Community Newsletter

Ocean Sustainability and Migration

11 April 2024


Back in Warringah & zoomed in on small business

Following a jam-packed fortnight in Parliament, I’m back in Warringah until the Federal Budget in May. I have met with the Finance Department and various Ministers and their offices to discuss funding for a number of projects and organisations, from infrastructure, youth services and health. 

We have also been visiting small businesses around Warringah and many are telling me they are doing it extremely tough as they deal with complex changes to IR law, inflation, low consumer confidence, rising rents, insurance and the ATO. Alarmingly, 43% of small businesses around the country are not breaking even. Small business is the backbone of our economy and I don’t believe the government is doing enough to support them. A small business award is urgently needed to simplify compliance and IR. I am also working on a proposal to reduce the number of small business definitions that currently exist in IR - 12 and counting across different legislations!

Read on to learn more about our small business survey and webinar.

Zali in Parli


Ocean Sustainability Briefing

It was my pleasure to co-host a Parliamentary Briefing on ocean sustainability with Ocean Decade Australia in Parliament. We heard from the Minister for Climate Change Chris Bowen, Special Envoy for the Great Barrier Reef Nita Green, as well as ocean leaders across industry, finance, science and philanthropy, about the challenges and opportunities surrounding our oceans. It is so important that we work together to develop policy that allows us to better understand the tensions that arise from human use of the oceans while maintaining their health for generations to come.

Migration Amendment

The final sitting week before Easter saw the government try to ram through yet another amendment to the Migration Act. The bill makes it easier to deport non-citizens, with non-compliance resulting in mandatory jail sentences of up to 5 years. It was appalling to see them brief us on the Tuesday morning and then pass the legislation through the House of Representatives without proper debate and scrutiny before 2pm that afternoon. I had amendments to the legislation to review it within six months and ensure it complied with our international human rights obligations, along with enhanced protections to stop those suffering from domestic violence and homelessness being deported or jailed under mandatory sentencing provisions. However, the government didn’t even allow time for my amendments to be debated - an appalling abuse of parliamentary process! There is now a Senate inquiry into this bill and I will keep up the pressure on the government to amend this draconian bill.

Fair and Transparent Elections Bill

I was proud to second the Member for Curtin’s  Fair and Transparent Elections Bill that will improve transparency, protect voters from outright lies, reduce financial influence, level the playing field, and limit excessive donations. Both the government and opposition have expressed support for voter protections from misleading and false political advertising in recent weeks. I was able to meet with Special Minister of State, Don Farrell on this issue and there is positive momentum for real change in the coming months.

Offshore Gas

Another controversial bill the government passed through the House before the Easter break was the Offshore Petroleum and Greenhouse Gas Storage Legislation Amendment (Safety and Other Measures) Bill 2024. The bill shields offshore oil and gas projects from tougher environmental regulations by giving approval to the Resource Minister instead of the Environment Minister. I proposed an amendment to the bill. It also risks locking out First Nations people from proper and genuine consultations about such projects on country. There is huge community outcry at this bill and the government will continue to feel the pressure as it makes its way towards the Senate for further scrutiny and debate.

Other parliamentary activity

I commended the government on the establishment of the Administrative Review Tribunal Bill, which replaces the current Administrative Appeals Tribunal and was pleased that they agreed to a review of the new agency within five years, something I proposed, to ensure it is working properly.

There were also positive amendments to a Child Support & Family Assistance Bill but I’ve called on the government for a more wide-ranging review of the current child support system.

Last year, the government committed to helping small business with asset write-off provisions but they are due to sunset this financial year and the legislation has not even passed the Senate! Similarly, after big announcements of funding to assist low-income households electrify, no funding has yet flowed through to those in need! I asked the Treasurer what the Government plans to do about this.

I have also urged government to amend the way we index HECS debt given the pressures it is putting on so many young Australians and supported the petition led by the Member for Kooyong.

To view these speeches and others I gave, go to 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.  

Small Business

Small Businesses: Have your say!

What are your key concerns and suggestions? There is still time to have your say in our Small Business Survey. Survey closes on 26 April.

Small Business Webinar Tuesday 30th April 6pm - 7pm

Zali is hosting a Small Business Webinar with COSBOA (Council of Small Business Organisations Australia), BCA (Business Council of Australia) and carefully selected experts based on the feedback from the small business survey.

Register here for the Webinar

Small to Medium Enterprise Grants

Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, has announced a $20 million investment to provide small to medium enterprises with greater access to vital research and development opportunities to accelerate their growth. Click on the relevant links below to find out more about the suite of SME Connect programs: 

  • CSIRO Kick-Start: an initiative for innovative Australian start-ups and small businesses, providing funding support and access to CSIRO’s research expertise and capabilities to help grow and develop their business.
  • Innovate to Grow: a free, 10-week online program designed to help SMEs progress their research and development (R&D) ideas.
  • RISE Accelerator: provides support to start-ups and SMEs who are working on innovative technology and are considering overseas expansion between India and Australia.

Out & About in Warringah

Can Advertising Save the Planet?

I was pleased to co-host a Forum at Mosman Art Gallery with James Greet, co-founder of the Payback Project Australia. The event brought together experts Natalie Dean Weymark, Steve O’Connor, Leif Stromnes and John Pabon to discuss what the industry is doing to help combat the climate crisis.

The consensus was that while advertising alone can’t save the planet, given its influence on consumers, it can have a large role to play in spreading the message and encouraging behaviour change. You can view the recording of the event here

A Brookvale Revival – Brookie Fest

Over the last few years, Brookvale has been undergoing a transformation and I enjoyed meeting with some of local breweries, including Bucketty's, Dad & Dave's, Seventh Day, Freshwater Brewing Co and Goodradigbee Distillers, who are all helping to drive fun social and cultural events to the area.

In particular, we discussed the success and future for Brookie Fest by exploring objectives and requirements of the Uptown Grant to develop this great local area into a vibrant hub.

One Meal Northern Beaches needs your help!

One Meal Northern Beaches delivers food relief through weekly community meals and a delivery program providing fresh hampers and cooked meals directly to people referred by social service agencies and community groups. They are currently seeking donations of non-perishable items such as small tins of tuna, Up & Go, pasta sauces, muesli bars, tinned fruit, Vegemite, variety cereal packs, tinned baked beans & spaghetti and toilet paper.  Any donation of goods will be kindly appreciated and very gratefully received.  Goods can be dropped off to my office in Manly.

One Meal is also seeking volunteer admin assistants to help out up to 3 days a week. Please reach out to [email protected] if you are able to assist.


It was great to catch up with Matilda stars Michelle Heyman and Lydia Willams as well as some talented up and coming football stars who visited parliament to celebrate the wonderful impact of women sports in Australia and to promote Australia’s bid to host the 2026 Asia Cup.

Women's achievements have inspired yet another project, the Play Our Way Program, which was born out of the success of the Women's World Cup. This grant aims to overcome barriers preventing women and girls from participating in sports. This grant offers top-notch facilities and inclusive experiences where needed most. To learn more or apply visit: Play Our Way program.

Local Sporting Champions and Para Champions programs

Entries are still open for the Local Sporting Champions and the Local Para Champions grants which provide support for coaches, officials and young competitors participating in state, national or international championships.

Sustainable Futures Grant

The Sustainable Futures Grant is now open and accepting applications until 31st May. The grants program provides financial assistance to help schools, early learning centres and not-for-profit community organisations implement sustainability projects. Guidelines and application form can be found here.

The Newsroom

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