussions. You can read more about the process below. 


Speeches and Questions in Parliament:

To read and watch all these speeches click here.

  • Successfully moved amendments to the “Archives and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2021”. These amendments were designed to protect the rights of those who choose to participate in the upcoming Independent Review of Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces. The amendments were passed unanimously by my Parliamentary colleagues after collaboration with the Government, Labor and the Crossbench. Importantly they were developed in consultation with potential participants in the inquiry and I thank them for their courage and determination in approaching my office seeking assistance;
  • Moved amendments to the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Bill to try and stop the Government from using this taxpayer fund to support the fossil fuel industry. Unfortunately the Government, supported by Labor, ensured the Bill passed unamended;
  • Introduced the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill;
  • Suspended standing orders to debate the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill;
  • Questioned the PM in Question time on the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill;
  • Questioned the PM again on why the PM will not bring on the Sex Discrimination Amendment (Prohibiting All Sexual Harassment) Bill;
  • Seconded the Snowy Hydro Corporatisation Amendment (No New Fossil Fuels) Bill;
  • Called for better support for Northern Beaches businesses who have been relying on JobKeeper;
  • Thanked those who participated in the March 4 Justice;
  • Disagreed with the proposed rate for JobSeeker;
  • Called for the Government to implement the recommendations of the second interim report from the Joint Select Committee on Australia’s Family Law System, of which I am a member;
  • Spoke on the legacy left by Edith Cowan – the first woman to be elected to an Australian Parliament;
  • Statement on the National Consumer Credit Protection Amendment.


Meetings and Events in Parliament 

  • Meeting with Minister Simon Birmingham to discuss arrangements and protections for the Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces
  • Meeting with Minister Dan Tehan to discuss the impact of COVID restrictions on the travel and tourism industry, including the holding of “mass participation” sporting events such as fun runs, ocean swims and cycling events
  • Meeting with Kate Jenkins, the Sex Discrimination Commissioner to discuss the upcoming Independent Review into Commonwealth Parliamentary Workplaces
  • Hosted a Transport Emissions Forum with the Parliamentary Friends of Climate Action
  • Meeting with Relationships Australia on combating loneliness
  • Discussed how we can put an end to modern slavery with representatives from “Walk Free”
  • Meeting with Reach Out on the issue of mental health
  • Joined other anti-nuclear weapons campaigners to celebrate the nuclear weapons ban treaty coming into force
  • Helped The Big Issue support their vendors
  • Attended a ‘Women in Sport’ event
  • Supported the Australian Film Industry
  • Supported the work of Equality Australia
  • Meeting with the Australian Union Jewish Students 
  • Meeting with the veterinarians for climate change
  • Meeting with UNICEF about the vaccine roll-out


VICTORY FOR THE SYDNEY HARBOUR FORESHORE
 

Last week the Government announced it had halted plans to allow commercial leases over 35 years on Sydney Harbour Federation Trust land. Previously, the future of Trust land was uncertain with the threat of commercialisation of key areas. There is no doubt that this is a win for the community.

The Government has now introduced the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust Amendment Bill and I will be closely scrutinising the provisions to ensure that the lands continue to be preserved for the community.
 
As a member of the Harbour Trust Community Advisory Committee, the North Head Sanctuary Bushfire Recovery Advisory Group and the 10 Terminal Reference Group, I will continue to work to ensure that the Trust lands are protected and conserved for Warringah and future generations of Australians.

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